Casa Presidencial again labels a public document as a state secret

The Luis Guillermo Solís administration is surprising newspeople and lawmakers by designating certain documents as secret.

The situation started when a La Nación reporter sought to get totals of the number of inmates being housed at the country’s various prisons. This is a routine request, but the reporter was denied the information.

La Nación brought a Sala IV complaint, and the court ruled that the reporter should get the information. But La Nación said Wednesday that the minister of Justicia y Paz, Cristina Ramírez Chavarría, has declined to do so despite the court order. She has appealed the decision. She also was the first to use the term state secret.

Lawmakers said Wednesday afternoon that there is another state secret. A reporter sought a list of those who have visited Casa Presidencial. Again this is a document that usually is provided without problems.

Casa Presidencial has declined to provide the list with the contention that it contains the names of informants’ visits to speak with members of the Dirección de Inteligencia y Seguridad del Estado.

Rolando González Ulloa, a lawmaker, said he would propose a bill that would define exactly what is a state secret. He also questioned if informants should be visiting Casa Presidencial in the first place.

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