San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Rights Commission to Review Dog Attack Case

The Inter-American Commission of Human Rights this month plans to review the Costa Rican investigation into the death of Natividad Canda, a Nicaraguan man mauled by dogs last December, the daily La Nación reported.

A hearing is scheduled for July 20 in Guatemala, when the international commission will study a complaint by the Nicaraguan government regarding an alleged delay by the Costa Rican justice system in its investigation of the case.

Two Rottweiler guard dogs attacked Canda, an illegal Nicaraguan immigrant, just after midnight on Nov. 10, 2005 when he and two others entered the property of an auto shop in La Lima, east of San José in the province of Cartago (TT, Nov. 18, 2005).

As the watchman, and later police, firefighters, Red Cross officials and a Channel 7 TV news crew, looked on, the dogs attacked Canda for more than an hour. Police officials said they could not shoot the dogs for fear of hitting Canda, so firefighters sprayed the animals with a hose, eventually allowing officials to pull Canda into the bed of a pickup truck. He died of his injuries shortly after.

The Prosecutor’s Office is investigating whether police or the auto shop guard could have intervened to prevent Canda’s death (TT, March 17).

A report released by police and ballistics experts concluded there was a chance to shoot the dogs and possibly save Canda.


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