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Security Minister Says ‘Private Schools Must Know Their Customers’

The scene Monday moring in front of the Mountview private school in Guachipelin de Escazu

Q COSTA RICA – Gustavo Mata, the Minster of Public Security (MSP) has to be off his rocker, placing the responsibility and blame on the school for what happened Monday morning in Escazu.

Well, not directly.

On Tuesday the minister said is that “private schools should know their customers and have their own security” in reference to the shootout at the Mountview private school in Guachipelin de Escazu in the earl hours of Monday morning, where a six-year-old boy was hurt and two men killed.

“A policy of knowing your client is important in private centers, they must know the parents of children who are taking them to private centers. If there is a link to organized crime, it indirectly puts at risk other children who are in the center,” the minister said.

OK, Mr. Mata, does that mean that private schools should investigate the parents of their students before being admitted? And why stop there? Why not their friends, business associates, other family members, near and far? To what point?

Mata reminded that there is the confidential hotline 1176 where anyone can alert authorities to suspicious activity and individuals.

The Association of Private Education Centers (ACEP) responded to the Minister’s words, saying in a statement:

“We make it clear that we are not investigative bodies of the families of students, for which there are other competent bodies, established by law for this purpose. Each institution takes the security measures relevant to its protection, which are established and implemented according to internal protocols”.

The ACEP lamented the situation that occurred Monday morning, but marked the difference between police work and the education of students, that educational institutions focus on the education of children and adolescents.