(QCOSTARICA) Officers of the Drug Control Police (Policía de Control de Drogas – PCD) kept handcuffed a young woman, for two hours, wearing only shorts and a see-through blouse with no bra, inside the house they were raiding to arrest her boyfriend.
The case that occurred on June 26, in Puntarenas, led to the public defender filing a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of the 18 year-old woman, identified by her surname Avila, who had not relation to the investigation, for illegal and arbitrary detention.
The Constitutional Court ruled in favour of the woman and ordered the director of the PCD, Allan Solano, to investigate possible “administrative offences” committed by subordinates, as well as establish guidelines where police must obey the orders of prosecutors and judges* during a raid.
In the ruling, the Court said the actions of the police were arbitrary and infringed on the fundamental rights of the woman, kept her in a degrading situation, affecting the woman’s dignity, and who should have been let go once they (police) had control of the situation.
In the complaint, the Court learned that the woman did not allow the woman to change her clothes, despite the request by the prosecutor and judge at the scene.
Criminal judge Heidi Ulate said she told the officers they should release the woman since she was not involved and had no pending cases, but they did not obey. Prosecutor Jose Rodolgo Mora said the same, the officers did not obey his request to let the woman go.
For his part, the Minister of Security (Ministro de Seguridad Publica), Gustavo Mata, said his office would abide by the order of the Constitutional Court.
*In Costa Rica, prosecutors and judges must accompany police during raids