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(506) 223-1327              Published Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2007, in Vol. 7, No. 205        E-mail us   
Jo Stuart
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Sensational sex crimes vanish before facts
Immigration seems to have help overstating cases
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A lecherous Santa Ana magazine publisher was caught in the middle of an orgy at a local motel.

A Central Pacific real estate agent is the first captured female pedophile, a drug addict and also addicted to having sex with children.

At least those are the allegations published prominently in El Diario Extra, a sensationalistic Spanish Language daily newspaper.

And there is another problem: The only allegations against the two in their separate cases are that they are in the country illegally or in violation of the terms of their tourist visa.

The alleged orgy participant, Jim Zimolka, said he quickly was let go by immigration and he never even entered the motel room that was supposed to be the scene of the sexual encounter. He said he was let go after an interview four days later in which immigration officials cautioned him not to work here on a tourist visa. HIs visa was valid when he was detained.

The woman, Kytka Jezek, is marking her 35th day in the immigration lockup in Hatillo today. She also faces an allegation that she overstayed a tourism visa by years, but she presents a logical reason for that. She is engaged in a legal battle.

In both cases, the detentions showed a close relationship between Diario Extra workers and the Policía de Migración. When police grabbed Zimolka on the ground of the motel, they took him from his vehicle, handcuffed him and led him directly into the waiting lenses of newspaper photographers.

Ms. Jezek said that the erotic photos of her, including one in which she wore latex and carried a whip, were stolen from her home and somehow found their way to reporters and then to the front page of the newspaper. She blames a business dispute for her notoriety. She said the photos were for her husband who is actively working on her behalf.

And those children she was luring to an Escazú hotel? She's their mother.

So far no other charges have been pressed against either North American. Both were handled as immigration violators and not criminals. If they were held for criminal investigation, they would be in the prison system and not the Hatillo lockup. Zimolka was there briefly and released.

In the case of Ms. Jezek, Diario Extra reporter Fabián Meza attributed much of his information to Francisco Castaing, the head of the immigration police. Meza wrote the article about Zimolka, too.

In August, Ms. Jezek contacted A.M. Costa Rica by e-mail to report an attempt on her life. A man had put a knife to her throat, she said. She was encouraged to file a police report, and said Monday that she had filed a number of complaints that have not been acted on.
Heigh ho
Heigh ho, it's not off to work we go

Tourist means you don't work

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Dramatic and sensational arrests of North American visa violators show that immigration police need an additional reason to crack down. Almost always there is another reason.

North American fugitives from the law frequently are detained on immigration charges to avoid the complexities of extradition. So too with Colombian rebels.

Santa Ana businessman Jim Zimolka learned the hard way that a tourist visa means the bearer is a tourist. He became visible because a prior employee complained. Hundreds of North Americans are at work daily in Costa Rica in sportsbooks, call centers and real estate businesses even though their visa is for tourism.

As the magazine publisher found out, an individual may not engage in work on a tourist visa. To do so makes visitors vulnerable to deportation. But the sportsbook and Pacific coast real estate business would collapse if immigration enforced the letter of the law.

One problem is the state of the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería. Although the law provides for work permits and business visas, getting them is difficult, time-consuming and expensive.

She said the illegal status in the country developed because her lawyer withdrew her applications for residency without her knowledge.

Zimolka was interviewing for a secretary, something he should not have been doing if he were here on a tourism visa. He became known to immigration because he had placed ads for a secretary in the very same Diario Extra. He also was the object of a complaint by a job applicant.

Immigration went so far as to send an undercover officer to seek the secretary's job. Zimolka said it was the woman and her companion who suggested a trip to a Tres Rios motel which would be the scene of an erotic photo shoot. His bragging during the trip about fixing up Ticas with old Gringos was relayed promptly to reporters and was recounted in detail in the newspaper.

He said later he would have to hire a local to operate his sports magazine business. Unlike the genial Zimolka, Ms. Jezek is still livid when discussing the news article and said she plans legal action when and if she gets out of the lockup.

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Our readers opinions
Corruption is everywhere,
fishing captain reports

Dear A. M. Costa Rica:
Here is my 2 cents worth. I have been visiting Costa Rica for seven years two or three times each year. I also run fishing trips to Costa Rica, so I have some experience with dealing with the people. Not a lot but some.

In this period of time I have made a few friends and many acquaintances, all of which I value. I have found the people to be the most friendly I have ever met. Yes I have had a few personal items stolen, and I do lock my doors, but by and large my experience here has been wonderful. I have never experienced negative feelings from the Ticos, ever.

A slower pace? What a relief. I don't come here to experience another United States. I love my country but I love Costa Rica as well. I have a business at home and there are problems there as well. Not the same type, but problems just the same.

Corruption is in every type of government, and you don't have to look too far. It is just that we are accustom to our own type of corruption, so it seems normal. Water shortage, power outage? Sure but with the relaxed pace, just slow down and smell the roses. Maybe that is why the Ticos live longer than the Gringos.
Art Scena
 Quepos and
Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania

U.S. serviceman wants
to return to Costa Rica

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Today as I read your columns, I felt hurt on a personal level as people dumped on Costa Rica. How some expats (what the heck is an x-pat anyway, is that a person that doesn't like his or her country so they are an x, like an x wife or x husband, I was in the US Marine Corp for 12 years, if you called me or any other fellow Marines "X" we'll be quick to correct you, not X, Prio or still a Marine).

Now back to all this stuff on how bad Costa Rica is. By the way, I was born in Costa Rica but left it as a child. My parents moved to of all places New Jersey then
Florida. Both places were good, but for certain not perfect nor lacking of bad things. Yes the U.S.A. is probably the best country in the world in many ways, but it also has it's faults. Don't get me wrong. I love it to my very last drop of my blood.

In fact I am writing this letter from a mountain camp in the hills just east of Kabul Afghanistan, where I've been for going on two years Jan 08. I have a map of Costa Rica on my wall with the Stars and Stripes next to it. My dream is to move to Costa Rica soon I hope and pray.

I will be leaving behind my daughter and two grand boys in Florida, so I can retire and live a some what comfortable lifestyle. Why? you ask. Because after 27 years of military service in the U.S. armed forces, (first as I said with the Marines, then in special operations with the Air Force) and retiring as an E-8, college grad at that, I will have to go and work just to make ends meet.

In Costa Rica I can live better, with my retirement, I am fortunate and feel blessed that I have a Costa Rica to go to, I have many friends who have retired, well, changed profession from the military to Wal-mart or such other jobs. By the time a military person retires he or she is to old to be hired on in a good paying job. That's how it is.

Most retired people in the U.S., I'd venture to say over half, have to get a demeaning, mediocre job just to get by. So I'm moving to Costa Rica. I and my wife who is also Tica, know after all the years in the U.S., having all the luxuries most United Stadians (which is what I call people from U.S.A. not "gringos" or Americans, Costarricenses are Americans too), take for granted and the easier way things get done, we still look forward to living in CR, having been stationed in so many countries around the world protecting our freedom and way of life, it makes me wonder why people leave the home in the U.S.A., the ones who expect to find a little U.S.A. in these countries or islands in the Caribbean.

No country is like the United States of America. In fact that is why so many other countries hate it or hate "Americans" and want to blow us up. Yes, I, too, am "American," but the arrogance of that way of life is so obnoxious that it causes problems for us.

I'm sorry to those who had bad experiences in CR. The country is so small that you hear all the bad things that happen in the smallest town, in the U.S. you only get the local news, but in reality in the inner cities, it has more crime, more drugs, more corruption than we are made aware off, so don't live in Costa Rica, find the perfect place somewhere else.

A pastor once said to me, "You know, many people church hop hoping to find the perfect church, not realizing that as soon as they attend it is no longer perfect, so they should just stay where they are and try to make it better." Having said that, I'll end with "Semper Fi," For those that don't know, it means "Always Faithful" 
Fabio Cedeno
Somewhere near Kabul

Arias still plans to visit Liberia

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

President Óscar Aris Sánchez is off to Liberia today to deliver machinery to the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes, but emergency conditions because of rain might hamper the effort. The president was supposed to participate in a parade of road building machinery, but much of it has been called into service.

Arias also will inaugurate the $300 million Solarium Liberia near Aeropuerto Daniel Oduber. That will include condos, offices, stores and even a free trade zone.

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2007, Vol. 7, No. 205

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Road conditions are a disaster
Emergency efforts shift to Guanacaste
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The dislocations continue and so does the rain.

Emergency attention shifted to Guanacaste Monday when that area registered more flooding after heavy rains.

Emergency workers conducted a massive evacuation of sections of the community of Filadelfia when the dike protecting the neighborhoods from the Río Tempísque showed signs of failure. Residents were put in a parish hall.

In all nearly 1,000 persons are living in shelters in the Parrita, Puntarenas centro and Filadelfia areas.

There were no more reported deaths. The toll stands at 16, counting a landslide and two persons carried away by rivers over the weekend.

The road condition is grim. In Guanacaste, the highway between Liberia and Filadelfia was flooded and could not be used.

The Interamerican highway was closed at Cambronero where three-quarters of the highway fell away. Crews do not expect to have the problem fixed until Wednesday. Truck transportation is stalled.

The road between San Isidro de El General and Dominical was closed due to landslides.  There was a break in the Interamerican at Cerro de la Muerte. There were slides in most section of the country.

Transport officials estimated that more than $1 million in damage had been done by the six days of downpours. A number of bridges suffered damage.

There still were problems in the Central Valley. A community in the canton de Santa Ana was cut off. Some 91 persons were in a shelter at San Rafael de Santa Ana. Some 10 homes are now listed as destroyed in Atenas. Acosta, too, was suffering slides and flooding. Some 26 communities were cut off there.

Communities were cut off all over the Nicoya Peninsula. A red alert was declared for much of the peninsula at 7 p.m. Monday.  The heavy rain appears to have started in much of Guanacaste late Sunday, in part due to a low pressure system parked over Nicaragua.  Communities
Red alert map
A.M. Costa Rica graphic
Shaded areas show regions of major concern.

around Cóbano were unreachable. Further up the peninsula the cantons of Hojancha, Nicoya, Santa Cruz, Nandayure, Carrillo, La Cruz and Liberia were included in the alert.

A dike failed at Nosara causing extensive flooding. Some 18 people were put in a new shelter there.

Parrita, which has been under water for five days also was included although emergency officials said there was little change there. The community is on the central Pacific.
The Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias was continuing to coordinate the local emergency commissions.

The highway scene was bleak. Transport officials said it may take two weeks or more to open up all the roads, and that depended on the weather.

The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional was not optimistic. The forecast called for continued instability despite the passing of a tropical wave. Continued showers are predicted for the Pacific in the morning with afternoon downpours in the Central Valley and along the Pacific coast.

Some rain was predicted for the northern zone and the Caribbean mountains.

When the weather gets bad, blame it on the onda tropical
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

When conditions get moist in Costa Rica, the weather experts speak of an onda tropical, or tropical wave in English. This is a trough of low pressure that moves westward across the Atlantic bringing unstable and heavy weather.

The tropical wave that came through last night is the principal cause of the heavy rain and flooding in Guanacaste. Earlier there was a large low pressure area over the Yucatan Peninsula that dumped water on most of the central pacific where Parrita is located.
Tropical waves are frequent in the Atlantic and move into the Caribbean and into Costa Rica. They are moved from east to west by the prevailing winds.

The U.S. Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that the waves are about 2000 to 2,500 kms (some 1,200 to 1,500 miles) north to south and are about four days apart. 

On the average, some 60 such waves are noted from April to November each year, the agency said.

The waves seem to have a role in the creation of major hurricanes.

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again in September.

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Food prices are rising and putting squeeze on poorer nations
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

During the past year, basic foods have become significantly more expensive in many parts of the world, adding to the misery of impoverished regions and straining the budgets of families across the globe. A complex set of factors is causing global demand for food to rise faster than the supply, and experts warn that, absent swift action, the situation is likely to worsen.

Recent months have seen Mexicans protesting a doubling of the price of tortillas, Italians dismayed by soaring prices for pasta and other wheat-based products, and Egyptians angry over prices rising as much as 50 percent for basic groceries.

Oil and butter prices in Egypt have increased by almost 30 cents. Prices have increased across the board so Egyptians can only buy one kilogram of a product instead of two.

These cases are not simply isolated anomalies, but rather a global trend, according to Lester Brown of the Washington-based Earth Policy Institute.

"In seven of the last eight years, world grain production has fallen short of consumption," said Brown. "We have been pulling down world grain stocks until now they are at the lowest level in 34 years."

Experts say several factors are to blame: a growing world population, under investment in agriculture technology, housing and business development crowding out farmlands, droughts and floods made more severe by climate change, and ever-growing human demand for a limited supply of fresh water.

In addition, grains like corn once grown exclusively to feed humans and livestock are now being diverted into programs to generate ethanol and other so-called biofuels as an alternative to oil and gasoline. With oil prices rising steeply in recent years, the economic incentive to produce grain-based fuels has risen as well.

Taken together, these factors have led to growing food shortages and rising prices that could spell disaster for the world's poor people, according to Brown.

"People on the lower rungs of the global economic ladder are barely hanging on, and as food prices rise, many are
simply losing their grip and beginning to fall off," said Brown. "And what we are looking at, in the absence of a major intervention, is a very substantial increase in hunger in the world, in mortality rates."

Brown and others say a doomsday scenario need not come to pass if decisive steps are taken. For instance, U.N. officials are urging farmers to strike a balance between crops grown for food and those destined for energy purposes.

"The crops for energy production should be done in rotation with crops for food production, so you rotate crops between energy and food in different parts of the year or different years," said Gustavo Best, U.N. energy vice chairman,

Others recommend an end to government subsidies for ethanol and other biofuels, more funding for crop research, combating climate change, and improving roads in developing countries to help farmers get their crops to market.

Perhaps most important is water management, according to Mark Rosegrant of the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington.

"Agriculture is going to have to get by with less water and still produce a lot more food," said Rosegrant. "So there is a big push needed to make water management more efficient, but also to breed crops that are much more drought tolerant."

Rosegrant notes that rising food prices will encourage greater food production, but says the free market alone cannot solve the problem.

"You are seeing already responses with farmers putting more land under production, increasing productivity in the last year or so," said Rosegrant. "So I do expect some falloff in these commodity prices over the next year or so. But to engender a long-term solution, you do need bigger and longer-term investments, some of which have to come from the public sector."

Absent such investments, Rosegrant and others predict the outlook for food supplies in sub-Sahran Africa, much of South Asia and other parts of the world will be bleak.

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2007, Vol. 7, No. 205

Return of Special Olympics athletes is an emotional affair at Juan Santamaría
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The big sports story in Costa Rica this week is the arrival of some 60 Special Olympics athletes who brought home 67 medals from the event in China.

President Óscar Arias Sánchez met with them Monday but his visit was nothing like the cheering, tears and embraces that took place at Juan Santamaría airport Sunday night.
 Parents, brothers and sisters and friends showed up with Costa Rican flags and large signs to welcome the late night flight.

Arias had met with the team before the departure to  Shanghai. "All Costa Rica is proud of you," he told them.

He spent two hours with them Monday hearing their stories of victories in China.

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