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Murders in Paradise Threaten Costa Rica's Main Source of Income

  • Security minister says country’s reputation has been damaged
  • Costa Rica suffers from crime wave amid soaring spending gap
COSTA RICA-TOURISM-WHALE-FESTIVAL

Photographer: Ezequiel Becerra/AFP/Getty Images

The death of two foreign visitors amid a growing crime wave has left Costa Rica fearing for the future of its tourism-dependent economy.

The reputation of the most-visited Central American country took a hit earlier in the month when two female foreign visitors were killed in the span of two days and a third was reportedly raped a week later. The crimes took place near the Tortuguero National Park, where a 31-year-old woman was found dead with strangle marks around her neck, and at El Carmen beach in Santa Teresa, a popular holiday spot on the pacific coast, where a 25-year-old woman was drowned when two men attacked her and a friend.