Fuerza Pública officers make arrests at checkpoints all over country

The Fuerza Pública said early today that 72 persons have been detained in the previous 12 hours all over the country.

The arrests are for various reasons, said Juan Jose Andrade, the director general of the police agency. He said earlier in the day via his Twitter account that there were some 56 checkpoints set up around the country by his officers.

He said that the Policia de Fronteras was particularly active in the southern part of the country

Checkpoints are a mainstay of the police process here.  Sometimes they are set up when there has been a crime. Other times they are routine.  Officers flag over suspicious vehicles and check them for weapons and drugs.

Police on foot patrols do the same thing, and the principal targets are youths and young adults. They are asked to turn out their pockets.

In most cases there is no probable cause for the searches.

The U.S. Embassy has helped the local police to install and set up a checkpoint on the Interamericana Sur at kilometer 37. That checkpoint costs $3 million with a large percentage of the money coming from the United States. The money was expended as part of the U.S. State Department’s regional security initiative.

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