Suspect Gets 210 Years For Bank Massacre

November 24, 2006

The verdict is in in the case of a bank robbery and massacre that devastated the north-central mountain community of Monteverde and shocked the nation last year.

A court in the Pacific port city of Puntarenas Tuesday sentenced Erlyn Hurtado to 210 years in prison for crimes including first-degree murder, aggravated robbery and kidnapping. Hurtado is the only one of three brothers accused of orchestrating the bloody ordeal who is still alive.

The sentence, however, will be reduced to 50 years, the maximum jail time allowed under the Costa Rican Penal Code. Additionally, he was ordered to pay damages to the families of the nine people killed and to 17 people injured during the violent standoff, considered one of the worst tragedies in recent Costa Rican history, the wire service ACAN-EFE reported.

On March 8, 2005 (not 2004 as we incorrectly stated last week), Hurtado and two brothers approached the Banco Nacional branch in Santa Elena, a small town below the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve. According to the guard on duty and witnesses, the men used AK-47 assault rifles to open fire as they approached the bank.

The bank guard fired back, hitting and killing two brothers in front of the bank. Hurtado entered the building and kept 33 people hostage inside for 28 hours (TT, March 11, 2005).

While the hostages in the bank lived the nightmare, Costa Ricans around the country watched the drama unfold on live TV.

The crisis ended March 9 after Hurtado gave himself up. Nine people died in the incident, including his two brothers, a police officer and six people who were in the bank at the time of the assault.

 

You may be interested

Strong winds cause three deaths in Costa Rica, one in El Salvador
Weather
1767 views
Weather
1767 views

Strong winds cause three deaths in Costa Rica, one in El Salvador

AFP - December 10, 2017

Three people have died in Costa Rica, includiing two Swiss tourists, and one in El Salvador as a result of…

6 camouflaged Costa Rican creatures you probably haven’t seen
Environment and Wildlife
2339 views
Environment and Wildlife
2339 views

6 camouflaged Costa Rican creatures you probably haven’t seen

Lindsay Fendt - December 9, 2017

The jungle can be a scary place, and even for some of the fiercest of Costa Rica’s creatures, sometimes the…

National Geographic-Lindblad Expeditions ship makes first visit to Osa Peninsula
Cruises
2031 views
Cruises
2031 views

National Geographic-Lindblad Expeditions ship makes first visit to Osa Peninsula

The Tico Times - December 8, 2017

National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions touched down for the first time on Costa Rica's renowned Osa Peninsula this week for…