Opinions seem to favor those evicted from Finca Chánguena

Land invaders who took over property in 2002 in Palmar Sur are getting support while the man who is the legitimate owner of the land is emerging as the bad guy in some quarters.

This is the case of  Finca Chánguena where the Fuerza Pública evicted some 100 families over the weekend based on a court order.

Those evicted and supporters continue to maintain a partial blockade on the Interamericana Sur at the Río Térreba bridge.

Meanwhile, the central government is trying to provide aid to those evicted through the Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social and the Instituto de Desarrollo Rural.

The case has a long and complex history that began when the United Fruit Co. abandoned the land in 1985. The workers claim they were not paid what they were owed. Eventually the government set up an agricultural cooperative for the displaced workers that eventually failed. The cooperative rented the land to Bananera Térraba, which was owned by businessman Oscar Echeverría Heigol. There was a bank loan involved.

After a strike in 2001,  Echeverría fired the workers, and that is when some of them invaded the land. There have been a string of court cases that ended with the resolution by the  Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo.

The Defensoría de los Habitantes said Tuesday that being evicted exposes individuals to violation of  their rights. If people are poor, the state should step in an help them, the statement said.

Sergio Alfaro, the minister of the Presidencia, has been in the area negotiating with those who have been evicted.

A Frente Amplio lawmaker,  Gerardo Vargas Varela, has questioned the legitimacy of the claim by  Echeverría.

The left wing online publication Noticias Informa-tico called the property booty for the businessman.

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