San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Steven Seagal’s visit to Costa Rica sparks media frenzy


The recent visit by Steven Seagal stirred a media circus here after questions arose as to why a U.S. martial artist/actor who plays tough law enforcement agents in the movies should be coaching Costa Rica on real-life security.
Cartoonists and columnists haven’t passed on the opportunity to take a stab at 58-year-old Seagal and his Tico hosts.
“Steven Seagal appearing in Costa Rica … to collaborate with us in combating citizen insecurity is something like this modest columnist presenting myself suddenly in South Africa at the aid of Spain’s team,” wrote Julio Rodríguez in his “En Vela” column in the daily La Nación.
Rodríguez went on to ask, “And who is he, Seagal?”
“He’s the person least suited on the planet to advise us,” the columnist wrote.
To be sure, the actor, since the mid-1980s, has served as an unpaid reserve deputy in the U.S. state of Louisiana, according to the daily USA Today. He has also starred in such films as “Above the Law” and “Out for Justice.”
On Friday, Seagal met with Costa Rican Foreign Minister René Castro, Security Minister José María Tijerino and Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) Director Jorge Rojas. According to various news reports, Seagal also had hoped to meet with President Laura Chinchilla.
Leading Tico blogger Cristian Cambronero poked fun of the meetings with an illustration and biting entry called “Steven Seagal left us naked.” The visit, Cambronero wrote in his blog Fusil de Chispas, “was an absolute circus: the high authority of our Judicial Investigation Police decorating, undeservingly, some washed-up actor, who even in his best moments was a washed-up actor.”
A cartoon in the daily Al Día pictured Seagal with an OIJ badge. The actor is carrying someone he presumes is a thief upside down by the legs, while the suspect is asking for Seagal’s autograph.
However, Costa Rican officials showed some admiration for the Louisiana reserve deputy. President Chinchilla’s security chief, Tijerino, said Seagal made apt proposals for the country’s fight against crime. Seagal’s ideas were “very simple” and “compatible with our country,” Tijerino said.

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