During Holy Week, from April 7-16, 33 violent deaths were reported in Costa Rica – 10 times the number of violent deaths in the country during an average week, according to Red Cross spokesman Alexander Porras.
Of those who died during Semana Santa, nine drowned, five were hit by cars, four died in car crashes, seven were killed by firearms, six died in overturned vehicles and one fell. Another death remains unexplained.
This figure is an increase over last year’s Semana Santa, when 30 people died, and significantly greater than the average of three violent deaths per week during the rest of the year, Porras said.
The increase in deaths during Semana Santa can be attributed to “misinformation,” and people not assessing risks, Porras said.
“People get to a beach and they see that it’s pretty so they get in the water without realizing there is a strong current,” said Porras, who also blamed a false sense of security and the influence of alcohol for the week’s increase in deaths.