An A.M. Costa Rica reprint
Published Tuesday, July 29, 2008, in Vol. 8, No. 149
A.M. Costa Rica Page One
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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.

What is the Chere Lyn Tomayko case all about anyway?
By Jay Brodell
editor of A.M. Costa Rica

Curiously, the Chere Lyn Tomayko case is not a lot about the Texas woman who fled the jurisdiction of a court in Fort Worth to hide out in Costa Rica for 11 years.

The Costa Rican political figures who rushed to her support appear at first to be fools who dive into a situation without finding out the facts. There is a high probability that Ms. Tomayko was not the victim of any aggression as she claims and simply fled Texas because she did not want to share custody with an ex-boyfriend.

An analysis of the news

But the political figures are not fools. They are  clever and each has an individual agenda. The women's institute director wants to be seen as a crusader for women in order to justify the existence of her agency.

In the higher ranks of the Óscar Arias administration there is the need to distance the country from the United States, in part to impress China and also to impress Hugo Chavez, who may come forth with some cheap oil.

Even more, there is the need to distract the public mind from a growing financial scandal involving a supreme court justice on the presidential payroll, a host of so-called secret advisers from all over the political spectrum and the conversion of some $1.5 million donated by the
government of Taiwan for the poor of Pavas.

Then there is the languishing implementation agenda of the free trade treaty with the United States. Free trade doesn't look so good now that the United States is flirting with  recession. Wouldn't it be nice if the United States pulled the plug over a treaty violation instead of staging a political defeat in the Asamblea Legislativa?

One of the real concerns about the free trade treaty is the lack of respect for law in some Latin countries, including Costa Rica. This country already has said it will continue with  the excessive import duty on North American vehicles under the guise of an internal tax. The treaty will be distorted and bent the same way Janina del Vecchio and the Defensoría Publicá bent and fractured the law and the Costa Rican Constitution to justify refugee status for Ms. Tomayko last week

So the Tomayko case is just an overture to the diplomatic messes that will come from the trade treaty. In short, Costa Ricans have a real problem following the letter of a legal agreement.

But there is another reason that powerful people want Ms. Tomayko to stay here. They sure do not want her to give up their names and the circumstances that allowed her to stay here for 11 years to a federal grand jury. Aiding and abetting a federal fugitive is a felony for U.S. citizens here, and there has been plenty of aiding and abetting during the last 11 years.