Situation of human rights organizations, particularly the Costa Rican Human Rights Commission (Comisión Costarricense de Derechos Humanos, CODEHU); closure of a CODEHU office in San Sebastián in 1996 (1996-March 2002) [CRI38523.E]

Very little information on the situation of human rights organizations could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate. However, Country Reports 2001 stated that "various human rights groups operate without government restriction, investigating and publishing their findings on human rights cases. Government officials are cooperative and responsive to their views" (Mar. 2002, section 4).

In May 2001, Bruce Harris, the director of Casa Alianza, a San José-based non-governmental organization that works with street children, claimed that

Casa Alianza's staff here in Costa Rica has received more death threats in the last two months than we received during the last year in Guatemala. ... Yet, despite filing two motions with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights appealing for protection, it took a third motion to get any response from the Costa Rican government (Tico Times 25 May 2001).

Harris, who called upon the "government to provide adequate protection and help bring [those making the threats] to justice", further indicated that "we have no legal mechanisms to find out who is doing this" (ibid.). Additional information on this incident could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

No information pertaining specifically to the Costa Rican Human Rights Commission (Comisión Costarricense de Derechos Humanos, CODEHU), including whether a CODEHU office in San Sebastián closed in 1996, could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References


Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2001. March 2002. Washington, DC: United States Department of State. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2001/wha/8329.htm [Accessed 4 Mar. 2002]

Tico Times [San José]. 25 May 2001. Tim Rogers. "Groups Call for Focus on Rights." http://www.ticotimes.net/archive/05_25_01_1.htm [Accessed 4 Mar. 2002]

Additional Sources Consulted


Central America NewsPak [Austin, Texas]. Nov. 1996-Jan. 1997.

Central America Report [Guatemala City]. July 1996-June 1997; Jan. 2000-Jan. 2002.

Centro Popular de Educación Vecinos.

Comisión para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos en Centroamérica (CODEHUCA).

IRB databases.

Unsuccessful attempts to contact two oral sources.

Internet sites including:

Comisión para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos en Centroamérica (CODEHUCA).

Country Reports 1996-2001.

Instituto Interamericano de Derechos Humanos (IIDH).

La Nación [San Jose]. 1996-2002.

La Prensa [San Pedro Sula]. 1998-2002.

Tico Times [San Jose]. 1997-2002.

World News Connection.