free webpage hit counter
Ship Costa Rica alternate
2011 market report
Costa Rica

Your daily

news source
Monday through Friday

Pacific lots of Costa Rica
(506) 2223-1327         POublished  Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011,  Vol. 11, No. 13           E-mail us
Jo Stuart
Real Estate
About us

Occupancy at start of high season set at 68.13%
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The national tourism chamber said that a national survey showed hotel occupancy at 68.13 percent in the last two weeks of December. That's 6 percent lower than hotel operators guessed based on reservations for the last 15 days of the month.

Monteverde, where hotel operators estimated their Dec. 15 to 31 reservations at 65 percent reported actual occupancy at 58 percent, the survey said. Monteverde lodging operators also estimated high season reservations at 84 percent and were the most optimistic respondents in the mid-December survey.

Both surveys were done by the Cámera Nacional de Turismo. The Jan. 1 to 7 sounding included responses from 112 firms from all parts of the country. It asked for actual numbers for the last two weeks of December.

The country has 2,461 hotels with an estimated 43,362 rooms. The chamber noted that many condominiums and other types of residences offer lodging for tourists. Many Costa Rican tourists stay with family members or friends when they travel.

Reported occupancy ranged from 79.4 percent in northern Guanacaste to 36.3 percent in the northern Caribbean.

The Central Valley hotel operators reported 54.3 percent occupancy, significantly better than the 39.4 percent reservations reported in the December survey. But it was lower than the 74 percent high season estimate.

The chamber said its statistics show an average of 62.4 occupancy rate from 2003 through 2010. Most of those contacted the tourism demand normal or higher than normal. Only 11.5 percent
Dec. 15 -31 occupancy
North Guanacaste
and nearby islands
Northern plains
Central Pacific
Southern Caribbean
Southern Guanacaste
South Pacific
Central Valley
Northern Caribbean
National average
Source = Cámera Nacional de Turismo

characterized it as lower, the chamber said.

Dec. 15 is generally considered the beginning of the tourism high season here. In the mid-December survey, the chamber asked about actual occupancy and also about estimates for the high season. The January survey sought just actual occupancy for the two weeks.

Although occupancy Dec. 15 to 31 was lower than expected, the chamber said that the average for the full month was 61.7 percent, which is an increase of 17 percent over 2009 and 6 percent higher than 2007. The figures also showed a 15 percent increase over the December average from 2002 to 2010.

In other tourism news, the country hosted nearly 1 million Canadian and U.S. tourists in 2010, an 11 percent increase over 2009, according to immigration figures released Monday by the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo.

Gold mining firm appeals negative court ruling
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

On the last possible day, Industrias Infinito S.A. filed an appeal of a Nov. 14 court ruling that closed down the company's operations at Curtis de San Carlos.

This is the Crucitaspen pit gold mine that was the subject of a Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo that said there were irregularities in the approval process and environmental damage. Environmental advocates praised the decision, but government officials fear a billion dollar arbitration judgment if the company is not allowed to extract the gold.

The government also is appealing the lower court ruling. Even though President Laura Chinchilla said she opposes open pit mining and the process
by which gold is leached from rock, the government has an interest in defending its approval process.

The case is likely to eventually reach the Sala IV constitutional court which already has ruled that Infinito has a valid mining concession.

The appeals panel probably will hear the case within the next couple of months. Infinito has laid off about 150 employees because of the lower court ruling. The environmentalists object to the mining process and also because Infinito would have to cut down trees to mine the gold. The company said it is planting many trees to replace those it has to cut.

In addition the company, a subsidiary of a Canadian firm, is supposed to grade and reforest the area after its concession runs out in 15 years.

Click for San Jose, Costa Rica Forecast
exchange rate
to our
daily digest

our site

Send us
a news story

Real estate ads

Tourism and

ad info

ad info

Contact us

Del Rey Super Bowl

Resiudency in Costa Rica
Costa Travel

Friends Renta a car

New Bridging World ad
Exotic Property Tours
Costa Rica MD

Ship to Costa Rica update


rss feed graphic
Twitter link
Facebook graphic

New Goool ad
Association of Residents
Take it to the
next level, Bet
world wide with us

Live Casino
& More
Smile 90210
Have you seen our crossword puzzle?

New Smile

Jo Stuart
Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier

The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2011 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for more details

90210 dental clinic
A.M. Costa Rica's
Second news page

Real estate
About us

San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011, Vol. 11, No. 13

Costa Rica Expertise
Costa Rica Expertise Ltd E-mail Tel:506-256-8585 Fax:506-256-7575

Pure LIfe Development
Sportsmen football

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.

Language education

If I Can Learn To Speak Spanish, Anybody Can!
It is very important that as residents of Costa Rica, we at
SPanish school presidentJames DeRoy
president, Epifania

least learn to speak basic Spanish.  We at Epifania Spanish School want to help you.  Our teachers are all courteous professionals and all want to help you.

Conveniently located in Escazú and Curridabat, the program for residents consists of two hours per day, two days per week for $200 per month. Maximum class size is five persons, minimum of 2 persons. 
Visit our Web site at
and click on Residents Program or call us at 2524-1726 for complete details.

Real estate agents and services

CR Beach logo

Jeff Fisher, 17-year CR resident and Owner-Broker at CR Beach Investment Real Estate

now celebrating 5 years of helping clients find their dream properties in the Central Pacific-Jacó area.
Jeff, Andre, Colin, Francis & Junior have lived in Costa Rica for more than 99 years &
are dedicated to helping you realize your dream!
"We gladly  pay for referrals!"
Member of the N.A.R., the Costa Rican Real Estate Board CRGAR and the Central Pacific Chamber of Commerce.
Toll Free: 1-888-782-1119 
Office: 2643-4334, 2643-3672
Located in the heart of Jacó. IL Galeone Center, Local 14, Jacó, Costa Rica

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
(506)  2220-3729 &  (506)
8333-8391 cell
(506)  2232-5016 (phone/fax)

Latitude Nine real estate graphic
Latitude 9
Real Estate, Development, Investments.

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
506 2777-1197

Over 25 years experience in Costa Rica

CENTURY 21 Jacó Beach Realty
A Name You Trust & Professional Service

Buying? Selling?
We Can Do It!
1 (877) 746-3868
  Tom Ghormley - Owner/Broker - in CR since '79

Beachfront, Views, Mountains, Lots, Farms, Beaches, Houses, Condos. Hotels, Restaurants, Projects, Commercial, Investments


We will translate your documents from English into Spanish or Spanish to English
Rosa Monge
Rosa Maria Monge
Legal problems?
Tired of getting the
Tired of excuses?
Tired of being kept in the
Afraid of signing documents in Spanish that you do not understand?
Rosa Maria Monge, interpreter in court,
simultaneous translator, paralegal
Cell 8919-4545 or e-mail 
Contact us today to find out how we can help you.
We get results!


We, at New Smile Dental Group, place the latest and most-technologically advanced Dental Implants in Costa
New Smile Team
Rica, and use state-of-the-art cosmetic dentistry procedures that can give you a beautiful and natural-looking smile in 11-days at a fraction of the cost of what you will pay in other countries. Please, call us at +1 (888) 663-9764 or request a call from one of our dental advisers.
new smilel logos

Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants $500, Crowns $250

Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini has placed and restored
DR. Cavallini
Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini
over 12,000 dental implants since 1980. The Dr. Marco Muñoz Cavallini Dental Clinic, is recognized as one of the best practices in Dental Reconstruction, Dental Implant placement and Cosmetic Dentistry in Costa Rica and the World. For more information, visit us today at:

Hearing consultant

Allan Weinberg
your American hearing consultant
Now offering the smaller, better and less expensive hearing aid
from Widex, their best ever.

A fraction of U.S. prices. No more background noise, feedback or echoing and a lifetime of service.
We service U.S. veterans
Clinica Dinamarca 10 clinics
Allan Weinberg


U.S. Tax International

Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal services
Over 15 years in Costa Rica
(English Spoken)
C.R. 2288-2201   U.S 786-206-9473
FAX: 2289-8235
Web page with vital U.S. tax info HERE!

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 $
91,500 in 2010}
• Business Consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica
• Accounting for US and International Financial Reporting

Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620

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
Tel: (323) 255-6116

Legal services

Barrantes & Associates
Full Service Costa Rican law firm
 Since 1999 • English Spoken
My name is Giovanna Barrantes. I'm the managering director of Barrantes & Associates. We are a full service law firm located in San Jose Costa Rica. All our attorneys
Barrantes logo
are English speaking with experience in many areas of Costa Rica law.

Our firm specializes in the following areas: Real estate law, closings, due diligence, title search, banking, corporations, residency, immigration, civil law,
family law, criminal law. Please contact us today for a free consultation. References available upon request.
Lic Giovanna Barrantes, Barrantes & Associates
Office  011 506 2256-3807
Direct  011 506 8398-1203
Edificio Casa Canada, Anexo Uno, Paseo Colon. Subway 100 meters south/50 meters west.
Skype  CostaRicaLaw1

Burke Fiduciary, S.A.
Registered Escrow and Legal Services
Glenda Burke
Glenda Burke, LL.M
Thomas Burke
Thomas Burke, LL.M

Core services: real estate due diligence, real estate escrow services, residency status, business corporations, estate planning. English, Spanish, German and French spoken.

More about us at
Ph. 011 506 2267-6645 

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.

Gasoline prices going
up a few cents a liter

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Gasoline is going up again, the Authoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos said Tuesday. Super goes up seven colons a liter, and plus gasoline goes up 17 colons. Diesel has only a minimal increase of two colons. Aviation gasoline is increasing 12 colons a liter.

Expats still have a chance to fill up because the effective date of the new prices is calculated to be midnight Tuesday.

The Authoridad said it made its monthly adjustment based on the economic situation in mid-December, including a colon-dollar exchange rate of 507.5. The rate is now 498.5, meaning the colon is stronger.

In terms of U.S. gallon prices, super will be $4.62, plus will be $4.48 and diesel will be $4. Aviation gasoline will be $5.77

Postal service to promote
stamp collecting hobby

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Correos de Costa Rica is offering youngsters and adults the chance to learn about stamp collecting. The country's postal service has set up two workshops in conjunction with its Museo Filatélico de Correos de Costa Rica.

The basic course begins Tuesday and runs for three days from 9 a.m. to noon for children and from 1 to 4 p.m. for adults. An intermediate course begins Feb. 1 and also runs for three days at the same times. Each course costs 4,000 colons, about $8.

January and early February are times when public school youngsters are on vacation, so many agencies and museums offer courses then.

Insurance firm purchases
document handling system

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Instituto Nacional de Seguros, the former insurance monopoly, has purchased a business process management system.

Purchasing the AuraPortal platform will allow the company known as INS to automate and optimize the way its departments function internally, as well as its customer relations, turning INS into one of the most advanced companies worldwide in business process automation and optimization, said a release from the provider, AURA, known as AuraPortal. No price was given for the contract.

Within the last years, the National Insurance Institute has developed several initiatives in order to modernize its technological infrastructure and thus satisfy its demanding customers, the provider said. One of these, the so-called electronic customer record, must work together with three key processes, such as assurance, data modification and claims, the provider said.

Technically, this is a major challenge, given that the Institute´s wide technological platform needs to be able to communicate with a unique platform that gives the 2,500 employees all over the country, information on more than a million customers, said AURA.

The new system will let an INS employee see all a customer's documents, including scanned paperwork with just a click, said the Boston, Massachusetts-based provider.

Our reader's opinion
Value-added tax proposal
is like school yard game

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

The executive branch has sent a tax proposal to the congress because the government is spending much more than it is taking in as revenue, and excessive borrowing to cover the shortfall is dangerous, for the country’s reputation as a good borrower would be on the line.

The executive’s proposal appears to be madness. Were it to pass as proposed, businesses of all kinds would close, no longer being able to find customers willing to pay the outrageous increase in taxes, resulting in the shrinking of the tax base, resulting in less total revenue. The shortfall problem just got worse. Those businesses that remain open will do a lot of cash and receipt-less business. People have to survive economically, and getting around onerous and/or stupid government rules is one of the first things used as a survival tactic.

The Costa Rican congress — La Asamblea — which, by the way, enjoys the lower respect ratings of all the government institutions, as reflected in the public opinion polls, implying that it is composed primarily of crooks and idiots, and what few truly honest and intelligent members of congress that are found there are completely neutralized by the others. If you think this is an exaggeration, just look at the history of the passing of the traffic law, which going back to the Asamblea for the SECOND time for revamping. Third time is supposed to be a charm for getting something that makes senses.

This tax proposal is a combination of reform and a new big tax. It is a sales tax of 13 percent bumped up to14 percent, and is a value added tax of 14 percent on things not taxed before, like electricity, water, medical services and private education. The tax exemption part is taking a hit as well. From a couple of hundred tax exempted articles in the canasta básica or the basic cost of living items, the number is reduced to 30, in other words, there will a sales tax on these no-longer-exempted products.  Real estate brokers will have a tough time making sales with the proposed 3 percent property transfer tax; that's a $30,000 tax on a million dollar transaction. Real estate development in the country just took a step backwards.

Before we get too worried that more insanity comes out of the congress, we realize that a game is being played, like children in the school yard. One group asks for the preposterous, the crazy, knowing they won’t get it, but they will get something because the children opposing what they want will feel so proud of themselves for saying “no” that they will give the other side something.

Like most governments around the world where budget deficits constitute a major problem, Costa Rica is no exception, but in my view there will be little public sentiment in favor of a tax increase. To give the government more firewood to keep the public fires burning when there is such waste and inefficiency now, is asking a lot from the taxpayer. I predict as a huge opposition to this tax bill, until there are real signs the government is willing to clean up their poorly run administration, and begins to do so.
Walter Fila
Ciudad Colón

Find out what the papers
said today in Spanish

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Here is the section where you can scan short summaries from the Spanish-language press. If you want to know more, just click on a link and you will see and longer summary and have the opportunity to read the entire news story on the page of the Spanish-language newspaper but translated into English.

Translations may be a bit rough, but software is improving every day.

When you see the Summary in English of news stories not covered today by A.M. Costa Rica, you will have a chance to comment.

This is a new service of A.M. Costa Rica called Costa Rica Report. Editor is Daniel Woodall, and you can contact him HERE!

From the Costa Rican press
News items posted Monday through Friday by 8 a.m.
Click a story for the summary

Costa Rican news summaries are disabled
on archived pages.

Have you seen these stories?
From A.M. Costa Rica

Top story feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Newspaper flag

Del Rey Super Bowl

classified ad

Real estate
About us

What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2011 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

 No limit poker club
A.M. Costa Rica's
Third newspage
classified promo
Solar Costa Rica
Real estate
About us

San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011, Vol. 11, No. 13
Latigo K-9

Real estate rollover

Ms. Chinchilla
Casa Presidencial photo
President Laura Chinchilla Miranda discusses the cell telephone concessions and the new telecom fund at a signing ceremony Tuesday at Casa Presidencial.

Cell phone windfall to be used for universal Internet access
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Although the two cell telephone companies that have decided to set up shop here have invested $170 million for the right to do so, the cash-strapped central government will not see any of the money.

According to the law, the money goes to the Fondo Nacional de las Telecomunicaciones, a new agency that is designed to reduce the digital divide and guarantee access to the Internet. Casa Presidencial said that the fund will help hook up schools and medical clinics.

Like with many Costa Rican laws, the telecommunication measure allocated the funds outside the general treasury.

President Laura Chinchilla signed the decree Tuesday that awards cell telephone concessions to the two firms, Claro of México and Telefónica from Spain. Now the measure has to be approved by the budget watchdog, the Contraloría General de la República.

Central government officials are not expecting any trouble and praised the process of awarding the frequencies for its technical rigor and transparency.

The Cámera de Tecnologias de Información y Comunicación also praised the concession award. It said the telecom fund would use the money to make Costa Rica a truly green and intelligent digital society.
Casa Presidencial said that the telecom fund would use the resources for specific projects in infrastrcuture, connectivity, health, education and public access with an emphasis on vulnerable populations. It said details would come later.

In addition the telecom fund will work with a national project to expand the Internet band that Casa Presidencial said would be announced in the coming weeks. The idea for the project is to put Costa Rica at the head of the more advanced nations in digital connectivity, it said.

The project seemed to have the trappings of social work because Casa Presidencial said that the objective is to reduce the social digital divide to guarantee that the citizenry has access to digital tools. Another goal is to improve the competitivty of the productive sector, it said.

The cell phone concessions stem from the Costa Rican-U.S. Free Trade Treaty. Also under that treaty, private firms began offering Internet service, both wired and wireless. The telecom fund appears to be going into competition with these private firms.

A.M. Costa Rica has reported that one problem with providing universal Internet access is that service personnel and installers are robbed when they try to do their work in some of the rougher neighborhoods. In addition, customers with wireless systems there are clear targets for burglars seeking computers.

Tax plan to be published digitally as lawmakers dump paper
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The central government's new tax plan is generating rumbles in political circles, but most are prepared to wait to see the actual law before passing judgment.

The Asamblea Legislativa has set up a place for the law, No. 17.959, on its Web site, but the space is empty. The measure is expected to be published in the La Gaceta shortly. But it will not be on paper.

The legislature and the Imprenta Nacional agreed Tuesday to publish all proposed laws, approved laws and some other documents only in digital form on the public printer's Web site.

The legislative spokespersons said that this will represent a large savings of money for that branch of the government because it will not be buying paper that will end up as trash.

The Imprenta Nacional has agreed to reduce the per line charge by 50 percent for publishing public documents only on the Web page.

The Imprenta publishes the Gaceta, which comes out each workday in both paper and digital editions.
Among the first proposed laws that will be made public under this system is the Chinchilla administration tax plan.

The new proposal got the green light from the nation's lawyer, the Procuraduría General de la República, and takes advantage of the digital signature bill that can validate Internet documents.

Lawmakers spent 216 billion colons in 2009 on required legal printing in the Gaceta, a summary said.

Mario Zamora, a vice minister in Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública, said the new technology will provide better access for citizens.

That ministry supervised the printing operation.

The legislature now joins many other organizations that are moving away from the printed page in order to save on the increasing cost of paper. In addition, documents on the Internet can be searched and located a number of ways.

The legislature maintains the Web and provides periodic updates of the text of proposed laws as they move through the legislative process. Under the country's laws, proposed legislation has to be published when it is proposed officially and again after it is approved.

Hemispheric Business

Del Rey accommodations

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

classified ad

Real estate
About us

What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2011 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

Prima dental
A.M. Costa Rica's
Fourth news page
renes law firm
Real estate
About us

San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011, Vol. 11, No. 13

Costa Rica report promo
Tamarindo Sports fishing

World Bank says developing countries promote recovery

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The world economy is moving from a post-crisis bounce-back phase of the recovery to slower but still solid growth this year and next, with developing countries contributing almost half of global growth, says the World Bank’s latest Global Economic Prospects 2011.

The World Bank estimates that global gross domestic product, which expanded by 3.9 percent in 2010, will slow to 3.3 percent in 2011, before it reaches 3.6 percent in 2012. Developing countries are expected to grow 7 percent in 2010, 6 percent in 2011 and 6.1 percent in 2012. They will continue to outstrip growth in high-income countries, which is projected at 2.8 percent in 2010, 2.4 percent in 2011 and 2.7 percent in 2012.

The Latin America and Caribbean region has emerged from the global crisis well compared with its own past performance and the pace of recovery in other regions, the World Bank said.

After contracting by 2.2 percent in 2009, gross domestic product is estimated to have expanded 5.7 percent in 2010, similar to the average growth recorded during the 2004-2007 boom years, it added. Growth is forecast to slow somewhat to around 4 percent in 2011 and 2012, largely because of a weaker external environment as growth in advanced economies and China moderates. Several countries in the region have been subject to potentially destabilizing capital inflows that have contributed to strong upward pressure on some currencies, it noted.

In most developing countries, gross domestic product has regained levels that would have prevailed had there been no boom-bust cycle, said the World Bank. While steady growth is projected through 2012, the recovery in several economies in emerging Europe and Central Asia and in some high-income countries is tentative. Without corrective domestic policies, high household debt and unemployment, and weak housing and banking sectors are likely to mute the recovery.

“On the upside, strong developing-country domestic demand growth is leading the world economy, yet
persistent financial sector problems in some high-income
countries are still a threat to growth and require urgent policy actions,” said Justin Yifu Lin, the World Bank’s chief economist and senior vice president for development economics.

Net international equity and bond flows to developing countries rose sharply in 2010, rising by 42 percent and 30 percent respectively, with nine countries receiving the bulk of the increase in inflows. Foreign direct investment to developing countries rose a more modest 16 percent in 2010, reaching $410 billion after falling 40 percent in 2009. An important part of the rebound is due to rising South-South investments, particularly originating in Asia.

“The pickup in international capital flows reinforced the recovery in most developing countries,” said Hans Timmer, director of development prospects at the World Bank. “However, heavy inflows to certain big middle-income economies may carry risks and threaten medium-term recovery, especially if currency values rise suddenly or if asset bubbles emerge.”

Most low-income countries saw trade gains in 2010 and, overall, their gross domestic product rose 5.3 percent in 2010, according to the report. This was supported by a pick-up in commodity prices, and to a lesser extent in remittances and tourism. Their prospects are projected to strengthen even more, with growth of 6.5 percent in both 2011 and 2012, respectively.

According to the report, current relatively high food prices are having a mixed impact. In many economies, dollar depreciation, improved local conditions, and rising prices for goods and services means that the real price of food has not risen as much as the U.S. dollar price of internationally traded food commodities.

“However, double-digit price increases of key staples in the past few months are pressuring households in countries with an already-existing high burden of poverty and malnutrition. And, if global food prices rise further along with other key commodities, a repeat of the conditions in 2008 cannot be excluded,” cautioned Andrew Burns, manager of global macroeconomics in the World Bank’s Prospects Group.

classified ad

Real estate
About us

What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2011 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

Costa Rica's
fifth news page

For your international reading pleasure:

News of Nicaragua
News of Central America
News of Cuba      News of Venezuela
News of Colombia    
News of Panamá
News of El Salvador

News of Honduras
News of the Dominican Republic
News of Bolivia     News of Ecuador
Real estate
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011, Vol. 11, No. 13

Medical vacations in Costa Rica

Ex-dictator faces charges
for his regime in Haiti

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Authorities in Haiti have charged former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier with corruption, theft and misappropriation of funds two days after he made an unexpected return to his homeland after 25 years in exile in France.

Duvalier, who was not wearing handcuffs, waved to a crowd that had assembled outside the Hotel Karibe as police led him to a waiting car Tuesday.

Human rights groups, such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, are urging Haitian authorities to prosecute Duvalier for abuses committed during his 15-year rule, which ended with a popular uprising in 1986.

Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, told reporters in Geneva Tuesday that Duvalier's surprise return to Haiti brings up issues of accountability and impunity.  "It's not clear if Haiti is in a position to arrest and charge Jean-Claude Duvalier for anything at this point, but it's something we are looking into right now," he said.

Colville said it is conceivable that charges could be filed. "There are major issues surrounding him such as  considerable range of human rights abuses that took place in Haiti during the 15 years he was in power, especially by the Tontons Macoutes, also, of course, other issues such as corruption," he said.

Duvalier, known as "Baby Doc," assumed power in 1971 at the age of 19, upon the death of his father, Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier.  The elder Duvalier was elected president in 1957 and later declared himself president for life.

The regime of both Duvaliers was characterized by repression and the use of a paramilitary force known as the Tontons Macoutes, which brutally cracked down on the Haitian people.

In recent years, the World Bank has commended Haitian and Swiss officials for their attempts to recover about $6 million in allegedly stolen assets that are held by the Duvalier family in Swiss banks.  Authorities say those assets have been frozen since 1986.

Duvalier has not publicly explained his reasons for returning to his homeland after nearly 25 years in exile.  He had been expected to hold a news conference Tuesday. 

U.S. State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters in Washington that the United States did not know about Duvalier's return in advance. Crowley said the French government first notified U.S. officials about an hour before Duvalier's plane landed in Port-au-Prince Sunday.

Crowley called Duvalier's return "one more complication" in an already challenging situation. "If I look at the list of challenges that Haiti faces today, having a former dictator return to Haiti just adds to Haiti's ongoing burden. But, as to his status in the country and what happens, this is a matter for the government of Haiti and the people of Haiti," he said.

Crowley said he understood that Duvalier was meeting with Haitian government and legal officials Tuesday afternoon.

Speaking in broad terms, White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters that current or former political actors should not be focused on themselves, but on the best outcome for the Haitian people.

Duvalier's return comes at a time of turmoil in Haiti.  The country is contending with November's disputed elections, last January's massive earthquake that ravaged the capital and killed more than 200,000 people, and an ongoing cholera epidemic that has claimed more than 3,000 lives.
News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news and sports feeds are disabled on archived pages.
BBC sports news up to the minute

Casa Alfi

classified ad

Real estate
About us

What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2011 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

Looking for a story from a past edition?

See our search page
Real estate
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011, Vol. 11, No. 13

Costa Rica Reprot promo

Latin American news
Please reload page if feed does not appear promptly
Restrictions at autopista
will last until Thursday

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The transport ministry has closed all but two lanes of the Autopista General Cañas at the Río Virilla bridge to allow work on repair to continue. Workmen are pouring concrete and tearing out old concrete at the bridge.

The road will be restricted until 6 a.m. Thursday, said the ministry.

This is the point where there has been a major traffic jam most of the daytimes as workmen tore out concrete and made repairs on the interior two lanes of the bridge.

Traffic police have been trying to keep three lanes open, but with the new work on other lanes, only one lane will be open in either direction, said the ministry.

This is the famous platina bridge, so named because of the piece of steel that resisted all efforts to tack it down. The metal was over a bridge expansion joint, and it moved around so much that it caused motorists to slow down. There were a number of jokes, videos and other attempts at humor about the bridge, all of which was an embarrassment to the transport ministry.

Robbery-murder nets teen
15 years in prison

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A 17 year old got 15 years in prison Tuesday for the robbery-murder of 19-year-old Rigoberto Montero Umaña Jan. 18, 2009 in Escazú.

The 17 year old was not identified by the Poder Judicial.

The sentence came in the Juzgado Penal Juvenil de San José. The murder happened about 6:30 p.m. when Montero, a high school student, put up resistance when two men tried to steal his cell telephone. He was shot in the neck and died after some time in a hospital.

The youth faced a charge of murder in the commission of a crime.

The sentence will be reviewed and a reduction is likely.

Marijuana craft crewmen
give patrol boats the slip

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The U.S. Coast Guard chased a fishing boat loaded with marijuana into Costa Rican territorial waters in the Caribbean, but the fleeing crew was able to dock the boat and flee before Costa Rican Guardacoastas caught up with them.

The security ministry said that the cargo of the boat was known because the crew started dumping marijuana into the sea when they saw the U.S. Coast Guard boat approaching.

The origin of the marijuana was not known. Typically seagoing smugglers move cocaine. That the smugglers docked at Matina suggests that they might be local.

Boats of the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas participated in the attempted interception. They were from the stations at Barra del Colorado, Limón and Aguadulce.

Latin American news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

classified ad

Real estate
About us

What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2011 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details