The Ministry of Public Security confirmed that a large number of weapons registered in Costa Rica appeared illegally in Panama.
Security Minister Gustavo Mata, said his Panamanian counterpart showed great concern, and that for this reason they maintain close communication.
There are a lot of firearms being used by organized and regular crime in Panama that were imported from Costa Rica and were to be used by private security companies, and most of these cases have already been reported with the Attorney General,”
The minister said the Ministry of Public Security’s goal is not to bring more firearms, much less those who involved in criminal proceedings, but it does support taking them back.
During 2014, Panama seized 87 illegal weapons with deleted records or registered to a third party. A year later, they seized 35 and this year the record already shows 33 illegal firearms, as confirmed Ana Yancy Espinoza, representative of the Arias Foundation for Peace, who filed the complaint. Espinoza provided the data after contacting the Director of Panama’s Public Security Affairs, Rodolfo Aguilera.
A good practice is to identify and track companies that show irregularities. Sometimes said companies don’t exist and in this case we proceed with complaints to the public prosecutor and against the legal representatives. This management has exposed the lack of control with which some private security companies have worked and everything related with firearms registered to their names,”
The weapons illegally crossed the border with Panama and the problem is that people do not report them lost or stolen.
This situation is worrying for the Costa Rican State, which has ratified international agreements to control guns transfers (Treaty on the arms trade and prevention of illegal trafficking, Firearms Protocol of the United Nations Convention against Organized Crime, and the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing and Trafficking of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and other Related Materials).
Mata confirmed that a more fluid communication with Panama will continue over the coming weeks, because the number of weapons found so far this year is the same as the one reported in 2015, which shows an alarming increase.