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(506) 2223-1327              Published Friday, Jan. 15, 2010,  in Vol. 10, No. 10        E-mail us
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visa lottery scam
E-mail scam promises recipient a U.S. green card
Green card scammers use Uncle Sam as fraud ploy
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

In an updated version of the lottery scam, Internet spammers are using the U.S. green card lottery as a ploy to make money.

A typical mailing tells a recipient that he or she is a winner in the U.S. Visa Lottery Program.

The program exists. It is called the diversity lottery program, and it is designed to provide immigration visas to individuals from countries that are underrepresented in U.S. population. But it does not have a secretary general, as does the bogus program promoted by the spam.  One fake e-mail even carries the Seal of the United States of America.

A telephone number uses the Thailand country code. The mailing explains that visas are being handled by something called the Asian-Pacific office.

The spammers initial request is modest, a $750 processing fee for an individual and $1,105 for a
family. The jpeg mailing gives two e-mail addresses. Both are at lesser known e-mail providers, and one carries a .us suffix.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has a warning about such scams on its Web site. The agency correctly notes that foreigners must have applied for the diversity lottery via the Internet and they have to have specific nationality and educational requirements. The U.S. State Department mentions this type of scam on its Web site, too, but there seems to have been little effort to alert foreign nationals.

There also are companies that charge for helping applicants fill out the required diversity lottery documents, Many of these are legitimate, but the State Department notes that the U.S. government charges no fees. Costa Ricans are eligible to participate in the real U.S. lottery that gives away about 50,000 immigration visas each year. But applications for the 2009 lottery ended in September.


Tico rescue experts leaving this morning for Haiti
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A team of 55 Costa Ricans leave today about 11 a.m. for Haiti. The group includes 20 police officers who are specialists in conducting rescues in collapsed buildings.

Other volunteers include 15 firemen, eight Cruz Roja employees, three specialists from the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social and five employees of the national emergency commission, the Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias. 

The group is getting a lot of backup. TACA, the airline company, is providing a free flight, and the Instituto Nacional de Seguros has provided a complimentary insurance policy for each volunteer, said the emergency commission. The team is expected to spend 10 days in Haiti. They are bringing their own food, water and equipment.

The unit of rescue specialists from the security
ministry had been in operation since 2005. One of the 20 volunteers is a woman. The unit is called the Brigada de Rescate en Estructuras Colapsadas.
Casa Presidencial announced Wednesday that the country would send a team of experts.

The team will need all their skills in Haiti where collapsed buildings seem to be everywhere in the capital of Port-au-Prince. Television footage shows residents trying to extricate friends, neighbors and family members from massive mounds of rubble.

The country is short on heavy machinery and a working rescue force. The death toll from Tuesday's magnitude 7 earthquake still is being calculated, but estimates run from 50,000 to 500,000.

Banco Nacional said its 164 branches are open to receive donations in special Cruz Roja accounts. The bank's mobile branch will be in Sabana Oeste today from noon until 8 p.m. to accept donations. The van will be in front of the channel 7 television offices, the bank said.


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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010, Vol. 10, No. 10

Costa Rica Expertise
Costa Rica Expertise Ltd http://crexpertise.com E-mail info@crexpertise.com Tel:506-256-8585 Fax:506-256-7575

Puriscal Properties
Spotsmens
Click HERE for great hotel discounts

Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


Legal services

Burke Fiduciary, S.A.
Registered Escrow and Legal Services
Thomas A. Burke, LL.M, Glenda Burke, LL.M
Gloria Burke, manager
Burke law firm

We offer real estate law, due diligence and escrow services,residency status, business corporations, estate planning. English, Spanish, German and French spoken.
More about us at www.burkecr.com
Ph. 011 506 2267-6645
info@burkecr.com

The registration of Burke Fiduciary S.A., corporate ID 3-101-501917 with the
General Superintendence of Financial Entities (SUGEF) is not an authorization to operate. The supervision of SUGEF refers to compliance with the capital legitimization requirements of Law No. 8204. SUGEF does not supervise the
business carried out by this company, nor its security, stability or solvency.
Persons contracting its services do so for their own account and at their own risk.
5510-3/2/10

Arcelio Hernandez, Esq.
BUFETE HERNANDEZ MUSSIO Y ASOCIADOS

CRTitle.com
Member: Cenpac, AmCham
Jaco: Tel. 2643-3058 - Fax. 2643-0358
Skype: hernandez.mussio
Arcelio hernandez
• Real Estate Transactions
•  Legal Due Diligence
• Purchase and Sale   Agreements/Options
• Trademarks 
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• Title Guaranty • Fraud
     protection * Litigation 
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• Notary public services in
   general • Offshore Incorporation • Offshore Banking  • Business Law 
• Escrow Services (registered
     with SUGEF) • Estate Planning 
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Tel. 2519-4647 - Fax: 2520-0831
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CONSULTORIA JURIDICA EMPRESARIAL CA, S.A
Attorneys & Notaries
 Tel.  2280-9692 / 2225-9322
Skype: CONJURIDICA
e-mail: info@conjuridica.com 
Web:  www.conjuridica.com
       We offer the highest professional standards with very competitive rates. All our official documentation and Notary deeds are always translated in English for better comprehension, client satisfaction and safety.
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• Immigration Law.
• Real Estate Law.
• Corporations, Foundations
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• Trademarks & Intellectual
       Property.  
• Notary public services
• Criminal Law
•Civil & Commercial 
       Litigation
Our Law Office is conveniently located near Mall San Pedro,  350 meters south from the Subaru dealer, Los Yoses, San José.
5290-12/2/09

Appraiser

BEFORE YOU BUY and OVERPAY
Angela Jiménez
ask Angela Jiménez
Architect/Certified Appraiser
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for Costa Rica Banks

• building inspections
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• construction management

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certifieda.htm
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Residency experts

Residency in Costa Rica
A full service immigration agency
U.S. and San José offices
Getting and authenticating documents can be a chore —

we know how to do it. Experienced with many nationalities. Up-to-date on
Costa Rica's evolving immigration law.
Pensionado and rentista. Your first stop for smooth, professional service and a positive experience. Javier Zavaleta jzava@pacbell.net
www.residencyincostarica.com
Tel: (323) 255-6116
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Acupuncture physician

Acupuncture (disposable needles),
& Auriculotherapy (without needles) 

Immediate results guaranteed
for sport and all injuries; Back, neck, shoulder, elbow, carpal tunnel, knees, sciatica, 
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Eugene Mc Donald A.P.
migraine, T.M.J., kidney stones, intercostal neuralgia, and all painfull conditions  without drugs. Excellent results for stress, tension, anxiety, depression; and many other medical conditions and health maintenance.  Acupuncture works even if other therapies had little or no results. Free consultation, U.S. license, 19 years experience, Eugene Mc Donald, A.P (acupuncture physician) Escazú, 8352-0661. acutherapy0@hotmail.com
http://acupuncturecr.blogspot.com/
5563-3/21/10

Hearing consultant

English-speaking hearing consultant
We can professionally evaluate your hearing problem at Clinica Dinamarca off Paseo Colón or at Hospital CIMA.
• Natural sound
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• No more background noise, feedback or echoing
• American hearing consultant from D.C. & Atlanta
• Nine clinics including Hospital CIMA
• Authorized provider  to the U.S. veterans
• The worlds leading provider of hearing aids
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We service the U.S. veterans/Foreign Medical Program. Please contact me, Allan, at allan9000@gmail.com or at 8891-8989.
5801-1/12/10

Accountants

James Brohl, C.P.A. & M.B.A.
US Income Tax,  US GAAP Accounting
& Business Consulting

• US Tax return preparation  for
individuals and businesses
• eFile returns: secure with faster refunds
• Assist with back reporting and other filing issues
• Take advantage of the Foreign
Income Tax Exclusion (up to $
91,400 in 2009)
• Business Consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica
• Accounting for US and International Financial Reporting


Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620
E-mail jrtb_1999@racsa.co.cr
5097-3/30/10

U.S. Tax International

Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal services
Over 15 years in Costa Rica
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E-mail: ustax@lawyer.com
Web page with vital U.S. tax info HERE!
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Real estate agents and services

Latitude Nine real estate graphic
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506 2777-1197

Over 25 years experience in Costa Rica

www.latitude9.com
55672-5/25/10


MARGARET SOHN
with Great Estates of Costa Rica

20 years Costa Rican
real estate experience

Member of the Costa Rican Real Estate Association, Lic. #1000

Member of
Costa Rican-American Chamber of Commerce

samargo@racsa.co.cr
info@realtorcostarica.com
www.realtorcostarica.com
(506)  2220-3729 &  (506)
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2643-3356
Info@c21jaco.com
4401-6/9/09v
Campero outlet
Pollo Campero photo
Thanks to globalization, the Indian fast food outlet is
identical to those in Costa Rica and elsewhere.

Central American chicken king
is trying its wings in India


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

All those guys and gals who compete with Costa Rican call center employees now have a chance to eat Latin-style chicken.

The international firm Pollo Campero said Thursday that it has opened a food outlet in a shopping mall in New Delhi, India. The company said it plans to open 50 outlets in that country during the next five years. Some are company-owned and others will be franchises.

Pollo Campero entered the Indian market along with the resident restaurant giant company Lite Bite Foods of the Daburt Group, it said.

Pollo Campero now has 300 restaurants in 11 countries on three continents, it said. The firm originated in Guatemala in 1971 and is one of the major fast food chicken outlets in Costa Rica. The company also is involved in a joint venture that will result in multiple restaurant properties in Bahrain, the firm said.

India, of course, is home to many international call centers and its a competitor with Costa Rica for that service.


Alerts lifted or reduced
for weather and volcano


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The national emergency commission has lifted the weather alert in the northern zone and on the Caribbean coast and it has reduced the area covered by an alert prompted by activity in the Volcán Turrialba, the agency reported Thursday.

The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional said that a cold front that generated heavy rains and flooding has moved into the Atlantic and that the country is returning to normal conditions for the so-called dry season. It said that the Pacific beaches should have clear skies most of the day.

However the weather agency said that air turbulence could be a danger to small planes in the northern zone and warned against crop dusting until the winds die. It also warned of danger to small boats and bathers along the country's beaches due to waves caused by the winds.

The volcano alert is now reduced to an area of a two-kilometer radius around the mountain.  That includes Santa Cruz de Turrialba, Santa Rosa de Oreamuno and Capellades and Pacayas de Alvarado, the commission said. The mountain still is emitting gas and ash.

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A.M. Costa Rica
users guide

This is a brief users guide to A.M. Costa Rica.

Old pages

Each day someone complains via e-mail that the newspages are from yesterday or the day before. A.M. Costa Rica staffers check every page and every link when the newspaper is made available at 2 a.m. each weekday.

So the problem is with the browser in each reader's computer. Particularly when the connection with the  server is slow, a computer will look to the latest page in its internal memory and serve up that page.

Readers should refresh the page and, if necessary, dump the cache of their computer, if this problem persists. Readers in Costa Rica have this problem frequently because the local Internet provider has continual problems.

Searching

The A.M. Costa Rica search page has a list of all previous editions by date and a space to search for specific words and phrases. The search will return links to archived pages.

Newspages

A typical edition will consist of a front page and four other newspages. Each of these pages can be reached by links near the top and bottom of the pages.

Classifieds

Five classified pages are updated daily. Employment listings are free, as are listings for accommodations wanted, articles for sale and articles wanted. The tourism page and the real estate sales and real estate rentals are updated daily.

Advertising information

A summary of advertising rates and sizes are available for display and classifieds.

Contacting us

Both the main telephone number and the editor's e-mail address are listed on the front page near the date.

Visiting us

Directions to our office and other data, like bank account numbers are on the about us page.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010, Vol. 10, No. 10

   
Check out the printed version of the Top Story news feed and see what  you  missed.
Enjoy Incredible Beach Sunsets and  Sunrises. With the Pacific Ocean and the awesome mountain behind.
Elegantly built to your specifications. Delivered and set up at your home in Costa Rica.


Another tale of customer service in the banking industry
By Dave Playfair*
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Christmas turned into Halloween this year with a little trick played on Dec. 23. We didn’t notice the trick until two weeks later when we were checking our corporate bank account because of a discrepancy in balancing, as we were preparing for a real estate transaction requiring all the money available in that account.

We were shocked to find a withdrawal from our account for USD $ 14,782.30 and a surprising correlation to an existing vendor that takes out about $ 25 a month. We didn’t realize until after our first fit of outrage that the regular automated payment corresponded to about 14,782 colons. After contacting the vendor through a very intensely written e-mail, then through our architect for our project (since my rage eliminated any possibility of verbal communication in Spanish), they assured us that they knew of the problem and that it was a mistake by the bank. The vendor then put us in touch with a company that handles credit/debit card transactions here in Costa Rica (Credomatic), who then assured me by telephone that they were very sorry for the mistake and it would be corrected the next day in the afternoon. He very specifically said it would be late afternoon (on a Friday).

Unfortunately, the afternoon on that Friday, Jan. 8, progressed with no action in our bank account whatsoever, and we contacted him again. The story changed slightly to the supposed fact that the money had been credited back to the bank via the card on Jan. 5th, three days earlier. However, strange it seemed that he made us wait until Friday afternoon to tell us this, we contacted the bank through two channels, both resulting in a dead end. The bank told us that there was no record of any credit to the account and that we should bring in whatever documents we have for proof of this. I asked what kind of documents the bank required to prove that the money had been credited back to us, and we were met with stunned silence and then the phrase, “whatever documents they gave you.”

I tried to reason with the bank representative by telling her that they had, indeed, just sent us two documents that seemingly showed their internal system crediting back over 8 million colons, but I asked how that was going to prove anything to the bank? I reasoned, if they couldn’t find any money now, why would someone else’s documents somehow miraculously allow them to find the money then? She had no answer for this, so I continued with the possibility of e-mailing these documents to her and her supervisor, to which she responded that we could indeed do that. Of course, they may not get to it for a week, she said, but I took it that she thought it couldn’t hurt. She mentioned that it was late on Friday afternoon, so there was little she could do.

Feeling dizzy by the run-around we appeared to be getting down every path, I e-mailed Credomatic again with this news, and they responded with a name and number at the bank of a person who apparently was aware of the situation. Why, again, he chose to hold this information until that point we’ll never know. We called that number late on Friday, not expecting any answer at that point, but assuming that we could leave a message. It rang busy. It rang busy all the next day as well, and we gave up, finally figuring out that the number was incorrect.

During this little adventure, we made the decision to bring our lawyer into the matter, so we arranged with him to meet us at the bank Monday morning with the documents Credomatic supplied us.

I joined our lawyer at one of the branches and went through the paces of explaining the situation, showing them the documents from Credomatic and having the representative make some phone calls. She then assured us that the money would be in the account “mañana.” Further, she said that the fellow in charge of this was making an “exception” and would get this done by tomorrow, as if giving our money back was some great favor. Apparently, the credit wasn’t going to be applied until the following Friday.

credomatic
Mañana graphic

Now, knowing Costa Rica the way I do I didn’t have a lot of faith in the idea that their version of “mañana” and my version of tomorrow were in agreement. However, we left giving the bank the benefit of the doubt. What is funny is that I didn’t even bother asking for the interest I should have earned on that money for the three weeks, or any other reparation that I’m quite certain I would have asked for and received in Canada or the U.S.

My expectations were lowered to simply getting the money back — sometime in the future — and making certain this could not happen again!

“Mañana” came and went. No money appeared in the account.

The day after, the money finally arrived in our account, and we were overcome with glee. Exactly three weeks, many phone calls, and a visit to the bank with my lawyer was all it took to fix a banking error.

Of course, there are many issues with this scenario that concerns us now and in the future while banking in Costa Rica, but there are some precautions that can be taken as well.

The issues are as follows:

• The vendor that received over 8 million colons just before Christmas should have notified us of this situation, but decided it was best to avoid it until we contacted them over two weeks later.

• The credit/debit processing company, Credomatic, could have also contacted us since they have accepted responsibility for the mistake citing “Por un error en nuestros sistemas,” but again, they decided not to bother.

• The bank, apparently clueless to the situation, let over $14,000 leave our account without any question or holdback. Given this was a regular transaction for about $25 to the same vendor every month, you would think that there may be some checks and balances for this sort of thing. For example, we were travelling in another city in the U.S. recently and made a couple purchases, only to have the last one (for a measly $600) stopped and verified by phone by the credit card company. You would think that the bank would do the same thing, but no. It would seem that they would have released every dime in that account if a transaction went through for that amount.

Further, this bank seemed unconcerned about the issue and certainly didn’t show any motivation to fix it. What strikes me as ironic is the fact that interbank transfers within Costa Rica (SINPE) are highly scrutinized and have a limit of around $3,000. Apparently, no such scrutiny is applied to credit/debit card transactions.

• The recourse has been to discuss this issue with multiple parties, have assurances given to us, only to find that nothing happens and we are without the money indefinitely. The resolution finally came after bringing our lawyer to the bank with us — for a banking transaction error!

Some precautions that could be taken in the future:

• Do not leave a great deal of money in an account attached to a bank card, or do not give out that bank card number. Instead, keep a minimal amount in any account attached to a bank card/Visa/Mastercard that you use in Costa Rica and transfer money from another account when needed. Of course, you must ensure that the accounts are not connected, as banks in Costa Rica will simply remove money from another account, if the first account is to be overdrawn. They will only reject the transaction if they can’t find any money in the account or accounts.

• Ask that a limit is set on the amount that can be withdrawn from a given bank account, but don’t rely on it.

• Keep all your money under your mattress.  (Just kidding.)

*Mr. Playfair is a real estate and health resort developer.


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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010, Vol. 10, No. 10

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Even on a luxury cruise Mother Nature is in full control
I think it was Robert Burns who wrote “The best laid plans of mice and men aft ga'en aglae.” (or words to that effect). This must especially be true when we go down to the sea in ships.  Mother Nature finally is in charge. And that is what happened to us on the Windstar our second night on our way to Nicaragua.

Hurricane strength winds made the Windstar bump and sway and tilt from port to starboard while white caps splashed against the portholes.  At midnight our captain decided that things were not going to get any better and that risking the lives of his 139 passengers and probably as many crew members was not a good idea, so we came about and returned to the calmer waters of Costa Rica. When we awoke early Monday morning we were safely anchored in the harbor of Playas del Coco.
,
This was fine with me and my still queasy stomach, but it did play havoc with my poorly laid plan to pick up the T-shirts for my son that I had ordered from the Vanstone Group.  Poorly laid because it did not include a plan B (like bring Charlene's phone number in case anything went wrong). But I went ashore and waited in front of the police station as planned in case the people ashore had heard of our change of plans. They hadn't.

My daughter had signed up for the zipline tour, so while she was flying through the air (10,000 feet up, she assured me later), I found a netcafe in the rather funky Coco beach community. My patience ran out before I could send a successful message, so I imagine the next morning Charlene was waiting in front of the blue and white police station, wondering why there was no ship in the harbor.  And thus, the saga of my son's T-shirts continues.

Still on shore, a gentleman from the ship asked me why I had chosen Costa Rica to live "since it is just as expensive as the United States.”  Word has got around that besides Carlos, the crew member who is our resident naturalist, I am the only person hailing from Costa Rica. This passenger's shopping experience had consisted of paying $8 for a pound of coffee in a gift shop. I tried to explain that one could still live reasonably here, but he had already compared the prices in the Coco beach supermarket, so he wasn't buying what I had to say, like there are other reasons than cost for living in Costa Rica.

After leaving Coco beach, the current insisted on rushing north as we bucked it sailing south. We still managed to dock near Flamingo.

On Wednesday both Lesley and I took the mangrove boat tour.  I learned the value to our survival of these strange trees from our expert guide, Andy.  We also watched the antics of  
Living in Costa Rica

. . .Where the living is good

By Jo Stuart
jostuart@amcostarica.com

 
Windstar at Coco
A.M. Costas Rica file photo
Windstar at Playas del Coco on a previous voyage.

a troop of whiteface monkeys who have secured their survival by being omnivores.

Although exhausted from more sun and humid heat than I needed,  I still enjoyed the on-deck BBQ and the line dancing by the crew and passengers.

Although there is a variety of the plentiful food, I have found nothing exceptionally good except the beef carpaccio.  I have not noticed the aroma or taste of garlic or herbs in any dish.  It is as if the executive chef's aim is to not shock (or even tickle) anyone's taste buds.

But the friendliness and helpfulness of the entire crew, beginning with the captain, has been superlative, and it has been both an exciting and pleasant cruise.  As it is probably safer to say when you are at sea – so far, so good.



Escazú Christian Fellowship
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A.M.
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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010, Vol. 10, No. 10

Medical vacations in Costa Rica

 U.N. report gives bleak
summary of native status


Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The world’s 370 million native peoples suffer from disproportionately, often exponentially, higher rates of poverty, health problems, crime and human rights abuses, the first ever United Nations study on the issue reported Thursday, stressing that self-determination and land rights are vital for their survival.

Startling figures contained in "The State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples" include:

• In the United States, a Native American is 600 times more likely to contract tuberculosis and 62 per cent more likely to commit suicide than the general population.

• In Australia, a native child can expect to die 20 years earlier than his non-native compatriot. The life expectancy gap is also 20 years in Nepal, while in Guatemala it is 13 years and in New Zealand it is 11.

• In parts of Ecuador, native people have 30 times greater risk of throat cancer than the national average.

* Worldwide, more than 50 per cent of native adults suffer from Type 2 diabetes – a number predicted to rise.

“Every day, indigenous communities all over the world face issues of violence and brutality, continuing assimilation policies, dispossession of land, marginalization, forced removal or relocation, denial of land rights, impacts of large-scale development, abuses by military forces and a host of other abuses,” the report’s authors said in a news release.

Although indigenous peoples make up only 5 per cent of the global population, they constitute around one third of the world’s 900 million extremely poor rural people. In both developed and developing countries, poor nutrition, limited access to care, lack of resources crucial to maintaining health and well-being and contamination of natural resources are all contributing factors to the terrible state of indigenous health worldwide, the report said.

Native peoples experience disproportionately high levels of maternal and infant mortality, malnutrition, cardiovascular illnesses, HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis (TB), while suicide rates, particularly among youth, are considerably higher in many countries, for example up to 11 times the national average for the Inuit in Canada, it added. The Inuit TB rate is over 150 times higher.

The study repeatedly identifies displacement from lands, territories and resources as one of the most significant threats for indigenous peoples, citing many examples, including in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Hawaii, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Colombia.

“When indigenous peoples have reacted and tried to assert their rights, they have suffered physical abuse, imprisonment, torture and even death,” it says, stressing that their rights to their own lands and territories must be respected while they need to develop their own definitions and indicators of poverty and well-being.

“Indigenous peoples suffer from the consequences of historic injustice, including colonization, dispossession of their lands, territories and resources, oppression and discrimination, as well as lack of control over their own ways of life. Their right to development has been largely denied by colonial and modern States in the pursuit of economic growth,” it adds, warning that the importance of land and territories to indigenous cultural identity cannot be stressed enough.

Of the world’s 6,000 to 7,000 languages, a great majority are spoken by native peoples, and many, if not most, are in danger of becoming extinct, with some 90 per cent possibly doomed within the next 100 years. About 97 per cent of the world’s population currently speaks 4 per cent of its languages, while only 3 per cent speaks 96 per cent of them, the United Nations said..
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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010, Vol. 10, No. 10


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Canadian on run for years
detained in Playa Hermosa

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A convicted Canadian murderer ended 20 years on the run Thursday when law officers closed in.

He was identified in Costa Rican terms as Marc Joseph Fournier Marquis, 70. He was detained in Playa Hermosa de Sardinal on the Pacific coast of the Nicoya peninsula near Carrillo, said the Judicial Investigating Organization. Local agents of the International Police Agency participated.

The arrest was sought by the Canadian Embassy here. Investigators said that Fournier was convicted and sentenced for a double murder in 1971 and then granted parole in 1989 after 17 years in prison. He skipped shortly thereafter, investigators said they were told.

Fournier managed to obtain Costa Rica citizenship, said investigators, but the Registro Civil started an action to annul that status in December. Under Costa Rican law a citizen cannot be extradited regardless of the crime.

The Poder Judicial said that the Tribunal Penal de San José would handle the request to have the man sent back to Canada.

There was no explanation on how a man who has been convicted for two murders could obtain citizenship here. Typically an applicant's fingerprints are submitted to the  International Police Agency, INTERPOL, for a worldwide check.


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