Artists Call for Dialog toward Awareness of Environment and Human Life

    No Economic Activity Can Afford Irreparable Damage to Water Sources!

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    Abelardo Canelo
    I am not only a fluent Spanish-English reader/speaker but also a bi-cultural person who has a broad solid background. I also have a passionate interest in different expressions of music, especially many American styles and their combinations (Folk-Country, Jazz, Pop, Rhythm and Blues, Rock, Soul, and so on), dance, stage and screen, and some other forms of artistic expression.

    Faced with the alarming “socio-environmental situation that exists in the areas of pineapple cultivation“, more than a hundred artists signed a document that they sent to the President of the Republic, Carlos Alvarado Quesada.

    The document calls attention to the fact that the cultivation of this fruit “has invaded Wild Protected Areas …. as well as the impact on water sources, which have been contaminated by the type of agrochemicals used intensively “. It also states that “the events that have taken place in recent weeks, with respect to the movements of workers who claim their rights and guarantees established by current legislation, should not be ignored”.

    One of the artists when talking to the audience

    Before this, the call of the group of artists says: “we show support for the artistic message of the song Tractorcito de Frontera” ( Then he adds: “We believe that these latest events require a great national dialogue convened by the corresponding government authorities, which includes not only the productive sector, but also labor organizations, public universities, citizen groups and environmental activists, to reach agreements that make it possible to put an end to situations that occur irregularly outside of the laws, which we are supposed to comply with when we inhabit this country. No economic activity can afford the irreparable damage to water sources, nor the humanitarian damage suffered by working people and communities in which extensive pineapple cultivation takes place”.

    The activity of fresh pineapple production in Costa Rica has been pointed out as being responsible for contaminating water sources in populations neighboring this monoculture. It has even been involved in complaints for not complying with labor, environmental and fiscal legislation. It is known that between the year 2000 and 2015 this industry illegally deforested 5,566 hectares of protected areas on the margins of rivers and wetlands.

    The PRIAS also found 1,482 hectares within Protected Wildlife Areas, including the North Border Corridor Refuge, the Maquenque Wildlife Refuge and Barra del Colorado. The overlap of the pineapple with the areas that are supposed to be dedicated to the conservation of nature had already been denounced by the Costa Rican Federation for the Conservation of Nature (FECON) in 2017 when it was shown that there were 1,112 hectares of pineapple within ASP. One year later, the PRIAS reveals that there are 370 additional hectares for 2017.

    These almost 1,500 hectares of invasion by the pineapple companies within the Protected Wild Areas demonstrates state inaction. It is known that institutions responsible for ensuring compliance with environmental legislation are not doing their job or are deficient.

    Therefore, they are complicit in the environmental destruction that the country is suffering according to Article 57 of the Forestry Law. Despite this, the current government has cut ¢ 2,000 million by 2019 to the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC). This makes it difficult to remedy any impact of the irresponsible, illegal and uncontrolled expansion of the pineapple crop.

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