An A.M. Costa Rica reprint
Published  Wednesday, July 23, 2008, inVol. 8, No. 145

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Contents copyrighted 2008 by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. (cédula juridica 3-101-290-170).  Republication without permission is prohibited under U.S. and Costa Rican laws and international conventions.

Tomayko gets refugee status to avoid extradition
By Elise Sonray
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff
posted at 4:30 p.m.
The security minister overruled her immigration director today and awarded Chere Lyn Tomayko refugee status in Costa Rica to protect her from the U.S. government.

The woman was at the end of a battle to prevent extradition to face a federal charge of international child abduction. The woman, who lived in Costa Rica illegally for 10 years, had generated support from members of the Óscar Arias Sánchez administration. This included the security minister, Janina Del Vecchio.

The minister made her announcement at a 3 p.m. press conference and her comments generated applause from some in the audience, including Javier Francisco Montero
Umaña, a Heredia veterinarian and the man who married Ms. Tomayko April 6. She still is in prison.

The couple have two small children.

Ms. Tomayko was indicted by a U.S. grand jury in Texas because she took her daughter, Alexandria, then 7, from that jurisdiction contrary to the orders of a Texas judge, who had awarded joint custody of the child to Ms. Tomayko and the father, Roger Cyprian. He still lives in Texas.

Ms. Del Vecchio said the matter was one of human rights and that she thought that Ms. Tomayko was a victim of domestic violence. She admitted that she had made no inquires of Texas officials.