By Néstor Alí Gómez
Since last Saturday, March 24th, Nicaraguans began to enjoy Holy Week throughout the country, a holiday that will last until Sunday, April 1st.
During this season, thousands of families travel throughout the country which is why the National Police have established a series of priorities for patrolling, gathering police intelligence, safeguarding of religious activities, regulation of traffic and attention to more than 433 vacation spots in the country in order to guarantee the well-being of Nicaraguans and visitors.
Senior Commissioner Yuri Valle Olivares (Head of the National Police in the Department of Rivas), told Del Sur News that of the nearly 14,000 National Police officers working the Summer Plan 2018, more than 600 are providing care in the Department of Rivas, of which, 170 are directly serving the Municipality of San Juan del Sur.
“For this Summer Plan 2018 we have reinforced the police strength in San Juan del Sur where there are usually 30 to 35 officers. Right now there are an additional 120 police officers and 15 Traffic. So there are about 170 troops, 4 cars, 2 vans and 8 motorcycles dedicated to provide security to all families in the municipality at this time” said Commissioner Mayor Valle.
The Departmental Chief of the Police explained that the troops are deployed at the different tourist destinations of the municipality, on the roads and all the beaches where many visitors gather at this time. “There is a police presence along the entire coast but logically there are beaches that are more crowded, as is the case of the bay in San Juan del Sur. The other beaches are Remanso, Madera, Marsella, La Flor, Peña Rota and El Yankee – all those beaches are being watched.” said Valle.
According to the commissioner, “the main problem that occurred in 2017 was the bottleneck of vehicles entering or trying to leave San Juan del Sur.” Based on this problem, a traffic mobility strategy was worked on at the inter-institutional level in the municipality to guarantee the vehicular flow on the busiest days of the holiday week.
“This year a ‘bypass’ was designed so that the buses that are loaded with holidaymakers enter through the Boca de la Montaña and from there to San Antonio, until they reach La Talanguera, where passengers will be dropped off,” explained the Rivas Police Chief.
The Commissioner also said that another detour was designed for trucks that deliver products every year. “This is going to prevent all those vehicles from saturating the entrance to the southern beaches. For small vehicles, a parking lot has been set up in front of the city hall. From there, there will be transfers to take people to the beach.
Requirements and control on roads
The Police Chief said that a plan to control vehicles from Ochomogo to San Juan del Sur is being carried out throughout the week with the aim of eliminating the carrying of weapons by people who come to commit a crime on the beaches. “From Ochomogo we are carrying out checks at roadblocks all over the road. Also at La Virgen we have a point of control and at Boca de la Montaña we have another control point where any weapons will be seized.”
Likewise, he stated that drug consumption and habitual users are being controlled. In addition they are controlling “people of police interest”, that is; people who have a police record.
The Chief of Police said that “the carrying of firearms and weapons is prohibited from Saturday, March 24th until Tuesday, April 3rd even though you might have a permit to carry weapons, it is prohibited at this time.”
Another prohibition for this period is that “security guards cannot be in public with a visible weapon. The weapons must stay within the location they are securing.
Also, vehicles cannot exceed the person capacity stipulated by law. The sale of liquor to minors under 18 is forbidden and minors are not allowed to enter liquor stores, “said Commissioner Yuri Valle.
According to figures from the National Police, during the 2017 Holy Week in Nicaragua, 62 people were killed by various acts, including; traffic accidents, drownings and homicides with another 87 people injured. Of the 62 fatalities, 28 were due to traffic accidents, 21 due to drowning and 13 due to homicides. What is sought with this implemented strategy is to make the maximum reduction in the numbers of victims this year in relation to the previous year.