SK-L: COSTA RICA: PRESIDENT TO DISCUSS SEX TOURISM WITH CASA ALIANZA (fwd)

Leslie Schentag (wy497@victoria.tc.ca)
Mon, 1 Mar 1999 19:49:35 -0800 (PST)


  Leslie Schentag
  Gremlin Research Consultants
  Web Site: http://firms.findlaw.com/gremlinz


  "When Freedom Is Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Be Free"
					-F.T.W. Productions, 1992.

 "It is better to die on your feet than live a lifetime on your knees"
					-Emiliano Zapata


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 1999 15:36:31 -0600
From: Casa Alianza - Regional Office <casalnza@sol.racsa.co.cr>
Reply-To: streetkid-l@jbu.edu
To: lisab@iadb.org, streetkid-l@jbu.edu
Subject: SK-L: COSTA RICA: PRESIDENT TO DISCUSS SEX TOURISM WITH CASA ALIANZA

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Press Release 								March 1st, 1999


               Costa Rican president agrees to discuss 
                         child sex tourism.

The Regional Director of Casa Alianza, Bruce Harris, is to meet 
with the Costa Rican president Miguel Angel Rodroguez, in order to 
discuss the growing problem of child sex tourism in Costa Rica. 
After a series of high profile news reports, which featured the 
issue, and a deafening silence from the Government,  Harris 
sought an interview with the President which will be held in the 
presidential offices on March the 9th.

Casa Alianza, a non profit advocacy group for children in Mexico 
and Central America and which has its headquarters in San JosTheta, 
Costa Rica, began to raise the alarm over child sex tourism 2 
years ago. To date the organisation has investigated and 
prosecuted sex tourists and other adults who sexually abuse 
children from Germany, Switzerland, the United States, Chile, 
Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica and Sweden. 

Currently the organisation is investigating a number of child sex 
tourism cases here in Costa Rica, working closely with the Costa 
Rican Judicial Investigative Unit (OIJ) and the Federal Bureau of 
Investigation (FBI) in the United States of America. 

Casa Alianza believes that Costa Rica, and Central America as a 
whole, is being targeted by paedophiles and other child sex 
tourists who, in addition, are increasingly using the internet to both
exploit children and as a means of passing information to other 
abusers.
Costa Rica has the dubious honour of being featured on a number 
of such
Internet sites, for example the Internet web page "World Sex 
Guide".

o While the government and tourists authorities would like to 
highlight the development of Eco-tourism Costa Rica is also home 
to large numbers of dedicated North American and European sex 
tourists,oe commented Harris oIn addition, many male tourists who 
may come to Costa Rica for other reasons such as surfing or 
water sports, also sexually exploit children during their stay,oe he 
finished.

Harris also pointed out that there had been a number of high profile 
raids
by the National Childhood Foundation, know by its Spanish 
acronym PANI;
the police and other organisation leading up to a recent CNN 
documentary
on child sex tourism in Costa Rica.

oHopefully after this meeting we will be able to get the issue of 
child sex tourism placed on the political agenda once and for all,oe 
said Harris.

As  of February 4th, 1999: A study of the 160 foreigners 
    detained in Costa Rica for sexual abuse of children between 
    1992 and 1994, 25% were from the United States; 18% 
    Germans; 14% Australians; 12% British and 6% French. Costa 
    Rica is a growing destination for "sex tourism". (La  Prensa 
    Libre,)
In  late 1998, the Director of the Costa Rican Judicial 
    Investigative Unit (known as the OIJ for it's Spanish acronym) 
    admitted that at least one half of one percent of the close to 
    one million foreign visitors to Costa Rica each year, were so 
    called "sex tourists"(La Prensa, ) in other words 5,000 sex 
    tourists.

SimilarlyCarlos Roverssi, former President from the National 
    Childhood Foundation, the Costa Rican government's child 
    welfare agency, admitted that "there has been an accelerated 
    increase in child prostitution" in the country. He further 
    mentioned that "80% of the children who prostitute themselves 
    were sexually abused, often by their own family members". 
    Roverssi blamed the increase in the child sex tourism on the 
    promotion of Costa Rica on the Internet in both Europe and the 
    United States. He agreed that the numbers of children being 
    commercially sexually exploited in the country with a total 
    population of barely 4 million people, "could be scandalously 
    higher".


Bruce Harris will meet with Costa Rican President, Miguel Angel 
Rodroguez, on Tuesday the 9th of March at 4pm.
________________________________________________________
For more information please contact Casa Alianza on 506 253 
5439 or <bruce@casa-alianza.org> or <media@casa-alianza.org>


--------------------------------------------
Casa Alianza/Covenant House Latin America
SJO 1039
PO Box 025216, Miami FL 33102-5216  USA

Tel. in Costa Rica: +506-253-5439 or 253-6338
Fax in Costa Rica:  +506-224-5689

Home page address: http://www.casa-alianza.org

-------------------------------
"In their little worlds in which children have their existence, 
there is nothing so finely perceived and so finely felt, 
as injustice...."

Charles Dickens, "Great Expectations"
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