Updated 07:38 PM EDT, Sat, Sep 26, 2020

Costa Rican Assassins Turn to Mexico for Specialized Training 

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It's not the League of Assassins, but it's equally alarming: according to a report from In Sight Crime, Costa Rican assassins are travelling to Mexico to receive specialized training from various criminal groups, indicating that said criminals are evolving in their sophistication.

La Nacion reported that Costa Rican Attorney General, Jorge Chaviarra, said local contract killers are now travelling to Mexico to learn more skills, including target practice, intelligence gathering, escape tactics, and using high-caliber weapons.

The Costa Rican Anti-Narcotics Police (PCD) suggested that some of these contract killers are being instructed by Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel, however, others go to different countries for training. The PCD also shared that new recruits in Costa Rica are being taken under the wings by those who trained abroad.

While he did not disclose names of gang members and where they are located in Mexico, Chaviarra said that the strategies that these assassins learned are becoming evident through their more violent and specialized ways in carrying out their assignments.

He said, "We, as authorities, have witnessed first hand what these hitmen are learning because there has been a shift to more violent forms of executions and homicides. You could say that it is because of the high level of specialization."

Assassins in Costa Rica are typically between the ages 18 and 30 years old, and are either working as security for criminal organizations or are killers for hire. Their use of motorcycles is currently the most popular method for contract kills --- one person shoots the victim from the passenger seat, while the other one drives.

The use of hired guns has been around Costa Rica since the end of the 1990s, however, they were usually low key and did not begin intensifying their operations until around 2012.

Both Costa Rican and Mexican authorites are in agreement about working together to dismantle said assassin training as best as they can in both nations, reported Pangea Today.

The crime situation in Costa Rica these days may be in part due to its strategic location along the transnational drug trafficking routes, as analyzed by In Sight Crime. An increase of criminal organizations from Latin America and beyond have used the country for illicit activities. This even led to the country being dubbed as a "Mexican colony," due to the number of Mexican cartels taking over the nation's trafficking routes.

Costa Rica's violence rate is approaching "pandemic" levels these days, and such violence has been blamed on drug cartels, authorities believing that about half the murders carried out in the country in 2015 were related to drugs and organized crime.

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