Authorities are investigating a Costa Rican police officer whose Facebook profile shows him posing in a Nazi salute with a Nazi flag and other symbols of the defunct German fascist party.
Murdock Ronald Herrera, 26, has been a member of the National Police since 2009, and according to Public Security Vice Minister Celso Gamboa, an investigation of the photos is underway, although Herrera’s Facebook profile was deactivated on Monday afternoon.
The news of the neo-Nazi cop was first published by Tico blogger “El Chamuko” on his site “El infierno en Costa Rica” (Hell in Costa Rica), where he also published some of Herrera’s Facebook pictures.
Herrera spoke to the daily La Nación on Monday and confirmed that he has worked for the National Police in San Pedro, east of San José, since November 2006. He said the pictures had caused him several problems and resulted in threats against his family. He did not say why he hadn’t removed the photos earlier.
Herrera also said he was sent home from work Monday, after social media sites and mainstream news outlets covered the story.
According to Herrera, the photos depicting Nazi gestures where taken before he joined the National Police, but he acknowledged that “a few of his fellow police officers share his neo-Nazi ideologies.”
National Police Director Juan José Andrade said Monday that Herrera’s case is under investigation to “verify if some of his actions are against the institution’s values and principles.”
Tico blogger El Chamuko was more succinct: “It’s clear that even Jack the Ripper could pass psychological evaluations required to carry arms [in Costa Rica]. This public official [Herrera] shouldn’t even have a permit to carry a water pistol.”
On Tuesday, Security Minister Mario Zamora said he asked for Herrera to be fired, because “no one linked with Nazism should be in the police force”.