Archive for Thursday, July 12, 2001

Brownback to talk with Costa Rican president

July 12, 2001

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"We'll be talking about several issues," Brownback said. "One will be Shannon Martin and our disappointment in the slow way that the case has been handled as far as finding the perpetrators of this awful crime. I will be pressing the Costa Rican president."

Brownback said the meeting with President Miguel Angel Rodriguez was initially arranged to discuss carbon sequestration, but that the foreign leader has since been alerted the Martin case also will come up in the Washington, D.C., meeting.

Carbon sequestration refers to methods for limiting carbon dioxide pollution and is a response to increased greenhouse gases thought to cause global warming.

Martin, 23, was murdered in May in Golfito, Costa Rica, while there completing biological research. She was a Kansas University student days from graduation when she was stabbed to death after leaving a nightspot.

Brownback said the best thing U.S. officials and others can do to speed up the Costa Rican investigation is to maintain pressure on Costa Rican leaders.

"The biggest thing we can do is press them as this stays unresolved," he said. "Let them know this sends a big signal about how our students will be treated in Costa Rica and they should be concerned about how this looks very badly for them."

In his weekly telephone press conference with Kansas news reporters, Brownback also said he and other members of the Kansas delegation continue to press Air Force officials to keep B-1 bombers stationed with the Kansas Air National Guard in Wichita.

Brownback said the planes contribute "$100 million a year to the Wichita economy."

-- City Editor Mike Shields can be reached at 832-7145.

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