Fewer fatalities reported for Semana Santa this year

Although all the numbers are not yet in, Semana Santa appears to have cost fewer lives this year than last.

The Cruz Roja said that only 21 violent deaths were reported by Sunday night, 19 less than the 40 for the same period in 2011.

The principal cause of death was water accidents, the rescue agency said. It attributed eight deaths to drowning. Only two persons died from knife or gun wounds this weekend, compared to seven last year.

And the number of persons killed in vehicle crashes was just two compared to the seven the year before.

Of course the Cruz Roja only lists injuries and deaths when it is called upon to respond. Not all cases require the agency. For example, the Judicial Investigating Organization found the body of a man buried in the yard where he lived. He was identified by the last name of Fernández. He had been dead more than two weeks, so the Cruz Roja was not called. The man’s 37-year-old housemate was detained. Fernández was 58 and appears to have died from a stab wound, the judicial agency said. The home is near Golfito.

There were more injuries this year. The Cruz Roja said it transported 71 persons to hospitals That compares to 57 last year.

Not included in the total is anyone who died at the hospital because the Cruz Roja just reports fatalities at the scene.

Among those who did not make the list is Óscar López, the politician and former legislative deputy. He was rescued after he was caught in the surf at Playa Espadillas in Manuel Antonio.

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