Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Ransomware — and particularly the Conti ransomware gang — has become a geopolitical force in Costa Rica. On Monday, the new Costa Rican president Rodrigo Chaves – who began his four-year term only ten days ago – declared that the country was ”at war” with the Conti cybercriminal gang, whose ransomware attack has disabled agencies across the government since April.

In a forceful statement made to press on May 16th, President Chaves also said that Conti was receiving help from collaborators within the country, and called on international allies to help.

“We’re at war and this is not an exaggeration,” Chaves told local media. “The war is against an international terrorist group, which apparently has operatives in Costa Rica. There are very…

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