San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Special Diplomatic Police Unit Begins Operations

A new police force created to overseesecurity at embassies and other diplomaticinstallations in Costa Rica has formallybegun operations.A spokesman from the PublicSecurity Ministry told ACAN-EFE thehead of the Special Protection Unit beganworking on logistics two months ago, andthe entire unit started work Wednesday.Police Director Walter Navarro said ina statement that the special unit is part ofthe nation’s police force and is headed byofficers with a background in policeadministration.The unit was recommended by a specialcommission named by the SecurityMinistry last year to review the nation’spolice systems and procedures at accrediteddiplomatic sites in Costa Rica (TT,Aug. 13, 2004).The commission was created afterLuis Orlando Jiménez, a policemanguarding the Chilean Embassy in SanJosé, shot and killed Chilean ConsulCristián Yussef, First Secretary RobertoNieto and secretary Rocío Sariego beforeturning the gun on himself in mid-2004.The slayings horrified the nation (TT,July 30, 2004).Jiménez had been stationed as a guardat the embassy for two years before theincident. Authorities said they believe hebroke down after learning he would betransferred from his post at the request ofChilean Embassy officials.The new diplomatic police unit, createdby executive decree Jan. 10, will keeptrack of its members using a complete,confidential operative file for each post ordiplomatic installation being providedwith public security officers.Psychologists from the SecurityMinistry will periodically evaluate officersassigned to permanent posts and, ifnecessary, take corrective actions.The three executive officers in chargeof the new unit were trained at theCarabineros Academy of Police Sciencesin Chile and the Institute of PoliticalSciences of the University of Chile.The three, whose names were notreleased, will lead the unit’s 135 officers,who were trained at Costa Rica’sNational Police Academy.

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