Opinion – Was it a rush to have a suspect in custody? Or the failure of the criminal court judge and the prosecutor to hold on to their only suspect in the murder of French tourist Christophe Jean Lietaert?

Unfortunately, this is more common than not, the police, who we trust to do their job, get their man (or woman), but only to see the courts let them go. Then they disappear.

In the case of Lietaert, 48, he got into an argument with a couple of guys in the beach hotel (unnamed) in Playas del Coco. The argument, OIJ investigators say was over a cellular phone.

The French tourist winds up dead, stabbed several times, the suspects fled. Police catch up with one, arrest him and get him before a judge, who turns his loose while the prosecutor looks on and with no objection.

The arrested man, identified by his last name Vasquez Caravaca, is today free, though the Fiscalia (prosecutor’s office) says it is still investigating the case. Good luck trying to find him again if and when they do get more evidence.

Unfortunately, that is the reality in Costa Rica.

Flor Víquez Alvarado, president of the Association of Integral Development of Playas del Coco (Adicoco), expressed her concern about the Lietaert homicide because she said it will bring economic consequences for the community.

No kidding.

“We need the police to help us. We have promoted drug prevention programs, but a few weeks come and then they (the police) leave. When Alejo (Leiva Aguilar) was killed, there was a lot of police, but then they left. Now we are asking the authorities of the Ministry of Public Security to meet again to discuss the security situation and the problem of drug use and sale,” added Alvarado.

Alejo Leiva’s was killed, in Playas del Coco, on March 26, 2016, when the young mand and several friends were vacationing in Guanacaste.

What we do need is reform in the judicial system.