at the shelter wanders about in a filthy
garbage pile on the facility grounds.
with SENASA on animal abuses
of the A.M. Costa
Dogs with skin rashes, open wounds,
malnutrition and poor drinking facilities
are some of the images with which
the Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal
justified its inspection in Territorio de
Zaguate, a rescue center for stray dogs and
animals located in Carrizal de Alajuela.
The arrival of the authorities apparently
caused much anger to the owners of the
place, who became violent and disrespectful
with the visitors, so the latter had to call
for help from the Fuerza Pública, according
to Bernardo Jaén, general director of the
Once inside the place, inspectors report to
have found problems in regards the amount of
animals, the infrastructure, and the fencing
so that animals do not run away.
In regards to the animals, Jaén said many of
them are in poor health conditions,
undernourished, suffering from tooth
problems and the lack of proper care.
“We found evidently sick animals with a
deplorable physical condition,” said Jaén.
“There is no separation of animals according
to their age, health status and temperament,
which causes injuries and wounds caused by
fights among them.”
“The rescue center doesn't have its own
veterinary doctor to provide the required
medical care and follow up,” said Jaén.
“That's one of the most important
requirements to run this type of
A.M. Costa Rica tried to contact Lya Battle
and Álvaro Saumet by making several phone
calls on their number listed in their
Facebook page. Email was also used but the
couple who runs the place did not get back.
However, some communication was provided by
their same Facebook page, where they asked
President Luis Guillermo Solís to intervene
on the Servicio as soon as possible. The entity claims the institution
is not efficient and never addresses
complaints. The document also questions why
Territorio de Zaguates is being targeted
Canine with noticeable eye
de Zaguates also claimed in the statement
that the government agency does not have
an inspection protocol by which the rescue
centers should abide and be prepared to
“They are liars. We say publicize and we
are not going to fear their threats,” said
Territorio on another Facebook post. “We
are not criminals that will remain in the
dark as other rescue centers do out of
“Thousands of complaints for animal abuse
are filed by the the Costa Ricans, such as
cock and dog fights and they are usually
absent,” the document adds. “If it is not
for rescue centers as ours, dogs and cats
will die in front of their noses and the
Servicio wouldn't do a thing."
Jaén replied to these allegations by
saying they do have a lot of other
inspections to perform on a daily basis
and that the Servicio also has to visit
butcheries, dairy factories and any place
that uses animals for human consumption.
He also added anywhere in the law, the
Servicio was created to provide shelter to
animals, so the most the it can do is
coordinate their welfare among civilian
associations to take care of the animals.
“Our aim is not to close the place, but
provide them with counseling about how to
improve their practices. The last thing we
want is to destroy the organizations
work,” Jaén added.
When asked if he is thinking about
presenting judicial charges against
Territorio de Zaguates under the new
animal protection law that came into force
in June, he said they are not even
thinking about it.
ministry calls for backup on fiscal crisis
A.M. Costa Rica staff
The finance ministry brought in
reinforcements from the Organisation of
Economic Co-operation and Development in its
fight over reforms for the country’s fiscal
“Costa Rica is playing with fire,” said
Álvaro Pereira, the director for the
department of economics at the OECD.
“Without reforms, the country’s fiscal
situation would become a threat. It is
urgent to clean up the public accounts.
Costa Rica has much to lose if the reforms
that are currently in congress are not
According to the Ministerio of Hacienda, the
first half of 2017 yielded a primary deficit
similar to the previous year at 0.9 percent
of gross-domestic-product. Officials did,
however, see an increase to 2.4 percent of
GDP in June 2017 from 2.2 percent of GDP
during June 2016.
Increases in revenue came primarily from tax
increases of 35.8 percent for this past
month. This is up from 32.2 percent in June
2015. Interest payments show dramatic growth
between June 2016 and the end of April 2017.
These increased from nine percent to over 21
percent between the two periods.
Pereira previously served as the economic
minister for Portugal prior to assuming his
position in the OECD.
His conclusions came after a technical
analysis of the country’s fiscal situation
was presented this past Wednesday to the
finance committee members in the Asamblea
Legislativa and the Unión Costarricense de
Cámaras y Asociaciones del Sector
Empresarial Privado, one of the larger
organizations representing employers
throughout the country.
“Without fiscal reforms, there is a very
high probability that a serious fiscal
crisis will unfold in the near future, with
disastrous consequences for growth, welfare
and social stability in Costa Rica,” Pereira
warned in his address to the committee.
“Fast action is needed to put the fiscal
situation on a more secure path.”
Pereira speaks candidly.
the findings of the OECD, a weak fiscal
position limits the ability to respond
to any external shocks and natural
disasters. Due to the nature of Costa
Rica being a small, open economy, that
makes their position all the more
vulnerable and leaves little room to
maneuver to deal with such consequences.
A crisis would then force Costa Rica to
make drastic and detrimental cuts and
freeze the country’s welfare and pension
system, Pereira said. In addition, it
could require cuts to the police forces
and lead to increases of not only
poverty but crime as well triggering a
strong reaction from the country’s
“We have also reiterated that the debt
compromises the development of the
country, and that its increasing balance
increases the financial cost, limiting
social and productive investment,”
reiterated Helio Fallas, the first vice
president and finance minister. “We are
at the limit of indebtedness and the
absence of fresh resources to face
unavoidable commitments require us to
assess emergency measures, in the event
of a lack of liquidity.”
The OECD recommended to the country
that, in the absence of any new laws,
there should be a strict monitoring in
the increases of expenditures, salary
increases and pensions. The organization
also recommended the freezing of seats
and modernization of tools for the tax
administration to detect any other
instances of fraud or evasion.
“While these measures are too small to
redirect public finances into a
sustainable trend, they will reduce the
deficit, improve credibility and
demonstrate a willingness to address
Costa Rica’s worrying fiscal trends,”
the report concludes.