Posted by: Idioma Extra | April 13, 2010

Tuesday’s News

Arrest provokes riot at University of Costa Rica


Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) touched off a riot at the University of Costa Rica (UCR) in San Jose on Monday afternoon when agents entered campus grounds to arrest a UCR transit police officer.

According to the OIJ, the transit officer, whose last name is Gómez, allegedly accepted a ₡ 20,000 ($38.75) bribe from a bus driver, allowing the driver to keep his license.

Since the UCR is an autonomous body, state and municipal police are not allowed on the campus without the permission of university authorities.

According to news sources, the OIJ officials asked university security guards for permission to enter the campus at the west entrance on Monday morning, but the request was denied because guards said the agents did not have permission from the office of the university’s rector.

Agents nevertheless moved on from the west entrance toward the transit police office, located near the education building on the campus’ east side. OIJ officials entered the transit police building, which is located on UCR property, and arrested Gómez.

A group of students saw the arrest unfold and confronted the OIJ agents. The showdown escalated into a whirlwind of punches, kicks and baton swings involving more than 200 students, 15 members of the National Police and 30 OIJ agents.

National Police officers reportedly detained angry rioters outside the education building by placing students in chokeholds and dragging them across the pavement. Students resisted with shouts, kicks and shoves.

By 2:30 p.m., the scene had calmed. According to the Public Security Ministry, four students were arrested for obstructing authority.

The National Police issued a statement on Monday afternoon denying that the agency had anything to do with the operation to arrest Gómez, and that the agency’s 15 police officers only arrived to attend calls about the riot.

The OIJ had not yet issued a statement by 5:30 p.m. Monday.

UCR students have requested the rector’s office to clarify whether OIJ agents had permission from the university to enter the transit police building and arrest Goméz.

UCR Rector Yamileth González was unavailable for comment on Monday afternoon, but her office’s spokeswoman, Lupita Flores, told the daily La Nación that they were not consulted by the OIJ and the university did not authorize agents to enter the campus.

Word of the Day

Main Entry: ri·ot
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French riote rash action, noise, disorder
Date: 13th century
1 archaic a : profligate behavior : debauchery
: unrestrained revelry
c : noise, uproar, or disturbance made by revelers
2 a : public violence, tumult, or disorder
b : a violent public disorder; specifically : a tumultuous disturbance of the public peace by three or more persons assembled together and acting with a common intent
3 : a random or disorderly profusion <the woods were a riot of color>
4 : one that is wildly amusing <the new comedy is a riot>

More Vocabulary

Bribe: n. money or favor given or promised in order to influence the judgment or conduct of a person in a position of trust
Chokehold: n. a hold that involves strong choking pressure applied to the neck of another
Drag: v. to draw with force, effort, or difficulty; pull heavily or slowly along; haul; trail
Nevertheless: adv. Nonetheless; notwithstanding; however; in spite of that
Showdown: n. an event, especially a confrontation, that forces an issue to a conclusion
Unfold: v. to become clear, apparent or known

Love those Phrasal Verbs!

Move on: to approach or attack as a target

     The army moved on the capital where the enemies were waiting.

Touch off: to give rise to; initiate

     The United States economic crisis touched off other crises in other countries.


Below are some common errors that Spanish speakers make when writing in English. To learn more common mistakes and expressions, consider Idioma Internacional’s AFD 450 Emailing and Business Communication Course!

Wrong: Related with
Right: Related to

Wrong: According with
Right: According to

Wrong: We discussed the deal by phone.
Right: We discussed the deal over the phone.

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