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Tag-Archive for "Crime"

Costa Rican Director of Intelligence Resigns Amid Scandal Jun 12

Solorzano Resigned After His Sub-Director Was Linked to a Fraud Scandal.

The Costa Rican Director of Intelligence and Security (DIS), Roberto Solorzano, resigned from his position yesterday after allegations of bank fraud involving his sub-director. He handed in his resignation yesterday after meeting with the Minister of the Presidency, Rodrigo Arias. They both came to the conclusion that it would be prudent for Solorzano to step down from his position. In his place the Government named the Vice-Minister of the Presidency and Security, Jose Torres. Solorzano had been heading the DIS since May 2006.

These allegations came about after a Nov. 19 raid on the offices of the Head of Operations and Sub-Director of the DIS, Robert Guillen, by the Fraud Prosecutor and Juridical Police. It was seen that Guillen had been part of a mafia group since 2007 that had been falsifying checks and removing funds from company accounts. It is said that the amount stolen was in excess of $400,000. Nine other people were arrested in the raid. more…

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Costa Rica Driving Laws Amended…Again! Jun 11

 costa-rica-driving-lawsA new law was signed yesterday by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias that will make big changes in the penalties on traffic violations. These traffic violations include drunk driving, speeding and driving without a valid license. Even forgetting to wear a seatbelt, holding a cell phone, or ignoring traffic lights carry a hefty fine.

On average, one person dies in a road accident in Costa Rica every day and so authorities hope that by bringing in this new law the accident statistics will be dramatically reduced. Oscar Arias commented on the laws stating “I know this law is harsh, but rather than get scared, we should thank law makers for passing it. We have let drivers get away with too much”.

With the new law in place, drunk drivers automatically lose their license for 2 years and could face imprisonment for up to 3 years. Cars driving over 150 mph will also face the same penalty. Other related laws restrict certain car modifications in an attempt to target the informal drag races that continue to go on in San Jose’s streets and have cost several lives.


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Russian Warships anchor outside Nicaragua Jun 09

Three Russian warships have anchored on the Caribbean side of Nicaragua days after having passed through the Panama Canal. The Russian warships arrived on Friday on a humanitarian mission in the region for 4 days in order to help heal the destructions of the recent storms. However it appears that this anchoring in Nicaraguan water was not authorized by the Nicaraguan Congress and that the opposition party of Ortega considers it a violation of their National Sovereignty. Reports indicate that Ortega himself gave permission for the ships to anchor on Nicaraguan waters, something that only the country’s Congress can allow. The Russian ships stated that they were there at the request and authorization of President Ortega. more…

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Supreme Court reverses portions of Domestic Violence law May 23

On Thursday November 13th, the Sala IV constitutional court in a split decision overturned two key provisions of a controversial Domestic Violence law designed to protect women. The Sala IV is Costa Rica’s equivilant of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The first section overturned, provided six months to 2 years prison sentence for anyone who attacks or physically harms a wife or live-in companion when the event was too minor to be handled by other criminal laws. For anyone who understands email managment, this is Costa Rica’s version of the “catch-all” email address. If you cannot find what to do with it, send it to the “catch-all” account. For those who follow human rights abuses, this law when enacted provided prosecutors with an easy way to convict people without burdening them with rules of evidence.

The second section overturned, provided the same sentencing rules for someone who insults, devalues, frightens or embarrasses a wife or female companion in public or in private. If you grew up in a family where older brothers or sisters harrassed you, you might describe yourself as having “thick skin.” When this law was enacted, womans groups hailed it as the Holy Grail for woman in Costa Rica. more…

Israeli Arno Tzit executed in Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica Mar 16

arno-tzit-jaco-costa-ricaArno Tzit or known around town as Piper was murdered “execution sytle” last month. I wanted to wait to see what or if any results would come from an investigation. So far nothing has surfaced other than specualtion. Rumors are “he was mixing with the wrong crowd” , “this was a revenge murder” , “he owed a lot of money to the wrong people” , “the security guard was in on it since he called in sick that night.” Whatever the reasons are for his execution, he has children and they must now carry the burden of this experience for the rest of their lives.

I am saddened for Piper but mostly for his kids. They will grow up without a father who loved them very much, no more hugs, no more smiles, no more kisses, no more encouragement, no more trips together, no more cuddling in bed; this is the hard reality. All of these wonderful gifts a parent can give a child have been stolen from these young, innocent human beings. Costa Rica’s government must recognize that “wild west” justice and law does not work when international tourism is the staple currency for the country. Tourism will decline and the golden goose that has given this tiny country a voice in the world will disappear. Just last week we wrote about how Spring Breakers are choosing Costa Rica as a safer alternative to Mexico’s beaches. If this site and many other tourism related sites began posting articles of all of the crimes taking place against tourists, we would not have been able to claim Costa Rica Spring Break is the safer destination.

There has only been one posting on the net about this tragedy. Why? Are there no answer? Or is this an ugly side of Costa Rica that officials want to sweep under the rug? Whatever the case may be, Arno and his kids deserve that the truth be sought and that he is remembered. The Piper I knew, had an effusive smile that lit up his whole face. Piper’s smile brought warmth to those around him. Piper was loved by many people in Jaco and in Playa Hermosa because he was a genuine person who cared about his friends. Piper will be missed.

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