San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Canadian tourist stabbed to death on Costa Rica's Caribbean coast

Residents of the southern Caribbean town of Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, found the body of a Canadian man with a knife wound on the right side of his abdomen on Sunday.

The Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) identified the man by the last name McCalum, 58, in a news release. He entered the country on Feb. 19 with a group of other Canadian tourists.

The police report states that local residents found the body in the early hours of Sunday lying on a street.

The man was apparently a photographer, and he had told some of the other members of his group that he was interested in shooting the sunrise at the beach.

The OIJ report says the man’s camera was missing, as well as other belongings. Cops therefore believe he was likely stabbed during a mugging.

Investigators moved the body to OIJ’s Forensics Medicine Lab, in the province of Heredia.

Puerto Viejo is located in the south Caribbean.

(Via Google Maps)

Contact L. Arias at

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That is enough for me to never return.

Locals need to step up to the plate and make this a safer place.

Problem is it can happen again today.

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Mike Willis

People get mugged and stabbed in NYC, Chicago and Detroit all the time. A few criminals, don’t define the country.

I would say they need to work on helping people with addiction get help. In my opinion, that is what drives this type of crime.

Also, it is well known that the Caribbean coast, can be for lack of a better word, shady. Especially with the narco traffic.

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The difference is, however, that you’re citing large cities. Puerto Viejo is a small town, with some 3,000 residents scattered throughout the area. Any small town in the U.S. with murders every year would be considered a rather dangerous place.

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Siskiyou Rentals

I agree, but this not only Puerto Viejo’s problem. All of the Costa Rica is extremely dangerous. Last year there was nearly 700 murders in the country of nearly 4 million population. This is on par with gang wars of Chicago. Plus add the thievery and robberies and this is not the paradise like some of the people try to portray.

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Mike Willis

I will be back in Drake Bay in June with my 2 boys.. We love it there… I do agree the crime in Alajuela and San Jose sucks. A British chick got mugged outside the hotel in Alajuela, but it was her own fault for being really drunk and out at midnight.

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Neil W

Then I wish you and your boys better luck!

FWIW I was in Puerto Viejo when this happened, and 3 days later I was robbed at gun point (along with my girlfriend) at 1 O’clock in the afternoon on Playa Grande, just 200m from a hotel, both stone cold sober I would add, nor were we draped in gold or DSLR cameras etc. BUT perhaps it was our fault…..for going to such a shitty country.

Oh and remarkably the “tourist police can’t even speak English, let alone deal with crimes, other than harmless hippies smoking joints!

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Ron Huybrechts


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