The Ministerio de Economía, Industría y Comercio will start a consumer support group today in Liberia, as part of a two-day celebration for the World Consumer Rights Day.
The support group is supposed to help regulate merchants and keep consumers safe, said Cynthia Zapata, director of consumer support. She also said people should attend because experts will offer tips, teach, and accept complaints.
The international day dedicated to the consumer was first celebrated in Costa Rica in 1995. And it wasn’t until five years ago that the ministry turned it into a festival, said a representative for the ministry. In the past, the celebrations have taken place at the Plaza de la Cultura. This year the change was made because of interest for Liberia community members to join the support group, said the representative.
According to the Web site for Consumers International, the concept of World Consumer Rights Day was an initiative started by former U. S. President John F. Kennedy. On this day, in 1962, he gave a speech to Congress and became the first world leader to use the term, and it stuck. The consumer movement marked this day as their day, stated in the Web site.
Ms. Zapata will be accompanied for Friday’s ceremony by Mayi Antillón, minister of Economía, Luis Álvarez, vice-minister of economy, and Luis Gerardo Castañeda, mayor of Liberia.
The pro-consumer festivities begin today with a workshop on how to protect yourself as a consumer and what are the obligations of a merchant. Ms. Zapata said some of the obligations of a merchant are to inform the consumer and to follow good practice. All lectures will take place inside the auditorium of the Corte Suprema de Justicia of Liberia.
The time is from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday the celebration will change location to the Liberia central park from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be cultural events added to the list of consumer educational tables. Among the many participants some are from the Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones de Costa Rica, the Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos, the Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo, the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo, and Correos de Costa Rica. There will also be the usual food, music, and fair activities, the ministry said.
Those interested can visit the ministry Web site at www.meic.go.cr.