Friday 30 July 2021

Finding a Place Called Home

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COSTA RICA BLOG — Every expat who migrated to Costa Rica has looked and looked again to find comfort, a place we can call home. It is not simple and certainly not easy with so many choices and so many considerations.

Most important, newbies to Costa Rica must think about crime. Corruption is inevitable, but crime can be and should be stopped or controlled. There is a reason for all those steel bars on windows, guards on patrol, electric gates and the reason is that finding safety is paramount to “home”.

Our Costa Rica system of law enforcement leaves a lot to be desired. Perpetrators rarely find prison time and victims rarely, ever again, feel safe.

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A cousin, a well known person, was stopped, robbed, gun whipped on Route 27 and then his car was stolen as well. He was left in a ditch to heal his wounds or die. He is in his mid-70s.

As a precaution, my cousin has a dead-man’s switch on his car that shuts the engine off in less than a ¼ of a mile if ever stolen. The fear was; the criminals would return and kill.

Crime has become violent and life not even measurably close to its value. Criminals do not hesitate to kill and for no apparent reason because it is a pretty good bet that if ever captured they will not serve time in prison. In fact, by Costa Rican measures, only 2.6% of criminals ever are convicted of anything.

While our president, Luis Guillermo Solís rhetorically called out corruption in his latest discourse, he avoided the word “crime” which, like soccer, has become one of our national pass times. And, crime is the epitome of a degenerate society; one of disparity, one lacking the valued qualities of life itself.

Finding a place you can call “home” and sleep while feeling protected is becoming more difficult each day. We are not Honduras or Caracas, but we are Costa Rica and violent crime is ramped, no matter who says different.

Mr. President, please stop it.

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Juan Sebastian Campos
An expat from the U.S., educator and writer in English and Spanish since 1978 with a doctorate in business administrations (DBA) from the United States and Germany. A feature writer for ABC News, Copley Press and the Tribune Group with emphasis on Central America.

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