San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

I Crave Justice, Salmon After ‘Fishy’ Police Stop

Dear Nica Times:

My sister came for a visit from Sweden on Dec. 1 at 7:15 p.m. On my way to pick her up at the airport, I first went to PriceSmart to stock up on some wine, beer and good food.

I was lucky enough to come across a pound of beautiful smoked salmon, a treat I have not had in a long time. I put my PriceSmart purchases into a cooler and took off to pick up my sister and her husband.

At the airport I took the cooler out from the backseat of my pickup and put it, along with some luggage, in the truck bed. Off we went, on the back road through Tipitapa toward Granada.

At the intersection to the Masaya-Granada turnoff, several police were gathered.

One officer was standing in the middle of the intersection in the dark, and as I slowly drove past him he moved a bit to make it harder for me to pass.

Then they stopped me, telling me I am a bad driver who had caused danger to the police officer.

Obviously I was not about to take any of this abuse, so I firmly told them that I have done nothing wrong.

Documents were requested and I went as far as showing my registration and the Amigos de la Policia card. I was about to get my driver’s license and insurance card out when I made a friendly joke and they laughed and waved me off, with the officers who had inspected the contents in the back of the pickup joining in.

After going directly home, we unloaded the cooler and I found that the pound of smoked salmon was gone along with a single beer. My sister, who is the president for the Rotary Club in Stockholm, tells me, “Those men were police. They can’t do that!”

Those of us who live here, of course, know differently. I guess the story will be told in Stockholm during her lecture on the subject of her second visit to Nicaragua.

Anyway, we went to a Christmas event the next day at the Swedish Ambassador’s house, and I told Ambassador Eva Zetterberg the story and she promised to tell Police Chief Amita Granera, a good friend of hers due to the millions of dollars the Swedes have given to the police.

I think too many Gringos take the easy way out and slip a bribe to the police when harassed.We should all stop this since it only leads to more harassment.

I crave smoked salmon and justice! Another trip to PriceSmart will take care of the former, but it seems we might have a long way to go to find a cure for the latter.

Alfred Thorsberg



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