Court dismisses manslaughter charges against former transport minister

May 30, 2012

An Atenas criminal court on Tuesday dismissed manslaughter charges against former Public Works and Transport Minister Karla González (2006-2009) in a case involving a 2007 landslide that killed 14 people in the province of Alajuela, northwest of San José.

The tragedy occurred Oct. 11, 2007, in Bajo Cacao, a small town in the canton of Atenas. Fourteen people died when a contention wall on a roadway project collapsed.

The court also dismissed criminal charges against two former directors of the National Roadway Council, Alejandro Solis and José Chacón, former Atenas Mayor Wilbert Aguilar, businessmen Reinaldo Hernández and José Martin Hernández and engineer Luis Carlos Gómez. Judge Mario Oconitrillo issued the ruling.

González resigned her position in September 2009, following a separate scandal that occurred when a cable on a wooden suspension bridge snapped under the weight of a full school bus, which fell six meters into the Río Tárcoles near Turrubares, a canton of San José. Five people were killed.

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