With differences and similitude with Salvadorian gangs known as ‘maras’, this is how Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ) considers the criminal groups that extort money in the Great Metropolitan Area of San José. Similar extortions haunt other Central American countries.
Michel Soto Rojas, chief of the Plans and Operations Office of OIJ, said that based on complaints there have been in the last 4 years groups that collect money to allow commercial activities in territories criminals claimed as their own and currently they’re learning from the evolution of similar gangs in other countries.
We’re studying the events of extortions that happen in other Central American countries. By instance, in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador this kind of extortion, above all, in buses, microbuses, and taxis to charge them money for getting into a neighborhood”, said the police investigator.
In Costa Rica, Soto explained that this subjects can’t be understood as part of criminal organizations. “They are groups lightly organized to commit crimes. They used low to medium caliber fire arms and apply intimidation and violence to achieve their goals”, he pointed out.
The refusal to pay one of this tolls, that cost between 1k to 2k colones, took out the life of Randall Hernández, an unlicensed taxi driver of 54 years old. Murdered by gun shots this Saturday at Tejarcillos de Alajuelita. Days before the killing, he denounced being victim of extortions before OIJ.