• Costa Rica Coffee Guide

‘A tragic day for the Bribrí people’ as leader Sergio Rojas is killed

March 19, 2019

Sergio Rojas, a leader of the indigenous Bribrí community in Costa Rica, was murdered Monday night, the government confirmed.

Rojas was shot to death in an apparent assassination at his home in the indigenous territory of Salitre, in the Buenos Aires canton of Puntarenas. An investigation into the murder has been initiated, led by the country’s Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) with collaboration with National Police.

“The government of Costa Rica condemns and repudiates in all extremes this violent act against the life of the indigenous leader,” President Carlos Alvarado said in a Tuesday morning press conference. “This is a tragic day for the Bribrí people, the indigenous communities and for all of Costa Rica.”

Alvarado said he has asked the Public Security Ministry (MSP) to provide all necessary support to OIJ to aid the investigation. He also ordered reinforced security for Bribrí communities and called for peaceful dialogue as a means to resolve conflicts.

Costa Rica has for years struggled to protect indigenous communities from violence by non-indigenous people. The conflict stems in part from a 1977 law that gave the Bribrí and the Teribe rights to 11,700 hectares of land but did not allocate funds to compensate non-indigenous farmers who already occupied the land. 

As The Tico Times has reported, indigenous communities have repeatedly complained to the Costa Rican government about inadequate protection from attacks. In 2012, Rojas was shot at six times in an apparent assassination attempt near the reserve.

This is a developing story. Check TicoTimes.net for further updates.

 


This story was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5% Club. If only 5 percent of our readers donated at least $2 a month, we’d have our operating costs covered and could focus on bringing you more original reporting from around Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we can only do it with your help. Join The Tico Times 5% Club and help make stories like this one possible.

Support the Tico Times

You may be interested

COVID testing for Costa Rica dental tourism patients
Dental Tourism
6 views
Dental Tourism
6 views

COVID testing for Costa Rica dental tourism patients

Anthony Manos/Goodness Dental - January 22, 2021

Are you an American planning a trip to Costa Rica for dental care? If so, please remember to schedule some…

Pfizer suspends Costa Rica vaccine shipments for 3 weeks
Costa Rica
16098 views
Costa Rica
16098 views

Pfizer suspends Costa Rica vaccine shipments for 3 weeks

The Tico Times - January 22, 2021

Pfizer will suspend vaccine shipments to Costa Rica for three weeks, the Central American country reported Thursday. However, Costa Rican…

Costa Rica’s exports grow to record level despite pandemic
Business
3520 views
Business
3520 views

Costa Rica’s exports grow to record level despite pandemic

AFP - January 22, 2021

Costa Rica's exports grew 2% in 2020 compared to the previous year, despite the limitations imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic,…