The Nosara Integral Development Association (ADIN – Asociación Integral de Desarrollo de Nosara) decided no to hire the Red Cross to provide pre-hospital care and emergency services since their proposed budget is “rude and out of proportion.” In addition, within the same contract there is a clause that states that if an unrelated accident occurs, the Red Cross would make such event its priority.
Instead, ADIN hired a private medical company to look after the audience’s safety.
Lack of Dialogue
The budget presented by the Nosara Red Cross (CRN – Cruz Roja de Nosara) (link to CONTRATOCRUZROJA) was for 1.5 million colones. However, the ADIN claimed that compared to the 900,000 colones the CRN had charged in 2012, the price increase was too high. In addition, since they are non-profit organization, they were unable to pay 50% in advance as required in the contract.
On the other hand, the CRN’s Secretary, Carlos Gutiérrez Hernández, told VON that the budget is based on a cost table “that outlines hourly costs for each action to be performed” (link to PDF Plan Operativo), thereby arguing that the cost was not set by them.
The second reason for which ADIN rejected the CRN’s proposal is the contract’s last clause, which states “if an unrelated accident occurs, our staff must give it top priority over the bullfight event”.
To this the ADIN replied, “for liability reasons, we can not accept the previous clause and, although we understand the importance of responding to another accident in the area, we CAN NOT be left unattended”.
Gutiérrez explained to the VON that the Fiestas events would be of secondary importance only if “a duly justified and proven emergency situation arises, and for our institution an emergency declaration occurs only when there is a massive emergency, such as an earthquake”, adding that “the best thing would have been for both parties to discuss this issue”.
But the phrase “duly justified emergency” was not on the contract and neither party engaged in dialogue to clarify the issues on which they disagreed.
The Red Cross Accuses Municipality and Minister of Health of Breach of Contract
During the January 2011 Fiestas, the ADIN did not hire the Nosara Red Cross, prompting the CRN to file a complaint at the Defensoría de los Habitantes, stating that Nicoya’s Municipality and the Ministry of Health awarded ADIN an operating permit for the Fiestas without complying with Article II of Executive Order No. 19183-G-S, “Bullfighting Activities Regulations (Reglamento a las Actividades Taurinas)”, which specifies that a Red Cross certification of participation is required to extend a permit.
On October 10th, 2011, the Defensoría de los Habitantes ruled in favor of the Red Cross and recommended Nicoya’s Municipality and the Ministry of Health that when granting operating permits for future bullfighting activities “the law is clear in stating that the Red Cross’s presence is mandatory”.
Therefore, the ADIN hired the Red Cross in 2012 to provide emergency services at the Fiestas but, for the aforementioned reasons, it was not hired for the 2013 Fiestas.
Now the Red Cross is claiming that the Municipality and the Ministry of Health should have not given the operating permit to the ADIN.
The Town’s Opinion
Meanwhile, the town of Nosara has expressed conflicting opinions on both the ADIN and CRN’s Facebook pages.
While some agree with the ADIN, others are taking sides with the CRN. However, most coincide that a lack of communication led to the disagreement between two organizations that exist for the town’s well-being.
Mainor Sequeira wrote, “I perceive a lack of communication in this town, as well as lack of interest for things to get done with good understanding between Nosara committees.”
Zulema Cabalceta López agreed and added, “Yes, what we need is for our community to come together, to be closer to one another and with God.”
Enrique Gerardo Cordero expressed a more explicit opinion: “What a shame to see the lack of fraternity here in Nosara. Great agreements could be achieved just by sitting down to talk and by showing some humility. Everything would work out as it should, without arguments, bickering or any blah blah blah. We have great leaders in Nosara but we are not on the right path; it hurts to see that they had to ask for outside help when we have everything we need here not to depend on anyone…”
Finally, Jim Zuñiga concluded, “… just for the sake of saving some money, I think they are not contributing to the community. Although it is true that this non-governmental institution has helped us for many years regardless of who is managing it, lets not discriminate because of race or a pleasant or pretty face, lets seek the common good. Personally, I have never been transported by a private ambulance service to any hospital and probably never will be, since I am not part of the upper class. More than an economic problem, I think this is an issue between people that does not benefit anyone.”
On January 15, 2013, the Red Cross of Nosara presented the ADIN the legal contract that explained that they would only leave the fiestas in case of an "duly justified and accredited emergency."
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