What does an embarrassing incarceration of an “angel” ocean conservationist, ongoing environmental stress on the countries rivers and waterways, i.e. constant need for clean-up crews, daily armed robbery reports, and shootings, archaic “squatters” laws, and a government awash in debt all have in common?
They were the main articles in today’s A.M. Costa Rica, and they are indicative of a pretty dysfunctional government with a crisis of leadership. It seems to many, that Costa Rica has highly skilled and intelligent personnel capable of tackling the grave issues that are holding it back. The problem appears to be that the legal system is mired in archaic pastoral laws, bureaucracy, and procedures that are out of touch with today’s realities, and facilitate corruption.
Costa Rica has always had a dark side. Most of the land and wealth is in control of a very few. They control large swaths of countryside where commercial “plantations” operate as virtual fiefdoms with their own”rules” often with virtual slave labor, and damaging environmental practices, as well as various “monopolies” that result in the meager selection of beer, dairy, and other staples (canned tomatoes, olive oil, to name just a few that are harshly taxed and out of reach of the average household budget) that North Americans and Europeans are unaccustomed to.
This small group of elites are used to operating with impunity here, and whose interest it is in maintaining the archaic and inefficient legal system which they are so adept at manipulating for their own gain, and at the expense of everyone else,
Honest and brave people such as Sheldon Hazeltine and “angels” like Paul Watson who inadvertently have bucked up against the “powerful elitist structure” need as much publicity and support as they can get, for it is high profile cases like these, providing exposes of the archaic and draconian darkness which for so long has been the underbelly of Costa Rican society, that is it’s main anchor in preventing the country from moving forward in transforming the machinations of government to achieve a higher level of effectiveness for the common good
Hari Singh Khalsa