Massive police turnout nets underage drinkers, pot suspects

Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública. One of three men detained early Sunday is led away

The idea appears to be sound. Keep the drunks off the road by putting them on buses and bringing them around to local bars.

That is the concept that put three buses on the road Saturday night on the way to three different watering holes. For 6,000 colons, about $12, participants gained entry into the bars where there normally is cover charge. They also got beer and at least one shot of Jagermeister on the bus.

The first stop was at Bar La Nena in Montes de Oca. The problem did not begin until the buses unloaded early Sunday at Viva La Vida Bar & Kitchen in a Pavas industrial zone not far from the U.S. Embassy. About
100 police officers, social workers and others in official capacity also showed up.

Poster for bar tour

Involved were the Patronato Nacional de la Infancia, the Instituto sobre Alcoholismo y Farmacodependencia, the Ministerio de Salud, the Policía de Control Fiscal, the Policía Municipal de San José, the Fuerza Pública, the Judicial Investigating Organization, the Policía de Tránsito, the security ministry’s dog unit and a prosecutor assigned to juvenile cases.

The police raid netted five girls who had entered the bar using fake or borrowed cédulas and three young men accused of selling marijuana. Police said they found 10 doses of marijuana. The marijuana was believed to have been found in a vehicle that was not one of the buses.

It still is unclear if the five girls were passengers on the bus or arrived at the bar by their own means. Some were said to be drunk.

The big law enforcement turnout appears to have been sparked by a tip that the event, organized under the name Mica Tours, was designed to transport underaged drinkers to the bars. However, on a Facebook page organizers clearly state that the event is only for adults. Individual organizers are identified as Daniel Chacón and Ariel LaFuente.

Many of the participants are believed to be Universidad de Costa Rica students because advance ticket sales were made there.

The country’s drug czar, Mauricio Boraschi, issued a statement urging parents to keep better track of their children.

Casa Presidencial said that the Ministerio de Salud ordered the bar to be closed because those in charge could not immediately find documents showing that they had all the permits.

The police action appears to have ended the bar tour. Police said the bus drivers were ticketed for traffic infractions. The last stop was to be Club Gaira in Escazú.

The tour also included a 4 a.m. breakfast.

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