January 7th, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) A Costa Rican police officer faces penal charges and an administrative process in the Ministry of Security after a video was published on the Internet, in which he is observed trying to decapitate a turtle with a machete.
The vice-minister of security, Celso Gamboa, stated on Friday that it has been confirmed that the person on the video is a police officer in the Caribbean, and that he will face charges in the Public Ministry for violating the Wildlife Conservation Law.
“It is a cruel video, creepy and regardless of the fact that this is a police officer, it is an act of savageness that can not be tolerated,” said Gamboa.
The video, which has circulated widely on social networks, shows a man with a Fuerza Publica (Public Police Force) t-shirt, holding a machete, trying to decapitate a turtle, while another subject, who is not a police officer according to Gamboa, records with the camera and narrates what is happening.
In the images, the officer is identified as “Sergeant Vargas,” and the narrator states that he is “seeking justice (from the turtle) for the crime of having eaten a sardine and stealing a (fish) hook.”
The vice minister stated that the behavior of the officer, whose name he did not confirm, “affects the institutional image” of the Ministry of Security and the Fuerza Publica “in a gross manner.”
“We are going to proceed in the administrative process, but I can not provide details yet in regards to the final decision,” said Gamboa, regarding the internal measures that will be taken in the Ministry of Security.
The official assured that of the 14,000 officers that are in the Fuerza Publica in Costa Rica, “very few of them” are involved in illegal acts, adding that in the past few years, the recruiting process for police officers has been improved with better psychological and other forms of screening.