Nicoya plans a fiesta, but protesters are organizing

The Municipalidad de Nicoya has 38 events planned for the week because Thursday is the day the country celebrates the region’s union with Costa Rica in 1824.

There was a 10K race Sunday, and today there are parades and band performances. At 6 p.m. the decorative lights on the major streets will be turned on.

The major events are the ceremony at the Monumento de La Anexión, across from the Liceo de Nicoya at 8 a.m. Thursday, and the Consejo de Goberino at 10 a.m. in  Parque Recadero Briceño.

Although the municipality is welcoming President Laura Chinchilla and her ministers this year, other organizations are trying to embarrass her. Among these is the Asociación Nacional de Empleados Públicos y Privados, which is supporting a protest march.

There have been protests before because Guanacaste residents and those who live on the lower part of the Nicoya peninsula are seeking more attention and public services.

In rebuttal, Casa Presidencial is now emitting press releases saying what the government has done.  The latest report says that since  2010 some 3.2 billion colons have been invested for security. That’s about $6.4 million. Officials are counting new police stations, and a facility for the  Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas.

The  Asociación Nacional de Empleados Públicos y Privados, nevertheless, has published a sarcastic poem on its Web site in which it said the Nicoya hospital is near collapse, roads are a mess and that President Chinchilla has not followed through on promises.

The political protests have to be seen in the context of the next general election. Ms. Chinchilla has less than a year to serve, and she is getting low marks in public opinion polls. Even Johnny Araya Monge, the Partido Liberación Nacional presidential candidate, is distancing himself from her and her policies even though she is from the same party.

Protests are nothing new when a president goes to Nicoya. Last year the municipal mayor, Marco Antonio Jiménez, joined the protest. But he has openly welcomed the president this year.

He is of another political party.

Last year protesters complained that they were kept from entering Nicoya centro by police. They came in convoys of vehicles.

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