guide for female tourists sparks controversy in Costa Rica


Home » World » A guide for female tourists unleashes controversy in Costa Rica January 19, 2022

  • The recommendations invite to “pay attention to the messages that a friendly or confident attitude can generate” and to “keep control” in the event of alcohol ingestion

A guide for women tourists falls recommendations on how to dress, interact and behave is controversial this Tuesday in Costa Rica and harsh criticism of the government, before which the President of the country, Charles Alvarado, ordered the correction of the text.

Although the guide was published in June 2021, it was not until Monday that it began to circulate massively in social networks and media, in a context marked by a case of sexual assault on two European tourists happened last week at old port beach, in the Costa Rican Caribbean.

“Control” if you drink alcohol

The document provides recommendations for female tourists such as “try to dress similar al local to avoid attracting attention”, “avoid walking alone at night”, “keep personal control” in case of drink alcoholic beverages and “beware of messages than a friendly or confident attitude can generate.

Among the organizations that have disavowed the Good Practice Guide for Tourism is United Talamanca, who considers the text as a “revictimization”.

Criticism of associations

“We repudiate the negligent actions of the government which, through its institutions, places the blame on the sexual assaults on victims, with “recommendations” aimed at limiting our physical autonomy, including those relating to the way we dress, the time we decide to go out, the alcohol we decide to consume, among others,” said the organization.

“Once again, we must affirm that the attacks will never be the responsibility of the victim. To suggest otherwise is to feed the stereotype that, in a sexual assault, the behavior of the woman must be reviewed,” he lamented.

The government explained that the guide was prepared by the National Tourism Security Commission (CONSETUR) made up of the Ministry of Public Security, the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism (ICT), the Public Ministry, the Agency of judicial investigation, from the United States Embassy and the National Chamber of Tourism, and reviewed by the National Institute for Women (Inamu).

Since Monday, the document has drawn widespread criticism from feminist organizations, deputies and citizens in general on social networks, to which President Alvarado reacted.

“Out of place statements”

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“I have instructed the ICT and INAMU to immediately review the guide, published in June 2021, before the unacceptable crimes of Puerto Viejo, because it contains statements that are totally inappropriate, in any context, which must be corrected Violence against women has no justification and we must fight it from every angle,” Alvarado said.

The government assured that the document aims to help create “safe environments” and denied that it was linked to the case of sexual assault suffered by the two European tourists last week, since the publication of the guide in June.


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