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20 years

Officers involved in shooting incident at Solís residence stick to their story

The police officers involved in a shooting outside the home of the Costa Rican president say their version of events are accurate. (Photo courtesy of

The police officers involved in a shooting outside the home of the Costa Rican president say their version of events are accurate. (Photo courtesy of

July 18th, 2014 ( Four of the six police officers who are under investigation by the Public Prosecutor for allegedly fabricating a crime scene after a shooting incident near the residence of President Luis Guillermo Solís are sticking to their version of events.


Prosecutors and Public Security Minister, Celso Gamboa, believe the officers fabricated a story in which they claim they came under fire from two men on a motorcycle while guarding the home of the President.  Prosecutors believe instead the incident occured due to one officer accidentally discharging his firearm, striking another officer in the leg.  Gamboa and prosecutors base their assertion on evidence that would suggest that the shot was fired from within the police vehicle.


Gamboa also claimed earlier that the officers were not in fact assigned to be guarding the president’s home.


For their part, the officers – including the officer who was shot – claim they were in fact on duty to guard the president’s home, and claim they are telling the truth in their version of events.


“We will not delve into the facts, we are willing to continue the investigation.  Our version has never changed,” said Hector Coto, the officer who was shot in the incident.  Coto said he heard gunshots from a speeding motorcycle when he realized he had been hit.


Minor Anchia, a representative of the National Association of Public Employees (ANEP), said Public Security Minister, Celso Gamboa, was wrong to publicly accuse the officers without following due process.  “[Gamboa] behaved before the media not as a minister but as a prosecutor,” Anchia said.

You be the judge.

You be the judge. (Photo courtesy of the Public Security Ministry)


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  • duke ster

    Wow–one of the higher ups, Gamboa, the Public Security Minister,Now says the officers weren’t even on duty to protect the President! WTF? What is going on here? If this isn’t a perfect example of why us Americans just can’t stand life here in Ticoland–I don’t know what is. Shouldn’t is rather easy to ascertain whether these officers were on duty or not? I personally am fed up with Ticos and their lying clusterf=ck ways. You can’t even get a straight answer from anyone. And now that the editor has posted a photo of the bullet hole in the police vehicle ( Nice investigative journalism by the way Tim!) I don’t know how you get ahold of these facts and information but with your extensive efforts to find the truth, we , as readers, get an incredible close up of the behind the scene facts and truths. I gave credit to the OIJ for their investigations but as you have shown us, your readers, it is rather easy for anyone to ascertain which direction the bullet was fired from. Even in the face of this overwhelming evidence the cops STILL stick to their story that the shots came from a passing motorcycle? INCREDIBLE!!! It just goes to show you how STUPID these Ticos really are. faced with the photo showing CLEARLY that the bullet came from inside the patrol car-they STILL keep to their lie. I just don’t know what to say.. except we can’t do anything about this as Americans. This messed up culture is so permeated with low down sleazy lying cheating morally bankrupt actions ==deeply ingrained in each and every one of them, that this kind of low life behavior is simply accepted and life goes on .Sad Sad sad.Kudos to Tim for showing this photo so as to ( at least for the intelligent Americans) put an end to any possible speculation of the events as to how it really happened. I am just –I don’t even know how to describe how deflated this makes me–to see how these shitheads continue their lives in such a low fashion. Just thank God you are not stuck in a jail or prison here in Costa Rica and would have to face this kind of reality and need to pin your hopes of freedom on finding any real justice or truthful . honest morally upright persons in power to help you get out. Watch your P’s and Q’s my fellow Americans and don’t mess up in any fashion so as to never have to depend on coming across any good honest persons here to help you. God what a mess of snakes these people are and this story unfolding justifies my statements. It’s like living in Hell in my opinion. Actually I had a poignant moment here one day when I realized ( with all my money and the supposed prestige I thought it afforded me as far as living in a good area) I was living in ( any neighborhood) a country which was more or less the equivalent of living in the Ghetto–any Ghetto in the USA. I was living in a home which had burglar bars all around it, I couldn’t park my car on the street at night, I really couldn’t park my car on the street in the daylight without paying a “guard” to protect it at EVERY moment. I was finding myself constantly on my guard for not only my personal safety but for the safety of my belongings, really having to plan travel trips to San Jose so as to not find myself being on the streets or of finding myself in traffic late at night. Making reasonably sure my vehicle had a jack, safety lights and so on in the event of having a flat tire or in the event of having my tires punctured while I was in the bank (( because it has happened more than once). Having at least 2 cans of emergency fix a flat in case the thieves punctured my tires at the bank or while shopping ( so they could catch me off guard and helpless and then have the opportunity to rob me at gunpoint while I might allow someone to approach me to offer “help” for my “unfortunate” incident. I had the moment of clarity that I had moved myself from the relative safety of living in a so-so but safe neighborhood in the USA to a whole COUNTRY of Ghetto like living reality. I might be able to afford a nicer home here but I also realized that I would never be able to escape living in the GHETTO because the ENTIRE COUNTRY is an actual Ghetto. And not to Costa Rica bash because Costa Rica is one of the nicer, safer countries in Central or South America and the people on the whole are nicer, friendlier and seem happier. Wait until you get a load of Nicaragua or Guatemala or El Salvador or Honduras! Costa Rica will seem like an upscale paradise. Even WITH all the unsavory conditions I have outlined above.

    • disgusted

      You made your case and that of the OIJ. Wait till their Union get involved and these “‘Officers”" will be re instated. And with back pay and a small settlement. When they should be disgraced. If, these Tico’s even have that feeling inside them. What a dog and pony show.

      • disgusted

        Forensic should be able to tell what gun the bullet came from. The one that was shot. OR does this bullet just disappear or become too damaged to find out? I only see one bullet hole in the car door going out and maybe the one bullet in officer leg so two bullets fired? So a hail of bullets where did they land. The officer shot will be getting his sick pay at least and roll that over to a “disability” of some sorts a long with some other honor. Jeez! Costa Rica.

    • roberto

      Yea, a picture is worth a thousand words. In the original story on July 11th, “Initial reports indicate that the gunmen fired a “hail of bullets” at police.” OK, so where did all of those bullets go? Any spent casings found at the scene? Bullet holes in buildings or other vehicles?

      • duke ster

        You are on the ball Roberto–if you were in charge of the investigation–I think the liars would have to confess immediately. with your questions and Tim’s photographic evidence
        the liars would have no option but to fess up–well maybe. as we see–they continue to lie even though the evidence is there in plain sight to see. How do you deal with that kind of ,well, “Ticoness” for lack of BETTER term. Maybe I should just keep quiet as the reader Frank told me, “why don’t you talk about positive things”? Well Frank, it seems that I simply can’t find positive things to write about when I am faced with such staunch bullshit –in the face of facts yet! So I speak of what I see. And the tool told me I was “spewing vitriol”, well here again, I am speaking about what I see reported here on “inside Costa Rica” and giving my 2 cents worth. If it is not positive or if it fits into what one reader calls vitriol–so be it! I mean how does an ordinary somewhat intelligent North American who was brought up with values and brought up to NOT lie, steal, cheat and brought up to treat others with respect, deal with this “Ticoness” I ask you? It makes my soul sick, that’s what it does, it makes me sick to my very soul. Thank God for America–yes I said it and I mean it more and more every day and I am learning just how fortunate I really am to have been raised in a country, or at least the Midwest part of the country, where a man’s word meant something, where I was taught to open doors for women and the elderly and to respect others, Where I was taught that it is a VERY seriously bad thing to steal or to be less than honest in all dealings with my fellow man. I am soooo happy to be an American and since living in and experiencing living in such a morally bankrupt society, I appreciate where I came from -more and more every day.–Hey Frank–we are still waiting to read your new blog about the positive aspects of living among these fine people. Years ago when I 1st arrived in CR, I hired a man who was an “expediter” who helped me to rapidly obtain my drivers licenses etc etc. he was worth every cent I paid him and more. Robert was his name if any of you know him. Robert had a super direct “line” and insight on the people and culture of Costa Rica, he was really a gem and if he should be one of Inside Costa Rica’s readers. Thanks Robert-you really deserve a lot more than I gave you. Anyway I had seen the houses in some country towns -that they didn’t have so many bars on the windows and I said to Robert that these country people must be better people than city dwellers because they weren’t so paranoid. Robert replied that they were every bit the thieving bastards the city people were –the reason that they didn’t have so many bars was that since everyone knew each other–they would know who it was who stole whatever was missing–it was that small of a community. ha ha–so much for the country folk being better people–Robert was right. And I noticed that the people would chat with their neighbors from behind the bars of their individual home prisons and Robert told me it was because no one would allow a neighbor inside their home because everyone knows that they are thieves and don’t want to give their neighbor the inside info on what they had or give them the opportunity to steal something. Ha ha. I hired a neighbor to help me move and to do things and he would ride in my truck. I had some locks which I had left on the floorboard and thinking no one would steal a lock was surprised when they came up missing. One day –much later- I asked the neighbor what kind of a low down thief would steal a paddle lock because it was not worth anything without the key ( I thought) and he replied that it was worth about 1 dollar if sold to the locksmith who could make a key. So my neighbor who I would think would be thankful that I hired him, would steal even my paddle locks when he had the chance–just to gain 1 dollar! Again, what a piece of shit!. He got his small motorcycle stolen one day while he was visiting someone at the hospital. I asked him if he didn’t lock it and he said no. I asked why? He replied that he believed Ticos were honest people!!!! I was flabbergasted and got a laugh out of a Nicaraguan who was standing nearby when I replied to my neighbor that he was in error to not lock his motorcycle as the Ticos were known as the biggest thieves in the world, To be fair to the Ticos and so as to not bash them, The whole latin culture is known to be thieves. ALL LATINS– it is a cultural flaw I am afraid. I started learning this when I was first exposed to the latin culture ( Cuban) when I moved to South beach Miami beach.ha ha ha. Even an upscale developer who was touting his community in Ecuador said the same during one of his sales blods veered into the truth. he said stealing was a latin cultural flaw. I mean look around at the European fine culture– years–no, centuries of Classical music and fine art– fine culture abounding, fine wines and foods and music and dancing and architecture-etc etc. And what do we have here? Look around Costa Rica–what do the Ticos produce anyway? Any architectural individual influences? Any art? Any sculpture? Any music? Any fine or individual cultural influences? Not that I can discern. I was sooo disappointed when I first arrived here in CR. I was expecting some adobe architecture, some colorful buildings and culture, and what is the first thing I noticed? Small cramped houses on bare un interesting streets with bars on everything–right up to the street, bars and barbed wire and razor wire– WTF? But since I was a dog in heat and nothing more, I overlooked all that negativity in favor of the fine butts on the girls. I say that to interject an answer to the question sure to follow by someone as to why I even stayed on here. Well that is the answer–shamefully that is the answer. The women of Costa Rica are very pretty indeed. Vapid and hollow and selfish and greedy and uninteresting, but pretty. Now, after years of exposure to them, I wouldn’t touch one of them with your d**K. WHY? you might ask? Well they say hat usually a baby is born with his head coming out first but a Costa Rican is born with his hand coming out first. One very positive thing I CAN say about the Costa Rican wowmen is –well more than one thing actually. Ihave a lot of good things to say about them and the men also. For instance a Costa Rican woman doesn’t go out on the street wearing a sloppy T-shirt and sloppy shorts, smoking a cigarette ( like the typical American woman. The Tica takes care to dress up with a matching ensemble of color matched shoes and belt, color on her fingernails, nice high heels–even if she is going to the grocery store–she is cognisant of her image and steps out looking as fresh and sexy as she can. Now I as a man ,appreciate her effort. I really do and I sometimes–heck a lot of the time–I make a nice comment to her. This brings up another point I appreciate about the women of Costa Rica, I tell a woman to her face how pretty she is, how good she smells and more. I even sometimes say” Buenas tennies” which is “nice tennis shoes” but is really a Costa Rican colloquialism meaning nice breasts. And you know what? I get a nice smile–about 99.9 % of the time, which makes me feel even better about the women of Costa Rica. And I flirt like crazy with them–nothing serious but flirt andsmile and say some sexy things and you know what? They LIKE it! Thay show their appreciation with some innocent sexy remarks back or at least a nice smile. Not a nasty evil,”I am going to call the police” type of stare or such that I will most certainly receive from an uptight woman from the USA. And the guys here don’t take offence when I ogle their woman-heck I will go up to a couple ( when the girl is a knockout) and smile and shake the man’s hand and congratulate him on his fine choice in selecting such a beauty, and the guy usually smiles and shakes my hand and agrees. Fun had all around. All innocent. Well Frank you got me to write positive things about the Costa Rican people after all. So after some thought and extensive writing I see why I live here and why I put up with all the idiots and liars and thieves. It’s the relaxed attitudes of the people and the easy going fun to be had at every turn of the day. And the Beautiful women!!!! God Bless the beautiful costa Rican women and the easy going fun guys. After all– everyone has a lot of fun here at every opportunity and they don’t take things too seriously and they take all the vacations they can. heck there are many good points about living in Costa Rica after all.. I am sure nobody actually reads my lengthy posts anyway.

        • mhogan

          Agree that a lot of theft and corruption is cultural but it’s also disrespect for others — it’s all about them. Coming from Canada, I had occasions to show Latin friends here different scenes of Canada — one was of a downtown shopping area where merchants had street sales. The comments were interesting: “how do they stop people from stealing the merchandise if it is out in the open like that?” “Where are all the security guards?” etc. I was left without words to explain that “civilized” people have a level of honesty ingrained in them (what I didn’t say was that just to notice this lack of thievery was an admission that there’s something wrong here).

          • duke ster

            I know-it’s incredible ! Ticos just can’t understand how other countries work–how newspapers are for sale in a machine where anyone could reach in and take all of them, which is exactly what your average Tico on the street would do. It is just too much for them to take in. Imagine, a chance to steal and no one does it? They simply cannot wrap their minds around it–just like your story of showing them how some of the rest of the world lives. People living in honor of each other and having respect for each other’s possessions? This true statement of mhogan showing a photo of a civilized society to heathens is a cultural example which should really be studied by others so as to see just how the people of Costa Rica think and act. It is a complete other world to be sure. However I am not bashing the Ticos all the time. Just observing other people’s experiences with Ticos having the opportunity to see how other cultures treat each other with respect is proof enough of the low low low morals which are deeply ingrained in the peoples here. But AGAIN, there are good points to living in Costa Rica also. To decide that you have had enough of watching your back every minute or whether living here is worth it is something each person has to deal with. Someone just commented that they were afraid of being killed and having their property stolen, Sadly this can and does happen. Some who live here stay up in their walled in , mostly Foreigner occupied neighborhoods and don’t actually mix with real Ticos on a daily basis or even a business basis. These are usually the defenders of the Ticos, they have no real idea or reality of how life here actually is. When you have to deal with them up close and personal such as in business and see how sad the life here actually is–that’s when it hits home. Then I personally become saddened because I realize that I am truly living in a scary reality where I could be robbed and killed at any moment. An interesting story–I had stopped at a roadside home which had a sign making business and I saw a nice home across the street. I asked who lived in such a nice walled in compound? I was told it was owned by the former milk salesman who walked around the neighborhood selling milk from his cart and that the previous owner was an elderly gringo who had no family and who had “given” his home to the neighborhood milkman upon his death. I immediately said that I believed the old gringo was probably buried somewhere in the backyard of the home. How in the f*ck does a milkman inherit such a property upon the death of the Gringo? I would bet mybottom dollar that the milkman learned the old gringo had no relatives or loved ones and simply killed the old gringo and took his house. If any of you bleeding hearts want to investigate the story let me know. Just watch your a** down here-that;s all I have to say.

        • roberto

          All aboard…get on the gravy train!

          The National Scholarship Fund
          (FONABE) has reported that 640 irregularly applied for
          scholarships were allocated. 640 economic benefits were given to children of employees of the Ministry of Public Education (MEP).

          This is stated in a report of May 7, 2014 of the Office of Grants Management FONABE
          addressed to the former Minister of Education, Leonardo Garnier.

          The report includes names and identification numbers of officials
          who receive monthly salaries that are out of range to qualify if a family lives in poverty or extreme poverty, which is a requirement for assistance. The
          breach of any of the conditions cancels the scholarship.

          Of the total cases, 391 subsidies whose beneficiaries are relatives of people on the payroll of the Ministry, are already in process for the suspension of the scholarship. Jeez, I
          hope that this does not fall into the category of “tabloid journalism.”

  • disqus_r8w0IwvvLw

    There is another explanation. Who here in CR expects gunfire? The CR police officers probably were making small talk and were taken off guard. One mis-shot but the others fired correctly a few times. Look at “Friendly Fire”done by the usa army and other forces who are taken by surprise. Things are never black or white. Somewhere in between.


    What if the bullet traveled through a window on one side of the car and out through the door on the other side. Could that not be a possible scenario? Either way, it should be pretty easy to see where these keystone cops should have been working. I don’t think an investigation should have been totally ruled out, because now the state may be liable. Sadly, I agree with much of the characterization of duke ster, this culture is corrupt from top to bottom.

    • Larry Worsham

      Or, the door might have been open on the other side of the vehicle. Where was the officer when he was shot in the leg? Outside the car? Inside the car? The photo only shows a bullet hole in the door but doesn’t give any indication of the direction the bullet came from; was this door closest to the residence or closest to the street? Speculation without all the facts doesn’t help much.

      I agree with your assessment of duo ster’s comments but I often wonder why he’s still living in Costa Rica. His animosity seems to have no bounds towards the Ticos. We moved from Costa Rica 4 1/2 years ago after living there for 12 years and completely understand the problems in dealing with the Ticos but never held this amount of disrespect for any of them. We returned to the USA only because we wanted to be nearer our growing grandchildren, not because we had become disenfranchised with Costa Rica.

      • mhogan

        You left Costa Rica 4 1/2 yrs ago … that’s about when it really started going downhill. We’ve lived here almost 20 years and the last 5 have taken a decidedly worst track. Thankfully, we’re out of here at the end of the month — to Panama. The only things we’ll miss are our Nicaraguan gardener and domestic worker … wish we could take them with us and they said they’d go in a heartbeat. Have to say there is no love or respect in our beings left for the Ticos in general.

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