|Security minister estimates a 19% hike in
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
The security minister told legislators Thursday that 2015 may end with
537 murders due to organized crime organizations operating here. That
number would be nearly 19 percent higher than last year when
investigators reported 453 murders.
As if to validate the security minister's estimate, two more persons
died Thursday in shootings that appear to be linked to organized crime.
The minister, Gustavo Mata, appeared before theComisión
Permanente Especial de Seguridad y Narcotráfico
to give the chilling estimate.
He said that so far this year there have been 358 murders which caused
the Ministerio de Gobernación y Policía y Seguridad
Pública to take action in areas where the crimes were the
The minster also said that resources have been taken from other areas
to address the Central Valley murder problem. In some areas police are
going door-to-door to root out organized bands.
The minster did not give specifics, but this week officers put on shows
of force in El Infiernillo de Alajuela and continued patrols in
Guararí de Heredia.
Mata said that the deaths come from drug gangs trying to expand their
He said that in his 32 years as a policeman he never has seen a
situation in Costa Rica such as the current one from 2014 to now. He
extrapolated the deaths as of this date to reach the 537 figure. He
noted, however, that Costa Rica still has a lower murder rate than El
Salvador or Honduras.
Allan Solano, the head of the Policía de Control de
Drogas, accompanied Mata before the committee. He said that police
confiscated 25 tons of drugs last year.
The murders Thursday included that of a 42-year-old Pavas man who died
about 2:30 p.m. from a gunshot to the head. In San Diego de La
Unión de Tres Ríos, also Thursday afternoon,
one man died and another suffered a bullet
wound when two
Ministerio de Seguridad photo
young men as part of their sweep
men on a motorcycle pulled up
alongside their car and
Investigators said that both of the murdered individuals had police
El Infiernillo de Alajuela, as the informal name implies, is known for
its shootouts and drug dens. The Fuerza Pública said Tuesday
constant patrols and the police presence in the streets peace and
security has returned to the area that is formally known as Barrio
Santa Rita in San José district of the Alajuela central canton.
Juan José Andrade, head of the Fuerza
Pública, said the increased
police patrols have been going on for several weeks.
The result has
been the confiscation of firearms, marijuana and crack cocaine.
Similarly in Guararí de Heredia the Fuerza
Pública has stepped up
A portable police headquarters was set up at the entrance to
the community, and a strategy of patrols was outlined, police said.
In addition, officers and agents of the Policía de
Policía Municipal and the Judicial
As an indication of crime in this community, police said that during
the year 332 persons were detained, some 209 for drug law violations.
In addition, six firearms, 462 crack rocks, 1,486 kilos of cocaine
a bit more than a kilo of marijuana were confiscated.
Festejos San Ramón 2015 photo
No festival is complete without mascaradas
and a street band, a cimarrona.
|The fiesta is at San Ramón for the
next 11 days
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
San Ramón has begun its 12-day festival in honor of its
patron, San Ramón Nonato.
The festival features the Entrada de Santos at 10 a.m. Sunday and
what organizers call the biggest parade of boyeros and their bueyes a week from Sunday. Some
300 teams are expected.
The festival closes Sept. 7 with a serenade generated by the noise of
pots and frying pans as the last meals are served up.
This is the 164th festival, and organizers said they expect 500,000
Tonight is the unique Familia Reinante 2015 in which a family instead
of an individual queen is selected. The winner will be the family that
has collected the most money for
|the festival over the
last three months. The event is followed by a dance
featuring the Banda Chiqui Chiqui as well as the group Los
The festival, which is organized by the local Catholic church there, is
known for the many food dishes that are sold. This is a family event,
and organizers note that alcoholic beverages are not sold at the
San Ramón Nonato is a 13th century Spanish saint who was termed nonoato after the Latin phrase being not born. He came into the
world by cesarean as his mother neared death. Consequently he also is
the patron saint of pregnant women.
In his capacity as a priest he traveled to Muslim territories to ransom
fellow Catholics and once gave himself up as a hostage, according to an
online biography of his life.