A Court Victory for Freedom of Information

October 3, 2008

Costa Rica’s Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court (Sala IV) ordered two more public agencies to provide information requested by citizens.

The court ordered the Foreign Trade Promotion Office (PROCOMER) to provide to Erick Gómez information relating to a company called Las Brisas, which operates in a free-trade zone.

And it ordered the University of Costa Rica (UCR) to provide to Albán Bonilla information about staff salaries.

The rulings also ordered PROCOMER and UCR to pay the legal fees for the individuals who filed requests for injunction (recursos de amparo) after the agencies declined their requests. The agencies must also admit they were wrong in denying the information requested.

The penalties for violating the court’s order range from three months to two years in prison for the agencies’ directors or fines ranging from 20 to 60 days of their salary.

“The high court in its injunctions makes evident (these agencies) violated the right to information,” states a court press release.

The constitutional court has been active in the last several months ordering the government to comply with Article 30 of the Constitution, which guarantees free access to information from government entities about “matters of public interest” except when they relate to “state secrets.” The article does not define “public interest” or “state secrets.”

The court recently ordered the Oscar Arias administration to provide the press with documents relating to secret bond agreements with China.

–Nick Wilkinson

 

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Four U.S. tourists dead in Costa Rica rafting accident
Costa Rica
27 views
Costa Rica
27 views

Four U.S. tourists dead in Costa Rica rafting accident

AFP - October 21, 2018

Four U.S. tourists were killed and a fifth Costa Rican tourist is missing after a river rafting accident on Saturday,…

Mexico opens border to women and children from migrant caravan
Honduras
1345 views
Honduras
1345 views

Mexico opens border to women and children from migrant caravan

AFP - October 20, 2018

Mexican authorities on Saturday allowed dozens of women and children from the Honduran migrant caravan to pass into its territory,…

Venezuela accuses Costa Rica of ‘subordination’ to U.S.
Costa Rica
2266 views
Costa Rica
2266 views

Venezuela accuses Costa Rica of ‘subordination’ to U.S.

AFP - October 20, 2018

Venezuela criticized Costa Rica this week for expressing support for several countries that have asked the International Criminal Court (ICC)…