Murders take place in Alajuela, Limón

Investigators are trying to unravel a wave of murders that either are linked to the drug trade or revenge.

The most recent killings were of three men whose bodies were found in a home in Alajuela Thursday afternoon.  An unusual aspect was that the hands of one of the victims had been bound. A vehicle plowed into the protective gate at the home to allow gunmen to enter.

A bit more than 12 hours earlier two men on a motorcycle killed a husband and wife as they drove home in Cerro Mocho, Limón. They had been at a bar in Limón Centro, and it appears that their killers followed them home.

Police said the couple reported being threatened some days earlier.

The 39-year-old man was identified by the last name of  Matamoros, and his 34-year-old wife had the last name of Duarte. They were owners of a service that maintained shipping containers in the port city.

A 32-year-old man with the last name of  Vargas died about 11 p.m. Tuesday when he answered someone at his door in Pavas. The callers were his killers, and they shot him dead. He suffered four bullet wounds.

A 21-year-old man with the last name of Romero died of gunshots also Tuesday in La Carpio. That was about 6:15 p.m. Investigators said they had little information on what happened.

Wednesday a 38-year-old man with the last name of  Ruiz died from three bullet wounds to the chest he received while in a bread store in Alajuelita. That was about 7:30 p.m. The man worked in the store, and his killer arrived and shot him. Then the killer fled on a motorcycle without taking anything, said judicial investigators.

Judicial agents were believed making raids Thursday to detain members of a killing-for-hire operation. This would be the second such business  uncovered in the metro area this year.

Typically the killers ride double on a motorcycle, and one rider does the actual shooting.

In addition to the obvious executions, a man died when he was shot by a street robber, and another died about 4 p.m. Tuesday in Piedades de Santa Ana when he shot it out with Fuerza Pública officers. The man was believed fleeing from a stickup.

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