RE: “No Solace for Solis”

Dear Editor,

Please allow me to submit the following letter in response to your article “No Solace for Solis,” published on May 21.

Your analysis discusses corruption in the Costa Rican judicial system and focuses on the creation of a high commission on such matters by the Costa Rican Supreme Court in order to investigate the links between judges and drug traffickers. The commission was established after the arrest of Rosa Elena Gamboa, a judge from Limón Province who is accused of rigging cases related to drug trafficking crimes in exchange for pay-offs. This revelation shows how far the new administration must go in diminishing corruption in sullied Costa Rican institutions.

However, the article does not explain other factors related to the issue. First, personal corruption is not the only reason why judges choose to ‘befriend’ drug dealers; fear, including in response to the threat of being killed, often serves as incentive to accept bribes. Protecting the independence of judges requires the establishment of strict oversight over rulings, and doing so further requires a fair minded and comprehensive understanding of the roots of biased judicial outcomes.


Sarah Dipietrangelo, Research Associate at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs

In response to the Latin News article: “No Solace for Solis.”

Please accept this article as a free contribution from COHA, but if re-posting, please afford authorial and institutional attribution. Exclusive rights can be negotiated. For additional news and analysis on Latin America, please go to: and Rights Action. 

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