business sector demands
an emergency decree on infrastructure
By the A.M.
Costa Rica staff
The Costa Rican-North American
Chamber of Commerce, known as
AmCham, requested road
infrastructure be declared an
"The road infrastructure of Costa
Rica is at emergency levels to the
point that the competitiveness
report 2017-2018 places us in the
penultimate place in the ranking of
roads in Latin America,” it said.
“That shows the urgent need to
execute the pending projects to
solve the serious mobility problems
that affect us, such as the
sectorization and trunking of public
transport units, electronic payment,
the passenger electric train and the
extension of Route 27," AmCham said
in a press release.
The chamber added that in the
present condition the Costa Rican
State cannot weaken the institutions
responsible for dealing with the
emergency, especially the Public
Transportation Council and the
National Council of Concessions and
considers that the latter is at the
point of technical closure due to
lack of budget.
"AmCham reiterates that through the
public works concession model, the
state of emergency in which we find
ourselves can be overcome and for
this the review of the internal
procedures of the CNC and the
allocation of sufficient budget will
be the key to executing the control
functions and the implementation of
new concessions," added the
representatives of U.S. businessmen.
According to Elías Soley, president
of AmCham, "it is worrisome that
some decisions have been taken to
de-fund the operation of
institutions such as the CNC, when
it is by concession and other forms
of public-private partnerships that
we can achieve the qualitative leap
that we require.” The National
Council of Concessions has been
responsible for projects that build
infrastructure with private money.
Presidential House courtesy
sector also encouraged
partnerships to face the
weakened, we will
aggravate the road
emergency, we will
affect legal security,
the predictability that
investors require and we
will drive away foreign
direct investment that
might be interested in
AmCham also made an
urgent appeal to the
to prioritize the figure
the concession of public
works, as it is an
optimal instrument to
guarantee the quality of
"For AmCham the
attention to the road
emergency is a task of
immediate attention of
the new administration
starting on May 8," the
investigates the export of
fake organic pineapples
By A.M. Costa Rica staff
Commission for the Control of Income and
Public Expenditure of the Legislative
Assembly, started an investigation into
the alleged irregularities in the export
of false organic pineapple.
Present at the first hearing on the
subject were the Minister of Agriculture
and Livestock, Luis Felipe Arauz
Cavallini, Vice Minister Ivannia Quesada
Villalobos, Francisco Dall'Anese, former
director of the State Phytosanitary
Service and the Board of Directors of the
National Chamber of Organic Agriculture.
The parliamentary investigation arises
after a complaint filed before the
agricultural ministry by members of the
National Chamber of Organic Agriculture,
which brings together producers mainly
from the northern part of the country.
The organic agriculture chamber has
questions regarding companies Valle Verde
Corp, L and L Proyectos, MMV S.A and
Congelados y Jugos Valle Verde S.A which
the chamber alleged exported ordinary
pineapple, making it look as if it was
Dall'Anese ordered an investigation
entrusted to agriculture official José
Miguel Jiménez, shortly after checked in
hundreds of technically designed sheets to
see if there was a fraud.
According to the complaint of the organic
agriculture chamber, several conventional
pineapple exports could have been passed
off as organic pineapple and placed in
international markets, thus generating
millions in profits.
Even the U. S. Department of Agriculture
filed a complaint in this regard during a
meeting held in Vermont with Costa Rican
producers at the end of October 2015.
Part of the complaint was due to the
Ministry of Agriculture’s suspension of
several export permits for producers who
work with organic pineapple. The complaint
suggests that the ministry allowed some
entrepreneurs to sell traditional
pineapple as if they were organic.
According to a statement provided, after
the exporting company was suspended,
irregular acts occurred within the
"The suspension of activities was revoked.
Subsequently there were a series of
persecutions against the agronomist who
denounced the alleged fraud with organic
pineapple,” officials were told.
denouncing investigator was suspended
for eight days without pay, accused of
sharing information with the members of
the organic agriculture chamber who
filed the complaint.
Costa Rica archive photo
United States also filed a claim
regarding the subject in a
meeting with Costa Rican
producers in 2015 in Vermont.
Arauz eventually said in a radio
show that everything was due to a
problem of business competition
and that the actions of the
ministry regarding the complaint
had been unquestionably lawful.
Now legislators will examine the
behaviors of agriculture ministry
officials and of private companies
delegated by the state to certify
exporters and producers.
Organic chamber members said they
consider that this issue should be
of national relevance and put in
the spotlight by the media, so
they said that they will remain
After the first hearing, the
legislators said they were not
satisfied with the answers issued
by the agriculture ministry
leaders and, on the contrary, they
hinted at the need to receive more
information about the
certification process that
guarantees that an exported
product is truly organic .
"We believe that the organic
agriculture sector of this country
should be strengthened, but when a
complaint of alleged fraud is
presented we are putting our
little chicken of gold eggs at
risk. We will only solve this
problem by pointing out, attacking
and removing from circulation
those who are committing a fraud
with such significant production,"
said the legislator Frank Camacho.
The commission will extend the
investigation on the subject and
will call José Miguel Jiménez, an
agriculture technician, and
representatives of the companies
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