Costa Rican Catholic priest Mauricio Víquez Lizano, on the run since January of this year, was arrested this Sunday at dawn in San Nicolás de Los Garza, Monterrey, in the Mexican state of Nuevo León.
The priest, 55, was wanted in 194 countries since he fled Costa Rica for alleged sexual abuse, qualified rape and aggravated corruption against minors.
The Attorney General of Mexico confirmed the detention.
Michael Rodríguez and Anthony Venegas, who denounced Víquez Lizano for alleged sexual abuse, traveled to Mexico City in early August to ask the people of that country to notify the authorities if they knew his whereabouts.
— Anthony Venegas (@tony_veneg) August 19, 2019
“He was arrested in the early hours of the morning, it was confirmed by the boys who I represent, who were invited to Mexico and carried an urgent message that he (the priest) detained,” said Rodolfo Alvarado, the lawyer for two of the men.
According to Mexican authorities, the Costa Rican was taken him to the Specialized District Court in the Criminal System of Mexico City.
Costa Rica has begun its request extradition.
Lawyer Alvarado believes the former Catholic priest, who has been a fugitive from Costa Rican justice since Monday, January 7, when a complaint was filed against him for alleged sexual abuse against a minor, could be back in Costa Rica as early as September 15.
The Catholic Church reacts
The Catholic Church in Costa Rica, after learning that Mauricio Víquez Lizano was arrested in Mexico, said in a press release that they expect the priest to be tried for the alleged sexual abuse for which he is accused.
“Before the capture of Mr. Mauricio Víquez, the Metropolitan Curia has repeatedly stated that Víquez has to answer to the corresponding instance, for the facts imputed to him,” they said.
They added that the Curia will make available to the authorities whatever they require.
“The Metropolitan Curia, as previously indicated, has had no contact with the accused or knowledge of his whereabouts,” they reiterated in the statement.