The mayor of the Municipality of Nicoya, Marcos Jimenez, and the syndic and president of the Nosara Integral Development Association (ADIN), Marcos Avila, filed a complaint with the Nicoya District Attorney’s Office against the nonprofit organization, the Nosara Civic Association (NCA), and the Amigos de Nosara Anonymous Association, for the alleged crimes of encroachment on public property and fraud simulation.
According to the Nicoya District Attorney’s Office, the complaint was lodged on January 8, 2015, since the defendants have apparently encroached on and accumulated state property under the administration of the Municipality of Nicoya, located in the American Project of the district of Nosara.
The complaint indicates that such encroachment was apparently facilitated between 1984 and 1985 by then head of the municipality Jose G. Chavarria Chavarria, now deceased, who facilitated transferring these public properties from the project to the name of the company, endorsing the plans of the areas presented by Amigos de Nosara S.A.
Twenty-four properties are in dispute. The total number of hectares is not certain but all of the parties consulted said that it is more than 100.
These lands were donated to the NCA in 2004 by Amigos de Nosara S.A., a society that has since been dissolved. However, the complainants claim that these green areas belong to the state according to the Urban Planning Law.
Under this law, every developer— in this case the urban development that was known as the American Project and is now called Playas de Nosara— must freely relinquish for public use both areas designated for roads as well as areas for parks and community facilities. These areas can range from 5% to 20%, according to the average size of the lots.
The case is currently pending investigation. Nevertheless, the Nicoya District Attorney’s Office told The Voice of Guanacaste that the Attorney General of the Republic will be involved due to alleged crimes committed against the state of Costa Rica.
“First we enter a process of understanding and conviction. At first, Alvin Rosenbaum (former president of the NCA) had shown his willingness to participate in this process and turn over what belongs to the municipal government, but later he changed his position and now we are going through legal channels, trying to recover what is the municipal government’s,” explained the mayor of Nicoya.
The legal representative of the NCA, Alvaro Quesada, stated that the District Attorney’s Office has not issued any notification of what has been complained about.
“They have not notified us of any complaint. When we get the notification, we will see how to respond. However, we are very prepared to respond. We have never encroached on anything or anyone. We have not snatched anything from anyone,” Quesada commented.
“The NCA is technically, financially and legally ready to proceed and face this and any other false accusations and any other acts of ‘abuse of authority’ by the mayor or by the municipality, and we will probably file complaints for such ‘false accusations´ and ‘abuse of authority´ as well,” the lawyer added.
According to an article published in The Voice of Nosara in 2012, the then secretary of the board of the NCA, Bobbi Johnson, explained that the association had received the green areas from Amigos de Nosara, and that all of these areas are under the Blue Flag program and under the National Forestry Financing Fund (FONAFIFO- Fondo Nacional de Financiamiento Forestal), a protection program from MINAET.
Johnson affirmed that the ecological records prevent the NCA from selling or developing any of these lands, which will always be kept “green” and can only be used for the “good of the community,” such as to make a well or tank.
Regarding the NCA’s plans for the land, Quesada said, “After title-related issues are solved, the plan is to form an environmental protection land trust, with the support of MINAE and other government entities and institutions, and NCA has already met with MINAE for such purpose.”