Holidays conclude with minimal loss of life

The Christmas holidays seem to have been uneventful with no great loss of life.

Even in the bull ring at the Fiestas de San José young men were unsuccessful in trying to kill themselves, although many tried.

The new Autopista de Sol provided easy access for those who vacationed on the Pacific coasts. The Policía de Tránsito made the highway one way Sunday afternoon to accommodate homeward bound travelers.

From Christmas Day to New Year’s Eve, the Cruz Roja reported 13 deaths, a figure much lower than the 27 reported in 2009. At least three of these were gunshot victims.

The bull ring at the Zapote fairgrounds produced 119 cases for the Cruz Roja. That is more than the 116 cases treated from the rest of the fairgrounds. And the cases from the bull ring or rondel were more badly hurt in some cases. Only 30 persons had to be taken to a hospital.

The Fiestas de San José wrapped up Sunday night with another evening bull baiting and bull riding even in the rondel. One young man successfully rode El Montecristo, a 650-kilo Guanacaste bull. That’s 1,430 pounds. He wore a protective vest and helmet with wire face mask.

Other participants were dressed more informally as Robin of Batman fame and a host of television characters. These were the informal bullfighters who crowded the ring and tried to stay out of the reach of a bull’s horn.
Most were successful, leaping over the arena fence as a 1,100-pound bull approached.

The men in the ring adopted a technique this year to fall in front of a bull so that the horns pass over their body. There was considerable competition to show bravery.

No one seemed to be hurt seriously Sunday night, although some got a free ride compliments of a bull. Each of those who were were trampled or otherwise mauled by the snorting critters got a few minutes of television time after they left the ring. Nearly all sent wishes to their wife and child or children at home.

Final statistics on accidents and Cruz Roja cases will be available after today.

The Judicial Investigating Organization reported that a 23-year-old man with the last name of Adonis died in a shootout in Las Tablas de San Juan de Dios de Desamparados Wednesday night.

Another man with the last name of Ramírez died in a home in Zetillal de Goicoechea when a gunman crashed a family party the same night and shot him twice in the head.

In Jacó Sunday a man identified as a foreigner died from gunshots delivered by men on a motorcycle while he waited at a bus stop.

At least one statistic is known. Traffic police said Sunday afternoon that they had issued 170 tickets to drivers, mostly vacationers, who had failed to pay their marchamo or road tax by midnight New Year’s Eve. Counting taxes, the fine approaches 300,000 colons or about $590

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