Lawmakers shelve plan to reform presidential police organization

Lawmakers Thursday shelved a bill that would have reorganized the  Dirección de Inteligencia y Seguridad del Estado, which is generally regarded as the secret police of the Presidencia.

President Luis Guillermo Solís made the agency a point in his campaign and promised to close it down. Instead, he appointed a trusted confident, Mariano Figueres Olsen, to run it.

The Dirección de Inteligencia y Seguridad reports directly to the minister of the Presidencia outside the system that controls other police agencies. The agency has been accused of being a political police force that has invaded the rights of citizens.

After the collapse of the high interest Villalobos Brothers investment scheme, the organization investigated a number of expats because some had made empty threats against the government for closing down what later was characterized as a ponzi scheme.

The Comisión de Seguridad y Narcotráfico has struggled with proposals to reform the agency for several months. The decision to withdraw the bill was unanimous. Lawmakers generally agreed that the country needs an organization that can generate valuable intelligence, particularly since Costa Rica has no armed forces.

After he took office, Solís said that the Dirección de Inteligencia y Seguridad was the appropriate agency to maintain contact with similar agencies in other countries.

At one time the Dirección de Inteligencia was the local representative of the International Police Agency. But now that relationship is handled by the Judicial Investigating Organizationsssherlock091914

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