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The Brothers of Nosara Representative are under investigation for tree cuttings

By Pinar istek

On March 27th, 2011, two officers from MINAET Ostional (Ministry of Environment, Energy and Telecommunications) found 20 pochote trees stumps, which were supposedly cut illegally on a property near the Nosara dump. Among the parties involved, which included two brothers of the Nosara Representative, Marcos Avila, none had permission to cut, transport, or sell the trees.

When José Paulo Baltodano Díaz and Laura Brenes Chávez of MINAET Ostional arrived the property, they came across Geiner Ávila Alvarado, who was transporting some of the trunks with heavy machinery. Following this finding, MINAET Nicoya started a new investigation on the issue on March 28th, 2011.


The reminiscent of the pochote trees after the transportation of the trunks. Geiner Ávila Alvarado, who transported the trunks to the sawmills with his brother Geovanny Ávila Alvarado, informed MINAET that, "Randal told me that Mario Juarez cut the trees."


Regarding this illegal situation, Marcos Avila said "it is a problem that they(his brothers) have, so they should solve it." He also added that, "I even told them to go to MINAET to present their statement."

The stumps that were found on the property were marked with DF by Díaz and Chávez. DF stands for Decomiso Forestal (Forest Confiscation) and carries an untouchable status, meaning that the trees are not allowed to be touched.

The estimated gross income from 20 trees would be in the neighborhood of $1000.

During interviews held by MINAET, all the parties involved claimed that Randall Matarrita, also known as Chepo in the area, told them that he holds the permits for all the activities related to the trees that were cut illegally.

When Randal Enrique Matarrita was interviewed by VON, he said that he had permits to cut the trees, yet he refused to present them. Additionally, he claimed that he had the authorization from a lawyer from Liberia, Henry Briones, who, according to Matarrita, is the owner of the land.

Forest Law 7575
According to forest law of Costa Rica, even if a person who wants to cut the trees, is the property owner, he or she has to get permits from MINAET because the MINAET wants to make sure that trees or the land is not under protection. Also they want to make sure that the trees are not planted near any watershed such as creeks, rivers or water springs. This is critical for the absorption of the water.

Persons who get involved in illegal tree cutting can be sentenced to prison from one month to three years.

In this case, even if pochote trees are not a protected species, according to the law in Costa Rica any kind of tree cutting and its transportation requires a permit from the MINAET.


9 trunks were transported to the sawmill of Brainner Zeledón Jiménez, whose workshop is located 50 meters from Súper La Paloma. Jiménez commented, "Randal (Matarita) told me that he had the permits to work on these trunks but he never brought them (the permits)." Jiménez also reported to MINAET that he received wood from Randal (Mataritta) and sold it to someone from Los Arenales, that he didn't want to name. After the arrival of officers at the sawmill, the trunks were moved to a property that is located between Jiménez' sawmill and Súper La Paloma. These trunks were also marked with DF.

The case was transferred to Nicoya Court on April 8th and the investigation continues.

Similarly, at a property located behind the gas station between Guiones Beach and Nosara town, four more trees, 3 sandalwood trees and one pochote were illegally cut in early April. The property manager, Randal Cortez commented that this case was under investigation by OIJ-Costa Rican Organization for Judicial Investigation.


More Regional News

Samara community and police hope to organize to improve security

About 60 people met in Samara’s community hall on Thursday, June 23, with Mayor Marcos Jimenez and police officials Angel Araya Cordero, director of police for Guanacaste, and Dennis Garcia, in charge of the police’s community security program for the canton of Nicoya. Their aim was to air concerns and look for viable ways to improve security in Samara.

Woman Died Falling into a Creek

About 60 people met in Samara’s community hall on Thursday, June 23, with Mayor Marcos Jimenez and police officials Angel Araya Cordero, director of police for Guanacaste, and Dennis Garcia, in charge of the police’s community security program for the canton of Nicoya. Their aim was to air concerns and look for viable ways to improve security in Samara.

Samareños will march asking to continue with peace and tranquility

Members of the community of Samara agreed to perform a march this Sunday, the 19th, starting at 11 a.m., leaving from the Catholic church, marching around the front of the Evangelical church, the school and ending in front of the Public Force.

Nosareños Threats to Close the Main Road

Tired of waiting for the government to respond to their demands, the Nosareños patience seems to have come to an end. At a meeting held on Saturday June 11, several members of the community agreed to step up pressure if President Laura Chinchilla doesn’t take action and respond to a letter that will detail the most urgent problems that concern the people of this area.

Machinery Arrives in Nosara to Provide Road Maintenance

Roadworking equipment arrived this past Friday June 10th  to begin repairing the 30 km section between Nosara and Samara. The National Roads Board (CONAVI) deployed the equipment provided by San Antonio construction company.

Road to Nosara is Impassable
The MOPT remains silent

There is great concern among residents and drivers in Garza, Guiones and Nosara due to the bad road conditions and the fact that no work has been done towards their improvement for over three months. As a result of the rainfall during this past few days, the road has become impassable.

Sexual Violence in Las Huacas Under Investigation

On May 22, around midnight, a woman, who is over 50 years old, was sexually assaulted at a house in Section EE, Guiones, where she was housesitting for her friends.

Tourist Police Could be Closed During June

At a meeting held at restaurant Casa Tucan by the Nosara Security Association on Saturday, May 28, Agnes Pinherio, the president of the association, said the Tourist Police of Guiones Beach may be closed unless the association can collect enough donations for its office maintenance. While last year the budget was more than $17,000, this year, only $5,500 has been collected.

Ministry of Health Sets End of July as Deadline for the Dump to Continue Operating

Improvements to Nosara's landfill must be made before the end of July; however, if no concrete efforts to improve it are made, the Ministry of Health will proceed to close it down. This was the order given by Nicoya's Ministry of Health engineer, Gabriel Sotelo González, on Wednesday, May 18th.

Are we Ready for Heavy Winter Rains?

Last year's rains were destructive, leaving some communities cut off when bridges collapsed and unfortunate families seeking shelter elsewhere as their homes flooded. Since then, various groups have been examining needs to better prepare communities for the next round of heavy rains.

Nicoya Sewage Treatment Plant May Pollute the River Grande

Residents of the Matabuey neighborhood in the city of Nicoya expressed their displeasure with the foul smells emanating from the neighboring sewage treatment pools from the Costa Rican Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers (AyA) as well as the treated waters discharged into the River Grande, which runs about 50 meters from the pools.

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