Law enforcement is already in the Christmas shopping mode

Costa Rican employees, pensioners and members of some boards will be getting their Christmas bonus between Dec. 1 and 15.

The law requires employers to give the workers a twelfth of what they earned through the previous year. The money also creates a great opportunity for crooks. The extra payments, called aguinaldos, amount to billions of colons.

That is why each year police mount an operation to protect the citizenry. This year the effort starts Nov. 20 and will involve some 3,000 officers and even dogs.

Some of those two story police towers still are up, but more will be added so officers can look down on the bustling holiday shoppers.

Officials outlined their plans Tuesday. The entire holiday police effort will run until Jan. 4.

That the central canton is full of policemen over Christmas has become a running joke.  This year some 141 additional officers will be assigned to the capital.

The season has not become so prosperous for crooks these days as many shoppers use credit and debit cards or shop online. If they need cash, the automatic teller is nearby. In fact, police have a special program for watching the cash machines.

They also have to be ready for the Festival de la Luz Dec. 13, the  Festejos Populares that start in Zapote Christmas Day and the Tope Nacional, the giant horse parade that takes place Dec. 26.

More will be said about protecting money. The Fuerza Pública is expected to come out with advice and the Comisión de Seguridad Bancaria also will be advising customers.

Santas will be bringing 20,000-colon notes.

Santas will be bringing 20,000-colon notes.

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