Costa Rica Visa Restrictions for Jamaicans
The Costa Rican government is restricting visas to Jamaicans due to recent murders in the country including a 20-year-old student Milena Madriz and police officer Randall Lopez.
According to investigators, Madriz was killed by a stray bullet Oct. 29 in a conflict between Jamaican gangs. Thirty-year-old Lopez was killed Nov. 3 in a shootout with Jamaicans in San Antonio de Escazu, a mountain village northwest of San Jose.
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,” he said.
The restriction will begin Dec. 1 and will require Jamaicans to submit their case to the Immigration Administration in downtown San Jose 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 not in Costa Rica legally, Zamora acknowledged, but his administration still thinks that the new measure is an important step in reducing climbing homicide rates in Costa Rica.
The decision to restrict Costa Rica Visas comes 10 days after the Public Security Ministry took its own measures to curtail the increase in violence by suspending new gun permits to foreigners.
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