QCOSTARICA – There is a saying in Costa Rica, “no hay nada oculto entre cielo y tierra” (there is nothing hidden between heaven and earth); the heroic actions of Gerardo Cruz in reporting the street harassment got him killed.
But he wasn’t killed the uncovering of the actions of a man videoing up a woman’s skirt on the streets of downtown San Jose, but, rather his fame become the perfect alibi for lover scorned.
In the early days following the attack on Gerardo on a public street of San Jose, near the John F. Kennedy park, investigators focused on a robbery angle, possibly linked to the street harassment.
After investigators ruled their initial suspicion, they found the “coup de grace”, a mix of jealousy, love and hate, learning of Gerardo’s relationship with a 41 year old woman, who on Monday, along with her 19 year old daughter, was arrested as being the masterminds behind the murder.
Investigators believe the woman, identified by her last name Fonseca Fernandez, conspired with her daughter, Valerin Fonseca, to hire hit men for the attack on Gerardo. From wire taps and other evidence, investigators learned the woman was jealous of Gerardo’s relationship with Karolo Zuñiga, who was expecting a child with.
Fonseca apparently had no idea that Gerardo was engaged and soon to be a dad for the second time. He already had a child with another woman.
That was more than she could bear.
It’s alleged that Fonseca and her daughter contacted the hired hitmen through a third party, who was responsible for monitoring the events of the attack. Authorities do not know how much was paid, but evidence recovered during the raids on homes in Concepción Abajo de Alajuelita and San Francisco de Dos Ríos reveals they had asked for “hard evidence” of the attack.
That is why the hitmen took his bag and sweater during the attack. This fact misled police into believing it as a common assault, just another street robbery.
Investigators have also learned that the plan for the crime had been made two weeks prior to the attack. But the perfect opportunity (of cover) came with Gerardo’s fame by denouncing the street harassment.
The cover story was perfect. The suspect (the man caught videotaping), an employee of the Ministry of Finance, would be blamed, police thinking he acted in spite for being publicly shamed. And they did, albeit for a short period.
The “viejo verde” (sexual pervert) as he was being called, went public, denying any link to the attack on the young man and publicly apologizing for his behaviour. All the while Gerardo was lying in a hospital bed, in a coma.
The attack on Gerardo occurred on the night of October 7, two days after the street harassment event went viral on the social media, while his way from his job at a bakery heading for an interview with a news outlet, arranged by his former lover with whom he still maintained contact. He never made it. The interview had been a ruse, rather he was intercepted by two men who attacked him with a knife and wounding him in the chest near the heart.
They took his belongings and left him for dead on the street.
Although he was taken quickly to the Calderon Guardia hospital and operated on several times, Gerardo could not pull through from his injuries; 40 days later, on November 19, he died in the hospital’s intensive care unit.
Today, the two women, along with four others are in custody.
Although Gerardo had broken off his relationship with the suspect, she was out for blood, the young man paying with his life for the woman’s scorn.