Locals stage protest march at Nicoya celebratio

The line of march contained many with local complaints, including the state of the roads and the need for the creation of a new political district for the peninsula.

The celebration in Nicoya Wednesday was not what the central government wanted. A caravan of cars, buses and taxis carried the message that the government has failed to deliver on previous promises.

Among those protesting was a group from Nosara on the Pacific coast who have been trying for two years to get the access road to their community paved. It is now some 40 kilometers of rock, ruts, dirt and frequently mud fit only for oxcarts, some of the group said.

President Laura Chinchilla was at the festivities in Nicoya, and she had another promise. No family will be removed from their coastal home while she is president, she said, according to Casa Presidencial. The president has promoted a change in the law that would prevent the destruction of home located in the maritime zone on both coasts. The measure has not yet been presented to the Asamblea Legislativa. However, the president has ordered suspension of demolition and said that the legal change would be presented in August.

The celebration marked the 188th anniversary of the decision by leaders of the Partido de Nicoya in 1824 to join Costa Rica. The peninsula was an independent state then shortly after freedom from Spain.

Protesters said that the mayor of the Municipalidad de Nicoya was harassed by Fuerza Pública officers during the protest. Although he is well known, officers made him show his cédula, the official identification card, said a summary of the march.

In addition, protesters claimed that officers of the Policía de Tránsito halted the convoy so it would not arrive near the festivities where President Chinchilla was.

Among the complains was the failure of the education ministry to build a promised new school. They said that was promised by the education minster last year, but that the school is still just building plans.

They also said that a proposed five-floor tower for specialists at the local Hospital de la Anexión de Nicoya still has not been started. This was announced by the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social last year, too, they said. The tower is supposed to have 130 beds.

Marco Tulo Ávila, president of the Nosara development association, said that failing to hard surface the road has kept down tourism and has affected the local economy. Nosara had 400 residents at the protest.

The municipal mayor, Marco Antonio Jiménez, had joined the protect. He declined earlier to be with Ms. Chinchilla at the festivities in the center of the community. He is a member of Movimiento Libertario, and she is a member of the Partido Liberación Nacional. The vice mayor, Adriana Rodríguez, was with Ms. Chinchilla at the Parque Recadero Briceño, and she urged integrated solutions to the problems of Guanacaste development, said a summary.

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