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Wildlife
Samara Security Committee Speaks Out Against Gangs

By Arianna McKinney

Motivated by recent thefts and resulting experiences, Samara’s security committee sent a letter on June 15th to various government and police entities affirming that two gangs are operating in the community, one Colombian and one Tico, and that the situation is now very serious. The letter was accompanied by a photo of a member of the community whose earlobes were cut off reportedly as a threat from gang members. 

The letter received responses on June 20th from the Office of the Vice Minister of Public Security when legal representative Jose Pablo Miranda Hurtado solicited an investigation by both the director of the Tourist Police Xinia Vazquez Mora and Sub Director of the Public Force Pablo Bertozzi Calvo, requesting a report by June 22nd. However, as of June 27th, Laura Ellington of the Samara Security Committee had still not received an update. 

In addition, on Friday the 22nd, members of the community met with Rafael Ángel Araya Cordero, the police chief for Guanacaste, and Omar Chavarria, the new police chief for the canton of Nicoya, and shared some of the recent experiences. 

For example, Melvin Jimenez had his house broken into on May 10 and again on June 10. He related that a neighbor witnessed the second robbery and obtained the license plate number and color of the car that was used. Later, Jimenez said he was visited by the car’s owner who claimed that he had nothing to do with the robbery but promised that he could get his items returned.

 
This photo of a community member whose earlobes were cut off as a supposed threat accompanied a letter from the Security Committee.

At this point, Jimenez said none of his items have been returned to him and the police have done nothing. Jimenez said that when he requested a copy of the police report from the Public Force in order to denounce the robbery with OIJ, he was told the report was lost and the officer that he dealt with didn’t know how to fill out a report. 

Araya assured those present at the meeting that all police officers receive training on how to fill out reports so that should not have been the case and promised that he will personally be visiting Samara every 15 days to investigate concerns about how the police handle reports of crime. 

Araya also said that they are changing the police officers assigned here and are initiating a process of taking suspects to get their pictures and fingerprints taken, hoping that having these items on record will facilitate gathering evidence in the future. He explained that although he takes a suspect in, the suspect has to be let loose if he doesn’t have sufficient evidence but said that he will take the same suspect in as many times as necessary until a judge puts a preventive penalty into action. 

Araya also said that the police have been performing operations in an effort to catch drug venders but the venders seem to only sell to foreigners or people that they know so they have had difficulty catching them in the act.

Marco Carmona, president of the Chamber of Tourism, during the meeting expressed frustration at how the same criticisms are raised at all of their meetings and very little has improved. “We want action, we want cleanup,” he stated, noting that if security conditions continue to deteriorate the town will lose tourism and will be left with nothing.  

 

More Regional News

Suspected Drug Dealer Arrested in Nosara

The Narc Squad added to their tally of drug-related arrests with the takedown of a suspected drug dealer in Nosara this Monday July 30.

Maintenance Works on Nosara- Samara Route are Left Unfinished
– MOPT’s machinery was removed after just one week
– CONAVI claims bidding company will continue with maintenance works

One week…that was the exact time machinery from MOPT spent working on Route 160 between Samara and Nosara. Work began on July 20th and ended just after the Annexation celebration.

Starting Wednesday All Tax Filing Must Be Online

Starting next Wednesday, August 1, no more running to the bank by the 15th of each month, as all tax submissions and income statement amendments must be submitted online only.

What Was Said and Committed to by the Public Officials

For those who couldn’t be present during the speeches given on Wednesday, July 25th by public officials, VON brings you the summary of the most important commitments, comments and insinuations (you know to who) of the day. 

25th of July Celebrations
Residents of Nicoya Canton Protested the Government’s Unfulfilled Promises

The Public Force present during the 25th of July civic act intimidated Marcos Jimenez, mayor of Nicoya, demanding his identification card while he marched in a peaceful protest.

Vacationers Rescued by Local Surfers

An intense brush with tidal trouble left one American family on vacation feeling relieved Monday July 23 at Guiones Beach.

Vice Minister of Security Begs Nosara to Respect the President
– Nosarans still plan demonstration on July 25th
– Vice Minister promises new patrol car and employment fair

On Thursday, July 19th, the Vice Minister of Security, Celso Gamboa, met with representatives of various Nosara community organizations at Hotel L'acqua Viva to discuss the community’s security needs, but after the meeting ended he also made a personal appeal to the community leaders to respect President Laura Chinchilla during her upcoming visit to Nicoya on July 25th.  

July 25th Anexation Celebration
President Chinchilla Will Pass Through Nicoya But Won’t Stay

The President of the Republic, Laura Chinchilla, has now confirmed that she will be present in the colonial city on July 25th to celebrate 188 years of annexation of the Nicoya Party, but she will not hold the traditional public session.

Thieves Assault Samara Gas Station

With a romantic touch, a man wearing a motorcycle helmet approached Karol Matamoros Briones with a bunch of flowers as she was working at Servicentro Samara, preparing money for a bank deposit. Then he pulled out a gun. 

President Hasn’t Yet Decided With Which Canton to Spend July 25th

While the cantons of Abangares, Bagaces and Santa Cruz have asked the President of the Republic, Laura Chinchilla, for the honor of having her as a special guest during the Government Council session on July 25th, in Nicoya the list of people angry with the leader is growing longer.

"Pura Gate"? New Law Protects Political Secrets

Shades of Watergate! President Laura Chinchilla signed into law last week a prohibition to "procure or obtain illegally secret political information." Political espionage is punishable by four to eight years in prison.

Maintenance Starts Along Route 160 Between Nosara and Samara
CONAVI Initiated Bidding Process for Roadway

Finally, after a long wait and now well into rainy season, the almost impassable route 160 is receiving attention as machinery from MOPT initiated maintenance works over the route.

Muni Gives Until Sept. 14 to Update Property Declarations

By law, property owners should update declarations of the value of their properties every five years.  However, not everyone does. In fact, many properties are not even registered with the “Bienes Inmuebles” (real estate) office of the municipality.

Nosara ASADAs Might Unite or Hand Over Control to AyA

Due to various problems with the supply of water in Nosara, an effort is underway to look for options to improve the administration of this important resource.

Airport Crime
Court Gives 16-Year Prison Sentence for Murder

The Third Court of the Supreme Court of Justice finalized the sentence of 16 years of prison imposed on a man with the last names Sirias Sequeira for the crime of simple murder against Michael Eduardo Rojas Murillo, who was killed in April of 2009.  

New Venue to Attain Drivers License in Nicoya Ready in Late July

Long trips to Liberia or San Jose to renew, duplicate, or process a license are in the past. As of July 25, you can take the theoretical and practical driving tests, go through the renewal process, duplicate licenses or permits to learn to drive, with the opening of the new home of Driver Education in Nicoya.

On the Coast Cash is King, but Not for the Community

If you purchase a product or service in a shop in Samara or Nosara and decide to use a credit or debit card as payment, you could be in trouble because there are still businesses that only accept cash.

Villas Playa Samara Denies Contaminating Estuaries

The manager of Villas Playa Samara, Phillipe Brisson, affirmed that the hotel has made so many improvements to their wastewater treatment system in the past few years that the quality of the hotel’s treated water has never been better.

Communities Organize to Receive Cell Phone Security Alerts

Security alerts can now be sent directly to the cell phones of community members through an initiative being organized by the Public Force.

New Police Chief for Canton of Nicoya Focuses on Objectives

The new police chief for the Canton of Nicoya, Omar Chavarria, purports to be a man who focuses on setting and achieving objectives.

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