Talamanca plans a new action againt two expats who file complaints

Two southern Caribbean expats have been invited to explain to the Talamanca council why they should not be declared personas non gratas.


This is the latest development of a bizarre case in Costa Rica’s most southeastern area.

Carol Meeds, a 68-year-old U.S. resident, said she had been informed at the end of last week that she and Belgian expat Philippe Vangoidsenhoven, 50, had been summoned officially by the council.

Lat March 6 the council declared the pair to be unwelcome in the canton. The Sala IV constitutional court quickly reversed that municipal action and said in passing that they had not been give the right of response.

So now the council on a motion by  Carlos Cascante, the mayor, seeks to give them what it called the right to defense. That decision was made June 26. Both the expats have been active in making many environmental complaints.

Ms. Meeds provided a reporter with a copy of an email by the pair’s lawyer,  José María Villalta, who said he was readying another Sala IV appeal. He wrote that he thought this might halt the Wednesday hearing, scheduled for 1 p.m.

The message from the municipality includes some 19 pages that are mostly signatures on a petition, said Ms. Meeds.

Throughout the entire controversy the power of a municipality to expel legal residents has not been made clear.

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