four occupants of a car died when the vehicle struck an oncoming trailer after an improper overtaking. The accident occurred on Nov. 4 in Guatuso, Alajuela.  | Photo Edgar Chinchilla, La Nacion
four occupants of a car died when the vehicle struck an oncoming trailer after an improper overtaking. The accident occurred on Nov. 4 in Guatuso, Alajuela. | Photo Edgar Chinchilla, La Nacion

COSTA RICA NEWS — A total of 115 people died tragically last month, making November the month with most number of deaths and most violent in the last seven years, said the report by the Cruz Roja Costarricense (Costa Rican Red Cross).

The report explained that the leading the number of deaths in November were murders (41) and traffic accidents (38).

Freddy Román, spokesperson for the Cruz Roja, said the numbers may be even higher because their numbers do not take into account deaths after a person is to taken to hospital. Román said the Cruz Roja last month  transferred to hospital 237 people with serious injuries.

November 2014 broke the record of October 2007 with 119 deaths. However, on that occasion 14 people died in a landslide at Bajo Cacao en Atenas, Alajuela.

Guillermo Arroyo, National Director of Operations at the Cruz Roja, fears the numbers will skyrocket this month (December), as people head to the beaches and resorts and many more people participating in festivals.

Mario Calderón, director of the Policia de Transito (Traffic Police) reported as of yesterday (December 1), there have been 322 road fatalities this year, exceeding the 292 for all of 2013.

“There are several factors that are causing this. Undoubtedly there is a lack of driver awareness, because if they had acted according to regulations, many fatal accidents would have not occurred, ” said Calderón.

The traffic police chief says crossing the median, speeding, reckless drivers and pedestrians head the list of causes of fatal traffic accidents.

Calderón assured that the traffic police will get tough on drivers (and pedestrians) this month.

As for homicides, the Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ), have recorded 374 murders up to November 18, with the city of San José with 58 murders being the most violent, followed by Desamparados with 38 and Limón with 29.

The OIJ expects to see 2014 close with more than the 411 homicides recorded in 2013.

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