Leaders and residents of Guanacaste’s coastal areas will take to the streets on Monday, February 24 to pressure congressmen to approve the Coastal Community Territories bill (TECOCOS – Ley de Territorios Costeros Comunitarios).
A protest march has been scheduled for Monday on the Interamerican North highway, in the area around Limonal de Abangares, during early hours of the day, according to Lic Wilmar Matarrita, an advocate for the legislation.
The key request they are making is to call extraordinary meetings regarding the TECOCOS bill, so that two parallel, related bills could be voted on and approved. In addition, they are demanding that the National Water Board (AyA) respect the water rights of residents of Playa Potrero in Santa Cruz.
According to Matarrita, on Monday, February 17 the National Liberation Party’s caucus presented a motion that would give priority to “Coastal City Creation” and “Regulation of Existing Construction” bills which, according to Matarrita, should be taken care of along with the TECOCOS bill because of a previous agreement. “For five years we have worked on the Coastal Territories bill and last year we made a political agreement so these three projects would progress together. Today the PLN faction isn’t fulfilling this agreement and only calls for debate on the other two bills.”
The TECOCOS bill, which defends some of the rights belonging to families who live in the coastal areas of Guanacaste and Puntarenas, was approved on the first vote by Congress in August of 2013. It was sent for review by the Constitutional Tribunal, at which point it was rejected due to two points that were considered outside of the constitutional framework.
Nevertheless, the bill was amended according to the court’s suggestions and was returned to the general session to be approved.