San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Fischel Vandalized During March Against Corruption

ANGRY protestors vandalized theFischel pharmacy and corporate headquartersin downtown San José onTuesday morning. The incident, which isstill under investigation, took place duringan otherwise peaceful march againstcorruption (see separate story).The corner drugstore, located near theCentral Post Office, was forced to close itsdoors for protection against several protestorswho spray painted the walls, threwrocks at the building and broke three windows,according to Lauren Carvajal, fromFischel’s press office.Carvajal said none of the 500 employeeswho work at Fischel’s headquarterswas injured in the violent outburst, whichled to the arrest of three suspects.According to Eduardo Guzmán, chiefof the metropolitan police, two are universitystudents, arrested for resistingauthority and battering a policeman.Guzmán said he and other officerssaw the men attack Fischel, but had noproof to present before the Prosecutor’sOffice to prevent the suspects’ releaseTuesday afternoon.However, Carvajal said a Fischelsecurity video captured some of the vandalismand may be used as evidenceagainst the suspects.Fischel has been under scrutiny sincethe discovery of the possible involvementof the company’s former executive president,Walter Reiche, and former presidentof the board, Emilio Bruce, in the allegedmisuse of a $39.5 million loan from theFinnish government for the purchase ofmedical equipment supplied by Fischel.Reiche is in preventive detention, andBruce has been forbidden to leave thecountry and must report to the courtevery 15 days.

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