San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Lawyers Convicted of Trafficking Babies

Two Costa Rican lawyers have each been sentenced to 10 years in prison for bringing nine Guatemalan babies here for adoption, Judicial Branch spokesman Sergio Bonilla told The Tico Times.

A San José court convicted Carlos Robles and Rodrigo Johanning July 6 of international human trafficking and illegal possession of minors, Bonilla said. Costa Rican police found the babies, all less than one year old, in a house in La Uruca, the northwestern district of San José, in September 2003.

Robles’ defense attorney Dunia Chacón told local press she will appeal the case and that her client is innocent, according to the wire service ACAN-EFE.

Robles was manager of Anglo-Costa Rican Bank when it folded in 1994; he has since been sentenced to more than 30 years in prison for four crimes, three of which are related to the bank’s closing.

The court’s ruling indicates that Robles carried out monetary transactions to take the children out of Guatemala for adoption in other countries, including the United States, where adoptive parents had agreed to pay $42,000 for each child, reported ACANEFE.

Costa Rican police rescued the nine children and arrested seven people associated with the crime on Sept. 21, 2003.


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