Stabbing of photog generates outpouring of outrage

At the center of public concern is a critically injured 22-year-old man who is in Hospital Calderón Guardia.

He is the young man who photographed an individual who was taking photographs himself of the rear of a woman while she was walking on the pedestrian boulevard in San José. Although taking photos on a public street is legal, there was an outcry when the 22 year old posted his photos of the man on social media sites.

The older man who was taking the photos used a cell telephone camera and did so surreptitiously. He quickly was labeled a pervert by those who saw his photo on social media sites.

The 22 year old, later identified as Gerardo Cruz Banquero, reported that he chased the man to seek an explanation of his actions until the man left in a taxi. That was Monday.

Television stations and the Spanish-language media picked up the story, and Cruz gave interviews. The man photographing the woman was identified as an employee of the Ministerio de Hacienda, the financial management agency.

The nation’s women’s lobby seized upon the incident as another example of harassment on the city streets. The incident even reached the Defensoria de los Habitantes which issued a statement that said it was embarking on a campaign to eradicate the tradition of men whistling at women or making remarks. Also included were other actions, such as making obscene gestures, making sexual comments, taking photographs of woman as well, as unwelcome touching or exhibitionism.

Cruz was on his way to another media interview Wednesday night about 7:30 in San Sebastian when a car pulled up and an assailant got out and knifed him several times.

The news that Cruz had been knifed ignited a wave of sympathy and outrage. A vice minister of Seguridad Pública, María Fullmen Salazar, called a press conference along with the head of the Fuerza Pública, Juan José Andrade, Thursday morning.

They urged quick action to find the person responsible for the attack.

There were vigils Thursday night in San José, and walls of encouragement for Cruz has gone up in public places. News stories about the case are getting international exposure.

Young people gather at the Plaza de la Democracia for a vigil for Gerardo Cruz.

Young people gather at the Plaza de la Democracia for a vigil for Gerardo Cruz.

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