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Interview with Grecy Castrillo Hernandez – Nicoya’s OIJ Operations Coordinator
“Crime in Nosara is not violent”
• Grecy Castrillo has worked for the OIJ for over 12 years, and he is currently in charge of assigning officers to the criminal investigations
By Emiliana García

Has there been a rise in crime rates in Nosara?
Yes, whenever there is a growth in tourism, there is also a growth in delinquency.

According to Jason Vargas, Chief of Nosara’s Tourist Police, during the past nine months crime rates have not increased. Do you agree?
Yes, and not only did it not increase but it even decreased, not drastically, but we are aware that it has decreased. We have the number of cases for the 2009 high season, when there was still no Tourist Police, and the numbers for the 2010 high season, with the Tourist Police, and when compared they show that the crime rate has remained stable and even lower. The problem is that tourists are not warned correctly, they are not advised in regards to the possible risks and how to look after their belongings properly and therefore, they are a very easy target for thieves, especially at the beach and in cars.

Is drug trafficking going on in Nosara?
There is no drug trafficking and, although there are a few drug dealers, the drug is coming from outside sources, meaning that Nosara is only used for transit purposes. We have no information indicating that any foreign drug cartels or trafficking networks are operating in the area.

Some people believe that they should get weapons in order to protect their homes and families. Does the OIJ recommend this?
No, even though all citizens have the right to defend themselves, our experience has shown us that crime in Nosara is not violent. Thieves break into houses when nobody is inside and many of them do so unarmed. If they start to notice that people are armed, they will change their way of stealing and they will start using firearms. It’s logical that the risks will increase as more violence arises and, therefore, more deaths will also result because both the victims and the assailants will be armed. (Editor’s Note: several days after this interview, a gun-related incident between a thief and a tourist who was chasing him was reported, nonetheless, no shots were fired).

Do you think that private security companies are a viable solution?
Definitely, as long as it is a serious company that is selective in who they hire. Their officers must be well trained and undergo several evaluations, such as a psychological exam, a firearms handling examination, etc. They must be properly trained and most companies do not worry about this. They must also know what to do and what not to do at a crime scene. When arriving at a crime scene, we have seen cases in which (private security officers) have already touched the area, thereby losing or contaminating the evidence. They touched the scene of the crime and when we get there, there is no evidence.

Is Nosara one of the most difficult and unsafe places in Nicoya?
It is not, there are some areas and neighborhoods in Nicoya and other tourism destinations in Guanacaste that are much more troublesome. But Nosara, just like Samara, presents some difficulties because of the tourism that they attract. However, Guiones is more dangerous than downtown Nosara due to the area’s topographical characteristics: homes that are frequently left alone with greater distance between them and that are surrounded by woods, all of which facilitate that thieves can hide more easily. In addition, in many cases home owners do not call the Police when they see suspicious people around their homes. The Police is not receiving the necessary help from the area’s residents in regards to preventing crime, they are only called once the crime has occurred.

Is there any chance of having an OIJ office in Nosara?
Nosara is definitely very far away from us, it takes us an hour and a half to get there. It should be possible at some point.

Offense: All actions that are punishable under the Costa Rican Penal Code.

Delinquency is also a term that is related to an offense, but it is usually associated with the more common offenses that occur in society and which are detrimental to the economic aspects and not to a person’s physical integrity.

1. Robberies (muggery, armed robbery)
2. Theft in its two forms (simple theft or neglect)
3. Drug sale and trafficking
(including marihuana)
4. Illegal possession of weapons

Crime: An offensive action that takes place with the goal of attempting against a person’s life or abusing them, through the use of extreme violence.

1. Homicide
2. Armed assault
3. Rape

Infographic designed by Nicolas Liger
based on information from Sección Estadística, Departamento de Planificación OIJ

US Consul visit in Nosara Consul General to crowd: Fight crime together More >


More Regional News

From Dogs to Pigs – Free Animal Clinic Provides Health Care to Over 200 Animals in Nosara

Nosara – Despite the fact she was about to lose her leg, the small black dog looked at peace as she lay on the table. As one of many bystanders, I stand waiting to see what will happen next. Just then, I hear a man’s voice come from behind me say, “That’s my dog.” More >

Fire at the Mini Súper Delicias del Mundo
“A huge cloud of smoke came over me”
Patricia Jimenez, co-owner of the store

Guiones – On Wednesday, August 4th, at 11:20 p.m. Manuel Pérez, an employee of a construction site located across from the Mini Súper Delicias del Mundo, heard the supermarket alarm system go off. Half and hour later, he saw the smoke. More >

Celebration of Nicoya’s Anexión
President Laura Chinchilla made promises to the Nicoyanos

Nicoya’s Municipalidad is currently struggling with a 140 million colones deficit in the 2009 budget which has the municipality scurrying to find a solution. The deficit was reported, back in April, to the Concejo Municipal (Municipal Council) by the Municipalidad’s Internal Auditing Department, which explained to the Council the difficult financial situation that the Institution is facing. More >

The Municipalidad Facing a ¢140 million deficit struggles to complete construction works

Nicoya’s Municipalidad is currently struggling with a 140 million colones deficit in the 2009 budget which has the municipality scurrying to find a solution. The deficit was reported, back in April, to the Concejo Municipal (Municipal Council) by the Municipalidad’s Internal Auditing Department, which explained to the Council the difficult financial situation that the Institution is facing. More >

INS’s 2002 Donation for Schools is Still Missing
• Donation amounted to almost ¢41 million colones
• The Asociación de Juegos Deportivos Nacionales was the organization responsible for financing

Nicoya’s Colegio Agropecuario and the Escuela de San Martín are still waiting for the almost ¢41 million colones donation that was made by the Instituto Nacional de Seguros (INS) in 2002 for the improvement of their sports facilities. More >

US Consul visit in Nosara
Consul General to crowd: Fight crime together

The crowd couldn’t wait to vent. Before Paul Birdsall, Consul General of the U.S. Embassy to Costa Rica, could get out his thoughts on deterring crime, the crowd erupted with a litany of frustrations about the thefts and burglaries taking place in this coastal tourist town. More >

Serapio López Fajardo School in Nosara has problems with the school board
Municipalidad Removes President of Nosara’s
Education Board

The Concejo Municipal (Municipal Council) unanimously voted to remove Juan José López Castillo, President of the Junta de Educación (Education Board) of the Escuela Serapio López in Nosara, from office due to apparent financial anomalies that took place during his time in office. More >

Interview with Juan José “Adonai” López Castillo, Former President of the Education Board of the Escuela Serapio López
“I have all the Bills and Receipts for what was Purchased”

Is it true that Orlando Villarreal donated one million colones to the Education Board?
Yes. First, he wrote a check payable to the Board of Nosara but, as you know, there is no Board of Nosara, only a Board of Education. Since we were unable to cash the check my fellow Board member, Eraida Matarrita (Vocal 1), and I went looking for Orlando in order to explain that the check could not be cashed. More >

Interview with Zulay Salas Valenciano, Nicoya’s Regional Director for the MEP

Did you advise that Juan José López Castillo be dismissed?
There was an investigation done by the Supervising Adviser, Damaris Díaz Hernández, and its results indicated that a replacement should be requested by the Municipalidad, which is the entity that appoints the Juntas de Educación (Education Boards) members, so the file was sent and they made the resolution. More >

PLN, ML, PUSC and PAC Have Elected Their Candidates for Nicoya’s Mayor Elections

Four political parties have their candidates ready so that, on December 6th, the Nicoyanos will be able to elect their next Mayor, who will be in charge of the Municipalidad during the next six years. More >



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