President Laura Chinchilla took to the television again Wednesday night in an effort to save her much ridiculed security plan. The president took her cue from her new minister of communications, Roberto Gallardo, who said he wanted to clarify the plan when he spoke with reporters Tuesday.
The security plan released last week was a big letdown for many who waited 10 months for the president to take decisive action against crime.
Gallardo told reporters that the security plan, being called POLSEPAZ for its name in Spanish, was supposed to be a strategic document for the next 10 years and not a working plan. His explanation in Spanish is HERE!
Ms. Chinchilla adopted this point of view of her new spin doctor in her appearance on most of the local television stations last night. She said she already had achieved concrete actions, including hiring 1,000 of the 4,000 promised police and the dismemberment of 120 drug organizations. Her talk is HERE!
The president also made a pitch for her new series of taxes and said that the central government needed the money to obtain the resources to fight crime. A 14 percent value added tax has been the centerpiece of the Chinchilla security plan although there have been no specifics on how the money would be applied.
Ms. Chinchilla also said that her administration was opening up 300 new spots for inmates in the prison system. Some 800 prisoners are to be transferred from San Sebastián in San José to the prison near Liberia.
The Chinchilla administration was stung by a blistering seven-and-a-half minute editorial delivered by Teletica news director Pilar Cisneros Friday afternoon in which the broadcaster characterized the new security plan as “Blah, blah, blah, blah.” There is absolutely nothing new in the plan, she said as she addressed the president directly. She also pointed out inconsistencies in what Ms. Chinchilla says now and what she said during her campaign. The editorial is in Spanish HERE.
The phrase “Blah, blah, blah, blah” struck a note with the public and many online responses, even to Ms. Chinchilla’s Wednesday talk, include it.
A YouTube link and a small photo of Ms. Cisneros even appeared on the presidential Facebook page until someone wisely removed it Wednesday.
The Integrated security plan outlined Feb. 14 by Ms. Chinchilla calls for a balanced intervention for prevention, attention and protection, control, reparation and reintegration in accordance with human development and democratic values of Costa Rica, she said at the time.
The responsibility for fighting crime is to be shared among the legislative, executive and judicial branches of the government. Representatives signed an agreement to that effect.
Specifically named are the Comisión de Seguridad Ciudadana of the executive branch, the Comision Especial Legislativa de Seguridad Ciudadana of the Asamblea Legislativa and the Comisión de Asuntos Penales of the Poder Judicial.
The plan was produced by the U.N. Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo at its San José office. The 128-page document is available on the Programa’s Web site in Spanish. The title is “Política Integral y Sostenible de Seguridad Ciudadana y Promoción de la Paz Social,” hence the acronym.