San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Gov’t Plans Action in Case of Tico Killed in U.S.

Costa Rica will take “pertinent actions” after analyzing a report from U.S. authorities concerning the death of Costa Rican-U.S. citizen Rigoberto Alpízar, 44, suspected of carrying a bomb and shot and killed by U.S. air marshals aboard a flight in December 2005, according to a statement from the Foreign Relations Ministry.

The report, released two weeks ago, indicates that the two undercover Federal Air Marshals aboard the flight, which was about to take off from Miami to Orlando, Florida, had legal justification for shooting Alpízar and charges will not be made against them.

The agents shot Alpízar,who suffered from bi-polar disorder, nine times after he said he had a bomb, according to the marshals (TT, Dec. 9, 2005). No explosives were found.

Costa Rica’s Foreign Minister Bruno Stagno said he is “worried” about the use of force justified to fight terrorism and insisted that these actions “should not compromise respect for fundamental rights,” the statement said.

“This is a painful case, in which we cannot lose sight of the safeguards of human rights that should remain in place in the fight against terrorism,” Stagno said, expressing solidarity for Alpízar’s family, with whom he met last Monday.


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