There are multiple smaller airports and airstrips serviced by small domestic carriers and a charter flights. Local, Regional, and International Terrorism Threats/Concerns. or the United States Government, except as otherwise noted (e.g., travel advisories, public statements). Protests occur in the heavily-populated areas on occasion and typically center on fair pay and working conditions. U.S. Embassy Location and Contact Information, (Across the street from Centro Comercial del Oeste Pavas). The description is … While petty theft is the main problem, armed robberies have been known to occur even in broad daylight. But opting out of some of these cookies may affect your browsing experience. Many beaches with dangerous rip currents do not have lifeguards or warning signs. You can read that information in our article: Crime Stats in Costa Rica.“Costa Rica registered 453 homicides in 2014, according to data gathered by the country’s Judicial Investigation Unit. We’re going to break this to you first: crime is definitely a thing in Costa Rica. The U.S. Department of State has assessed San José as being a LOW-threat location for terrorist activity directed at or affecting official U.S. government interests. Supplemental medical insurance with specific overseas coverage, including a provision for medical evacuation, has been useful in many emergencies. But despite the rise in murders, Costa Rica is still one of the safest country in the region. REVA Inc. is a fixed-wing air ambulance and medevac service with operations throughout the western hemisphere. Crime in Costa Rica that impacts tourists is usually in form of petty theft and occasional armed robberies. Roads are often in poor condition, and large potholes are common and can cause severe damage to vehicles. Interested private-sector security managers should contact OSAC’s Western Hemisphere team with any questions. Your session will expire soon and log you out. In 2017, Costa Rica recorded a record number of 116 water-related deaths. The local authorities face problems when trying to deal with this situation. This weakness is compounded by the general instability of party support and increased split-… ), violent crimes (being mugged or robbed, being attacked or insulted), corruption and other crimes. There is generally a spike in the number of home burglaries and robberies during the holiday season. The government is steadily increasing its spending on law enforcement agencies and improving its focus on counter-narcotics programs and organized crime. The recent steady increase in the homicide rate has, in part, been attributed to the increase in organized drug trafficking and associated activities. That means for every 100,000 people, 11.7 of them met their demise at the hands of somebody else (hey, statistics are rarely to the whole number). Both Costa Rican nationals and third-country nationals participate in organized crime: car theft rings, drug traffickers, petty theft, and burglary. But now drug-traffickers have their eye on this once-tranquil territory and crime rates are on the rise. Drug trafficking fueled this violence and the murder increase in the area. How to Handle Incidents of Police Detention or Harassment. However, over recent years, the country has seen a continuous uptick in homicides. However, all protests should be avoided as a safety precaution and to avoid any perception of interfering in local politics. 2018/01/24 ... and Tourism regarding the recent crimes against vacationers in Costa Rica. Credit card theft/fraud is also a common crime faced by visitors. The Costa Rican government can place a departure impediment on individuals who attempt to depart without paying their medical bills. For more information, please review OSAC’s Report, “Security in Transit: Airplanes, Public Transport, and Overnights.”. Directorate de Inteligencia y Seguridad (DIS): Costa Rica’s intelligence agency, within the Ministry of the President. Cases of Arancha Gutiérrez and María Trinidad Mathus, both occurring in August 2018, are the most recent examples of t… In 2017, several large-scale road construction projects generated even more traffic congestion than usual. Medicare and Medicaid do not offer coverage outside the United States. Performs ground security, law enforcement, counter narcotics, and border patrol functions. Costa Rica murder/homicide rate for 2016 was 11.90, a 2.59% increase from 2015. Interested private-sector security managers should contact OSAC’s, U.S. citizens traveling to Costa Rica should register with the, External links to other internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein. Police response can be obtained by calling 911; however, response times may vary due to the availability of manpower/vehicles and based on location, time of day, and severity of the accident, particularly outside of San José or major tourist centers. Costa Rica has been on the U.S. Trade Representative’s Special 301 Watch List for deficiencies in its protection of intellectual property rights. This agency is within the Ministry of Transportation and Public Works. “Crime is increasing in Costa Rica and U.S. citizens are frequent victims. Crime and Safety in Costa Rica. The government’s new attempt to establish additional control over weapon possession, which was regulated by legislation in 1994, provoked criticism from those who support the right to carry weapons. Organized crime is an increasing concern. Tourist Police: 2586-4620, 2586-4287, 2586-4457, 2586-4458 or 2586-4143. When planning travel to the area, consider that a disaster may strike without warning. Organismo de Investigación (OIJ): Agency that investigates all crimes for prosecution. Due to the relative open nature of portions of the country’s borders, the threat for terrorist elements to use the country as a transit point does exist. In very limited situations, cultural or religious ideologies may impact discrimination based on sexual orientation. Costa Rica crime rate & statistics for 2017 was 12.30, a 3.36% increase from 2016. Harassment is not common with foreigners. Since 2014, the government of Costa Rica has passed legislation and undertaken a public campaign to curb the promotion of the country as a destination for sex tourism and the legal risks of sexually exploiting minors. Visitors are advised to only use taxi cabs from reputable companies. That’s still lower than the murder rate in other top destinations for American tourists like Mexico, 22.5; the Dominican Republic, 14.9; and Jamaica, 55.7. American tourists and residents can also take steps to protect themselves. 2018 marks 70 years since Costa Rica abolished its Army. But the observance of the anniversary comes at a time when internal security concerns are escalating in the Central American nation. The homicide rate in Costa Rica has been fairly stable in the past five years, with the numbers varying between 9.5 and 12.1 per 100,000 inhabitants. Costa Rica has lifted stay at home orders and resumed some transportation options and business operations. The Overseas Traveler’s Guide to ATM Skimmers & Fraud, For more information, please review OSAC’s Report, “, Security in Transit: Airplanes, Public Transport, and Overnights, Traffic laws and speed limits are often ignored, turn signals are rarely used, passing on dangerous stretches of highway is common, and pedestrians are not given the right-of-way. However, traffic delays remain a common daily occurrence. Individuals should consult the agency’s, The CDC offers additional information on vaccines and health guidance for, The San José Country Council meets quarterly by invitation only. The CDC offers additional information on vaccines and health guidance for Costa Rica. Many victims maintain physical possession of their cards, but their credit card information is stolen and later used without their knowledge. The ACS Unit cannot recommend a particular individual or location and assumes no responsibility for the quality of service provided. Motorcyclists commonly drive without respect to rules of the road, often passing on the right, weaving in/out of traffic without warning, and creating lanes where none officially exist. Costa Rica’s strategic location, unevenly-monitored borders, limited security forces, and thinly-patrolled waters make it a major transit and temporary storage country for illicit drugs. For more information on self-driving, please review OSAC’s Report “Driving Overseas: Best Practices.”. Crime scene. The most common types of theft that occur involve vehicle burglaries, home robberies, pickpocketing, smash-and-grabs, muggings, and purse/wallet snatchings. This is true regardless of who was at fault or coverage by insurance. But now drug-traffickers have their eye on this once-tranquil territory and crime rates are on the rise. The fatality rate for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists is high. Travelers should exercise extreme caution when swimming in the ocean. However, there are dangers that come with such destinations – mostly in the form of pickpockets and petty theft such as purse snatching, armed robberies, and carjacking, so tourists should exercise caution. Heavy traffic provides the opportunity for thieves to steal property that is left in plain view from vehicles. It’s one of a handful of countries in the region without a military. The latter three countries, which accounted for 16,000 murders in 2016, provide the biggest source of undocumented migrants heading to the United States. 2018 marks 70 years since Costa Rica abolished its Army. Since 2015 the murder rate has significantly exceeded the World Health Organization homicide epidemic threshold of 10 per 100,000 inhabitants. In 2018, with 585 victims, Costa Rica managed to reverse the upward trend and the homicide rate fell to 11.7. 2017 came with the highest number of homicides ever, concerning voters. What the tourist board wants everyone to know is that “Costa Rica has the lowest crime rate of any Central American country“, but this a dubious claim at best. Political, Economic, Religious, and Ethnic Violence. Costa Rica 2018 Crime & Safety Report . "Costa Rica has long been known for its low crime rate and relatively stable economy, having escaped the bloody Cold War conflicts and brutal gang violence that have wrought havoc in other Central American countries. January 24, 2018 . Experts from the Health Ministry and the National University have stated that fine particulate matter from volcanic ash (frequently from Turrialba and Poas) and automobile exhaust can be a public health concern in the greater metropolitan area, which includes San José and parts of Alajuela, Cartago, and Heredia. However, should it occur, the incident should be reported to the U.S. Embassy. If confronted by a thief, remain calm and do not resist. Overseas Security Advisory Council For more information on self-driving, please review OSAC’s Report “, Uber is available and heavily used by citizens and visitors. After dark, visitors are cautioned to be aware of their surroundings or limit their visits due to increased crime potential. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Travelers can access the, Costa Rican National Emergency Commission, Costa Rican Volcanic and Seismic Observatory. It does not matter where you are, there is a fairly high chance that you might fall victim - whether it is in Quepos , Puerto Viejo , Samara, Arenal, or Tamarindo . The homicide rate as of 2017 was 12.1 out of 100,000, according to data compiled by InSight Crime. Those detained by law enforcement should immediately contact the U.S. Embassy at 2519-2000. The U.S. Department of State has assessed San José as being a, The most widely used indicator of crime is the homicide rate, which reached a record high of 603 in 2017, equaling 12.1 per 100,000 people, continuing a six-year upward trend (specific data may be found on the. For more information, please review OSAC’s Report, “The Overseas Traveler’s Guide to ATM Skimmers & Fraud.”. The document was compiled from various Important! Information about crime in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. U.S. citizens commonly report motor vehicle accidents and theft of travel documents. Pay close attention to your surroundings in crowded locations, particularly when using public transport. Unfortunately illegal drugs, gangs, racketeering and money laundering exploded in the region. Costa Rica has good relations with the rest of Central America. For medical assistance, please refer to the Embassy’s Medical Assistance page. Costa Rica crime rate & statistics for 2014 was 10.00, a 14.94% increase from 2013. A large volume of vehicular traffic and single lane roads often lead to severe congestion and delays across the country. It’s one of a handful of countries in the region without a military. It’s difficult to find any comprehensive crime stats more recent than 2011 for Costa Rica. Shows how much people think the problem in their community are property crimes (home broken, car theft, etc. Homicides Roundup. Meanwhile, authorities told Bloomberg that they’re forecasting an even higher number in 2018. Costa Rica crime rate & statistics for 2015 was 11.60, a 16% increase from 2014. Publishing or Travelers can access the Costa Rican National Emergency Commission and the Costa Rican Volcanic and Seismic Observatory for additional information. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Less-monitored areas on Costa Rica’s borders and beaches are utilized to traffic drugs and other types of contraband. Access to the Poas Volcano National Park remains restricted. As is the case with many developing countries, Costa Rica has limited funds; consequently, most of the police force is understaffed and inadequately trained. The U.S. Department of State has assessed San José as being a LOW-threat location for political violence directed at or affecting official U.S. government interests. Due to a lack of resources, the traffic police are not proactive and do not regularly monitor roads. Individuals should consult the agency’s website or its 24-hour air ambulance communications center at 1-800-753-4195. Bureau of Diplomatic Security The triangle will include a designated number that matches the number on the taxis license plate. In 2018, there were 584 murders, or 11.6 murders per 100,000 people, per the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Traffic police occasionally enforce traffic rules, and citations can be costly and must be paid before leaving the country. Costa Rica murder/homicide rate for 2017 was 12.30, a 3.36% increase from 2016. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. And 2018 isn’t looking much better. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. Assault rate: Number of assaults recorded by police per 100,000 population ; Crime levels: Level of crime.Based on 0-50 contributions for Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria and 82 more countries and 50-100 contributions for Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria and 24 more countries and over 100 contributions for Australia, Brazil, Canada and 17 more countries. Costa Rica crime rate & statistics for 2016 was 11.90, a 2.59% increase from 2015. Country-specific Vaccination and Health Guidance. Driving outside of San José at night can be treacherous due to narrow or poorly-maintained roads, many of which lack adequate lighting, markings, guardrails, and street signs. The year-round temperate climate and above average healthcare system has long-established Costa Rica as a destination for expatriates from the U.S. and elsewhere to work, retire, or establish secondary residences. Visitors are reminded that they must obey all traffic regulations and be familiar with road conditions prior to traveling. The courts often delay imposing a settlement until all injured parties have fully recovered and the definitive costs are known. These areas are home to approximately 60% of Costa Rica’s population, 70% of its vehicle fleet, and 85% of its major industry, according to the National Statistics and Census Institute. In Costa Rica, homicide rates have been in its record high since 2015. Road conditions may change drastically and suddenly due to weather, construction, or accessibility. As a result, travelers may be prohibited from leaving the country until a local judicial resolution is reached. Costa Rica is located in an active earthquake and volcanic zone. The Embassy recommends visitors consider purchasing private air medical insurance before traveling. Would you like to continue with this session or log out? As a result of its geographic location, criminal organizations favor Costa Rica as a location to commit financial crimes including money laundering and financial scams, but in 2017, Costa Rica completed its anti-money laundering legal framework and strengthened implementation of these laws. For more information on ride-sharing, please review OSAC’s Annual Briefing Report “Safety and Security in the Share Economy.”. Please note that all OSAC products are for internal U.S. private sector security purposes only. Violent crime involving tourists is rare in Costa Rica but it’s a serious and rapidly growing problem for residents. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. The Constitution bars foreigners from political activity, and foreigners involved with protests, even peaceful ones, could be arrested. In 2015 alone, there had been 566 murders recorded. Some are wondering if the police patrols that have been put in place are still enough to keep the peace. open sources and (U) embassy reporting. However, over recent years, the country has seen a continuous uptick in homicides." The San José Country Council meets quarterly by invitation only. Furthermore, the government of Costa Rica may prevent any driver involved in a vehicular accident from departing the country until all injury claims have been settled. Some are wondering if the police patrols that have been put in place are still enough to keep the peace. Fuerza Publica: Uniformed police agency. Crime is a consistent and significant concern in Costa Rica. February 20, 2018; Crime and Safety in Costa Rica, News; 0 Comments; Print. The result for the country has been peace and prosperity. Costa Rica murder/homicide rate for 2014 was 10.00, a 14.94% increase from 2013. The majority of kidnappings are a result of feuds between rival criminal organizations. Tourists are encouraged to leave passports in a hotel safe or other secure location, utilizing a photocopy or picture on their smartphones of the biographical and entry stamp pages. Costa Rica is sandwiched between Nicaragua and Panama which, together, have relatively low crime and murder rates compared with El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala to the north. Motorcyclists commonly drive without respect to rules of the road, often passing on the right, weaving in/out of traffic without warning, and creating lanes where none officially exist. According to InSight Crime, a nonprofit news organization that focuses on crime in Latin America, in the first six months of 2018, Costa Rica registered 302 … Costa Rica murder/homicide rate for 2015 was 11.60, a 16% increase from 2014. For more information on ride-sharing, please review OSAC’s Annual Briefing Report “, When planning travel to the area, consider that a disaster may strike without warning. 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