In the face of accusations of rape and sexual misconduct by five women against former President Noble Laureate Oscar Arias, President Carlos Alvarado, requested guarantees for the accusers and the right to defense for the former president.
“There are two central and important elements that must be considered in this. One, everything that has to do with guarantees for the women in this and in any case. And in the case also of the former president, his right to defense must be guaranteed,” he said.
Alvarado made the statement during the inauguration of the Jardín de Niños República Francesa school, in San Nicolás Tolentino, Cartago.
Although Arias faces only one (criminal) complaint filed with the Prosecutor’s office, four other women (two at the time Alvarado made his statement) alleges acts of sexual abuse, one case occurring as far back as 35 years ago.
“I have never disrespected the will of any woman,” said Arias following the denuncia filed by a doctor and activist, Alexandra Arce von Herold, on Monday. The doctor also told her story to the New York Times.
Arias held the presidency of Costa Rica twice (1986-1990 and 2006-2010) and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987.