After 11 years on the run, one of the country’s most wanted Tico fugitives is coming home – albeit unwillingly.
Magdalena Pacheco, an alleged accomplice to the murder of daily newspaper Diario Extra founder José Borrasé, was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in Long Island on April 9.
Borrasé was found shot execution-style four times in the back and once in the back of the head, at a coffee farm in the eastern outskirts of San José (TT, Nov. 21, 1997).
Within a few weeks, police had named Pacheco and her then-husband, Laureano Montero, a 29-year-old accountant with the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), as prime suspects.
The case apparently began over a property dispute.
“Police believe Montero had paid at least two men to turn up at the apartment and bully Borrasé into dropping a suit he had filed against his neighbor (Montero) four years earlier for alleged nonpayment for a ¢10 million property,” a Dec. 5, 1997, Tico Times story reported. “Things appeared to have gotten out of hand and in a struggle that ensued between Borrasé and the hired thugs, Borrasé shot Montero in the abdomen. It is believed the thugs then beat Borrasé unconscious and took him, bound and gagged… (and) allegedly shot him dead.”
Montero was arrested after recovering from his stomach wound.
Pacheco and Montero were convicted in 1998 for the 1997 murder. After the court’s ruling, Montero was incarcerated but Pacheco had already fled to Panama, according to Interpol. The identities of the two hired thugs remain a mystery.
Originally, authorities allegedly planned to use Pacheco as a key prosecution witness.
She is believed to have helped dispose of evidence, driving all the way to Braulio Carrillo National Park to get rid of Borrasé’s gun and the one allegedly used to kill him, and replacing the tires of the blue Yugo car allegedly used to take the businessman to the scene of the murder.
U.S. immigration authorities arrested Pacheco, who was living in a $1.5 million home with U.S. resident and husband Marcos Carvajal, also a Tico, after a lengthy surveillance operation, the press release states. The couple has three children and was running a landscaping business.
The former fugitive remains in U.S. custody pending the results of a deportation hearing and Carvajal is being investigated for being an accessory to her hiding.
The arrest brought an end to Pacheco’s 11-year flight from authorities.
Using a Guatemalan passport under the name Verónica Girón, the convicted murderer managed to keep a low profile in the exclusive WaterLaneRidge neighborhood of Long Island, rarely leaving her home, an Interpol press release states.