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(506) 2223-1327       Published Thursday, June 4, 2009,  in Vol. 9, No. 109       E-mail us
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Hospital friendly to U.S. veterans closes its doors
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The only Costa Rican hospital that did not require insured U.S. military retirees to pay upfront has closed. But supporters hope that a change of ownership will allow the facility to reopen next week.

The facility is Hospital Santa María, a 14-bed operation on Avenida 8 at Calle 14.

Jim Young, a former board member who operated Veterans Care International S.A., characterized the closing as temporary.

Hospital Santa María allowed insured veterans to receive treatment by providing a required co-payment. The hospital then would collect the bulk of the cost of the treatment from the U.S. government.

Other facilities, like Hospital CIMA in Escazú and Hospital Clinic Biblica in San José, require the former serviceman or woman to pay the entire bill and then seek reimbursement themselves from the federal government. Young said most
Hospital Santa maría

reimbursement now takes about six weeks, although some veterans have complained of a much longer wait.

Veteran and retiree medical insurance programs are complex, but those who make most use of these programs here are individuals retired from the services or disabled veterans.

Young's firm helps the veteran and the hospital seek reimbursement. He said the hospital also did not have the equipment to provide needed services. He said no veteran lost money because of the closing.
The hospital Web site is still operating but displays just photographs and plays a song.


Admirers imitate President-for-life Hugo Chávez
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

More left-wing Latin leaders seem to be following the Hugo Chávez game plan. Chávez is the Venezuelan president who won the right in February to run continuously for the presidency.

Now Manuel Zelaya Rosales of Honduras wants to change the constitution there so he can run again.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega is moving in the same direction

President Rafael Correa of Ecuador already got legislative changes that would allow him to run again.

Evo Morales of Bolivia engineered a popular vote for a new constitution that gives him the right for more presidential terms.

Each president is reacting to local political pressures. For example, Morales faces a near revolt in the more affluent part of his country. And Zelaya has a crime wave. But there are some similarities.

If the Chávez game plan is to be followed, the communications media must be brought to heel. Chávez shut down one popular television station, started his own and is putting the squeeze on another private station.

Correa in Ecuador got the attention of a hemispheric press group when he began legal action against a television and a newspaper to restrict their criticism. The dispute involves what the president calls disinformation about a project he supports to explore for gas. Local fishermen oppose the project, which the news media reported.

Correa called the station and the newspaper conspirators and destabilizers who are doing damage to the government.

Correa also announced that when his country assumes the leadership of a regional governmental
group he will act to defend the citizens and the legitimate elected governments against the abuses of the press.

The same hemispheric press group, the Inter American Press Association, also has expressed concern about Ortega trying to silence Nicaraguan newspeople with trumped up charges. Ortega has good reason to increase his power. He won the presidency in a three-way race where the majority of voters did not select him.

Chávez, Ortega, Correa and Morales also are flirting with traditional opponents of the United States, such as Iran, Russia and Cuba and are seeking to damage the free trade treaty Central America has with the United States. Economic times being what they are, they risk doing substantial damage to their own economies.

Venezuelan has created the Alternativa Bolivariana para las Americas, a regional trade group in opposition to Washington. However, Chávez is having his own economic problems with the lower price of petroleum. He had been buying support, even in Costa Rica, by offering low cost or payment deferred petroleum.

These also are the leaders who are not in accord with Washington's fight against illegal drugs. Morales has strong support from coca growers in his country. Venezuela gets mixed reviews on its treatment of Colombian leftist guerrillas on its soil.

To further his fight with the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, President Álvaro Uribe also is seeking constitutional changes so he can run for a third term. Many consider him a right-wing authoritarian. And his administration does not get high marks for human rights.

Surveying this landscape is Mauricio Funes, the new socialist president of El Salvador. He made a point to visit Chávez last month before taking office but he said he seeks to maintain close ties to the United States.


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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, June 4, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 109

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

Puriscal Properties
sportsmens update
Click HERE for great hotel discounts


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


Residency experts

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

we know how to do it. Experienced with many nationalities. Up-to-date on
Costa Rica's evolving immigration law.
Pensionado and rentista. Your first stop for smooth, professional service and a positive experience. Javier Zavaleta jzava@pacbell.net
www.residencyincostarica.com
Tel: (323) 255-6116
5055-8/26/09

Business consultant

Vision: Empowering small and medium business to their highest potential by setting The standards.
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Services we offer:
Financial Management, Planning & Development,
Business English, Business Technology, Professional
Networking,
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5279-12/1/09

Physicians and surgeons

Dr. Marco A. Mora Aguilar, Neurosurgeon
Dr. Mora
Dr. Marco A. Mora
Available for surgery in any of the private hospitals in San José.
                
Stroke, Brain Surgery, Spine Surgery, Scalp and Skull Repair, Craniotomy
 
http://www.drmarcomora.com
E-mail: info@drmarcomora.com
Or use our Contact Form on the site
Emergency tel: 8879-1818, 8395-1818
Accepting VA's Foreign Medical Program
5267-6/28/09

Aesthetic Surgery Costa Rica Awarded The Best Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery Center in Costa Rica 2005-2006. Dr. Gabriel Alberto Peralta in Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with the most renowned plastic surgeons worldwide.
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Dental Clinics
Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants $500, Crowns $250

Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini has placed and restored
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over 10,000 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: www.aestheticdentistrycr.com
5067-5/17/09

Hearing consultant

English-speaking hearing consultant
We can professionally evaluate your hearing problem at Clinica Dinamarca off Paseo Colón or at Hospital CIMA.
• Natural sound
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• No more background noise, feedback or echoing
• American hearing consultant from D.C. & Atlanta
• Nine clinics including Hospital CIMA
• Authorized provider  to the U.S. veterans
• The worlds leading provider of hearing aids
      Widex hearing aids since 1956

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  We service the U.S. veterans/Foreign Medical Program. Please contact me, Allan, at allan9000@gmail.com or at 8891-8989.
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Acupuncture physician

Acupuncture (disposable needles),
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Eugene Mc Donald A.P.
migraine, T.M.J., kidney stones, intercostal neuralgia, and all painfull conditions  without drugs. Excellent results for stress, tension, anxiety, depression; and many other medical conditions and health maintenance.  Acupuncture works even if other therapies had little or no results. Free consultation, U.S. license, 19 years experience, Eugene Mc Donald, A.P (acupuncture physician) Escazú, 8352-0661. acutherapy0@hotmail.com
http://acupuncturecr.blogspot.com/
5073-9/20/09

Accountants

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

• US Tax return preparation  for
individuals and businesses
• eFile returns: secure with faster refunds
• Assist with back reporting and other filing issues
• Take advantage of the Foreign
Income Tax Exclusion (up to $
87,600 in 2008)
• Business Consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica
• Accounting for US and International Financial Reporting


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

U.S. Tax International

Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal services
Over 15 years in Costa Rica
(English Spoken)
C.R. 2288-2201   U.S 786-206-9473
FAX: 2289-8235
E-mail: ustax@lawyer.com
Web page with vital U.S. tax info HERE!
4954-5/12/09

Real estate agents and services

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Latitude 9
Real estate, development, Investments.

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
506 2777-1197

Over 25 years experience in Costa Rica

www.latitude9.com
5349-11/25/09


MARGARET SOHN
with Great Estates of Costa Rica and Ocean Realty - Jacó

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

samargo@racsa.co.cr
info@realtorcostarica.com
www.realtorcostarica.com
(506)  2220-3729 &  (506) 8382-7399 cell
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Appraiser

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

• building inspections
•¨property management
• construction management

www.orbitcostarica.com/
certifieda.htm
4865-6/11/09

7Legal services

CONSULTORIA JURIDICA EMPRESARIAL CA, S.A.
Attorneys & Notaries
 Tel.  2280-9692 / 2225-9322      
e-mail: info@conjuridica.com  Web:  www.conjuridica.com
       We offer the highest professional standards with very competitive rates. All our official documentation and Notary deeds are always translated in English for better comprehension, client satisfaction and safety.
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• Immigration Law.
• Real Estate Law.
• Corporations, Foundations
       and Associations. 
• Trademarks & Intellectual
       Property.  
• Notary public services
• Criminal Law
•Civil & Commercial 
       Litigation
Our Law Office is conveniently located near Mall San Pedro,  350 meters south from the Subaru dealer, Los Yoses, San José.
5290-12/2/09

Arcelio Hernandez, Esq.
BUFETE HERNANDEZ MUSSIO Y ASOCIADOS

CRTitle.com - ForeverCostaRica.com
Member: Cenpac, AmCham
Jaco: Tel. 2643-3058 - Fax. 2643-0358
US & Canada: 1-305-280-6860
San José: Tel. 2519-4647 - Fax: 2520-0831
Skype: hernandez.mussio
Arcelio hernandez
• Real Estate Transactions
•  Legal Due Diligence
• Purchase and Sale   Agreements/Options
• Trademarks 
• Costa Rican Corporations.
• Title Guaranty • Fraud
     protection * Litigation 
• Constitution of condominiums
• Notary public services in
   general • Offshore Incorporation • Offshore Banking  • Business Law 
• Escrow Services (registered
     with SUGEF) • Estate Planning 
• Family Law 
• Bilingual Accounting Services 

Visit our Office in Jacó Beach (GEM Building, 
Office 4 across from AyA on Calle Ancha).

4815-5/24/09

KEARNEY-LAWSON & Asoc.
Lic.Gregory Kearney Lawson.
Attorneys at Law and real estate brokers
Relocation services, Wedding Planning
Greg Kearney
*Investments  *Corporations
*Tax Shelters *Immigration
*Real Estate Sales in Costa Rica
*Name & Product registration
*Business procedures 
*Family and Labor Law
*Locate People   *Private Investigations
Phone/Fax: 2290-8117, 8841-0007
New location on Rohrmoser Blvd.
 Phone: (506) 2232-1014

Country's business sector
on display to foreigners


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

About 130 business people from 23 countries are at the San José Palacio Hotel today in discussions with 100 Costa Rican service, health and product providers. The event is the Costa Rica Services Summit.

The organizer, the Promotora del Comercio Exterior, said that there were 1,800 confirmed appointments where foreigners will discuss business with Costa Rican company representatives. The two-day event is the fifth edition.

In addition to face-to-face meetings, the visitors will be attending specialized seminars to hear what Costa Rica offers in such areas as health.

Man, 20, murdered on beach
in Puerto Viejo de Limón


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An early morning discussion on the beach at Puerto Viejo de Talamanca ended in murder early Wednesday.

A group of younger residents were gathered on the beach after partying all night. About 4 a.m. one individual, suspected to be drunk, according to the Judicial Investigating Organization, went to his nearby home and returned with a pistol.

With much discussion he shot Carlos Navarro, 20, twice in the head, twice in the chest and twice in the arm.

Navarro was dead at the scene when emergency crews arrived. The suspect was detained a few hours later on the identification of witnesses.

Our readers' opinions
The choice is simple:
Either pay or renounce


Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Mr. Barbour is not ready to pay taxes, nor is he willing to renounce his U.S. citizenship. Seems he would rather complain to all of us than remedy his own situation.

His choice is rather simple: either renounce or pay. I have learned throughout the years that people pay for what they value.
G. J. Rancourt 
London, England

He wants the perks
but doesn't want to pay


Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Just another opinion from a regular Costa Rica visitor, a response to a recent opinion by Dean Barbour.

Paying fair taxes is a responsibility of all U.S. citizens.  The fact that you've benefited from a U.S. lifestyle that gave you the ability to earn enough to make such decisions as to move away doesn't automatically relieve you of your responsibility on your terms.

It's obvious you've rejected citizenship in your heart, claim to only hold onto the citizenship so you get treated better in the airport lines.  I don't buy this one instant as it's obvious you want the perks but don't want to pay.

Yes, you can rationalize all you want: You claim Bush was a venal man, so you refuse to live in that country with those "people" who would elect him.  Wow, you are to be admired!  Grow-up.

Try this: Don't visit or live the U.S. as somewhere, somehow, we'll vote another president into office you don't agree with.  Renounce your citizenship. As long as you keep it, you're part of the venal-person-electing population. If you were truly one to be admired, you'd stand on your principles rather than talk.

I noticed you didn't bad mouth Obama much, who is actually the one telling you to pay up. 

Yes, I have liberal leanings, wasn't happy with the Bush election, but embraced our democracy and worked harder in 2008.   Your fellow liberal,
Jim Myers
Virginia

How about past benefits
from U.S. tax money

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:
 
People like Dean Barbour offend me, plus you offend two of our presidents that have nothing to do with you trying to avoid paying taxes. Did you vote ? Are you collecting monies from Social Security and a pension?  Do you have family in the U.S. ? If you do, do they know how you feel about the U.S. ?

Did you go to public schools? I'm betting you did and maybe you have family who attend public schools that cost U.S. taxpayers. People from Cuba die on handmade boats to come to the U.S. then work paying there taxes.

I've met two men from Costa Rica who marred U.S. woman to stay in the U.S. paying there taxes. You should take your passport to our U.S. Embassy our taxes pay for then ask somebody. How you can give up your U.S. Citizenship?

Then go to a Costa Rica embassy asking somebody can you be a Costa Rican Citizen ?.
Ed Fulmer
Cape Coral, Florida,
Costa Rican tourist

We urge a needed change

Dear readers:

It is the position of A.M. Costa Rica that everyone should pay their fair taxes. However, the position of this newspaper is that U.S. citizens overseas should not be obligated to pay taxes on money that they earn outside the United States.

That once was the rule, but the father of the former U.S. vice president, also a U.S. senator, pushed in 1969 and 1970 to expand the U.S. tax code to include expats.

Expats at that time had a slogan: "Gore Sen. Gore" as a means of showing their unhappiness. But of course they had no voice.

If the United States insists on charging taxes on money its citizens earn overseas, there is another action it should take. But remember that the first $87,600 earned overseas is tax free. So the tax rule does not affect too many working individuals.

The absence of Medicare services overseas is unfair. U.S. Social Security beneficiaries here must pay for Medicare but they cannot use it unless they fly back to the United States. The system should be expanded to accommodate them.

Jay Brodell
editor of A.M. Costa Rica


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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, June 4, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 109

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Legislature OKs eight-hour workday for domestic employees
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

What a concept: An eight-hour workday and extra pay for extra hours. And benefits even.

While much of the world accepts such conditions as traditional and normal, domestic servants in Costa Rica work 12-hour days frequently without overtime or benefits.

In fact many are in what could easily be described as servitude, working without benefits and at the whim of employors.

The Asamblea Legislativa for the second and final time voted Wednesday to change the legal code so that domestic employees will only work eight hours a day. That is certain to put a crimp in the lifestyle of some in Costa Rica who expect the maid to serve an early breakfast and a brandy at bedtime.
The introduction to the bill, which still must be signed by President Óscar Arias Sánchez, quotes an Estado de la Nación report that said only 7, 514 domestic workers were signed up under the social security system and workplace insurance. An advocacy organization, the Asociación Nacional de Trabajadoras Domésticas, said that there are about 80,000 domestic employees in Costa Rica and that those signed up with the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social represented about 10 percent of the workforce.

In addition, many of the domestic employees are illegal immigrants, mainly from Nicaragua, who are vulnerable to all sorts of exploitation. There also are many children working at such jobs. Some lawmakers characterized the current conditions as discrimination.

Lawmakers noted that the measure was 15 years in the legislative hopper. Final approval had been held up over technical issues with the bill.


Costa Rican national team retains dominance at home
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Visiting U.S. soccer players were mauled Wednesday night in a 3-1 loss to the Costa Rican national team.

Costa Rica's Alvaro Saborio scored first with less than two minutes gone in the first half, and that set the tone for the rest of the evening.

The game was in Estadio Ricardo Saprisssa in Tibás where the U.S. team never has won.

Another Tico goal in the 13th minute and one in the
second half sealed the victory.  U.S. player Landon Donovan managed to score a goal on a penalty kick almost as the game ended.

The U.S. team will host Honduras in Chicago Saturday. Costa Rica will play in Trinidad.

The victory Wednesday put the Costa Rican team at the head of its group in World Cup qualifying play with nine points. The U.S. team is two points behind.

Three of the six-team group will go to south Africa next year for World Cup competition.


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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, June 4, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 109


Door open a crack to let Cuba join hemispheric organization
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Organization of American States has agreed to reverse a 1962 decision suspending Cuba's Communist government from the regional group. Officials say the decision may have little impact for Cuba, which has said it will not return to the group.

Delegates debated over two days before reaching an agreement that invites Cuba to return to the group after meeting a series of conditions.

Officials say differences over whether to include conditions and in what form was the main point of contention in the negotiations. Cuban allies like Nicaragua and Venezuela opposed placing any conditions, and the United States wanted to ensure Cuba complied with democratic principles before returning to the Organization of American States.

Patricia Rodas Baca, The Honduran foreign minister, read the resolution to delegates in San Pedro Sula.

She said Cuba can rejoin after initiating a dialog with the group and conforming to its practices and principles.

The document says those principles include democracy, self-determination and human rights.

In San José President Óscar Arias Sánchez called for a direct and open dialog and normal relations that would let nations discuss their similarity and disagreements. His administration announced March 19 to resume normal diplomatic relations and to exchange ambassadors with Havana.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who took part in negotiations Tuesday, said she was pleased with the compromise measure. The top State Department diplomat for Latin America, Tom Shannon, told delegates that
Washington continues to pursue greater contact with Cuba.

"We will seek new ways to engage Cuba to benefit the people of both nations and the hemisphere. And we will continue to advocate for democratic governance in Cuba and throughout the Americas," he said.

For some Latin American leaders Cuba's suspension from the organization revived bitter memories from the Cold War and civil conflicts throughout the hemisphere. Honduran President Manuel Zelaya said the vote helped to turn a new page.

Zelaya said the Cold War had ended here in San Pedro Sula, and he thanked all the delegates for their cooperation.

Venezuela's Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro said Cuba and other Latin American nations have suffered a long history of injuries at the hands of so-called imperialism. He told delegates that the United States could do even more to reconcile the past.

Maduro said it should not be too much to ask for an end to the U.S. embargo on Cuba. He said Venezuela welcomed the decision but it was not enough.

Cuba's government has repeatedly said it has no intentions of rejoining the Organization of American States regardless of the actions taken by delegates. An essay published Wednesday and attributed to former president Fidel Castro said the group was an accomplice to crimes committed against his country.

In Washington, a group of U.S. congressmen condemned the decision and proposed a bill that would withhold U.S. funding for the group, which is based in the U.S. capital. In a statement, Rep. Connie Mack of Florida said hundreds of Cubans live as political prisoners and many suffer constant fear and repression.


Tiananmen anniversary fails to get noticed in Costa Rica
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Today is the 20th anniversary of the Chinese crackdown on democracy protesters in  Tiananmen Square, but there does not seem to be any formal activities planned here in Costa Rica.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets for weeks in Beijing and around the country, first to honor the late reformist leader Hu Yaobang and then to demand basic 
rights denied to them, the U.S. State Department said, adding that hundreds of lives were lost when the army was called in.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, the secretary of State, called upon China to release those who still are languishing in prison as a result of the crackdown.

Elsewhere there were reports that China has blocked Internet sites  to prevent anymention of the crackdown.


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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, June 4, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 109


A.M. Costa Rica
users guide

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

Old pages

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

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

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

Searching

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

Newspages

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

Classifieds

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

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

Statistics
A.M. Costa Rica makes its monthly statistics available to advertisers and readers. It is HERE! 

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

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

U.N. investigator critical
of U.S. death penalty


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A U.N. Special Investigator is criticizing the application of the death penalty in the United States, saying it sometimes leads to miscarriages of justice. The expert, Philip Alston, calls for the United States to enact more stringent safeguards to protect the innocent.

Alston submitted a report to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Alston is not calling for the United States to end capital punishment. But, he urges the government to make sure the imposition of the death penalty complies with fundamental due process requirements.

"It is widely acknowledged that innocent people have most likely been executed in the U.S," said Alston. "Yet, in Alabama and Texas, the two states that I visited, I found a shocking lack of urgency about the need to reform criminal-justice system flaws."

The Innocence Project, an unrelated non-profit legal clinic affiliated with the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at New York's Yeshiva University, says that there have been 238 post-conviction exonerations in the United States based on new DNA evidence. Some 17 of those exonerated were on death row.

Alston says the U.S. Congress should enact legislation permitting a review of state and federal death penalty cases. Alston, an Australian, teaches at New York University's School of Law.

The acting deputy chief at the U.S. mission in Geneva, Lawrence Richter, said he accepts Alston's observations on the need for safeguards in serious cases of capital punishment. But, he adds the U.S. system already has robust safeguards in place.

"For example, if the death penalty were disproportionate to the severity of the underlying offense, it could be challenged under the 8th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as being cruel and unusual punishment," said Richter, adding:

"We fully share Professor Alston's concerns about the need to address the issue of wrongful convictions, and indeed the U.S. government has made this a priority. We are one of only five countries in the world that belong to the Innocence Network, a group of countries that are working to embrace modern forensic science and reforms to prevent wrongful convictions."


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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, June 4, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 109


Latin American news digest
Telecom agency seeks
registration of networks

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The telecom agency wants any person or company operating a network to file a registration. The wording of the telecommunication law covers even persons who are operating a private telecom network that does not require use of the electromagnetic spectrum.

The agency, the Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones, said that firms providing services to the public must register by June 30, too. That would include companies like Amnet and Cable Tica that provide Internet services. Those firms already have made various applications.

But the announcement is unclear as to where the agency draws the line. It says that companies that offer Internet and voice-over-Internet protocol must register even if they do not use the spectrum. The announcement also covers firms or individuals who offer services even if they are not owners of the network. That would seem to include Internet cafe operators who provide Internet telephone service over an outside public network.

The announcement also covers those who use private networks that do not require the use of the electromagnetic spectrum. Read literally, that could include a central telephone system, but it seems directed at Internet cable system startups.

The requirements are ample and include financial information, maps, technical standards, and plans to service customers.

Heredia-San José rail fare
to be 350 colons each way


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The new Heredia-San José train line will charge passengers 350 colons (about 61 U.S. cents) for each trip, according to the Authoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos.

That is, when the service begins. That could be this month, but the Insituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles is continuing to work on the line. This week the government agency had crews using a special machine to embed concrete cross ties more firmly into the soil. Despite renovating the lines and getting rid of most wood cross ties, the rails still had plenty of motion when a train passed over them.    

The line has been in service for months but mostly for work trains. The rail agency plans to conduct several days of testing by using passenger trains but no passengers to verify that the route is safe.



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