The suspects leading the commando group which since last weekend began broadcasting videos inciting violence in the country and threatening President Carlos Alvarado were arrested on Friday and will be prosecuted for the crime of mutiny.
The Fiscalía (Prosecutor’s Office) confirmed the arrest of Alvaro Ramón Sequeira Mendiola and his stepson Jeffry Gabriel Fernández Ramírez, Friday morning as suspects to lead that group that called itself Frente Patriota 7 de Julio (Patriot Front of July 7).
The two men were arrested in Río Frío de Pococí, Limón.
Sequeira is 60 years old and is a native of Limón, while Fernández, 34, is a native of Osa and a resident of Alajuelita.
The case is being investigated by the Deputy Prosecutor’s Office against Drug Trafficking and Related Crimes.
The Penal Code (Código Penal) provides that “Those who rise publicly in the number of ten or more, to prevent the execution of laws or the resolutions of public officials or to compel them to take any action or grant some concession, shall be punished with imprisonment from one to four years.”
On Friday afternoon both detainees remained in cells of the Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ) awaiting a court hearing.
Earlier in the week, the OIJ had access to a video that went viral on social networks, alluding to a group of people who were threatening public officials, including the President, threatening the country’s institutions and in some way promising violent and aggressive actions.
Walter Espinoza, head of the OIJ, explained that his investigators worked along the DIS, Costa Rica intelligence service and the office of the Attorney General, in determining if the group had a real existence or not, and who the members of the group were.
Old acquaintances of the Police
Espinoza added that, as a result of the investigations, the leaders were identified. He explained that Sequeira Mendiola has a 12 year prison, reduced to three years, pending compliance. He is known as Captain Carabina and Miguel. He has a police record for the crimes of illegal carrying of arms, illicit association, and fraud.
His stepson, Jeffry Fernández Ramírez, has a police record for kidnapping, damages and attempted homicide.
Espinoza added that the investigations continue, to try to identify the rest of the participants of the video, which would be a total of thirteen people.
The OIJ chief added that the work in the forensic sciences laboratory, particularly in the area of forensic acoustics, allowed investigators to determine beyond doubt that the voice of the person who appears emitting the demonstrations correspond to the voice of Álvaro Ramón Sequeira Mendiola.
In the video, released on Tuesday, a group dressed in camouflage appear with hunting rifles, making threats against the President, his cabinet and legislators, among others, and inciting violence with a call to arms by the population.