Costa Rican Forensics Labs Are Accredited with U.S. Support

Walter Espinoza, The Judicial Police (OIJ) Director and Ambassador Sharon Day
Mauricio Chacon, Chief of the Forensics Science Department
“Now we have quality standards to be a center of excellence to demonstrate the quality of our work in the labs and the guarantee that represents for the country and its justice administration system”, Mauricio Chacon, Chief of the Forensics Science Department
Daniel Gomez M., Quality Insurer, Forensics Science Department
“Implementing international norms denotes transparency in the justice administration process and ensuring that the results of the labs are trusted and reproducible strengthens the system,” Daniel Gomez M., Quality Insurer, Forensics Science Department

Costa Rican Forensics Labs are now internationally accredited thanks to support from the U.S. Embassy’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). Now the labs fulfill the ISO 17020 and 17025 specifications for forensics topics in toxicology, chemical analysis and biochemistry, which represent 60 percent of the tasks that the forensics labs in Costa Rica perform.

U.S. Ambassador Sharon Day highlighted that the “labs have surpassed international auditors’ criteria in forensics, and this has made them in the only ones accredited in Central America, and only the third accredited labs in Latin America.”

The Judicial Police (OIJ) Director Walter Espinoza pointed out the importance of the accreditation since it is a quality control that eliminates distortions in toxicology, chemical analysis and biochemistry because this information is used to objectively solve criminal cases with fewer possibilities of error.

Now the results of the Costa Rican Forensics Labs are at the same level and have the same validity as labs from the United States, the Mexican Attorney General’s Office, and the Brazilian Federal Police.