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Wildlife
Samara scrambles to keep police in town

By Arianna McKinney

On January 14th, the Nicoya Ministry of Health issued a notice to the Samara delegation of the Public Force to move out of the Samara police facility by February 2. Although the public force requested a 3-month extension to remain in the current Samara Facility, the Ministry of Health decided not to grant the extension, leaving people scrambling to figure out how to keep police presence in Samara.
 
Ronald Alvarez Guzman, Nicoya canton’s police chief, visited Samara on Friday, February 4th, to evaluate the situation. He explained that the police will move out of the current facility over the weekend and by Monday will be using an office 150 meters from the current facility in front of Hotel Giada. The office will be staffed 24 hours a day and will have the same phone number. 

In addition to the office, which is being lent to the police by the owner of Hotel Giada, the Samara public force will be using the Carillo Public Force facility, where they will eat and sleep. These arrangements are temporary until the public force facility is remodeled. 

 

“Truthfully, we can’t end up without police,” commented Emilse Steller Ramirez, president of the Samara Progressive Association, which will provide 3 million colones ($6000) from funds earned by the Samara Fiestas to help remodel the facility.  

Remodeling should begin next week, and Alvarez estimates that the work will take one month.   
Marco Carmona, president of CASATUR, the chamber of tourism, reported that CASATUR will be raising additional funds for labor and seeking donations from hotels and other businesses to support the effort.   
 
Alvarez believes that the Ministry of Health decided not to grant the 3-month extension since they had already given a sensible amount of time. They advised the public force of the facility’s sanitary problems early in 2010. Alvarez attributed the delay in taking corrective measures to “lack of willingness.”

Due to the cost of repairing the facility, an effort was made to locate a suitable property to build a new police station. Although a lot had been offered near the gas station and funds for construction were promised by DINADECO (National Direction of Community Development), the project stalled, in part because many were unhappy with the idea of having the police station so far away from the center of Samara. 

Although VON has made several attempts to contact the Ministry of Health in Nicoya regarding the matter, officials have not yet been willing to comment. 


 

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