50 years ago: the illegal practice of medicine became a crime

Roger Bolaños Vargas

Original text published by La Nación on July 13, 1972

The College of Physicians and Surgeons informed the public that the new Penal Code, enacted by law No. 4,573, of last May 4, classified the illegal practice of medicine as a crime. In addition, the penalties for people who incur this public act were increased.

Now, article 269 of the Penal Code says: “Illegal practice of medicine will be punished with imprisonment from six months to three years”.

The reform of the Penal Code also establishes that doctors will be punished who, despite having the respective titles, “announce or promise the cure of diseases for a specific period or by secret or infallible means”.

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Those overo, Sardo, Achiotillo or Moro Colorado cattle, which gave rise to cows called cajueleras, very tame, and large oxen, pailetas and capable of dragging up to two tons, disappeared from the Costa Rican fields. And it was precisely these cows that fed the Costa Rican countryside, because most small farmers had their Doram vaquitas in the paddock, without special care, with no other food than the grass produced there, or according to the system called “mecatazo ” .

50 years ago: the illegal practice of medicine became a crime

These cows produced strong, confident oxen which, in the words of Don Ricardo Jiménez: “I have known oxen, and there are still oxen, that weigh between 600 and 700 kilos, if not more, but owe their corpulence to the Doram (or Durham) blood. , and not to Spanish Creole”. This breed was imported from England between the 1840s and 1850s.

It is good, before continuing, to make a warning: do not confuse Creole cattle with the so-called avocado, this product of multiple crosses and therefore difficult to determine its origins, but whose blood base is possibly Spanish Creole. The doram was kept for almost a century with the characteristics that identify it, the product of a cross that, according to Joaquín Vargas Coto, was imported from England to Costa Rica between 1840 and 1850.

“When the war of 1856 there were already English bulls here. At that time, Don Mariano Fernández and his relative Don Santiago Fernández brought ‘Devonshire’ bulls and cows, also English. This blood, together with the doram, contributed to giving us the great oxen and the famous cajuelero cows”, added Vargas.

The importation of cattle of other breeds relegated the doram to oblivion. Little by little, the old cows stopped being productive and ended their days in the cattle market in Alajuela or in the extinct San José (in what is now Barrio México). And the farmer lost one of the best sources of food for himself and his children.

Military will continue to control Brazil

President Emilio G. Medici practically ruled out the possibility of changes in the Brazilian political system, to the despair of those who saw signs of democracy on the horizon.

In his radio broadcast to the country last week, the 66-year-old general clearly indicated that the 1964 military revolution is not intended to loosen his grip on the country. The press speculated about “a democratic opening in the system.” Reports of high-level cabinet changes have attracted increasing attention.

Medici refuted all these conjectures. He spoke of economic progress, claimed that the government is supported by public opinion and said he could not admit “any regime change”. The tone has led many to believe that “temporary” military intervention in politics has acquired a new degree of permanence.