Tomayko case reveals a larger problem here

A.M. Costa Rica’s article titled “Tomayko manipulated media” describes how Ms. Tomayko, Ms. Del Vecchio and the Costa Rican government thumbed their collective noses at international law and the laws of another sovereign nation which was the court of competent jurisdiction in Tomayko’s legal matter.

The article ends with the statement, “However, there have been no obvious consequences.”  The operative word is obvious because indeed there are and continue to be consequences.

When the population of Costa Rica was under a 500,000 people, the quaint legal system based on the old Royal Spanish court system seemed to work.  The uneducated peons were ruled by the agricultural aristocracy.  Read that as coffee barons and the United Fruit Company.

The old Spanish system, like other European legal systems, was known historically to be highly prejudicial, unnecessarily complicated, convoluted and outcomes were dependent upon to whom one was connected.

It was not based on the rule of law. The rule of law means that no one is above the law (equality under the law) and no one can be penalized by the state unless it is has been proven the person had violated the law.

Now that Costa Rica is a nation of 4 million and it has important international influence including a thriving tourism and expat sector, the inadequacies of the failure to abide by the rule of law are causing the system to crumble.  In other words, for an elite segment of the populace, it is not against the law to violate the law.

The issue of Tomayko and the governments’ unilateral decision to disregard of international treaties and the laws of another nation with which Costa Rica agreed to comply is tangential to the core issues which is the lack of a systemic-legal integrity, consistency and reliability.

The issue is that Costa Rica will never reach first world status in large part due to its failure to put the rule of law first.  While that is a not necessarily an obvious outcome, it is never the less a significant outcome.

P. H. Anders

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