Some but not all of nation returns to normal today

Although the country moves toward normality today as Christmas vacationers return to work, a number of public offices still are closed until Monday.

That includes much of the Poder Judicial, other central government offices and many offices of municipalities. Expats probably should make a phone call before attempting to do any official business.

Out at the Zapote fairgrounds, the Fiestas de San José still are in full swing. The carnival and the bull baiting will continue until Sunday. The Cruz Roja said Sunday that it had treated 122 informal bullfighters and that 34 persons went to area hospitals from the carnival grounds. No deaths were reported.

The rondel where the bull riding and bull baiting events are held continued to attract crowds over the weekend and through New Year’s Day.

The Cruz Roja reported 80 violent deaths for all of December. Included were two water deaths, but the agency also said that it continues to seek a 13 year old who disappeared in the surf Thursday at Playa Coyote and a young man of 24 years who vanished at Manzanillo. They probably are not yet included in the total. Another death was believed to have happened at Playa Punta Uva, also on the Caribbean coast.

The rescue agency said that 88 persons died in water accidents in 2012.

The Cruz Roja also reported 30 deaths related to vehicle accidents in December. There also were 16 deaths attributed to aggression, said the rescue agency.

Judicial agents detained a 37-year-old man after a 7 p.m. Monday traffic accident in Liverpool, Limón, the Judicial Investigating Organization reported. A roadside test determined that one driver was under the influence of alcohol, agents said. His vehicle crossed the center line and collided with a vehicle containing a man, his wife, two children, 3 and 6, and a brother-in-law just 16, they said. That second driver, identified by the last name of Muñoz, died, they reported. He was 40. The wife and the 3-year-old were hospitalized in critical condition, they added.

A firearms death took place about 7 p.m. Monday when three men tried to hold up a small supermarket in Fray Casiano in Puntarenas, said the Judicial Investigating Organization. One man brandished a knife and another had a pistol, and they threatened customers in the store, said agents.

But then the store owner appeared, and he, too, had a firearm. In an exchange of shots with the crooks, the owner managed to hit one of the robbers three times, said agents. The bandit died on the spot. The other two fled, the agency said.

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