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Jo Stuart
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The stories on this page were published Monday, Sept. 17, 2001
A.M. Costa Rica photo
San José firefighters present a wreath at the gate of the U.S. Embassy to show their solidarity with New York firemen who died  Tuesday. Linda Jewell, chargé d'affaires, accepts. More than 75 firemen (below) participated in the Friday ceremony.

A.M. Costa Rica photo
Passenger jets are flying again to the States
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Airlines with flights into Juan Santamaría Airport in the Central Valley were making a dent into the involuntary tourists Sunday. The major airlines said they were flying into the United States, and they planned to continue today.

The airport shut down when the United States and Canada closed its air spaces as a reaction to the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington in which passenger jets were used as suicide missiles.

Hundreds of outbound passengers, many of them tourists, had to spend up to five to six extra days, and some of them had to do so in the airport and nearby. Thousands of dollars in merchandise, much of it perishable, also clogged the airport.

The opening was not without problems. One man was questioned and taken away by airport police because they said he had false documents.

Rodríguez rips terrorism
See below

The American Embassy and The American Colony Committee announced that a memorial service for the U.S. victims of terrorism would be held Tuesday at 9 a.m. 

The service will be in Teatro Eugene O'Neill of the Centro Cultural Costarricense-Norteamericano in Barrio Dent some 150 meters north of the Los Yoses Gas Station.

A similar service took place Friday at the San José Cathedral, but not many North Americas attended, perhaps, in part, because the memorial Mass was only arranged the day before. Peter M. Brennan represented the U.S. Embassy and thanked Msg. Roman Arrieta Villalobos, the archbishop of San Jose, and those who attended.

Opinion: Please don't call response a 'war'
Please let's not use the words "war on terrorism."

To characterize in that way the search for those hateful people who would kill innocents is to elevate their importance. Wars are between nations. 

What is to come should be a protracted criminal investigation that will end in courts with the guilty convicted. We cannot allow the U.S. and allies to alienate all of the Middle East and nearly all members of a major world religion by embarking on a 21st century crusade.

We cannot stand by while U.S. innocents bomb, kill and maim Afghani  innocents while the real criminals chortle from their hiding places in Pakistan and elsewhere.

And we cannot let these criminals inflate their self-importance by basking in the glow of a "war" with the United States and NATO allies. They are international vandals. Deadly vandals, but vandals no less.

We should count our blessings. Some intelligence

 analysts were expecting terrorists would use a 20-kiloton suitcase bomb. No one expected passenger jets. Had nuclear devices been used, the death toll would approach a million dead with 3 million or more seriously injured.

That may still happen, and the developed world has no choice but to be a target. No amount of military preparedness or security measures can prevent suicide terrorists. This is the price of wealth and power: jealous vandals will lash out with hate.

In the short run, the western allies need a Sherlock Holmes, not General Patton. They need to make their highly bureaucratized intelligence services more flexible, clever and responsive. They need to pay higher salaries to security guards. And they need to stash pistols in airline cockpits.

In  the long run, the western allies need to mend fences with the Muslim world. They must protect the rights of Israel but they must also recognize officially the extreme injustices foisted on the Middle East by a century of self-serving western policies.

óJay Brodell
Rodríguez rips terrorists
in Independence speech

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The president of Costa Rica condemned the terrorist attack on the United States at the top of his Independence Day agenda at Parque Nacional Saturday morning.

The president, Miguel Angel Rodríguez, called upon all people of good will to make sure that terrorists  "never, never, ever repeat these acts of blood."

He also said that Costa Rica would not be a refuge for terrorists in a particularly strong reference to the events that had taken place in the United States Tuesday.

In the meantime, La Nación was revealing in its Sunday edition that the United States has asked the Costa Rica government for the whereabout of 52 suspected terrorists believed to be in Costa Rica. The newspaper quoted Rogelio Ramos, minister of security, as saying that the United States had provided a list of 52 persons who should be investigated with an eye toward extradition.

The Costa Rican president made no mention to this interchange between the two countries in his speech, but he did call for the "destruction and hatred of terrorism" as he asked the crowd of diplomats and government officials to 

Jean Béliveau with his three-wheeled walker in this file photo taken in Atlanta and published on the family Web site.
join in a minute of silence for the dead and injured in New York and Washington. They did.

The remainder of the presidential address was an upbeat review by the president of his goals and accomplishments. This is his last independence Day address as president because elections will be held in February.

The president seemed to touch all bases, from Claudia Poll and her Olympic victory to the qualification for the World Cup soccer finals by the Costa Rican national team to the success of Costa Rican students in geography and math international competitions.

"Yes, Costa Rica can!" said Rodríguez of all the challenges remaining to be conquered.

Nine arrested in new bust
in Jacó over drug sales

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Investigators have arrested nine more persons at the popular beach town of Jacó and jailed them on various drug charges.

The arrests came in the very center of the community about 7:40 p.m. Thursday in a section know as "The Camping." The months-long investigation targeted seven walled living quarters in the section, according to a statement by the Judicial Investigation Organization.

Police said they moved after an undercover purchase of drugs.

Investigators said they confiscated 120 rocks of crack, 16 small boxes of brick marijuana, five boxes of cocaine paste and five hits of cocaine as well as household appliances of uncertain origin, including recorders and televisions which authorities suspect were being swapped for drugs.  they said they also confiscated implements used in the production of crack and cocaine paste as well as cash.

They said the investigation showed that the drugs were transported from Barrio San Joss de Alajuela to Jacó. 

Just Tuesday police arrested four men in Jacó and said they seized a quarter kilo of cocaine paste.

Police identified those arrested Thursday as:

Berny Tijerimo Soto, 36, Yorleny Cordoba Salazar, 31, Enrique Gamboa Nuñez, 28, Ana Yorleny Torres Salazar, 23, Ruth Samudio Sáenz, 31, Javier Vargas Garita, 39, José Santes Milton Cheres, 27, Lidieth Campos Arias, 32, and a 15-year-old female.

Cubans deplore attacks, too

Cubans gathered Saturday in the town of Majibacoa for a rally to condemn the terrorist attacks against the United States and show support for the victims. 

The government-organized rally was led by Cuba's First Vice President, Raul Castro, brother of President Fidel Castro. 

The speakers at the rally have also taken the opportunity to criticize the U.S. government for what they call government sponsored terrorism against Cuba as well as the U.S. embargo imposed against the nation. 

Off to see the world
in hope of peace

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Watch out for the  guy with the stroller if you are headed south of Dominical on the way to Panama this week.

The walker is Jean Béliveau, who left Montreal, Canada, more than a year ago on a 10-year walk around the world to promote peace and non-violence in conjunction with the U. N. International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World, 2001 to 2010.

His wife, Luce Archambault, said via e-mail that Béliveau's son, Thomas Eric, 21, visited him in Costa Rica Aug. 17 to 28 and that in San José, they met with former president Oscar Arias Sanchez. 

The man carries his gear in a three-wheeled stroller. That includes food, clothing, a first aid kit, a small tent and a sleeping bag. He plans to cross the other continents when he finishes with South America.

"Jean is very grateful to the bomberos of La Guadelupe Station in San José and the bomberos of Quepos who hosted him and his son during their stay," said his wife.

"Along the way through the U.S., Mexico and Central America, Jean has made a lot of friends who have hosted him or helped him in all kinds of ways," she added. "I have a list of over 200 e-mail addresses of such friends to whom I send updates on Jean's journey whenever I write them." 

She maintains a Web site of the trip that may be found at:

The site contains an itinerary of the trip and shows that Béliveau left Montreal Aug. 16, 2000.

On Aug. 15 this year he sent an e-mail to his wife from Esparza on the InterAmerican Highway not far from Puentarenas.

"I am very happy over my first year's walk, so happy that, from now on, I think I'll dance while walking", he said.

The route outlined on the Web site shows he planned to be in or around Olochal on the coast south of Dominical this weekend. The walk in Costa Rica is about 545 kms., according to the Web site. That's about 330 miles.

Brazil braces for negative economic reactions
By  Bill Rodgers
A.M. Costa Rica wire services

RIO DE JANEIRO - Like other Latin American nations, Brazil is bracing for potentially negative economic repercussions from Tuesday's terrorist attacks in the United States. Economists say they are concerned that investor confidence and capital flows to Brazil and to the rest of Latin America may be affected.

Brazil's currency has sunk to new lows against the U.S. dollar during the past few days, in reaction to uncertainty about the future of the economy in the wake of Tuesday's terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. 

The Brazilian economy was already slowing this year, affected by continuing high interest rates, balance of payments difficulties, an energy crisis, and other domestic factors. It also has been affected by external developments, such as the slowdown in the U.S. economy. The Brazilian economy, which at one time was projected to grow by 4 percent this year, is likely to expand by just 2.5 percent. 

Now, in the wake of Tuesday's attacks, economists like Antonio Carlos Porto Goncalves believe the economies of Brazil and the rest of Latin America will suffer even more. "These terrorist acts may threaten consumer confidence and investments in the United States, making it more difficult for the American economy to avoid a recession," he said. "This, in turn, will affect Latin America, making it more difficult for us to maintain our rhythm of growth. International investors are likely to be less tempted to invest in Latin America, and this will lead to a deterioration in capital inflows." 

If U.S. consumer confidence drops, purchases of goods, including those made in Latin America, also could fall. But economist Porto Goncalves, who is the director of Brazil's Economic Institute at the Getulio Vargas Foundation in Rio de Janeiro, is not too 

concerned over the impact on Brazil of a potential 
decline in exports to the U.S. market.

"Brazil's exports to the United States represent about 30 percent of its total exports," he said. "But exports account for only 10 percent of Brazil's gross domestic product. . . It wouldn't be catastrophic then, if a big client of ours stops buying. . . .I think what is more worrisome is the potential impact on capital flows and investor confidence.

"This has yet to materialize, as investors continue to assess the potential impact of the attacks on the U.S. economy. But Brazil is potentially at risk, since it will need external financing to help pay off an estimated $3.2-billion in public and private debt during the next 12 months.

In the meantime, the government of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso is taking action to stop the slide of the Brazilian currency. The Brazilian central bank has intervened over the past two days to prop up the Brazilian currency, the "real," by selling dollars on the open market. Despite this, the "real" continues to sink to record lows. 

However, President Cardoso said Tuesday, his  government will continue taking these actions to protect Brazil from the potential economic fallout of the terrorist attacks. "We will act firmly, and with serenity to overcome the turbulence that could affect our countries, including Brazil, and by turbulence I'm referring economic ones, given the fact that our nation is far from the conflict," he said.

Brazilian Finance Minister Pedro Malan says it is still too early to tell what the economic consequences of Tuesday's devastating events will be. Speaking to a congressional commission Wednesday, he acknowledged the attacks are likely to aggravate the difficulties facing the world economy. But he expressed optimism that Brazil is in condition to overcome whatever problems may arise.

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