Tighten penalties for youth to make them accountable

Wake up Citizens of Costa Rica!

In answer to the editor’s article, I have a few of my own opinions to go along with those ideas presented. Most of the crime in our area normally goes unanswered. The police here just sit in their office because of insufficient funds to maintain and drive their vehicle. Sort of an answering service for after-the-fact of a committed crime.

If anyone is assaulted or robbed here, by the time the police arrive, if they do, the criminals are long gone. We had a small community meeting last week and if any of the criminals were in attendance, they would have been elated to hear the response from the mouth of the police attending. There are absolutely no patrols of the area. They just about admitted that they can do nothing to help us. They want us to do their job by gathering evidence on our own. Walking a beat is even non-existent here. I believe many of the crimes are committed by the youthful here who can escape just about any form of punishment. Just read from an article from this past December from a neighboring country.

Associated Press Published December 05, 2010
CUERNAVACA, Mexico – A 14-year-old boy accused of participating in four beheadings for a Mexican drug cartel will be tried under a state juvenile law that carries a maximum of three years in prison if convicted, a judge said Sunday.

This should be a wake up call to all of those countries with spiraling juvenile crime. Just how do you grasp this especially if you are the offended party? This is a complete breakdown of the legal system in these countries with soft laws regarding youth. How innocent can a 14 year old be that he can benefit from the archaic legal system. These outdated laws were created when the innocent youth were untainted by world around us. Its time to catch the laws up with the violent society we now have created for ourselves. If they are old enough to commit an adult crime, then they should be treated as such. This revolving door policy for juveniles must be addressed. And they should double the penalty for adults that use juveniles to commit crimes for them. Put this issue on the fast track, Ms. President.

As I have mentioned previously, the 80 million dollar Stadium should have been reduced to 40 million and the other 40 million to build a new prison. The citizens would have been better served.

The existing youth crime is costing Costa Rica plenty. Especially in tourism. I am in the business, and I know many who will never visit Costa Rica again due to theft and violence committed on them. More important is how many of their friends they will relate their sad stories too who also will be sure to take their vacations elsewhere. How I long for the “Good Old Days”.

I would like the police to be more accountable for their time on the job and to share with the community the arrest records and the report of crimes committed locally and a description of the perpetrators. It would be nice to have this information to share with each and all of us in the community to help us be more aware of times, locations, type of crime, vehicle descriptions, etc. Right now we only have word of mouth without the facts. How about a once a month meeting with the community with the police to share this information and what they have done to resolve the crimes committed in the prior month. The Fuerza Pública tells us that when it leaves them and goes on to the OIJ to solve, their hands are clean. How about having a representative from the OIJ to attend that meetings also. I believe there’s a book, “It Takes a Town” some years ago. Maybe we can come together here in Nuevo Arenal and be an example for the rest of the small towns who are experiencing this blight.

Tom Ploskina
Nuevo Arenal

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