OIJ agents on Monday talking to neighbours of Centeno, who taken by Nicaraguan soldiers allegedly on Costa Rican soil. Photo CARLOS HERNÁNDEZ, La Nacion
OIJ agents on Monday talking to neighbours of Centeno, who taken by Nicaraguan soldiers allegedly on Costa Rican soil. Photo CARLOS HERNÁNDEZ, La Nacion

QCOSTARICA – Officials of the Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ) are investigating the arrest of Marco Antonio Centeno Reyes, 44,  by the Nicaraguan army, allegedly on Costa Rican soil.

Costa Rican authorities are trying to clarify the situation if in fact the Costa Rican was apprehended by the Nicaraguan army allegedly on Costa Rican soil, last Friday, in Los Chiles, San Carlos.

Costa Rica police referred the case to judicial investigators, the OIJ
Costa Rica police referred the case to judicial investigators, the OIJ. Photo Telenoticias

According to preliminary information, Centeno is wanted in the neighbouring country for smuggling cattle. Relatives told La Nacion that, on Friday at noon, Centeno was near the border community of La Trocha, in Los Chiles, chatting with neighbours.

Supposedly, at some point there was an argument between Costa Ricans and Nicaraguans in the area, and Centeno meddled in.

Apparently, at some time during the discussion, a group of Nicaraguan soldiers arrived at the scene and told Centeno to accompany them, they had an “order” for his detention.

However, Centeno refused and they allegedly took him by force. Also, the detention allegedly occurred on Costa Rican soil, about 20 metres (65 feet) on the Costa Rica side of the border.

Juan Jose Andrade, head of the Fuerza Publica (police), said they received information “informally”  of the incident and called in the OIJ to investigate.

Andrade added that Centeno was first taken to a (Nicaragua) border police post, and on Saturday was transferred to the Coba de Sabala, a San Carlos jail near the San Juan river.

Residents of La Trocha community stressed that their police station has been closed for months, however, Andrade argues that there was a “change in patrol strategy” in the area. The police chief explained that a new police station was opened in Cuatro Esquinas, 10 minutes from La Trocha.

The Foreign Ministry is waiting on the findings of the OIJ investigation before taking a position in the case.