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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Manuel Antonio Developers Fight Back: Will Construction Resume Near Iconic National Park?

Islas Manuel Antonio appealed the injunction that suspended the construction of an apartment tower, a beach club, and a restaurant near the National Park in Quepos. Last Wednesday, the Public Prosecutor’s Office reported that it was able to stop the works because they are allegedly being carried out within the Aguirre Biological Corridor, very close to the iconic Manuel Antonio Park.

Apparently, the project is being built within a site that is forest and is part of the biological corridor: a protected area of vital importance for the ecosystems of the Central Pacific. However, the developers objected to stopping the project.  “We were notified of the resolution the previous Friday, and within the three working days allowed by law, we filed an appeal against the precautionary measure that was requested by the Prosecutor’s Office and authorized by the Criminal Court,” said Francisco Jimenez, the company’s lawyer.

According to Jimenez, there are serious defects in the resolution that we are challenging and that is the resolution on which the Prosecutor’s Office is relying to indicate that the suspension of the work has been authorized. During a hearing held in May, the developer participated and presented evidence to the judge on the basis of which it was considered that there was no merit to request or authorize the precautionary measure, and this evidence was not evaluated, according to the jurist.

 The Environmental Prosecutor’s Office of Osa confirmed that it has already been notified about the appeal filed by the company against the precautionary measure. However, they maintain their position and will insist that the works be suspended for at least four months.

The Criminal Court of Quepos authorized the suspension of the works as a precautionary measure since May 31.  The Prosecutor’s Office also indicated that there are three people under investigation for the alleged invasion of the protected area who are linked to the alleged crimes of ideological falsehood, prevarication, change of land use, infringement of the Forestry Law, and infringement of the Water Law.

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