A controversy has been unleashed on social networks, and the movements of tourists defending women’s rights in Costa Rica have exposed their rejection of the guide created by this government, which suggested women how to dress and behave to prevent violence against them.

Since March 2021, the Government of Costa Rica, promised a new initiative to prevent violence against female tourists traveling alone to the country through the «construction of safe environments», which would be the product of an agreement of the National Commission of Tourist Security. Three months later, the government announced the creation of the “Red Sofía” program, in which he assured that he would fulfill his mission.

Image: Red Sofia is the initiative to give security to women who travel to Costa Rica

Although the guide was published in June 2021, it was not until January 2022, that it began to circulate massively on social networks and the media, in a context marked by a case of a sexual attack on two European female tourists that occurred last week, in Puerto Viejo beach, in the Costa Rican Caribbean.

The document provides recommendations to women tourists such as «try to dress similar to the local ones to avoid attracting attention», «avoid walking alone at night», «maintain personal control» in case of drinking alcoholic beverages and «be careful with friendly messages or trusting attitude can generate.

Image: Women enjoying the Costa Rican Caribbean coast

Some organizations considerate the document as a text of “revictimization”, repudiating “the negligent action of the Government”, which through its institutions, places the blame for sexual assaults on the victims, with “recommendations” aimed at limiting women’s physical autonomy, including those that cover their way of dressing, the time they decide to go out, the alcohol they decide to consume, among others.

Image: Women protest in San Jose against acts of violence against women after the sexual assault suffered by a 20-year-old Danish tourist in the Caribbean town of Puerto Viejo.

Feminist organizations, deputies and citizens in general criticize through social networks, to which President Alvarado replied that he has instructed the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism and INAMU (Women National Institute) to immediately review the guide, prior to the unacceptable crimes in Puerto Viejo, because it contains statements that are totally out of place, in any context, and that must be corrected.