The Ministerio de Seguridad Pública (MSP) has budgeted for this year ¢161 million colones (US$325.000 dollars) to safeguarding the homes of five former presidents and four first ladies.

The former presidents whose residences are under the watchful eyes of police are: Luis Alberto Monge Álvarez (1982-1986),Rafael Ángel Calder ón Fournier(1990-1994), Miguel Ángel Rodríguez Echeverría (1998-2002), Abel Pacheco de la Espriella (2002-2006)and Óscar Arias Sánchez (1986-1990 and 2006-2010).

On May 8, 2014, Laura Chinchilla will added to the list of former presidents under protection.

The first ladies under police protection are: Josette Altmann (former wife of former president Jose María Figueres Olsen), Karen Olsen (widow of José María Figueres Ferrer), Marjorie Elliot (widow of Daniel Oduber) y Estrella Zeledón (widow of Rodrigo Carazo).

Former president José María Figueres Olsen does not have a permanent residence in Costa Rica.

The police protection of the former presidents and first ladies is limited to a Fuerza Publica (police) official posted outside the residences, around the clock, all year round. In some cases, like that of Pacheco, the official is posted in a police post in the park one house away from the Pacheco home, while in the case of Oscar Arias, the police post is within the gated property of the former president.

According to the MSP, the protection detail involves 27 police officials, working 12 hours shifts, two days on, two days off. The officials do not follow the movements of the former presidents and former first ladies outside the residence.

The former presidents also get their pension.

According to the Ministry of Labour, Olman Segua, the government pays out 11 pensions, an average of each almost three million colones (¢2.973.526) or US$6.000 dollars.

Source: CRHoy.com

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