President Luis Guillermo Solis, on Wednesday, congratulating the 600 new police officials that will be on streets to combat crime. Photo Casa Presidencial

Q COSTA RICA – Costa Rica President, Luis Guillermo Solis, on Thursday backed the decision announced by the Minister of Security, Gustavo Mata, that the government will expel the bad guys, foreigners who may jeopardize national security and social peace.

The President confirmed the statement by his Security Minister that the Executive Branch will apply a legal norm that has not been used before for fear that the courts.

“Now we have made a decision to do it, we are going to do it. Every time we grab one of the them (the bad guys or suspicious foreigners) and have foundation for doing so, we will apply due process and they are out of here (pa’fuera). We are not going start an investigation, no, no, no. From the get go we will apply the rule of law and get them out. I think it is an obligation because they have no business taking advantage of the legal system,” said the President.

The rule of law referred to is Article 168 of the Immigration Act, which allows the country to remove foreigners when their activities in the country are considered to compromise peace, public safety, tranquility or public order.

On Wednesday, Giesela Yockchen, the director of the immigration service, said that the article has not been implemented on the belief that the foreigner whom the government considered dangerous had to have a prior conviction (in the country of origin).

In the case of Elias Akl, the Canadian of Lebanese origin killed by assassins Monday morning in front of a private school in Escazu, had no convictions in Canada, rather was wanted by police there on charges of crimes but fled the country.

According to Minister Mata, in the next 30 days, a process will be defined to expedite the expulsion of the bad guys, foreigners who, in the government’s view, represent a danger.

In addition, foreigners with a criminal history will be prohibited entry.

Solís lamented that in the past, these “characters” have not had the rule of law applied to them.

“Claiming that they have rights and that cannot be done, and they file an appeal,” said the President.

“There they have Minister Mata, who has been sued by one of these foreigners, who was seriously linked here and in the United States on drug trafficking issues, so, as that happened, we were not applying the measures we could apply to them,” added the President.

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