The Municipality of Nicoya has not only affirmed that the soccer field in Cangrejal of Samara is municipal, but has also committed to protect the community from the attempts of one resident to take over part of the property.
The dispute over the land emerged because Francisco Duarte, one of the people who lives around the soccer field, claimed that about half of the field is part of his property.
For that reason, Duarte has fenced off the field with wood posts on at least two occasions in March and April of 2014. In addition, various neighbors have testified that he has threatened them with a gun and fired shots into the air to keep others from approaching the property.
Ligia Solis, a community resident, said that, “He [Francisco Duarte] is always threatening us. He has built the fence on two occasions; he shows up with his workers and doesn’t let anyone [onto the field].”
Solis reported that Duarte even pointed the gun at a young community member simply because the youth was running around the field. “He always has a machete with him; he likes to provoke and disrespect [others],” she said.
Because of the problems, the residents have met twice with officials from the Municipality of Nicoya to express their concerns.
On May 23, a group of 15 residents met in Cangrejal with Mayor Marco Jimenez, Municipal Councilor Juan Edwin Yockchen and Bonifacio Diaz, Samara’s syndic.
In the meeting, the mayor presented a study done by the municipal land survey department, in which the sports field appears within 136 meters of the maritimeland zone (ZMT- Zona Marítima Terrestre).
“The entire field is municipal. It doesn’t have anything to do with the Duarte family. The field belongs to Cangrejal and we are going to defend it,” explained the mayor.
For his part, Juan Edwin Yockchen reminded residents that four years ago, the General Comptroller of the Republic ordered municipalities to complete an inventory of properties that are in the ZMT, declaring that they are “inalienable and imprescriptible property of the municipality,” which means they belong to each municipality with no statute of limitation.
In addition, upon hearing the repeated threats that Francisco Duarte has made to neighbors, both Yockchen and Jimenez said they would evaluate the possibility of imposing cautionary measures against him.
The mayor went so far as to give the residents his personal telephone number so that they could call him if Duarte encloses the field again.
“We are going to take precautions so that no one puts wire around the field,” added Jimenez.
The Voice tried to contact Francicsco Duarte to find out his side of the story, but as of when this edition went to print he had not returned repeated calls to his cell phone.