• Costa Rica Real Estate

Black Costa Rican congresswomen report racist threats

May 8, 2015

Costa Rican congresswomen Epsy Campbell and Maureen Clarke, both of Afro-Caribbean descent, filed complaints with the government ombudsman’s office this week after receiving a wave of racist threats in person and on social media.

The aggressions began in late April when the congresswomen asked the culture ministry to withdraw funding for a musical adaptation of the controversial novel Cocorí, by the late Costa Rican writer Joaquín Gutiérrez.

Cocorí, about a black boy who meets a white girl and embarks on a youthful adventure, has been denounced as racist by members of Costa Rica’s Afro-Caribbean community. Until recently, the book was required reading at public schools.

Campbell, of the ruling Citizen Action Party, closed her social network accounts this week after they were overwhelmed with racial insults and calls for her to “leave for Africa.” The security ministry offered her physical protection.

The legislators met on Thursday with Ombudsman Montserrat Solano, who voiced his dismay about continued racism in the country, where some 10 percent of the population is black.

“There is racism in Costa Rica and it has surfaced particularly in the past weeks, not only against the congresswomen. This is unacceptable and society must become aware,” Solano said after the meeting.

U.N. representatives and soccer player Patrick Pemberton, a goalkeeper for Alajuelense and Costa Rica’s national team, were also at the meeting. Pemberton has also been a victim of racist aggression in stadiums and on social networks.

In a communiqué, the ombudsman’s office and the United Nations said they regard “with concern the threats against persons of African descent, as well as comments hurting their dignity, especially messages of an undoubtedly racist nature.”

The Afro Costa Rican Women’s Center asked people of African descent throughout the Americas to send letters to President Luis Guillermo Solís and the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights condemning the threats against the congresswomen and demanding their protection.

Clarke, a legislator for the National Liberation Party, told daily La Nación: “In my case, I’ve become so used to it that all we want is for Costa Rica to remove the mask and admit what we are: a country that doesn’t accept diversity.”

 

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Government of Guatemala warns that the country has become a cocaine producer
Central America
44 views
Central America
44 views

Government of Guatemala warns that the country has become a cocaine producer

AFP and The Tico Times - September 19, 2019

Guatemala has become a cocaine-producing country and is no longer used just for transit and storage, Interior Minister Enrique Degenhart…

What to consider with international drug and alcohol rehab
Global health
12 views
Global health
12 views

What to consider with international drug and alcohol rehab

The Tico Times - September 19, 2019

People choose to travel to international drug and alcohol rehabs for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, rehab in…

Costa Rica passes law to implement telecommuting
Costa Rica
68 views
Costa Rica
68 views

Costa Rica passes law to implement telecommuting

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 19, 2019

In the words of Fifth Harmony, Costa Ricans can now work from home. Wednesday, President Carlos Alvarado signed the Law…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!