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Saturday, May 28, 2022
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UN Committee Against Torture concerned by prison overcrowding in Costa Rica

“Policies should not focus on constructing new prisons, but rather on decreasing the rate of incarceration,” said the delegate of the United Nations.

The Nicaraguan war hero accused of “terrorism”

Ex-colonel Carlos Brenes was a guerrilla and military man of high rank in the two wars in Nicaragua; friend of Camilo Ortega and of great respect in the Army. Now he is detained, being accused of terrorism.

“I was rotting in El Chipote,” university student Bayardo Siles talks about his days in jail

Before fleeing Nicaragua, Bayardo José Siles Rodríguez, a university student and human rights activist from Matagalpa, was illegally locked up in prisons across three departments for ten days.

U.S. family works to set up Costa Rican halfway house in wake of son’s death

In late October, 33-year-old U.S. native Brandon Rowlands died in Costa Rica. Shortly beforehand, he had been placed into an early-release program following a...

Judge orders closure of overcrowded San Sebastián prison

Costa Rica's notorious San Sebastián prison must be closed within 18 months, according to a judge's ruling that cited rampant overcrowding and inhumane conditions at the prison.

Cuba Dave set to finish year in preventive prison on allegations of promoting sex tourism

David "Cuba Dave" Strecker is set to finish out a full year in preventive prison for allegations of promoting sex tourism in Costa Rica. He says he was officially charged Thursday for the first time.

Release of prisoners in Costa Rica angers politicians, tourism industry

A judge's order to release 380 prisoners from Alajuela's overcrowded Gerardo Rodríguez prison has caused government infighting and pushback from the tourism industry.

At least 52 dead in Mexico prison riot

Officials said the fight erupted following a dispute between leaders of two rival groups, including one led by a member of the Zetas drug cartel. The 60-year-old penitentiary houses 3,800 inmates, twice its capacity.

Costa Rica’s justice minister: ‘We are not releasing inmates’

Costa Rica’s Justice Minister Cecilia Sánchez Romero was forced this week to defend before the Legislative Assembly the partial release of hundreds of inmates to reduce overcrowding. The program has sparked criticism from various sectors, including the Public Security Ministry.

PHOTOS: A look at maximum security in Costa Rica’s La Reforma Prison

Their reality is a 4x4-meter cell of cement and iron, where only a few rays of sunlight enter each day and where sleep comes on concrete beds. Among the inmates are leaders of rival drug gangs that have launched a violent turf war in the streets of San José’s southern and western neighborhoods, leaving a toll of 165 deaths in only nine months. Here's a look.
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