October 1st, 2012 – A woman identified by the last name of LaFuente had a huge surprise when, in need of documents for a legal process, went to the National Registry. Upon request of the document, she found herself to be married to a Nicaraguan husband, whom she had no knowledge of, and had never seen in her life. Her “husband”, after the supposed marriage, filed for Costa Rican citizenship in Immigration, based on marriage to a Costa Rican.
LaFuente began to investigate, and was able to find and contact the lawyer who approved the “marriage.” The attorney, a woman with the last name of Amador, said she had “no idea” of what had happened.
As it turns out, though, according to the Judicial Investigation Organism (OIJ), the lawyer has been investigated on many occasions for these type of marriages, in which she simply steals someone’s identity in order to help foreigners with the nationalization process, charging them considerable amounts of money on the way.
LaFuente’s case is currently under investigation in the Fraud department, along with 70 more marriage cases from the same lawyer.
According to Kattia Rodriguez, Immigration director, the procedures in Costa Rica in regards to recognizing Costa Rican marriages with foreigners have become more strict, however, “there is a group of professional attorneys who rely on identity theft in order to help foreigners, mainly those with legal issues in their own countries.”