Reconsider the planned demolition of San Pablo de Palmichal, Costa Rica

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Palmichal is a small town of about 5,000 people located in the San Jose Province of Costa Rica. Palmichal includes San Pablo, a small community sitting next to the Tabarcia River. About 4,000 people reside within the watershed of the Tabarcia and Negro rivers. The Tabarcia and Black Rivers are a point of pride for both the neighboring town of Tabarcia and Palmichal - they provide water for 50,000 people in Costa Rica, making these rivers an important resource.


Last October, Tropical Storm Nate impacted St. Paul of Palmichal. Roads and bridges were affected, as well as the Tabarcia Riverbed. However, the buildings in the San Pablo area, including many homes, the local elementary school, and sites of local tourism did not suffer significant damage. The damage was repaired by the community with equipment provided by the Costa Rican National Commission of Emergencies.


Members of the community, have reported that in the second half of November, the Costa Rican Ministry of Health began to serve community members with eviction orders. It has been reported that many community members were not informed of the ongoing situation and now face losing their home and community. Residents facing eviction will only be compensated with three months worth of rent in exchange for their homes, and in many cases, land, farms, and / or livelihoods. No other solutions or assistance have been presented to this community during the past three months - despite repeated inquiries by ADESSARU and others. Demolitions can begin at any moment.


Please consider standing in solidarity with ADESSARU, Nacientes Palmichal ( http://www.nacientespalmichal.com/en/ us ) and the community of St. Paul of Palmichal as they fight for their homes by signing the following letter, addressed to the Costa Rican Ministry of Health and the Emergency Commission of Acosta.

"To whom it may concern,


We respectfully request that the Ministry of Health reconsider its actions in regard to the condemnation of the San Pablo de Palmichal community for demolition. We are disappointed that the Ministry of Health is evicting 215 people from their homes without proper notice or compensation. We have been advised that the Ministry has not complied with Article Number 11 of National Emergency Law. It states that actions, such as those that have been taken in San Pablo de Palmichal, may only have been completed by the National Commission of Risk Prevention and Emergency Services. This is not what took place, as it was the Emergency Commission of Acosta and the Ministry of Health that condemned this community for demolition - not the National Commission of Risk Prevention and Emergency Services. Additionally, we are aware of Civil Code Article Number 305, which states that an owner has the right to defend their property. This right is being disregarded.


These actions and decisions were rushed and did not include the community, nor did they inform of their rights and actions to be taken. While we are aware of the University of Costa Rica studies that have been conducted on the matter, the full range of potential consequences in terms of social inequity, economic damage and lack of local control from these actions have not been evaluated carefully or sufficiently.


Residents will only be compensated with three months worth of rent in exchange for their homes, and in many cases, land, farms, and / or livelihoods. No other solutions or assistance have been presented to this community during the past three months - despite repeated inquiries by ADESSARU and others.


In order to achieve a more democratic, just, and sustainable world, we ask that the Ministry of Health reconsider its plans for the demolition of St. Paul of Palmichal. We also request sufficient communication with and consideration of the residents of San Pablo by the Ministry as well as other government officials.


Respectfully,


Those in support of the reconsideration of the planned demolition of St. Paul "

 

 



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