Are there Costa Ricans among the thousands of bodies that have turned up in México? The Judicial Investigating Organization is trying to find out.
The agency issued a request Tuesday for parents whose children have begun the dangerous journey to the United States as illegal immigrants From Jan. 1 to August 2013.
They are asking parents to provide a description and other information if they have not heard from their children since that time.
There are an estimated 25,000 missing persons in México, and periodically mass graves turn up. Most of the murders are blamed on drug gangs.
The gangs have been known to kidnap Central American immigrants bound for the States and kill them if they do not agree to carry drugs. The smuggling is aided by the unprotected natures of the U.S. border in some places. Immigrants also have been known to die of thirst and exposure while trekking through the U.S. southern desert.
Sending young men and women to the United States is a tradition in some Costa Rican communities. Parents mortgage their homes to provide the funds for coyotes to assist the children. The hope is that the children will earn enough in U.S. jobs to cover the costs.
México has become highly dangerous for immigrants headed to the United States. Some Costa Ricans have sought alternative routes. A Tico couple and a companion died last month in the waters off the Bahamas when their boat sunk.
Still, the Mexican route remains popular. Costa Rican police detained 12 Cubans on two public buses in the southern part of the country this week. They, too, were headed north.