For several years law enforcement officials say that horses in the Tope Nacional were drinking stolen water. With thousands of horses on the streets and afternoon temperatures soaring, the Municipalidad de San José makes arrangements each year for a contractor to provide water for the animals.
This year the Fuerza Pública and workers for the Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados, the national water company, were waiting when tanker trucks pulled up to a hydrant on Paseo Colón Christmas night. Three men were detained and a tanker truck was confiscated, said the Fuerza Pública and the water company.
The Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados said that the three men involved also damaged a hydrant and caused storage tanks servicing the San José downtown to be depleted.
The municipality requires a contractor to provide 2,000 watering stations for the animals along the parade route.