Pilgrimage ends with few reports of crime or other disorders

Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguirdad Pública photo
Thousands of the faithful are in the plaza and adjacent streets of the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles in Cartago. The morning Mass was the culmination of the pilgrimage that involved
perhaps two million Costa Ricans over the last two weeks. Despite some rain, those participating in the pilgrimage had generally good weather.

The pilgrimage this year to Cartago was extraordinarily peaceful. Fuerza Pública officers reported just five arrests, and two of those were for existing warrants.

They did confiscate 20 baggies of marijuana, two marijuana cigarettes, 51 doses of crack and six grams of cocaine, they said.

Only one case appears to be directly related to misbehavior on the walk to Cartago. One man was detained for groping a woman in San Pedro de Montes de Oca. Another man ran afoul of officers when they noticed that he was packing a firearm.

The last arrest of the pilgrimage was Thursday afternoon near the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles. Police encountered a man who was behind on child support, they said.
There was rain overnight that dampened those on the way to Cartago and those already in the Plaza, but Thursday dawned bright and sunny and remained that way during the morning.

The Cruz Roja has not yet reported its statistics of the number of persons treated at their roadside aid stations. Typically more than 4,000 persons seek help and some are taken to hospitals.

Pilgrims or romeros as they are called, continued to pour into the area around the basilica early Thursday. Several police groups made up of the Servicio de Vigilancia Aérea, Unidades Especializadas and of the Escuela Nacional de Police ran to Cartago Thursday morning. They left San José at 7 a.m. and arrived at the basilica plaza before the 10 a.m. Mass.

Their ministry said that the police officers did so to carry the petition to the Virgen de los Angeles for citizen security.

Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo
Police officers begin their trek to Cartago from San José Thursday morning.

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