San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Visas for Jamaicans To Be Restricted in C.R.

The Costa Rican government announced this week it will restrict visas to Jamaicans, following the murders of 20-year-old student Milena Madriz and police officer Randall López.

According to investigators, Madriz was killed by a stray bullet Oct. 29 in a conflict between Jamaican gangs. Thirty-year-old López was killed Nov. 3 in a shootout with Jamaicans in San Antonio de Escazú, a mountain village northwest of San José.

Jorge Rojas, director of the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ), told the daily La Nación that these two incidents involving Jamaicans are not isolated events. He linked the incidents to problems of international organized crime.

“This country has a very open policy when it relates to receiving people. Some come to invest, others to kill,” Rojas said.

The restriction will begin Dec. 1 and will require Jamaicans to submit their cases to the Immigration Administration in San José for special review.

“(These restrictions) are in relation to the recent incidents,” said Mario Zamora, head of the Immigration Administration. “But the details of (each case) will be taken into consideration.”

The majority of the accused in the case were in the country illegally, Zamora said, adding that the new measure is an important step in reducing climbing homicide rates in Costa Rica.

–Chrissie Long


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