More fireworks confiscations unlikely to dent New Year’s show

For the Fuerza Pública fighting the fireworks trade must seem like trying to hold back the sea.

Police have confiscated thousands of units of fireworks over the last month. Yet tonight at midnight the skies over the Central Valley will resemble shock and awe.

A recent case was a week ago in Barrio 63 de Río Claro in Guaycará, Cantón de Golfito. Fuerza Pública officers stopped a man whose vehicle contained nearly 9,000 separate pieces of fireworks. Some of the fireworks were in the very destructive category, said the security ministry.

The vehicle driver was going around selling the fireworks out of his vehicle.

So was another man who was stopped in Aguabuena, Cantón de Coto Brus. The man was driving around selling out of his inventory that contained nearly 2,500 units of fireworks when police stopped him, they said.

The anti-fireworks legislation provides for three to seven years in prison for someone who sells fireworks. But the penalty is hardly ever enforced. Police just confiscate the items.

Each holiday season the security ministry and the Hospital National de Niños embark on a campaign to reduce the use of fireworks.

Eight children have been admitted to this hospital this year with burns or damage from fireworks. The last four were admitted this month.

The basic rules is that if it explodes it is illegal. There are many places selling sparklers and legal fireworks.  Many of these sell the illegal variety under the counter.

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