Ex-minister charged with manslaughter

July 8, 2011

Seven people have been charged with manslaughter and negligence by the district attorney’s office of Atenas, a coffee town northwest of San Jose. Among those facing charges are Ex-Public Works and Transportation Minister Karla González Carvajal, and Atenas Mayor Wilbert Aguilar Gatgens. according to the daily La Nacíon.

The charges are in regards to a breach of regulations that resulted in an avalanche in October 2007 that killed 14 people in Atenas.

The avalanche occurred Oct. 11, 2007 when a portion of earth broke free and fell in Bajo Cacao in Atenas. Fourteen people died and 30 others suffered injuries or lost property due to the landslide.

After the disaster, the District Attorney’s Office of Atenas started an inquiry into what happened. Lawyer Carlos Alberto Guillén found that warnings about the possibility of a large landslide.s

Aguilar, the mayor, gave three building permits for the area despite breaching safety precautions. No trial date has been scheduled.

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