They Said What? … Voices From ‘08
“I’m in this post to take on crime. I’m not here to pad my résumé or climb higher on the political ladder.”
–Janina del Vecchio
Public Security minister, responding to criticism that she is unqualified for the job.
“I don’t want the name of France to be associated with mediocrity.”
French ambassador on his decision to withdraw
support of the French-CostaRicanSchool.
“At public schools, theEnglish instruction is bad, bad, bad, bad.”
Consultant for the InternationalCenter for
“Our wines are different. …They are Old World. They will not bore you.”
French expat who imports French wines to
compete with the ubiquitous Argentine
and Chilean wines.
“It is not a crime to haverotting money.”
An academic in Heredia province found in
possession of $480,000 in FARC cash.
“When you’re in politics,you should think a lot, say very little and writenothing.”
A former vice president forced out of office after it
was revealed he was urging President Oscar Arias
to take tough measures to ensure voters approved
the Central American Free-Trade Agreement with
the United States.
“C-sections are a fashion, a fad, a craze.”
–Dr. Carlos Pericón
on C-section rates that range from 22 to 79 percent
at Costa Rican hospitals, well above World
Health Organization’s recommendation
of 10 to 15 percent.
“He’s a crime traveler.”
Immigration police chief,
on José Alvaro Castilblanco, an oft-deported
Colombian who keeps returning to Costa Rica
to rob tourists.
“I can go into your kitchen and leave without you even knowing it.”
A self-described hitman in Puerto Viejo who
also likes to steal from people’s refrigerators.
“All hell broke loose, and a mob charged us, screaming and shouting, ‘Thieves!’ and ‘Shoot them!’”
one of two ornithologists mistaken for thieves
by a vigilante mob in the Caribbean province of
“This is a wizard’s job. The resources are scanty and the needs are very great.”
Immigration director, responding to a scathing
report about his office’s enforcement practices.
“Barack Obama’s election is huge.”
President of Costa Rica
“It’s so bad here even the firemen won’t come in because they’re afraid they’ll get robbed.”
Leader of neighborhood watch group in Tibás.
“The state of hysteria that the United States is living is leading them to do damage to relations with friendly people … and that is what the terrorists want.”
Chief prosecutor, after being detained by U.S.
Department of Homeland Security officials at
“You have to understand the whole Costa Rican system is set up to avoid convicting and incarcerating people.”
Costa Rica’s No. 2 prosecutor on the lack of
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