Despite a lack of evidence, a Costa Rica judge last week ruled to continue the indefinite imprisonment without trial of a 65 year old, United States citizen David Strecker at the San Sebastián prison complex in San José, Costa Rica. Instead of arguing the case in court, prosecutors published a press release that Dave is under investigation in connection with an untested law, which prohibits people from talking on Internet about prostitution and other social problems in Costa Rica.
For Dave, news of the decision is especially hard, as his mother recently passed away and he was unable to attend the funeral in Florida. He is now looking forward to spending Christmas and New Years in a Costa Rican prison, which has been denounced by the United States Department of State for rampant overcrowding and human rights abuses.
President Solís to Release 1,000 Convicted Violent Offenders
At the same time, as a Christmas gift to the people of Costa Rica, the administration of President Luis Guillermo Solís has ordered the release of 500 to 1,000 convicted murders, rapists, narcotics traffickers and other violent offenders from the same San Sebestian prison before the end of the year. Dave as a foreigner and political prisoner is ineligible for release.
November Court Hearing
At his recent court hearing, the prosecutor had very little, almost nothing to say. She simply asked that Dave continue to be held without trial and offered no evidence. The judge ignored the detailed arguments of Dave’s attorney. She refused to require that prosecutors show legitimate cause or move to trial. She ordered Dave’s continued incarceration, in disregard for the law, which prohibits a 65 year old man from being held at the infamous San Sebastián prison.
Letter from Attorney on Prisoner Status
The law, which prosecutors mentioned in their press release was passed as part of a sweeping legislation to fight organized crime in 2012. It is highly politicized because the law has yet to yield a single criminal conviction under any of its many statutes. Apparently, the arrest and indefinite incarceration of a 65 year old man from Florida is the best that judicial authorities can do in an increasingly troubled Central America nation, which suffers from rampant gang violence, a rising murder rate and corruption at the highest levels of government and the judicial system.
Since the last article, Dave has received a total of $697 in donations. This falls short of what he needs to continue the appeals process. Dave himself is a 65 year old carpenter’s helper who is ineligible to receive Social Security. He lives in a rented room in Key West, and generally gets around on his bicycle. He says that he is sorry if he embarrassed the nation of Costa Rica. He is sad that he missed his mother’s funeral and would just like to go back to his life in Florida.