Three Caribbean Costa Rican Communities May Become Part of Panama

Edwin Patterson, a former lawmaker with Costa Rica’s Citizen Action Party, and a group of residents from the Caribbean province of Limón are promoting a plan for the coastal towns of Puerto Viejo, Cahuita, and Manzanillo to become part of Panama.

A plan called “Panama by Our Own Will” would have the communities annex to the Panamanian province of Bocas del Toro.

Patterson told local news site that the idea of annexation responds to the abandonment of Caribbean communities in recent decades by government officials in San José. He said the initiative also is supported by property owners whose homes or businesses were demolished for violating Costa Rica’s Maritime Zone Law. The ex-legislator said he expects representatives from the administration of President Laura Chinchilla to seek dialogue with the group.

Patterson unsuccessfully presented the same idea during the administration of President Abel Pacheco (2002-2006).  The annexation process would be similar to that held by the Nicoya Party (now Guanacaste) in 1824 to be part of Costa Rica.

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Photo of a Cahuita beach from

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