Police bring Christmas to border region with Nicaragua

Police officers from Los Chiles have presents for some 200 children on Isla Chica when they held a party Friday. The police have held many such parties, and not all in the border areas. Photo: Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública/Guillermo Solano

The central government has been giving more attention to the northern zone since Nicaraguan troops invaded the Isla Calero and began constructing an artificial mouth for the Río San Juan.

More police have been deployed to the area, including at Barra del Colorado. Arrests not involved with the border controversy have resulted.

One border area is the Isla Chica de Los Chiles. The school there attracts youngsters from Mojón Ocho, which is nearby in Nicaragua. Nicaraguans frequently come to the island to shop, too, because there are few commercial establishments in their immediate area.

Friday Fuerza Pública officers put on a Christmas party for the youngsters there.

Because the families are poor, the children were facing a bleak Christmas, said the security ministry.

A summary credited Rodolfo Castro and Alexis Nuñez, both heads of the Fuerza Pública in Los Chiles, with obtaining donations from other police officers in the Central Valley and also Central Valley merchants.

Similar parties were held in other northern zone communities.

In Rome, Costa Rica’s dispute with Nicaragua rated a mention in the Christmas message from Pope Benedict XVI. The pope listed the border situation among other trouble spots in the world. He also noted that the country has suffered from a recent natural disaster. That was flooding and landslides from Tropical Strom Tomas.

He said in part:

“May the light of Christmas shine forth anew in the Land where Jesus was born, and inspire Israelis and Palestinians to strive for a just and peaceful coexistence. May the comforting message of the coming of Emmanuel ease the pain and bring consolation amid their trials to the beloved Christian communities in Iraq and throughout the Middle East; may it bring them comfort and hope for the future and bring the leaders of nations to show them effective solidarity. May it also be so for those in Haiti who still suffer in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and the recent cholera epidemic. May the same hold true not only for those in Colombia and Venezuela, but also in Guatemala and Costa Rica, who recently suffered natural disasters.

“May the birth of the Saviour open horizons of lasting peace and authentic progress for the peoples of Somalia, Darfur and Côte d’Ivoire; may it promote political and social stability in Madagascar; may it bring security and respect for human rights in Afghanistan and in Pakistan; may it encourage dialogue between Nicaragua and Costa Rica; and may it advance reconciliation on the Korean peninsula.”

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