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Costa Rican consulate in Nicaragua asks for repatriation ‘a group’ of Costa Rican prisoners due to the pandemic

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01 April 2023 - At The Banks - BCCR

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The Costa Rican Consulate in Nicaragua made a formal request to the Ortega Government to be able to repatriate “a group” of Costa Rican prisoners, in the face of the pandemic due to the new coronavirus. It did not detail how many people there would be.

Outside the Nicaragua prison system, during the last mass release of prisoners by the dictatorship. Photo LA PRENSA / Roberto Fonseca.

As confirmed by Consul Óscar Camacho, the petition to the Nicaraguan Ministry of the Interior; However, he stressed, they are efforts that are made every year.

For example, last year 19 Costa Ricans were repatriated so that they could serve the rest of the sentence in Costa Rican jails. So far this 2020, two have been repatriated.

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“We live coordinating these processes with the Nicaraguan Ministry of the Interior and, in effect, for the entire period of covid-19, we have asked that the possibility of repatriating a group of Nicaraguan prisoners be studied,” Camacho said.

Because the application is still under study, the consul preferred not to delve into figures on how many people deprived of liberty would benefit from the change.

“We do not have the exact data because we do not know if they will be able to be repatriated. It is an express request from the Consulate to the Nicaraguan authorities. We hope to have that detail refined in the coming weeks. Until then we could say who is leaving,” he said.

This request comes amid the Nicaraguan press has denounced on multiple occasions that the government of Daniel Ortega hides the true data on the number of tests carried out on covid-19, its results and the number of fatalities.

In addition, they assure that there is a community contagion.

Parallel to the process that Costa Rica is continuing with Nicaraguan prison authorities, the Daniel Ortega regime ordered the expulsion of foreign detainees who are serving sentences in the different prisons of the country.

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Ortega dictated the return of the prisoners to their countries of origin through “Expulsion”. However, criminal experts in Nicaragua believe that it is illegal, in that foreigner prisoners must be released through “extradition” that guarantees compliance with the sentence of the prisoner in their country of origin.

Extradition is a time-consuming diplomatic process that includes the participation of the Justice system and Foreign Ministries of both countries to ensure that repatriated prisoner serves out their sentence

“They are guilty persons, their participation in a punishable act was proven, and there are people affected and the principle of justice that is universal must be observed, while expulsion does not,” says criminal lawyer Elton Ortega.

For its part, the Ministry of Justice of Costa Rica indicated through the press office, that they are aware of the intentions of the Costa Rican Consulate and that, therefore, they will work on a strategic plan for the eventual reception of these new ingresses of prisoners.

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