Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2002 - Costa Rica
|Publisher||International Federation for Human Rights|
|Publication Date||26 March 2003|
|Cite as||International Federation for Human Rights, Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2002 - Costa Rica, 26 March 2003, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48747c5886.html [accessed 7 May 2016]|
Threats against the members of Casa Alianza124
In November 2002, Mrs. Rocío Rodríguez, director of the Casa Alianza office at San José, and responsible for an investigation into a paedophile network on the Internet, was victim of harassment at the time of the opening, on 19th November 2002, of the trial before the Guadeloupe Circuit Court of Justice of the five members of the first paedophile network to be cracked in Cost Rica. The suspects were arrested in July 2001 while attending a private "party" in the company of four minors.
On the morning of 22nd November Mrs. Rocío Rodríguez left her home accompanied by two private bodyguards. A pick-up truck without number plates and with tinted glass windows was parked on the other side of the sidewalk opposite her home. On arriving at the Casa Alianza offices she received an anonymous phone call saying "what a lovely green blouse you are wearing today", intimating that she was being followed. The cracking of the paedophile network in July 2001 was based on evidence collected by Casa Alianza Costa Rica during the 9 months' enquiry conducted with the department of the prosecutor specialised in sexual offences and the government Unit against sexual exploitation. The aim of the threats was to deter Mrs. Rodríguez from giving evidence at the trial, in which her testimony would be crucial for the prosecution.
On 5th December the five accused received heavy prison sentences. Mr. Araya Monge, the head of the network, was sentenced to 30 years' imprisonment. For Mrs. Rodríguez's security, the authorities have provided her with bodyguards. As the convicted persons have appealed to the Court of Cassation, Mrs. Rodríguez could again be threatened during 2003.
[Refworld note: This report as posted on the FIDH website (www.fidh.org) was in pdf format with country chapters run together by region. Footnote numbers have been retained here, so do not necessarily begin at 1.]
124. See urgent appeal CRI 001/1102/OBS 067.