Monday 21 June 2021

73% Of Costa Rica’s Early Prison Releases Are “Violent” Criminals

Darío Navarro is shown here captured by police on Tuesday, was one of the 280 chosen released early from prison in the past week due to overcrowding. Photo ANDRÉS GARITA, La Nacion.

Here is a chilling piece of news, 73% of the prisoners chosen to be released early from prison, to combat prison overcrowding, have a common track record: have committed a violent crime.

The numbers indicate that National Institute of Criminology –  Instituto Nacional de Criminología (INC) – choice of 240 of the 331 prisoners released on conditions during this past week were in prison for aggravated robbery. The rest on drug related charges, fraud, reckless driving, theft and misdemeanors.

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One of the released is is Darío Navarro Grijalba, who was let out of the Puntarenas prison in El Roble, last Wednesday and was recaptured yesterday (Tuesday), charged with the murder.

Only three days after his release, 59 year old William Salazar Alvarado lost his life at the hands of Navarro.

According to police, Navarro and three others held up a chicken vending store in Puntarenas, shooting Salazar in the process. The robbery of the chicken store, Pollos Real and murder of Salazar occurred Saturday night.

Costa Rica’s Penal Code classifies aggravated robbery as a crime committed by two or more people or if violence was involved or a firearm was used.

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Jorge Rodríguez, deputy minister of Justicia, said all cases of aggravated theft were fully analyzed. “We excluded the most violent”, said Rodríguez.

Este domingo un lazo negro en el local alertaba a clientes y amigos sobre la muerte del comerciante muy querido en Grecia y Puntarenas. (Andrés Garita) ampliar
On Sunday a black ribbon across the front of the chicken store told residents of Puntarenas the story of what had occurred inside. Photo Andrés Garita, La Nacion

However, the head of the country’s judicial investigation police – the Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ), Francisco Segura, expressed publicly his concern over the situation.

Segura’s concerns are over recidivism of the released. The Justice ministry, however, says their de-institutionalization programs has an 85% success rate.

The prisoner release was on the order of judge Roy Murillo fo the ‘Ejecución de la Pena’ court, who felt the overcrowding of the San Sebastián jail in San José was inhumane. The San Sebastián is a holding centre on the south side of San José where prisoners are awaiting trial or sentencing and overpopulation is at 79.5%.

The INC says of the 331 released, 100 were from La Reforma in Alajuela (a prison holding some of the country’s worst criminals).

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As of yesterday, 280 prisoners had already been released.

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We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

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