Last March, the Canadian Bruce McCallum visited Costa Rica. He was in loved with the scenic beauty of Puerto Viejo de Limón and went to photograph the sunrise, not knowing that he would be killed.
His death left a trail of sadness among his relatives and embarrassment in Puerto Viejo, one of the most visited tourist sites in Limón.
Two months after the crime, the Canadian government updated and increased the warnings to those tourists wishing to visit Costa Rica.
Gun incidents such as robberies, car thefts, and home assaults have occurred in beach areas and on major roads in the Central Valley region, even during daytime. The violent attacks against the Canadians have occurred in Puerto Limón and Puerto Viejo. In March 2017, a Canadian man was stabbed to death in Puerto Viejo,”
cites a warning posted on the Canadian government’s tourism site.
Canada recommended its tourists that, in case of visiting Costa Rica, they must avoid walking alone at night or at dawn. They even request not to resist assaults.
Avoid remote or isolated areas, including roads and trails. If threatened by armed criminals, do what they ask without hesitation, since resisting can increase violence,”
says the report.
In 2016, according to data from the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT), more than 188 thousand Canadian tourists visited the country, only surpassed by Americans.
These remarks hurt in Limón, but they were expected.
Weeks ago, community leaders gathered with government officials and the Canadian embassy. They say they are deeply sorry for everything, but point to a new police delegation that could help tackle crime.
For a year and a half, an order from the Ministry of Health forced the demolition of the former police headquarters in downtown Limón. Concerned about the situation, the Public Force was offered a space in the camera’s office, three kilometers from the conflict zone.
After the crime, police temporarily reinforced the area with a Police Attention Center (CAP). However, neighbors and merchants already want a definitive answer.
The delegation would cost 500 million colones, not counting the donation by the Federated College of Engineers and Architects (CFIA). However, Bernardita Marín, deputy minister of Security, confirmed in March that it would not be ready in 2017.