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Samara asks District Attorney for More Police

By Arianna McKinney

On Friday afternoon, September 9th Aymee Caravaca, The Chief Prosecutor and District Attorney for Guanacaste, visited Samara to meet with community members who are requesting more police presence in Samara area. The meeting took place at Intercultura at 1 p.m. and lasted about 3 hours. It was attended by more than 60 community members and business owners, and Andrea Keith served as interpreter for English-speaking people.

Picture from left to right: José Angel Gomez, Chief Police Samara, Andrea Keith Interpreter, Aymee Caravaca Attorney Chief Guanacaste, Marco Carmona President of CASATUR and Laura Ellington, Principal Samara Security Comitee.


During the meeting, Caravaca provided an overview of how the district attorney’s office is organized and how decisions are made based on statistics by canton of criminal acts and complaints received.  Reiterating what representatives of the public force have explained in other recent community meetings, Caravaca explained that these statistics are analyzed monthly by canton to determine objectives and stressed the importance of submitting complaints, especially of specific people or places, either with the local police or OIJ (the Organism of Judicial Investigations) so problems can be identified and given more attention. Also, people can report places where drugs are sold by anonymous phone calls, and if the same place is denounced by several people, it will be given attention. 

According to Nixon Salas of the Public Force in Nicoya, the number of complaints being filed for Samara has increased in recent months particularly in crimes against property.  

Laura Ellington, a member of Samara’s Security Committee who helped organize the meeting, explained that the meeting with Caravaca was an important step in attracting national attention toward Samara. She related that Caravaca committed to making an official recommendation to the Ministry of Public Security and to speak to the vice minister of security Celso Gamboa about holding a meeting in Samara, whose support would be key in achieving an increase in the number of police assigned to Samara.

In another effort to attract national attention, the Security Committee recently sent a letter signed by about 60 people to eight officials, including Gamboa as well as President Laura Chinchilla, requesting improvements to security in Samara. As of yet, none of the officials have responded to the letter. 

Another first at the meeting was the use of an interpreter to include foreigners who normally wouldn’t understand enough Spanish to participate in community meetings. Ellington explained that this group is frequently the victim of crime but might not have filed complaints before because they didn’t understand that the complaints help to have accurate crime statistics and eventually more police attention.

“The meeting was very productive in that the community is resolved now to remove the bad elements from their midst, by means of actions arranged between community and police,” commented Ellington.


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