Tuesday 28 September 2021

Limón Judge Arrested For Taking Bribes From Drug Traffickers

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Judge Rosa Elena Gamboa detained by OIJ officials. | Photo:  ALONSO TENORIO, La Nacion
Judge Rosa Elena Gamboa detained by OIJ officials. | Photo: ALONSO TENORIO, La Nacion

Suspected of freeing drug defendants in exchange for bribes, a judge was arrested Friday in Limón, the Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ), said on Friday.

The judge, Rosa Elena Gamboa, 62, is accused of corruption and influence peddling dating back to 2011.

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In a statement, the OIJ said they have evidence that the Gamboa overturned detention orders for drug traffickers in the Caribbean province, as well as setting others free on hearings.

The OIJ highlights one case in particular, that of suspected drug trafficker identified by his last name Zamora, arrested in 2011 with two tons of cocaine in a small boat near Uvita island, in the Caribbean Sea.

According to the OIJ, the judge received some ¢20 million colones to let the man free. The defendant in that case fled the jurisdiction and remains at large.

The judge is also being investigated for pressuring subordinates and other judges to let other defendants free. The OIJ said that last year Gamboa ordered another judge to let free a man in detention for possession of 40 kilos of cocaine near the Ciengeguita canals of Limón.

Last year the judge asked another judge of the Flagrancia de Limón court to look away in the case of a friend of hers who had been arrested for reckless driving.

Investigators seized documents and other evidence during a raid on the judge’s home and office, in what judicial officials say they are just in the initial stage of uncovering the scope of the judge’s corruption.

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Gamboa was transferred from Limón to San José, where she will be charged and prosecuted in the Segundo Circuito Judicial de San José, in Goicoechea.

The prosecution is seeking six months preventive detention against Gamboa.

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