A.M. Costa Rica
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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 169
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Cámara de Comercio de Cartago photo
This was the scene last year in preparation for the trip by the Virgen de los Ángeles from her basilica to the Catedral de Nuestra Señora del Carmen. This year the two-day fiesta is Sept. 3 and 4. The Instituto Costarricense de Turismo is supporting the event, called the Festival La Pasada.
Thousands will visit Cartago for the festival that has taken place since 1782, and merchants are gearing up to handle the crowd. One of the features is this long carpet of flowers on which the faithful carry the image of the Virgin. There also are bands, dancing and art shows.

Expats generally agree with anti-drug war editorial
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Expats reacted favorably Thursday to an A.M. Costa Rica editorial urging the Costa Rican government to just say no to the drug war.

Some expressed similar views while saying that they never used drugs.

This newspaper has urged since June 10, 2015 that the Costa Rican government move to legalize marijuana and cocaine. A multi-million-dollar donation by the United States of planes and boats to catch drug traffickers generated the editorial Thursday.

The article noted that hardly any of these donations will benefit the average Costa Rican while the country spends large amounts of money to comply with Washington’s wishes.

Particularly heartening Thursday were favorable comments from individuals who actually are involved in the war on drugs. Wisely they did not use institutional email accounts.

Some respondents, while favorable, doubted that Costa Rica really is spending a lot of money on the drug war. A story Wednesday noted a vice minister of security urged passage of more taxes to add police officers to the 12,500 that already are on the payroll.

The United States said in making the donations of planes and boats that Costa Rica would be responsible for their future maintenance.

But then Thursday the security ministry conveniently released a report that said that teams of anti-drug officers just chopped down  215,833 marijuana plants in Santa Rosa, Cerro Danta, Fila Coquito, San Martin, Balsar, Cajón, San Rafael de Tinoco y Sinaí de Osa, all in the southern part of the province of Puntarenas. The marijuana plantings most likely were spotted by the continual overflights by police.

The ministry said that this brought the total of
arbitrary stop
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo  
 Against the wall is one of the 95 persons
 stopped by police in 12 hours Wednesday

plants destroyed just this year to 1.8 million. It did not give the man hours expended.

The ministry also reported on the arbitrary searches of the previous night. The official report said that 95 persons, mostly young people, were stopped by police in search of drugs. In most cases, they were forced to turn out their pockets. Police said they also stopped and inspected 10 cars and a dozen motorcycles.

They call this preventative work in that there is no probable cause to stop individuals. They did confiscate some crack and some marijuana, they reported, and detained one man who was the subject of a warrant.

On a larger scale, the U.S. government has supplied financial support for the police checkpoint at Kilometer 35 on the Interamericana Sur to interdict smuggled items, including drugs. Probable cause is not a consideration there either.

Some responses from expats are HERE!

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