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Tag-Archive for "Human Rights Violations"

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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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…

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