The most wanted in Costa Rica, 28-year-old Erwin Guido Toruño, known as “El Gringo” was among the 11 murdered this weekend, one of the bloodiest in the country’s history.

Erwin Guido Toruño, known as “El Gringo”

The 11 murders this weekend (a total of 32 in the first 16 days of this month) bring the total for the year so far to 579, surpassing last year’s record 578. The OIJ is projecting the year will close with 600 homicides, setting the murder rate at 12 per 100,000 inhabitants.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), when a country exceeds the rate of 10 homicides per 100,000 population it is classified as “epidemic”.

In the case of El Gringo, Toruño’s body was left by his assassins on the Rio Torres bridge, in Bajo Los Ledezma, in La Uruca, San Jose. Police believe the body may have been thrown out of a moving vehicle.

Police had been on the hunt for Toruño for the last three days, linking him to at least 10 murders in the last several months, including the bodies found in the van in La Sabana on Wednesday and two murders in Belen days before.

Police were alerted by drivers passing by the bridge after midnight, calling 911. The police report said El Gringo had stab wounds to his face, chest and head and showed signs of torture.

The bridge connecting Playa Mayor to the Hospital Mexico was closed unti 11 am Saturday when the body was removed and taken to the Forensic Medicine Lab in San Joaquin de Flores, in Heredia.

Now, the Organismo de Investigacion Judicial (OIJ) has a new task, finding those responsible for El Gringo’s death instead of following up on his train of murders and other crimes.

Judicial agents theorize a settlement of scores for the brutal murder.

The other 10 victims were between 18 and 52 years of age in various parts of the country. including a security guard shot while on the job, in San Rafael de Alajuela; in Coronado a shootout between rival drug gangs left two men and a woman dead; in La Table in San Rafael Abajo de Desamparados, Ana Licia Campos, 32, was shot three times in the chest; In Moravia a man was killed by a gunshot to the throat; and in Limon and Cuidad Quesada two men, believed to be loan sharks, were shot in their vehicles.

Sources: La Nacion; Telenoticias;