Central America is the weak link for U.S. security

Any expat who has had to walk in stocking feet through a U.S. airport knows that officials have put a lot of emphasis in securing the country from plane passengers.

The U.S. government also gets advanced notice of arriving air travelers and requires many foreigners passing through the country to obtain visas.

Yet Central America and México remain the soft underbelly. That can be seen from the cocaine flow that still reaches the U.S. interior, tunnels under the border, cartel submarines and even more sophisticated evasions.

Costa Rica now is faced by a mass migration of Cubans trying to reach the United States. The passage of illegal migrants have become obvious because Costa Rican officials have taken down an illegal human trafficking ring.

Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of illegals have passed through the country before law officers acted. And the trafficking ring may be just one of many.

Periodically police have interdicted groups of illegal migrants headed north. They come from all over the world, including Asian and Middle Eastern lands.  So far none has been identified as an Islamic terrorist, but Costa Rica’s resources are limited.

There have been periodic reports that the Iranian Quds Force has set up small installations in Nicaragua, perhaps with the knowledge of some in the local government. Such reports are hard to confirm.

Costa Rica immigration cleared 3.3  million arrivals in 2014, including citizens here. There were 1,759 visitors from Muslim lands, including 186 from Iran and 21 from Iraq, according to the official totals of the Dirección General de Migración. And these were the legal arrivals.

Both the southern border with Panamá and the northern border with Nicaragua are porous. There are paths and trails over which illegal immigrants or illegal merchandise move daily.

The attacks Friday in Paris show what a small group of committed terrorists can do. The attacks reinforced what U.S. citizens learned Sept. 11, 2001.

The Costa Rica government was quick to condemn the Paris attacks. The foreign ministry quickly announced that the country repudiates the indiscriminate attacks. It called them attacks against liberty.

Yet in an unintended way, Costa Rica may profit from the attacks and the disruption caused by terrorism. The actions by the Islamic State radicals may stimulate migration here from the First World because Costa Rica is unlikely to be the target of an attack and does not have an army.

That happened in 1951 when a small group of Quakers moved from Alabama to what is now Monteverde. Quakers oppose participation in war and they were motivated by the Korean conflict. The area has since prospered.

There has been a small but steady stream of those who oppose war since. Concerns for personal safety might increase the flow.

Condolence book at embassy


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The French Embassy in Curridabat said that it would open as of today a condolence book where those in Costa Rica can record their sympathies about the Paris attacks.

U.S. officials admit nation is big target for radicals

and more information about the Paris attacks is HERE!

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