Dear A.M. Costa Rica:
I would like to comment on the current demonstrations in Paquera.
Originally from California, I have lived in Paquera for over 22 years.
This is not a case of a petty complaint about the poor condition of the roads here, as they are in so many parts of Costa Rica. It is about the treatment by the government to the people here.
Paquera, Tambor, Montezuma, Mal Pais/Samta Teresa, the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, is like an island because access here is by boat (ferry) or by airplane. The road north to Playa Naranjo and Guanacaste from Paquera is almost impassable. Trips on this road are often necessary and the damage they do to the health of the residents living along the road and the damage to the vehicles is immeasurable.
The main problem is that the government has the money and the plans to make this road and has been delaying for over five years to begin the work. Numerous officials, diputados and officials from the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes and Consejo Nacional de Vialidad have come here and announced the road work would commence in a short time, and nothing ever happens. In December of 2013, the president of the country, Laura Chinchilla, came to Paquera and announced roadwork would start soon and be completed in 2014.
That is why we are frustrated. Broken promises, neglect and deteriorating conditions. That is enough for a tranquil community, and numerous communities, to protest in strength.
It doesn´t help matters when a group of protesting farmers and school teachers are met with 50 SWAT officers in full riot gear, pushing and shoving without concern for the people. After the first police attack, the rock throwing began and the tires burned.
This will not end until the government fulfills its promises and obligations.