San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Fire on Figueres Farm Claims Four Lives

FOUR people died this week as a result of a fire at the farm “La Lucha,” 50 kilometers south of San José. The property belongs to the family of former Presidents José Figueres and José María Figueres. The cause of the fire is still under investigation by authorities.The farm was founded by the late José (“Pepe”) Figueres, leader of the 1948 revolution and three-time President (see separate story, above). His son, José María Figueres, was President from 1994-1998.According to the Red Cross, the four victims were Dora Cerdas, 60, the motherin-law of Mariano Figueres, José Figueres’ son; Henry Solano, 37, Mariano Figueres’ brother in-law; Sandra Castro, 37, Cerdas’ niece, and her five-year-old daughter Gabriela Castro.José María Figueres, who resides in Switzerland, is one of three ex-Presidents accused last year of accepting illegal funds in connection with foreign firms’ contracts in Costa Rica.He has not returned to Costa Rica to explain the alleged payments, despite requests from legislators. There was no indication this week as whether the fire would result in a visit home.

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