Court says prisoner count is not secret

The Sala IV constitutional court has upheld the public’s right to obtain information about the prison population.

In a brief note Tuesday afternoon, the Poder Judicial said that the court upheld an appeal filed by David Delgado, a reporter for La Nación, the Spanish-language daily.

Delgado had asked the Ministerio de Justicia y Paz for a breakdown of prisoner populations in each facility. It is no secret that the country’s prisons are overcrowded.

He was denied his request by the minister, Cristina Ramírez Chavarría, who said that the numbers were state secrets.

The court obviously did not agree, and the Poder Judicial note suggests the decision was unanimous.

Almost immediately, the Ministerio de  Justicia y Paz said that the minister would hold a press conference today, presumably to amplify her side of the story.

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