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Crime Appears to be Down but Need for Local Support Continues

by Fritz Elmendorf

The Tourist Police stationed at Playa Guiones appear to be deterring crime, but the delegation of twelve officers continues to face challenges related to local financial support, as well as some bureaucratic issues.

While anecdotal reports indicate that break-ins are still a common problem, Tourist Police Chief Jeison Vargas reported to the Association that only three theft reports were taken in October, ten in November and only one so far in December, with no reports of violence. Vargas said the police also routinely stop cars for identity checks and they have detained three people on immigration violations.

Last year Nosara’s newly formed Security Association raised $19,750 and spent all but $3,000. The money was used to support the office expenses of the Tourist Police delegation at Guiones and to pay for some repairs at the station of the Fuerza Publica in Nosara Centro. This account of expenditures was included in a report made by Association President Agnes Pinheiro at a Dec. 11 public meeting.

The fundraising effort has started for this season but only $500 has been received, Pinheiro reported.  The Association is now legally incorporated, and the new bank account information will be circulated to local businesses and individuals with a plea for support.

Bureaucratic walls. One property manager said that Vargas wouldn’t accept her report of three break-ins because she was not the property owner and wasn’t able to provide a list of stolen property.  Members of the Association committed to discuss the issue with the Chief and urged people to insist on getting copies of their reports as made to the local police. As well, crime victims still must travel to Nicoya to file a report with the OIJ, the separate police investigating agency, for investigation and follow-up. 

Joining forces. The Security Association recently joined with the Nosara Civic Association, the Asociacion de Desarrollo Integral for Nosara (Nosara Development Association), the Asociacion de Desarrollo Esperanza (Esperanza Development Association) and the new Nosara Tourist Chamber, to write a letter and arrange a meeting with government officials to address local concerns about crime, road  improvements and tourism promotion.

The letter was sent to Jose Maria Tijerino Minister of Security, Francisco Jimenez Minister of Transportation and Carlos Ricardo Benavidez, Minister of Tourism.

The organizations addressed local concerns including the lack of coordination between the Tourist Police and Fuerza Publica (Police), which are both part of the Security Ministry.  The Security Association affirms that the Fuerza Publica, which also has a twelve-officer force stationed in Nosara Centro with its own chief, reports to headquarters in Nicoya, but the Tourist Police report to San Jose.

Pinherio reported that a private security company in town is working on establishing a beach watch in coordination with the park authorities (MINAET) and the Coast Guard of Costa Rica, but additional donations will be necessary to cover guard salaries.


More Regional News

Total Lunar eclipse viewed from Nosara

On December 21st, from 1:30 to 3:30 am, photographer Rolf Sommer stayed up to see and photograph this unique event. More >

The end of the year might bring a new bridge to Rosario and Montaña rivers
• Decision was made during tropical storm Thomas

The State acquired two Bailey bridges (which can be disassembled) to place over Rosario and Montaña rivers. Now one is being placed over the first river. The job is being handled by Maicom S. A. construction, and it is hoped that it will be finished before the year ends. The work of placing the other bridge begins the second week of January, Vice Minister of Public Works María Lorena López let VON know by telephone. More >

Zaragoza, Halfway Down the Road

The road that goes through this small yet beautiful town located amid Nicoya’s mountains is the only alternate route for Nosara communities when route 160 is closed down. Although many people learned about the road’s bad conditions on Thursday, November 4th, after a bridge collapsed cutting off Nosara, Zaragoza´s residents have known this for years, and they also have been waiting for years for the improvements to arrive that were promised long ago. More >

Border Crossing
Calm at the Border inspite of conflict between Nicaragua and Costa Rica

As I prepared for a trip to Nicaragua, several of my Costa Rican friends expressed concern because of the current friction between the governments of the two countries. A couple people even suggested I go to Panama to renew my visa instead. The two countries have been in conflict since October 2010 regarding sovereignty of the river San Juan. More >

Tropical Storm Thomas
Damages Due to Rains Add Up and Increase Each Year

Adriana Sequeira and Jonathan Baltodano are among the 246 families that were affected by the last swell of the Río Nosara. On the evening of Friday, November 5th, the river forced them to take all their furniture out of their home. They had to spend the night out in the open, in their neighbor’s small ranchito. More >

Palí opened a new store in Samara
• Low prices and competition will impact local supermarkets

On November 12, the highly anticipated Palí opened its doors in Samara with a festive atmosphere. Many people went to check out the new store, and especially to check out the low prices. But not everyone is happy to have a big chain store like Palí in Samara. Some worry about the effect it might have on local supermarkets and pulperias (small local stores that sell the basics). More >

Earthquake Will Destroy Poor Quality Constructions in Nicoya Peninsula
• The Comisión Nacional de Emergencias accepts that most homes don’t meet Seismic Building Code standards

For a while now, scientists have been studying seismic activity and its potential in the Nicoya Peninsula, and the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica (OVSICORI) has estimated that the next earthquake along the fault here could be between a magnitude of 7.7 and 7.9. But what would such a strong earthquake mean for people with homes in the Nicoya, Samara and Nosara areas? More >

2010 Municipal Elections – intelligent vote
Know the Candidates for Syndics
and What They Do
More >

Syndic hopefuls aspire
to decentralize the Municipality

Next Sunday, December 5, five political parties have prepared their fifteen syndic candidates for the districts of Nicoya, Samara and Nosara to be elected to the municipality to fill the next term which, in this instance, will be six years. More >

Government Gives More Than $12,000 to Three Local Schools
• Funds for the Serapio López Elementary School were almost lost

Through Nicoya’s Municipalidad, the government granted over $12,000 to three local elementary schools to be used for purchasing construction materials. The schools that were favored are Santa Marta, Santa Teresita and Nosara’s Serapio López. More >

Brief Police News

Confrontation Between Juvenile Gangs on the Rise in Nosara More >

Seven Security Cameras Installed in Guiones More >

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