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Despite Efforts to Help the Elderly, Abuses Continue

By Oliver Pérez 

La region of the Peninsula of Nicoya stands out for having the largest number of longest-living inhabitants in the entire country, and during the annexation celebrations on July 25th, nine of the oldest adults in the canton, five of whom are more than 100, received recognition from President Chinchilla. 

The president highlighted the importance of “paying honor to such valuable citizens who have given their support to building this beloved land and our country.” But despite this recognition and even though the Integral Law for the Elderly Person protects them, it seems the reality on the street is another.
So far this year, 249 older adults in the country have checked into the National Hospital of Geriatrics and Gerontology for mistreatment. This means that the elderly continue being victims of mistreatment, usually from their own family.  

Dr. Fernando Morales, director of the geriatric hospital in San Jose, lamented that older ones become the target of aggressions, despite the efforts to eradicate this tragedy. “Despite the institutional advances, mistreatment, segregation and the precarious socioeconomic conditions persist in the lives of some of the elderly,” he declared.

According to the National Council for the Elderly (Conapam), physical, psychological and patrimonial abuse and acts of neglect are some of the forms in which this population is assaulted more and more. Patrimonial abuse includes utilizing the adult’s documents for personal benefit, obliging them to give an inheritance as soon as possible, forging their signature or occupying their residence. But mistreatment of the elderly doesn’t only happen at home. 


Problems with Public Transportation Company in Nicoya
One of the problems that many in their golden years face is with the public transportation service. In Costa Rica, Law 7936 establishes that adults older than 65 must receive a subsidy on public transportation services and the companies are obligated to transport them as many times as they need.  For trips less than 25km, they should travel without cost; for trips between 25km and 50km, with a 50% discount; and trips greater than 50 km with a discount of 75%. 

In late June, one bus company, which provides service from Nicoya to Hojancha, was denounced because they weren’t giving this benefit to the elderly. 

Carolina Mora, spokesperson for the Regulatory Authority of Public Services, confirmed to VON that they are now investigating this and other bus companies for not giving the benefit. “The inspectors are on top of the case now. Those who give a public transportation service will not be permitted to disrespect these citizens. The companies should know that they can lose their concession,” indicated Mora. 

Efforts on Behalf of the Elderly
With the goal of creating a culture of dignity and respect toward the elderly, in July of 1997 Costa Rican Social Security (CCSS) established the Programa Ciudadano de Oro (Golden Citizen Program) for those 65 and older, explained lawyer Ana Patricia Arguedas Flores. 

To date, some 250,000 elderly carry the Ciudadano de Oro card that allows them to obtain a series of benefits like courses, workshops, fairs, festivals, preferential service and discounts of up to 20% in different commercial establishments. 

In order to help solve the needs of older people in Nicoya, four employees of the CCSS of this canton in Guanacaste organized in 2009 to form a network of public and private institutions in the canton with the objective of promoting actions in favor of the quality of life of Nicoya’s elderly population and promote physical and mental capacities of older people to achieve healthier aging and a better quality of life.  

Today, together with public and private organizations of the region, the RIAAMNI is a reality that impacts 10 organized groups of elderly people located in Nicoya, Nosara, San Antonio and Quebrada Honda.


More Regional News

RAASA In Charge of Maintenance Works on Nosara – Samara Route 160
Company will start works next week, these will continue until the end of the year

Constructora RAASA will be in charge of maintenance works on Route 160 between Samara and Nosara. These will start next week and will last until December 2012.

National Registry Launches New Website
Site offers consultations and free certificates

Long lines to request a certificate or to check on your property’s status are a thing of the past. Now all these things are just a click away, by visiting the website rnpdigital.com

Tips to Protect Your Laptop from Thieves

Proper preparations prevent poor performance, and keeping tabs on your coveted PC or Mac laptop, and the information inside it, should be at the top of the list of preparations whether here in Costa Rica or abroad.

Legislators Negotiate Consensus for Coastal Territories Law Project
Law Would Not Include Protected Areas Except for Ostional Refuge

Representatives from the Citizen Action (PAC) and Ample Front (FA) parties debated various changes to the Coastal Territories Law, known as Tecocos, to gain a consensus with the legislators from the other factions.

Nicoya Doctors Protest Against On Duty and Shift Cuts

Nicoya’s medical center is taking steps to reduce costs and the emergency department was the first to be affected. There, medical work-hours and calls have been cut back during weekends and holidays, as is confirmed in a statement sent by hospital director, Juan José Li Kam, and signed by 22 physicians.

New Liquor Law with ¢180.000 Fine For Drinking In The Street

We've seen them at the topes, the parades, in the beach towns, coming out of a bar, all with a beer or drink in hand, a practice that many in Costa Rica have taken as custom.

El Niño Strikes Again, Causing High Tides and One of the Driest “Rainy” Seasons Ever

This is rainy season? Feels like summer! And although the sunny days are a delight, it automatically raises concerns about the months to come: will crops get enough water? Will there be enough water in the wells to supply homes and businesses throughout the real dry season?

El Niño Strikes Again, Causing High Tides and One of the Driest “Rainy” Seasons Ever

This is rainy season? Feels like summer! And although the sunny days are a delight, it automatically raises concerns about the months to come: will crops get enough water? Will there be enough water in the wells to supply homes and businesses throughout the real dry season?

Santo Domingo ASADA is Low on Water and Overdue for Elections
– Family Denounces ASADA for Not Granting Water Access
– PanAmerican Woods In Process of Donating Well Rights to the Town

In the mountains above Samara, the Santo Domingo ASADA (Water Administration Association) has been facing the challenge of how to administer water to approximately 150 inhabitants when the town’s one water source is insufficient, prompting the Diaz family to denounce the ASADA and turning the spotlight on PanAmerican Woods. 

Pictures and News of the Month

The Voice of Nosara brings you a brief recap of July stories you might have missed.

Nicoya Municipality Ranks 65th Nationally
– Nicoyan Mayor Affirms that Rating Doesn’t Reflect Reality
– Councilmember Acknowledges Room for Improvement

The Municipality of Nicoya dropped from 55th place nationally in 2010 to 65th place in 2011 in the results of the Municipal Management Index (IGM), which evaluates the management performed by a total of 88 local governments during the year.

Controller Won’t Penalize Nicoyan Auditor for Alleged Tax Evasion
Comptroller’s Organ Affirms that Proceeding Didn’t Meet Current Regulations

The Controller General of the Republic decided not to penalize the current auditor of the Municipality of Nicoya, Gilberto Lizano Elizondo, for alleged tax evasion as it was determined that the disciplinary proceeding didn’t fulfill the requirements of due process. 

Poor Families Finally Have Homes in Santa Martha

Sixteen years after the land was bought, six houses have finally been built for poor families in Santa Martha and paperwork is in process for four to six more houses. 

Robbery Rises in Nicoya Canton While Decreasing in San Jose

“In the last two years, Costa Rica was the only Latin American country that reduced the crime indexes,” the Presidential House posted on Facebook on Friday, July 20th.  

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