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Pelada Community Unites to Improve Local Safety
By Kelly Patterson

On November 12, over 40 Playa Pelada residents and business owners convened at Pancho’s restaurant to candidly discuss recent criminal activities; to teach the community how to better prevent and protect themselves (and each other) from future crimes; as well as to introduce Playa Pelada residents to one another, in order that the community can better respond, collectively, to crime, natural disasters and/or medical emergencies.

This meeting was called shortly after two alarming incidents, the previous weekend, involving firearms. On November 6th, , a local doctor, Katya Porras, was ambushed by two armed men, in broad daylight. Dr. Porras states that two masked men jumped out of the bushes, near Rio Frio bridge, on the gravel road between Samara and Nosara. The masked men opened fire on her car as she approached the bridge, and continued to shoot as she sped past. Fortunately, Dr. Katya managed to escape without injury, with only a flat tire and some bullet damage to the body of her vehicle, but she was unable to immediately reach local police.
That same night, Richard Moffat, long-time resident of Playa Pelada, was held at gun-point at 1 AM at his house. The gun-man asked for several thousand colones. To add further insult to the assault, Richard Moffat was unable to reach police at 911 at that hour of the morning.

Both Agnes Pigneiro, President of the Security Council, and a local representative from the Tourism Police, reassured the community that new crime prevention and protection systems have already been implemented, such as:

  • 24-hour police coverage of Playa Pelada and Guiones
  • To report suspicious persons or crime, call the Tourism Police at 2682 0075 (not 911)
    All calls to the police are confidential
  • La Fuerza Publica will be dispatching a police drug task force out for random drug busts throughout the Nosara area
  • The Police Station in Playa Guiones is ALWAYS open—if the station appears to be closed, just knock loudly, several times—there is an officer in there!
  • Bi-lingual volunteers to help translate crime reports, or suspicious persons, to the police

A community-based prevention and protection worksheet was passed out to all attendees, with useful tips such as:

  • Make sure your house or business is well-lit at night
  • Cut high grass and bushes in your yard, people can hide in tall grass and bushes.
  • Keep the radio or television on when you go out.
  • Do not leave windows, doors or gates open any time of the day.
  • Vehicle protection: keep it locked at all times and do not leave items in the vehicle
  • Never walk alone during the night and walk in well-lit places
  • Pay attention to your purse and/or wallet at all times, especially in public places like restaurants and the beach

More Regional News

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Casatur promotes a new image for Samara

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Small Budget for Samara and Nosara in 2010

It seems as though the districts of Samara and Nosara will have to make due with a low road maintenance budget next year, as they will have to share 48 million colones ($85,000) allocated by the Municipality of Nicoya.. More >

Government Toughens Up Concealed Weapons Measures on Foreigners

Stemming from the death of a 20-year-old university student and an OIJ (Judicial Investigation Organization) agent at the hands of a band of Jamaicans, an executive order has restricted the issuance of new concealed weapons permits for foreigners that reside in Costa Rica. More >


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