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Escazu Community Shocked by Fatal Neighbor Conflict

A conflict between two neighbors in Escazu ended in a tragic murder. The victim was identified as Otoniel Orozco Mendoza, 53 years old, who, according to the OIJ, was shot in the thorax and legs. The incident occurred after 7 a.m. this Monday at the Rio Palma condominium in Guachipelin, Escazu.

“We heard a loud argument outside; as we looked out, we could see where the neighbor was shooting the other neighbor, who unfortunately passed away. Once he was lying on the ground, the other neighbor continued to shoot him without fear,” said one of the witnesses.

According to people who live in the condominium, the problems between the suspect and the victim had been going on for a while. Although previous conflicts had not escalated to physical violence, strong words and constant threats created a tense atmosphere. On several occasions, the police had been called in to mediate the disputes, but no previous intervention had succeeded in defusing the conflict.

“The neighbor who caused the death of Mr. Otto already had many things against him for years. He bothered him every time he (Otto) went out, bothered his children and wife, he made derogatory comments regarding Mr. Otto’s nationality. He even questioned how it was possible that a Nicaraguan could live in a place like this,” the neighbor added.

After the attack, neighbors went out to call emergency services and tried to help the victim, but it was too late. “We all came out of our houses.  We ran to help Otto and called 9-1-1. It was very surprising; nobody imagined that this problem would end up like this. Nobody knew that he had a firearm. On certain occasions, several neighbors approached them and asked them to get along for their own sake and for the good of all the neighbors,” pointed out a person who lives in the condo.

According to the victim’s relative, nobody acted in time, even though the situation was well known. “They always had problems. It had been going on for a long time. They even sued him, and nobody did anything. Neither the Police Force nor the OIJ acted. I don’t know what happened, only that they argued. I do not understand that. How is that possible?” he mentioned.

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