Another death raises concern over cocaine

Agents are investigating the death of another person in a downtown hotel. This is the second in four days, and it raises the possibility that there is some potent or bad cocaine available in the downtown.

Investigators found cocaine in the room of a man who died Friday at the Hotel Del Rey. Drugs are routinely sold on the street in the vicinity of the hotel. Some prostitutes say that North American tourists are anxious to obtain illegal drugs then they are here to share a romantic time with them. Typically the tourist asks the women to obtain the drugs to avoid entanglements with local police.

Fuerza Pública officers confirmed that they were on the scene because of a suspected fatal overdose at Avenida Primera and Calle 9 Tuesday evening. No name was available. Of course nothing can be determined until lab reports come back to the judicial morgue.

A snickering story Saturday in the Spanish-language press blamed a so-called love pill for the death of the man Friday. Presumably the news writer meant Viagra. However, that is far less likely to cause medical problems than cocaine, which has a history of causing heart attacks because it constricts the blood vessels.

Costa Rica is flooded with cocaine of varying degrees of purity because smugglers pay for services with kilos of the drug. There is little doubt that the potential for very potent cocaine exists here because distributors do not have refined techniques to cut the drug. There also is the possibility that local drug dealers are cutting cocaine with dangerous chemicals, such as rat poison.

In either case, that could prove fatal for inexperienced drug users, such as tourists.

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