Cementerio Calvo project generates questions

San José Mayor Johnny Araya’s plan for a technological park generated questions in a legislative committee Wednesday.

The technological park and a university center is the latest proposal advanced by Araya to eliminate the Cementerio Calvo. Removing the cemetery has become an emotional issue for some in the capital. The cemetery is near the municipal building off Avenida 10.

Marcelo Jenkins discussed the request by the municipality to change the use of the property before the Comisión de Gobierno y Administración. He is minister of  Ciencia y Tecnología.

Jenkins and others noted that there is not enough information yet to make an informed decision.

For example, Jenkins asked exactly what would be constructed there and from where would come the funds. He suggested a joint venture with a public university, although whether the proposed university center would be public or private has not yet been stated.

Araya has proposed uses for the land earlier, including housing for the Juegos Deportivos Centroamericanos in 2013. That last proposal went to the Sala IV constitutional court. So there are some official suspicions about the motives. Araya already has said he wants to put a municipal parking lot on part of the 100-year-old cemetery. The cemetery is partly a potter’s field where unidentified bodies and those of the poor are put to rest.

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