Costa Rica News – We heard about it recently in the news, like in June, where a doctor and a government official were arrested. While earlier this month, 3 doctors and a Greek citizen were detained. This seemingly huge black market is alarming because it sells human internal organs.
You can call it organ trafficking, organ harvesting, organ vending, but definitely not organ donating. The most common organ sold in this shady market is the kidney. Why? A person has two of those in his body and he can still function when one is missing. Also, it is easy to find one that is compatible to your body.
The liver is also available since it grows back when divided. But it takes a longer time for the donor to heal, plus, the process has a greater chance of failing both the donor and the recipient.
The cornea from a dead person is also becoming a popular trade.
Organ Trafficking is a highly-organized crime system where locals sells their organs to, in most cases, foreign nationals. Locals sell their body parts anywhere from US $5,000 to $20,000, while recipients pay for the organ or surgery, anywhere from US $100,000 to $150,000. Organ trafficking has been going on for more than a decade, but how these criminals work is still a big puzzle for the police.
There are small rings in Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Costa Rica, and other Latin America, and even Asian countries, but the original group was reportedly formed in Brazil. Police have since tracked down and arrested some of the groups, and have somehow identified how these criminals work.
According to reports worldwide, the system starts off by recruiting a medical team composed of a few doctors and nurses. Apart from being the ones to perform the medical operation, they also serve as sales force in hospitals. They promote the buying and the selling of human organs.
Operations are done in hotel suites, apartments, or in a backyard dressed up to look like private clinics. In the case of the Greek national, it’s the back office of his very own pizzeria. Payment doesn’t occur in the same place as the operation, and is usually in cold cash.
The system also promotes the market by hiring a snitch from “low” places. The snitch goes around telling every poor man to sell his kidneys for a price they can’t say no to. He tells them to go to a certain place for testing (Remember the pizzeria?), and when the person passes the health exam, he is scheduled for the extraction of his organs. He gets paid in cold cash and goes shopping the next day. On the other hand, doctor calls the recipient to bring the good news.
The recipient goes abroad to have his operation done. He then pays in cold cash and goes back to his home country like he was on vacation. If you get involved in organ trafficking, either as the organ seller or the buyer, prepare for the risk, including risking your own life. If something goes terribly wrong, you can’t take this to the court. You will be persecuted by being the seller or the patron.
It is a very scary market. Outside of CR, reports have shown other heinous ways to harvest organs, including abducting and drugging adults, children, and babies. Organ trade laws still have a lot to improve. Laws to prosecute doctors who fail to report suspected organ trafficking are still being put in place. This black market won’t go away soon, as selling organs is still a lucrative market.