26 abril 2008

The Honourable Minister of Art and Culture for Costa Rica

For the attention of
The Honourable Minister of Art and Culture for Costa Rica
Maria Elena Carballo

Regarding the torture of a dog in the name of Art by a Costa Rican citizen.

I am appalled that as the Costa Rican, Minister of Art and Culture, you have condoned the horrific act of cruelty of starving and ill-treating a dog, by the so called artist Vargas.

Further that you have awarded this man with the opportunity to represent Costa Rica at the Honduras Central Americas Biennial Art Expo in November this year.

I might remind you that the president of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias, only last year was the millionth person to sign the 'Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare' - His commitment to the world that Costa Rica will prosecute and regulate cruelty to animals by its citizens. But it seems not in the case of Art? Unless I am mis-informed, are you prosecuting Vargas?

I was myself employed for many years in the UK as a Tourism Director for Local Government responsible for marketing and promoting an area very similar to Guanacaste. Be very aware that you have risked the backbone of your economy, Tourism. I would never have risked falling foul of public opinion, especially not on a world stage.

May I ask whether the President is aware of the ever-growing worldwide public condemnation of Vagas and Costa Rica's stance in this matter?

I and my husband stayed in Guanacaste in December last year and have already arranged to travel to Costa Rica in December this year and to stay in the exclusive and expensive Golf Hotel, Playa Conchal. We are confirmed booking under Richardson arriving on the 28th November. Please check my story. We have been tempted to buy substantial property and have spoken in some detail to various eco-scientists in Costa Rica about investing in sustainable projects in Costa Rica - particularly Guanacaste.
One of the eminent eco-scientist's is Tom Peifer, contributor of the Howler magazine and the Green Valley project in Guanacaste.

If Costa Rica does not prosecute Vargas for animal cruelty and /or allows him to represent Costa Rica in Honduras we will never travel to Costa Rica Again. We will lose a substantial deposit of $5,000 but Costa Rica will lose more and we will have our morals intact.

I urge you to reconsider your individual position and your decision to back Vargas - this will be your legacy in Government.

Today in England the Daily Mail Newspaper ran a full page story covering this appalling act it reads badly for Costa Rica - soon not only Tourism will suffer, but a worldwide boycott on Coffee and other Costa Rican products will follow, for ART. I hope you think that Vargas and your pride in him is worth it.

I will also write to you in a formal manner, as I will to the Minister for Tourism, and the President Arias himself.

I look forward to your response and justification for your support of Vargas.

Yours sincerely

Johanna Macarthur

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