May 4, 1998
"The arrest of this man is one more
example of what is becoming all too common here in Costa Rica, and in
Central America in general"
SAN JOSÉ, Costa Rica : The arrest of yet another American sex tourist
this past Friday in San José is just one more indication of Central
America's new fame as a sex tourism destination, according to
children's rights advocates.
Mr K, a retired US military engineer from the
Gulf war, was arrested on Friday, May 1st, 1998 by Costa Rican police,
accused of the sexual abuse of a 14 year old boy. According to
neighbors, the American, who has been living in the San Fransisco de
Dos Rios middle class suburb of the country's capital, would
continually take street children to his home where he lived alone,
reportedly to first feed them and then to commit sexual abuse. Many of
the children were between the ages of six and twelve.
As in previous weeks, a child's screams of pain were heard from
Mr K's home on late Friday and the already concerned neighbors
called the police. The American retiree was arrested. The police
apparently also confiscated two large bags of pornographic material,
including video tapes of very young children performing sexual acts.
The former military man is being held in the San Sebastian jail
-For months now we have been trying to draw the attention of the
region's governments to the growing levels of sex tourism and sexual
exploitation of children in Central America, but almost without
exception, the issue is falling on deaf ears, explained Bruce Harris,
the Executive Director for Latin American Programs of the child
advocacy agency Casa Alianza, the Latin American branch of the New
York based Covenant House.
-The arrest of Mr K is one more example of what is becoming all too
common here in Costa Rica and in Central America in general.
Last week in Palm Beach, Florida, a 47 years old American, Mr B,
pleaded guilty to sexual abuse of Honduran boys during visits to that
country together with an also detained man, 58 years old, Mr H.
Both men were arrested last year in Florida and have been in jail since.
With Mr B. plea bargain, the paedophile has agreed to become the
prosecution's witness in the case against Mr H, which comes to trial
on May 11th. Mr H is charged with trafficking a 15 year old Honduran
boy from the town of La Ceiba to the United States where he was
continually sexually abused by the accused.
La Ceiba, a port town on the northern coast of Honduras, is well known
as a center for child prostitution and a common location for