Dear A.M. Costa Rica:
The disturbing arrest of Dave Strecker is by no means the only flagrant abuse of the country’s legal system by the government, the courts or the judges.
What is most galling is the mirror image treatment of crime against North Americans here. There have been over 20 burglaries in the northwest Guanacaste area in recent weeks that have been reported to local police. As the snowbirds return from Canada and the U.S. and discover their possessions gone and their homes ransacked, the number will climb. Two of the perpetrators were caught, jailed for a short time and let go because “the drugs made them do it,” and so they walk! They both have dozens of similar crimes on their records, including robbery at knifepoint, home invasion and use of illegal firearms.
Cuba Dave’s arrest is a symptom of discrimination against foreigners much like the high-profile murder case that was prosecuted three times against Anne Bender. We should be outraged and demand equal treatment under the law, but the foreigners in the U.S. receive no better treatment at the hands of our justice system. To do so would only perpetuate the image of arrogant, “do as I say, not as I do” ex-pats in Costa Rica.
Cuba Dave is Costa Rica’s drunk uncle, exposing an embarrassing side of their culture for the world to see. How long they imprison him for as a scapegoat remains to be seen.