To get the US$2 he needed to satisfy his crack addiction, Juan Carlos Alemán thought he had no choice but to steal a woman’s purse in Costa Rica’s capital of San José.
On the afternoon of July 13, 2012, after smoking crack with one of his friends, Alemán found himself without any money and needing more drugs, so he started begging on the streets of the Barrio Cuba in San José. Frustrated by his inability to get the US$2 to feed his addiction, he threatened a woman and snatched her purse.
Alemán, 23, was arrested a few minutes after the victim alerted police.
He has spent eight months of his 20-month sentence in the minimum security block of San Sebastián Prison in San José.
“What people don’t understand is that you need to buy drugs,” he said from prison. “I had never assaulted anybody like that, but I didn’t have money and nobody would give me any because they could see that I was so high. The only thing I wanted was the money ($1,000 Costa Rican colones, or US$2) to buy a dose of crack.”
While authorities do not keep records on the number of drug addicts who commit crimes, many of them who wind up in prison do not receive treatment for their addictions, according to the government.
But that changes in September.
ICR News, July 19, 2013
Read more HERE