Chief investigator warns budget cuts will hurt agency

The Fuerza Pública is notorious for having vehicles that do not work. Now the Judicial Investigating Organization may suffer the same fate.

The director, Jorge Rojas, issued a warning Wednesday and said that the investigating agency’s budget is being reduced for 2012-2013. The agency sought a 9 percent increase, but the judiciary is only allowing 4 percent, he said. The reduction in the allowed increase will have a negative impact, said Rojas. The increase appears to be less than inflation.

Rojas said that vehicle maintenance and travel expenses would be greatly reduced. “The situation is of concern given that the increase in criminality in the country and citizen insecurity during recent years means that the judicial police deserve to have the
necessary resources to work and combat crime,” said Rojas. The director nearly quit a year ago over similar problems.

Recently the agency, which is part of the judicial system, has been recruiting new investigators.

He also said that the cuts would hurt lab work, DNA testing, the purchase of needed equipment and also the food that detained individuals get. Suspects are held for a day or two in jail facilities in the judicial complex before they are remanded to the nation’s prison system.

With a few exceptions, it is the Judicial Investigating Organization that does all the detective work in the country. When Fuerza Pública officers respond to a crime, they call in judicial police if investigation is warranted.

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