The complainants of former priest Mauricio Víquez speak (2019) 5:34
(CNN Spanish) -
(CNN Spanish) -
The former Costa Rican priest accused of pedophilia Mauricio Víquez was extradited from Mexico to Costa Rica this Thursday, thus culminating a process that began in August 2019.
Víquez, 56, landed at the Juan Santamaría airport shortly before noon and was handed over in extradition to Interpol Costa Rica by the Attorney General's Office of the Republic of Mexico.
Víquez was arrested on August 18, 2019 in the state of Nuevo León, Mexico.
According to the Costa Rican Deputy Prosecutor for Gender, he is being investigated "as a suspect of committing alleged sexual crimes to the detriment of four victims, who, at the time of the events, apparently were minors."
After his arrival in the country, the former priest was transferred to cells of the Judicial Investigation Agency, where his previous data and identification data were taken.
Later, he was placed under the orders of the Prosecutor's Office.
Police escort former Costa Rican priest Mauricio Viquez in a criminal court in San José on May 7, 2021. (Credit: Ezequiel Becerra / AFP / Getty Images)
In a press release, the agency said that Víquez has already been investigated and now hopes that the criminal court of Desamparados, a town in the capital, San José, will schedule the hearing in which precautionary measures will be requested.
Víquez's attorney, Rafael Rodríguez, told CNN that the former priest has rejected the charges and that his innocence will be proven.
In addition, he affirmed that his defendant abstained from testifying when he was transferred to the prosecution for the investigation because, according to him, there is a lack of evidence to collect, in addition to determining whether or not the facts reported are prescribed.
Rodríguez added that they also hope to complete the file to learn the reasons why he was extradited from Mexico.
The complaints against Mauricio Víquez
The first criminal complaint against Víquez was filed in 2018. The following year, two men who were altar boys in parishes where Víquez served as a priest told CNN that they filed a criminal complaint earlier that month against Víquez for alleged sexual abuse.
They are Anthony Venegas and Michael Rodríguez, who maintained that they were abused when they were between 13 and 17 years old.
In the case of Rodríguez between 1993 and 1997, and in that of Venegas between 1999 and 2003.
The Public Ministry reported that the defendant was handed over to the Costa Rican authorities within 60 calendar days established by the bilateral extradition treaty between Costa Rica and Mexico, which runs from April 8, when the suspect was placed to the order of the competent bodies to execute its delivery.
According to the Costa Rican Public Ministry, the extradition treaty between Mexico and Costa Rica was signed in 2011, but entered into force in 2013.