Since last year, the Nosara Security Association has been trying to get the Ministry of Security to take over payments of the rent for the tourist police station in Guiones, but delays in paperwork have held up the process and now the association is almost out of money, once again renewing concerns that the tourist police might have to leave town.
Xinia Vasquez Mora, national director of the tourist police, said these concerns are not unfounded. However, she indicated that would be a last resort. If rent money does run out, they would first look for another place to lodge the tourist police, such as sharing quarters temporarily with the public force, although she noted that the public force’s station is small.
“It’s right that the government pay the rent,” Vasquez stated, noting that the community has been paying it for a good amount of time.
She explained that having the Ministry of Security assume the rent payments was in process last year, but first the property where the station in Guiones is located had to be segregated, which was achieved. Now it’s a matter of paperwork, but since the association has presented the required documents in parts, some documents have expired while waiting for the others. “The government can’t rent without all of the requirements,” she explained.
Vasquez assured that they are in contact with the lawyer representing the Security Association regarding the necessary documents and expect to receive them soon. Once all the paper work is in, the next step would be to have an engineer appraise the building to verify that the cost of rent is appropriate.
However, she also noted that the public force, which the tourist police belongs too, has a budget for a certain quantity of rents, so the need must be justified. “The support for the sector is important, taking into account that the community has been paying,” she said.
Steve Reyer, president of the Security Association, said the paperwork has been a challenge. “We’ve been hit with bureaucratic stuff, paperwork, and the paperwork is never sufficient,” he said.
In the meantime, the Security Association is struggling to continue paying the rent and expenses for the tourist police in Guiones, which runs around $1200 per month. “We are out of money, so we either need to collect more money or let them go,” Reyer affirmed.
Humberto Aguirre Garcia, in charge of the tourist police in Guiones, commented that whether the rent is paid by the Security Association or by the Ministry of Security, things would continue as normal for them, but he also noted that if the Ministry of Security takes over the rent, the association would be able to invest in other things to enhance security. For example, he indicated that currently they are only able to use their motorcycles to patrol since their patrol vehicle’s technical revision is out of date.
Reyer said the Security Association will be visiting local businesses and soliciting more donations. If you want to help, contact the Nosara Security Association at [email protected].