Walter Espinoza, the director of the Organization of Judicial Investigations (OIJ) has died. He was just 54 years old.
The press director of OIJ, Maricel Rodriguez issued the following statement:
“It is with profound sadness for our institution that I confirm the death of our General Director, Walter Espinoza.”
While the cause of death could not be confirmed, it is reported to be of “natural causes.”
It is unknown if Espinoza was suffering from any particular illness or undergoing medical treatment at the time of his death. He passed away at St. Vincent de Paul Hospital in Heredia on Wednesday night, November 2nd.
Espinoza was the leader of the powerful crime fighting body since 2015.
He was a well-known figure to most Costa Ricans, appearing frequently on television in press conferences announcing actions and investigations by the agency.
Espinoza was a tenacious and courageous investigator, taking on powerful drug traffickers as well as corrupt politicians and government officials for over 30 years.
He led some of the most far-reaching investigations into government misconduct in recent years, sparing no one from OIJ scrutiny.
It had been said that no corrupt person in Costa Rica ever wanted to hear the words “Walter Espinza is on the phone, and he wants to talk to you.”
His death comes as shock to all in the law enforcement community and his permanent replacement has yet to named at this time.