115 police officials were fired or in the process of being fired for committing serious crimes
115 police officials were fired or in the process of being fired for committing serious crimes

Q COSTA RICA NEWS- A total of 115 police officers have been sacked or in the process of being sacked for (allegedly) committing serious crimes, such as homicide, rape and kidnapping. That number represents 0.8% of the police force of 14,200 officers, reported the Ministry of Security.

Security Minister Gustavo Mata made the announcement on Wednesday morning accompanied by the senior officials of the various police forces under the Ministerio de Seguridad Publica (MSP).

El ministro Gustavo Mata Vega, centro, hizo el anuncio la mañana de este miércoles acompañado de los jefes de los diversos cuerpos policiales de Seguridad Pública .
The Minister of Security, Gustavo Mata (center, in suit and tie) alongside senior officials of the various police forces, made the announcement at a press conference Wednesday morning.

The minister explained that so far this year 51 officials have already been dismissed; 31 are pending official notification and the rest (33 cases) are in the midst of the administrative process that would conclude in early 2017.

According to a detailed report from the MSP, 15 of those dismissed committed apparent sexual abuse against children and adults; eight are linked to homicides, seven allegedly involved in drug trafficking, and five are linked to rapes. Four other officials are being investigated for illicit association, another four for organized crime and two for kidnapping and extortion. The rest (72) are charged with crimes against property.

Mata said a review was underway to determine whether recruitment vetting or psychological testing were at fault for letting such individuals into the police force. He did not exclude the possibility of organised crime infiltrating the police.

Minister Mata said the dismissals affect the understaffed police forces, but “it was more dangerous to have them (the dismissed officers) here than not to have them. We will make the necessary effort to hire (new staff) as soon as possible.”

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