Letter on southern Caribbean security was mailed a tad too soon

The Poder Judicial republished a glowing letter from the southern Caribbean last week praising police and investigators for ending the insecurity in that area.

The letter went to news people the same day that masked men with machetes robbed and slashed a French couple who had been visiting Playa Punta Uva. In addition, those who follow insecurity in the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca region say that there is a crime wave that appears to have developed after the letter went to officials in San José.

The Poder Judicial appears to have published the letter because the contents reflect favorably on policing. The document is from Luis Videla, identified as a member of the Comité de Seguridad de la Puerto Viejo. Videla states that impunity and insecurity have ended in the region. He praised the work of the prosecutors, the Fuerza Pública and the Judicial Investigating Organization, according to the summary issued by the Poder Judicial.

The letter originally went to José Manuel Arroyo Gutiérrez, a magistrate and president of the high criminal court, the Sala III.

Videla said that when a crime happens, authorities act rapidly and quickly so that in the majority of cases, suspects are detained quickly.

The Poder Judicial said that Videla would be meeting soon with court officials in San José to strengthen actions that will
permit maintaining the security environment that has been reached up until now. Arroyo Gutiérrez , the magistrate, praised the result as an inter institutional effort that is very important for tourism in southern Costa Rica.

The Puerto Viejo area is a study in opposites. For many tourists, it is paradise with all that Costa Rica is supposed to be. But as A.M. Costa Rica has reported, drug use is rampant and frequently promoted, and a September 2010 murder of a tourist shocked the community.

That masked men would attack and hack at a tourist couple on the beach in the afternoon is not the kind of public relations business people there are seeking on the eve of high tourist season. The unidentified couple remains hospitalized, although there has been no official police report issued about the crime. There also appeasr to have been other victims of the same robbers.

Ironically, Videla and his wife were among those who offered aid to the French couple on the same day that his letter was released in San José.

There is an informal report that arrests have been made in the cases, but that could not be confirmed by officials Sunday.

Manuel Pinto, a local real estate broker, is the authority on crimes in the area. He is a member of several committees. He told a reporter Friday that what was contained in the Poder Judicial letter may have been true two months ago, but not now. He also said that crimes are not always reported by victims.

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