Ciudad Quesada. Three women and one man were sentenced Thursday to 23 years in prison for bringing girls clandestinely from Nicaragua and forcing them into prostitution in bars located in La Fortuna de San Carlos.
After three weeks of trial, the three member panel of the San Carlos Court unanimously sentenced the four defendants for the crimes of “trafficking in persons for the purpose of sexual exploitation, procuring and conspiracy”.
Sentenced are Edin and Dilma Rivera Carrión (brother and sister), Erika Hernández Valle and Clara Hernández González, all Nicaraguan nationals. Meanwhile, Clarisa Rivera Carrión, daughter of Dilma, was acquitted due to an apparent confusion of the victims one her identity.
In sentencing, Luis Fernando Calderón, president of the Court, said that the evidence provided by the Fiscalia (Public Prosecutor’s Office) was conclusive and demonstrated that very serious crimes had been committed.
In closing arguments, prosecutor Marco Mora Ditte had requested a sentence of 99 years prison.
The trafficking ring led by the brother and sister Rivera Calderon was dismantled last year, after residents of La Fortuna notified police of the arrival (from Nicaragua) of the girls and forced into prostitution in several bars.
During the investigation, undercover Immigration Police officials confirmed the reports. Then, with the support of the Fiscalia, raided the bars – Los Acostados, El Tenampa and Los Horcones – and detained the owners and freed 15 girls.
Most of the victims told authorities that they, while in Nicaragua, had been tricked by the traffickers with the promise of work as cooks and waitresses, but that, once in Costa Rica, they were forced into prostitution.
In addition, they assured that they were never paid the ¢80,000 colones (US$140) per month promised and were not allowed to leave the bars, had to sleep in pigsties and were constantly subjected to insults and humiliations.
One of the victims narrated that the only bathroom they had for use smelled horrible and including had toads in the showers.