San Jose, Costa Rica, May 24, 2012 — Despite the typical political banter back and forth between Costa Rica, Germany and the Sea Shepherd organization about the pending decision on whether to extradite Paul Watson to face trial in Costa Rica — a decision to come to Costa Rica could ultimately be one he would gravely regret.
The Costa Rica legal system is NOT a system of due process with any sort of guarantee on a fair trial. In fact it is almost a shame to refer to it as being part of any organized “system”.
Current general prosecutor of the country, Jorge Chavarria, has gone on recording stating the conviction rate of criminals is an embarrassment. Independent surveys (Telenoticias) concluded that criminals stand an 80%+ chance of freedom without charge in Costa Rica.
With hordes of judges that are still wet behind the ears (23 year old judges are common here), lawyers that are products of a corrupt lineage and prosecutors that couldn’t convict an actual criminal if their lives depended on it…how can you possibly expect a “fair trial”?
It is common knowledge here that the courts are accomplices to the criminals — if you’re victim of a crime here you will be victimized yet again by the incompetence of the courts.
What the criminals don’t do to you the courts will finish you off!
The Costa Rica news is littered with stories of corruption in the legal process including 23 year old judges setting major drug traffickers free only hours after their capture. Or how about the Dubois family who had to unfortunately deal with Costa Rica over the deaths of Claude and Gerard Dubois — which was clearly a case of murder yet because investigators quickly ran out of leads…they ruled it as an accidental drowning in a river with 8cm of water, just so they could close the case.
The case would later be reopened after pressure from the president of France and further pleas from the family.
Then there’s the death of a Canadian woman, Sarah Western who’s lifeless body was discovered in a potting shed on December 10, 2011 in Lagunas de Baru near Dominical.
Investigators would quickly rule suicide in absence of any investigation and even ignoring claims of a physical fight between her and another man only hours before her death. This man also coincidently was the last man to see Sarah Western alive and yet investigators would not question him — in fact they wouldn’t question ANYONE!
OIJ officials from Quepos would confirm to CRNS that there was no investigation in to the death of Sarah Alice Western.
What ever makes their jobs easier…(((swept under the rug)))
In the case of Paul Watson this has less to do with justice and more to do with money.
Corruption within the legal process is a clear and present danger in Costa Rica. About a year or so ago, there was a case before the courts involving corrupt police officers involved in extortion and several other felonies stemming from an organized string of robberies throughout the Puntarenas area. This case became very public when the judge ruled that the police officers could be released on bail DESPITE the fact that the safety of the whistleblower was at severe risk.
Television and print medias in Costa Rica had a kanipshin over it all — the people couldn’t believe the mentality of this judge to risk the life of another so easily and without thought for the ramifications.
If you believe for a second that a woman who’s ratings are lower than ANY previous president in Central America — a woman who recently tried to shove her fiscal plan down the throats of Costa Ricans while then discovering that her own self appointed finance minister was evading taxes…if you believe she can guarantee anything…you need your head examined.
Just look at Chinchilla’s track record of keeping promises during her campaign for presidency – she really dropped the ball there – what’s one little promise of a fair trial to a foreigner when she’s lied to entire nation?
It’s a gong show Mr. Watson and you should heed this warning or you’ll regret it.
A “fair” trial is impossible within a system that is inherently defective from the ground up and actually facilitates corruption — it breeds it!
The country itself is truly a paradise and it’s people are some of the most cordial and inviting people on the planet but the problem lies within it’s governmental process — what do Costa Ricans have to look up to?
You know this is true as evidence proves it in your movie Sharkwater when Rob Stewart returned to the country to find regular Costa Ricas (Ticos) standing up against their government and the illegal shark finning industry here.
It’s sad to see the iron fist of corruption tarnish such a beautiful place.
Here are some examples of what you’re up against Mr. Watson…
- Former Finance Minister Under Investigation For Tax Fraud
- Costa Rica’s Heart – The CCSS – Is In Dire Need
- Costa Rica: Land of Hypocrisy
- The Inconvenient Truth
- 23 Year Old Judge Sets Criminals Free – Just Another Day In Costa Rica
- Trinity Senior To Graduate On Time After Escaping Costa Rica Blackmail
- Admiring Costa Rica’s Corruption
- New Corruption Scandal Hits Costa Rican Governement
- Ruling Party Leaders Accused of Corruption
- Former Costa Rican President Sentenced to Prison Over Alcatel Bribery
- Bribes Seduce Ticos
- CCSS President Convicted Of Falsifying Documents
- A surefire way to protect your real estate here
…we could go on all day like this but I’m sure you get the point. Despite all the propaganda stating that Costa Rica is “less corrupt” than other Latin American nations, you’ve already learned the first time you decided to come here.
You’re the one that got away Mr. Watson — come back again and you won’t be so lucky.