In order to better equip Guanacaste police stations, the minister of Public Safety, Celso Gamboa, delivered 30 motorcycles, model XT250, four patrol vehicles and an ATV with a total value of ¢350 million (about $660,000) to the different cantons in the province during a visit from January 21 to 23.
Nicoya, Hojancha and Nandayure received two new motorcycles, along with a patrol vehicle for Nandayure.
Gamboa wanted to make it very clear that his visit to the region is not for politicking.
“Someone might say, ‘The minister comes for political reasons.’ I tell them yes, but the politics that we are coming to do is a politics of actions. The politics that I bring you today is of concrete actions, because a people with character like this, who do not tolerate unfulfilled promises and demand results… well, here we are bringing results,” Gamboa said.
However, although the donation was well received, police stations like Hojancha complain about having limited resources. According to Jose Miguel Nuñez, in charge of the System of Integration and Improvement of Police Structures (SIMEP- Sistema de Integracion y Mejoramiento de las Estructuras Policiales), despite having two new motorcycles, Hojancha does not have a patrol vehicle in good condition.
“If at some time we have to respond quickly in some operation, we don’t have the capability. None of the patrol vehicles meets the conditions for a police chase,” Nuñez pointed out.
According to Nuñez, the Hojancha police station has 16 officers, three patrol vehicles and now two motorcycles that have to provide coverage for the districts of Hojancha and Lajas.
Another who put into context the need to deploy more resources to the region is Marcos Carmona, representative of the Nicoya Chamber of Commerce, who took advantage of Minister Gamboa’s visit to denounce the crime situation currently affecting Samara and Nosara.
“We need more police presence, especially in the coastal area. A couple of years ago, strong operations were carried out in Nicoya’s coastal area and crime was being controlled a bit but we relaxed and we’re having problems again. In Samara and Nosara, there are people whose immigration status isn’t very clear and even so, they can walk down the street armed, intimidating people,” Carmona said.
The communities of Abangares, Tilaran, Cañas, Carrilo, Bagaces, La Cruz and Santa Cruz also received two motorcycles, while Liberia and the tourist police received four. Additionally, Santa Cruz, Bagaces and La Cruz received a patrol vehicle.