Dealing fairly with others is an essential element in the conduct of all individuals of good will. This has been a fundamental proposition that has always guided Costa Rican society in our struggle to build a better country.

 

In an attempt to reach that sacred goal, we have always based our actions on the rule of law, as an instrument in the search for justice. 

 

Because we are aware of its core role in the construction of a better and more just society, we all share the conviction that no one is above the law, for any reason, and without distinction.

The law must be applied to the powerful and the weak, to our friends and those unknown to us, to the accuser and the accused, to everyone! 

This means that just as no one is above the law; so no one is outside or below the law either.

Just as everyone should respect it, we must all be protected by it. Because the law both imposes a duty and establishes rights, which are sacred and protect all of us from arbitrariness and injustice.

Since only our Creator is infallible, justice requires a balance. Thus the law contains principles and procedures that are essential for preventing injustice, such as the presumption of innocence and the right to defend oneself from all accusations.

We can all have our personal position in the face of a case, based on the little data that we have or that we have been told about a case in particular. But we must not lose sight of the fact that each individual is innocent as long as he or she has not be proven to be otherwise, and that this can only be shown in a trial and according to the procedures and guarantees established by the law so that the accused can defend him or herself and be heard.

If those accused are not granted full rights to defend themselves, if their defense falls on deaf ears, if the judges do not evaluate the evidence according to the provisions of the law and without being subject to undue pressures, then justice is not present.

Who among us would want to be judged if we were not given a real chance to defend ourselves, nor the opportunity for the judges the decide on an objective basis, according to what has been shown in the trial and what the law has to say?

Legal charges have been brought against Miguel Ángel Rodríguez. He must face them; that is the law. To face them he returned voluntarily to the country, as all persons of good will are aware. And he has, as do we all, the right to defend himself from these charges and for the court to evaluate, with independence and without pressures of any type, his defense arguments. That is also the law. But some want to use the power they have to deny him that right, even though they are careful not to say so openly and they mask it with high sounding pretexts – like wolves in sheep’s clothing – because they know that individuals of good will would never allow the law to be assailed that way and for an injustice to be committed, in this case or any other.

Miguel Ángel Rodríguez has the right to a fair trial, no more or less than any other Costa Rican. This is our conviction. This is the conviction of any individual in good faith. And all the information that you find here has that one goal, that the trial be fair.