It’s no surprise that the U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica, TomÃ¡s DueÃ±as, is taking the official line on the killing of Rigoberto Alpizar last month by Federal Air Marshals.
DueÃ±as said by telephone that he met with officials of the State Department and the investigative team, but did not reveal the names of the officials…
Officials told DueÃ±as that Alpizar was sitting at the rear of the airplane, when he suddenly got up and carrying a handbag. when a stewardess told Alpizar to sit down, he went out of control and made the claim of carrying a bomb. One of the bilingual security officers says he told Alpizar to stop, which he didn’t and ran out of the aircraft, security officials giving chase. When Alpizar, now on outside the aircraft and on the loading ramp, put his hand in the bag, agents fired.
After closely following this story since the day of the shooting, I know of no first hand account by an eyewitness, be it a passenger, a member of the cabin crew, or an air marshal, who will corroborate the above version of events. To date, there is no public statement made by anyone on that plane who heard Alpizar say anything threatening or to the effect that he had a bomb. In fact, several passengers’ statements directly contradict the official story.
Needless to say, the Alpizar’s family isn’t satisfied with the Ambassador’s endorsement of the government’s story. They’re asking for more information, but I have to wonder if this incident, with all it’s vague fourth hand explanations and anonymous accountings, will soon be swept right out of the public’s consciousness.