Court strikes down bill aimed at stopping Caribbean Maritime Zone evictions

September 21, 2012

Bill 18,207 would have prevented the government-sanctioned eviction of several families living within the Maritime Zone on Costa Rica’s Southern Caribbean coast by reducing the size of the Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge. But on Friday, the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, or Sala IV, struck it down as unconstitutional.

Lawmakers had approved the bill, which “acknowledged the rights of Southern Caribbean residents,” after the Comptroller General’s Office ordered the Municipality of Talamanca to determine how many people lived within the area’s protected shoreline. The office issued a deadline of Nov. 30 for the municipality to carry out evictions.

The Sala IV ruled the bill violates Article 50 of the Constitution, which outlines the right to a healthy environment, because a technical or scientific study was not performed to determine the consequences of changing the boundaries of the wildlife refuge.

The bill now will be sent back to a Legislative Assembly commission, which will decide whether it should be modified or archived.

A second bill that placed a two-year moratorium on evictions (through Nov. 30, 2014) was approved in the assembly on Sept. 6.

You may be interested

Victorious Champions coach celebrates Costa Rica-style: ‘This is pura vida’
Keylor Navas
69 views
Keylor Navas
69 views

Victorious Champions coach celebrates Costa Rica-style: ‘This is pura vida’

Katherine Stanley - May 27, 2018

Costa Rican superstar goalie Keylor Navas has made his mark on the field for Real Madrid, but also on the…

5 questions for Costa Rican artist Rossella Matamoros
Weekend Arts Spotlight
69 views
Weekend Arts Spotlight
69 views

5 questions for Costa Rican artist Rossella Matamoros

Elizabeth Lang - May 27, 2018

Using art in all its possible expressions has motivated Rossella Matamoros for more than two decades. At home in Costa Rica…

Costa Rica’s Keylor Navas, Real Madrid nab third consecutive Champions title
Keylor Navas
163 views
Keylor Navas
163 views

Costa Rica’s Keylor Navas, Real Madrid nab third consecutive Champions title

Katherine Stanley - May 26, 2018

Costa Rica's star goalie, Keylor Navas, continued his historic march through world football as his club team, Real Madrid, won…