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Mystery Shrouds the Death of Poisoned High School Student

By Oliver Pérez

Four months have passed since the town of Nosara was shocked by the death of Hernandez, a 17-year-old high school student, after being poisoned by two alleged assailants while on his way to school. With a fire arm, the two obligated him to consume a herbicide after taking his cellular phone and 50,000 colones ($100). 

The actions took place on Tuesday, August 23, when the student walked with a cousin in the direction of the Bocas de Nosara high school, just as he did every day. 

According to the information obtained by the Organism of Judicial Investigation (OIJ), the victim asked his cousin to go ahead of him because he had to take care of a bodily need. Minutes later, the cousin heard her cousin coughing nonstop and decided to go back to see what was happening. The youth told the witness that two men had assaulted him and gave him a poison to take. Seeing the emergency, the boys ran to the nearest house and asked for help.

The student was given assistance there until the Red Cross arrived, and he was later taken to La Anexión Hospital in Nicoya, where he remained for two days. 

Nosara Highschool, in Santa Teresita neighborhood

There he was able to give statements to the district attorney’s office and to an agent from OIJ, but his condition became complicated since the poison was “eating him” inside, and he was transferred to Hospital Mexico in San Jose. Six days later, he died in that medical center. 

With the information that the young man gave to the authorities, on Wednesday, August 24, the police detained a man by the last name of Campos, who was indicated by the victim as the one responsible for giving him the poison, but the man was behind bars for one day since the penal court let him go free for lack of evidence. He was ordered to change his residence and no longer live in Nosara. 

A few days later, the Penal Court of Nicoya again ordered for the suspect to be detained, but in this case it was for not obeying the orders to change his residence, and he was sent to preventive prison at the beginning of September. However, on November 23rd, the Penal Court of Nicoya let him go free at the request of the district attorney’s office. VON consulted the district attorney’s office, as well as the Penal Court of Nicoya, as to why they made this resolution, but as of December 20th, they did not answer.  

The statement isn’t valid if the defense attorney is not present
Enrique Sandoval, defense attorney for the suspect, explained that the Penal Court left his client without preventive measures. Therefore, according to the lawyer, his client was illegitimately detained because there was no proof to incriminate him. 

Even though the youth identified his aggressor before dying, the lawyer found basis to nullify the evidence since, by Costa Rican law, this is not sufficient as he was not present as the lawyer of the defendant. Sandoval explained that “the day that the defense attorney’s office took the statement from the young man, I as the lawyer of my client was not present; therefore, this statement was not made, following the Jurisdictional Advance of the Evidence. In that case, the procedure is nullified.” 
As the defense attorney, he is completely certain that the district attorney’s office didn’t find any evidence to blame his client since he had previously requested a parallel investigation to receive the statements again, at which time it could be determined that there was no proof.
The way in which the district attorney’s office has acted has left a bitter taste for Eduardo Hernandez, the victim’s father, since the justification that he received is that the district attorney’s office is concentrated on the robbery. “The district attorney’s office says that they don’t have evidence of if [Campos] assaulted him or not. What they should give more attention to is the murder of my son. It seems to me that they (the district attorney’s office) are handling the theme too badly,” said Hernandez. 
Eduardo said that he hasn’t given up yet; therefore he presented an appeal as soon as they let the man that he believes is the one responsible for the death of his son go free. “I don’t want this case to go unpunished. There is a life that was snatched away from a youth. I feel that the courts are trampling on my rights, but I’m going to take this to the highest courts if they close the case on me,” explained Hernandez.
On the streets of Nosara, you can still hear comments about the case, with people asking what happened that Tuesday, August 23rd. The rumors are vast and it’s ovious that the issue is complicated. What is certain about the case is that someone is dead and for now it continues unresolved.


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