Francisco Segura, director of the Organismo de Investigacion Judicial (OIJ) – Costa Rica’s investigative police body.

QCOSTARICA – On June 30, Francisco Segura Montero, steps down as head of Costa Rica crime investigative police, ending a 34 year career in police work.

The 54 year-old Segura, who replaced the retiring Jorge Rojas in 2012, says that his replacement should be from the police body and someone “out of political power”.

“When they choose the Attorney General, they look internally to choose the lead prosecutor … the Judicial Police is no less … the candidate(s) should be a person in police work,  who does not have to spend the next two years learning,” Segura said.

“The Court has to be very wise. (The successor) has to know what the police are doing, has to live it, know about criminal analysis, surveillance, the treatment of victims … being assistant to someone or a judge a decade or more ago, does not empower them to know police work,” he said.

In his time as deputy director of the OIJ, Segura was instrumental in establishing the Plans and Operations Office (EPO) and Crime Analysis Unit. “There was internal strife. Selfishness. We did it and there it is, the most modern (police) in Central America,” said Segura.

The OIJ director added that the appointment of deputy director Gustavo Mata to head the Ministerio de Seguridad Publica (Security Ministry ) that directs the Fuerza Publica (national police force) among others – brought the two institutions closer.

Last year, prior to Mata’s appointment, under the direction of Celso Gamboa, the two institutions were at loggerheads, according to Segura, who explained that the former minister would not even meet with “lesser” ranks, referring to the OIJ.

One of the first things Mata did, according to Seguras, was to request closeness between the institutions.

Citing as an example, prior to Mata heading Seguridad, to order a plane to transfer a load of confiscated drugs, Seguar said he had to deal with about three subordinates to authorization. “That is not the case now,” says Segura.

OIJ in action at a crime scene
OIJ in action at a crime scene

Costa Rica’s OIJ is akin to the FBI in the United States, investigating crimes and criminal behaviour at a national level. The police unit is empowered by the Poder Judicial (the Courts).


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