A Canadian cattleman died because he was trying to stop a man who rented his pastures from selling off his cows, according to the prosecutor in Garabito.
That was the explanation put forth Wednesday by the Poder Judicial when the agency reported preventative detention was sought against three men who are suspects in the murder of the cattleman and his long-time ranch hand.
The dead men are Jacques Cloutier, 59, identified as a Canadian, and Luis Antonio Angulo Díaz, 70, a long-time employee from La Cruz in Guanacaste. Cloutier was a major home builder in Florida and had spent many years in Costa Rica. He had a cattle operation in Osa. He and Angulo traveled to the Pacific coast to check up on cattle there. Angulo had come from La Cruz to help.
The Poder Judicial identified the suspects by the last names of Guerrero, Navarro and Torres. A summary clarified an earlier report by the Judicial Investigating Organization.
The Poder Judicial said that arrests were made Tuesday in Ipís de Goicoechea and Mata de Plátano de Turrubares.
The bodies were discovered about 5 a.m. May 14, a Saturday. Both men were in the front seats of a Toyota vehicle. Cloutier was shot in the neck and Angulo in the left ear, agents determined.
The Poder Judicial said that investigation showed that Cloutier had a contract with Guerrero under which the Costa Rican rented pasture land for raising cattle. Cloutier realized that in addition to renting the pasture, Guerrero was selling the Canadian’s cows without his consent, the Poder Judicial said. That is why the Canadian went to Quebrada Amarilla near Jacó to seek an explanation from the tenant.
The Poder Judicial said that prosecutors will claim that the murder was premeditated because Guerrero paid the other two men to help. The murderers killed Angulo simply to keep him from telling police about the murder, the Poder Judicial said. The case is being handled by the Juzgado Penal de Garabito.