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These tories wre published Thursday, Aug. 8, 2002, in Vol. 2, No. 156
Jo Stuart
About us
Seasonal harvest gives shoppers yummie, healthful choices
Xiomara González attends Fruitería San Dimas, at Calle 5 and Avenida 14. 

Fruits include, from left, red manzana de agua (water apples), red and green  jocotes, apples, narajas (bagged oranges on the ground) and boxed fresas (strawberries against the wall). 

Mamón chino, both red and yellow, dominate the second set of displays with more oranges on the ground with sandias (watermelons).

Pejibayes, mangas and coconuts are in background.

A.M. Costa Rica photo
Crouse judges plan to visit his bar in Coco
By Saray Ramírez Vindas
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Roger Crouse is getting more than his day in court.

The trial of the Canadian from Playas del Coco began Tuesday, but already the judges have scheduled a postponment until Aug. 16.

The court will reconvene that day at Gaby’s Bar where Crouse shot and killed a man he said came at him with a knife.

Crouse has become an important figure for foreigners in Costa Rica because he has been in jail for almost a year for an act that would be considered self-defense elsewhere.

When the court meets Aug. 16, a judicial aide said experts would be there to help judges reconstruct the crime. One would be a ballistics expert, and the other would be a pathologist.

The prosecutor contends that something other than self-defense took place that night when Crouse shot Miguel Villegas Salguero. Crouse has been charged with capital murder. The 

case is in the Tribunal de Juicio de Liberia, also Guanacaste.

Some 11 witnesses for both the prosecution and defense testified Tuesday, the court aide said.

Policemen in Playas Del Coco said they arrested Villegas the night of Aug. 16 because he was creating a disturbance and was under the influence. They held the man for two hours at the police station not far from the bar, and they confiscated his knife. But then they said they had to let him go because Crouse did not leave work to file a formal complaint.

One policeman also told reporters that Villegas said while in custody that he would return to the bar and kill Crouse. Crouse’s employee, Jessica Correas, said she was present in the bar when the shooting took place. She supports Crouse’s story of self-defense. Two Canadians there at the time have left the country. Crouse had the weapon legally.

The court session in the bar will be exactly one year after the shooting. A full report on the Crouse case can be found HERE.

A blatant appeal for birthday greetings
A week from today A.M. Costa Rica celebrates its first birthday, and some readers already have sent e-mail congratulations.

We thought it would be kind of cool to publish those birthday greetings along with the name and hometown of the sender. In that way, you can show your support for A.M. Costa Rica and the kind of job we have been doing for the last year in covering (although imperfectly) the important news of Costa Rica and the English-speaking community here.

We could use the morale boost. It’s been a long, hard year. And we would like to show the community that there is a strong group of readers who depend on A.M. Costa Rica for news.

So if you like our work and are not afraid to say so, send us your greeting for publication Aug. 15. Mail it to happybirthday@amcostarica.com

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Mortar attack threatens new Colombian president
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

BOGOTA, Colombia — New President Alvaro Uribe has survived a suspected rebel mortar attack that hit while he was being sworn in here Wednesday. The blasts killed at least 17 people and injured 69 others. 

Three blasts went off just blocks from the parliament building, while Uribe was inside taking the oath of office. Explosions also blew out windows in the nearby presidential palace. 

Witnesses who rushed to the scene say they saw many bodies lying in the street. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. 

The apparent mortar attack happened despite elaborate security measures in place to protect the new president. An estimated 20,000 police and soldiers were patrolling city streets and combat helicopters were flying overhead.

The U.S. State Department has condemned the Bogota attack, saying the incident was intended to sow death, destruction and fear among Colombians. U.S. officials also wished President Uribe success in his efforts to bring peace and security to Colombia.

Uribe won a landslide victory in May, pledging to get tough with the nation's leftist rebel and right-wing paramilitary forces listed as terrorist groups by the United States. 

President Uribe replaced Andres Pastrana, who broke off peace talks in February with the country's largest rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as the FARC. Political violence has surged in the weeks leading up to Uribe's inauguration. 

Hours before the ceremony, suspected rebels detonated several bombs around Bogota. A military academy in a city suburb was targeted, injuring several people.

Uribe promises his people no miracles, but vows to work harder to restore order in a country

mired by decades of civil war and drug-related murders.

The 50-year-old Harvard-educated lawyer who took over Wednesday as Colombia's leader is neither a political newcomer nor a stranger to the violence that sweeps his country daily.

Uribe's own father was killed in the early 1980's in a shoot-out with the country's notorious Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia as the guerrillas tried to kidnap him from his ranch in the city of Medellin. 

Uribe went on to become mayor of Medellin, later assuming the governorship of the violence-prone state of Antioquia. While there, he gained a reputation for efficiency, as he took on militant guerrillas, drug-runners, and organized crime.

A survivor of numerous assassination attempts, President Uribe is expected to take a hard, no-nonsense, approach against FARC and other rebel groups, as well as the country's vast coca fields from which most of the world's cocaine is produced.

Delegation ducks mortars

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

BOGOTA, Colombia — The Costa Rican delegation to inauguration activities in Colombia were not harmed by a terrorist attack nearby. 

Tuesday, the leaders of the delegation, Vice President Lineth Saborío and Chancellor Roberto Tovar met with President-elect Alvaro Uribe and Carolina Barco, the foreign minister designate, according to a statement from the Costa Rica Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto.

The pair also met with Gen. Luis Ernesto Gillibert, director of the national police, to discuss concepts in community policing and possible collaboration between the two countires in matters of citizen security.

Telephone company says new lines meet demand
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The telephone company promised Wednesday night that it would eliminate the pent-up demand in two years as it installs 445,000 more new lines.

That was the pledge as the company, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, as it reported that the country’s fiscal watchdog had given the go-ahead to four contracts with leading telecommunication manufacturers.

The firms are Alcatel, Siemens, Ericsson and Telrad, and these are the firms that will be supplying the switching and other devices necessary to accommodate the new lines.

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad is an independent government agency that has a monopoly on telephone service. The new contracts 

will bring the number of telephone lines in Costa Rica up to 1.5 million, said the Instituto in a press release.

The goal is to provide all its customers with digital service that includes caller ID, abreviated dialing, call waiting and other services. The new lines will be distributed among 240 locations in the country, the Instituto said.

The contracts needed the approval of the Contraloría General de la República, and that was the approval the Instituto got Wednesday. All government contracts in Costa Rica must be reviewed by the Contraloría.

From another source and not connected with these four contracts, the Instituto noted it is buying central switching devices that accommodate high-speed data transmissions.

Tourist dies in surf
at beach in Jacó

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A U.S. citizen died last week in a surfing mishap in Jacó. The man was identified as William David Reid, 40, a vacationer. The death was brought to the attention of A.M. Costa Rica by a reader who witnessed the futile rescue attempt.

The man was surfing about 9:40 a.m. July 31 with his son and friends of his son, ages between 12 and 15, according to the Cruz Roja of Jacó. The incident happened in the surf about 150 meters (about 480 feet) north of the Cruz Roja station, said Guillermo Ríos,  administrator.

The man only spent about 10 minutes in the water before lifeguards pulled him out, but he suffered an injury to his head, rescuers said. An autopsy will show the cause of death, which also could be from a heart attack, said rescuers.

Mexico establishes
remittance program

By A.M. Costa Rica wire services

MEXICO CITY, México — U.S. Treasurer Rosario Marin applauded a new program in Mexico that encourages the productive use of remittances received from Mexicans working in the United States.

Speaking at the Nacional Financiera in Mexico City Tuesday, Ms. Marin praised the Tres por Uno initiative, under which every remittance dollar used for a productive purpose in Mexico — such as the construction of housing — will be matched both by the Mexican federal and state governments.

She said the initiative is a "great way to add up efforts" and is exactly the type of common-sense solution envisioned under the Partnership for Prosperity agreement between the United States and Mexico.

President George Bush and Mexican President Vicente Fox launched the Partnership for Prosperity in September 2001 in an effort to promote growth and economic development in areas of Mexico that have traditionally fueled migration to the United States.

Among the goals identified in the Partnership for Prosperity Action Plan is the facilitation of investment in Mexican housing by Mexicans living in the United States. 

U.S. to bail out
Uruguay and Argentina

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

BUENOS AIRES, Spain — U.S. Treasury Secretary O’Neill met with President Eduardo Duhalde and Economy Minister Roberto Lavanga to discuss current economic conditions and plans for addressing the challenges facing that nation, according to a statement issued by the Treasury Department Wednesday.

Following his meetings with Argentine leaders, O'Neill conveyed his high hopes for the people of Argentina and emphasized President Bush's belief that the right policies will help ensure Argentina's success.

In his statement, he expressed confidence that the Argentine government recognizes the importance of resolving fiscal issues, establishing a clear monetary policy and re-establishing the nation's financial sector.

Lavagna and O'Neill reiterated the United States' support for discussions between the International Monetary Fund and the government of Argentina to move forward as quickly as possible.

O'Neill said that the United States is "anxious" for a draft agreement between the Argentine government and the International Monetary Fund to be concluded.

Prior to his Argentina trip, Paul O'Neill met with Uruguayan President Jorge Batlle Tuesday to discuss the economic conditions and challenges also facing Uruguay.

O'Neill applauded the Uruguyan government's embrace of free-market principles and commitment to maintaining a healthy financial sector. He added that "Uruguay's approach to bank reform should encourage confidence of depositors in the financial system" and emphasized that the United States will work through international financial institutions to support countries like Uruguay that maintain strong economic policies.

O'Neill expressed U.S. support for the expanded program that the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank announced for Uruguay Sunday.

U.N. supports isle
states in Caribbean 

By A.M. Costa Rica wire services

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United Nations has released a new report that says the small island states in the Caribbean need more international     participation in activities aimed at protecting the region's fragile coastlines and environment.

The report, released Tuesday by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, said more improvement is also needed in information-sharing among the small island states themselves to support activities promoting sustainable development in the Caribbean region.

These states share a number of disadvantages, including small populations, a narrow range of resources, susceptibility to natural disasters, excessive dependence on international trade, and vulnerability to global developments.

Annan said the major focus of activities designed to support the small Caribbean states includes climate-change adaptation measures, energy     development, disaster management, tourism, and coastal management.

Toddler dies in 
water barrel

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A toddler died in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí when he fell into a barrel filled with water about 4:50 p.m. Tuesday on a banana plantation. The child, Elbrin Sánchez Amador, 1, went out on the patio of his own home and fell into a vessel containing about 19 liters of water, according to agents for the Judicial Investigating Organization.

Taiwan prime minister
visiting this weekend

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The prime minister of Taiwan will visit Costa Rica Saturday through next Monday.

He is Yu Shyi kun, and he will be accompanied by Eugene Y. H. Chien, minister of foreign relations.

The visit is being characterized as a way to increase contact between the two countries. Sunday the visiting delegation will go to Guanacaste for a visit to the Puente La Amistad, which is being constructed over the Tempisque River with funds provided by Taiwan.

The delegation also will visit the docks in Puntarenas.

On Monday, the prime minister with pay a formal visit to the Asemblea Nacional where he will be received by Rolando Laclé Castro, president of the congress. An hour later, at noon, he will be the guest of honor at a luncheon put on by President Abel Pacheco in Casa Presidencial.

Costa Rica always has supported the efforts by the Taiwanese to participate in international organizations even thought the People’s Republic of China  consistently has opposed such efforts.

U.S. pledges $500 million
for environment fund

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The United States has pledged $500 million to replenish the Global     Environment Facility over the next four years to help developing countries mitigate environmental problems with potential global impact, the U.S. Treasury Department has announced.

The U.S. Treasury said the Bush administration is also requesting $70.3 million from Congress annually for the next three years to pay off U.S. debt to the Global Environment Facility.

The United States' commitment was made during the replenishment talks in Washington and is a 16-percent increase over the U.S. contribution to the previous replenishment. According to the U.S. Treasury, the pledge is expected to help leverage about $2 billion in total new donor contributions.

Two youths jailed
after police fire shot

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Police arrested two youths, 14 and 16, in San Ramón de Palmares, but they had to fire a shot at one of the young men before they surrendered, they said. 

An off-duty patrolman reported that he saw the two youths acting in a suspicious manner while riding by in a taxi. Police set up roadblocks and stopped the vehicle in Calle Brujas in Palmares.

The armed men began to resist arrest, but a policeman fired first, wounding the older youth in the groin. Afterwards they submitted to arrest, said police.

A search of the taxi revealed a .22-caliber pistol and a carbine of the same caliber. There also was a quantity of dollars and jewels, police said.

The taxi driver was not implicated in the case.
Professional Directory

A.M. Costa Rica debuts its professional and service directory where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may provide a description of what they do.

If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


United States Dentist in Costa Rica: Dr. Peter S Aborn, Prosthodontics and general dentistry private practice. 25 years in New York City. 5 years in Costa Rica. Professor and director of postgraduate prosthodontics Universidad Latina de Costa Rica. Former chief of prosthodontics Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City. Education: N.Y.U College of Dentistry; Westchester County Medical Center; Eastman Dental Center; University of Rochester Graduate School of Medicine and Dentistry. Location: 300 meters from the U.S. Embassy. Telephone: 232-9225. Cellular 379-2963. E-mail: jopetar@amnet.co.cr


American/Costa Rican attorney located in Costa Rica. Specializing in business law, commercial law, real estate sales, immigration law. Lic. Gregory Kearney Lawson. KEARNEY LAWSON & Asoc. Tel/Fax: (506) 221-9462 gkearney_lawson@hotmail.com

Legal and Consulting Specialists
Foreign Residents and Business Owners
• Reliable and Responsive •  Excellent References
Stafford, Obregón y Valle
• Consultants • Lawyers • Notaries
Apdo. 11846-1000, San Jose, Costa Rica
Tel: (506) 253-9655   Fax: (506) 280-4576 
Cel: (506) 386-9324
Email: ulimar@costarica.net

Real estate agents

Coldwell Banker Coastal Properties Escazu
Manager Nancy Bruno
289-5790 office
387-6820 cell
Located in the new Plaza Itskazu, next to the Court Yard Marriott Escazu #203

Web design

Professional Web site design and development in English, Spanish and Italian. Our services include: design and layout of Web site, search engine optimization and submission, Web  site hosting, e-commerce solutions (sell your products on your website by accepting credit cards online), registration of domain names and professional Internet consulting. We have complete 'one price' Web site packages that include design, marketing and hosting at low prices and includes a listing on our Web sites.  Visit www.istarmedia.net or e-mail us at webmaster@istarmedia.net or call at 399-9642

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