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Costa Rican Security Initiative: A “Southern Bloc” to Fight Against Crime

LADB Article ID: 80283
Category/Department: Costa Rica
Date: 2017-05-04
By: George Rodríguez

Costa Rica is leading a security initiative to combine efforts with Colombia and neighboring Panama to fight organized crime, particularly drug trafficking. Costa Rican Security Minister Gustavo Mata is an enthusiastic promoter of the newly established Bloque Sur (Southern Bloc) or Triángulo Sur (Southern Triangle), which builds on the bonds Costa Rica has developed with its two partners and includes equipment and other logistics support as well as training for its police forces. The idea is for the Bloque Sur to work together with the US, the biggest market for the drugs being channeled through this region. The Bloque is open for other Central American nations to join. The group’s name highlights the difference between Central America’s safer southern region (Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama, which borders Colombia) and the crime- and violence-ridden Triángulo Norte (Northern Triangle), which comprises El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, and is one of the world’s most violent regions.

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