The days keep ticking by since the environmentalist Jairo Mora was murdered in Costa Rica. There have been no actions by the Costa Rican government to do a single things about this murder. No suspects have been arrested. No more police officers have been assigned to the region. The negative after effects are setting in to the Caribbean towns in Costa Rica—as Dan Stevens reports for The Costa Rica Times.
As expected the first effect of this murder has been a huge decrease in both tourists and environmental protectionists in this area of Costa Rica. The biggest money making ventures in this part of Costa Rica like many areas is tourism and it has been more or less destroyed over the past few weeks.
Eddie Ryan, owner of Hotel La Costa de Papito in Cocles beach, Cahuita, is one of those affected.
“I received two cancellations of the United States where they said they are cancelling because of a travel warnigng by the U.S. Embassy and the death of Jairo,” he said.
In March, the U.S. Embassy urged its citizens to “be cautious and vigilant” when visiting the southern Caribbean. So did Canada in April and to consider the area as “hazardous”.
Ryan has 13 rooms, a spa and a restaurant, and employs 20 local people.
“We had to shorten the days to balance the costs,” he added.
If you walk a few meters, there is another hotel that is close to empty.
Almendros y Corales hotel located in Manzanillo, has 24 rooms, a staff of 18 people and an expense of $14,000 a month for their salaries.
Aurora Gamez, who owns the hotel, says the average occupancy is 50%. However, since the death of Jairo Mora has dropped to 10%.
This is just the beginning of the problems that will be experienced in Costa Rica’s Caribbean. These tourist hotels, bars, and restaurants are kept running by clients travelling to the Caribbean. If these clients are not coming then the business owners are only left with a two options. Cut back hours and lay off employees or close shop until this blows over…..if it does.
These things are already happening, and the results are going to be an increase in crime and drug trafficking in the area. When a person’s ability to provide for themselves and their family the basic needs in life (food, water, and shelter) are taken away they resort to finding ways to obtain these items. Most of the time criminally, when other options are not available.
There have been offers out there from environmental groups of between $10,000 and $50,000 for information on the death of Jairo Mora. These offers will never have any results because taking one of these offers probably means death to themselves and their families. Is your family and life worth $10,000? I am sure it has induced a lot of lies and leads that the local authorities and prosecutors office will have to sort through form people trying to gab some quick and easy money. Unless they are put in a program like a witness protection program no one is stupid enough to be a rat on these drug traffickers.
The Costa Rican government is hoping this incident just goes away. They are obviously still counting the money they made from the Chinese visit to care that one of the biggest tourist areas in the country is dying. They have made no effort to try to put a solution in place to try to stop both the pillaging of sea turtle nests nor arrest the drug traffickers in the area. Costa Rica is a small country and one of the national pastimes is gossip……the locals know who killed Jairo and no one is going to talk if they have not already.
Up until the late 1940′s blacks were not allowed in the capital of Costa Rica and that racism seems to still be instilled in many of the older people in Costa Rica…..you can say what you want but watch the reaction to blacks in Costa Rica be it on the bus or in a store. Is this the Costa Rican government’s way of showing that one group of people is less important than another? What if this happened on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica?
The questions are there and being asked……what are your answers Laura Chinchilla?
For the original report go to http://www.costaricantimes.com/jairo-mora-murder-costa-rica-caribbean-tourism/16978