QCOSTARICA – The Minister of Seguridad Publica (Public Security), Gustavo Mata, is recommending Costa Ricans NOT travel to Nicaragua.
The recommendation was made over the radio program, Nuestra Voz, following the alleged abuse suffered by Costa Rica’s women’s soccer coach, Jaqueline Alvarez, a case the Foreign Ministry is investigating.
By all accounts the recommendation is only for Costa Ricans and should not affect foreigners visiting Nicaragua from Costa Rica.
The security chief said, “there isn’t a good atmosphere with our Nicaraguan brothers”, taking into account the blockade by Nicaragua’s president Daniel Ortega of the Cuban migrants, moving through Costa Rica and Central America headed for the United States, stuck on the Costa Rica side of the border.
On Monday, La Nacion, reported that the Foreign Ministry is investigating the case of alleged abuse suffered by Alvarez at the hands of Nicaraguan police, who says she was forced to strip three times, after landing at the Costa Esmeralda airport last Wednesday.
According to Alvarez, her visit was one of several to Nicaragua, to visit her dying grandmother. The former soccer player and now coach of the Heredia women’s team, assures that on her visit between last Wednesday and Friday, she was treated in an “inhuman and abusive” manner.
The Foreign Ministry called the situation “unfortunate” and is asking its counterpart in Nicaragua for clarification of the detention of the Tica and alleged abuses ending with the family having to pay for her release.
Alavarez said that, on arrival at the airport, she was taken to a room where they shouted at her and forced her to strip to urinate in the presence of police; later taken to the Rivas police station, where again was forced to strip amid the shouts and subjected by force.
Finally, she was taken o the Gaspar Garcia hospital, where she was subjected to x-ray examinations, kept naked unnecessarily, detecting nothing inside of her. To end the ordeal, her family had to pay US$200 to the Rivas police.
“There were no police women. It was just men. They stripped me. They forced me to go to the bathroom. It was the worst experience of my life, I have no words to describe how I felt at that moment, because I felt totally abused, innocent of something they were accusing me of, of something I would never do,” said Alvarez.