More protests as police search for possible house arrest location for Mexican prisoners

May 25, 2011

Residents from San Martín village in Moravia, in northern San José, took to the streets to protest against the possibility that two Mexican prisoners are placed under house arrest in their neighborhood. The inmates are suspected of drug trafficking.

The protesters carried signs, chains and flags as they blocked the entrance to a house where they believed the prisoners would be placed. Even Juan Pablo Hernandez, mayor of the county, joined the demonstrators, according to the daily La Nación.

This is the second time in less than a week that a small community refused to receive the suspected drug traffickers. Last Thursday, residents from Las Orquídeas neighborhood, north of San José, opposed the arrival of the suspects because it would “endanger their homes.” The protest repelled transfer. A judge from the Pavas penal circuit halted the move of the prisoners and sent them back to the La Reforma prison in San Rafael de Alajuela.

The suspects were arrested while trying to cross the Nicaraguan border last October after a small plane they were passengers on crashed with 177 kilograms of cocaine hidden in its wings. One of the two pilots died, while the other remains hospitalized.

However, on May 10, Judge Kattia Jiménez ordered the suspects to be placed under house arrest because prosecutors failed to file charges on time. Jiménez granted them the benefit of house arrest.

According to La Nación, on Tuesday, prosecutors finally filed charges of drug trafficking against the suspects. They were also accused of attempting to bribe a public officer, when they tried to cross the border.

The formal accusation might overturn the house arrest decision.

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