San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Tattoed Man Wins Discrimination Case

THE Constitutional Chamber of theSupreme Court (Sala IV) has ruled thatMall Internacional, in Alajuela northwestof San José, discriminated against a tattooedand pierced man by blocking hisentrance to the shopping center.Fulton Arias, a 26-year-old designer,filed a lawsuit against Mall Internacionalin January 2004 after security officersdenied him entrance to the building ontwo occasions because of a new mall policy(TT, March 5, 2004).The lawyer representing MallInternacional, Armando Céspedes, told thepress the mall reserved the right as a privateenterprise to enforce dress codesbecause people with “excessive body language”had previously caused problems.Mall Internacional may have to paydamages to Arias, although details of theApril 6 ruling are not yet known becausethe court has not released the final document.“I believe it is important that peoplelearn, not to fight, but to defend themselves,”Arias told the daily La Nación.

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