QCOSTARICA – The bill against organized crime was approved in first debate, after completing the processing of the 522 motions and the consultation before the Supreme Court of Justice.

The bill, with forty nine votes in favor and two against, will help with an urgent issue, by extending preventive detention to criminal gang leaders in jail, who could have been released in the first week of June.

It’ll also enhance and improve regulations on investigating and prosecuting organized crime, giving authorities more weapons against the problem.

The legislator from the Partido Liberación Nacional (PLN), Gilbert Jiménez, was surprised that his colleague, Carolina Delgado, had submitted so many motions for the plan.

Delgado is adamant that the bill poses a threat to legal protection, and infringes on the human rights that the Judicial and Prosecutorial systems have been violating.

Rodrigo Arias, president of Legislative Assembly and brother of two time president Oscar Arias, was pretty stoked that they were able to get the initiative passed in record time.

“We have fulfilled the task of combating drug trafficking. I am very satisfied that we were able to approve the initiative, it was an extraordinary effort that the Legislative Assembly has made in the last two weeks to move this forward,” said Rodrigo Arias.

The president of the Legislative Assmebly, Rodrigo Arias (left) and Attorney General, Carlo Diaz

Last Monday, the leaders of the different political factions met with senior officials of the Judiciary to clarify a series of doubts.

Orlando Aguirre, president of the Supreme Court of Justice, and Carlo Díaz Sánchez, Costa Rica’s Attorney General, were present at the meeting.

The Attorney General warned that if the reform isn’t put into effect before June 7, there’s a chance that at least 10 gang leaders could be back on the streets when their preventive detention runs out.

The required second and final approval and of the bill is expected on Monday, and then sent to the desk of President Rodrigo Chaves for his signing it into law.

For his part, President Rodrigo Chaves expressed satisfaction with the approval of the bill, who said that he hopes this is a good omen for the passing of many other laws that the country needs.

“It was time to stop talking, make the decision and move forward as a society that is committed to the fight against organized crime,” the president said.


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