The government of Carlos Alvarado ruled out joining, for now, the group of countries that filed a lawsuit against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro before the International Criminal Court (ICC).
On Wednesday, the foreign ministers of Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Paraguay, and Canada presented a letter stamped by the leaders of their countries requesting the intervention of the ICC, based in The Hague, Holland. The express request is to investigate crimes against humanity and human rights abuses in Venezuela.
The letter was sent with reports prepared by international experts documenting extrajudicial processes, torture, and arbitrary arrests in the context of the protests against Maduro in Venezuela. One of those reports is the one presented by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The Costa Rican Foreign Ministry ruled out joining the lawsuit, saying it believes
the Council of Human rights is the appropriate forum to make progress in the attention of the international community to this case. We must be comply with the recommendations issued by the High Commissioner.”
The government recalled that ICC Prosecution opened a preliminary investigation in February 2018.
Costa Rica trusts the independence of the Office of the Prosecutor to continue with this investigation and to properly substantiate it, as well as in the assessment that the Court may make, at the appropriate time,”
said Casa Amarilla.
Another report presented for the lawsuit was written by a group of experts from the Organization of American States (OAS) who said there is a reasonable basis to determine that 11 people, including Maduro and members of the Venezuelan Armed Forces, are responsible for crimes against humanity in that country.
On Wednesday, OAS Secretary Luis Almagro supported the initiative of these first six countries.
It is a fundamental milestone for justice, accountability, non-repetition, and reparation of victims of the dictatorship,”
said Almagro on his official Twitter account.
According to international media, this lawsuit is unprecedented in the 16 years since the founding of the ICC, because member countries had never asked their prosecutors to investigate another signatory nation.
This is not the first time that Costa Rica has been silent about what is happening in Venezuela. On May 15th, when this administration began, Alvarado’s government was severely criticized because it did not subscribe to a joint declaration of the Group of Lima (GL) that called on the Venezuelan government to suspend the general elections scheduled for May 20th, which took place in the midst of a political and economic crisis.
Where are our historical values and Costa Rica’s struggle in defense of human rights? The host country of the IACHR is currently missing from this courageous initiative of six democratic countries, which seek to take Venezuela’s satrap to the International Criminal Court. What is the commitment to the criminal dictators Maduro and Ortega?”
asked Ambassador Javier Sancho at the time.
Political analyst Claudio Alpízar said this is not surprising, because in the last five years, under the leadership of the Citizen Action Party (PAC), the government has taken its time to respond to the atrocities of the Maduro regime.
The criticism also came from the former chancellor Manuel González.
It is a pity that Costa Rica is not part of the group of countries made up of Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Paraguay and Peru (also members of the Lima Group and of which CR is also a party) that requested the International Criminal Court (ICC) to initiate a preliminary investigation into crimes against humanity committed in Venezuela,”
said the former minister.