Extradition of Costa Rican Narcos Does Not Violate Human Rights or Constitution, Says Fernando Zamora - Expat Community

Extradition of Costa Rican Narcos Does Not Violate Human Rights or Constitution, Says Fernando Zamora

Jun 3, 2024 | Costa Rica, News & Articles | 0 comments

by Esteban Arrieta

Proposal being studied by the Legislative Assembly is urgent, according to specialist.

The extradition of Costa Ricans who have committed drug-related crimes would not violate the Political Constitution or human rights, according to constitutional lawyer Fernando Zamora.

The clarification comes at a time when voices are rising against a bill being processed in the Legislative Assembly for this purpose.

The objective is to prevent naturalized Costa Ricans or native-born Costa Ricans from finding a refuge in our country for their illicit activities abroad.

“Extraditing Costa Rican narco-traffickers is indeed possible. Regarding this issue and the processing of a bill for this purpose, there have been claims that this action is not possible and is unconstitutional because it allegedly violates human rights; however, this is not the case. If handing over criminals who have committed serious crimes were equivalent to expelling nationals, which is what is claimed and prohibited by the Human Rights Convention, then Costa Rica would not have been able to sign the Rome Statute, which allows our country to hand over a national criminal to a jurisdiction outside our borders,” said Zamora.

The specialist noted that in Colombia, Mexico, and Costa Rica, constitutional courts have made a clear distinction between the arbitrary expulsion of a national for political or other reasons and the extradition of criminals for serious crimes like drug trafficking.

“That is why in Mexico and Colombia the extradition of nationals is authorized. We, as a country, must take this step with determination. I point out to the Legislative Assembly that there is an urgent need to approve this constitutional reform project. As a constitutional lawyer, I assure you that it is possible to have a firm hand on security matters while respecting constitutional order,” said Zamora.


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