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Robbers take turtle eggs at gunpoint at Moín nursery
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Armed men on the Caribbean coast have invaded a turtle nesting project and made off with 1,500 eggs presumably for sale.

That was the report from the environmental ministry, which said Thursday that security is being beefed up for the protection of the endangered leatherback and olive ridley turtles.

The ministry said that armed individuals raided the turtle conservation facility in Moín Monday. Present at the private facility was an employee and foreign volunteers. They were held at gunpoint and tied up.

The Ministerio de Ambiente, Energía y Telecomunicaciones said that employees of the Área de Conservación la Amistad Caribe and the Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación inspected the scene. The project fences off turtle nests to keep out predators and egg thieves.
The ministry said it was calling on the Fuerza Pública, the Policía Turística and other agencies to provide security to the site and similar locations.

The ministry said that officials presume that the robbers planned to sell the eggs in the area. Ana Lorena Guevara, an environmental vice minister, called on the population to also protect what she said was the emblematic species.

This is probably the first armed robbery of turtle eggs.

The theft of turtle eggs is epidemic on both coasts. This may be one reason for declining turtle populations. There is little formal control along the Caribbean coast and eating turtle eggs and even turtles is traditional although now illegal.

On the Pacific there is a project that allows locals to harvest the eggs of early arriving turtles.

That program has generated criticism.


He's the bird man of the Plaza de la Cultura
By Shahrazad Encinias Vela
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Plaza de la Cultura is one of San José's most visited points. It is in downtown and ideally located next to tourist hot-spots. But what isn't mentioned in the guidebooks is that there is a man who does not fear the mass of pigeons that hover over the plaza. He said he rather enjoys their company everyday.

Jorge Jiménez is the friendly pigeon man of the Plaza de la Cultura. He walks around tossing food to the birds and, in return, the birds express their appreciation with extreme fluttering over the petite, elderly man.

Everyday after his lunch, Jiménez takes the bus from his home in Concepción to the plaza and spends a few hours feeding and hanging out with the pigeons. Or until it rains, he said. He has a bag full of salted or whole wheat bread crumbs that he feeds the birds.

From a distance, he can be seen surrounded by the pigeons. He was spotted by a reporter Wednesday because he had a pigeon on his head, and he seemed to like it. When he sat down, the birds used him as a live obstacle course. Some sat on his lap, others grabbed onto his forearm. There were a few pigeons that sat on his shoulder like a parrot. Jiménez didn't mind the uncanny resemblance to the Alfred Hitchcock-directed film “The Birds.” Instead he smiled and grabbed a pigeon to throw him in the air. The bird flew and wasn't hurt.

Jiménez isn't like those who visit the area and fear a dropping from a bird. Instead he comes prepared.
friend to pigeons
A.M. Costa Rica/Shahrazad Encinias Vela
Jorge Jiménez and his friends

He said on occasion he is soiled but that's why he carries a damp piece of cloth to clean up a mess.

He said he has been going to the Plaza de la Cultura for years. He said he doesn't know the exact number of years because it's been part of his daily regimen for so long he lost track in the count. “I come here everyday because it beats staying at home by myself,” said Jiménez.

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Tax plan is not dead,
president's aides say


By Shahrazad Encinias Vela
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

It's been more than a week since the Sala IV shot down the president's tax package, but members of the cabinet believe there is still a chance to pass the unpopular measure.

Their faith is so strong, there is no plan for an alternative fiscal plan, said Francisco Chacón, minister of Comunicaciones. The plan includes a 14 percent value-added tax.

While the government resolves the issue with the fiscal plan, President Laura Chinchilla Miranda and a vice president signed an interim decree to try to slow the country's deficit Wednesday night. Thursday the executive branch pressed to the legislature a proposed  Ley Para el Manejo Eficiente de las Finanzas Públicas or “law for the efficient management of public finances.” President Chinchilla announced her actions in a television address to the people.

Luis Liberman, the vice president involved, and Chacón gave a workshop to journalists Thursday morning inside Casa Presidencial to explain the new decree that will freeze all pay raises within the hierarchy of the central government, including the salary of the president, ministers and vice-ministers.

“If nothing is done, we will continue to spend. This will allow us to breathe. It will reduce an explosive debt,” said Liberman.

All salaries frozen are for those on the government who get paid more than three million colons a month, about $6,000.

As part of the new measure, the government will sell off all unused property not vital to the central mission, such as parking lots and vacant fincas, according to the president's plan.

“What's being sold is what the government doesn't need, unnecessary property,” Liberman said.

Government properties such as the Asamblea Legislativa and the Casa Presidencial won't be sold, Liberman said. If property is sold, it will be done in a transparent matter, he added. There is no date as to when the government property sale will begin. The starting point is as soon as Wednesday's decree is published in La Gaceta official newspaper. The announcement of individual sales could take from days to weeks, said the vice president. He did not specify any properties that might be on the block. Casa Presidential in Zapote is, in fact, rented by the central government.

Another measure that is part of the president's plan is a method of electronic registering of sales. Not many companies in the country use this modern method, the journalists were told.

The decree also gives a long list of items exempt from sales tax and said that the idea was to protect individuals with low incomes. What will be taxed now are luxury items that include caviar, salmon, rice for paella, kiwi, peaches, plums, cherries and bottled water.

 
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.
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A.M. Costa Rica Third News Page
 San José, Costa Rica, Friday, April 20, 2012, Vol. 12, No. 79
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Agents round up 17 as suspects in massive cable theft ring
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Investigators detained 17 persons Thursday in what they said was an organized group that stole copper telephone wire and sold it to a recycling company for export.

One of those detained was a man with the last name of Rojas who was identified by agents as the recycling firm manager.

Agents made raids at the Barrio Cristo Rey installation of Ticoexporta S.A., which is associated with Grupo Rosure, a recycling firm. Also raided was a Grupo Rosure facility in Cartago and the company's storage facilities in Dos Ríos. Many homes also were the scene of arrests.

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad said later that it lost 2 billion colons in 2011 replacing stolen copper cables. That is about $4 million. Investigators attributed thefts of up to 100  million colons or $200,000 to the individuals detained Thursday.
Agents also raided a home in Patarrá, Desamparados, where they said they found bags of copper cable.

The arrests were coordinated by the organized crime task force. A hearing is planned for today in the courts in Pococí, said the Poder Judicial.

Agents said the group operated mainly in Limón, Guápiles and San José. The stolen cable was taken to San José for eventual export, they said.

Clean copper from cables can fetch between 1,500 and 3,200 colons, about $3 to $6. Of course, the replacement cost to the telephone company is much higher, not counting the discomfort to the customers who have had their phone lines stolen.

The Poder Judicial said that this was the first time that they encountered an organized gang in the cable theft business. Usually the suspects are one or several individuals.


Agents search Escazú home of former minister of finance
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial agents late Thursday afternoon searched the San Rafael de Escazú home of former finance minister Fernando Herrero. They confiscated a portable computer as evidence, said the Poder Judicial.

Teams of agents also entered the offices of the Procesos firm in Sabana Sur and also of Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo in Calle Blanco.

This was part of the investigation for possible trafficking of influence. The searches began at 8:30 a.m. coordinated by the Fiscalía de Probidad, Transparencia y Anticorrupción, the anti-corruption prosecutor.  The raid at the Herrero home was at 5:30 p.m. 
In just three short weeks Herrero and his wife, Flor Isabel Rodríguez, have gone from being leading members of the Laura Chinchilla administration to suspects.

The investigation stems from a contract awarded without formal bidding to the Procesos by the state refining agency. A handful of top officials wrote letters endorsing the firm, founded by Herrero and now run by his wife. She was a former aide to the president until the daily La Nación disclosed late last month that the couple had understated the value of an Escazú rental property for 10 years. Then there was additional tax problems and now the issue with the refinery contract and another one in the neighborhood of $800,000 with the education ministry.

The Poder Judicial said that agents sequestered documents during their searches.


Quick trip to the market tickles the pleasure centers
 I have been feeling really punky for a couple of weeks now.  No energy and not being able to imagine myself doing much but get out of bed to make my espresso that at least helps me to get started. 

Thanks to a lift from James, I finally got to San Juan de Dios to make an appointment with a specialist that the internist at my clinic said I needed to do.  (Note to all members of Caja:  have all of your necessary papers with you, including proof of payment and appointment card for the right hospital before you try to make an appointment).  This time I had everything but my receipt and went to another office to certify that I was a member in good standing. 

By the time my turn at the appointment window came, I was worn out.  The girl behind the window stamped a few papers and handed them back.  When I asked when the appointment was for, she told me a date in September.  Surprised, I said, “I’ll be dead by then.”  She shrugged as if to say, “That’s what they all say.”  And some of them are probably right, I muttered to myself.

Outside I wanted to catch a taxi and go home immediately.  I crossed the street, but Paseo Colon was still one way headed for town at that hour, and my frugality won out.  By walking just a block and a half (down an incline) I could catch a taxi headed in the right direction and save a few colons. 

I walked to Avenida Central and found myself going past the smaller Central Market.  It has been ages since I have wandered through the maze that is the market, so I went in.  After looking at the vegetables, the fish and the meat, I asked where the spice and herb kiosk was, and actually found it.  There I bought cinnamon and black pepper in bulk.  Another day I shall ask what those brightly colored piles are.  On the way out I bought three pieces of chicheron, (deep fried pieces of pork), knowing their questionable health benefits.  Then I wandered some more, aware that I was feeling very capable of doing so.  My exhaustion was gone.  Instead of a taxi, I caught a bus back to Sabana Norte. 

That was all I needed – a dose of downtown and the Central Market.  Once home, I eyed my office/bedroom and groaned.  The mess was still there and Nina is still coming.  A phone call from Carol changed that, too.  She reminded me (in response to last week’s complaint about the chaos in the room) that she was in the business of helping people to organize.  I made an appointment immediately.  And this week I am sitting in a pristinely neat office, with a cleared bed, and where I actually have things I need, if not at my fingertips, at least where I can see them.  What a pleasure.

Now if every day could be like that, I would be one happy camper.  I realize that we all need exercise, but the little exercise I get in my neighborhood or walking around my large apartment doesn’t make me feel full of energy. 
Butterfly in the City
 
. . .  Musings from San José

By Jo Stuart
jostuart@amcostarica.com

Jo Stuart

fish at Mercado Centrl
A.M. Costa Ric file photo 
Vendor at central market offers up a 12-pound snapper.

Downtown San José and the Central Market have always been a lure to me and a pleasure to walk around in, so I think there must be pleasure involved.

In fact there is evidence that this is true in both science and literature.  Years ago when I was doing research on aggression and social deprivation, I came across “The Pleasure Areas” by British physiologist, H.G. Campbell. Curious, I checked it out.  A researcher had discovered by accident, that right next to the pain centers of the brain are the pleasure areas.  Zapping the pleasure areas in lab animals had them pushing the lever for new zaps, ignoring food or sleep, until they dropped with exhaustion.  Campbell’s theory is that seeking pleasure was not just in the service of survival and reproduction, but was an end in itself.  According to him, "There is reason to believe that the driving force in the whole of the animal kingdom is the pursuit of pleasure . . . ."   

It has made me curious about the current experimentation with depression — if the part of the brain they are stimulating are in the pleasure areas. 

One depressed patient said that stimulating her brain triggered pleasant memories of the past, which simply made her happy.

Proust discovered this when he tasted a madeleine in “Remembrance of Things Past.”   I never thought I would say that Proust and I had anything in common, but obviously the Mercado is my madeleine.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, April 20, 2012, Vol. 12, No. 79
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Our readers comment on unemployment and sex trade raid
Employment rate base
is not entire population


Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

In his letter published April 19, Mr. Joe Sullivan states that 8.2 percent of the U.S. population of some 312.8 million people out of work renders an unemployed population of some 25.6 million people. The arithmetic is correct, but Mr. Sullivan's underlying assumption is flawed.

When computing an unemployment rate, one can only consider that portion of the population which is eligible and available for work. To arrive at that number, one must first deduct from the total population those children too young to work, retirees, the elderly, the disabled, those who elect not to be employed outside their homes, those youth enrolled in colleges and universities who are not available to work, active duty military members, the incarcerated, that portion of the population who live outside the country, and probably others. Once those groups are removed from the population under consideration, a genuine unemployment rate can be computed.

Mr. Sullivan's point about the "off-shoring" of 3.4 million jobs every year, however, is compelling. Sooner or later, the impact must be felt.
David C. Murray
Grecia, Alajuela


Prostitution is better
than rocky marriages


Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Marriage is one of our most cherished institutions. Most everyone has been married or wanted to be married at one time or another.

Let’s look at marriage from a statistical point of view. It has a 50 percent failure rate: divorce. Married women have one of the highest homicide rate. Married men or formerly married men have the highest suicide rate.

You see when people first get married they have what I call puppy love, and as time goes by they start to fight like cats and dogs. Some more time goes along, and they fight some more and eventually find away of getting along or get divorced. Sometimes things gets so violent and a husband shoots his wife and then kills himself.

Also many men kill themselves when they get despondent over a failed marriage. Men have four times the suicide rate as women, and its from bad marriages. They get so disillusioned with their failed marriages, they kill themselves.

Here's what I like about prostitution: no fighting, no screaming, no yelling, no black eyes, no fat lips, no broken bones, no stabbing, no bullet holes, no dead wives, no shaken babies, no abandoned children, no ferial children, no dead children, no lawyers, no judges, no courts, no divorce, no alimony, no child support, no prison time, no in-laws, no screwy relatives, no lying, no cheating, no letting someone down, no hating of your partner, no maneuvering for power, no back stabbing, no backbiting, no whining, no expensive rituals.

It’s not for everybody, that’s for sure, but we are becoming more of a single population every year. It’s just an exchange of sex and companionship for money, for a mutually beneficial relationship. If we can just pull prostitution out of the gutter and make it a clean, safe, heathy, friendly situation for both men and women, putting it in a safe sort of clinical type format (men, women’s and gay’s clinics). Please let's look at the oldest profession in a different light.

So what's the solution? I don’t know, people should be married, but it doesn’t look too promising, if you look at the stats. 50 percent get divorced, 35 percent are held together by family pressures and economics,with 15 percent who truly cannot live without the other. So many people get married because Cindy is so cute or Larry is so cool and they end up hating each other for the rest of their lives.

This is why I like prostitution it’s a way for people to get together and getting that human touch without hating each other forever. I remember most of the prostitutes that I have been with over the years, and not one do I hate. A couple I would not like to be with again. They were just not very much fun, but gees, I didn’t kill them, or get depressed, and kill myself.

Every year 75 women are killed in domestic violence in Costa Rica, In the last five years no prostitutes have been murdered. Shouldn't we be going to churches and standing outside and show pictures of murdered women. If we went to these murdered women's homes and looked through their photo albums and looked at their wedding photos. you would see pictures of the wedding ceremony. Then there would be pictures of the reception, and there would be photos of dancing, kissing, cutting of cake, hugging, smily, just full of optimism.

Guess what? Men and women don't get along well for long periods of time. We have many internal differences and many many external differences. Is prostitution perfect? No,but its fun, and who doesn't enjoy sex ?
John Nutter
Calle Blancos

A.M. Costa Rica
welcomes letters
for our readers
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Send them to
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The situation is fault
of a corrupt government

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:
       
Regarding the recent guest editorial commenting on the recent sex trade raid.

I find the comments of Mr. Morris very educational and theoretically correct, that the time spent by the Rehab Foundation and the fear-generating black shirts produced nothing much more than a press and photo op to show that the government is a concerned matriarch, and of course no one, none of the contractors would have taken the time to complete the “interview” outside the hotel.

I thought I had read that 27 working girls had immigration issues and were ordered to attend the immigration offices to sort out their papers, and a man was arrested for immigration irregularities. However that arrest or detention happened outside of the raid. True, a higher proportion of women with issues would have been found elsewhere if the money and gathering of troops would have targeted the back street massage parlors. But to sell anything, sex, new cars, or that a distracted government is committed to the reduction of crime, pick on the big boys. Sex sells all, including the news.

To state that “Genuine victims of sex trafficking (as opposed to voluntary immigrants) are more apt to be found in the downscale brothels,” is not entirely correct, because to ask a woman to play nicely with a usually overweight, alcohol fueled, and Vigara-charged Gringo is the ultimate of sex trafficking. It is too simplistic, and I put the blame squarely on the government that encourages it by credit-based economics and a lack of a true social support system.

The lure of money and a chance to keep the bills paid is a strong magnet, and the options are what: Live with an often abusive spouse who will forcefully confiscate the night's take or work in a Mcjob that offers less than a living wage?  There is no feeling within these women who punch a card in the Pink Palace of entitlement or power, just an overpowering need to balance the family and/or personal finances because there is nothing more strong a motivator to do whatever it takes than hunger in the eyes of the babies.

This bankrupt and often morally corrupt government needs to offer more support, more opportunity for a living wage, and offer better opportunities for corporations and industries to locate in the land of Pura Vida rather than to continue to promote itself as nothing more than a tourist destination. Women and their families need to be able to live safely and know that there is food in the fridge. Then maybe they can start with some long-term planning of their lives.

One last thought, is it hypocritical that A.M. Costa Rica freely promotes The Rey and its offerings, perhaps a boycott of this type of advertising would send a message, it’s time to rethink what this country is all about. But then again, the ads would just appear elsewhere, at a loss to this paper, and no owner/publisher would want that.
Ray Landry
Cajon, Grecia

Extreme feminist agenda
wants to control freedoms


Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Yes, the emperor has no clothes.

The editorial was a small step in the general direction of what is the more important point: the disguised promotion of extreme feminist agenda. Why does the author perceive the sex trade a problem? Is it a problem in Nevada? His perception of the sex trade is a result of feminist indoctrination.

Groups like Fundación Rehab say freedom is the issue, and in reality freedom is the issue. It’s just that they want to choose which freedoms women can indulge. Freedom to dress like a puta in front of a church thereby insulting the majority of traditional Ticos during a slut walk — yes. Freedom to dress in the same manner and participate in victimless actions between consenting adults — no.
 
Many of these foundations are hypocrites purveying extreme feminism. The same feminism that spits in the eye of traditional values and leaves homes motherless as most feminist see being a stay-at-home mother as a second-class job.
 
The whoring is going on in Hollywood with their extreme progressive values plastered all over the big and small screen. Men continually degraded by the almost obligatory kick to the groin and following laugh track. Have you ever seen a woman kick a man in the groin in a Colombian soap opera? If the sexes are equal, than why does Hollywood not show women kicked in the groin by men with the corresponding laugh track in tow?
 
This is the extreme progressives prostituting the U.S. film industry for their financial gain. Who are the real whores? The result? Traditional cultures run airplanes into tall towers to try to protect their women from Hollywood perversion and male denigration. Traditional valued white men have been seen as the oppressors for too long. It’s time to say enough.
 
Sex tourism is less harmful than drinking and gambling. I don't see anyone taking the moral high ground against alcohol addiction that ruins people health and family, and gambling that can be financially devastating. Both are going on in the same casino along with the sex trade… well?
 
Fundación Rehab is a guide to promoting the radical feminist agenda. Just as the puta walk was not about discrimination and violence perpetrated on women, but rather promoting the feminist’s anti-motherhood, anti-traditional family values agenda. Yes. the emperor has no clothes...
Phil Baker
Costa Rica

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A.M. Costa Rica's
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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, April 20, 2012, Vol. 12, No. 79
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Medical vacations in Costa Rica

Hemisphere poised for week
of vaccination programs

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

With the goal of vaccinating some 44 million people, 45 countries and territories of the Americas are set to participate in the 10th annual Vaccination Week in the Americas as well as the first-ever World Immunization Week, both from Monday through April 28.

More than 365 people of all ages have been vaccinated during the past nine years in campaigns carried out within the framework of Vaccination Week in the Americas. This year, the campaign’s slogan is “For you, for me, for everyone: Get vaccinated.”

The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization has supported Vaccination Week in the Americas since 2003, when it was first launched. The initiative’s success has provided inspiration for other regions of the world, which this year have joined together for the first World Immunization Week.

“Vaccination Week in the Americas is an extraordinary achievement that has significantly advanced immunization in our region,” said Mirta Roses Periago, Pan American Health Organization director. “Now the whole world is joining the effort to expand and protect the achievements of vaccination.”

The countries of the Americas have been world leaders in the elimination and reduction of vaccine-preventable diseases. The region was the first to eradicate smallpox (in 1971) and to eliminate polio (in 1991). The last endemic case of measles in the Americas was reported in 2002, and the last endemic case of rubella in 2009. Nearly all countries have eliminated neonatal tetanus as a public health problem. And diseases including diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough have been significantly reduced thanks to vaccination coverage averaging 93 percent in children under 1 year.

Despite such successes, many children in the Americas have not completed their vaccination schedules, and hard-to-reach populations continue to have lower rates of vaccination coverage. Vaccination Week in the Americas was launched to close these gaps and protect the region’s hard-won achievements.

Immunization is one of the most cost-effective and successful tools in public health, and prevents an estimated 2–3 million deaths each year around the world the hemispheric health agency noted..

This year, countries and territories will deploy vaccines against a wide range of diseases, including polio, measles, rubella, mumps, diphtheria, whooping cough, neonatal tetanus, influenza and yellow fever, among others. All vaccines have been pre-qualified by the World Health Organization to guarantee their quality and safety.

Health workers, volunteers and health authorities are gearing up to participate in what has become the region’s largest multi-country health event. A number of celebrities are supporting this year’s effort, including Chilean TV host Don Francisco and Venezuelan singer Ricardo Montaner. Other celebrities promoting this year’s event include Cuban-American actor William Levy, Colombian singer Juanes, Spanish dancer Joaquín Cortés, and Venezuelan singer Carlos Baute.

Following launching activities during last week’s Sixth Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, countries throughout the hemisphere will hold similar launches starting Monday. Haiti will be the site of the first of these activities, as it was 10 years ago when the first Vaccination Week in the Americas was launched. Other launches will be held on Tuesday in Las Palmas, on the triple border of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala; and May 4 in Barbados, for the Caribbean subregion.

Globally, more than 180 countries and territories are set to participate in the first World Immunization Week, whose slogan is “Protect your world: get vaccinated.” Europe will emphasize the importance of measles vaccination. Southeast Asian countries will carry out their own vaccination week for the first time this year. The eastern Mediterranean will use the slogan “reaching every community.” Africa will emphasize polio vaccination, with the slogan “An unimmunized child is one too many. Give polio the final push." Thirty-one countries in the western Pacific are planning to participate in World Immunization Week.


Zoellick speaks critically
of Argentine takeover


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The president of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick, criticized Argentina's plans to nationalize its largest oil company.

Addressing a news conference in Washington on Thursday, Zoellick cautioned policy makers against moves based on populism and protectionism that could hurt the economy.

"I think it’s a mistake, and I think it’s a symptom that we have to watch out for . . . , " he said.

The Argentine government announced plans earlier this week to take over YPF, an Argentine unit of Spain's Repsol.

The government said the move was intended to boost oil output. Spain has sharply criticized the plan.

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Latin America news
Expotur inauguration set
for evening of May 9

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The 27th edition of Expotur, the tourism marketplace, is next month.

The principal days are May 10 and 11, a Thursday and a Friday. The inauguration of the event is the evening of May 9, according to a preliminary schedule posted on the Web site of the sponsor, the Asociación de Costarricense de Profesionales en Turismo. That will be at 7 p.m. in the Teatro Nacional.

The venue for the exposition is, as usual, the Centro de Convenciones del Hotel Ramada Plaza Herradura. That is where sellers of tourism services meet with buyers, mainly international ones.

Saturday, May 12, is designated as a time for exhibitors to remove their promotional stands.


Yoga and art combined
for Saturday event


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Art, yoga, meditation and music will be combined Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon at the Museo de Arte Costarricense, located in Sabana Park. The purpose of this activity, YOGARTE, is to support an environmental foundation, Aliados Cambio Climático, which focuses on planting trees in order to reduce carbon emissions.

The event guided tour through the museum at 9 a.m., visiting the exhibitions as well as the sculptures in the garden of the museum. Afterward, at 10 a.m., yoga instructors Nango Murray and Vanessa Cavallini will be giving lessons in two separate classes, one for beginners and one for experienced persons. At 11 a.m. a meditation lesson will take place in the Salón Dorado, a room with a mural by a French-Costa Rican artist, Luis Ferón Parizot. This activity is accompanied by live music by Carlos "Tapado" Vargas of the group Editus and Malpaís. Participants for the yoga and meditation session must be adults over 18 years and every participant should bring his or her own yoga mat.

The activity has space for 80 participants, the museum said. Its goal is for visitors to embrace art and culture while supporting an environmental cause and creating awareness about climate change.


Mixed martial arts contest
set for Playas del Coco


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Playas del Coco is the location for an international mixed martial arts contest set for April 28.

Professional and amateur athletes from a league in the United States and fighters in Costa Rica will compete for the title of champion of the Coco Beach Brawl.

The headliner is the fight between Evan Vasquez of Costa Rica and Laverne Clark, from the United States. Both have impressive cage fighting and boxing records. There is a card of 12 fights.

The doors open up at 4 p.m. at the Playa del Coco bull ring. It is open to the public and for all ages. Admission ranges from $10 to $50.

The event is organized by Coco Beach Hotel, Stapper Advertising Group, and Pacific Palms Backpackers Resort.









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