COSTA RICA (OP-ED) — It is early Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014 morning and I am still, after 73 years trying to figure out “Who am I?”

In truth, I live in Costa Rica, have spent a lot of time during the revolution in Nicaragua and have had the great opportunity to know personally one former president, Jose Figueres (father), and one serious presidential candidate, Johnny Araya. (One is deceased and the other I still call as, “friend.”)

The “You,” comes to Pura Vida for a short vacation and goes back home while the “us” lives in this country and are required to live under its sovereign laws which are rarely if not always understandable.

However, these laws, rule and regulations are not always, in fact rarely, understandable to business and those who live here in hopes of a pretty decent lifestyle.

Even today, how easy it is to see miles of green, and running water and to imagine a new hotel, restaurant, offshore project and/or that which would be more competent than the traditional oligarchy.

But none of that is simple to manifest dream reality!

You might have run away from big business domination, but now you have encountered political mini-confrontation. Which is why some of the New Lions (Leaders) of Costa Rica are pushing for a new constitution and one that does not delegate “law of the land” to an inept assemble (Congress.) Anyone, everyone can currently make a supreme court claim (Sala Cuarta) which will turn into a two year or more waiting list. The idea is progressive; but the functionality is not.

Even a fair trial, by CR standards, is delayed for months, years simply because the system of law is inept. People, both guilty and innocent remain in detention or with limited freedom awaiting trial by three judges who are supposed to know more about the crime than civil jurors, our peers of those who have been victimized.

In CR it is the law itself, every “T” and “I” without mistake that decides jail time or freedom. Plus, who is the defendant?

The guilty, like former presidents Calderon and Rodriguez frequently receive reduced sentences which allows them to still walk freely in the streets, but their accomplices found guilty will spend years in the slammer.

The issue?

Inequality applies not only to income, but more so to the class system where popular people will inevitably receive lighter sentences or found innocent of charges while the “lesser” go to over crowded, inhumane prisons.

In the end, Pura Vida, our country, is the book to put with wonderful photos put on the living room “coffee” table and does not at all tell the real story of living here.

It is a fact that we must effect change to something more “just”.


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