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Arias and second Costa Rican politician reportedly accused of additional sexual crimes

February 15, 2019

Costa Rica’s sudden introduction to the #MeToo movement is not showing signs of slowing down.

Thursday afternoon, the daily La Nacion and Costa Rican journalist Amelia Rueda reported new accusations against prominent political figures.

Rueda, via her website, AmeliaRueda.com, reported that Costa Rica’s Deputy Minister of Economy, Industry and Trade, Laura Pacheco, appeared at the Gender Prosecutor’s Office on Thursday to file a criminal complaint against Julio Solís, the director of Promotion of Peace and Citizen Coexistence.

The criminal complaint regards an alleged sexual assault, according to Rueda.

Following the report, Solís resigned, according to the site.

“The criminal complaint is directly related to the private life of Deputy Minister Pacheco, and which I will refrain from providing details due to its sensitive nature,” Marcia González, Minister of Justice and Peace, told media after accepting the resignation.

On Thursday, La Nación shared stories from two more women who allege Óscar Arias, a former two-term president of Costa Rica and Nobel Laureate, had sexually harassed or assaulted them.

The reports include an allegation from Patricia Volio García, who told La Nación she worked as Arias’s personal trainer and that the politician had made uncomfortable physical and verbal advances during a session.

The paper also interviewed María del Pilar Baeza Montes de Oca, who alleged Arias had touched her breasts without consent following a meeting.

On Wednesday, Arias appeared in public when he visited the Office of the Deputy Prosecutor for Gender to respond to criminal complaints filed against him.

The summons were in response to a criminal complaints filed last Monday by doctor and nuclear-disarmament activist Alexandra Arce von Herold, and last Thursday by Yazmin Morales, who was Miss Costa Rica in 1994.

Arce alleged Arias had groped, kissed and penetrated her with his fingers in 2014. Her criminal complaint, which was published last Tuesday in Semanario Universidad and The New York Times, prompted other women to publicly report their own accusations.

Katherine Stanley, Managing Editor of The Tico Times, worked in the Office of the President during Oscar Arias’ second presidency and provided English-language speechwriting services for Arias. She has recused herself from all reporting and editorial decisions for any story involving Arias, including this one.


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