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- Photo via Ministry of Public Security -

Costa Rica's Holy Week police surveillance operation begins

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Published on Wednesday, March 20, 2024
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Holy Week draws a large number of tourists to Costa Rica and authorities are prepared with more police officers on the roadways, announced the Ministry of Public Security.

This year's seven-day Catholic celebration begins on Palm Sunday, March 24, commemorating Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and ends on Sunday, March 31, commemorating Jesus' resurrection, known as Easter Sunday.

Public security organizations are boosting their monitoring activities on land, air and sea. This includes the National Police, Red Cross, Firefighters, Traffic Police, Judicial Investigation Organization, Park Rangers, Migration Police, National Emergency Commission Officials, Fiscal Control Police, Prison Police, Drug Control Police, Coast Guard, and Air Surveillance Police.

The police force involved in the strategy for surveillance is expected to number over 6,700 police officers, including over 200 traffic policemen.

The combined police force will monitor popular tourist destinations such as volcanoes, beaches, camping areas, rivers and malls. Border checkpoints, for example, are among the locations where most people go in and out of the nation around Easter.

Police will cover areas with high vehicular traffic over the holidays, such as the beaches of Quepos, Manuel Antonio Jaco, and Herradura in Puntarenas Province. The plan includes major beach destinations in Guanacaste Province such as Tamarindo, Flamingo, and Nosara. The strategy also surrounds popular Caribbean Coast beaches including Puerto Viejo, Manzanillo, and Cocles in Limón Province. 

The road safety plan also includes rural areas such as San Carlos and La Fortuna in Alajuela Province, or Pérez Zeledón in the southern zone of San José Province, among others.

"We are going to reinforce security in these places with more officers, but we also keep the police presence in the rest of the country, 24 hours a day," authorities said.

Authorities anticipate that increasing tourism will increase the probability of road accidents or traffic violations such as drunk driving or speeding.

The plan includes increased surveillance operations on major highways connecting San José Province to the coastal areas, such as Route 32 (between the capital and Limón Province), the northern Inter-American Highway (between San José and Guanacaste Province), and Route 27 (between San José and Puntarenas Province).

Surveillance operations will take place in areas where there is a high volume of traffic, such as bus stops, tourist locations, and shopping centers, authorities added.

Officers are looking for drivers making faults such as drunk driving, speeding, entering the opposing lane, transporting children under the age of five on a motorcycle, transporting children without safety gear, driving on sidewalks, driving without a driver's license, and doing illegal U-turns, among others.

Last year police reported over 500 deaths in traffic accidents. Of the total number of fatalities, 48% were motorcyclists.

Authorities urge drivers to follow the rules and take precautions to avoid accidents. People can report any instances of reckless driving to the 911 emergency line.

What have you heard about visitors breaching driving laws in your area? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com


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