Costa Rica News – As more and more people drop below the poverty line in Costa Rica, many of them look into illegal or immoral activities in order to put money in their pockets to support their families and put food on their tables. These activities range from internet scams, real estate scams, sea turtle egg harvesting, prostitution, and now organ trafficking.
Right now over 20% of the Costa Rican population lives below the poverty line many families bringing in around $100 to $200 a month. The result of this is more crime and people resorting to their survival instincts. Unfortunately, with the lack of jobs for this portion of the Costa Rican society, many are resorting to activities that potentially bring more problems into their lives instead of solutions.
The global demand for organs far exceeds the available supply. In the US, 110,693 people are on waiting lists for organs, and fewer than 15,000 donors are found annually. Many of the people waiting for organs have resorted to trying to find one on the black market as it may just save their or their child’s life.
I am a 34 year old taxi driver, in good health and do plenty of exercise and am willing to sell one of my kidneys and I am the father of three children and I’d like to leave your own home someday.
He is one of Costa Ricans who are willing to sell a kidney in exchange for sums of money ranging from $ 40,000 to $ 200,000.
Among the reasons provided by the seller is the need to get money quickly, due to economic problems caused by debt and unemployment.
In Latin America, the transplants are usually arranged by unlicensed brokers. They are performed – for fees – by accredited surgeons, some of whom have trained at the world’s leading medical schools.
People with kidney failure are always in poor health, a transplant is never a guaranteed cure. Still, legal transplants have a high probability of success. More than 75 per cent of the recipients of kidney transplants in the US live for more than 10 years, according to the National Institutes of Health. Donors usually do fine; they can live a normal lifespan with just one of their two kidneys
Many Costa Ricans hear these large monetary numbers that they will receive in exchange for one of their organs…..that they are told they can live without and are never told the risks involved. The sellers on black market organs are in many cases uneducated and only see the dollar signs.
Just like the women involved with Costa Rican prostitution are blinded from the dangers of prostitution by the “easy money” made lying on their backs……they are not prepared for the dangerous men that have been known to both rape and murder many of these girls.
There are also as expected many deaths that have occurred from these surgeries. Organ transplants in general are by nature dangerous and potentially life threatening procedures. Throw in the fact that many are performed in make shift surgical environments, the risks increase for complications that can result in death.
The illicit organ trade, however, is dangerous for the donor and patient because criminals take shortcuts, such as accepting organs from people who are sick and would not be approved by hospitals in the US, said Gabriel Danovitch, the medical director of the kidney and pancreas transplant programme at the University of California, Los Angeles.
“It’s a filthy business in the same subcategory as the sex trade and child pornography,” Mr Danovitch said. “That is why it has to be stopped.”
The Costa Rican government cannot stop sea turtle egg poaching, prostitution is legal, shark finning happens every day in the Costa Rican waters, drug dealers and cartels control the Caribbean coast and the government is more concerned about pocketing chorizo than they are actually doing anything.
The real question is how can this be stopped in Costa Rica?