A.M. Costa Rica

Your daily
English-language 

news source
Monday through Friday


(506) 223-1327          Published Monday, Oct. 23, 2006, in Vol. 6, No. 210        E-mail us    
Sports
Calendar
Jo Stuart
Classifieds
Real Estate
 Food
About us


Government seeks to occupy high ground for strike
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Government officials have worked hard over the weekend to occupy the moral high ground as free trade opponents begin two days of protest today.

President Óscar Arias Sánchez has ordered that police participating in crowd control not wear guns.

Both Marco Vinicio Ruiz, minister of Comercio Exterio, and Fernando Berrocal Soto, the security minister, have called on protesters and the public in general to respect the democratic institutions. Berrocal said in a statement that to do otherwise would be treason.

Protesters have styled the marches today as revolution in the streets, although now they are calling it civics in the street.

The marchers in San José will begin from multiple points. They will start about 10 a.m. and head toward the Asamblea Legislativa where the free trade treaty they oppose is being considered. Columns are to come from Sabana Norte where the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad is located, from the Estación al Pacifico in South San José, from Parque La Merced on Avenida 2, from the Universidad de Costa Rica in San Pedro.

Teachers are supposed to join the march, leaving students either without supervision at schools or on holiday.

Employees of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social plan to march. These are hospital and clinic workers. The Arias administration has made much of the fact that surgeries will not be performed, prescriptions will not be filled and clinic
appointments will not be kept.

A survey released by Casa Presidencial said that 74 percent of the Costa Ricans reject the idea of traffic blockades and 53 percent support the trade treaty.

The march today is filled with contradictions. Teachers would not be affected by the free trade treaty, yet they are marching.  Caja workers would not be affected except that more private hospitals like Clinica Biblica and Hospital CIMA could follow increased foreign investment in the country.

Even Ablino Vargas himself deals in exaggeration. He is the secretary general of Asociación Nacional de Empleados Públicos y Privados and a prime mover of the general strike.

On the union's Web page and in a Saturday newspaper column Vargas said that "this hateful treaty will convert us into a gigantic spot for the fabrication of arms, changing for always our international image of a people who love peace."

This is a false statement that has been promoted by treaty opponents because it plays so well with the public.  Its use suggests that Vargas might have problems getting a big turnout Monday.

A legislator has latched on to the arms theme because a Costa Rican registered the name Raytheon S.A. and used the company to buy land on the Nicoya Peninsula. The U.S. arms manufacturer Raytheon Corp. has denied any knowledge of the company or the transaction.

At the same time the free trade treaty would not force Costa Rica to change its laws to allow arms manufacturing.


Some protest ground rules for the expats here
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Here's a little checklist for expats on the matter of general strikes today and tomorrow:

1. Try to stay home. Despite official promises to keep roadways open, they may not.

2. At least stay out of the downtowns. Demonstrations and marches will not be confined to San José. Most major towns all over the country have marches or protests planned. Detour around the town center if you have to travel.

3. Leaving on a commercial airliner this morning?  Well, you should be on the way by now instead of reading this. At least near Juan Santamaría airport, the highways are perfect for blockades.

4. For foreign students: If you are planning on running for U.S. Congress in 2036, it probably
would not be a good idea to get yourself photographed carrying an anti-American sign.

5. Don't count on the Internet. Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad employees have cut it off in previous protests or at least slowed the system to a crawl.

6. Every side of the issue promises a peaceful protest today, but the Communists-in-training from the Universidad de Costa Rica in San Pedro and the Universidad Nacional in Heredia take their protests much too seriously. Watch out for violent rebels in brand name jeans and shoes.

7. Marchers generally are in a good mood, and tourists in the downtown should not hesitate to take photos. But they should obey police orders.

8. And polite visitors do not get involved in the politics of a host country.


Today's
colon
exchange rate
HERE!
Subscribe
to our
daily digest

Search
our site

Send us
a news story

Real estate ads
Classified
ads

Ads for
tourists

Display
ad info

Classified
ad info

Contact us
Our stats

























See our new sports page is HERE!














A.M.
Costa Rica

Second news page



Home
Calendar
Place a classified ad
Classifieds
Real Estate
 Food
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 23, 2006, Vol. 6, No. 210


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


Pacific coasts bounce
back from heavy rains


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Central Pacific residents and some on the Nicoya Peninsula are drying out today after another dose of heavy rain Saturday.

The national emergency commission said that communities in the south and central Pacific as well as on the peninsula suffered flooding and damage.

A bridge over the Río Torito collapsed cutting motor traffic between Sámara and Puerto Carrillo on the Pacific coast of the peninsula. Heavy rain also was reported in Nosara up the coast.

Hardest hit in the central Pacific was Parrita when the Río Parrita burst out of its banks and also flooded portions of  Sitradique, La Palma and Pueblo Nuevo.

Slides blocked the roads in Ujarrás and Bioley de Buenos Aires de Puntarenas and did slides in nearby El Páramo and El Brujo de Pérez Zeledón. Some 75 persons were isolated in El Páramo.

The Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias issued alerts Saturday when the rain started. Officials plan to evaluate the damages today.

Machinery was at work Sunday clearing slides and providing temporary solutions to bigger problems. Rains are predicted again for this afternoon and evening.


Proposed park neighbors
reported to be unhappy


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Residents in the vicinity of a proposed park in San Ramón seem to oppose the idea because they do not have correct information, according to a lawmaker who led a fact-finding trip there.

The Parque Nacional Cerros del Azahar is the object of a legislative bill that is being considered by the Comisión Permanente Especial del Ambiente.  Sadie Bravo Pérez, the deputy, organized the trip to the area.

She said that she met with neighbors who thought their own lands would be taken if the park were created. This was not the case, she said.

The neighbors also thought that a foreigner who holds land would benefit from the creation of the park. However, when the deputy checked she found that the man had turned his land over to the Asociación Ramonense de Conservación Ambiental.

She also said that there is a perception that the resources of the area belong to the neighbors and not to the public in general.


Religious tax breaks
sought for all faiths


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A lawmaker wants to make sure that all religions get the same tax advantages given to the Roman Catholic Church.

The lawmakers, Carlos Gutiérrez of Movimiento Libertario, has proposed tax exonerations for all religions that are listed with the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto.

He said that despite constitutional rules of equality among religions, the Catholic Church is the only one getting the tax breaks, even on property that does not figure directly in religious efforts.

He said that a 2006 directory of religions shows four independent Catholic churches not associated with the Vatican, three Eastern Orthodox churches, 2,780 Christian congregations of all types, 14 groups characterized as marginally Christian and 13 non-Christian groups.

He proposed a change that would rectify the situation.


Shootout at Pavas home
leaves officer, suspect hurt


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Police and house burglars shot it out in Pavas, and a policeman and a suspect suffered bullet wounds.

The shootout took place some 50 meters west of the end of the Rohrmoser boulevard about 7 p.m. Friday. A patrol car approached a house where burglars were removing items.

The three burglars fired on officers, and one officer, identified as Freddy Madrigal, was wounded.

Police returned fire and a suspect identified with the last names of Álvarez Solano suffered 10 bullet wounds. Police said he was carrying a 9 mm. weapon.

Other individuals fled on foot. Police confiscated a vehicle nearby that contained a flat-screen television and other objects of value.


Man died in shooting

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A Colombian man died in a planned execution Saturday evening in La Florida de Tibás.

The man, identified as Humberto Alegria Sánchez, was walking with some friends when two cars pulled up and occupants started shooting at him.

Fuerza Pública officers said they found at least 14 shell casings at the scene. The victim was hit at least four times.


Woman drowns in San Isidro

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A woman identified as Anat Lederman, 43, was swept away by the Río San Isidro Sunday and rescue workers and firemen found her body some 500 meters downstream. She was reported to be an Israeli citizen andperhaps a tourist. She was in the river with her daughter, 12, who survived.

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.

Legal services

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, rentista and inversionista. Your first stop for smooth, professional service and a positive experience. Javier Zavaleta jzava@pacbell.net
www.residencyincostarica.com
Tel: 323-255-6116
2569-2/16/06

KEARNEY-LAWSON & Assoc.

Lic.Gregory Kearney Lawson.
Attorneys at Law and real estate brokers

*Relocation services,  *Wedding Planning  *Investments  *Corporations *Tax Shelters
*Real Estate Sales in Costa Rica
*Immigration  *Name & Product registration *Business procedures  *Family and Labor Law *Locate People   *Private Investigations

Ph/Fax: 221-9462,  841-0007
attorneykearney@yahoo.com
costarica@attorneykearney.com
http://attorneykearney.com
2568-2/16/06


(506) 257-8068 / 233-0293
Paseo Colon Av, 30th Street
1 block west from Pizza Hut, San Jose C.R.
www.immigrationexperts.co.cr
E-mail: info@immigrationexperts.co.cr

Lilliana Torres, attorney at law

We handle immigration services and residency procedures as required by the government for foreigners who wish to live in Costa Rica. For 16 years we've provided competitive, dependable, professional services with integrity, loyalty and honesty. Thousands of satisfied foreign clients have obtained their Costa Rican residency through us.

RESIDENCIES AND RENEWALS 
NATURALIZATIONS

2731-11/9/06

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).
2436-12/26/06


Real estate agents and services

MARGARET SOHN
f
ormerly 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

samargo@racsa.co.cr
samargo@gmail.com
www.realtorcostarica.com
(506)  289-4293 &  (506) 382-7399 cell
(506)  232-5016 &  289-4171 (phone/fax)
2335-12/25/06

CENTURY 21 Jacó Beach Realty
A Name You Trust & Professional Service

Buying? Selling?
We Can Do It!

  Tom Ghormley - Owner/Broker - in CR since '79

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

www.c21jaco.com
643-3356
Info@c21jaco.com

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.

www.firstcr.com
2354-12/2/06

Accountants

U.S. Tax and Accounting

Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal services
Over 10 years in Costa Rica
(English Spoken)
C.R. 288-2201   U.S 786-206-9473
E-mail: ustax@lawyer.com

1973-5/1/06

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
2155-3/20/07





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


A.M.
Costa Rica

Third news page



Home
Calendar
Place a classified ad
Classifieds
Real estate
 Food
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 23, 2006, Vol. 6, No. 210








Time to face music for U.S. fugitive linked to crimes here
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Self-styled U.S. bad guy Michael Vincent Milano has been deported to the United States after a short career linked to robberies in the Jacó area.

Immigration officials said he was to be deported to Florida Saturday after being detained by them.

Milano, 24, has a long record of charges in Florida, ranging from possession of drugs, burglary, robbery of a minor, violation of bail and faking documents, said officials. He will face a judge in Sarasota, Florida. He has been arrested there 22 times, officials said.

At some point, the New York native exported his activities in Costa Rica. He was detained after men robbed two service stations in the Jacó area Sept. 12. Two Costa Ricans also were held.

A taxi driver was held hostage by the robbers for about two hours, so Milano also faced an allegation of abduction that was being prosecuted by the Fiscalia de
Garabito.

Police on patrol saw a vehicle containing three men enter
a service station in Coyolar de Orotina about 4 a.m. Sept. 12. Because the men left the station rapidly, the police on patrol decided to follow them. The car then entered the property of another service station, this one in La Pita de Tárcoles, and then left at high speed, said agents.  Police followed the car to where the men lived — a cabina in the center of Jacó.

It came as no surprise, then that Milano was again picked up Oct. 13 after gunmen held up a payroll clerk in Playa Herradura and took off with 5 million colons, about $9,600. 

He was held briefly and then discarded as a suspect.

But that got the attention of the Policía de Migración.

Milano had no papers when he was detained walking down a city street. He originally entered the country as a tourist, so although police were working on an arrest warrant from the United States, Milano could be expelled for overstaying his visa instead of given a chance to fight extradition.

Milano was well-known by neighbors in the Jacó area as a suspicious character.



The poor old dog beset with fleas is still a good target
A todo perro flaco se le pegan las pulgas.

“Fleas always stick to a scraggy dog.” This dicho has to do with misfortune. The meaning essentially is that bad luck attracts more bad luck. Or, to employ an apparent paradigm, often when a person is poor his impecunious circumstance just seems to continue attracting one fiasco after another.
 
This expression can also provide a means for defending oneself from unjust suspicion. For example, when something has gone missing and you are asked repeatedly, either by the object’s owner or the police, if you have seen it, or if you know what happened to the thing, you may finally respond that you have already been asked these questions many times and this is completely unfair. A todo perro flaco se le pegan las pulgas in this particular case would signify “Hey, I’m the poor innocent one here, but clearly you’re trying to attach some sort of malfeasance to me.”
 
People often say of their neighborhood that it just seems to attract calamity and decline como un pero flaco se le pegan las pulgas.  On this topic some will remark, “Oh, of course, but it’s because there are so many immigrants living around here.” In Costa Rica this usually means “so many Nicas,” while in the United States it might mean “so many Mexicans.”
 
But isn’t this often just an attempt to cover up the fact that we don’t really want to take on issues like substandard housing, urban blight and the economic exploitation of our immigrant population? Blaming the problem on the victims themselves – the peros flacos – provides us with an easy way out of our civic and social responsibilities.
 
To some Ticos, Nicaraguans are the reason for all of Costa Rica’s problems. This, of course, furnishes our government with a most convenient, if unacknowledged, way of letting itself off the hook for its neglect and inaction.

My goodness, it almost makes one think that if the Nicas weren’t around to be our peros flacos we would have to invent them!

The
way we say it

By Daniel Soto

I just came back from a working visit to Nicaragua. The other day I got into a discussion with an acquaintance that loves to come up with novel excuses for the many shortcomings of our government here in Costa Rica. I said to him I’d observed the streets in Managua are in much better shape than those of San José.
 
“Well, of course!” he exclaimed. “That’s because the Nicas working here in Costa Rica are sending all their money out of the country over to Nicaragua,” says he, with a completely straight face.
 
A pretty lame defense of a government that promised, upon its installation in office last May, that all the roads would be fixed by September. In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s now the middle of October, and even the most ardent Liberacionistas among us would have to admit that Costa Rica’s streets and roads are still in pretty deplorable condition.
 
In reality, the majority of Nicaraguan immigrants, legal or otherwise, contribute significantly to the economy of our country by working, especially in the construction, service, and agricultural sectors, for very low wages at jobs that most Costa Ricans appear to shun. And, of course, these laborers have every right to send money to their families back in Nicaragua. After all, wealthy Costa Ricans often invest much — if not most — of their money abroad and nobody seems to be particularly bothered by that.



Banco de Costa Rica hooks up with MoneyGram to send and receive cash
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Banco de Costa Rica said it has entered into an agreement with MoneyGram International, Inc., the financial services company. Bank customers will be able to send or receive money at any of the 800 teller windows in Costa Rica.
The agreement allows money to be sent to any country that maintains commercial relations with the United States, the bank said.

MoneyGram is a competitor of Western Union. The Banco de Costa Rica did not specify the rates but said they were competitive.


You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!



A.M. Costa Rica

Fourth news page


Home
Calendar
Place a classified ad
Classifieds
Real estate
 Food
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 23, 2006, Vol. 6, No. 210


Panama's voters OK canal expansion, but turnout called low
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Preliminary referendum results in Panamá say voters have overwhelmingly approved a plan to expand the Panamá Canal.

With nearly half the ballots counted, election officials reported about 80 percent of the votes were in favor of the $5.2-billion plan.

Voter turnout was estimated at about 40 percent.

The results were never in doubt.  Eduardo Valdés Escoffery, the president of the election tribunal, called President Martín Torrijos at 6:30 p.m. to report that the yes votes had carried the day, according to the La Prensa newspaper. Torrijos supports the expansion plan and spoke to the nation Sunday night citing the approval.

The Organization of American States had observers at the polls and reported nothing out of the ordinary.
If approved, the $5.25 billion plan would create a new shipping lane using new locks and a wider, deeper channel to allow the world's largest ships to access the canal system.

Supporters of the expansion say it is essential for Panamá to stay competitive in global shipping, would provide thousands of jobs and would boost the country's economy.

Opponents have questioned the need for the project and say it will benefit the canal's customers more than Panama's citizens.  Plus they question the envirnomental effects and say that important archaeological sites will be destroyed.

Construction would begin in 2007 and be completed by 2014.

The United States built the canal almost a century ago. It reverted to Panamanian control under treaties signed in 1977 by then-president Jimmy Carter and Panama's military leader General Omar Torrijos, the late father of the current Panamanian president.


New and traditional techniques keep drug police busy
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Anti-drug police confronted some creative smuggling at the end of the week.

In Paso Canoas officers encountered what they terms black heroin when they conducted a search of a bus passenger. The substance was hidden in an air purifier the man was transporting, they said.

The suspect was identified as Turcio Martínez, 36, a Guatemalan en route through the country.  Officers said the air device weighted 25 kilos (55 pounds) and contained five kilos (11 kilos) of the black substance.

The substance did not seem to be the black tar heroin that is typical of Mexican production. This was a formerly white heroin that had been mixed with another substance, officers said.

They said this was done to throw off sniffing dogs, to confuse officers and to confuse any field tests for drugs.

The Policía de Control de Drogas said this was the first time they had seen this type of technique.

Meanwhile, at Juan Santa María airport in Alajuela, agents said they discovered a Spanish man using a more traditional method. He had packets of a substance attached to his buttocks. He was identified by the last names of Unica Garrido. Officials said he was 30. They said they

Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Púbica photo
A girdle of sorts was used to hold packages of a substance to the body of this Spanish air traveler.

confiscated  three kilos and 276 grams of suspected cocaine, about 7.2 pounds. At the same airport officials said they also found more than a kilo of cocaine hidden in an air courier shipment of coffee bags going to the United States.


Uribe pulls plug on possible prisoner exchange with leftist rebels in Colombia
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe has withdrawn his offer to negotiate a prisoner exchange with leftist rebels after blaming them for a car bombing in Bogota.

Uribe addressed the nation Friday, a day after a bomb at a military university in the Colombian capital wounded 23 people.  He said the only remaining option is a military rescue of some 60 prisoners held by the rebels of the Fuerza Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia.

The Colombia president had earlier indicated he might be willing to swap those prisoners, who include former  presidential candidate and French national Ingrid
 Betancourt as well as three U.S. citizens, for rebels held in government prisons.

Betancourt's mother, Alvaro Levya, said the president's speech today amounts to a death sentence for her daughter.

The explosion of a sport utility vehicle took place in a parking lot Thursday morning.

The commander of the army, Gen. Mario Montoya, was attending an event at the university at the time of the blast, but he was unharmed.

Colombia has been fighting a leftist insurgency for 40 years.


News from the BBC up to the minute
BBC sports news up to the minute
BBC news and sports feeds are disabled on archived pages.


 
A.M. Costa Rica

Fifth news page

Good grief!

Are you still spending 70 percent 
of your advertising budget on paper?

You need to fill this space ASAP!

Home Calendar Place a 
classified ad
Classifieds Real estate  Food About us
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 23, 2006, Vol. 6, No. 210


U.S. Commerce secretary gives warning on Nicaraguan vote
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The United States and Nicaragua have an important economic relationship that is entering a new stage now that the U.S.-Central American Free Trade Agreement has entered into force, and the upcoming presidential elections present Nicaragua with an opportunity to enhance their economic ties or put them at risk, according to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez.

In a video conference Thursday with Nicaraguan journalists, Gutierrez outlined the importance of the U.S.-Nicaraguan economic relationship as well as how the relationship may be affected by Nicaragua’s Nov. 5 presidential elections.

Gutierrez pointed out that in 2005, before the passage of the free trade pact, the United States purchased 30 percent of Nicaragua’s exports and speculated that this market share will continue to expand as a result of the treaty known as CAFTA.

“Before CAFTA we had a very important relationship and purchased an important amount of Nicaragua’s exports,” he said.  “One can imagine what this can be with the development of CAFTA and with more trade and economic activity between both countries.”

As an example of this increased economic activity Gutierrez pointed out that 13 major U.S. companies have plans to invest approximately $240 million in Nicaragua, investment that will create about 13,000 jobs.  However, the secretary cautioned, these and other investments could be contingent on the outcome of Nicaragua’s presidential balloting. Polls show Daniel Ortega, the Sandinista leader, might be the winner.

The U.S. had been working against Ortega in a way that has generated controversy even in the United States.

“We are beginning to see this economic activity but there are companies that are waiting to see the results of Nicaragua’s upcoming presidential elections,” he explained.

Gutierrez indicated that the United States and U.S. business community are preoccupied with the prospect of an electoral victory by the Sandinista party that governed Nicaragua from 1979 to 1990.

“It is not a secret that when this party was in power many
years ago, the relationship with the United States suffered a great deal, and trade between both countries dropped significantly,” Gutierrez said.  “It is a historical fact that  relations with our country have been limited and damaged when the Sandinistas have been in power and this is our preoccupation.”

Gutierrez said that the United States has not done calculations on the potential economic impact of a Sandinista victory, but given Nicaragua’s exports to the U.S. as well as the importance of U.S. investment in Nicaragua, he cautioned it could be significant.

“One can imagine if investment did not grow or if it was cut, or if [exports] were cut in half,” he said. “It is a bit difficult to quantify the impact, but whatever impact would be important for the economy.”

Rather than dwell on the potential fallout of a Sandinista victory, Gutierrez encouraged Nicaraguans to consider the benefits of continued economic cooperation with the United States.

“One has to consider not just the negative but also the positive, what we can do together through the development of CAFTA,” he said.  “If we continue opening our market, if we continue creating jobs, and if we continue promoting investment in Nicaragua, all of this will benefit the country and the prosperity of the country.”

Gutierrez said it is important that Nicaraguans understand and weigh the risks and rewards as they head to the polls next month.

“These elections are very important and we want the Nicaraguan people to remember the important economic relationship between both countries and that this is not a moment to put this at risk.”

The secretary added that while the United States hopes to conclude free trade accords with Colombia, Peru and Panama in the near future, Nicaragua is among the relatively few nations currently with a free trade accord with the United States.  He said that Nicaragua and the United States should look to build on the free trade agreement, not revise or cancel the accord, as some Sandinistas have advocated.

“It would be a shame because we feel it is a great opportunity for both countries,” he said.


Survey shows sharp increase in U.S. money being sent home
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

For decades, many immigrants to the United States, both legal and illegal, have sent money to relatives in their countries of birth. A recent study shows remittances from Latin American immigrants up 50 percent over the last two years. For many countries in Latin America, remittances constitute an economic lifeline that experts believe could promote greater development in the region.

For every immigrant, the decision to send money to needy relatives in their native lands is a personal one. But the collective impact of remittances to Latin America is growing ever-larger, according to Luis Moreno, head of the Inter-American Development Bank.

"This year Latin America will receive around $60 billion from its ex-patriates around the world," said Moreno. "About $45 billion of that total will come from the United States, up from $30 billion in 2004."

A study commissioned by the bank estimates more than $13 billion will have been sent this year from California, more than $5 billion from Texas, and more than $3 billion each from New York and Florida. The study also shows significant growth in remittances from U.S. states that historically have not had large Hispanic populations, revealing the emerging demographic diversity of the Latin American immigrant community in the United States.

According to the study, 73 percent of Hispanic immigrants send remittances, on average once a month. The average amount is $300. The top recipients are Mexico, at more than $20 billion, followed by Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, and Peru. Remittances to Cuba were not included in the study.
For some countries, money received from the United States and elsewhere constitutes their single largest source of income, eclipsing World Bank and International Monetary Fund loans as well as foreign assistance.

But is this good news? Luis Moreno says remittances are a mixed blessing.

"We are not celebrating the fact that remittances from Latin America continue to increase," he said. "These flows show that our region is still far from generating enough good jobs and opportunities for all its young people to prosper at home."

Data for the study was compiled through surveys of Hispanic immigrant communities across the United States. Lead researcher Sergio Bendixen says most respondents said they were unemployed before coming to the United States, and that those who had work in their home countries were struggling to survive.

"The were making $100, $150, $200 a month," said Bendixen. "All of a sudden they come to the United States. They get a job within two weeks, a month. And they are making five times, six times, ten times the amount of money. Very easy to understand what the magnet is."

And the trend is likely to continue, according to the development bank's manager for multilateral investments, Donald Terry, who noted the United States recently observed the passing of the 300 million mark in population.

"The United States government projects that, of the next 100 million people to live and work in the United States, 40 million will come from outside of the United States," said Donald Terry. "They will be immigrants."





 

 
A.M. Costa Rica
Sports news
local and from the wires



Home
Calendar
Place a classified ad
Classifieds
Real estate
 Food
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 23, 2006, Vol. 6, No. 210


Costa Rica's surf team ends up in seventh place out of 33
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Gilbert Brown of Puerto Viejo — the last Costa Rica Surf Team member in the International Surfing Association World Surfing Games in Huntington Beach, California, started paddled out confidently Saturday morning in 4- to 5-foot waves, and made quick snaps and rode down the line to defend the colors of Costa Rica.

This was the Repercharge Heat 7.

The level of surfing was high, and he stayed alive for the first 10 minutes.

However, the heat was a fight to the death between Brown and the Hawaiian Sebastián Zietz, one that came to a head with a double interference on one particular wave that ended the hopes of the Tico.

Brown placed  fourth.  Australia’s Julian Wilson won first place, Zietz took second place even with the interference and Mexico’s Diego Cadena was 3rd.

Despite Brown’s elimination, the seven-day stand of the Costa Rican surf delegation has made history both in the global surfing community, and in the Latin world. With the exception of Brazil, this Tico team of Brown; Nino Myrie of Puerto Viejo; Luis Vindas, Diejo Naranjo and Lisbeth Vindas, all Jacó; Nataly Bernold of Tamarindo,  Iván Castillo of Quepos, and Walter Gatgens of Quepos — has gone further in the surf games than anyone  expected.

The International Surfing Association Web page of the ISA, shows provisionally that Costa Rica has earned 11,720 points for its surf work this past week.  The team

Photo by Shifi Surf Shots
The Tico World Surfing Games team

occupies seventh place among 33 countries, and except for Brazil, is the best Latin American surf team.

In a surprising addition to a spectacular week for the Costa Rican group, the surfers were invited back Saturday afternoon to the beach once again to represent their country in a surf contest among the best-of-the best in the tag team  semifinals.

The Ticos got the nod when Spain decided not to participate.

With strong efforts both Saturday afternoon and Sunday, the Costa Rican team ended up in fourth place in the tag team finals after Australia, Brazil and South Africa.


The latest top sports news
Sports news from VOA
Sports feeds are disabled on archived pages.


Sports
Calendar
Jo Stuart
Classifieds
Real Estate
 Food
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