Judicial report on narco infiltration stresses ethics

The judicial branch came out with a report Tuesday that said steps would be taken to prevent  infiltration of organized crime and drug criminals.

The report is the work of the high-level committee set up in May to investigate the penetration of organized crime and drug traffickers into the judiciary.

The summary of the report, released by the Poder Judicial, was predictable. The initial focus was on the judicial circuit in Limón. This was where a judge was accused of influencing the outcome of drug cases.

The committee said that judicial vacancies in the province should be filled and that the selections should be well vetted.

The report also said that a study should be initiated to identify weaknesses in the organizational climate.

The report also said a plan should be executed to strengthen the values and ethics for the judicial personnel. The judiciary’s human relation’s department has an ethics unit.

The report also urged more training in ethics.

The judiciary also was instructed by the report to give the resources necessary to its Comisión de Transparencia so infiltration by criminal groups could be confronted.

Also sought are ways so that citizens can report irregularities relating to organized crime more rapidly. Toll-free phone lines, Web pages and email systems were suggested.

The committee was supposed to report in 30 days, but it said more judicial workers were brought into the study.

The summary report did not say if there had been organized crime penetration into the judicial branch.

The full report was approved by the full Corte Suprema de Justicia.  The committee was headed by Zarela Villanueva Monge, the president of the court.

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