QCOSTARICA – in computer network communications, “404” identifies a webpage not found. That is the message visitors to the ICT controversial guide webpage that recommends that foreigners, women visitors to Costa Rica, take care of the way they dress, not walk alone at night and ‘maintain control’ when drinking liquor to avoid sexual assault.
One day after La Nación (QCR in English) brought to light the controversial government guide, the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) – Costa Rican Tourism Board, rushed to remove the document from its website, despite the fact that hours before its own general manager, Alberto López, had defended it.
“The page you are looking for does not exist or an unexpected error has occurred” is the message that now appears when you access the link where the list was located, which was used “as base material” during the second semester of the previous year to give talks virtual and face-to-face in which “more than 300 representatives of different destinations were trained,” according to the ICT before taking down the webpage.
The guide in effect blamed victims of sexual harassment, abuse and assault in Costa Rica by guiding tourists to:
- Consider the cultural difference with respect to their country of origin, try to dress in a similar style to the local one to avoid attracting attention
- Avoid walking alone at night, preferring daytime hours
- Be careful with the messages that a very friendly or trusting attitude can generate. Many situations of risk or abuse of trust are generated through the erroneous perception of this type of interaction
- If ingesting beverages with alcoholic content, or any substance that can alter the use of faculties, they must ensure that they maintain personal control and control of the environment where you are.
The ICT and INAMU (Women’s Institute) guide had been around since last year but did not get the attention until Monday’s stern comments by Costa Rica President Carlos Alvarado and following the case of the gang rape against a Danish tourist in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca earlier this month.