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Costa Rica: A parasite in the State

Costa Rica: A parasite in the State


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By Freddy Pacheco

It is being forged by means of a bill, the disappearance of SINAC (National System of Conservation Areas) to turn it into the System of National Parks or SPN "maximum deconcentration body attached to the Minae", which would absorb the powers established in the Law of Creation of the National Park System (which of course would be repealed).

The new system of National Parks


It is being forged by means of a bill, the disappearance of SINAC (National System of Conservation Areas) to turn it into the System of National Parks or SPN "maximum deconcentration body attached to the Minae", which would absorb the powers established in the Law of Creation of the National Park System (which of course would be repealed).

According to the neoliberal mercantilist ideas that those who conspire in the shadows want to impose, “The personnel who are working in the current system and who wish to go to work at the SPN will retain all their labor rights applicable to the legal figure created, which will be incorporated into the Manual of Positions by which the SPN will be governed ”. Rule that, if executed, would take away from workers the job stability they enjoy.

Note that there is talk of preserving the labor rights applicable to the new body, which would not be so serious if it were not because, on the other hand, it is established that the proposed SPN will not be subject to the Civil Service Law. Exactly the same thing that was going to happen with the aborted privatization project of Mr. Mario Boza, who wanted a public limited company to administer, under commercial rules, the territories of all the national parks of Costa Rica!

To make the ideology behind the current project more evident, faithful to the guidelines of the World Bank and Conservation International (which act through the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund -CEPF- and The Leatherback Trust), its authors did not mind expressing their opposition to union activity by establishing, as an attribution of its Board of Directors, promoting the creation of a Solidarity Association within the SPN. Thus, the mandate is launched so that nothing similar to the SITRAMINAE, the ANEP or the Rerum Novarum, can organize itself, opting from now, in the law itself (incredible!) For a Solidarity Association. They only lacked to state that it should manifest itself in favor of the FTA ... as is usual in them at the national leadership level.

Vice Minister with "Papal Powers"

With this not so innocent project, the position of "Vice Minister of National Parks" with omnipotent powers would be created. This man (we do not say or madam because we imagine who dreams of that position) would not only preside over the Board of Directors but would also have the power to appoint representatives of NGOs, mayors and development associations, in addition to having the “judicial and extrajudicial representation of the SPN with the character of a general attorney”.

Also, that great Vice Minister will have under his hierarchical direction all the directors and deputy directors of the Wild Conservation Areas (ACS), who would be appointed by the Board of Directors chaired by him. And it is precisely through these officials that this official with prerogatives that exceed those of the ministers of the Executive Power, would have direct influence over all the appointments of this substitute body of SINAC, since his subordinates (the directors of the ACS) will have the power to appoint and remove all officials from their corresponding Areas. Thus, without the protection of the Civil Service, the guidelines would be given by a Board of Directors in which a representative of InBio, one of the Chamber of Tourism and three people with biological or conservationist knowledge would participate (among others). to organizations that call themselves conservationists like the ones that have financed this project.

Parks S.A. with new face

With this institutional scheme, said deconcentrated body would rather be assimilated to an entity alien to government policies and the public interest, as proposed in the aborted Public Limited Company, since that strange Vice Minister (who is only one in name) would act as a "somewhat independent" of MINAE itself, and would not be a hierarchical dependent of the Minister of the Environment. If this institutional parasite was created, it is not difficult to imagine it rampant and compliant with the manifest wishes of its sponsors!

Beyond the neglected and mediocre technical-environmental support of the project, it is clear that we are facing an attempt to formally capture, and for many years, what has been happening within the MINAE, where, thanks to the undue influence of natural and legal persons National and foreign, some groups have managed to partially seize the governing body of environmental conservation policies, through trusts and other questionable but dollar-studded inventions. Thus, they speak in their project of new trusts, credits in national and foreign banks, concessions, recreational constructions in national parks, new entry fees and payment of other services, commercial activities within the parks, biological prospecting , rentals, grants, transfers, setting up and capitalizing companies, signing joint investment agreements, strategic alliances with private entities, etcetera, etcetera.


And to make it clearer to Minister Guillermo Zúñiga, in addition to exempting himself from paying all types of tax, enjoying free use of public services (water, electricity, telephony, Internet) and freeing himself from the application of the Administration Law Financial and Public Budgets, the General Law of Public Administration and the Administrative Contracting Law (no less!) The bill establishes that neither the State nor its institutions may require transfers from the SPN, “Neither surplus, nor purchase of Government bonds, nor keep deposits in current accounts ”, as, under certain circumstances, it is considered essential for a well-founded tax policy. In addition, it is stipulated that SUGEF and the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic may only exercise their duty under the modality of subsequent control.

In short, what they could not do with the Las Baulas de Guanacaste National Marine Park by means of the bill to expand it, where the administration of the park was given on a platter to a private entity (project happily rejected in the Legislative Assembly ) now, with similar sponsorship, they want to do the same but in the WHOLE system of conservation areas, that is, in more than 30% of the richest national territory.

And for this, they do not mind threatening the labor well-being of the workers who with their effort, and few resources, have contributed to forging the national system of parks and other protected areas, according to the vision bequeathed to us by the “Father of the National Parks ”, the Benemérito de la Patria Dr. José María Orozco, creator of the Poás Volcano National Park and longed for at this time when, with sorrow, we see the complaints raining about the misuse of money from abroad, supposedly donated to to collaborate in environmental conservation actions in the Osa peninsula, mainly.

One more nonsense

Finally, we invited the agronomist Mario Boza -who sent the text of the bill to SINAC- to explain why this nonsense is insisted upon. Beyond the commitments that may exist with the agencies that finance the suspicious project "Overcoming the barriers" of the national parks, we believe that efforts should be channeled towards strengthening SINAC and other MINAE entities, so that with the contribution of all Costa Ricans will once again regain the healthy spirit that it gave away at its dawn. What is urgent, and this Don Mario and his friends know very well, is to strengthen state institutions that, like those that make up the Ministry of the Environment, do not escape the financial insufficiency of the Costa Rican state.

Useless initiatives such as the one we are commenting on, undoubtedly rather bring uneasiness and rejection from broad sectors of the Costa Rican people. What is intended, Mr. Mario, with the nullification of Article 22 of the Biodiversity Law, No. 7788 of April 30, 1998, with regard to National Parks and other protected wild areas? Isn't its approval and entry into force an important achievement for the Costa Rican State? Is it with that Peace with Nature that you want to adorn the management of Don Oscar Arias? How many great leatherback races would Conservation International and The Leatherback Trust organize under this new administrative scheme?

Friends of the cronies

The only thing we agree with the head of the Baulas Trust is that SINAC faces serious problems in carrying out a better job, but that does not mean that it is due to its nature as a public institution, as Boza says. It is known that the inefficiency of certain institutions rather rests, among others, on the central government's budget management and for this, workers are not asked for their opinion. If SINAC, SETENA and other MINAE bodies (just to cite this ministry) have financial problems to be able to adequately fulfill their responsibilities, this does not mean that all workers should be fired to make way for a new organization that, as a parasite, intends to become an island outside the archipelago of the Costa Rican state.

Although they will surely meet inside and outside SINAC friends of the cronies who will express their support for this harmful initiative, let us remember that this is to be expected in view of certain commitments that are known. At this moment, those who matter are you, the majority, the citizens, those who do not enjoy interested privileges.

* Freddy Pacheco, Ph.D.
School of Biological Sciences-UNA
National University Heredia-Costa Rica

Note: you can request a copy of the bill to [email protected]


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Comments:

  1. Harte

    I think this is the lie.

  2. Mccloud

    Excuse me, I have thought and removed the message

  3. Motaur

    I cannot participate in the discussion now - no free time. Osvobozhus - make sure your opinion on this issue.

  4. Zarek

    You are not right. I'm sure. Let's discuss. Email me at PM, we will talk.

  5. Andrew

    Really and as I have not guessed earlier



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