Security reinforced for popular carnival in Limón

Fuerza Pública officers plan heavy security in Limón for the 2010 carnival, which officially starts today after a typical last-minute Costa Rican decision.

The carnival is a big tourism draw, but the minster of health waited until late Tuesday to give the go ahead.

The carnival had been canceled before for health reasons, ranging from swine flu fears to excessive garbage.

The security ministry said that 164 officers, 16 of them on horses, are assigned to the carnival area. That does not count others on routine patrol elsewhere in the city and province.

Juan Carlos Arias, head of the police in the region, said that the bulk of the officers will be at the carnival but that there are other activities, such as concerts that will require additional reinforcements.

The description of the police assigned to the carnival range from the Unidad de Intervención Policial, basically tactical
squad members, to anti-drug officers. There also are undercover operatives.

The Municipalidad de Limón also has private security officers assigned to the week-long carnival. There also are Tránsito police officers and the Cruz Roja in attendance.

The full name for the event is the Festejos Populares Carnavales de Caribe — Limón 2010. The organizer is the Comisión de Carnavales Limón. The bulk of the activity is on the grounds of the Junta de Administración Portuaria y Desarrollo Económica de la Vertiente Atlántica. There is a horse parade and other activities that run until Oct. 17.

The carnival hung by a thread because Tuesday was the last day for organizers to submit paperwork. Among these was a security plan and proof of insurance. The decision came down to the wire with the Ministerio de Salud approving the plans by late afternoon after day-long meetings.

The uncertainty of the carnival had an effect on tourism, although there are many visitors who will attend from the Central Valley.

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