Legal Action Stops Bill Banning Sport Hunting In Costa Rica
In a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the popular initiative that led to the approval in the first instance of an amendment to the law of Costa Rica wildlife that would have banned the sport hunting, but not the scientific collection of subsistence, groups representing community sport hunters managed to stop the second debate and possible enactment of this harmful proposal.
The action of constitutionality, the Libertarian Movement by management to Dr. Ricardo Guardia, Lawyer, hunter, conservationist and member of Safari Club International (SCI) is being evaluated by the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of the Central American nation.
What We Have Heard In The Press
Costa Rica approved last October 2 an unprecedented reform law banning sport hunting, first project to come to the legislature by a popular initiative system, parliamentary sources said. The new law, which must still be submitted to a second debate, allows the hunting of animals solely for scientific research, population control and survival of species, but not prohibit, however, sport fishing. Moreover, sanctions tenure as wildlife pets like parrots, raccoons and monkeys.
The project was approved by 41-5 vote. Congress will revisit the issue in a second round, but the second round is seen as a mere formality.
The proposal came to the Legislature through the system with the support of 177,000 people, driven by the NGO Association for the Preservation of Flora and Fauna (Apreflofas), who stated that this project is crucial because “Costa Rica is the first country Central America to pass a law of popular initiative.”
With an image of green country, Costa Rica for a decade banned the use of wild animals in circuses. The 26% of Costa Rican territory is designated national park and thus protected, and the country is home to nearly 5% of the world’s biodiversity, but facing problems of pollution and environmental damage.
The inside story
The initiative originated within an environmental group through the collection of signatures of voters registered on the electoral roll, and through the years that these firms were slow to grasp, eventually numbered 177mil signatures.
With this standard managed initial support only deputy representative of the Frente Amplio, Jose Maria Villalta, who then won the support of the Citizen Action Party convincing the remaining members of the chamber with the pretext that “would not support this ban be against a country or green environmentalist “which in turn would bring serious political consequences.
As usual in this type of scenario, the press took sides in favor of the ban presented photographic material according to its position.
However, the initial project, which had serious misconceptions, was revised four times until finally presenting a text substitute – under the support of the signatures – the latter having been approved text from which the world press has noticed.
However, this last text did not meet the legal requirement of publication in the Judicial Bulletin, the official newspaper, claiming that “it was not necessary because it is the same project,” though it was a version that had suffered so three modifications.
The only party that vigorously opposed this project was the Libertarian Movement, who made the inquiry to the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court for a decision in the sense of whether the legislative process had been correct.
According to Dr. Guardia, manager of this initiative, “the Chamber must cancel the procedure, as there is ample jurisprudence that the lack of connectedness between a project and the modifications made to it is because of unconstitutionality.” “This implies – adds Dr Guard – that the project can not be known as a popular initiative.”
The Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court must decide before the end of the month, which has generated great expectations among the international conservation community. “State policies of Latin American countries are adapting the sustainable use of wildlife resources, so that an action, such as we are seeing in Costa Rica, not only retrograde but has a strong sense discriminatory sport hunters in particular. This initiative was therefore proper name, “he said J.Thomas Saldias, SCI Representative for Latin America, a group that is supporting the management of Dr. Guard on behalf of the international community. “SCI is mobilizing the vast experience of our lawyers in Washington to support and monitor the process that is being developed in Costa Rica,” said Saldias.
With active members in over 100 countries, SCI members are a positive force that helps preserve the hunting heritage and to generate economic development in rural communities through the promotion of sustainable use of wildlife resources.
For more information visit the SCI (www.safariclub.org)
SCI has several chapters in the Latin American region, for more information please visit the ICS America on Facebook.
See here the official note of the Assembly of Costa Rica about ordering Consult the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court. http://www.asamblea.go.cr/Lists/Noticias/DispForm.aspx?ID=3117