Letters to the Editor

Every day, I enjoy reading the opinion pages of La Nacion, Costa Rica’s only semi-respectable daily newspaper. And every day, the letters to the editor space is full of people complaining about bad service/experiences. Here are a couple I selected and translated from a few days back, because they are illustrative as to how the police and telephone monopoly work here.

In front of the Solon Nunez Frutos Clinic in downtown Hatillo there is a stoplight at a pedestrian crossing which drivers always speed through, even if the light is red. I myself have nearly been run over several times. On February 7th I was crossing with my husband and five-month-old. The light was red, and two motorcycles ran it, one of which nearly hit me. I shared my concern with the police and asked that they send an officer to observe the stoplight behavior for just 20 minutes. What they told me was to file a complaint with the Transit Police, then that it would be better to talk to the other police station in Hatillos central plaza. A few minutes later they told me not to file a complaint with the Transit Police, because they don’t do anything. I explained that even police officers run the red light, in the middle of people crossing, and he told me that the same thing happens at all the stoplights, that nothing can be done. Then, to my surprise, he asked me for the license plate numbers of all the vehicles and motorcycles that I had seen run the red light. It seems incredible, but that’s what he asked me. I felt indignant and left the police station without even an intention of wanting to help.

Cindy Dayana Madrigal Jara

San José

Here’s another one.

My telephone, number 2232-4624, has been dead since February 5th. I reported it to 119 [the phone company’s repair line] on the 6th. The recording told me that it would be repaired in 24 hours. I reported it again the 8th. Again, the recording told me that it would be repaired in 24 hours. I reported it again the 10th. This time the recording told me that they had my report since the 8th and promised repair in 14 hours. Today, the 12th, it doesn’t work. When will they fix it?

Fernando Montero González

San José




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