By Dialogo December 16, 2009 Costa Rica has become a meeting place where Colombian and Mexican drug cartels do business in tons of cocaine, the principal destination of which is the United States market, according to the director of the Judicial Investigation Agency (OIJ), Jorge Rojas. “Costa Rica has become a meeting place for Mexican and Colombian cartels. That is to say, Guatemalans no longer play an intermediary role,” Rojas told the daily La Nación, which published his statements. According to an article in the Costa Rican daily, based on reports by the Drug Control Police (PCD), since 2005 a total of sixty-one Mexican citizens have been apprehended for ties to drug-trafficking activities. During the same period, the authorities have seized 16.3 tons of cocaine belonging to Mexican criminal organizations, according to the PCD, which estimates that 80 % of the drugs that pass through Costa Rica are controlled by cartels from that country. “We should remember that we are talking about large criminal enterprises (the Mexican cartels), with structures that are highly efficient at administering resources,” the director of the Costa Rican Drug Institute, Mauricio Boraschi, declared to La Nación. The Costa Rican authorities fear that the cartels will be able to make alliances with individuals of few economic resources who live far from the cities, for the purpose of acquiring freedom of action in rural areas. Recently, a mysterious woman gave large sums of money to poor families living near the Costa Rican border with Nicaragua, and the authorities found traces of cocaine on the bills.
By Dialogo April 11, 2011 Representatives from more than one hundred countries agreed on 7 April, at a public ceremony in Cancún, to create a common front against organized crime and to set up regional operational groups to carry out coordinated actions against drug traffickers’ growing power. “Our adversaries don’t respect borders, they don’t pay attention to our laws, and they believe that they can divide and undermine us; in order to be able to succeed, we have to remain united in trust and commitment,” Marie Leonhart, the administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), said in an address. On the last working day of the Twenty-Eighth International Drug Enforcement Conference in Cancún, in eastern Mexico, the U.S. official specified that in order to make cooperation more effective, tasks will be divided according to regional groups with common aims. In Latin America, one of the regional groups will be made up of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica and will receive collaboration from the United States, Mexico, and Colombia in order to curb the expansion of the cartels. Another front is composed of seventy-five African and European countries through which emerging drug-trafficking routes run by way of the African continent, Leonhart indicated. Another group will also be created by Asian countries and will focus on combating the route between Afghanistan and Europe, among others. The new “challenges posed by the criminal organizations create the need to make global operations a reality,” Leonhart added. For his part, Mexican Secretary of Public Safety Genaro García Luna said that the declaration signed at the end of the conference includes the proposal to promote coordinated operations “against transnational organized crime, taking advantage of the exchange of information in real time.” García Luna added that intelligence exchange mechanisms will likewise be designed that will make it possible to combat illegal arms trafficking, strengthen the fight against money laundering, and prevent the financing of terrorism. The Mexican official indicated that progress in the application of these mechanisms will be evaluated within a year’s time, at the next International Drug Enforcement Conference, which will be held in Indonesia. At the ceremony, the head of the National Antinarcotics Council and general commissioner of the Indonesian Police, Gories Mere, was elected president pro tempore in charge of organizing the event. The event was brought to a close by Mexican President Felipe Calderón, who indicated that despite criticism of his administration’s strategy of confronting drug trafficking with military force, he will continue insisting on that strategy “so long as no alternatives appear that are more beneficial or less costly for society and individuals.”
By Lonnie WheatleyDODGE CITY, Kan. (March 6) – It’s drawing ever closer as Dodge City Raceway Park is set to fire to life just 30 days from now with an open practice session on Saturday, April 5.The open practice will be from 5-8 p.m. with pit passes $10 and admission to the grandstands free. The session precedes an exciting season of racing action atop the 3/8-mile clay oval that ranks among the premier dirt tracks in the nation.Racing action officially gets under way on Saturday, April 12, with a full slate of championship series action featuring the track’s regular classes of IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modifieds, IMCA SportMods, IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, Thunder Cars and Hornets. The season continues with 15 nights of competition before culminating with the second annual Jerry Soderberg Memorial featuring the URSS Sprint Cars along with the track’s championship series finale on Saturday, Sept. 27.Along the way will be the always highly-anticipated World of Outlaws Sprint Cars “Boothill Showdown” on July 4-5 along with a variety of special events for Sprint Cars, Late Models, Modifieds, Sport Modifieds and Stock Cars along the way.The complete Dodge City Raceway Park schedule is available at http://www.dodgecityraceway.com/schedule/. The track is currently taking registrations for its championship chase divisions. Drivers planning on competing in any of the track’s regular divisions imay register in advance by filling out the form at http://www.dodgecityraceway.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/DCRP-2014-Registration.pdf. Filling out these registrations in advance will speed up the sign-in process on opening night. Registration is mandatory to ensure the proper information for payout. It also reserves a driver’s car number for the year and includes eligibility for the DCRP season points championship.Dodge City Raceway Park is located on the south edge of Dodge City, Kan., on US 283, then 0.9 miles west on US 56, then 0.1 miles south. For more information, contact the track at 620 225-3277 or check www.dodgecityraceway.com.