Costa Rica News – I once had a guy tell me when I arrived in Costa Rica that he could get the gun out of any Costa Rica policemen’s hands within 5 minutes. I thought this was by force, but all we did was go to an officer and ask him to hold his gun after about 5 minutes of talking to him….. and that in a nut shell is the Fuerza Public, or police force in Costa Rica.
Whether anyone want to admit it or not payoffs and bribes happen within the ranks of the Costa Rican police force each and every day. It seems that power that abuse of power has filtered down the ranks. This unethical virus has taken root so much that on average 6 times a day police officers are officially reported as abusing their power.
Now let’s think about this…..
The culture here in Costa rica is one that is not accustomed to confrontations nor taking the time to report crimes as there are usually these reports do not amount to much when it comes to actions. If we can make a logical assumption that the abuse of power only is reported about 50% of the time, then that means about 12 times a day a cop in Costa Rica is abusing his or her power.
Recently this issue was brought into the light when this abuse of power was recorded by a girl. The officer had stepped outside what he was legally able to do and even began to threaten her when she did not turn off the camera.
Cases such as the one above have increased 73% over the past 5 years. At least people actually reporting these incidents have increased over the pat 5 years. Social media and Internet accessibility has made it easier to report these crimes.
In 2012, the 15 judicial circuits received 2,061 such complaints (almost six complaints per day) according to the data supplied by the Statistics Section of the Planning Department of the Judiciary.
Guess how many of the officers actually got any type of punishment……..drum roll please……..16. Unless you get them on video or on audio tape then they usually get off the hook. Makes them feel untouchable and continues the cycle of unethical behavior.
The idiots running the police force are talking about how they need better training to make this stop happening. How about giving the officers a decent salary? How about making the punishment for unethical behavior be severe enough to make them think twice before abusing their power?
Every time I hear about a police officer actually getting caught taking a bribe or doing something else illegal I get to see the normal punishment…..3 to 6 months on a paid suspension and then reinstated.
You now see the corruption that runs deep in your law enforcement Costa Rica. Are you going to do anything about it or are you going to continue to allow local law enforcement to be bought off? A few more Jairo Mora murders need to happen before you do anything?
I guess we really cannot blame these officers, they are just following the example set at the highest level of government in Costa Rica. Not much difference between a Costa rican police officer taking a bribe and a Costa Rican government official taking a bribe to allow shark finning.
Video of Costa Rican Police Corruption