Two Men Killed During Pilgrimage

August 5, 2005

Two young men died after beingstruck by cars while making the annualpilgrimage to the Basilica in Cartago thisweek; hundreds of other pilgrims sawemergency crews before they saw LaNegrita, the statue in whose honor theymade the walk.Two men, 21 and 28, died in San Josésuburbs while walking toward Cartago.One was killed by a drunk driver in LaUruca Saturday evening, the other on theGeneral Cañas highway in Belén Mondayevening, the Red Cross reported.The Red Cross mobilized more than1,500 medical volunteers who assisted3,684 pilgrims with injuries or medicalconditions. Muscular pain topped the listof problems, with more than 2,000 peopletreated. Volunteers also treated two peoplefor heart attacks and dozens for burns,dizziness, drunkenness, falls and woundsinflicted in a fight. Thirty-six were hospitalizedfor further treatment.Carlos Gutiérrez, assistant nationalrescue chief for the Red Cross, said in astatement, “From the point of view ofpatient care it has been a good operation,thanks to the fact there has been strongcontrol of the resources at our disposition.”Police dispatched a helicopter and1,450 officers on foot, horse and motorcycleand in patrol cars to enforce publicorder throughout the pilgrimage.They arrested 40 people sinceSaturday, the Public Security Ministryreported. Four adolescents were arrestedfor blocking traffic and charging drivers¢300 ($0.80) for passage; one man wasarrested for carrying a blunt weapon; twoyoung men were arrested for makinglewd gestures to passing women; two carguards were fighting; three men werearrested for beating their wives in plainview while walking; two people werearrested for carrying drugs; and one personwas arrested for robbery. Police confiscatedsmall amounts of cocaine, marijuanaand crack from people on the pilgrimageas well, the ministry reportedyesterday.

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