• Costa Rica Real Estate

2 prisoners, 1 guard dead after failed jailbreak at Costa Rica’s La Reforma prison

May 12, 2011

A three-hour standoff ended with the death of two prisoners and one guard during a thwarted prison break Wednesday. The escape attempt occurred at Costa Rica’s maximum security La Reforma Penitentiary, northwest of capital San José in the province of Alajuela. Three guards were injured in the attack, which began around 2 p.m. inside Costa Rica’s largest prison.

One prisoner – Erlyn Hurtado – was killed by police just a few feet from the prison’s perimeter gate. Hurtado had been serving a 50-year sentence for participating in a botched 2005 bank robbery and kidnapping in the cloud forest town of Monteverde, in north-central Costa Rica. In that bloody attack on Monteverde’s Banco Nacional branch, nine people were killed, including Hurtado’s two brothers, and 17 injured during a 28-hour standoff.

A second prisoner killed in Wednesday’s standoff is Jhonny Rodríguez, who participated in a 2006 escape attempt from the same prison.

Johel Araya, who was injured in that 2006 escape, is believed to have played a key role in organizing Wednesday’s attack.

Armed with firearms and fake grenades, prisoners took a group of at least five guards and a prison official hostage before forcing their way through the prison complex. Efforts by police to negotiate the hostages’ release failed and a shootout ensued. Prison guard Francis Morales died shortly after at a local hospital.

Police say the prisoners obtained weapons by disarming three guards, Teletica reported.

Johel Araya

Johel Araya was injured in 2006 while attempting to escape from La Reforma. After surviving a second failed escape attempt on May 11, Araya was found dead in his jail cell on May 22.


Tico Times

In a message posted on the social media website twitter, President Laura Chinchilla thanked the forces who put an end to the prison break: “My appreciation to the security forces of the government and the [Judicial Investigation Police] for its speedy and effective response. We will not tolerate situations like this.”

In a press conference after the siege had ended, Justice Minister Hernando París denounced security conditions at La Reforma, saying, “Costa Rica doesn’t have a maximum security prison.”

París called for the construction of a new, safer maximum security prison. He also said that while he regretted that three people were killed, the outcome could have been much worse.

OIJ investigators later discovered an abandoned vehicle laden with weapons and money a mere block from the prison, the daily La Nación reported. Inside the car were AK-47 assault rifles, small arms, ammunition and $2,000 in cash.

Monteverde Massacre

Police work to rescue hostages held by Erlyn Hurtado at Monteverde’s Banco Nacional branch in 2005. Hurtado was killed by police during Wednesday’s prison break.


Tico Times

FROM THE ARCHIVES

To learn about the Monteverde attack:
http://ticotimes.net/Legacy/Front-Page/Monteverde-massacre-stuns-nation-failed-bank-robbery-leaves-9-dead-17-injured_Friday-March-11-2005

For the 2006 prison escape attempt:
http://ticotimes.net/News/Police-Capture-4-Fugitives-Kill-1_Tuesday-October-31-2006/

Follow ticotimes.net for updates.

You may be interested

Swimming, squeaking and more: 5 sloth facts explained!
Sloth Sundays
62 views
Sloth Sundays
62 views

Swimming, squeaking and more: 5 sloth facts explained!

Sam Trull / The Sloth Institute - January 26, 2020

In honor of Slothy Sunday, Sam Trull of The Sloth Institute shares five sloth fun facts.  1. All sloths are…

USA picks new faces to take on Costa Rica after training camp shift from Doha
La Sele
20 views
La Sele
20 views

USA picks new faces to take on Costa Rica after training camp shift from Doha

AFP and The Tico Times - January 26, 2020

US national team coach Gregg Berhalter announced a 22-man squad Saturday for next weekend's friendly against Costa Rica that features…

U.S. donates $16,000 to help Costa Rica improve environmental reporting
Costa Rica
80 views
Costa Rica
80 views

U.S. donates $16,000 to help Costa Rica improve environmental reporting

The Tico Times - January 25, 2020

A donation from the U.S. Department of the Interior will help Costa Rica's Environment Ministry (MINAE) receive and track environmental…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!