Author Topic: Teen Mentor (Costa Rica) shut down by authorities  (Read 18685 times)

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Offline thomasC

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Teen Mentor (Costa Rica) shut down by authorities
« on: March 22, 2011, 08:31:28 AM »
Seems like I've heard this story somewhere before...

English article:
http://http://www.insidecostarica.com/dailynews/2011/march/22/costarica11032204.htm
Quote
PANI Rescues 20 Young Americans Who Suffered Various Attacks

The Patronato Nacional de la Infancia (PANI) - Costa Rica's child welfare agency - says it rescued on Monday a group of 20 American minors who allegedly received psychological and physical abuse by managers of a reformatory in Puntarenas.

The academy "Teen Mentor" has been operating since 2010 in the Hotel Carra in Tarcoles de Garabito, Puntarenas.

The PANI took the action to intervene following complaints from three psychologists at the academy. Ten children were transferred directly to a PANI shelter, while the case is still in under investigation.

Parents paid from us$600 per month to keep their children between the ages of 13 and 18 in the program.

PANI officials say all the youths found in the academy on Monday were all Americans.

Jorge Urbina, manager of the PANI, told the media on Monday that the U.S. Embassy in San José was in the process of notifying all the parents to come get theri children.

http://http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-22/Sucesos/NotaPrincipal/Sucesos2722171.aspx

Need someone to translate this one. Some details from this article according to some machine translation:

The academy was closed after complaints from three psychologists who had worked at the program to PANI.
There were 21 minors in the program
The allegations involve physical and psychological abuse, isolation, severed communication between students and their families, lack of medical supervision, lack of proper education, lack of recreation programs promised by the school's advertising
The program lacked the proper permits to operate in Costa Rica
The corporation registered as owning the school lists Robert Walter Lichfield as owner, article speculates as to relationship between this person and former PIllars of Hope/Dundee Ranch (also raided by authorities) owner Narvin Lichfield
A PANI official is quoted saying that children were forced to sign a document stating they were at the school of their own free will, threatened with 8 days in an isolation room if they did not comply.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Ursus

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Re: Teen Mentor (Costa Rica) shut down by authorities
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2011, 11:00:09 AM »
Wow. Seems like that place just opened!

Quote
The corporation registered as owning the school lists Robert Walter Lichfield as owner, article speculates as to relationship between this person and former PIllars of Hope/Dundee Ranch (also raided by authorities) owner Narvin Lichfield
I guess Costa Rica must be gettin' hip to the Lichfields...  :D
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Offline Sam Kinison

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Re: Teen Mentor (Costa Rica) shut down by authorities
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2011, 02:50:28 PM »
PANI as well as the Costa Rican government in general is sending these fiends a message
YOU WILL NOT DO HERE WHAT THEY DON'T LET YOU DO AT HOME REGARDING MINORS
Although Lichfield(Dundee Ranch)was acquitted,the prosecutors really tried to nail his ass to the wall and he had to wait in jail until his acquittal.I don't think he'll be returning anytime soon.
Unfortunately they'll probably friendlier confines in Nicaragua where Daniel Ortega and his cohorts are not above taking a bribe for any reason.It's corrupt here as well,but they do have their
limits.

PURA VIDA
Sam
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Offline Sam Kinison

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Re: Teen Mentor (Costa Rica) shut down by authorities
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2011, 03:00:29 PM »
Just finished reading the La Nacion link
Según el encargado de mantenimiento del hotel, en el momento de la intervención del PANI “los encargados de Teen Mentor se fueron y los jóvenes quedaron solos”, aseguró

These assholes ran off and abandoned these kids waiting for the PANI(Child Welfare)like Nazi guards running off at a concentration camp.This could have been a very dangerous situation for the wrong kid at the wrong time(retribution,gang activity).These people are real bastards and hopefully INTERPOL will get involved and find these scumbags.They are criminals,they know it,and they're looking for a safe haven to continue their barbaric acts.
I am enraged
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Offline Oscar

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Re: Teen Mentor (Costa Rica) shut down by authorities
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2011, 04:09:45 PM »
We first heard about the program late 2010, so it is new. It is a former hotel and the owners did not inform the guests that the hotel had been sold according to some traveling webpages.

Before the web-publishers did get a hand on the webpage you could read from the preferences that the owner was "Red River Academy".

We were able to get a computer location with an electronic match between google maps and the photos from the webpage which led us to the precise location and there is a datasheet on the Fornits Wiki about this program. The news about the raid will go on the datasheet as soon as possible.
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Offline BuzzKill

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Re: Teen Mentor (Costa Rica) shut down by authorities
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2011, 05:36:45 PM »
Quote from: "Sam Kinison"
Although Lichfield(Dundee Ranch)was acquitted,the prosecutors really tried to nail his ass to the wall and he had to wait in jail until his acquittal.I don't think he'll be returning anytime soon.

No - not so. Not at all. What makes you think that?

Several pertinent paragraphs in article below:
11/28/2003
Dundee Case Still Worries U.S. Parents
By Tim Rogers
Tico Times Staff
SIX months after the closure of Dundee Ranch Academy, tough-love program owner Narvin Lichfield of Utah once again is a free man.

The restrictions on his freedom, imposed by a Costa Rican judge May 23 following Lichfield’s brief arrest on allegations of children’s rights abuse, expired last Sunday and prosecutor Marielos Alfaro said she doesn’t see a need to request a six-month extension of his prohibition on leaving the country.

Lichfield, who is currently enrolled in Spanish classes as he plans to reopen his academy under a different name and a gentler, therapeutic model, insists he is not going to leave the country to avoid the on-going investigation.

"I am still confused what I was arrested for in the first place," Lichfield said with a laugh, adding that the truth soon will absolve him of abuse charges.

"The truth is the most important thing. Was it true that kids were abused? I admit, there were a lot of things that happened [at Dundee] that I didn’t know about, but I don’t think there really was [abuse]," Lichfield told The Tico Times this week.

MEANWHILE, a growing number of parents of former academy students in the United States are expressing concern that the investigation here into what happened at Dundee has been shelved, and that charges will not be pressed against Lichfield.

Distanced by a couple thousand miles, an unfamiliar judicial system and a language barrier, some of the U.S. parents say they are feeling powerless.

For several months, a group of 12 former Dundee students has been prepared to return to Costa Rica to testify to allegations of physical and emotional mistreatment suffered at the hands of former Dundee staff.

But no court date has been set by the prosecutor or the judge, and the parents are hesitant to fly their children down unannounced.

"I am concerned that when parents have tried to call the prosecutor’s office, they are told ‘No English!’ and hung up on," said Karen Burnett, mother of a former Dundee student.

Prosecutor Alfaro admits that no one in her office speaks English, but said that former students can come down to Costa Rica anytime to give their testimony. They will be received with "no problem," she said.

LOCATED on the remote grounds of a former eco-hotel about 15 kilometers from the Pacific-slope community of Orotina, Dundee Ranch Academy was an affiliate of the Utah-based WorldWide Association of Specialty Programs (WWASP). The non-therapeutic behavior-modification facility, home to 200 troubled teenagers mostly from the United States, was operated under the philosophy of "identify your incorrect behavior, and stop doing it," according to Lichfield.

But some of the methods Dundee staff members used to help wayward teens identify their "incorrect behavior" -- including solitary confinement, physical restraint and allegations of drug-induced sedation -- were blasted by critics as abusive (TT, Oct. 25, 2002; Jan. 17, March 14).

Last May, the mother of one Dundee student filed a complaint with the Atenas Prosecutor’s Office, where Prosecutor Fernando Vargas was substituting for the regular prosecutor who was on vacation. Vargas immediately asked Judge Gabriela Saborío to authorize a government intervention of Dundee.

The interventions, which occurred on May 20 and 22, spiraled out of control when Vargas tried to explain to the children their rights under Costa Rican law. Several dozen youth escaped from the campus, while others rioted and vandalized the facility.

Lichfield was detained for 24 hours before being released on conditional freedoms. He closed the academy May 24 and the students were whisked back to their parents in the United States or to other WWASP programs in the United States and Jamaica (TT, May 23, May 30).

THE Ombudsman’s Office blasted the Child Welfare Agency’s handling of the situation as "permissive and tolerant" of alleged abuse, and recommended that child welfare authorities develop new protocol for situations where children are at high risk (TT, Sept. 12).

Prosecutor Fernando Vargas, who was removed from Dundee case a week after the May raids when prosecutor Marielos Alfaro returned from vacation, also is raising a critical voice against Costa Rica’s handling of the case.

In July, he filed a complaint with the Internal Judicial Inspector’s Office against Judge Saborío, who he claims interfered with his ability to gather necessary evidence during the interventions, and acted inappropriately in a situation where children were asking for help.

Saborío denies any wrongdoing, but said she could not comment further because she is the subject of an ongoing internal investigation.

VARGAS also is critical of the current prosecutor’s handling of the case, which he claims is "passive" and not being conducted with the importance that it deserves. He claims he did more to advance the investigation in the week following the raid, than anything that has been done in the last six months.

Alfaro told The Tico Times that the investigation is still open, and denied it is not being given its due importance. She said her office is still waiting for confiscated documents to be translated into Spanish, as well as other proof from the Judicial Investigative Police (OIJ).

Alfaro explained that she is the only prosecutor in Atenas and is handling about 500 ongoing cases, many older than the Dundee case. She stressed that all cases are given equal importance, and that the Dundee matter will be resolved in due time.

Vargas argues the case would be moved along faster if there was more public and media pressure. He blames the relatively mild public reaction to the Dundee situation on a general perception that the issue is a "gringo problem."

If the students had been Costa Ricans, the public’s reaction and the prosecution’s handling of case would be much different, Vargas charged.

"There is a perception that these problems were brought here; that they are not ours," Vargas said. "And there is resentment: why do we have to deal with it when the U.S. knew about [WWASP] for years?"

WWASP, which currently has 10-affiliated programs in the United States and abroad, has operated in the U.S. for more than a decade. Dundee was the fourth WWASP program to close after being investigated for rights violations.

Earlier this month, U.S. congressman George Miller wrote to U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and requested a federal probe of WWASP (TT, Nov. 7). Miller’s office has not yet received a reply, according to a congressional aid.

ALFARO vigorously denied the nationality of the alleged victims has anything to do with the prosecution’s handling of the case.

"Whether they are gringos, Nicas or whoever, the law applies to all cases and each is given equal importance," she said.

Vargas claims the Dundee case is one of the most important in the country, and that Costa Rica, with its moral authority and progressive laws to protect children’s rights, is the perfect venue to put WWASP on trial.

"If Dundee falls in Costa Rica, then WWASP falls in the rest of the world, but if Dundee doesn’t fall, WWASP will only get stronger," Vargas said.

LICHFIELD, meanwhile, said that in the last six months he has injected $600,000 into his new academy, which he hopes to open by Jan. 1 on the same Orotina campus. He said the new academy will not be affiliated with WWASP because of the "negative attached to it."

Lichfield said he will be a consultant to the new academy, and will not be part of the ownership group, which will headed by former director Francisco Bustos and new director Herald Dabel, a Spanish professor from South Carolina.

The controversial "High Impact" boot-camp compound that Lichfield was building on the Dundee campus has since been converted into a recreational center with a weight room and movie theater, Lichfield said.

CHILD Welfare Minister Rosalía Gil has told The Tico Times she will not allow Dundee to reopen here.

Lichfield, however, said he will use the $2 million in estimated damages to Dundee as leverage to convince authorities to allow him to reopen an appropriate facility that the "Costa Rican government is comfortable with."

Lichfield, who said he donated $10,000 to campaign of President Abel Pacheco, claims he has appealed to the President for help, but added Pacheco probably "doesn’t want to touch us with a 10-foot poll."

For now, Lichfield wants to put the past behind him and "get back to what we do, and that’s help kids."
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Offline Sam Kinison

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Re: Teen Mentor (Costa Rica) shut down by authorities
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2011, 10:04:28 PM »
Thanks for posting Tim Rogers' article dated back in 2003.Unfortunately,during the administration of the bumbling Dr. Abel Pacheco and his equally inept cohorts,this little nation suffered through four years of incompetence unimagined in an industrial society.Lichfield was tried in 2007,after Pacheco and his fellow clods left power.
Academy at Dundee Ranch was a behavior modification facility for United States teenagers, located on La Ceiba Cascajal, 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) west of Orotina, province of Alajuela, Costa Rica. It was promoted as a residential school, offering a program of behavior modification, motivational "emotional growth seminars," a progressive academic curriculum, and a structured daily schedule, for teenagers struggling in their homes, schools, or communities.[1]

The facility was associated with World Wide Association of Specialty Programs and Schools (WWASP).[2]

In May 2003, authorities in Costa Rica shut down due to claims of child abuse, and investigated the school and its managers. A new WWASP facility called Pillars of Hope was opened at the site of Academy at Dundee Ranch in 2004.[3]

[edit] ControversyDuring its operation, Dundee Ranch was the subject of multiple allegations of abuse. Parents and enrollees claimed that food being withheld as punishment.[2] Former students complained of emotional scars due to their stay there.[4]

A judgment in Louisiana caused Costa Rican authorities to investigate the facilities.[5] A riot occurred at the facility in May 2003,[6][7] leading to its closure. The Costa Rican immigration authorities found that 100 of the 193 children enrolled in the program did not have appropriate migration papers.[8]

Due to the closure U.S. Representative George Miller asked U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft to investigate WWASP.[9]

Narvin Lichfield, who was the director at the time of the facility's closure, was jailed in Costa Rica for a brief period at the time of the closure. He was later tried in Costa Rica on charges of coercion, holding minors against their will, and "crimes of an international character" (violating a law based on international treaties, specifically referring to torture).

On February 21, 2007 a three-judge panel found Narvin Lichfield innocent of the charges of abuse. During the trial the prosecutor told the court that there was insufficient evidence and testimony to link Lichfield to the crimes for which he was accused. The Tico Times reported that the judges said they believed the students at Dundee had been abused, but there was no proof that that Lichfield ordered the abuse.[10] Three other Academy employees, all Jamaicans, had been wanted in connection with the same case, but they fled Costa Rica following the closure of the Academy.[11]

Following the acquittal, Lichfield claimed in an e-mail to A.M. Costa Rica that when the school was raided, police stood by and watched youths sexually assault each other, that police held parents and staff at gunpoint and that one parent was ordered at gunpoint to hang up the phone when she attempted to phone the U.S. Embassy for help, and that police left the school in a shambles.[8]
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Offline Sam Kinison

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Re: Teen Mentor (Costa Rica) shut down by authorities
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2011, 11:34:06 PM »
Narvin Lichfield, who was the director at the time of the facility's closure, was jailed in Costa Rica for a brief period at the time of the closure. He was later tried in Costa Rica on charges of coercion, holding minors against their will, and "crimes of an international character" (violating a law based on international treaties, specifically referring to torture).

If they were charging him with UN Crimes,they had a serious hard-on for him.How many people do you personally know,or even know of that has ever been charged with a crime against humanity?
In Costa Rica,they use a judge to control proceedings and magistrates,instead of a jury,to examine the evidence.The prosecutor probably did not present a strong enough case.Even so,Mr. Lichfield would be well advised never to return here,or the next charges might just stick.
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Offline thomasC

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Re: Teen Mentor (Costa Rica) shut down by authorities
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2011, 12:41:16 PM »
Quote from: "Sam Kinison"
Narvin Lichfield, who was the director at the time of the facility's closure, was jailed in Costa Rica for a brief period at the time of the closure. He was later tried in Costa Rica on charges of coercion, holding minors against their will, and "crimes of an international character" (violating a law based on international treaties, specifically referring to torture).

If they were charging him with UN Crimes,they had a serious hard-on for him.How many people do you personally know,or even know of that has ever been charged with a crime against humanity?
In Costa Rica,they use a judge to control proceedings and magistrates,instead of a jury,to examine the evidence.The prosecutor probably did not present a strong enough case.Even so,Mr. Lichfield would be well advised never to return here,or the next charges might just stick.

Wrong.  The school was reopened by Narvin Lichfield as Pillars of Hope.  I believe he still owns a horse farm in Costa Rica as well.
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Offline BuzzKill

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Re: Teen Mentor (Costa Rica) shut down by authorities
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2011, 01:05:14 PM »
The original prosecutor on the Dundee case was very upset by what he found when they went to investigate Dundee ranch. He had had no idea what he was walking into when they first arrived. The simple act of informing the students what their rights were under Costa Rican law resulted in kids breaking down and sobbing - yelling and cheering. Kids begging him to help them - passing notes in fear of retaliation - running barefoot out the gates and down the road - all this was shocking to him, as he had no idea what they had been through. It isn't true that the police encouraged rioting. It is true they made the staff at the newly constructed high impact compound (google WWASP+high impact) stop beating the kids back with sticks which allowed those who wanted to to leave.  

It has been reported by some students who where there that it was the staff that had students helping to destroy computers and such - for reason that are not hard to imagine.  It is probably true that the police went in ill prepared for the emotional response of the students and the need to manage an organized evacuation - but in fairness - they couldn't imagine the reality at Dundee and so had no reason to expect such a response.

The original prosecutor was working on the investigation in a serious way but he was taken off the case and replaced by a woman who dropped it almost totally. She did no interviewing of complaining victims at all - none. She only took statements from students provided by Narvin; consequently, it was only their statements the judges heard. I will leave it to your imagination as to why she might have done this, and why she was put in charge of the case in the first place.

I think Narvin spent one night in jail - and for a few months wasn't supposed to leave the country. It cost him a bit of cash and some inconvenience, but that was all. In light of the huge profits gained it was a very small price. I assure you nothing about it will keep him or his brother or his associated "brothers" from doing it all over again just as soon as the drama dies down. And compared to the Dundee situation this is a cake walk - even a pleasant stroll along one of your beautiful beaches; something the students were promised and of course never saw!

TomC writes:
Wrong. The school was reopened by Narvin Lichfield as Pillars of Hope. I believe he still owns a horse farm in Costa Rica as well.

Exactly so.
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Offline Ursus

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PANI cierra academia juvenil por supuestos maltratos...
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2011, 01:38:39 PM »
Quote from: "ThomasC"
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-22/Suceso ... 22171.aspx

Need someone to translate this one. Some details from this article according to some machine translation:

The academy was closed after complaints from three psychologists who had worked at the program to PANI.
There were 21 minors in the program
The allegations involve physical and psychological abuse, isolation, severed communication between students and their families, lack of medical supervision, lack of proper education, lack of recreation programs promised by the school's advertising
The program lacked the proper permits to operate in Costa Rica
The corporation registered as owning the school lists Robert Walter Lichfield as owner, article speculates as to relationship between this person and former PIllars of Hope/Dundee Ranch (also raided by authorities) owner Narvin Lichfield
A PANI official is quoted saying that children were forced to sign a document stating they were at the school of their own free will, threatened with 8 days in an isolation room if they did not comply.
Here's the full article, for posterity's sake:

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La NACIÓN

Dueños alquilaban instalaciones del Hotel Carara, en Tárcoles
PANI cierra academia juvenil por supuestos maltratos a alumnos

  • Jóvenes afectados denunciaron que sufrían daños físicos y psicológicos
  • Embajada de Estados Unidos ayudó a padres a llevarse a sus hijos

Karen Medina, Ferlin Fuentes y Jorge Umaña Colaboradores 10:55 a.m. 21/03/2011

El Patronato Nacional de la Infancia (PANI) cerró ayer una academia privada para rehabilitación de jóvenes con problemas de conducta y adicciones, debido a supuestos maltratos físicos y psicológicos a los estudiantes.

La academia, llamada Teen Mentor, funcionaba desde octubre del 2010 en instalaciones del Hotel Carara, en Tárcoles de Garabito, Puntarenas, las cuales eran alquiladas.

Funcionarios del PANI intervinieron el centro el viernes como respuesta a una denuncia interpuesta por tres psicólogos, quienes solían dar terapia a los estudiantes.

Los dueños de este programa ofrecían, a través de su página web, un programa de rehabilitación para jóvenes, entre los 13 y 18 años, a partir de $600 al mes.

De acuerdo con la denuncia presentada ante el Patronato, a los 21 menores que estaban en la academia, todos de origen estadounidense, se les estarían violando varios derechos.

"Se denuncia maltrato físico y psicológico, aislamiento, situaciones de incomunicación entre los jóvenes y sus familiares, no había supervisión médica ni claridad en el tema del derecho a la educación y también carecían de programas de recreación", explicó Jorge Urbina, gerente técnico del PANI.

Según Urbina, la Embajada de Estados Unidos en San José alertó a los padres de los menores sobre la situación para que vinieran a llevárselos.

Hasta la tarde de ayer los padres de 10 de los jóvenes ya habían llegado a buscarlos. El grupo restante quedó bajo la custodia del Patronato.

"Se pudo confirmar que el programa no contaba con permisos del Ministerio de Salud ni del mismo Patronato para operar en el país", afirmó Jorge Urbina.

Antecedentes. Según Urbina, la Embajada estadounidense vincula a la academia con la sociedad anónima Mentor de ABC de Costa Rica S. A., la cual fue inscrita en el Registro Nacional en agosto del 2010. Como presidente figura Robert Walter Lichfield.

Ayer no fue posible verificar si esta persona, de origen estadounidense, tiene alguna relación con Narvin Lichfield, otro estadounidense que fue juzgado y absuelto aquí por supuesta privación de libertad a jóvenes con problemas de adicciones y conducta en Rancho Dundee, una academia que funcionó en La Ceiba de Orotina entre los años 2002 y 2003.

Alexis Medrano, abogado de la sociedad, explicó que fue contactado "por el hermano del presidente de la sociedad".

Según el encargado de mantenimiento del hotel, en el momento de la intervención del PANI "los encargados de Teen Mentor se fueron y los jóvenes quedaron solos", aseguró.

Declaraciones. El Gerente Técnico del PANI explicó que los muchachos fueron entrevistados por personal de esa entidad.

El funcionario dijo que los menores declararon que el pasado jueves fueron obligados a firmar un documento en el que todos hacen constar que estaban en ese recinto por su propia voluntad.

Según los muchachos, si ellos no firmaban los enviaban a un sitio de aislamiento donde deberían permanecer ocho días.


© 2011. GRUPO NACIÓN GN, S. A.
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Offline BuzzKill

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Re: Teen Mentor (Costa Rica) shut down by authorities
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2011, 05:43:17 PM »
A translation:

Hotel owners Carara rented facilities in Tárcoles
PANI closes youth academy students for alleged abuse

...

...* Young people affected reported suffering physical and psychological damage

* U.S. Embassy helped parents take their children

Karen Medina, Ferlin Fuentes and Jorge Umaña Contributors 10:55 a.m. 21/03/2011

The National Trust for Children (PANI) closed yesterday a private academy for rehabilitation of youths with behavioral problems and addictions, because of alleged physical and psychological abuse to students.

The academy, called Teen Mentor, operating since October 2010 in Carara Hotel facilities in Tárcoles Garabito, Puntarenas, which were rented.

PANI officials involved the center on Friday in response to a complaint by three psychologists, who used to provide therapy for students.

The owners of this program offered through its website, a rehabilitation program for young people between 13 and 18, starting at $ 600 a month.

According to the complaint filed with the Board, the 21 minors who were in the academy, all of U.S. origin, they would violate various rights.

"It is alleged physical and psychological abuse, isolation, lack of communication between young people and their families, there was no medical supervision or clarity on the issue of right to education and recreation programs lacked," said Jorge Urbina, technical manager PANI.

According to Urbina, the U.S. Embassy in San José alerted parents of the children on the state to come and take them away.

Until yesterday afternoon the parents of 10 young people had come to look. The remaining group was in the custody of the Board.

"It was confirmed that the program did not have permits from the Ministry of Health or of the Board to operate in the country," said Jorge Urbina.

Background. According to Urbina, the U.S. Embassy to the academy linked to the Mentor corporation of Costa Rica ABC S. A., and registered on the National Register in August 2010. As President Robert Walter Lichfield figure.

Yesterday was not possible to verify if this person, an American, has some relation to Narvin Lichfield, another American who was tried and acquitted here for alleged deprivation of freedom for young people with addictions and behavioral problems in Dundee Ranch, an academy which operated in La Ceiba de Orotina between 2002 and 2003.

Alexis Medrano, a lawyer for the company, said he was contacted "by the brother of the president of the society."

According to the hotel maintenance manager at the time of the intervention of PANI "Teen makers Mentor and youth were left alone," he said.

Statements. PANI Technical Manager explained that the boys were interviewed by staff of that institution.

The official said the children reported that last Thursday were forced to sign a document in which all observe that they were at the site of their own volition.

According to the boys, if they did not sign were sent to an isolation room where they should stay eight days.
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Offline Ursus

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Comments: "PANI cierra academia juvenil por supuestos..."
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2011, 09:37:31 PM »
Comments left for the above article, "PANI cierra academia juvenil por supuestos maltratos a alumnos" (by Karen Medina, Ferlin Fuentes and Jorge Umaña, 21/03/2011, La NACIÓN):

[Spanish -> English translation from SDL FreeTranslation.com]


Luis Gerardo Esquivel Hernandez · 06:45  22/3/2011
    Que pena que dan este tipo de noticias. Mucho se habla de que siempre los estudiantes son los culpables de todo lo malo que sucede en centros educativos. Recuerden el caso del estudiante que asesino a la directora, pues no se puede descartar que el estudiante no sufriera maltrato psicologico, no mal interprenten mis palabras no estoy defendiendo a ese asesino. El punto es que se debe hacer un estudio para detectar lo mas antes posible a malos educadores y estudiantes y tratar de controlar esto
    That suffers that they give this type of news. A lot of is spoken that always the students are the guilty of all the bad thing that happens in educational centers. Recall the case of the student that murderous to the director, therefore himself cannot be ruled out that the student not to suffer I abuse psicologico, not badly interprenten my words I am not defending that murderer.  The point is that should be done a study to detect it but before possible to bad educators and students and to try to control this[/list]
    Luis Gerardo Esquivel Hernandez · 06:50  22/3/2011
      Ahora bien la violencia es un mal que se ve no solo en centros educativos, es algo que se ve en muchas partes, jovenes mal educados en las barras de los equipos, personas que son asesinadas dia con dia. La policia hace bien su trabajo, lamentablemente el poder judicial (jueces) no cumplen las leyes. Lamentablemente la gente tomara la justicia en sus manos, y una ola delictiva se esta empezando a desatar en mi querida CR. Aun hay tiempo para cambiar el mal camino, cumplamos las leyes comoson
      Now well the violence is a badly that is seen not alone in educational centers, is something that is seen in many parts, young badly educated in the bars of the teams, people that are murdered I gave with I gave. The policia does well its work, sadly the judicial power (judges) do not comply the laws. Sadly the people took the justice in its hands, and a crime wave itself this beginning to untie in my darling CR. Even there is time to change evil road, we comply the laws comoson[/list]
      Luis Beatriz Gutiérrez · 11:40 22/3/2011
        Es el colmo que tengamos ahora que echarnos encima los problemas sociales de la nación mas poderosa y rica del mundo, esto nos empobrece.
        It is the peak that have now that to throw us on top the social problems of the nation but powerful and rich of the world, this impoverishes us.[/list]
        Ana Rodriguez Rodriguez · 11:42 22/3/2011
          Me parece fundamental resaltar la pronta y adecuada respuesta del PANI en una situación tan compleja y la buena actuación de los psicólogos al poner la denuncia. Esto me hizo pensar que al PANI si que le toca atender diversidad de situaciones dificiles con niños y adolescentes y cómo a veces no valoramos las instituciones que tenemos en este país.
          It seems me fundamental to stand out the quick and adequate answer of the PANI in a so complex situation and the good action of the psychologists upon putting the accusation. This caused thought me that to the PANI if that touches him to attend diversity of situations dificiles with children and adolescents and how at times we do not value the institutions that have in this country.[/list]
          Francisco Ramirez Arce · 12:38 22/3/2011
            Luis Beatriz deje de lado los prejucios antigringos; CR ha suscrito muchisimos tratodos internacionales y está obligada a salvaguardar los derechos de todos los menores de cualquier nacionalidad. No me imagino lo que usted sentiría o yo si nos maltrataran un hijo en territorio extranjero y aquel país se quedara sin hacer nada. Porque hay gente que no analiza nada antes de opinar?
            Luis Beatriz leave sideways the prejucios antigringos; CR has subscribed muchisimos tratodos international and is obliged to safeguard the rights of all the less than any nationality. Me do not I imagine what you would feel or I if they mistreated us a son in foreign territory and that country remained without doing nothing. Because there is people that does not analyze anything before thinking?[/list]
            Jose P Alvarado Alvarado · 18:54  22/3/2011
              Es increible que luego de tener Rancho Dundee y dejar un gran lio, luego el señor Narvin Lichfield abriera otra academia junto con su sobrino y socio de negocio Robert Walter Lichfield. Me imagino que esta vez tambien van a dejar a los empleados guindando con sus liquidaciones y responsabilidades patronales.
              It is increible that after having Ranch Dundee and to leave a great I bundle, then the Mister Narvin Lichfield to open another academy along with his nephew and associate of business Robert Walter Lichfield. I imagine that this time tambien are going to leave the employees hanging with their liquidations and management responsibilities.[/list]


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              Offline Ursus

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              Dueño de Rancho Dundee fue absuelto
              « Reply #13 on: March 23, 2011, 10:54:22 PM »
              Here's also an accompanying article from La NACIÓN... It appears to summarize Narvin Lichfield's former legal travails with "la academia Rancho Dundee" back in 2003:

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              La NACIÓN

              Dueño de Rancho Dundee fue absuelto

              David Delgado C. · [email protected] · 10:56 a.m. 21/03/2011



              El dueño de la Academia Rancho Dundee, Narvin Lichfield, fue absuelto el 22 de febrero del 2007 de los delitos de tortura, privación de libertad y coacción en perjuicio de menores de edad internados en ese centro de atención privada en Orotina de Alajuela.

              La academia operaba desde el 2002 y fue cerrada un año después. Albergaba a más de 200 jóvenes estadounidenses con adicciones y problemas de conducta, por lo que fueron internados en contra de su voluntad.

              La Fiscalía de Atenas inició la investigación en el 2002, y el 22 de mayo del 2003 detuvo a Narvin Lichfield, dueño de la academia de rehabilitación, por la presunta comisión de tales delitos, que infringían los derechos humanos.

              En ese momento, los padres de los jóvenes internados en Rancho Dundee viajaron a nuestro país y sacaron de inmediato a sus hijos de ese centro.

              Según las acusaciones del Ministerio Público, a los jóvenes se les aplicaba un método de privilegios y castigos para modificarles la conducta.

              Supuestamente, a ellos se les incomunicaba de sus padres, e incluso se les imponían castigos como estar de rodillas o acostados sobre concreto durante horas.

              La academia funcionaba en una finca en Cascajal de La Ceiba, sin los permisos que acreditasen como centro educativo y de rehabilitación de drogas que otorga el Instituto sobre Alcoholismo y Farmacodependencia (IAFA).

              Nueva cara. En diciembre del 2003, Harold Dabel, el nuevo director de la academia Rancho Dundee, anunció las gestiones para obtener los permisos para reabrir el centro y trabajar con un programa totalmente diferente al que usó la antigua academia.

              Tres meses después, el Área de Salud de Orotina otorgó un permiso de funcionamiento al "Instituto Internado Educativo Pilares de Esperanza", que sería el nuevo nombre del centro.

              El permiso se extendió por un año, y no incluía jóvenes con problemas de drogas o con antecedentes de conductas inapropiadas.

              Juicio. Linchfield fue juzgado, en setiembre del 2006 en el Tribunal de Juicio de Alajuela.

              El 20 de febrero, 2007, el entonces imputado rechazó los cargos durante el juicio que se inició en su contra en Alajuela.

              "Tengo la conciencia limpia y frente a Dios se los digo, sin que me malinterpreten, que yo he hecho cosas incorrectas, pero nunca de las que se me está acusando", expresó el extranjero ante los juzgadores en ese momento.

              Los jueces se fundamentaron en el beneficio "in dubio pro reo" (ante la duda, se resuelve a favor del reo), pues durante el debate no se lograron probar los hechos por cuales se había llevado hasta juicio al imputado.

              Los diarios Al Día y The New York Times revelaron en ese momento los cuestionamientos al sistema de tratamiento de academias como esas.

              El 19 de mayo del 2003, Al Día publicó una nota en la que se señaló la declaración de una interna, con identidad reservada, de la academia Rancho Dundee.

              "Todas las mañanas le pido a Dios que no me deje levantarme un día más, realmente quiero morir. Ellos (el personal) les mienten a nuestros padres, todo lo que quiero es que mi mamá venga a salvarme", relató la fuente.

              El centro funcionó bajo la supervisión de la Asociación Mundial de Programas Especiales y Escuelas (WWasp, en inglés).


              © 2011. GRUPO NACIÓN GN, S. A.
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              Offline Ursus

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              Owner of Dundee Ranch was acquitted
              « Reply #14 on: March 23, 2011, 11:33:31 PM »
              Crude translation of the just above article; this time, for the most part, via Google:

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              La NACIÓN

              Owner of Dundee Ranch was acquitted

              By David Delgado · [email protected] · March 21, 2011 10:56 a.m.

              The owner of Dundee Ranch Academy, Narvin Lichfield, was acquitted on February 22, 2007 for crimes of torture, deprivation of liberty and coercion at the expense of children placed in the center of Alajuela Orotina private.

              The academy operated since 2002 and was closed a year later. Hosted more than 200 young Americans with addictions and behavioral problems, so they were hospitalized against their will.

              The Prosecutor of Atenas began research in 2002, and May 22, 2003 arrested Narvin Lichfield, owner of the Academy of rehabilitation, for the alleged commission of such crimes, violated human rights.

              At that time, parents of young people at Dundee Ranch traveled to our country and immediately removed their children from the center.

              According to the indictment prosecutors, young people were given a method of privileges and punishments to change behavior.

              Supposedly, they were cut off from their parents, and even punishments imposed on them as you are kneeling or lying on concrete for hours.

              The Academy worked on a farm in La Ceiba Cascajal without permission for accredited as an educational center and drug rehabilitation granted by the Institute on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (IAFA).

              New face. In December 2003, Harold Dabel, the new director of Dundee Ranch Academy, said efforts to obtain permits to reopen the center and work with a completely different program that used the old academy.

              Three months later, the Department of Health Orotina granted an operating permit to the "Institute for Educational Internship Pillars of Hope", which was the new name of the center.

              The permit was extended for one year, and did not include young people with drug problems or a history of misconduct.

              Trial. Linchfield was tried in September 2006 at the Trial Court of Alajuela.

              On February 20, 2007, the then accused denied the charges during the trial that was initiated against him in Alajuela.

              "I have a clean conscience before God and tell them, not me wrong, I have done wrong things, but never which is accusing me, " said the foreigner before the judges at that time.

              The judges were based on the benefit "in dubio pro reo" (when in doubt is resolved in favor of the defendant), because during the debate was not able to prove the facts which had led to trial of the accused.

              The daily Al Día and The New York Times revealed at the time the questioning of the system of treatment of academies like that.

              On May 19, 2003, Al Día published a note that said an internal statement with confidential identity of Dundee Ranch Academy.

              "Every morning I ask God to not let me wake up one day, I really want to die. They (the staff) lie to our parents, all I want is that my mom come and save me, "said the source.

              The center operated under the supervision of the World Association of Specialty Programs and Schools (WWasp, in English).


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