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Friday, January 29th, 2016  |  USD: Buy 531.29 / Sell 543.92
20 years

American man jailed in Costa Rica says his human rights have been violated

Patrick Hundley is behind bars in a Perez Zeledon prison.  Friends of Hundley say he has lost 25 pounds since this photo was taken about 2 months ago.  (Courtesy Photo)

Patrick Hundley is behind bars in a Perez Zeledon prison. Friends of Hundley say he has lost 25 pounds since this photo was taken about 2 months ago. (Courtesy Photo)

July 2nd, 2014 ( U.S. citizen Patrick Hundley, the owner of real estate development firm, Daystar Properties in Jaco, remains jailed in a Perez Zeledon jail cell since his February arrest, and claims his human rights have been violated as a result, according to a statement sent to Inside Costa Rica.


Hundley, who is also the president of the second division soccer club, the Jaco Rays, was arrested on charges of defrauding five foreign investors out of $7 million USD, according to reports by the daily La Nacion shortly after his arrest.


According to the report, investors claim they signed contracts and began making monthly payments of up to $500,000 for a year and a half, with the promise that they would become shareholders in a corporation holding the property after the $7 million was raised and the purchase was made.  The investors say they have never received their shares.


Hundley’s supporters have now set up a web site, where it is claimed that Hundley’s human rights have been violated and that he was arrested under false pretenses.


On the site,, Hundley supporters state that “Pat Hundley has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, the opposite is happening.  Mr. Hundley is suffering in prison as if he had been found guilty in a trial, but there’s been no trial.  This is an injustice and a violation of his human rights.


Pat Hundley was arrested under false pretenses, has not been presented any evidence, has not had a hearing on the facts of the case and has been assigned an unlawful and high bail.


At this time, Mr. Hundley can only get out of prison by agreeing to his business partner’s demands or by posting the unattainable bail.”


“Mr. Patrick Hundley, founder of Daystar Properties in Jaco, Costa Rica, has been held in prison in Costa Rica since February 17, 2014.  This is an injustice and the crimes against Mr. Hundley include violation of his human rights, being held without showing probable cause, false representation by the Costa Rican legal system, and extortion,” the site continues.


“Inhumane Conditions”


The site claims that conditions in the jail are overcrowded and inhumane.  “Mr. Hundley has been held in prison in Costa Rica for over four months with no probable cause, no hearing on the facts of the case and no end in sight.  The judge determined that he should be held in Preventiva while the prosecutor attempts to build his case against Mr.Hundley.  Mr. Hundley is now in Perez Zeledon Prison where he is in a cell with 60 other men (the cell was built for 22 people), some of whom are convicted murders.  Sixty men share one shower, one toilet and one urinal. Most men sleep on the concrete floor.  The conditions at this prison are inhumane and something you hear about in third world countries,” the web site states.


The site also states that Hundley is being demanded to pay a full cash bail of $2 million USD, which it describes as one of the highest bail demands in history.


An open letter was submitted on Hundley’s behalf to Inside Costa Rica last month. 


Hundley’s next bail and preventive detention hearing is scheduled for July 7th in Puntarenas, according to information provided to Inside Costa Rica.


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  • Michael Clarkson

    What do you expect from a country that is the most corrupt on earth.

    • dr meno

      Are you referring to the USA? BECAUSE THEY ARE THE MOST CORRUPT COUNTRY IN THE WORLD. wake up.

      • Michael Clarkson

        Yes the US can be corrupt but sometimes is easier to get justice at least people have a chance more so than here, but what makes Costa Rica a very dangerous country is that they market this place as a safe place and transparent leaders in human rights, google Costa Rica no longer safe read the wikileaks article, I keep telling people to stay away from Costa Rica is one hardest place on the planet to start a business the Caja goes after everyone the country is a clousterfuck of bureaucracy , The Costa Rican people are innocent victims is the government the minority that controls this country that act just like a mafia or drug cartels they are evil and they are hurting everyone locals and tourists, just look at the roads,bridges and pot holes in Central America alone even Nicaragua have better roads and they are poor and you can see how much corruption there is in this country they steal everything that comes in and do not invest in infrastructure, I am not surprise if all of the drugs they confiscate they turn around and sell it on the black market, the minority in charge of the government are filthy rich and pure evil they are thugs and are the true Costa Rican mafia.

        • dr meno

          I am a big critic of CR’s politics too. Check out my video. Austerity in CR.

          • Michael Clarkson

            Thanks for the link will check it out this country needs a revolution people need to stand up before is too late. I have family here and in the US and have done business here for 25 years so I am pretty aware of all the local politics.

        • SDPUS

          Lawyers, Prosecutors and Judges make up Costa Rica’s very own mafia. They work together to screw people, and if you are a foreigner (especially gringo)…they will extort you from beginning to end. They are protected by the current “do nothing” Fiscal General- Jorge Chavarria. They are an organized crime syndicate of lawyers, who often end up in politics. Keep in mind prison bosses here are lawyers too. They will fake and falsify records and forensics, and then they will cover for each other along the way. A total criminal enterprise, but they will all look you in the eye and tell you they aren’t like that….what BS!!! Gringos beware!!! As Alberto Rodriguez Baldi would say, “P.E.C.= Party of Extreme Corruption, otherwise known as the PLN”. Hopefully come October, when Jorge Chavarria steps down…President Solis takes action against the plethora of white collar criminals. I see just yesterday, 278 Fiscals wrote the Supreme Court…hoping that they can keep Jorge Chavarria from stepping down. I guess that is their hope, so the government hooligans can keep their jobs and stay out of prison themselves. We will have to wait and see what happens. I certainly won’t hold my breath for any meaningful change. We reap what we sow….and the PLN have destroyed this government. They have zero credibility, but they have a strong hold on government corruption and often are helped by their do nothing friends at Grupo Nacion. As the saying goes, you can’t hide the sun with your finger…and sooner or later this will come back to bite them very hard in the ass! Their prison system is abysmal. Preventive detention here is what you would expect to find in a third world AUTOCRATIC type government. I guess they learned all their corrupt tactics from their GOP friends to the north!!!

          • Michael Clarkson

            You hit the nail on the head, well said.

          • SDPUS

            Jorge Chavarria had his career jump started during the 1980′s Contra/Sandinista war, when he was put in charge of investigating the La Penca explosion. No one was ever convicted. He looked the other way then as a young prosecutor and now as Fiscal General, he continues to look the other way.A real “company” man. I guess you can say he has made a career of “looking the other way”, which is the modus operandi to receiving corrupt payoffs and kickbacks. Pretty much how the PLN party has worked since Arias taking control of the party in the 1980′s and the days of CIA Operative John Hull and Oliver North of the National Security Council. Coincidentally this is alo the time period when Pablo Escobar was on the run in Nicaragua. All of these players are connected, as is this false drug war. Bill Clinton said something very insightful the other day when visiting. Costa Rica has a superior location. Now remember that in the context of drugs. The drug war has corrupted this entire region of Central America, and now you see thousands of kids fleeing to the USA border from El Slavador, Guatemala and Honduras–desperately trying to flee the violence and corruption. The corruption of the drug war has totally flooded the CR government as well! You really think all these drugs confiscated get destroyed? The drug war is a narco war between corrupt people in governments all over this globe who profit by keeping the trade illegal and conrolling it. Confiscate and control the flow of drugs. Prosecute “little guys” like you are being tough on drugs and in the mean time supply and demand takes over and the price of the commodity goes up…and you just so happen to have tons of it to put in airplanes, trucks and containers to export throughout the world under the auspice of “government” and the peopns that you get to do the dirty work. That’s your drug war in a nutshell. And that is why it is unwinnable and should be regulated, but governments like the GOP and PLN will fight ever aspect of ending that war! Because crooked people in their parties control it. Whether Hundly is guilty or innocent is difficult to to assurmize at this point. One thing for sure is CR will put him through the ringer in the process and extort every dollar possible. You can bet they want his bail money in cash, and it will continue to be an absurd amount! In the mean time every lawyer shark will be offering their help and telling him how they can end this immediately. It is a dirty game he is caught up in, and they will make winners and losers in the process. Who invests 7 million with no guarantees? It is all fishy….and you can bet those investors have enough money to hire goons here within CR to really stick it to this guy. Everybody is on the take here for $$$. Yes, I know that was a mouthful…but it needed to be said! Solis has a really serious job ahead, and it will only get better by putting some big time people in prison. Unfortunately their money and connections will most likely keep them free, as we see over and over again in the world….

          • SDPUS

            sorry for the poor grammar and spelling

          • Michael Clarkson

            Prosecute “little guys” on drugs you are right make a bust here and then to make the police image look good, they do the same thing with the banking system they require all this paperwork for the little guys they say is for money laundering purposes, yeah right like a drug dealer is going to put millions in the Banco Nacional, the smart drug dealers never get caught and put their money in safes or bury it underground or hire experts to laundry their money, like the CR government laundries all the money for Colombia and the world.
            CR has no government just one big corporate mafia running the country.

          • disgusted

            I could not have said it any better. This guy is screwed innocent or guilty it does not matter.

        • syddiggers

          Sometimes it is easier to get justice for those who have the money to pay for it. Not a real good argument defending the ridiculous amount of corruption in the USA.

      • Michael Clarkson

        Honestly the truth will come out if this guy is guilty than he will get what he deserves, most likely he forgot to pay someone off in office. I am a big critic of the CR government because I see alot of poverty here and alot of very rich people, the gap is big and this government hurt everyone local or foreign they are killing the country and no one is doing anything about it.

    • syddiggers

      What does this have to do with the USA? BY FAR the most corrupt country on the planet. How is it possible that close to 20% of the home of the free and land of the brave live in poverty?

  • dr meno

    Would he rather be in a FEMA camp when they are activated? Still he wants us t feel sorry for him, and there is only a little bit about the case known to the readers.

  • Ken Morris

    I am no supporter of preventative detention either, but I have to wonder how different it is from the US bail system. In the US the accused go to jail first too–and they only get out in advance of trial if they pay. In Mr. Hundley’s case, CR is apparently offering him the bail alternative too, making his complaint that the bail is too high. Maybe it is, but as a US citizen he’s a clear flight risk, and when the case involves $7 million allegedly swindled, $2 million for bail doesn’t sound out of line.

    Whether or not the detention was ordered and the bail set without sufficient evidence are legal issues about which Mr. Hundley may or may not be right. Certainly if he is right his lawyer should have been on top of this. Just as certainly, it’s hard to believe that a judge made these determinations without considering any evidence at all.

    Too many facts about this case are unknown for me to reach a conclusion about Mr. Hundley’s complaints, although he is right to raise the issues of prison conditions. Maybe he’s right about the other stuff too, I just can’t tell based upon the sketchy facts.

  • disqus_r8w0IwvvLw

    The gap between the rick and poor are just as big in the usa. Take Detroit or Phoenix or LA for instance. There are folks living in cement shacks. By the way, in CR just because someone lives in a rancho does not mean they feel poor. Maybe to you Mr. Clarkson. Maybe a tico only wants nice jeans, good car and drink. Maybe those you consider poor are happy the way they are and you are putting your usa ideals on them. Yes, the usa is far more corrupt. They have been influencing CR in negative ways -consumerism, luxury cars on credit, snobbery, policies on illegals, fake war on drugs. Becoming a little america down here.
    The jails down here will of course be cruder, and one can hopes that what Mr. Hundley has to endure is deserved and not undeserved. He will learn to appreciate what he has & not even think of trying to pull a scam regardless.

    • duke ster

      You have a good point Discus— there are many local Ticos who live in what we would think of as shacks –however they don’t feel poor. You are correct! We try to put our ideals on them. If they are happy living in a “shack” and only want nice jeans and a drink– I think that’s fine and really admirable.They are happy with just a little. We try and try to change things here–I am guilty also. But after living here for a number of years I see how happy the Ticos are ( not all) but to have their family, some rice and beans etc, they are genuinely happy. Observe the families together–kids holding hands with their mother– we never see ethat in USA–usually bratty kids who are dis satisfied with everything. It makes me wonder when I see such a close family–it is a nice thing to see– however on another note– they will steal what you have and lie to you to get more– that is what changes this rosy picture. The underlying hate for Gringos and the willingness to steal what the next person has.Gringo or Tico-they steal with imputiny. Lie –only if their lips are moving, and generally their hearts are full of evil at all times. Yes they hold the hands of their young– but the otherhand is searching your pocket. I guess everything is tainted–just stay home and hug your loved ones–and stay out of Costa Rica–as one reader just said– stay in Montana or somewhere in the good “ol USA if you want to be happy because as he said– there is no peace in CR–never– all will be stolen from you by other Gringos or the Ticos– crime doesn’t have a color– the gringos here are usually and by and large–thieves or druggies or worse and the Ticos have grown up thinking how to cheat at every opportunity– so better to stay in good “ol USA and try to find a small town, buy a fuel efficient car;; get out of debt– That is what Brother Morris Cerulo told us in 1999 when God told him what was coming–the deepest, worst depression we have ever known–and it has started and will get worse.. Don’t be caught living in CR when it really gets bad because we all know who will be targeted. YOU and I–( except I have already left)

  • Hydrangea

    Do the crime, do the time. Can’t make bail, stay in jail. Arrogant gringos need to learn that we dont need their help. Our country is fine. Please go home.

  • duke ster

    Let’s hear this guy’s story–seems he hasn’t attempted to explain himself–why? All we have heard from him is that the jail system is bad -well Costa Rica IS a 3rd world country after all, and as someone already pointed out the justice system in CR is based on Napoleonic law which as I understand it means you are guilty until proven innocent.. Why doesn’t this guy try to explain himself. We have heard that he has received $500,000 per month and more in payments and hasn’t issued stocks. Will he dispute this claim? Who would give someone $500,000 and not have some kind of collateral? I wouldn’t invest $50 without some kind of paperwork. Who has this kind of cash these days? The people I know who have money are very smart and know waaaay more than I about investments and doing your due diligence. This smells very fishy if you ask me. VERY FISHY for people to make payments of $500,000 and not have anything to back it up. Where is the cash? If it is in a Costa Rican bank, they will easily freeze the account I would think. And with Uncle Sam’s finger in every bank account now– HMMMMMM.. FISHY INDEED! I urge you MR. Jaco Real estate mogul, speak your piece.. Public opinion might help. You have supporters? Let’s hear from them. Why is this guy innocent?

  • duke ster

    By the way, Michael Clarkson, you are on the money about the tax money coming in and yet the roads are a world class joke. I happen to know how they repair roads here as I studied the repairs in person. Instead of cleaning a hole in the asphalt by blowing it clean with a high powered leaf blower or equivalent, they don’t even attempt to clean the hole and as everyone knows–any tar or anything for that matter, won’t stick to loose sand or dirt. And instead of using an asphalt based primer with an OIL based liquid asphalt ( which will bond way better to another asphalt, they use WATER BASED asphalt primer. Now any idiot knows a water based primer is not as “sticky” as a water base. And rain water and traffic weight breaks the poor mixture loose fast. So to fix a hole without doing it correctly The result will not last near as long as a job done right-correct? Well the repair companies have a year to year contract and if the holes stay fixed–what will they have to do the next year? And the city workers who sometimes fix the holes won’t have work if they are fixed correctly. Check it out for yourselves. Stop by a road crew and see the 55 gal drums of asphalt and primer– WATER BASED!!!! A joke but this is job security and we pay with broken cars. So the Ticos are really not good road repairmen are they? Now maybe it makes you wonder.

    • Ben

      Roads are crap and they should fire all that work at MOPT.

  • Michael Clarkson

    I do not know if he is guilty or not but he is right about one thing the prisons here are inhumane for a country that brags about human rights is all a fake and phony campaign, Costa Ricans will do what they know best extort him cheat lie and steal, like the saying goes donde hay un Tico hay Chorizo or where there is a Tico there is a scam this mostly applies to larger scams like the Costa Rican government does on a daily basis. Figueres senior got rid of the army long time ago not for peaceful purposes but because he knew that in the future him his family and friends would be rapping this country and wanted no one to stop them so the people are defenseless all they can do is protest and they can be easily be taken of by their bull dog thugs of the fuerza publica. Things are getting bad in this country but the government tries to deny it they use sports to distract people from the real problems just like the Romans did with the Coliseum same stragedy and the average person buys this mentality, every decade this place goes down hill drastically, the government people will continue to drain CR’s resources until they can no more than they will flee to live in another country and this place will become just like Cuba, people will swing to the left more and more, life is expensive here and is getting worse, any one that has any money invested here, get out before it is too late and that day is coming. Pat Hundley probably got too greedy and did not want to brie people because how many foreign investors have been screwed by Costa Ricans??? or by the system?? if we all went by the book half of the country would be in jail, he is in jail because is political and he pissed off the wrong people he probably did not want ot pay off people so they want his money the hard way, but being in jail they got him and are waiting for him to give up the cash, does Costa Rica care about the investors that lost their money no way, they just want to get their paws on the cash that is all they care about, justice is the last thing on their mind.

    • duke ster

      Dang, Michael Clarkson–You said it all!

  • Michael Clarkson

    Rivers of dirty money run thru CR drugs,sports betting,casinos,prostitution ect billions of dollars are being laundered in this country daily even Colombia washes their money here why because prostitution is legal and all politicians are prostitues, this country has no self identity from top to bottom it is open for business 24/7 and it will sell out to the highest bidder. Hundley used bureaucracy to his favor until it came back to bite him, do you think he was reporting to the IRS what he was making down here??? No way, so the irony of this whole thing is that he is right and he is wrong. So do you think the US government is going to help him now, no they are going to get their cut thru the Costa Rican government or at least let Costa Rica keep it all for a deal behind close doors, US politicians are also corrupt. The American people and Costa Ricn people are decent is their governments that are evil, two different things.

  • syddiggers

    ” The conditions at this prison are inhumane and something you hear about in third world countries,” the web site states. ”

    Who would have thought that a prison in a Third World country might resemble something that you might hear about in Third World countries?

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