Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Activists Call New Plastic Twenties Racist

June 5, 2009

The new plastic twenty córdoba notes introduced into circulation by the Central Bank last month, which some lawmakers have decried as illegal, has caused another controversy this week among those who claim the image printed on the bills is racist.

Black activist leader Dorotea Wilson said she experience “culture shock” the first time she saw the new twenties, which picture black women dancing around the maypole, an indigenous woman grinding corn and a typical bamboo shack found on the Caribbean coast.

“This is the typical image that they (the Pacific coast population) have of the population of the Caribbean coast,” Wilson said, adding that the images are very “folkloric.”

The Nica Times tried to get reaction from Caribbean-born Debora Grandison, the government’s Special Women’s Ombudsman for Human Rights. When asked for comment on the bill’s artistic content, Grandison asked The Nica Times to call her back in 15 minutes. But then she didn’t answer our calls, return phone messages or answer e-mails.

Some younger activists say the images are no big deal. Shirlene Green, of the Afro-Caribbean Women’s Network, said she didn’t think the imagery is offensive at all, and said she gives the government points for representing the Caribbean coast on the new bills.

Others, however, say they still haven’t seen the new bills or haven’t yet made up their minds. Brigette Budier, a Nicaraguan representative to the Central American Parliament (Parlacen) who earlier this year accused a downtown Managua nightclub of racism (NT, Feb. 26), told The Nica Times that she and a group of other black activists were meeting this week precisely to discuss the content of the new twenties. At press time, the group had not announced its verdict.

 

You may be interested

News briefs: Costa Rica news highlights to start your Tuesday
Costa Rica
1799 views
Costa Rica
1799 views

News briefs: Costa Rica news highlights to start your Tuesday

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 27, 2020

Happy Tuesday from The Tico Times! We hope you're reading this while drinking a delicious Costa Rican coffee or eating a…

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Monday, October 26
Costa Rica
5920 views
Costa Rica
5920 views

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Monday, October 26

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 26, 2020

Costa Rica announced 47 new coronavirus-related deaths since Friday for a total of 1,312, according to official data released Monday…

Costa Rica no longer requires coronavirus test for entry
Costa Rica
2517 views
Costa Rica
2517 views

Costa Rica no longer requires coronavirus test for entry

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 26, 2020

As of Monday, October 26, Costa Rica no longer requires that arriving tourists show proof of a negative coronavirus test.…