in

For Tortuguero Murder Suspect Nicaragua Justice May Better Serve

Rico’s TICO BULL (Opinion) – The OIJ have their main. Following DNA and forensic evidence, for them, there is no doubt Alvin Diaz Hopkins is guilty of killing 31-year-old Arancha Gutiérrez López, on August 4, while the Spanish national was visiting Costa Rica with her family.

Diaz was detained by police almost immediately after the discovery of the murder Gutiérrez, one of two women tourists killed that weekend. But a Pococi de Limon court set him free for lack of evidence but handed him over to immigration officials given his illegal status in the country.

Following public pressure, both at home and in Spain, the OIJ, in less than a week had the physical evidence to tie Diaz to the murder.

Diaz is currently being held by immigration authorities who will be required to deport him unless the criminal courts order him in stand trial.

But deportation may not be such a bad thing in this case. Or any case involving Nicaraguans committing serious crimes in Costa Rica.

Let me explain. The neighbor to the north cannot, I repeat, cannot extradite its citizens for crimes committed abroad. It does, however, try, convict and jail its citizens for committing crimes outside of Nicaragua.

Remember the case of the man who slaughtered an entire family in Guanacaste and then fled across the border before Costa Rican authorities could catch up to him? He thought he was a free man until his family gave him up to local authorities, who in record time (compared to Costa Rica) had him tried, convicted and jailed.  That was in February 2016. In July 2016, he was convicted to 183 years in prison. Read all the reports on the Matapalo Massacre here.

There is no question that Nicaraguan justice is quicker and harsher than ours. While in Costa Rica a criminal process can take years, in Nicaragua it’s a matter of months.

Later this week, probably tomorrow (Thursday) the Fiscalia will be requesting preventive detention for Diaz and begin the process.

Either way, Diaz will get what he deserves. I would offer, however, that it might be better for justice served if the court denies the Fiscalia’s request (a request they have to make) and the man is deported.

In that scenario, Costa Rican authorities can then provide their counterparts north of the border with the evidence and he will be serving his time (of course if found guilty) way before he ever gets to trial in Costa Rica.

Just saying. My opinion.