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Sexual Violence in Las Huacas Under Investigation

By Pinar Istek

On May 22, around midnight, a woman, who is over 50 years old, was sexually assaulted at a house in Section EE, Guiones, where she was housesitting for her friends.

The victim, who is from the United States, declined to be interviewed by VON and asked to keep her name anonymous. However, according to interviews with the victim’s friends, whom she contacted after the incident, the violator was a Latino man who could speak English. He was dressed nicely, wearing a shirt and a pair of nice pants.

The most distinct physical feature of the violator, who also appeared to be over 50 years old, was the white spots on his face.

According to interviews, when he first broke in the violator asked for money. The victim told him that she didn’t have any money and he threatened her for the first time. Later when he started to rape her, a second death threat came if she didn’t cooperate with him during the sexual act. And finally, just before he left, he threatened to come back and kill her if she reported the attack.

According to the second-hand reports, the perpetrator told the victim that he had been observing her for a while and he wants her to be his girlfriend but the situation is complicated. He continued saying that he had a lot of money to give her when he comes back. Moreover, the violator started the sexually violent act indoors, but later took her out and continued by saying that it was too hot inside.

The second-hand sources said the victim said didn’t fight back much to be able to avoid any physical harm that the violator would possibly give her.

After he left, around 2 a.m., the victim called her friends in the States, who are the owners of the house. Later on, around 4 a.m., she called a neighbor, who took her and her belongings to their house. When she was convinced to report the incident, she called the Costa Rican Organization of Judicial Investigation (OIJ). Also she got in touch with Agnes Pinherio of the Nosara Security Association.

After she reported the case, she had to go through a complete process that included medical exams and treatments, which can be very stressful for victims in such cases. Pinherio said that OIJ is taking the case very seriously, and everyone along the process has been treating her very well and carefully.
Also with the help of a sketch artist from OIJ, the victim drew a rough portrait of the violator.

In this case, the victim didn’t call the tourist police until the following morning, May 23, at 9:00 a.m., but according to Pinherio even if she called the tourist police earlier than she did, there wouldn’t be much they could do to investigate, because in Costa Rica, the tourist police are only authorized to prevent possible criminal cases, not take charge of the cases that have already occurred.  That is the job of OIJ.

What To Do In Cases of Sexual Violence?

Pinherio, the president of Nosara Security Association, said that the victim of this specific case didn’t know who to call first. She also commented that many other people also don’t know where to start in such cases.

While Pinherio stressed how important it is to know the procedure and who to call first, she also said related information is available on the website of the Security Association, NosaraWatch.com.

According to the website,
— If you have been attacked, reach out immediately to a friend or neighbor or property manager so that you are not completely on your own.
— Someone must call the OIJ to report a sexual assault at 2685-5328. 
— The victim should not shower until she is told to do so. 
— If, for whatever reason the OIJ cannot come, the victim (and friends if possible) should collect clothes, sheets and other possible evidence and bring them to Nicoya.
— Calling the local police would help so that they could secure the site while waiting for the OIJ to arrive.
— If a victim does not have a means of transportation, the OIJ will transport the victim to the Nicoya courthouse to start the formal reporting process. 
— She will be required to sign a legal document showing that she is willing to co-operate and be available for prosecution and court appearances if necessary.
— Witnesses or persons able to give more pertinent information should go with her to the courthouse.
— Once this process is completed, the victim has to be ready to be transported to Heredia, to proceed with medical and forensic examination, then to the hospital in Puntarenas for detection and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.
— There will be follow-up visits or trips available such as meeting with a psychologist, a sketch artist, medical attention.
— An official of the law enforcement will be with the victim at every step of the way, even driving the victim back home if necessary. But remember that a translator should be available if the victim is not fluent in Spanish through the entire process."


More Regional News

Samara community and police hope to organize to improve security

About 60 people met in Samara’s community hall on Thursday, June 23, with Mayor Marcos Jimenez and police officials Angel Araya Cordero, director of police for Guanacaste, and Dennis Garcia, in charge of the police’s community security program for the canton of Nicoya. Their aim was to air concerns and look for viable ways to improve security in Samara.

Woman Died Falling into a Creek

About 60 people met in Samara’s community hall on Thursday, June 23, with Mayor Marcos Jimenez and police officials Angel Araya Cordero, director of police for Guanacaste, and Dennis Garcia, in charge of the police’s community security program for the canton of Nicoya. Their aim was to air concerns and look for viable ways to improve security in Samara.

Samareños will march asking to continue with peace and tranquility

Members of the community of Samara agreed to perform a march this Sunday, the 19th, starting at 11 a.m., leaving from the Catholic church, marching around the front of the Evangelical church, the school and ending in front of the Public Force.

Nosareños Threats to Close the Main Road

Tired of waiting for the government to respond to their demands, the Nosareños patience seems to have come to an end. At a meeting held on Saturday June 11, several members of the community agreed to step up pressure if President Laura Chinchilla doesn’t take action and respond to a letter that will detail the most urgent problems that concern the people of this area.

Machinery Arrives in Nosara to Provide Road Maintenance

Roadworking equipment arrived this past Friday June 10th  to begin repairing the 30 km section between Nosara and Samara. The National Roads Board (CONAVI) deployed the equipment provided by San Antonio construction company.

Road to Nosara is Impassable
The MOPT remains silent

There is great concern among residents and drivers in Garza, Guiones and Nosara due to the bad road conditions and the fact that no work has been done towards their improvement for over three months. As a result of the rainfall during this past few days, the road has become impassable.

Tourist Police Could be Closed During June

At a meeting held at restaurant Casa Tucan by the Nosara Security Association on Saturday, May 28, Agnes Pinherio, the president of the association, said the Tourist Police of Guiones Beach may be closed unless the association can collect enough donations for its office maintenance. While last year the budget was more than $17,000, this year, only $5,500 has been collected.

Ministry of Health Sets End of July as Deadline for the Dump to Continue Operating

Improvements to Nosara's landfill must be made before the end of July; however, if no concrete efforts to improve it are made, the Ministry of Health will proceed to close it down. This was the order given by Nicoya's Ministry of Health engineer, Gabriel Sotelo González, on Wednesday, May 18th.

Are we Ready for Heavy Winter Rains?

Last year's rains were destructive, leaving some communities cut off when bridges collapsed and unfortunate families seeking shelter elsewhere as their homes flooded. Since then, various groups have been examining needs to better prepare communities for the next round of heavy rains.

The Brothers of Nosara Representative are under investigation for tree cuttings

On March 27th, 2011, two officers from MINAET Ostional (Ministry of Environment, Energy and Telecommunications) found 20 pochote trees stumps, which were supposedly cut illegally on a property near the Nosara dump. Among the parties involved, which included two brothers of the Nosara Representative, Marcos Avila, none had permission to cut, transport, or sell the trees.

Nicoya Sewage Treatment Plant May Pollute the River Grande

Residents of the Matabuey neighborhood in the city of Nicoya expressed their displeasure with the foul smells emanating from the neighboring sewage treatment pools from the Costa Rican Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers (AyA) as well as the treated waters discharged into the River Grande, which runs about 50 meters from the pools.


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