Law Is Signed that Punishes with 20 To 35 Years in Prison Whoever Commits Hate Crimes in Costa Rica

    Penalty will be applied to whoever kills a person because of their skin color, physical characteristics, sexual orientation, gender identity, among others

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    This past Monday, the law was signed at the Presidential Office that imposes a prison sentence of 20 to 35 years on anyone who commits hate crimes in Costa Rica.

    This is a modification to article 112 of the Penal Code where the typification of what is classified as a hate crime is added, that is, when a person must be tried for killing another because of their skin color, physical characteristics, sexual orientation, gender identity, among others.

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    The law was promoted by the deputy of the Citizen Action Party (PAC), Enrique Sánchez, and adds in subsection 11 of article 112 (of the Penal Code) the crimes that are executed for reasons of race, ethnicity, sex, religion, disability, nationality, political opinion, social origin, economic situation or health condition.

    Sánchez indicated that these types of crimes are different and deserve a different analysis because they do not correspond to “an attack against that person, it is a related attack against a community and a population.”

    Principles and love, and the equality of all people

    For the President of the Republic, Carlos Alvarado Quesada, the signing of the new law has a component of principles and love, and the equality of all people is sought. The President said that all people must be equal before the State and before the law and that no one should be discriminated against.

    “In this law that we have signed, which makes the reality of hate crimes visible, because for many, who qualify as skeptics, who mention, well no, it is a crime… a crime is a crime, but you have to see that there is a motivation behind it and that motivation is hurting people’s freedom and hurting people themselves, which are painful facts, no one should live in fear in Costa Rican society, not even because of their condition of ethnicity, nor because of their sexual orientation, nor because of their ideas, nor because of their religion, nor because of anything”.

    “Nobody, that’s what equality is about and that’s what freedom is about and to the extent that there are, even in a democratic and free society like ours, people who live in fear for being, for exercising their freedom is something that we calls on everyone to fight. It is a matter of principles, it is a matter of love,” Alvarado said, adding that he was satisfied with the work he did in favor of human rights during his administration.

    Mention was made at the event of some of the people who have suffered hate crimes in Costa Rica and the representatives of the different sectors applauded the signing of the law and the support for each of the groups involved.

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