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Defender scolds Municipality and Ministry of Health for not contracting Red Cross During Nosara Fiestas

By Oliver Pérez

The Defender of the People (Defensoría de los Habitantes) brought to the attention of the Municipality and the Ministry of Health that in the fiestas held between January 27 and 31, the Nosara Association of Development contracted the services of a private ambulance instead of the Red Cross.

The complaint was presented by Carlos Villalobos, president of the local committee of the civil guard, citing that in this activity there were bullfighting events, mechanical rides and concerts, among others, and that the Association of Integral Development contracted a private ambulance, not counting on the assistance of the Red Cross.

Villalobos indicated that only one unit was at the location, which is not proportionate to the quantity of people that arrived there.

In agreement with Decree number 34489, with regards to Bullfighting Activities Regulation, one of the requirements for the respective municipality to give a green light to activities of this type is that a certification should be presented by the Costa Rican Red Cross about the participation of medical or paramedical personnel in the event, and an Emergency Operating Plan sufficient for the magnitude of the event should also be presented.

The Red Cross in addition indicated that "by the spirit of the service that characterizes this institution, [the Red Cross] will be in the places in which activities are presented and that could require their help."


Despite this, the Municipality granted the permits without taking into account this requirement, citing that the Nicoya Ministry of Health approved contracting a private ambulance, and therefore "the Municipality of Nicoya didn't have any objection in granting the fiesta permit to the Association of Integral Development of Nicoya."

However, the Defender responded that by means of this resolution, "now in effect, the medical attention was not delegated to the Red Cross, but to the Association of Development."

Due to this, from now on, the Defender of the People recommends that both the Municipality and the Ministry of Health make sure that the Red Cross is always present in the fiestas as a requirement for granting permits to the Nosara Association of Development.

Marco Jimenez, municipal mayor, said that at that time the permit was granted by the previous mayor, but that from now on he will make sure the law is fulfilled. "I've now requested that the person in charge of granting the permits pays attention to this case and takes these measures for other permits," indicated Jimenez.

For his part, Marcos Avila, president of the Association of Development, said that he accepts the recommendations of the Defender of the People.


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