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Two more women accuse Costa Rica's Oscar Arias of sexual assault



By Associated Press

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Two additional women have accused former President Oscar Arias, a Nobel Peace Prize Assessment, of sexual abuse following a criminal complaint Sexual assault on another woman was filed with him in this Central American Nation this week.

Eleonora Antillon, a well-known Costa Rican journalist and television presenter, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Arias attacked her in the mid-1980s when she was working for her grand presidency.

In a separate interview, Emma Daly, Human Rights Watch's Communications Director, said that Arias captured her in a hotel lobby in Nicaragua in 1

990, working as a young journalist in Costa Rica.

The New York Times also reported that a fourth woman, a 53-year-old book editor, claimed that Arias unexpectedly put her hand on her leg during a meeting in 2012. AP could not immediately confirm re port.

Oscar Arias, president of the Arias Fund, Nobel Peace Prize winner and former President of Costa Rica, participates in the arms trade treaty in Cancun on August 24, 2015. Victor Ruiz Garcia / Reuters File [19659009] While the # MeToo Movement Sweeping a number of powerful men in recent years in the United States, its spillover effect has been more subdued in Latin America, where critics say macho attitudes are dying hard.

In Brazil, starting in December, more than 250 women accused a prominent spiritual healer of actions from unwanted rape to rape, which led to his arrest and a lot of charges. In Argentina, accusations ranging from sexual assault to sexual harassment have been leveled against a well-known actor, senator, and staff chief of law.

But no one has had a profile like Arias, who was twice elected as President of Costa Rica and in 1987 was honored by the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to put an end to Central America's prolonged and bloody civil wars.

The criminal complaint filed on Monday in Costa Rica stated that Arias threw a woman's breasts, kissed her, and penetrated her with her fingers in December 2014 at her home in the capital, San Jose. The woman, a nuclear disarmament activist whose name was not released, had gone to a meeting in connection with her case.

In a brief statement Tuesday, Arias rejected the claim. He said he never violated any woman's will and fought for equality between men and women during his career. He said he would not have any further public comment due to the ongoing lawsuit.

When several claims arose on Wednesday, his lawyer, Erick Ramos, raised it and told the AP that "out of respect for the process, of course, will not make any kind of statement."

Antillon, a famous journalist and TV presenter known as "Nono", decided to break three decades of silence after the complaint became known this week.

Antillon told the AP that in the 1980s, when she was 25 and working for a local television station, she learned that Arias was interested in having his work for him when he made a provisional run against the presidential election in 1986.

She said she was uninterested in politics, but Arias insisted and did not blink when she asked for a salary three times the time to try to deter him.

"He laughed and said that others were working for free that later they were guaranteed a political job." Antillon said, "I said I was not interested that if he wanted me, he would pay me. And he laughed. and looked at me and said he would pay it. "

After a deal was struck, she said Arias summoned her to a restaurant in San Jose where he met her in a private room. Almost immediately he put his hand on his thigh and tried to kiss his neck, she said. Antillon said she pushed him away and asked what he thought he was doing.

"" It's just to get confidence, "he said, laughing," she said.

Antillon said she left, rejecting her offer of escort her.

Four days later, she was with Arias and another counselor, but he sent the counselor away, she said.

"He got up, he was at his desk, he came and stared hard at me, and he grabbed my hand and put it on his penis, over his pants," Antillon said. "I told him," What are you doing? "And he said," What do you think we're doing? See how hard I am. ""

Antillon said she regained, knocked on a chair, and Aria's grip on her shoulders, pushed her into an open closet and put her hand on his genitals again. She took it away. Someone made a noise at the door, he composed himself and she left.

Hereafter, Antillon said she never allowed herself to be alone with Arias, as she described as "serious problems with arrogance".

He sees himself as the world champion, all of whom must submit to him, "Antillon said." He sees himself as a conqueror. "

Since then, Antillon said she felt physically ill when she heard about Arias' Nobel Prize She said the experience left a mark and she's been trying to dress in a less "feminine" way that won't show much skin.

Only this week she was emboldened to Come up with news of the complaint, she said. "" I believe in her based on what I have lived through, "said Antillon about the woman whose complaint was filed this week.

Although it has been over 30 years Since the events she described to the AP, Antillon said if any lawyer could find a way to complain to Arias, she would be willing to do so.

Normally, AP does not use the names of alleged victims of sexual assault but Both Antillon and Daly came forward to tell their stories publicly. [19659004] Speech Y said to AP in New York, Daly said she had been in Costa Rica for a couple of years when her meeting with Arias took place in February or April 1990 in neighboring Nicaragua. At that time, she was in the mid 20's and worked for an English language weekly in Costa Rica and stringing for Reuters.

The Intercontinental Hotel lobby was filled with journalists and diplomats when she saw Arias with whom she had established a cordial relationship in her role as a political reporter, Daly said. They had only met years earlier through their parents, who were diplomats, she said. She called him and asked a question.

"And instead of answering my question, he stopped and looked at me and leaned forward, and he put his hand on his chest and knocked it down between my breasts and then said," You don't wear a bra "- or words with that effect, "Daly told the AP.

"I was so shocked, all I could say was," Yes, I wear a bra "which is a ridiculous reaction, but that was what I did at the moment and he went on," continued she. "A woman next to me, another reporter, told me," I saw what happened. I support you if you want to do something. "And I said," No, that's fine, forget it. ""

Daly said part of what disturbed it came in a professional setting, surrounded by politicians and journalists.

"You're totally ignored by a professional side, but someone touches you and you've made you feel that you're not something they can do whatever they want," she said.

Daly said that Arias had never done anything like this in any previous interaction with her, nor had she seen him do anything for anyone else. She felt that the general environment was one of machismo, and if she complained, nothing would happen.

She said she felt angry and then humiliated that she "had not responded properly, but I couldn't really see what I could do or where it could lead. If I had come to complain about it, I would have laughed at the office I was trying to complain about. "

Daly said she told her boyfriend and others about the incident. She can't remember seeing Arias again. He left the office not long after, and she left the region.

But she said she began to think of the incident more in the midst of the rise of #MeToo, making a slant reference to "Even a President and Nobel Prize winner" in a comment on a friend's Facebook post in October 2017 She said she was thinking of naming Arias at that time, but did not decide.

Daly first told his story publicly to a Washington Post reporter who reached her on Tuesday.

She said she felt she was in a privileged place – she would not lose her job, her family support – so it was important to speak out.

She said the hard part is that Arias has done good work in her professional life, with the peace plan, but it does not give him a pass to confuse people.

"It would be great if this encouraged some kind of calculation in Latin America with men harassing women," Daly said, "especially" at work … a kind of moment where they understood there was a need for It's systemic change and it's really not OK to just touch women because you feel like it. "


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