Government seeks to help those evicted

The central government is offering aid to families that have been evicted from 110 hectares of private property in Palmar de Osa.

Sergio Alfaro, the minister of the Presidencia, was there Saturday. The families call attention to themselves by perodically blockading a bridge over the Río Térreba.

Some of the families have been on the private land for 10 years, according to the government. Others arrived later. And some live elsewhere but use land on the finca, known as Chánguina, to grow crops.

The evictions came after a final court decision in the Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo.

Alfaro told the squatters that they could receive three months of housing from the Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social.

The Instituto de Desarrollo Rural is evaluating options to relocate the families on a new agricultural community designed by the Universidad Nacional.

The actual evictions were done by the Fuerza Pública.

The land situation in the area is complex. There may be up to 400 families living on land they do not own. Many are former banana worker who lost their jobs when a grower of that fruit collapsed. The properties have been through bank auctions and sales. Some land also is on the site where a new international airport has been proposed.

There have been smaller evictions in the past, and some residents have returned to their land afterwards.

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