Ronny Navarro | LEAP | Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

About Ronny Navarro

Investigative Police of the Ministry of Public Security
Costa Rica

"Long-term imprisonment has not worked; in fact it is making the situation even worse. Traffickers sell drugs within prison, generating more profits for organized crime."

Ronny Navarro
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At age 17, Ronny Navarro entered the Police Reserve, where he was taught police tactics to combat the first cocaine labs in Costa Rica. He then worked as a Marine drug officer in the Costa Rican National Guard, which acted in accordance with the Convention on Maritime Joint Patrol with the United States. The Marine Police pursue drug traffickers coming from Colombia to the United States, resulting in many arrests of Colombian traffickers and many seizures of large quantities of cocaine and marijuana. He was also involved in anti-drug courses at the Coast Guard Academies of Costa Rica , the United States and Colombia, as well as DEA courses in the U.S. He was promoted to Investigative Police of the Ministry of Public Safety, under the Directorate of Special Investigations (DIE).

After much struggle against organized crime and illegal drug trafficking, Ronny began to realize that the drug war was futile. He says “our neighborhoods and communities are becoming increasingly worse, with more and more drug addicts. Our raids and seizures were not achieving anything, because every time we closed one operation down a new one would open up in its place. It is also worth noting that long-term imprisonment has not worked; in fact it is making the situation even worse. Traffickers sell drugs within prison, generating more profits for organized crime. On the streets, drugs are widespread, with all kinds being sold to young people. The situation is harming public health, youth, adults, families and society in general. Drugs are becoming increasingly attractive, varied, and potent.”

Ronny adds, “By dedicating our forces to fighting narcotics, we neglect other serious, violent crimes, such as homicide, robbery, and rape."

To reach a solution, “we should all advocate for our government and the Legislative Assembly to design legislation that would regulate drugs, as has been done with alcohol and tobacco. Reforming our drug laws is not easy, but neither is it impossible.”