Costa Rican Immigration Police attack activist Josué Garay

Costa Rican Immigration Police attack activist Josué Garay

Journalist and human rights activist Joshua Gary, exiled in Costa Rica, reported that on May 10, a migration agent from the neighboring country to the south, with chip number 326, physically and verbally assaulted him.

Through a public complaint on his social networks, the 29-year-old communicator pointed out that the incident happened when he was on his way to pick up a package that was sent by his brother from Nicaragua.

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According to Garay, he suffered racist, xenophobic and homophobic treatment, after he was detained by migration agents on the bus he was traveling on, after picking up the package.

“When requesting documents, I pointed out (to the agent) that I could give my card number, but that I didn’t have it and I had it in my house in San José because if it gets lost, getting it out again is a headache,” he said. which caused the hostility of the immigration authority.

“Officer 326, shouting and pushing, told me to get off the bus, where other Nicaraguans were also traveling. I asked him to stop yelling and calm down, because that wasn’t the way to go, but he told me to shut up, that I had no rights in this country and he grabbed his gun as a sign of threat,” denounced the also activist and He added that all the aggression was evidenced in the cameras of the bus.

“They treated me like a criminal”

He also said that one of the worst humiliations that happened was that the agent made fun of him because of the color of his skin “and he even offended some women because of his indigenous features, without forgetting that they kept us in the sun for about an hour and a half.”

He emphasized that the agent who was vicious against him began to treat him as a criminal, threw him against the minibus in which they were traveling and began to search him violently. «He squeezed my hands very hard, especially in my left hand where I have a permanent injury, he kicked me twice in the feet, so that I would open my legs more. I told him that he was wrong, but the humiliation was worse ».

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“It is important to point out that I know very well my duties and rights in Costa Rica, because I do have rights, even though officer 326 has told me no. Since he got us off the bus he told us that no one used cell phones, that we put them away. This is clearly done to prevent someone from recording the violence and aggression with which they act », he stressed.

Garay stated that the complaint is not against the Costa Rican people, “much less against the government of President Rodrigo Chaves, because Costa Rica is a country where rights and freedom are lived and breathed.”

Costa Rican migration police attack journalist Josué Garay

“This is a complaint against agent 326. Costa Rica and its system cannot let people like this affect their image. I don’t know if all Migration agents act like this, but if so, they deserve investigation and sanctions », she said.

After the attacks suffered, Garay assured that he was forced to sign a document under intimidation, where they pointed out “invented things” or that they had nothing to do with me. “I will not allow this type of abuse to continue against the migrant or refugee population. Rights we do have. A right that is not defended is a right that is lost »he emphasized.

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Josué Garay concluded by denouncing that in two weeks he has met activists who have suffered inhuman treatment by immigration authorities. “They have even been threatened with deportation.”

The journalist has been in exile since August 2021, after being threatened with jail by the Daniel Ortega regime. In short communication with Article 66, He indicated that he will file a formal complaint in internal Migration matters to prevent the violation of the rights of other migrants.

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