Amnesty International, Amnesty International Report 1995 - Costa Rica, 1 January 1995, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6a9fd64.html [accessed 31 August 2015]
This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
Several reports were received of the excessive use of police force. A new president, José María Figueres Olsen, came to power in May. At the end of 1994, the First Superior Penal Court finally heard the case of Livia Cordero Gené who had been arrested in 1990 with 14 others, and accused of "illicit association" and detonating explosives in connection with various incidents between 1986 and 1988. She was cleared of all charges, as were seven others against whom charges had remained pending. The others initially detained with her had been released over time, but Livia Cordero remained in preventive detention until freed on bail in July 1992. She maintained she had been arrested for criticizing Costa Rica's then president for allowing Costa Rican territory to be used by opponents of the Nicaraguan Government and that she had been held in preventive detention for an inordinate length of time, as pre-trial inquiries should not exceed 180 days. In May about 36 people, including a number of members of the civil guard, were reportedly wounded when the guards clashed with banana workers, many of them Nicaraguan nationals, who were peacefully demonstrating at a foreign-owned banana estate in northeastern Costa Rica. According to reports, the guards attacked the demonstrators indiscriminately. A number of demonstrators, including minors, were briefly detained. Initially, officials maintained that the guards had not "participated" in the "activities" in which the workers were injured. However, in a July submission to the UN's Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, the Minister of Public Security acknowledged that the civil guard had been involved in the incident but maintained that the violence had been initiated by the demonstrators. In response to inquiries regarding the incident, officials, including Vice-President Rodrigo Oreamuno who met Amnesty International's Secretary General in November, failed to provide any information as to any investigations into the incident. In April the UN Human Rights Committee found that Costa Rica had failed to provide adequate information concerning the rights of detainees held in lengthy pre-trial detention.