Tico Times: Letters to the Editor (Jan. 4, 2019)
The Tico Times is proud to be an independent, English-language news source in Costa Rica. Our readers regularly submit editorials and responses to our articles; we appreciate your opinions and feedback.
Below is a selection of editorials we have received recently.
Colors do not mix with hate
By Katerin Alfaro
The year 2018 is coming to an end after visible hate signs towards the sex diverse community. During the periodical elections that occurred at the beginning of the year, division of political parties included religious influences against the LGTBI community. The Tico Times published seven months ago an article by Lindsey Fendt about the controversy regarding gender identity in Costa Rica. Citizens should concern on the harmony of the people of their nation instead of their differences. However, opinion differences have led to violence and even murder in the “peace paradise” known as Costa Rica.
The Front for Equal Rights (FDI) reported that in February occurred eighteen verbal aggressions, seven physical aggressions, and four attempts of physical damage in public places including a bar, a bus, and the street. (Ugarte). According to a study by CIPAC, affective relationships between people of the same sex have a negative connotation in an important group of society and public institutions. For instance, in 2014 Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social approved health insurance for homosexual couples. Consequently, groups of citizens disagreed and expressed disconformity. Moreover, homosexuality is considered a psychosocial disease by the groups against it. However, in 1973, the American Psychiatric Association decided that homosexuality is not a mental disease.
The main causes of homophobia include religious beliefs, manhood prejudices, or misogyny according to The Journal of Sexual Medicine. Homophobia is one the main causes of harassment with consequences as suicide or other hate crimes. (Palacios) Recently, in Esaczú district, a woman of 28 years old was killed and dismembered. The murder is considered by her family and social media members as a hate crime for her sexual preference. Violence rates increase when hate discourses are supported publicly. The ex-candidate in the last elections affirms that he does not intend to discriminate people with sexual diverse preferences. However, his electoral projects and speeches disagreed with equality principles in the human rights movement.
The spoken word is meaningful and powerful. Words must be chosen carefully in every situation because they produce an effect on the listener. During the last elections, Facebook was a hate tramp where comments revealed a wave of hate and disconformity. Later on, newspapers claimed that “hate was the winner in the first round”. Violence rates increased during the first months of the year.
Costa Ricans need to open the perspective to a future where society has to be united. The past elections were a clear example that hate does not lead anywhere. Costa Rica is a rich country in multiple ways. Citizens have the responsibility to take care of their nation and to maintain harmony. The more a country works united for the benefit of the majority, the more the country grows. The strength of each community member is the power to work with others to make a change. Since centuries ago, humans have fight because of their differences. The time to harmonize and unite our capacities will make change.
Gallegos, J. (16, September, 2018). “Fabricio Alvarado: Yo tengo amigos y familia homosexual y los aprecio.” El Mundo.cr. Retrieved from
Nuñez, M. (20, March, 2018). “Oleada de femicidios en Costa Rica: ¿Mantener el INAMU?” Semanario Universidad. Retrieved from
Palacios, A. (February 28, 2018). Una enfermedad psicosocial: la homophobia.” El País. Retrieved from
Ugarte, J. (1, March, 2018). “29 personas de la comunidad LGTBI sufieron agresiones.” Cr hoy. Retrieved from
Saving animals’ lives
By Enrique Araya Bermúdez, Universidad de Costa Rica
Dear Tico Times:
The article “Jaguars in danger: Building pathways for wild cats to protect a Costa Rican symbol” published by The Tico Times reports that the jaguars have been threatened and even killed by cars.
These articles are essential to create awareness among Costa Ricans because they point out the main weaknesses and lack of legislation that obligates the government to consider and implement some guidelines that animal shelters protection propose to reduce and protect wildlife. Animal shelters and other institutions that help and care about animals need support and to be taken into account by the government, so they can work together for the same objective, which is saving the animals’ lives and habitats.
Costa Rica has been known worldwide for its sustainability and conservation efforts; the government and citizens must start taking action to solve this issue. Some Costa Ricans think that they cannot do much to help, but they can help by volunteering to inform others and carrying out awareness campaigns around the country. They can spread any kind of information related to animals’ death to make emphasis to this problem and make it a national concern. The government is not the only that should take care of this problem, most Costa Ricans should pay attention to this issue and start doing something about it. The Tico Times should also contribute to solve this problem by generating news informing people about what they can do to prevent more animals’ deaths, and explaining the most common human factors that affect the animals’ habitats. At least some Costa Ricans would know what to do to cooperate and help animals with this type of information. The government should build wildlife overpasses to reduce the impact of highways on flora and fauna since Costa Rica does not have a legal framework that takes action on building animal paths. These wildlife overpasses are among the most effective structures for allowing wildlife of many types to move relatively unimpeded across roads. They have been successfully employed in Europe and North America, and Costa Rica needs to follow that same structure to prevent more animal deaths.
Climate change is another concern that not only affects humans but also animals. Jaguars and other species need to migrate due to climate change and some of them die while trying to migrate to another place or looking for a mate. People must understand that climate change is a reality, and that affects flora and fauna more than people thought. It is time to start taking action on this problem and care more about wildlife. Our society need to be aware of this situation and solve it as soon as possible to give animals the opportunity to migrate without risking their lives in the process and only for natural reasons.
Roger Waters and Carlos Alvarado are friends
By Wendy Brown
On Saturday, November 24th, 46,000 people gathered in San Jose to watch Roger Waters’ US + THEM concert. The production was phenomenal. Since the show, I have not stopped listening to old Pink Floyd classics at home and in the car. My children insist on Shawn Mendes, I remain Comfortably Numb to their wishes.
That evening, prior to the show, President Carlos Alvarado tweeted a photo of the vintage Pink Floyd t-shirt he would be wearing. After an incredible performance that received rave reviews on social media, Carlos kept tweeting. One charming video featured the president presenting the idol with a photo of a wall being torn down when Costa Rica abolished its military in 1948. Mr Waters was very pleased.
Mr. Waters was also overly eager to praise the local administration. Though he spent his entire career railing against governments & corruption, he seems to believe that Costa Rica is some utopia where corruption and government misdeeds don’t occur.
During the classic hit “Mother” Roger held up a sign that said, “In Costa Rica, Why not?” in response to the song’s lyric, “Mother can I trust the government?”
At which point I wanted to scream, “CEMENTAZO!” It seems Mr. Waters is selectively informed of our political reality. Although Mr. Alvarado may be a new star, the “government” infers a cumbersome machine with tentacles stretching long beyond the face & tenure of our young presidente.
In retrospect & after watching all of the chumminess occurring between these two men. Most ironic was the use of private school children to sing “Another Brick in the Wall.” Yes, I am aware that Mr. Waters does this at every venue he plays. However, in Costa Rica, at that very moment, it was a bit of a burn. As they sang, the children of Costa Rica attending public school had been DENIED their education for nearly 3 months. And NO ONE in the government has been willing to find a solution.
Mr. Alvarado has every right to meet with Mr. Waters and share pictures of crumbling walls. But it probably is not wise to boast about it on social media when most of the country has severely suffered from the on-going teachers’ strike crisis.
Come to think of it, perhaps it is the perfect union. After all, “We don’t need no education” could well be the line that sums up 2018 for the administration of Carlos Alvarado.
To share editorial ideas, comments or news tips, please email Katherine Stanley Obando, Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
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