Gov’t Releases Report On Embassy Slayings

September 24, 2004

THE Judicial Investigation Police(OIJ) has released a report on the investigationinto the July 27 crisis at theChilean Embassy in San José, when aCosta Rican police officer killed threeChilean diplomats with an M-16 assaultrifle (TT, July 30).The report detailed months of frustrationon the part of the officer, 54-year-oldJosé Orlando Jiménez, toward two of thediplomats he shot – Cultural SecretaryRocío Sariego and First Secretary RobertoNieto, La Nación reported.Much of the conflict apparently centeredaround the parking lot. Jiménez wasupset that Sariego continually parked inspaces reserved for other embassy employees,the report said, and the two had severalverbal altercations.Jiménez also had attempted to findwork for his daughter, Andrea Jiménez, atthe embassy, and Nieto spoke with himabout the possibility, according to thereport.The report said that during one argumentbetween Jiménez and Sariego, severalmonths before the slaying, she told theofficer, “Now don’t even think about yourdaughter working here.”Jiménez apparently had the same problemwith Nieto, on one occasion placingsawhorses in certain parking spaces to preventhim from using them. Jiménez told afellow officer Nieto had run them over.Jiménez detailed each one of the negativeinteractions in the guard station logbook.On the day of the slayings, Jiménezattempted to discuss the parking problemwith Nieto three times, and had preparedsuggestions such as re-painting white linesin the lot, but was denied the opportunityto meet with him, La Nación reported.That day, Jiménez was told he wouldbe transferred. At 3:45 p.m., he entered theembassy and shot the three victims.Though the third victim, ConsulCristian Yuseff, reportedly treated the officerswith courtesy and respect, OIJ agentsbelieve Jiménez had specific targets inmind, as he could have shot other diplomatsbut did not.Chilean Vice-President José MiguelInsulza said on Tuesday that the reportdoes not explain anything, but onlyrevived the pain of the tragedy, and calledthe idea that the situation could beexplained now “absurd.”

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