A strange story has emerged from the high Talamancas. The tale is classic conspiracy theory complete with black helicopters, police inaction and armed and mysterious intruders.
The story comes from the non-profit Asociación Comunidades Ecologistas la Ceiba – Amigos de la Tierra Costa Rica.
The organization repeats reports from the small community of Alto Cuén, which is populated by BriBri in the Cantón de Talamanca. This is in a remote area at least a five-hours walk from local population centers.
The story is that June 30 an unmarked black helicopter landed bringing eight persons who identified themselves as evangelical missionaries. They handed out Bibles to every home. There was a Peruvian, two Costa Ricans and five Canadians, according to the story.
The visitors dismissed the locals’ requests that they pray and, instead, adopted military attitudes. They were making topographical measurements with various sophisticated instruments, the story goes.
The visitors stayed until July 4, but for some reason none was in the village when two Fuerza Pública officers arrived at the request of the residents.
The story says that the men demonstrated their ability to survive in the wilds, including by beheading and eating a dangrous fer-de-lance. The organization includes a photo of men in military garb on its Web site that was said to have been provided by residents of Alto Cuén.
The community members were unhappy when the Fuerza Pública officers confiscated knives and even a BB gun that they had and then left. They reported they were defenseless in the face of the visitors.
The story continues that the men, who were being called paramilitary, threatened the villagers when they returned after the police visit.
The encounter has generated a litany of suspicious, ranging from drug dealers to survey work for a new dam, prospecting for precious metals and even a military action by the U.S. Fourth Fleet.
Native representatives from other communities have met at Alto Cuén to discuss the situation without a firm answer.
The non-profit organization and the community leaders have the names of the individuals involved.