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Viewing cable 06SANJOSE327, CRIME STATISTICS FOR COSTA RICA: 2005

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06SANJOSE327 2006-02-10 19:07 2011-03-08 16:04 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy San Jose
Appears in these articles:
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-06/Investigacion/NotasDestacadas/Investigacion2702320.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-06/Investigacion/NotaPrincipal/Investigacion2702324.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-06/Investigacion/NotasSecundarias/Investigacion2702325.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-06/Investigacion/NotasSecundarias/Investigacion2702326.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-06/Investigacion/NotasSecundarias/Investigacion2702327.aspx
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SAN JOSE 000327 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR DS/IP/WHA, DS/IP/ITA, DS/CR/CIL AND DS/DSS/OSAC; 
PANAMA FOR LEGATT, ICE ATTACHE, AND RSO; MANAGUA FOR RSO; 
SALVADOR FOR RSO AND OIG TEAM 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ASEC CASC KCRM
SUBJECT: CRIME STATISTICS FOR COSTA RICA: 2005 
 
REF: A. COSTA RICAN JUDICIAL POLICE CRIME STATISTICS 2005 
     B. DEA SEIZURE STATISTICS (2000 - 2005) 
     C. EMBASSY SAN JOSE INFORMAL CONSULAR CRIME 
        STATISTICS (2004 - PRESENT) 
 
1.   Per referenced crime statistics provided by the Judicial 
Police (OIJ), RSO is providing a comparison for major crime 
categories to the 2004 crime statistics for Costa Rica: 
 
 
      2005        Change from 2004 
 
   Theft of Vehicles    5403 cases   18.2% 
   Assaults (Robbery)   7500 cases   4.2% 
   Home Robberies 6151 cases   28.9% 
   Vehicle Break-ins    6916 cases   22.5% 
   Business Break-ins   4052 cases   22.0% 
   Kidnappings    8 cases           9  cases total 
   Bank Assaults  9 cases           11 cases total 
   Homicides      300  cases   9%(275 homicides) 
 
2.  For every category of crime, the majority of the criminal 
activity was in the San Jose region, identified as having a 
population of 1,480,140 citizens.  This increase in crime in 
nearly every category except Bank Assaults and Kidnappings is 
noteworthy and fits with anecdotal reports of criminal 
incidents reported to RSO this past year.  RSO has reported 
in previous cables significant violent criminal activity in 
San Jose, especially in the areas where the Embassy is 
located and in the neighborhoods where the majority of our 
personnel are housed. 
 
3.  In FY 2005, the Consular Section processed 1,558 
applications to replace U.S. passports stolen in Costa Rica. 
This was an increase of 30% from the previous year, and puts 
San Jose in first place worldwide, ahead of places like Rome 
and Paris, for stolen passports.  In almost all instances, 
the passport theft involves tourists and is incidental to the 
theft of luggage, purses, backpacks, briefcases, etc. Many 
AmCits reporting passport theft do not file a report with the 
OIJ due to the inconvenience, the language barrier, and the 
realization that little or no action will be taken by OIJ to 
solve the crime.  Anecdotally, we also know that most AmCit 
victims of crime  do not report the incident to the Embassy 
unless a passport was stolen or immediate assistance is 
required. 
 
4  An increase in the murder rate between the 2004 and 2005 
years (9 percent) does not look good for the homicide rate in 
Costa Rica, looking forward five years. It is also important 
to note the increase in narcotics seizures (Ref B), with 
9691.13 kilos of cocaine and 35.36 kilos of heroin seized in 
Costa Rica in CY 2005. Before CY 2005, the highest kilo 
seizure amount of cocaine in Costa Rica during the last five 
years was 5,710 kilos in CY 2003. 
 
5.  RSO will continue to report specific criminal events 
affecting Embassy personnel and AmCit tourists, in order to 
present a clear picture of the crime threat in this country. 
Although a tourist haven for both AmCits and Europeans, Costa 
Rica has real crime problems, supported by the OIJ crime 
statistics.  The bottom line is crime is high in Costa Rica 
and it appears to be getting worse. 
 
LANGDALE