Members of the Nosara community were disappointed by remarks apparently made by Vice Minister of Security Celso Gamboa Sanchez in response to a news program aired on Channel 7 on March 4 about thefts in Nosara, sparking a letter writing campaign to inform him of the real situation. “He told one of the reporters from channel 7 that it wasn’t true that there are so many thefts,” related Andres Gonzalez Anglada of the Nosara Security Association. On Twitter on March 6, CelsoGamboaCR posted a Ministry of Public Security report showing a total of 70 incidents in Nosara in 2011 and a decrease to 61 in 2012. The report specified 26 home robberies in 2011 and 25 in 2012. The TV broadcast took place after a thief caught in the act by neighbors on February 19, in a house in Playa Pelada, was released by a judge less than 24 hours laterunder orders to stay out of Nosara and to report to the court every 15 days while awaiting trial. The theft was also caught on video, showing three masked men with tools breaking into the house. Luis Eduardo Jimenez, Judicial Police chief for the Nicoya area, said that before this thief was apprehended, they were receiving reports of 1 or 2 robberies per week, but after the man was apprehended the incidents of thefts have decreased. Jimenez also assured that OIJ has identified most of the members of this particular group of thieves, who are from Cañas, and said that the first time a suspect under preventive measures does not report to the court, a capture order is issued and once captured, the person is held in preventive prison. About 35 letters were sent by both ticos and foreigners who live in or visit Nosara recounted tales of multiple break-ins, homeowners affirming that every house on their street has been broken into, relating feelings of insecurity, decisions of tourists to leave early and in some cases homeowners deciding to sell and never return to the area or even the country. For example, one person wrote: “I heard your comments about there being very little robberies here in Nosara. Sir that is not true.There are many robberies in Nosara. I myself have been robbed twice at the house I live in and I own 2 other houses and both of them have been robbed.” (William Ken Richardson). Another related, “My last visit to Guiones was in February for 10 days. The welcome greeting was that two days before, the house next door had been robbed. When I try to sleep I wake up and get up several times at night and look out the window. I feel insecure; I feel insecure even to go drink a glass of water in the kitchen.” (Cristina Monge) In addition, the letters explained that many of these crimes go unreported either because the tourist is leaving, because of language barriers, because the person doesn’t have time to go to Nicoya to file a report or simply doesn’t feel there will be results from filing a report. Several asserted that the community is organized and ready to fight against the rise in crime, and in light of this community effort expressed disappointment at having the problem minimized by the government. In spite of the campaign, Andres Gonzalez of the Nosara Security Association said they had not yet received any response from the vice minister. If you would like to participate in the campaign, send a letter to [email protected] and copy [email protected] If you need the letter translated into Spanish, send it to [email protected] first.
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