San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Mother of Dog-Attack Victim to Sue Gov’t

JUANA Francisca Mairena, the mother of Natividad Canda, the Nicaraguan man killed by two Rottweiler guard dogs in the eastern Central Valley city of Cartago last month, announced at a press conference in San José Dec. 2 that she intends to pursue legal action in her son’s case.


“I want justice for the owner of the dogs and (the guard on the property), because he could have taken the dogs off that boy and could have helped my son,” said the 60-year-old Mairena, who traveled from her home in Chichigalpa, Nicaragua early last week.


Mairena’s lawyer, Luis Fernando Sáenz, told the press he will first file a complaint against the owner of the property where the attack occurred and the guard who was on duty that night.


“The complaint will consist of submitting a series of facts before the Public Ministry to establish whether the people who participated in the events of that day have some type of criminal responsibility,” Sáenz said, adding that he is waiting for the conclusion of the autopsy and its addition to the case file before he files the complaint.


He also said he will later present a lawsuit against the Costa Rican government for their ultimate responsibility for the actions of the public security officials who were on the scene and who, according to the lawyer, did not do enough to save Canda’s life.


Canda died Nov. 10 from blood loss as he arrived at the Max Peralta Hospital in Cartago after being mauled by two Rottweilers at the auto shop Taller Zúñiga for nearly two hours. Police, emergency officials and a news team looked on for more than half that time; firefighters sprayed water from a fire hose in an attempt to drive the animals away, but police said they could not separate the dogs from the victim, nor shoot them for fear of hitting Canda. However, video footage from the attack showed the animals leaving the body and walking a few feet away several times.


Witnesses and the guard said that Canda, as well as two others who escaped the animals, had entered the property illegally and the dogs attacked in defense. Canda was an illegal immigrant with a criminal record.


IN a surprising development, the victim’s brother, Regino Canda, told the press that the guard on the property knew him and his brother well, information that in the three weeks since the attack had yet to come to light. He said he has been married to one of the guard’s daughters for eight years and living in the same home, and that the victim had a relationship with another daughter for three years and had stayed at the guard’s home on multiple occasions. However, the victim and the guard’s daughter ended the relationship prior to his death, according to Regino Canda, who added that there had been problems lately between the two brothers and the guard.


The Tico Times was unable to find contact information for the guard – whose name is Luis Hernández, according to the daily Al Día – by press time, but his daughter Roxana Hernández, the woman alleged to be Natividad Canda’s ex-girlfriend, told Al Día, “I never had a relationship with (the victim). I ask for justice for the dogs; they shouldn’t to kill them. They were on the property, nobody took them from there, he broke in to rob.”

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