Former Immigration Director Authorized Return Of
The Spanish language daily, La Nación, reports
that former immigration director, Marco Badilla,
authorized the return of Harry Mannil Laul to
Costa Rica, who according to the Simon
Weisenthal Center, Mannil is a Nazi
In 2001, the Simon Wiesenthal Center called upon
the Estonian government to launch a full-scale
investigation into the World War II activities
of Venezuelan industrialist Harry Mannil who
served in the Estonian Political Police in
Tallinn. He is suspected of actively
participating in the persecution and murder of
at least one hundred civilians, primarily Jews
Badilla alleges to have placed an order against
the entry of Mannil to Costa Rica in February
2003 as a "preventive" measure.
On February 5, 2003, the Simon Wiesenthal Center
praised the swift expulsion from Costa Rica of
Mannil, his escape haven for the previous five
However, La Nación reports that they have
located Mannil in a farm in San Rafael, Heredia.
The current immigration director, Mario Zamora,
confirmed that they are investigating the
legality fo the contradicting resolutions
referring to Mannil that were dictated by
The first resolution dated February 4, 2003,
Badilla says that of that date Mannil's entrance
to Costa Rica will be refused because "his
presence could compromise national security,
public order or way of life".
The resolution was personally handed by Badilla
to Mannil when he was on board an airplane on
his way out of Costa Rica. Following, Badilla
held a press conference explaining the
resolution and the basis for his action.
Notwithstanding, eight months later, Badilla,
signed a second resolution which authorized
Mannil the ability to freely return to Costa
Rica. The decision was never made public to the
The second resolution was signed on November 7,
2003, at 9:30am, and on the same day Mannil
returned to Costa Rica.
Badilla indicated in his second resolution that,
according to documents held by Mannil, the
Government of Estonia considered insufficient
evidence to bring him to trial for his acts
during World War II.
Although both Washington and Jerusalem
maintained their position against Mannil,
Badilla alleges that though it not made clear,
his first resolution banning Mannil from Costa
Rica, was only a "preventive" measure.
The former immigration director justified his
allowing the return of Mannil based on the
documents Mannil's lawyer presented and his age.
Although Mannil alleges to be innocent of all
charges against him and that the criminal
investigation in Estonia found that the
accusations against him were false, he has,
however, admitted to working with the state
security police during the Nazi occupation of
The immigration record of Harry Mannil goes back
to the 1970's when he first visited Costa Rica
and since November7, 2003, he has entered the
country on 12 occasions.
Mannil assures that he owns no property in Costa
Rica and the farm he visits when in Costa Rica
belong to a company that his children are
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the
largest international Jewish human rights
organizations with a membership of over 400,000
families in the United States. It preserves the
memory of the Holocaust through community
programs, outreach and social action. The Center
is an NGO at international agencies including
the United Nations, UNESCO, and the OSCE.