QCOSTARICA – The problem is not random murder in Costa Rica, the problem is lifestyle and bad choice, ‘cruel feminism’,  and ‘cursed silence’ silence by family, friends and neighbours.

The massacre of a five members of a family last Sunday is evidence of all the above: making the wrong choice of partner, lack of response by authorities when the man is the victim of abuse, and as the INAMU –  the women’s institute explains it, the existence of a sexist structure that justifies and legitimizes violence against women.

The INAMU considers there should be less that talk about “crimes of passion” and more about stories of abuse, holding accountable those who, know these situations, keep silent.

“The worst of these cases is that, had this tragedy not happened, stories of violence like this would remain silent; the victims remaining isolated, in a community indifferent to their situation,” the INAMU said in a statement.

With respect to feminism, the country has a number of public and non-governmental institutions responding to the needs of battered and abused women.

  • INSTITUTO NACIONAL DE LAS MUJERES (INAMU)
  • PATRONATO NACIONAL DE LA INFANCIA (PANI)
  • CONSEJO NACIONAL DE PRODUCCION CNP – OFICINA SECTORIAL DE LA MUJER
  • RED DE MUJERES EN ACCIÓN.
  • ASOCIACIÓN NACIONAL DE GRUPOS ASOCIATIVOS FEMENINOS (ASONAGAF).
  • COMITÉ NACIONAL CONTRA LA VIOLENCIA A LA MUJER.
  • ALIANZA DE MUJERES COSTARRICENSES AMC
  • FUNDACION DESARROLLO, MUJER, SALUD Y AMBIENTE FUNDEMUSA
  • MUJERES UNIDAS EN SALUD Y DESARROLLO MUSADE

But what about of the battered and abused man?

For example, where and whom does a man turn to when the mother of his children, living the house he paid for, moves in her recently released from prison boyfriend and both then begin the cycle of abuse against him, including against the children?

Imagine now that this woman complains to authorities when he can no longer put up with the situation How long do you think police would take to arrive if she called them? They would most likely remove him from the house and would give full control of the property to the woman. Now, what about if he calls police?

It is more common than we would like to think.

Feminism. In Costa Rica it takes only a few minutes to get him out of the house, enough on the woman’s word that he was abusive to her, without providing proof. Then all she has to do is file complaints with many of the organizations, whose role is to protect women from abuses, yet seem to apply cowardice when the woman is clearly abuser of her partner and the system, for her financial gain.

The sad part is that children in Costa Rica cannot receive effective protection from their fathers simply because, for practical purposes, the mother has more influence with national institutions and the courts than the father of a child. The courts will rarely stand up for an abused man, even when she brings her lover into the family home, even when clearly he is the main caregiver to the children.

Indifference. In many communities, in particular small communities like in Matapalo, every knows what is going on, but no one says or does anything. Indifference is the order of the day. Do not want to get involved. Some, justly, but not an excuse, fear of reprisals. Others, it’s just the way things are.

Since the discovery of the bodies of the five Tuesday morning we’ve seen reports on television and read stories from neighbours, teachers, community workers and even the woman’s family, that they all knew something was wrong. But did anybody do anything about it?

Lifestyle and bad choice. For many foreigners choosing to live in Costa Rica bad choices is a problem. One comment on the social media, “you can’t turn a Ho into a housewife” rings a bell. In the expat community there is no shortage of stories, past, present and future, of men finding the love their life in the wrong place.

The ‘white knight’ syndrome, ‘I can change her’, or ‘she’s prostitute because she has no other choice’ are among the justifications.

In the case of Beauchamp, his wife’s own brother tells us the foreigner met his sister while she was working as a prostitute in a well known brothel in San Jose. that she was abusive of her husband, never really cared for him, but, rather for what he could provide for her and so on.

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In the Beauchamp case, his lifestyle and bad choice and a system that offered him nowhere or no one to turn to, did he and his family in.

One poster on the social media said “I feel for what happened to that man and his children, but cannot feel anything for that woman”.