CAT/OP/CRI/CSPRO/1

Introduction
1.
The Government of Costa Rica takes careful note of all the recommendations and
observations made by the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman
or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, established pursuant to the Optional Protocol to the
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or
Punishment, which were published in its report entitled “Visit to Costa Rica undertaken from
3 to 14 March 2019: recommendations and observations addressed to the State party”
(CAT/OP/CRI/ROSP/R.1). The Government of Costa Rica takes this opportunity to make
the following comments.

Recommendations
I. Introduction (paras. 5 and 7)
2.
In accordance with the recommendation contained in paragraph 5, the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs wishes to inform the Subcommittee that the report on its visit to Costa Rica
from 3 to 14 March 2019 has been brought to the attention of the institutions that participated
in the visit.
3.
The Government is willing for the Subcommittee to publish the visit report in
accordance with article 16 (2) of the Optional Protocol and would be grateful if it were
published together with the present report containing the Government’s response. This report
will also be disseminated via the SIMORE Plus recommendations monitoring system on the
website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

II. National preventive mechanism (para. 12)
4.
The authorities have respected the mechanism’s functional independence and
independence of judgment, so that it has been to able fulfil its mandate in accordance with
the Optional Protocol and Act No. 9204 establishing the National Mechanism for the
Prevention of Torture and its regulations.
5.
The size of the mechanism’s staff is not proportional to the number of places of
detention that must be monitored. Although the mechanism currently has a need for a
psychologist, for budgetary reasons it has refrained from requesting the creation of such a
position. Costa Rica has been experiencing a strong economic depression and deterioration
in public finances, resulting in a hiring freeze of public sector workers – a situation that now
has been aggravated by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. It is envisaged that
a duly reasoned request to create the post will be submitted to the relevant authorities once
the economic situation has stabilized.
6.
On the budgetary side, the State has met the mechanism’s basic operating needs,
covering travel expenses, office space, office equipment, administrative and logistical
support and wages. While there is a need for the mechanism to have its own vehicle for the
purpose of travelling to inspections, it currently uses the vehicles and drivers of the
Ombudsman’s Office for this purpose.
7.
With regard to the recommendation to give more visibility to the mechanism’s reports
and recommendations, the Government wishes to stress that the mechanism operates using
persuasion, with an emphasis on dialogue with the relevant authorities, in accordance with
article 22 of Act No. 8459 approving the Optional Protocol and article 13 of the Act
establishing the National Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture. Thus, the mechanism’s
reports are studied in dialogue forums with a view to the effective implementation of its
recommendations, with the exception of those reports that are communicated to the press.
8.
A press conference is usually – but not always – held to publicize the mechanism’s
annual report, which is transmitted to the relevant authorities. Given its independent mandate,
the mechanism does not believe that it is necessary for government officials to attend the

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GE.20-17766

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