A.M. Costa Rica

Your daily English-language 
news source
Monday through Friday

(506) 223-1327        Published Friday, May 5, 2006, in Vol. 6, No. 89         E-mail us    
Jo Stuart
About us

Yellow lines show the extent of the present Global Crossing network

Nation signs pact to beef up Internet capacity
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The U.S. Internet cable company Global Crossings will hook up Costa Rica to its Pacific network by the end of 2007, the company said Thursday.

The firm entered into a $30 million agreement Thursday with the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad and its Internet subsidiary Radiográfica Costarricense S.A.

The new cable will provide extra capacity for Costa Rica's international Internet connections which are becoming increasingly congested.

Global Crossing has an undersea cable that runs from Panamá to Los Angeles. Under terms of the agreement, a cable link will come on shore at Pacific community of Esterillos where it will connect to the Costa Rican network.

Global Crossing said that Costa Rica will gain direct access to a network that serves more than 600 cities in 60 countries. The project requires additional governmental approval, such as from the Contraloria de la República.

As part of the cable agreement, Global Crossing said that it will donate 155.5 megabytes per second of bandwidth to the Costa Rican academic sector, the largest donation of its kind in the history of the country.

In turn, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, known as ICE, and Radiográfica Costarricense S.A., known as RACSA, said they would buy 3.7 gigabytes per second of bandwidth.

The increased bandwidth is critical to the Internet development of the country because ICE is beginning to offer voice-over-Internet telephone calls and available space on the country's two Caribbean international cables is diminishing.

A signing ceremony to seal the deal took place Thursday in San José.

"Latin America continues to be an integral part
of our global strategy, and we're building on our successes in this region by extending our core network to Costa Rica," said John Legere, chief executive officer of Global Crossing. "This agreement provides ICE/RACSA with a robust solution for worldwide connectivity from the Pacific coast, and enables the delivery of seamless, premier IP solutions to Costa Rican based businesses and end users taking advantage of all the benefits of world-class Global Crossing network."

Global Crossing has operational facilities in 12 of the region's major cities. Through its sub-sea and land cable systems, Global Crossing connects South America, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean to the rest of its global network, delivering services to customers around the world.

Costa Rica will be connected to the PAC system, which currently reaches land in Balboa, Panamá, and Mazatlan and Tijuana, Mexico. With its regional network officially completed in 2001, Global Crossing now serves virtually all of Latin America's major carriers as well as many Latin American companies, research and educational networks, and global companies operating in the region.

Also in direct response to rapid growth of customer demand, Global Crossing recently announced it will be making upgrades to its Mid-Atlantic Crossing system, which connects North America to Latin America through the Caribbean.

The improved Internet structure is expected to bring increased direct investment to Costa Rica within a year of implementation, officials said.

"This agreement is the culmination of an ongoing, cooperative effort between ICE, RACSA and Global Crossing, and is a tremendous accomplishment for all involved," said José Antonio Ríos, Global Crossing's international president, who attended the signing ceremony. "We look forward to playing a key role in advancing Costa Rica's economic goal of becoming an ideal business partner."

exchange rate
to our
daily digest

our site

Send us
a news story

Real estate ads

Ads for

ad info

ad info

Contact us
Our stats

A.M. Costa Rica

Second news page

Place a classified ad
Real estate
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, May 5, 2006, Vol. 6, No. 89

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

Click HERE for great hotel discounts

A.M. Costa Rica/Saray Ramírez Vindas
Rogelio Ramos listens to Fernando Berrocal, the new security minister, outline his goals.

New tourism police could
be ready in six months

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A new tourist police force might be a reality in just six months, the incoming security chief said Thursday.

This is a special police unit that will contain multilingual officers stationed at key tourism locations.

The incoming security minister, Fernando Berrocal Soto, said Thursday that he has had discussions on the topic with key tourism groups and that he would be holding a meeting with the new tourism minister after both are officially in their new jobs Monday.

The makeup of the tourism police still is in the air. And no officer has been named to head it. Members of this

Oswaldo Alpizar
special force will be more than just tour guides to the visitors who come here each year. They are designed to be an active element against crimes affecting tourists.

Berrocal and Rogelio Ramos Martínez, the outgoing security chief, met with reporters at the Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública. Ramos recounted the successes of his six years in office.

Berrocal introduced three vice ministers and a new director
general of the Fuerza Pública. They are: Ana Eugenia Durán Salvatierra, 42, vice minister of Gobernación, and Gerardo Javier Lázcares Jiménez, 56, and Rafael Angel Gutiérrez Gómez, vice ministers of Seguridad Pública.

Vice Minister Durán has worked in the legal department of the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería, which is now part of her responsibility. She has extensive experience in immigrants human rights, illegal trafficking of immigrants and illegal employment.

Lázcares has more than 31 years experience in the Judicial Investigating Organization and has served as subdirector there. He also has headed key sections, such as homicide and drugs.

Gutiérrez has 40 years in public and private security and was a vice minister in the administration of José María Figueres Olsen. He also served as director general of the Fuerza Pública.

The new director of the Fuerza Pública is a man who never served in that organization. He is Oswaldo Alpizar Nuñez, 47, who has 27 years in the security field including time as operator of his own private security firm. He said he has severed his relations with the firm to take the ministry job. He has worked in the Judicial Investigating Organization, in public security and the Policía de Tránsito, according to material provided by the ministry.

Berrocal also said he was setting up two separate units, one to guard the southern border and one to guard the northern border. He said that some entrances to Costa Rica, like the area around Sixaola in the south, are almost unguarded.

He has said that protecting the border will be one of his priorities.

Berrocal said that public perception of crime was much higher than the incidence of crime, but he said that criminality was on the upswing. He briefly mentioned the concept of zero tolerance, which was instituted successfully in New York by then-Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani.

Berrocal has spoken at great length elsewhere about zero tolerance in which police crack down on small crimes to create a tradition of obeying the law which then carries over to major crimes.

He also said that he would set up an inspector general position in the Fuerza Pública to field complaints about corruption.

Road detours planned
for Sunday and Monday

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Look for some traffic detours Sunday and Monday because of ceremonies linked to the inauguration of Óscar Arias Sánchez as president.

Sunday outgoing President Abel Pacheco is hosting a dinner for heads of State at the Teatro Nacional.  Policía de Tránsito will close off Avenida 2 from the Catedral Metropolitana to the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, that is from Calle Central to Calle 7. The street will be closed from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Monday morning, the detours shift to La Sabana. It is in the Estadio Nacional in Parque la Sabana where Arias will assume his duties at 11 a.m. Police will close off the two of the four lanes of the road that runs along the north side of the park from 6 a.m. to about 1 p.m., they said Thursday. The lanes to be closed run west to east. These are the lanes closest to the park. The east to west lanes will remain open from the Agencia Datsun to Banco Interfin.

The closed off lanes will serve as entrance and exit from the stadium by those attending the inauguration.

This means that traffic will build up on the old road to Escazú on the south side of the park. Some lanes will be blocked just west of the park, too, because Arias plans to walk from his Rohrmoser home to the inauguration ceremony.

In addition, traffic will be restricted from noon until about 5 p.m. downtown because Arias will be hosting guests at a luncheon at the Centro Nacional de la Cultura. Calle 21 to Calle 15 will be closed as will Avenida 3 from the Estación al Atlántico to the Tribunal Supreme de Elecciones.
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.

Business and financial consulting

Are you considering investing or doing business in Costa Rica?
Are you planning a real estate development project or a business venture in this country? Do you require guidance/assistance in planning, organizing or implementing your business venture? Do you

require customized professional services? If so, we can be your entry door to Costa Rica, making sure your
venture is well planned, organized and executed. DCL has been in the market helping and assisting
international investors and developers since 1998, offering a wide range of business and financial consultancy/advice and outsourcing services, as well as a network of professionals of great reputation. www.DCLConsultores.net. Tel. (506) 215-0066, (506) 215-0064, Fax.(506) 215-0041.  Info@DCLConsultores.net.

Real estate agents and services

formerly with  Carico and now with Great Estates
15 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)  289-4293 &  (506) 382-7399 cell
(506)  232-5016 &  289-4171 (phone/fax)

CENTURY 21 Jacó Beach Realty
A Name You Trust & Professional Service
Tom Ghormley - Owner/Broker - in CR since '79

Buying? Selling?
We Can Do It!

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

First Costa Rican Title & Trust
Protecting your interests since 1994
  Purchase contracts
  Escrow services
  Title transfers
  Title guarantees
  Trust services
  Developer services
Call us for your real property legal and investment needs at 225-0501 or send us an e-mail at amcr@firstcr.com

Title Guarantees issued by First American Title Insurance Co., one of the oldest and largest title companies in the world. The First American difference in protection is that the policies cover unrecorded matters and unknown risks.



U.S. Tax and Accounting

We specialize in tax preparation for U.S. taxpayers and business, working or living abroad, and help with all international transactions.
288-2201   839-9970
E-mail: ustax@lawyer.com

James Brohl C.P.A, M.B.A

U.S. Income Tax 
U.S. GAAP Accounting, 
Business Consulting
Providing U.S. Tax return preparation including back reporting and all other filing issues, accounting services 
and business consulting.

Telephone 305-3149 or 256-8620
E-mail jrtb_1999@racsa.co.cr

Legal services

Bufete Hernández Mussio 
& Asociados
Lic. Arcelio Hernández Mussio
Tel. 643-3058                Cell 365-3088
E-mail: lawyer@CRTitle.com
Web site:  CRTitle.com

  • Real Estate Transactions 
•  Legal Due Diligence 
  • Purchase and Sale Agreements/Options
  • Costa Rican Corporations.
  • Title Guaranty • Fraud protection
  •  Constitution of condominiums
  • Notary public services in general

Visit our Office in Jacó Beach
 (25 meters north of Banco Popular,
 below the Fiscalia).

You need to see Costa Rican properties for sale
on our real estate page HERE!

A.M. Costa Rica

Third news page

Place a classified ad
Real estate
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, May 5, 2006, Vol. 6, No. 89

Illegal Ticos in U.S. are few, Pew Center expert says
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Ricans make up a small number of residents in the United States and an even smaller number of illegal immigrants, according the Pew Hispanic Center.

The Washington, D.C., think tank estimates that there are 11.5 million to 12 million unauthorized immigrants in the United States.

The center estimated the size of the illegal population using the March 2005 Current Population Survey. The monthly survey includes about 50,000 households and is conducted jointly by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Immigration is a major topic in the United States and many cities saw marches by migrants and their supporters Monday. But most of them were certainly not Costa Ricans.

Jeffrey S. Passel is a veteran demographer and senior research associate at the Pew Center who was involved heavily in the survey.

In an e-mail interview he said he estimates that the numbers from Costa Rica are not very large.  There
are probably about 50,000 to 80,000 immigrants from Costa Rica in the United States, he said, adding that of these about 10,000 to 25,000 are undocumented according to his estimates.

Even if the higher 25,000 number is correct, illegal Costa Rican immigrants make up about two-tenths of a percent of the total number of undocumented residents in the United States.

The report estimates the number of persons living in families in which the head of the household or the spouse is an unauthorized migrant, some 13.9 million as of March 2004, including 4.7 million children. Of those individuals, some 3.2 million are U.S. citizens by birth but are living in mixed status families in which some members are illegal, usually a parent, while others, usually children, are Americans by birth, the report said.

Although the Pew Center did not study turnover, many illegal immigrants from Costa Rica are seasonal.

They work from six months to a year in the United States and then return home for a time. Many of the young adults are male, according to informal law enforcement estimates.

The morning ritual includes a special cup of coffee
Every morning I wake up looking forward to my cup(s) of coffee.  This is usually between 5:30 and 6 a.m. (Because the sun rises just before 6 and sets at night around 6, year round, even a former night person like myself soon becomes a morning person.)   First I spend 10 minutes doing breathing exercises because I have taken to heart what Dr. Andrew Weil has said – that learning to breathe is his single most important health advice.  Then maybe some yoga, all the while thinking of my first cup of coffee – or more accurately, cappuccino.

I probably have more coffee makers than one would believe possible.  My first, and hardly ever used, is the typical electric drip thing. Then I have two top-of-the-stove espresso makers, one a four-cup and the other a six-cup. .  I have a Costa Rican sock coffee maker (they make better coffee than you would imagine).   I have one of those French plunger coffee makers that Ruth gave me after mine broke in the last earthquake several years ago, and finally, my latest prize, an electric Capresso espresso/cappuccino machine that my friend Doug brought back from the States.  I am just learning to master this one. 

Making coffee in the morning is a ritual.  When the coffee is just about ready, I heat some milk in the microwave then foam it with this little foamer I have (don’t want to use the steam stem one on the machine because I have been told that becomes a nuisance).  I pour my hot coffee onto the foamed milk, add some sugar and cinnamon and take my coffee into the living room to read La Nación, or if it hasn’t arrived, watch the morning news. 

I have never chosen to drink decaffeinated coffee and am happy to learn that doctors have now decided that regular coffee is good for you. Decaffeinated is not. 

Over the years the availability and quality of the coffee one buys in Costa Rica has changed considerably. When I first came here, I was never asked at the end of a meal in a restaurant if I would
Living in Costa Rica

. . .Where the living is good

By Jo Stuart

 like coffee.  If I asked for coffee, it more often than not was barely warm and almost as weak as the coffee one used to get in the States.  In the markets there were perhaps five brands, half of them with sugar added, and the one pure star, Café Britt.  Today there is a dizzying array of brands from which to choose or confuse.  In restaurants they not only ask if you would like coffee, you have a choice of espresso, cappuccino or flavored coffee.  Even coffee machines in hospitals have espresso – at least they call it that.  The best I have found is in the emergency room of the Clinica Biblica. I am just as happy not to have the opportunity to try that too often.

Coffee is not the only thing to change here.  I used to call for a taxi at one of the taxi companies (usually Cooptico), get an answer, “Momentito” then wait on the phone while I listened to them dispatch taxis and talk to other customers, and eventually get back to me. Then I would laboriously explain my address using the Tico method of “from the ICE building one hundred meters west, etc. etc.” The other day I called and a voice in Spanish said to please wait, they would be with me shortly, then canned music followed.  When the live person came on, she asked for my telephone number — which I had given before — and half way through she finished the number for me, then told me my address.  Then the happy words, “Ya llega.”  (“It’s on its way.”  What a nice change.

Everything is certainly getting up to date in San José.  Even so, some days the good old familiar ritual of making and drinking my morning coffee is the high point of my day.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

A.M. Costa Rica

Fourth news page

Place a classified ad
Real estate
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, May 5, 2006, Vol. 6, No. 89

Culture train has a lot of visitors, even if they are just painted figures

A.M. Costa Rica/José Palbo Ramírez Vindas

This culture library comes on wheels and a track
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

One local museum is taking advantage of its location and expanding into a rail car.

The place is the Museo de Formas, Espacios y Sonidos, which just happens to be housed in the Estación al Atlántico where there is no shortage of mothballed rail cars.

This particular car is called the Vagón del Conocimiento or Knowledge Car because it contains a lot of reference works on the arts. Included in this library are books, catalogues and information about individual artists, according to Ana Victoria Carboni, the museum coordinator.

The project is a joint one with the museum, the  Fundación Ronald McDonald de Costa Rica and the Embassy of Japan.
The embassy and the foundation provided special equipment for the rail car to help persons with disabilities. There are image magnifiers, a Braille printer and other devices.

Some of the reference material is in large-type format as well as Braille.
Among the biographies are reference materials about great Costa Rican artists, such as Francisco Amighetti, Otto Apuy, Luisa González de Sáenz and Isaac Felipe Azofeifa.
The museum, which is contained in the former rail station, is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The entrance fee is 300 colons, about 60 U.S. cents.

The heavily decorated Vagón del Conocimiento can be reached a short distance away in the rail yard.

Bush stresses justice and prosperity for Latin lands
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President George Bush says the United States remains committed to promoting justice and prosperity in Latin America, and is backing its words with actions and aid. Bush met with Uruguay's president at the White House at a time when the voices of populism and economic nationalism appear to be growing stronger in parts of the hemisphere.

Bush said he discussed a wide range of subjects with his Uruguayan counterpart, Tabare Vazquez, from expanding student exchanges to promoting renewable sources of energy.

"We talked about extending our commercial relations," said Bush. "I shared some thoughts with the president about my deep desire to help countries become free so that this world is more peaceful."

The two leaders sat side-by-side in the Oval office at the conclusion of an hour-long meeting. President Vazquez echoed Bush's call for stronger bilateral trade relations. But he made no mention of stalled negotiations for the U.S.-backed Free Trade Area of the Americas, which Uruguay and other South American nations have criticized as likely to provide unfair advantages to heavily subsidized U.S. agricultural producers.

Instead, Vazquez delivered a message to his people. "To the Uruguayans who are watching, I want to say that we can work together so that all Uruguayans can live better. We can expand education, improve health care, and generate jobs with adequate salaries," he said.

The tone employed by the moderate, center-left Mr. Vazquez contrasts sharply with that of Venezuelan socialist firebrand Hugo Chavez, who has accused Bush of exporting imperialism and planning to invade his country, and Bolivian populist Evo Morales, who recently nationalized his country's vast natural gas operations. While relations have cooled considerably between the United States and Venezuela, President Vasquez, like President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil, are regarded as pragmatic left-of-center leaders with whom the United States has been able to forge a productive relationship.

Nevertheless, White House spokesman Scott McClellan was asked if Venezuela and Bolivia constitute a "growing cancer" that is tilting Latin America toward an anti-U.S. stance.

"There are many countries in this hemisphere that are committed to moving forward on democracy, good governance and rule of law," said Scott McClellan. "Those are values and principles that most of this hemisphere shares, and our relations
will continue to strengthen with those who are committed to the principles that we hold dear."

McClellan added that presidents Bush and Vazquez affirmed their shared commitment to freedom and democracy during their discussions.

Later, Bush participated in a White House event commemorating Mexico's Cinco de Mayo festivities. The day commemorates the victory by a smaller Mexican force over an invanding French army at Puebla, Mexico, in 1862.

Bush noted the fierce debate gripping the United States over illegal immigration. The president said the United States and Mexico are bound by ties of history, family, commerce, culture and values.

He said Mexican-Americans have made valuable contributions to the United States, and that, when it comes to immigration, the United States does not have to choose between being a compassionate society and a lawful society.

Jo Stuart
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 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005  and 2006 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted. Check HERE for more details