The May 12 session of the Nicoya Municipal Council began with a minute of silence in memory of Miguel Nema Orozco, a former municipal official who suddenly died on Saturday, May 10, due to cardiorespiratory arrest.
Next, a document was presented that had been sent to the council by Nelson Marin, an official of the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE – Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía). The document requests that the councilors and members of the cemetery commission evaluate environmental aspects of the three hectares of land that the municipality intends to purchase. The land belongs to Mario Rojas Huertas, and is located in the Las Brisas del Cerro neighborhood.
In the document, Marin reports that there is an “alleged intermittent creek” on the property, which would mean that the land wouldn’t be appropriate for the construction of the new cemetery, as it would flood during the rainy season.
Santos Juarez, President of the cemetery commission, replied that, “In the hydrological studies, we noted that there is an intermittent creek. However, the lawful distance of 15 meters of separation between the creek and the land is being maintained.”
“There [on the land] there is no spring with potable water,” emphasized Juarez.
In response, Marco Jimenez noted that councilors Carlos Medina Fernandez and Ana Lizeth Espinoza Fonseca have an interest in blocking the land purchase process. Nelson Marin is Espinoza’s husband, and Medina Fernandez was the only councilor who requested a copy of the property’s land survey, even though he “lacks the technical knowledge and [understanding of the] jargon needed to understand the subject,” said the mayor.
Ana Lizeth Espinoza rejected Jimenez’s accusation, affirming that neither she nor her husband have an interest in the property of Mario Rojas Huertas or in blocking its purchase. “The only thing I want is transparency in the process and that things are done according to the law,” she explained.
Councilor Rodolfo Orozco, on the other hand, made several insinuations and called on the members of the council to “not give in to people who want to harm Nicoya, striving for malice and money… I don’t ask for money.” He added, “There are fellow council members who hide like weasels.”
Espinoza responded, reminding the council that since her start as a councilor, “I have been persecuted and attacked simply for attending a session and voting for a project with which I’m not familiar,” she stated.
In addition, Espinoza expressed regret that the council members have lost respect for each other and that councilors attack others instead of defending their projects.
However, that did not prevent a vote in favor of a motion made by Substitute Councilor Ovidio Jimenez to continue with the transfer of the property by the Municipality, and in that way move forward with the purchase process for the cemetery.
Last, Heidy Mena, secretary for the council, reported that the documents and municipal minutes had been reviewed and that the process of binding the documents will proceed.