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Friday, July 12, 2024

Costa Ricans Polarized Over Jaguar Law

The Digital Communication Observatory of the Universidad Latina de Costa Rica published its latest report, revealing a “polarized citizenry” in the digital conversation around bill no. 24.364, called the “Jaguar Law.” The “Jaguar Law” includes proposals such as reforming the Comptroller’s Office Law, including the removal of several oversight powers; approving the construction of Government City; and expanding Japdeva’s powers. A referendum would be called so Costa Ricans can vote for or against the proposals established by the government.

According to the current administration, the law’s objective is to guarantee the efficiency of internal controls and legality in the management of public funds in the entities over which the Office of the Comptroller General has jurisdiction.

Legislators and former public officials have expressed their concern, as they believe this law would limit the capacities of the Comptroller and undermine the institutional framework. Others have argued that this would make the State more agile and efficient, benefiting the economy and Costa Ricans.

“A total of 46.5% of the digital audience supports the proposal, while 36.1% rejects it,” the document showed. The Digital Communication Observatory conducts systematized social listening studies on the most important topics discussed on social networks in Costa Rica. These studies show trends, habits, and other social behaviors related to the country’s activities over a given period.

The objective of this study is to show the trends of the digital conversation around political figures between April 1, 2024, and June 30, 2024. It also aims to reveal the emotions provoked among the country’s inhabitants and the overall dynamics of digital communication, behavior on social networks, and the public web of Costa Rica during this period.

In general, the President has experienced an increase in positive comments on social networks and the public web following announcements related to the “Jaguar Law” and the referendum.

A remarkable number of comments supported the law and showed enthusiasm for the leadership of President Rodrigo Chaves. Expressions such as “Excellent Mr. President,” “Adelante Presidente Chaves,” and “Where do I sign?” were recurrent.

However, a considerable sector also showed disdain for the law and government figures, indicating a lack of trust and pointing to motives of corruption and political manipulation. Negative comments included strong expressions such as “What a garbage law.”

Many comments expressed hope and nationalism, with fragments of patriotic hymns and phrases such as “Viva Costa Rica” and “Forward with the referendum” being common.

Enthusiasm for mobilization for the referendum and allusions to religious sentiments were also observed. Phrases such as “Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin of the Angels bless you” reflect a tone that mixes patriotism with spirituality. For the purposes of this report, messages and comments from accounts identified as “digital trolls” were eliminated.

The report also highlighted that Comptroller Marta Acosta’s participation in the media and her opposition to the “Jaguar Law” have resulted in an increase in digital violence against her.

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