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A.M. Costa Rica
Top stories  from
Oct. 1, 2008 and Sept, 24, 2009

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A.M. Costa Rica top stories

This is a summary of the most important or most interesting stories that have appeared in A.M. Costa Rica, the English-language daily newspaper, between Oct. 1, 2008, and Sept. 24. 2009. The latest daily news feed is HERE!

Top stories two Sept. 28, 2009, July 12, 2010 HERE!
Top stories three Dec. 10, 2009, and Dec. 29, 2010 HERE!
Top stories four May 11, 2010, to  Aug. 30, 2011 HERE!

Guayabo seeks to attract tourists
September 25, 2009 4:28 AM

Tourists visiting the Monumento Nacional Guayabo next year might find an elevated walkway covering nearly the entire lengthh of the monument's protected area, some 700 meters long, about 2,300 feet.

Ministry targets sex tourism ads
September 25, 2009 4:27 AM

Publicizing Costa Rica as a sex tourism destination would be a crime under a proposal announced by the security ministry Wednesday. The prohibition extends to any medium of communications, presumably including the Internet.

Volunteers collected $75,000 in one weekend
September 24, 2009 5:03 AM

The Costa Rican branch of a housing charity made 43 million colons, some $75,000, by sending volunteers into the streets with collection cans last weekend.

Do you like dogs?
September 23, 2009 4:34 AM

The Costa Rica Animal Shelter near San Rafael de Heredia is a great spot for anyone wishing to adopt a pet dog, puppy or cat. The dogs in particular show the mongrel vigor not found in expensive purebred canines.

They were off and running on the Gulf of Nicoya
September 23, 2009 4:34 AM

The Nicoya Peninsula's first kayak races had good weather and 10 participants.

Reward offered for missing U.S. tourist
September 22, 2009 4:38 AM

Investigators are working on the assumption that a missing 28-year-old doctoral student is living as a hermit just outside Parque Nacional Rincón de la Vieja.

Another piece of paper for residency
September 22, 2009 4:37 AM

The Costa Rican immigration agency has added another requirement for those seeking permanent and temporary residency in Costa Rica. Applicants are required to register with their own consulate in Costa Rica.

Despite economy, types of credit cards multiply
September 21, 2009 4:36 AM

Costa Rican shoppers have 13 more types of credit cards, according to a survey by the economics ministry. That brings to 414 the types of credit cards available in the country.

Woman suspected of setting up nurse's contract killing
September 21, 2009 4:35 AM

When gunmen killed a nurse Sunday in Puntarenas investigators realized almost immediately that they were dealing with some sort of personal revenge and not a street crime.

Hunt for missing U.S. hiker now in private hands
September 17, 2009 3:37 AM

The parents of a missing U.S. tourist are not giving up, and they have hired an investigator to continue efforts to find their son.

Hunt for missing U.S. hiker now in private hands
September 17, 2009 3:37 AM

The parents of a missing U.S. tourist are not giving up, and they have hired an investigator to continue efforts to find their son.

Those Blackhawks were a medical mission
September 17, 2009 3:36 AM

For many with cold and flu-like symptoms, relief is just a few minutes away through a local drug store or visit to the family physician. But at Tolokicha in this remote, mountainous and heavily forested region of Costa Rica it's a lot more complicated.

The IRS has a long arm, expats find
September 16, 2009 4:05 AM

Three expats found that the long arm of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service reaches to Costa Rica. All are in prison awaiting extradition.

Weaponry in Venezuela worries the United States
September 16, 2009 4:04 AM

The United States said Monday an ongoing military buildup by Venezuela poses a serious challenge to regional stability. The comments follow an announcement that the Caracas government of President Hugo Chávez has received a line of credit from Moscow to purchase Russian tanks and anti-aircraft missiles.

Littering and garbage are major problems
September 15, 2009 5:10 AM

Generating, disposing and treating waste has become one of the biggest and most serious problems of Costa Rican culture. The problem is not only a contradiction to the self-proclaimed ecological, diverse and clean reputation of the country, but also accurately illustrates the Tico short sightedness that prevents Costa Rica from becoming a developed nation.

19th century photos on the web
September 15, 2009 5:08 AM

When independence came in 1821 what is now Costa Rica did not have a printing press, so documents about the period are scare and handwritten.

Lawmakers move to delay fines in traffic law
September 14, 2009 4:09 AM

The legislature voted Thursday night to delay for six months the effective date of higher fines found in the new traffic law. The vote was the first, and a second and final vote is planned for Monday.

Biden's brother involved in Guanacaste development
September 14, 2009 4:09 AM

Developers of the Guanacaste Country Club said that construction would begin in December for a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course. The announcement came from Craig Williamson, a principal in ERA Real Estate in Latin America, and Frank Biden, the brother of the current U.S. vice president. They said that the golf course, when it is finished, will host a Jack Nicklaus Academy of Golf.

Justice delayed means another vehicle robbery
September 11, 2009 4:07 AM

A man accused of sticking a gun in the face of former president Luis Alberto Monge and stealing his car has yet to complete the judicial process. He still is at liberty. Or at least he was at liberty until a judicial agent nabbed him Wednesday night in San Francisco de Dos Ríos where another motorist, a 21-year-old, suffered critical wounds from gunmen who tried to take his car.

86-year-old woman sparks change at legislature
September 11, 2009 4:07 AM

An 85-year-old woman has won an access case against the Asamblea Legislativa. The woman argued in an appeal to the Sala IV constitutional court that she likes to attend legislative sessions and watch what happens from a gallery reserved for the public. But she said that certain obstacles impede her. She said she had a bad right leg.

Here's your chance to brush up on the Himno Nacional
September 10, 2009 4:20 AM

El Día de Independencia is coming, and everyone living in Costa Rica should be able to join in when the national anthem, the Himno Nacional, is played.

Costa Rica still in top half on competitiveness
September 10, 2009 4:20 AM

A new survey indicates that Switzerland, rather than the United States, is now the world's most competitive economy. Costa Rica was ranked 55 out of 134.

Bill introduced to freeze traffic law
September 9, 2009 4:29 AM

Lawmakers got a look Monday at a new bill that would postpone the effective date of the bulk of the provisions in the new traffic law until March 1.

RACSA confounded by an avocado tree
September 9, 2009 4:29 AM

Who would have thought that an avocado tree moving gently in a breeze would confound the technicians of Radiográfica Costarricense S.A.

Historic locomotive is rusting away
September 8, 2009 4:28 AM

There could not be more of a contrast than a 1940s steam locomotive and several stone spheres made by pre-Columbian Costa Ricans.

Country vulnerable to quakes, UCR says
September 8, 2009 4:27 AM

Although residents of the Nicoya Peninsula are reminded periodically that a major earthquake is likely there, Costa Rica has at least 150 local faults that can cause serious damage, an agency of the Universidad de Costa Rica has warned.

(Phone company will not kill the tdma service
September 7, 2009 4:26 AM

In a clear recognition that the telephone business is not a monopoly any more, the nation's former monopoly is backpedaling on eliminating first-generation cell phones.

Much of central city Fuerza Pública under suspicion
September 4, 2009 4:58 AM

Investigators visited police stations in downtown San José and in Barrio Cristo Rey Wednesday to detain 10 police officers accused of extorting money from average citizens as well as law breakers. The 10 include a top official of the Fuerza Pública in the downtown area.

What is that mess on the utility poles?
September 4, 2009 4:55 AM

Opening telecoms to competition has brought one issue to the fore immediately as interested firms jockey for position on utility poles. The electrical distributors who are the owners of the infrastructure plan to offer telephone and cable television services, prompting conflicts with cable companies seeking similar opportunities. Latecomers risk being crowded out entirely.

A smorgasbord of interesting news stories
September 3, 2009 4:30 AM

This is a summary of the articles published in A.M. Costa Rica Sept. 2, 2009

Fake ticket scam upsets fans
September 2, 2009 4:10 AM

Soccer fans and other are enraged because fake tickets for the Costa Rica-México game Saturday have been in the marketplace. The reaction has been swift.

Electric rate hike short circuited
September 2, 2009 4:09 AM

There will be no electric rate cut for at least a week. The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, the principal power generator, filed an appeal Thursday with the price regulating agency.

The origins of pura vita and underdevelopment
September 1, 2009 4:07 AM

An observer of the culture might conclude that Costa Ricans think no farther than their noses. Does that have something to do with why many Hispanic nations keep falling behind global progress? Yes, in fact, it has everything to do with it, and Ticos are definitely not the exception.

Hey, buddy! Wanna buy a hot iguana?
September 1, 2009 4:07 AM

Not just the turtles are endangered by tough economic times on the Caribbean coast. Iguanas are a hot item, too.

Jafek played the high-interest schemes
August 31, 2009 2:32 AM

By 2001 standards Tom Jafek was not big-time. His Green Fund attracted perhaps $10 million from from investors seeking spectacular interest rates. And he seemed to conduct that company like a business.

Guess who is back on the street
August 31, 2009 2:30 AM

Remember the Diablos? This is the powerful and violent Pavas drug gang that police and agents targeted Tuesday.

Stamps honor the great parks of Costa Rica
August 28, 2009 4:12 AM

Correos de Costa Rica has come out with another colorful issue this week. The set of stamps are called Maravillas Naturales — Parques Nacionales 2009.

Fraud suspect Jafek dies in prison
August 28, 2009 4:12 AM

The judicial morgue has confirmed the death of Tom Jafek, the leading figure in the Green Fund, a high-interest operation that may have cost investors $10 million when it folded.

Older adults may get free rides on trains
August 27, 2009 4:20 AM

Older adults can ride for free on certain public buses, and now there is a movement in the legislature to extend this benefit to the passenger trains.

There are worse things than fleas
August 27, 2009 4:18 AM

“Atrás, sarnosa!� or “Back, you mangy cur!� is how certain dogs are greeted in Costa Rica. The one in question does not actually show any signs of mange, though she is probably does carry the parasite in question.

More bad news on plastic
August 26, 2009 4:05 AM

All that plastic that washes from the Central Valleyy, down the Río Grande de Tarcoles and into the Gulf of Nicoya may not be so benign. A new study said that plastics are not indestructible but, instead, decompose with surprising speed and release potentially toxic substances into the water.

Turtle supporters say park would shrink 35 percent
August 26, 2009 4:04 AM

Supporters of Parque Nacional Marino Las Baula marched through San José to the legislature Monday demanding the defeat of a bill that would downgrade the Pacific turtle nesting site to a national refuge. They claim this would reduce the park size by 35 percent and permit development.

Prosecutors considered charging Villalobos investors
August 25, 2009 3:19 AM

The judicial department has been investigating the Villalobos Brothers high-interest borrowing operation since 1999 and had difficulty making headway because investors were not anxious to talk, according to the principal prosecutor in the case.

Observations on road construction
August 25, 2009 3:18 AM

"Yesterday I drove from Atenas center along the road that used to lead to the municipal garbage dump. That road now ends abruptly, and at that point I could look down to the new road beautifully aligned and leveled and ready for paving. But beyond my vantage point were slopes so steep of earth, not bedrock, that in the next heavy rain, or a temblor, they will want to throw themselves down onto the narrow roadway below."

Resident here designated as a drug kingpin
August 24, 2009 2:50 AM

In a revelation that is sure to unsettle the central government, the U.S. Treasury Department Thursday designated a Colombian living in Costa Rica as a high-ranking official of the terrorist Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia.

Reduction in electric rates ordered
August 24, 2009 2:50 AM

The price regulating agency has reduce electric rates an average of 7.2 percent, it said Thursday.

El Niño taking shape in Pacific
August 21, 2009 4:34 AM

The United Nations agency dealing with weather, climate and water says an El Niño event has begun in the tropical Pacific and is likely to continue into early 2010.

Bilinguals cannot turn off one language
August 21, 2009 4:33 AM

A new study shows that bilinguals are unable to turn off a language completely.

Women's Club action benefits public education
August 20, 2009 4:07 AM

Every child dreams of finding a rainbow’s pot of gold. That’s the inspiration of a fund-raising auction being held by the Women’s Club of Costa Rica Sept. 6 from 2 to 6 p.m., at the Aurola Holiday Inn in downtown San José. The announcement was made by Bonnie Murry, president of the association.

19th century Cartago church is a winner
August 20, 2009 4:06 AM

A Cartago Catholic church project will be the recipient of 100 million colons (about $171,500) as the winner of a culture ministry contest.

Venezuelans in flight find Costa Rica a fine home
August 19, 2009 4:27 AM

Individually and in small groups, Venezuelans who endorse capitalism are leaving their home country, and many are settling in Costa Rica. Now it is official. A delegation of 25 Venezuelan investors from the Federación de Cámaras de Venezuela has come here seeking opportunities. Their visit began Monday.

Legislature shelves thorny problem
August 19, 2009 4:26 AM

Back when the free trade agreement was a hot issue, the nation's first vice president and a legislative deputy related to the president penned a memo urging hardball tactics to win passage of the treaty in a 2007 national referendum.

Hate dentist drills? have we got a story for you!
August 18, 2009 4:06 AM

For most people, going to the dentist is reason alone to have nightmares for several nights before siting on that dreadful chair and getting tortured by the infamous chilling drill. Having a traumatic experience at the dentist has almost become a rite of passage during childhood for thousands of people. Fortunately, technology is now transforming the painful and horrific aspect of dentistry into a painless and actually pleasant experience for patients around the world, including Costa Rica.

Gary Kaplan of BetOnSports turned over $43 million to feds
August 18, 2009 4:05 AM

Gary Kaplan, the founder of BetOnSports, has pleased guilty to federal racketeering charges and agreed to surrender more than $43 million, according to the U.S. attorney's office in St. Louis, Missouri. Kaplan will serve between 41 and 51 months in federal prison, according to the deal he made with prosecutors

Happy birthday to us again
August 17, 2009 3:21 AM

Saturday is the eighth birthday of A.M. Costa Rica. The publication originally was conceived as a small Web site to provide daily local news for expats here. Now the publication has developed other titles, and A.M. Costa Rica is the leading English-language voice in Central America and perhaps most of Latin America.

Internet gets the preference
August 17, 2009 3:21 AM

The five-year plan for the national telecommunications fund gives priority to rural Internet development and access to wideband connectivity for schools and health centers. “FONATEL has as its main goal to promote access, universal service, and solidarity, through the objectives established in Article 32 of the General Telecommunications Act,� says the plan.\

Amnet mystifies its customers
August 14, 2009 4:27 AM

Cable television and Internet customers of Amnet in part of downtown San José are mystified because they have been without service for six days.

Cryptography a la Tico
August 14, 2009 4:26 AM

Costa Rica is adopting private-public key technology to serve as a digital signature. Instead of the cryptography being part of a computer's software, the private key of the user will be contained on a piece of plastic very much like a driver's license or credit card.

Swapping intelligence seems to be useful weapon against gangs
August 13, 2009 3:25 AM

One new weapons against violent street gangs like MS-13 and 18th Street is the Central American Intelligence Program, a joint operation of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. State Department and police agencies in gang-plagued countries.

Arias joins legion of flu sufferers
August 13, 2009 3:24 AM

President Óscar Arias Sánchez has the swine flu and will be at home in Rohrmoser at least until Monday, health officials and Casa Presidencial said Tuesday.

Bridge expansion joint becomes a legend
August 12, 2009 4:43 AM

Who would have expected the Arias administration to be defined in part by a bridge expansion joint? But that is what has happened in the last two weeks.

Shopping for Mom requires a careful eye
August 12, 2009 4:25 AM

The Día de la Madre is Saturday, and this is a big day in Costa Rica where mothers remain the heart of the family. But it also is a time, like Christmas, when store operators can capitalize on the desire to give presents.

Investigators think they have grabbed two from Mara Salvatrucha
August 11, 2009 4:40 AM

A major fear of law enforcement has become a reality with the arrest of two men who claim to be members of the international crime mob the Mara Salvatrucha. This is the same gang that is a major criminal element in the United States and, in fact, a product of the Los Angeles slums.

U.S. wins the gold in surfing
August 11, 2009 4:39 AM

The Costa Rican surfing team took seventh in the international games at Playa Hermosa that ended Saturday. The U.S. surfing team took first and walked away with the gold medals.

Costanera Sur residents worry about power line
August 10, 2009 3:52 AM

Some residents on the Pacific coast south of Quepos plan to meet Saturday to hear about possible health risks from a major electrical transmission line that is part of the Río Savegre hydro project.

Flagrancia process called constitutional
August 7, 2009 4:55 AM

The 9-month-old system of speedy justice set up by the Poder Judicial to quickly resolve street crimes is constitutional, the Sala IV has decided.

Immigration law finally passed
August 6, 2009 4:20 AM

Lawmakers passed for the second and final time a new immigration law that seeks to integrate foreigners into the Costa Rican culture.

Minor crimes may become major
August 5, 2009 3:53 AM

Lawmakers for the Movimiento LIbertario said Monday that they are introducing legislation to provide penalties for so-called minor infractions.

Museum to reopen its pre-Columbian exhibits
August 5, 2009 3:53 AM

The Museo Nacional plans to reopen its Sala de Historia Precolombina today with a ceremony involving the culture minister and children from a school in Hatillo 2.

Beware of the gal with gold digging in her heart
August 4, 2009 3:57 AM

Gringo-traps are open about their intentions because of a cultural belief that foreigners are walking wallets and an easy way to get a slice of the American dream. Culturally, a Tica who marries a foreigner is considered lucky, and saying that one is fishing for Gringos is not frowned upon, but rather admired and encouraged.

A mother demands accountability for her daughter's death
August 4, 2009 3:57 AM

"I am extremely responsible mother, and had I thought there was serious risk of danger I would have never permitted my family to participate in this tour. We were never warned of any dangers, never signed a waiver, and the owner of tour knew we had two 6 year olds and a 7 year old with us. To place our lives in the hands of such irresponsible guides that I now understand were underage is beyond me."

A look back at some key news stories on real estate developments
August 3, 2009 4:12 AM

As some real estate projects falter and their investors get anxious, many say they wish they knew. They should not blame A.M. Costa Rica. This newspaper has been publishing news articles about real estate and its problems since it was founded. The protection of expats is one of the priorities. That extends to their pocketbooks.

Officials meeting on a possible Nicoya earthquake
July 31, 2009 3:39 AM

Costa Rican and Japanese scientists will be studying today and Friday the possibility of a major earthquake in Guanacaste and the Nicoya peninsula.

The real estate tragedy continues to grow
July 30, 2009 2:50 AM

They came with papers in hand and with uncertainty mixed with fire in their eyes. They are U.S. investors who bought the problem of their lives on the Central Pacific coast. They are emblematic of the slow tragedy that is sweeping Costa Rican real estate.

Volcano gets a close eye
July 29, 2009 4:11 AM

The national emergency commission is taking steps to improve the escape route from the vicinity of the Turrialba volcano.

Union at odds with workers in Limón
July 29, 2009 4:09 AM

The struggle for control of Costa Rica’s Caribbean ports continues as the government attempts to let the docks as a concession. A rift in the dockworkers’ union has appeared with dissidents collecting enough signatures to force a rank-and-file vote on their leaders’ intransigent position.

Flu epidemic will be nearly two years, ministry says
July 28, 2009 3:39 AM

The health ministry estimates that the swine flu epidemic will continue for 20 more months and that the dispersion of the virus is inevitable. That prognosis was in a statement issued by the ministry Friday.

Immigration law passed in initial reading
July 27, 2009 3:50 AM

The Asamblea Legislativa passed on first reader Thursday afternoon the new immigration law that had been languishing in various committees for three years.

Fourth Fleet celebrates a rebirthday
July 24, 2009 4:06 AM

The U.S. Fourth Fleet has celebrated the first anniversary of its reactivation, and U.S. Navy officials are saying the year was a success.

Honduran mediation effort fails
July 24, 2009 4:06 AM

The Honduran negotiations and the mediation effort by President Óscar Arias Sánchez have not led to an agreement, and Arias said the representative of opposing sides might look to some other place for a solution.

Health officials suspend Cartago pilgrimage
July 23, 2009 4:15 AM

Pilgrims who walk to Cartago at the end of the month will be doing so against the advice and requests of the health ministry and the Roman Catholic Church.

Arenal keeps on cooking
July 22, 2009 3:22 AM

Volcano experts are keeping an eye on Arenal, which is a bright spot in Costa Rican tourism. The mountain has been more active than normal, but experts say they are not expecting anything cataclysmic.

New eyes for old: fighting the aging process
July 21, 2009 3:23 AM

Costa Rica is developing a reputation as a medical tourism destination. From what I saw as a walk-in patient at the La Sabana eye clinic, the reputation is well deserved. Treatment and sanitation were first class. The facilities and equipment were impressive.

What to do about that unruly neighborhood dog
July 21, 2009 3:22 AM

This ignorant attitude and lack of responsibility towards proper pet handling escalated to a level where Costa Rica was accused of violating human rights after police officers allowed the mauling of a Nicaraguan citizen by two rottweilers in 2005. The mauling happened in the presence of eight police officers.

Big Mac Index says colon is priced right
July 20, 2009 4:48 AM

The latest edition of The Economist magazine’s Big Mac Index is out and the Costa Rican colon is looking very close to its true value relative to the U.S. Dollar. At official exchange rates, China has the cheapest Big Mac and Norway the most expensive.

Museum installing a long ramp
July 17, 2009 3:15 AM

The Museo Nacional said Wednesday that it is building a 110-meter (361-foot) ramp to provide a new access to the facility from the remodeled Plaza de la Democracia.

Registro will expand online offerings
July 17, 2009 3:15 AM

The Registro Nacional will be putting corporate and other documents online starting in August, and the project seems bound to change the way business is conducted.

The crown jewel: Isla del Coco
July 16, 2009 3:22 AM

A report on a great diving expedition to the fabled isle.

Atenas getting some new neighbors
July 15, 2009 3:19 AM

The Atenas-based technical university will study the feasibility of raising water buffalo on a commercial scale in Costa Rica

Costa Rica gets most of what it wanted
July 14, 2009 1:59 AM

The International Court of Justice, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, has found unanimously that Costa Rica has the right of free navigation on the Río San Juan for purposes of commerce, including passengers and tourists.

Restrictions sought on naming and photographing juvenile offenders
July 14, 2009 1:58 AM

A children's advocacy group is urging the supreme court to restrict publication of the faces and names of juvenile offenders. The group, Defensa de Niñas y Niños Internacional, sent an open letter to the court following a decision involving a television interview of a juvenile suspect.

How does the brain organize multiple languages?
July 13, 2009 5:01 AM

Do bilingual individuals have separate areas of the brain that process each language or are the multiple language skills handled in one place?

System does not seem to be able to handle frauds and scams
July 10, 2009 3:53 AM

While judicial officials worry about organized crime and drug smuggling, frauds and scams continue unabated.

Sadly, the happiness index is mostly ideology
July 9, 2009 4:11 AM

A progressive British think tank has pulled off the public relations coup of the month with a press release promoting its happy planet index. Costa Ricans, based on three variables and a couple of fudge factors, have been crowned the world's happiest people.

Defensoría expresses concern on south Pacific development
July 9, 2009 4:10 AM

The Defensoría de los Habitantes has weighed in against uncontrolled construction in the municipalities of Osa and Golfito in the south Pacific coast. This includes the pristine Parque Nacional Corcovado on the Osa Peninsula.

How the world came to Latin television
July 8, 2009 3:34 AM

The Apollo 11 moon flight, 40 years ago this month, was the impetus for connecting Latin America to the northern hemisphere for television programming.

They have a lot of experience in San Vicente
July 8, 2009 3:34 AM

Expats will have a chance this weekend to shop for ceramics at the place that has been producing traditional pottery for the last 4,000 years.

Advantages of making a will in Costa Rica
July 7, 2009 3:32 AM

There are some important reasons to consider doing a will in Costa Rica and taking the task off one's to-do list.

Problems you can bank on
July 6, 2009 3:49 AM

Here's another in the continuing saga of banks that have no clue about customer service.

Postal service promoting stamps to collectors on Web
July 6, 2009 3:50 AM

The nation's postal service is getting serious about selling stamps to collectors. The agency, Correos de Costa Rica, always had examples of new stamp issues on its Web site, but now it has created a separate set of pages for collectors to browse what is available.

Fuerza Pública claims success in central city cleanup
July 3, 2009 3:32 AM

The Fuerza Pública chief for San José said Wednesday that his officers have made 5,600 arrests in the first five months of the year and significantly cleaned up the central city.

Trafficking being painted with a broad brush
July 3, 2009 3:31 AM

When law enforcement officials and politicians talk about human trafficking, they seldom are very specific. But there is a big difference between an individual migrating voluntarily from one county to another and someone being forced against their will into slavery.

Organized crime bill gets first OK
July 2, 2009 3:42 AM

Even though most Costa Rican officials agree the country does not have the resources to fight organized crime and despite concerns that the measure is not constitution, lawmakers passed the law against organized crime Tuesday.

Insurance system for vehicle repairs said to be flawed
July 1, 2009 2:35 AM

Despite an electronic system to find parts for damaged vehicles, the Instituto Nacional de Seguros has been paying the highest price 80 percent of the time, according to the Superintendencia de Pensiones.

Coup authors have unifying effect on hemisphere
July 1, 2009 2:35 AM

Government leaders meeting in Managua, Nicaragua, agreed Monday to put the pressure on the new regime in Honduras.

Expat's Golfito complex branded incorrectly as drug den
June 30, 2009 2:44 AM

A New York man whose Golfito estate has been featured on television as a nest for drug smugglers is unhappy, to say the least.

Runaway mon gets to stay here
June 30, 2009 2:44 AM

A court in San Ramón has ordered liberated a U.S. woman who is a felony suspect in an international child abduction case.

Post office will get a new color
June 29, 2009 1:42 AM

Work has started on the main post office building, and the institutional green color will become tri-toned, although the exact shades have not yet been selected.

Milanes case on the slow track
June 26, 2009 4:41 AM

The 527 investors who hope to get money back from Luis �ngel Milanes Tamayo have suffered another reverse.

Volcanoes seem to be behaving well
June 25, 2009 3:59 AM

Inspections at two of the nation's most active volcanoes suggest that no major eruptions are likely soon.

Six firms get ok to offer telecom services
June 24, 2009 4:19 AM

In what the head of the telecom regulating agency called an historic day, six companies have won the right to offer Internet and voice-over-Internet telephone services here.

Salary decision is 2 percent
June 24, 2009 4:19 AM

Private companies will have to pay their minimum-wage employees 2 percent more starting July 1.

Gender inequalities are rampant
June 23, 2009 4:12 AM

The inequities in Costa Rica's family laws are in large part the fault of men. This is especially true in cases of domestic violence where men now have little or no rights. Women are now in control in this country, and they know it. Some find expeditious ways of doing in their male companion.

Try to die during the week if you want a flag
June 23, 2009 4:12 AM

The last honor that the United States government can bestow on a veteran is to provide a flag to drape the former warrior's coffin. Thanks to stubborn officials at the U.S. Embassy, a veteran in Costa Rica has to be buried on a weekday to receive the honor.

Mayan states were into commercial yuca production
June 22, 2009 4:35 AM

An anthropology professor and his team have uncovered a manioc field one-third the size of football field buried under 10 feet of ash by the eruption of a volcano about 1,400 years ago that blanketed the Mayan farming village of Ceren in El Salvador.

Elections make nation vulnerable
June 22, 2009 4:27 AM

The discovery of another load of cocaine with links to Costa Rica outline the dimensions of the problem. What is not as apparent is the pressures being brought on individuals and institutions as a result of the cocaine trade.

Employers better walk their workers home
June 19, 2009 3:23 AM

The Sala Secunda supreme court for labor cases has found an employer responsible for the wellbeing of a worker up until the individual enters his home.

Three-day holiday on the way out
June 19, 2009 3:22 AM

Lawmakers approved a bill on first reading Wednesday that would make July 25 a holiday and drop it from the diminishing list of three-day weekends.

Surprise! The Heredia line is in service
June 18, 2009 3:28 AM

Transport officials seem to want to keep it a secret, but the Heredia branch of the valley rail line is in operation.

Rahab founder honored in Washington
June 18, 2009 3:28 AM

The U.,S. secretary of State honored Mariliana Morales Barrios, the founder of the Fundación Rahab that cares for former prostitutes, in a Washington, D.C. ceremony Tuesday.

Study says pot can open body to cancer
June 17, 2009 4:34 AM

An article being published this week in a chemical journal says that the favorite crop of some expats damages the genetic material DNA in ways that could increase the risk of cancer.

Tico credit card debt approaches $1 billion
June 17, 2009 4:33 AM

Costa Ricans have borrowed heavily on their credit cards, and the estimate of total revolving credit debt is just short of $1 billion: $999,843,679, based on Monday's exchange rate.

Tourism institute wants to 'brand' the country
June 16, 2009 4:07 AM

Faced with a tourism industry in distress and an erosion of the nation's worldwide image, government officials want to put a new face on the country.

Some Cartago regional treats
June 15, 2009 4:50 AM

There is a lot more to the Provincia de Cartago than potatoes, and cooks of the communities will be out to prove this June 27.

There are ways to protect land in Costa Rica
June 12, 2009 4:09 AM

Several would-be property buyers in Costa Rica expressed uncertainty Wednesday after reading about land invasions in the central Pacific resort areas. Their concerns have merit, but A.M. Costa Rica has been publishing for years ways for expats to protect their property.

Two decades of expat anguish on the central Pacific coast
June 11, 2009 4:16 AM

Under the warm tropical sun near Playa Herradura on the central Pacific coast, two decades of lawlessness have flourished mostly ignored by officials elsewhere. This is the tradition of physically invading property and trying to steal it by occupying the tract.

There still is steady support for Calderón
June 11, 2009 4:16 AM

AN ANALYSIS: In informal discussions with Costa Rican voters, former president Rafael �ngel Calderón emerges as a strong candidate.

Immigration tries to eliminate backlog
June 10, 2009 4:30 AM

IThe immigration department has canceled all the cédula renewal appointments for foreigners from July 1 and after. Some of them were set for dates in 2011. Instead, the department is asking expats to make another appointment through the new system with Banco de Costa Rica for speedier service.

Living in harmony with critters
June 10, 2009 4:30 AM

While reality TV producers search for creepy stuff to wow North American audiences, expats here generally take their critters in stride.

New bank rules putting a crimp in expats
June 9, 2009 4:10 AM

The transparency phantom stalking clients back in 2005 was not as obvious as he is today. Now, Costa Rica is on its knees in front of the world, pleading for forgiveness for its tax haven practices and wanting to change. The country seeks to send a strong signal to the world it has done so.

Ms. Chinchilla seems to have unbeatable advantage
June 9, 2009 4:10 AM

Laura Chinchilla appears to be the presidential nominee of the Partido Liberación Nacional.

Troubling report on China's efforts
June 8, 2009 3:37 AM

A new report finds that five influential authoritarian states — China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and Pakistan — are actively undermining democracy within their borders and abroad. Their efforts to taint international development and subvert organizations that promote human rights are organized, sophisticated and well-resourced.

Oh, those delicious fruits
June 8, 2009 3:36 AM

Delights from star fruit to guavas to the prickly guyabana and the delicate naranjilla are on the market now, and you can get your daily dose of vitamin C with little trouble.

Small hospital that helped vets closes down
June 5, 2009 4:11 AM

The only Costa Rican hospital that did not require insured U.S. military retirees to pay upfront has closed. But supporters hope that a change of ownership will allow the facility to reopen next week.

Who needs term limits anyway?
June 5, 2009 4:11 AM

More left-wing Latin leaders seem to be following the Hugo Chávez game plan. Chávez is the Venezuelan president who won the right in February to run continuously for the presidency. Now Manuel Zelaya Rosales of Honduras wants to change the constitution there so he can run again.

Mrs. Clinton promises more support to fight drugs
June 4, 2009 4:26 AM

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has pledged new support to Central American and Caribbean allies to combat violent drug traffickers. Mrs. Clinton was meeting counterparts from across Latin America in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

Guest editorial on import taxes for yachts
June 4, 2009 4:26 AM

"I'm always promoting Costa Rica. Unfortunately many "Yates" have chosen to bypass Costa Rica entirely. No. 1 reason, crime of course. The No. 2 reason, after 90 days Costa Rica wants to bill you for the IMPORT Tax. So, many people just sail on by and never get to discover the beauty of Costa Rica nor the wonderful Ticos."

Web site evaluates customer service
June 3, 2009 4:31 AM

A former top reporter for La Nación has started a Web site that seeks to report on and evaluate retail firms and organizations here.

Juvenile crime getting attention
June 2, 2009 4:26 AM

The central government is taking notice of the wave of crimes being committed by juveniles, those under 18 years. Such crimes were up 22.6 percent in 2008. At a meeting Thursday heads of the various branches of government agreed to set up a committee to consider reforms in the juvenile law. Casa Presidencial called the topic complex and delicate.

As expected, Solís sweeps to nomination
June 2, 2009 4:25 AM

Ottón Solís, as expected, scored an overwhelming victory Sunday to become the presidential candidate of the Partido Acción Ciudadana, which he founded. Turnout by party members was light, and the full totals are not known, but with 327 of 411 polling places reporting, Solís had 71 percent of the vote, the party said.

How about some green bananas?
June 2, 2009 4:24 AM

The culinary landscape of pre-conquest America lacked some of the foods taken for granted today. There was no sugar. That was imported by Columbus on his second voyage. The delicious mango did not grown here. And the banana did not come to the Americas until the 16th century. Even the ubiquitous rice plant is a colonial import.

At last! Airport deal finally approved
June 1, 2009 4:13 AM

The nation's financial watchdog issued its approval Thursday for a Houston company to take over management of Juan Santamaría airport.

Some surprises in proposed U.S. tax law
May 29, 2009 4:27 AM

Proposed U.S. legislation to restrict the use of so-called tax shelters would invoke the Patriot Act to punish firms that are deemed to be impeding U.S. tax enforcement.

Government going to Limón to push for private docks
May 29, 2009 4:27 AM

The central government will hold its weekly cabinet meeting in Limón June 10 as a way of pushing forward it plan to privatize the cargo and tourist docks there and deliver them to a concessionaire.

U.S. citizen blamed in two contract killings
May 28, 2009 4:05 AM

A U.S. citizen has been identified by investigators as the intellectual author of two contract killings. The killings were prompted by disputes over a franchise vending business that preyed on mostly older residents of the United States.

Action designed to keep out citrus disease
May 28, 2009 4:04 AM

Agricultural officials took action Tuesday to protect the country from a bacterial disease that can cause serious damage to the citrus crops.

It's sort of like 'Gilligan's Island' but here
May 27, 2009 4:19 AM

The U.S. network NBC plans to send 10 so-called celebrities here to brave the Costa Rican jungle and be afflicted on command by various tribulations delivered long-distance by viewers.

Memorial Day here will be Saturday
May 27, 2009 4:19 AM

Monday may have been Memorial Day and a legal holiday in the United States. In Costa Rica, Memorial Day will continue to be May 30, which is Saturday this year.

Jobs for foreigners not aways what they seem
May 26, 2009 4:17 AM

Too many — especially young people — take the bait and move to Costa Rica thinking they're going to earn big bucks teaching or by working in call centers. Only they get trapped earning very little and what they do receive is easily consumed by living expenses.

Sala IV rejects appeals over frozen accounts
May 25, 2009 4:29 AM

Expats who have been annoyed, upset and angered at the prying demands of bank officials should not count on help from the Sala IV constitutional court.

The road to Nosara is worth the trip
May 22, 2009 3:58 AM

A visitor really has to love Nosara to get there. The main route is a gravel, mostly dirt road bisected by runoff ditches and dotted with mud holes. Frequently in the rainy season only buses and large trucks can traverse the route.

Banco de Costa Rica will renew cédulas
May 21, 2009 4:30 AM

Legal residents can now renew or replace their identity cédulas at 32 Banco de Costa Rica offices all over the country.

Environmental police shut down Del Monte pineapple facility
May 21, 2009 4:30 AM

The Tribunal Ambiental Administrativo, the environmental watchdog, ordered Del Monte to close its pineapple production facilities in Siquirres Monday because of what it said were high levels of chemicals in the local water sources.

Slandering a judge draws four-year sentence
May 20, 2009 3:56 AM

A woman who filed criminal complaints later determined to be false against a judge has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Head of supreme court wants committee to solve crime problem
May 19, 2009 4:13 AM

The supreme court president wants Óscar Arias Sánchez to reactivate a citizen security commitee to weigh the problems of drug trafficking and juvenile criminals.

Customer rousted by Banco de Costa Rica
May 19, 2009 4:12 AM

"I asked them why me with only $885 in my account when they should be concerned more with the criminals and those with huge amounts of monies being deposited. Apparently, this in accordance with the U.S. since last year, and they are just following protocol here."

The wonderful heritage houses of Costa Rica
May 18, 2009 4:11 AM

These structures will get their chance to shine again in a painting contest sponsored by the Ministerio de Cultura, Juventud y Deportes. The ministry announced the contest Thursday.

Smokers are an endangered species
May 18, 2009 4:12 AM

A proposed law against tobacco would, if passed, eliminate the Costa Rican tradition of street vendors selling one cigarette at a time to customers. The proposal also sets up a special tobacco tax of 100 colons per cigarette or cigar.

Power company gets Cariblanco plant back online
May 15, 2009 4:21 AM

One turbine of the Planta Hidroeléctrica Cariblanco went into service Wednesday night six month sooner than originally planned.

Ancient builders to get recognition
May 15, 2009 4:21 AM

The architects will not be around to receive the designation, but the American Society of Civil Engineers soon will bestow on the ancient ruins of Guayabo the title of international heritage of civil engineering.

Employers might have to ante up to Caja for tips
May 14, 2009 4:29 AM

That 10 percent mandatory tip that is added to the bill in restaurants and some bars is not now considered part of an employee's salary. But there is a movement in the Asamblea Legislativa to do so.

Coastal dwellers united to push for revised maritime zone
May 14, 2009 4:29 AM

Residents who believe their coastal communities are being destroyed by the country's maritime law are taking to the streets in front of the Asamblea Legislativa today.

Boston choir members are the Typhoid Marys of swine flu
May 13, 2009 4:15 AM

A Boston youth chorus is being considered something of Typhoid Marys and getting the blame for spreading swine flu in Costa Rica. But it is far from clear if the chorus spread the flu or if members were themselves flu victims.

Getting the U.S. passport for foreign-born children
May 12, 2009 4:17 AM

Many expats who have built families with a Costa Rican want to get their natural or adopted offspring a U.S. passport. Some believe that since they are U.S. citizens the right to pass on U.S. citizenship is automatic. It is not. However, it does not need to be a daunting task either.

Hydro project reported back on track
May 12, 2009 4:16 AM

A major project to construct a new dam also was the victim of Alma. The Instituto Costarricence de Electricidad and its contractor had to evacuate about 1,100 workers from the Pirrís hydroelectric project May 29 because of the storm, which then inflicted costly damage to the construction. The work suffered a major setback.

Those revolving prison gates
May 11, 2009 3:47 AM

The way Costa Rican judges apply the concepts of conditional liberty or pre-trial detention is enough to make an expat's head swim.

Thousands expected to use Heredia train
May 8, 2009 3:33 AM

Government officials are expecting about 94,000 persons a month to take a trip on the new San José-Heredia line. And they said there will be 42 trips a day on the 9.67-kilometer (6-mile) route.

U.S. says Costa Rica did not follow through on turtles
May 8, 2009 3:33 AM

The U.S. State Department blames Costa Rica’s ineffective enforcement mechanism for the new ban on importing shrimp.

New devices suggest future of online readership
May 7, 2009 3:47 AM

What will online reading be like in a few years?

Road deaths not linked to alcohol
May 7, 2009 3:47 AM

Traffic officials are calling the new alcohol law a success even though 12 more persons died in the first four months of 2009 than did in 2008.

Helicopter was on a drug flight, officials report
May 6, 2009 4:07 AM

The security ministry has been hit with another scandal with the disclosure that a former aviation employee was piloting a helicopter containing at least 347 kilos of cocaine.

Obama targets expats and U.S. companies abroad
May 6, 2009 4:06 AM

President Barack Obama said Monday he wants to crack down on U.S. companies and wealthy investors who avoid federal taxes through offshore business dealings. Obama unveiled a plan that aims to boost U.S. tax revenue by $210 billion over the next 10 years and preserve American jobs.

U.S. will try to counter influence of China, Iran and Russia
May 5, 2009 3:38 AM

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the Obama administration is working to improve relations with Latin American leaders, in part, to counter the growing influence of China, Iran and Russia. Clinton says it is not in U.S. interests to shun countries in its own hemisphere.

The epidemic that killed children
May 4, 2009 3:42 AM

While the world waits to seen how the swine flu epidemic plays out, some expats are old enough to remember another plague: polio.

Nicoya expat wounded in home invasion
May 1, 2009 4:34 AM

Another expat faced armed home invaders on the Nicoya Peninsula. The expat, identified as William Hinton White, 56, suffered two bullet wounds in the confrontation.

Expotur says it brings in $80 million each year
May 1, 2009 4:33 AM

Expotur, the tourism marketplace that is scheduled in two weeks, brings $80 million into the country each year, organizers say.

Decree empowers health officials to take actions
April 30, 2009 2:38 AM

The president and the health minister issued an emergency decree Tuesday that gives officials the power to impose quarantines and other measures to stop the spread of the swine flue virus.

Calderón puts himself forward as presidential candidate
April 30, 2009 2:37 AM

The country had the unusual opportunity Tuesday to see a former president register again as a candidate with his political party at the same time his corruption trial was continuing not far away.

Swine flu alert has a big impact on tourism
April 29, 2009 4:16 AM

Regardless of the impact of swine flu in Costa Rica, the tourist industry is bound to suffer as health officials all over the world encourage people to stay home.

Lawmaker wants to outlaw plastic bags
April 29, 2009 4:15 AM

At least one lawmaker wants to prohibit the use of plastic bags in Costa Rica. He is Alexander Mora of the ruling Partido Liberación Nacional, who has introduced a proposed law to do just that. The measure would prohibit the importation, sale and production of plastic bags.

Getting U.S. citizenship for the foreign spouse
April 28, 2009 4:10 AM

In many cases the Costa Rican counterpart, whether it be a wife or a husband, does not want to live here but wants to live in the United States and, most importantly, wants to be a U. S. citizen. Some even believe it to something of a prize they need to win to be happy and constantly pressure the expat to repatriate — go back to the United States to live — so they can get their citizenship.

500-unit adult living complex planned for Santa Ana
April 28, 2009 4:09 AM

The $60 million senior living project is fully permited and ready to go. Associates say the ground breaking on the seven-hectare (17-acre) tract may be as soon as July.

Thieves cut up historic bell
April 27, 2009 3:59 AM

Investigators finally have located the historic church bell that was taken by thieves Feb. 8 from southern Costa Rica. The 400-pound bell was cut up in pieces on the floor of a private home in Pocora, Provincia de Limón.

Final draft of immigration bill mostly pretty good
April 27, 2009 3:58 AM

Under a new immigration law that is on the verge of passing, pensionados can obtain residency for themselves, a spouse and children under 24 years with an income of $1,000 a month. Rentistas will be able to obtain residency for their spouse and minor children for the new monthly income requirement of $2,500.

Dutch long-time expat murdered near Cóbano
April 24, 2009 4:24 AM

Three masked bandits forced their way into the home of an expat early Wednesday and killed him when he resisted.

Echandi styles himself as Plan B
April 24, 2009 4:24 AM

While ex-president Rafael �ngel Calderón Fournier observes the daily developments in his corruption trial he probably also is mapping out the strategy for his presidential reelection. Meanwhile, a man who is not even representing Calderón's political party, Unidad Social Cristiana, is putting himself forward as "Plan B," in case Calderon is convicted.

Government back again with weapons bills
April 23, 2009 3:39 AM

The executive branch said Tuesday that it had submitted a new gun control measure to the legislature for approval.

Hikes in expat monthly income needs confirmed
April 23, 2009 3:38 AM

A legislative committee drawing up a new immigration bill has established income requirements for rentistas at $2,500 a month and for pensionados at $1,000 a month.

How can the U.S. change its image?
April 22, 2009 4:04 AM

The handshaking and photo opportunities are past, and the hemisphere's leaders have left Trinidad with the hope that the U.S. image in the Latin word will improve.

Psychological harassment targeted
April 22, 2009 4:03 AM

A legislative deputy said Monday that she will submit a bill in the current session that seeks to avoid psychological harassment in the workplace.

With a year to go, we assess Arias' second term
April 21, 2009 4:02 AM

The free trade treaty ratification and the world economic crisis seem to be the defining factors in the presidency of Óscar Arias Sánchez. Both situations have hampered him in completing his agenda.

Metal school restoration begins
April 21, 2009 4:01 AM

Saturday was the International Day of Monuments and Historic Sites, so Costa Rica announced that work soon will begin on restoring the Escuela Metalica, the downtown school that is made mainly of metal.

Legislators want to hear details of Golfito scandal
April 20, 2009 2:28 AM

Legislators acted Thursday to hear from those law enforcement officials who let 320 kilos of cocaine slip through their fingers last month.

Teatro Nacional getting a roof job
April 20, 2009 2:27 AM

The job will not be the most visible restoration project in San José, but the culture ministry is giving the go ahead for a major restoration of the cupola of the Teatro Nacional.

10 dealers and traffickers get pardons
April 17, 2009 4:21 AM
Even if you do the crime in Costa Rica, you may not have to do all the time. The Consejo de Gobierno, the president's cabinet, has pardoned 10 persons. All of them were in prison for drug crimes, including two who were convicted of trying to smuggle drugs into a penitentiary.

Yes, we have many traditional foods
April 17, 2009 4:19 AM
The gallito you get can be a chile relleno (a filled pepper), an almuerzito de repollo (cabbage), tortas de huevo con cebollin (a scallion omelette) a barbudos (string bean omelette), a canellones ticos rellenos de carne (pasta stuffed with meat) or an enyucada with beef as well cheese. The last is meat or cheese wrapped in yucca and deep fried.

This is the week to get or renew your license
April 16, 2009 3:54 AM
One of the real deals for expats is the ease of getting a Costa Rican driver's license. Assuming that the expat already holds a valid, unexpired license from North America or Europe, the whole process should not take more than a few hours.

Changes afoot at data collection firms
April 14, 2009 4:26 AM
A few years ago data reporting was new to Costa Rica. The major players in the market were, Cero Riesgo S.A., Protectora de Crédito Comercial S.A., and Trans Union Costa Rica. Today the same companies still are in the market. What is interesting is the increasing role they play in providing credit, localization and employment reporting to companies, lawyers and financial institutions.

Police nab 140 in Judas night confrontations
April 14, 2009 4:25 AM
Youngsters went wild Saturday night and early Sunday. Fires broke out in Santa Ana and several communities in Heredia. Police detained 140 persons.

Firemen face another big blaze
April 13, 2009 4:06 AM
For the second day in a row, Costa Rican firemen faced a massive blaze. The fire Wednesday was in a saw mill and adjacent lumber yard in Pueblo Nuevo de Alajuela.

Changes cited in proposed residency requirements
April 13, 2009 4:06 AM
An immigration Web site is reporting that changes have been made in a proposed bill that outlines rules for foreigners to get residency.

Coast guard docks and boats charred by fire
April 9, 2009 3:13 AM
Fire tore through at least eight boats docked at the Costa Rican Guardacostas station in Puntarenas Tuesday and sent columns of black some into the air and into the surrounding neighborhood.

Central American immigration becomes a movie
April 9, 2009 3:12 AM
"Sin Nombre," the film that won the Sundance Festival's awards for best direction and cinematography, has just opened in U.S. theaters and already has received rave reviews.

Boulevard seems to be a winner
April 8, 2009 4:26 AM
The traffic and buses are gone now, except for a few delivery vehicles. And the full width of Avenida 4 and adjacent streets are filled with pedestrians.

No burro in San José
April 7, 2009 3:41 AM
Jesus Christ was conspicuously absent during the Palm Sunday procession in San José, but there was a passel of apostles.

Archive seeks to preserve national memories
April 7, 2009 3:40 AM
The Archivo Nacional is seeking nominations for the Memory of the World Programme that seeks to preserve documentary heritage that reflects cultures.

Wall Street legend eyes investments here
April 6, 2009 3:55 AM
The latest entrant to the Costa Rican real estate market is Wall Street's Henry Kaufman, famous since 1957 when he took over the largest bond specialist unit of the New York Stock Exchange.

Del Monte facility gets the once over
April 6, 2009 3:54 AM
Environmental inspectors — some 20 strong — descended on the Finca Babilonia in Siquirres Wednesday. The operation is owned by Del Monte, but it did not take inspectors long to find something amiss.

Another Gringo spot bites the dust
April 3, 2009 4:26 AM
Another downtown Gringo institution is fading from view, a victim of rising prices and perhaps lower patronage.

A bit of sarcasm on the current news
April 3, 2009 4:25 AM
O.K., the ballots are in for the first (and perhaps last) weekly genius award from A.M. Costa Rica. The award goes to the persons who or institutions that distinguish themselves as being in dire need of having their brain fixed.

Time to take advantage of mornings
April 2, 2009 4:27 AM
Now life will change. No more lingering in bed until 6:30 a.m. Every day becomes a race against the rain. Depending on location, figure a heavy thunderstorm every day between 1 and 2 p.m.

Moth turns out to be a bug with a legend
April 2, 2009 4:27 AM
The moth pictured Tuesday really is a bug, called machaca in Costa Rica. There is an interesting, sexy tale about the bug, too.

What kind of strange bug is this?
April 1, 2009 4:09 AM
Initially identified incorrectly as a moth, this is a peanut-headed bug called machaca in Costa Rica.

What happened to missing expat?
March 31, 2009 3:45 AM
Craig Snell left his computer on when he left his home in Ostional. He also left his wallet, passport and credit cards within the dwelling. He left his dog and did not provide any extra food. That was 40 days ago, and he has not been seen during that time.

Judges can do no wrong, Sala IV seems to say
March 31, 2009 3:45 AM
The Sala IV, in it decree, told the inspectors' office that to investigate a judge they had to investigate his or her performance in the execution of their duties — like do they show up for work on time — but not to meddle with their application of the law.

For how long will the presses roar?
March 31, 2009 3:44 AM
The question that remains in the air is: Will Internet reporting have the same effects on political corruption and misdeeds as the current paper product? On such a question democracy hangs.

Judiciary is the victim of a drug heist
March 30, 2009 3:12 AM
The entire judicial and law enforcement apparatus of the country suffered a black eye early Thursday when armed men, as if on cue, showed up at the judicial building in Golfito and took 320 kilos of confiscated cocaine.

Twin festivals include protection of spheres
March 30, 2009 3:12 AM
There are two big festivals starting today in the southern zone, and the Municipalidad de Osa will take advantage of the events to sign an agreement with the Museo Nacional to provide more protection for the stone spheres found in the canton.

$40 million theme park planned for Parrita
March 27, 2009 4:19 AM
A development firm said Wednesday it had finished a concept project to advance plans for a 302-hectare adventure theme park near Parrita.

Municipality joins with church to promote Semana Santa
March 26, 2009 3:45 AM
For the third year in a row, the Municipalidad de San José is working with the Catholic Church to observe Semana Santa.

Refurbishing of Cartago tourism sites completed
March 25, 2009 4:01 AM
Three tourist sites, including the 17th century church ruins in Ujarrás, have been refurbished and made accessible for the handicapped in a program spearheaded by the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo.

City tree that knows the calendar
March 25, 2009 4:01 AM
One does not have to go far to find beauty in Costa Rica. This roble de sabana tree has blossomed even though it lives in a concrete jungle on a corner where desperate men pile cardboard for recycling each afternoon.

Sunday was a day for horses
March 24, 2009 3:05 AM
The municipality's first horse parade did not do much for beer companies, but horse lovers had a treat Sunday.

Semana Santa approaching quickly
March 24, 2009 3:05 AM
Easter is less than three weeks away, and that means expats will have just this week and next to conduct official business with the government.

Arias seeks ties with Cuba
March 20, 2009 4:22 AM
President Óscar Arias Sánchez formally announced Wednesday that Costa Rica would resume diplomatic relations with Cuba after a 47-year rupture. Arias made the announcement on the anniversary of the Black Spring crackdown in Cuba six years ago when 55 activists and independent journalists were arrested.

911 a little slow on response
March 19, 2009 4:37 AM
Costa Rica's 911 emergency telephone service has an automatic answering system. That revelation came Tuesday as the flames from a field fire climbed up the wall of a neighbor's home and shot 45 feet into the air.

More bike routes going in
March 18, 2009 4:23 AM
The transport ministry has started construction of three bike routes. Two are in Puntarenas and one is in Limón.

New law simplifies legal notification
March 17, 2009 4:04 AM
One big problem with the Costa Rican legal system is notifying the parties to a criminal or civil court action. Hopefully, this difficulty has been solved with the revamping of the judicial notification law. Even the name has been changed to make it easier to understand.

Legal change would mean tax breaks for hiring women
March 16, 2009 3:27 AM
Lawmakers have approved on first reading a change in the law that would give employers an income tax deduction if they give jobs to female heads of households.

New stadium to cost Chinese $10 million more
March 16, 2009 3:27 AM
The new stadium being donated by the People's Republic of China will cost $83 million, some $10 million more than the original estimate, according to officials who participated in a ceremony marking the start of work.

Bilingual program seeks help from expat residents
March 13, 2009 4:11 AM
Casa Presidencial has discovered a great resource right under their collective noses. Costa Rica Multilingüe, a program of the Presidencia, issued a call Wednesday for English-speaking volunteers who want to help adult Costa Ricans learn the language.

U.S. vice president plans a visit here this month
March 13, 2009 4:11 AM
Casa Presidencial scheduled a 5:30 p.m. press conference of major importance Wednesday and then canceled it at the last minutes. The Presidencia said that the important event involved another country and that Costa Rica was going to make a joint announcement today. But the news leaked out that the big event is the visit of Joseph R. Biden, the 66-year-old vice president of the United States, at the end of the month.

Twin quakes felt in entire country
March 12, 2009 2:54 AM
Two earthquakes hit the southern zone of Costa Rica Wednesday. The first was at 11:24 a.m. The second came at 3:04 p.m. Both were within the 5 to 6 magnitude range.

Police tightening efforts on Heredia buses
March 12, 2009 2:52 AM
Fuerza Pública officers have been making spot checks of buses and bus stops mainly on routes that involve Heredia.

Stop the presses! They had a great experience
March 11, 2009 4:37 AM
Each day A.M. Costa Rica receives letters critical of Costa Rica. The Internet discussion lists are frequently negative, too. So it is with delight that the editors publish this missive from a Canadian couple who not only enjoyed their trip but are able to comment authoritatively on dental tourism.

Beach residents finally upset about maritime zone rules
March 10, 2009 4:08 AM
Residents of beach towns are organizing and plan to present a proposed law to legislators that will trump the existing maritime restrictions.

Tamarindo landmark goes up in flames
March 9, 2009 4:04 AM
Sparks from a brush fire ignited the thatched roof of one of Tamarindo's leading restaurants, and the subsequent fire leveled the establishment.

Government still hopes to get a convention center
March 9, 2009 4:04 AM
Costa Rica still hopes that a private company builds a new convention center here. The nation's convention proposal suffered a setback when the government of Taiwan scrapped a $25 million planning project as Costa Rica severed diplomatic relations in favor of the People Republic of China in June 2007.

Former investor pledges $10,000 to find Enrique
March 6, 2009 3:55 AM
A self-described once-foolish investor has pledged $10,000 to the Luis Enrique Villalobos reward fund. He is Hank Guichelaar of Longview, Texas, who is known to fellow investors are the author of a newsletter on the Villalobos financial crash.

Electronic tolls for Autopista del Sol
March 6, 2009 3:54 AM
Autopista del Sol will announce today a system of electronic toll collecting that is designed to reduce the wait by motorists at toll booth.

Arias to sign financial disclosure law
March 5, 2009 4:19 AM
President Óscar Arias Sánchez is scheduled to sign today a law against terrorism and money laundering. The measure has been promoted as a way for the country to stay a member of the Egmont Group, a 20-year-old an informal organization of countries designed to fight money laundering. But the law is much more.

Investor begs Enrique for money
March 5, 2009 4:19 AM
"All the little investors, like me, that only wanted to better their retirement and are not looking to make tons of money, only to have enough to get by on! If he would only return the money of the small investors, people with under 100,000 dollars so we can retire and pay our bills."

All that unfinished business
March 4, 2009 3:59 AM
Life in Costa Rica today is similar to the circus juggler who has multiple balls up in the air at one time. There is a file cabinet full of unfinished business.

Pure theater leads to man's eviction
March 3, 2009 3:59 AM
The abuse of Costa Rica's domestic violence laws is touching everyone, even senior expats. One 71-year-old man — who is blind in one eye — was thrown out of a home last week in a theatrical production put on his wife's daughter from another relationship. The man's wife wants the house they once shared.

Portable potties for Parque Manuel Antonio
March 3, 2009 3:59 AM
The tourism institute will donate 120 million colons to keep Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio open. The money, about $214,000, will be used to construct new toilets and a treatment plant at the park.

Cahuita, Puerto Viejo lose city status
March 2, 2009 2:37 AM
The Sala IV constitutional court has stripped Cahuita and Puerto Viejo of their status as cities and reaffirmed the principle that no one there could acquire rights in the maritime zone after 1977.

Whooops! A multi million math error
March 2, 2009 2:36 AM
The administrator of the nation's roads paid an amount six times more than it should have for private contractors to clean highway gutters, said the Contraloría de la República Thursday.

Rights report has a few words for Costa Rica
February 27, 2009 4:12 AM
As is usual, Costa Rica came in for some criticism when the U.S. State Department released its annual human rights survey of the world.

Villalobos figure Keith Nash is dead
February 27, 2009 4:11 AM
Observers of the Costa Rican scene have seen another chapter close in the saga of the Brothers Villalobos. Canadian Keith Nash, who is generally credited with being a factor in the downfall of the ponzi scheme, has died at 96, according to a Canadian newspaper.

Manuel Antonio park needs some help
February 26, 2009 4:08 AM
A critical e-mail by a supporter of Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio lambasted the business community there for inaction. But the message generated support and a renewal of a donation pledge for the endangered park.

Sailboat race can be big boon to tourism
February 26, 2009 4:08 AM
The tourism institute will invest $500,000 in promotion to attract tourists to Limón in November for the finish of the Transat Jacques Vabre, a race across the Atlantic by sailboats.

Legendary characters having tough time
February 25, 2009 4:03 AM
Modern life has pretty well taken the sting out of the old legendary creatures whose main goal was to keep Costa Ricans on the straight and narrow. And the poor ghosts are having self esteem problems.

Heredia ready to begin massive public works project
February 25, 2009 4:02 AM
Heredia's utility company will invests $180 million in a sewage treatment plant and some 500 kilometers (311 miles) of collector lines to services eight of the province's 10 cantons.

Pre-Columbian bird figures in new exhibit
February 25, 2009 4:02 AM
It may come as a surprise to animal lovers that the bird with the most representation in recovered examples of pre-Columbian sculpture is not the parrot but the vulture. And that appears to be true throughout the archaeological history of Costa Rica

Country's exports take a dip
February 24, 2009 4:23 AM
The good news is that January exports to Canada increased 9.7 percent over the same month in 2008. The bad news is that total January exports from Costa Rica were $600.6 million, a number which represents a 19 percent decline from the same month the year before

Medical tourism gets central government support
February 23, 2009 1:47 AM
The country has put its support behind health tourism. A decree published Wednesday pledges the executive branch to simplify and speed up the process of giving approval to firms involved in this type of tourism.

Latin Americans tremble over Stanford
February 23, 2009 1:46 AM
Havoc and panic stemming from fraud charges against U.S. billionaire Allen Stanford have spread to Latin America, prompting several governments to swing into action. The man at the center of the banking and investment scandal turned up in Virginia Thursday and promptly was served with legal papers showing his assets have been frozen.

Flooding from melting Antarctic could be much worse
February 20, 2009 3:37 AM
New estimates of sea level rise suggest inundations could be worse than anticipated. The report is not good news for Costa Rican coastal dwellers who have been warned by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to expect a maximum sea level rise during the next 100 years of about 1 to 4 inches.

Watch out for those fake checks
February 20, 2009 3:37 AM
The fake check scammers have moved up the sophistication scale.

Costa Rica tries to stems several levels of crime
February 19, 2009 4:02 AM
Times was when Colombian drug lords and leaders of the paramilitary forces traveled to a recreational area near Santa Ana for vacation. They felt safe and far removed from the daily struggle in their home country.

Trafficking can be internal with higher penalties
February 18, 2009 4:07 AM
Within the citizen security initiative passed twice by the legislature this month is a legal change that tightens up Costa Rica's prohibition against human trafficking. For the first time, the legal change covers the trafficking of persons inside the country, noted the Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública Monday. Now only trafficking of persons across national borders can be prosecuted.

Arias pushes two bills to transform tourism
February 18, 2009 4:07 AM
The executive branch put its weight behind two measures Monday that are designed to strengthen tourism in Costa Rica. The first is a general law of tourism and the second is a measure to promote rural tourism.

An option for the much-traveled loverboy
February 17, 2009 4:20 AM
The free sexual atmosphere of Costa Rica can have negative consequences when sex tourists and expats inadvertently create offspring and then either turn their backs or leave not knowing what they have done.

PriceSmart will end use of plastic bags
February 17, 2009 4:19 AM
PriceSmart in Costa Rica will stop putting shoppers' purchases in plastic bags March 2, the company said.

Arias empanels tax fraud task force
February 16, 2009 3:09 AM
Some 17 agencies of the government agreed Thursday night to study and create a plan to reduce tax fraud.

Top appeals court upholds process of rapid justice
February 13, 2009 4:10 AM
The Sala III high criminal court has thrown out a challenge to the flagrancia process for criminals caught in the act or nearly so.

Central American salamanders appear to be vanishing
February 13, 2009 4:10 AM
The decline of amphibian populations worldwide has been documented primarily in frogs, but salamander populations also appear to have plummeted, according to a new study in Central America.

Environmental police set the agenda for 2009
February 12, 2009 4:06 AM
The nation's environmental tribunal will turn its attention to the many pineapple fields in the Caribbean and northern zone in its first sweep of the year.

We ask lawmakers to give hard look at immigration bill
February 11, 2009 3:08 AM
AN EDITORIAL: The paragraph should be changed so that there is no chance the the law will be interpreted to mean retroactivity. Otherwise, at best, there will be a extensive litigation on this point. And who knows how the Sala IV constitutional court will decide.

Sala IV leans on immigration over appointment delays
February 10, 2009 3:30 AM
A period of 15 days is reasonable for the immigration department to issue renewal and replacement residency cards know as cédulas, the Sala IV constitutional court has ruled.

Gasoline prices do a turnaround
February 9, 2009 2:56 AM
The nation's price regulating agency is blaming the Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip for an increase in the local gasoline prices.

Taxi drivers and competition come to an accord
February 6, 2009 2:30 AM
Taxi drivers, their competitors and others in the transport industry met for nearly eight hours Wednesday to create what the Presidencia is calling an historic accord.

First part of citizen security measure gets initial approval
February 5, 2009 3:39 AM
The Asamblea Legislativa Tuesday passed on first reading the initial citizen security bill, part of a package that contains revisions to the immigration law. The bill that was passed received strong support among lawmakers.

Paragon chairman promises to finish infrastructure
February 4, 2009 2:47 AM
Despite what he calls a tough situation, the chairman of Paragon Properties of Costa Rica, S.A., renewed his promise Monday that he would complete the infrastructure on the company's many projects here.

Dos Pinos in trouble again over pollution
February 4, 2009 2:47 AM
Dos Pinos, the milk company, is in trouble with environmental inspectors again over discharges from its El Coyol plant.

Find your property without leaving your chair
February 3, 2009 3:40 AM
Here is a great tip for expats to find property with Google Earth when a real estate sales agent provides them with a "catastro" or a plat map of a parcel. Google Earth has come a long way in the last several years. Back in 2005, there was very little high-definition photography available for Costa Rica, but today there is much more and it is very impressive.

Arias rescue plan draws mixed reviews
February 3, 2009 3:39 AM
Proposals by President Óscar Arias Sánchez to shield the country from effects of a world economic crisis got mixed reviews Union leaders have expressed concern while business executives called the ideas a good start.

Refund of some down payments may be elusive
February 2, 2009 3:59 AM
The nation's real estate market is grinding to another crisis as developers find they are unable to perform on their promises. In beach towns and in the Central Valley condo buyers gave money to developers as down payments in anticipation that a building would be erected. Now many structures do not exist or stand unfinished, and the buyer's legal problems are just beginning.

Arias rescue plan has 29 points
February 2, 2009 3:58 AM
President Óscar Arias Sánchez presented his 29-point stimulus and rescue plan to the country Thursday night. The president's proposals depend heavily on borrowing, including a $500 million infusion for the Banco Central. Many of the proposals already have been discussed and some have already been approved. The rescue plan appeared to be an integration of what the administration has been doing for months. There were some new items.

Murder cases up nearly 25 percent in 2008
January 30, 2009 4:09 AM
Murders took nearly a 25 percent increase in 2008, according to statistics reported Wednesday by the Judicial investigating Organization. In 2007 there were 349 murders in the country. In 2008 there were 435. That is an increase of 86 murders or 24.6 percent.

Gates worries about Iranian infiltration here
January 29, 2009 3:08 AM
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates told senators Tuesday that although much attention was given to Russia's recent courting of some Latin American countries, he is more concerned about new activities of Iran in the region.

New Orleans on the Pacific
January 28, 2009 3:35 AM
Mardi Gras is coming to Esterillos Oeste. The central Pacific Krewe of Sirena is planning a parade Saturday, Feb. 21, starting at the local plaza at 2 p.m.

Obama has to wrestle with Latin drug flow
January 27, 2009 2:51 AM
Along with other responsibilities, President Barack Obama is assuming control of the decades-long struggle to stop illegal drug shipments into the United States from Latin America and elsewhere.

Sewer plan includes biogas production
January 26, 2009 2:27 AM
The country will try to produce biogas to generate electricity as a byproduct of its proposed sewer plant.

Sports fishermen get together
January 26, 2009 2:27 AM
Just a month after its country’s fisheries agency passed measures protecting its sailfish and other sport fishing resources, Costa Rica has formed the first national sport fishing federation representing the interests of its anglers and the sport fishing tourism industry.

Villalobos creditors redeemed
January 23, 2009 3:55 AM
Now it turns out that most of the world was a big ponzi scheme. The $1 billion dropped with Luis Enrique and Oswaldo Villalobos appears to be peanuts compared with the $50 billion loss attributed to Bernard Madoff.

Country seeking $1.5 billion in loans
January 23, 2009 3:55 AM
The nation is assuming nearly $1.5 billion in new debt under plans from the Arias administration.

More effort urged on policing maritime zone
January 22, 2009 2:23 AM
The tourism institute is creating a new section to inspect and exert control in the country's maritime zone. A new study by the Contraloría General de la República gives the institute eight months to have the inspection system working.

Watchdog for Río Térraba
January 22, 2009 2:23 AM
Four municipalities have joined forces to protect the Río Grande de Térraba in the south Pacific coast.

Clothes no barrier to public access, court says
January 21, 2009 2:30 AM
The Sala IV constitutional court has come down strongly on the side of those who want to be creative in the way they dress.

More stuff in the sky
January 21, 2009 2:29 AM
Two unexpected images showed up in a Jan. 8 photograph of traffic on the Próspero Fernández highway. The images reinforce the belief that something is traveling through the skies above Costa Rica.

A positive story about a U.S. visa request
January 20, 2009 2:13 AM
Many expats would like to travel to the United States with friend to show them around. If their friend goes about the process the right way and can prove true ties to Costa Rica, he or she probably will get a visa. They have a better than 75 percent chance to do so. The expat also should do a bit of homework and ask the friend the right questions to see if they do have what it takes to get a United States visa. The embassy's Web site is a wealth of information regarding the visa process.

How Martin Luther King and the rights movement changed democracy
January 20, 2009 2:12 AM
King and the U.S. civil rights movement of which he is the most prominent figure are far more than simply the enfranchisement of a minority.

Sardinal-Coco water line delivered a setback
January 19, 2009 2:17 AM
The Sala IV constitutional court has ruled against the Sardinal-Playas del Coco water pipeline.

Unhappy readers seek to censor el Diario Extra
January 19, 2009 2:11 AM
Unhappy readers seek to censor el Diario extra. Two shocking photos in El Diario Extra have generated a wave of condemnation and calls for newspaper censorship.

Trees get a pardon
January 16, 2009 2:55 AM
There was general dismay when the transport ministry said it would chop down a line of trees along the north side of the old road to Escazú in Sabana Sur. The ministry and the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad said the current two-lane highway would be widened and that the trees would have to go.

Plaza de la Democracia almost finished
January 16, 2009 2:55 AM
Officials abruptly canceled a reinauguration of the Plaza de la Democracia this week in keeping with the national mourning over the Cinchona earthquake. However, work continues on the site in downtown San José.

Flurry of quakes causes more concern
January 15, 2009 2:32 AM
A flurry of earthquakes Monday night and Tuesday morning signaled the presence of yet another fault in the vicinity of the Volcán Poás, and residents of the area, already reeling from Thursday's 6.2 magnitude shock are nervous.

Papagayo marina open for business
January 15, 2009 2:31 AM
Peninsula Papagayo has opened Phase I of Marina Papagayo with 180 slips capable of accommodating private crafts ranging from sport fishing boats to mega-yachts, the marina said in a news release.

Nation in mourning for five days
January 14, 2009 2:16 AM
The preliminary estimate of the damage inflicted by Thursday's earthquake is $100 million, Casa Presidencial said Monday. The death toll rose to 17 with the recovery of three more bodies in the community of Cinchona. And the president declared five days of national mourning through Friday.

Costa Rica leads Latin nations in freedom
January 14, 2009 2:16 AM
The status of freedom in nearby countries is exactly what one would expect. A survey released Monday by Freedom House gave a failing grade to Cuba and so-so evaluations for Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Colombia. Costa Rica continued its top evaluation as a electoral democracy.

Expats join in to help their neighbors
January 13, 2009 2:22 AM
Expats are coming to the aid of those who suffered damage in the Thursday earthquake.

Quake fast becoming a national tragedy
January 12, 2009 2:14 AM
What appeared at first to be another routine earthquake has fast become a national emergency. The Cruz Roja said Thursday night that more than 300 persons have been injured and that 15 persons have died. Individuals remain trapped in workplaces, vehicles, buses and hotels, and some will have to be airlifted to safety this morning.

Costa Rica hit by major quake
January 9, 2009 2:36 AM
A 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit north of the Central Valley this afternoon at 1:21 p.m. and set streets and buildings in motion. There were injuries. The quake endured for at least 20 seconds and was followed by a number of aftershocks, some of which were felt.

The realities of the real estate markets
January 9, 2009 2:35 AM
Those in the business are quick to say the Costa Rican real estate markets to emphasize that there are no universal truths to the current economy.

Heredia train fares lack approval
January 8, 2009 2:06 AM
There may be a little hitch in the government's plan to begin rail service to Heredia in mid-February. The nation's rate-setting agency said Tuesday that the Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles, which runs the trains, has not yet applied for approval of fares.

Another special day for kids
January 7, 2009 2:15 AM
If you thought that Christmas was long past, you are selling short the Catholic culture of Costa Rica. Today is a special day, el Día de los Reyes Magos.

U.S. food and drug police opening office here
January 7, 2009 2:14 AM
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will be opening a regional office in Costa Rica, the U.S. Embassy said Monday.

How lawyers justify their pay
January 6, 2009 2:23 AM
Many times going to see a lawyer in Costa Rica is like taking a science lesson. Sometimes they tend to make any discussion about the law or a legal matter very complex. They love to write out lengthy descriptions of legal procedures on blackboards or whiteboards.

Free trade treaty a maze for the average expat
January 6, 2009 2:21 AM
Individual expats who seek to import goods under the new free trade treaty with the United States and other Central American countries face a bewildering process.

A.M. Costa Rica posts significant gains over 2007
January 5, 2009 1:36 AM
A.M. Costa Rica served up 16.6 million news and advertising pages to 691,986 unique readers in 2008, statistics at the newspaper's Web site show. The readership reflects an 17.6 percent increase over 2007

Lucky streak ends for San Pedro man
January 5, 2009 1:35 AM
The 56th time is a charm, according to the Fuerza Pública in San Pedro de Montes de Oca. Finally after 56 arrests last year alone, a man has been put behind bars.

Traffic conviction not enough to void residency
January 2, 2009 2:45 AM
A foreign woman has avoided being expelled from Costa Rica because the Sala IV constitutional court found that a conviction after a traffic accident does not warrant canceling her immigration status.

Get ready for a year of campaigning
December 31, 2008 1:50 AM
In 2009 the attention of those expats interested in politics will turn to Costa Rica because national elections are the first Sunday in February 2010. That means the bulk of the campaigning will take place in 2009.

Volunteers are putting up weather stations all over
December 31, 2008 1:49 AM
A retired physics professor is creating a network of weather stations connected by Internet to cover all of Costa Rica. The plan is to complement the national meteorological institute’s limited coverage and to aid in disaster planning.

Astute consumers needed at Zapote festival
December 30, 2008 2:29 AM
Anyone who goes hungry to the Fiestas de San José better bring money. Although kids rides and some other services are inexpensive, purveyors of food do not seem to have been filled with holiday spirit.

Street robbery — up close and personal
December 30, 2008 2:29 AM
Along the street in the commercial district, shoppers were out in force. The day was Saturday, the second day after Christmas, and the stores promised big sales. Some pedestrians were returning from the Desamparados carnival and changing buses in the center of the cantón.

Environmental police say their work is up 50 percent
December 29, 2008 2:16 AM
The Tribunal Ambiental Administrativo reported that it handled 50 percent more cases in 2008 than in 2007.

Famous tall ship put in to Limón
December 29, 2008 2:15 AM
The classic four-masted bark Sea Cloud sailed into the Port of Limón this week. The 316-foot long windjammer sailed up the coast from Panamá with it's compliment of 30 sails billowing with a 20-knot wind at her stern.

Path cleared for free trade treaty on Jan. 1
December 26, 2008 1:24 AM
U.S. President George Bush issued a proclamation Dec. 23 to implement the Central American Free Trade Treaty with Costa Rica.

Professor and her recorder talk to the birds
December 24, 2008 2:07 AM
Birds use song systems to communicate about mating and reproduction, territorial boundaries, age and even overall health. Sandra Vehrencamp studies them to decode which elements convey such essential information. With colleagues in the Bioacoustics Research Program at Cornell's Lab of Ornithology, she studies birds in such natural habitats as Costa Rica, Colombia and Bonaire.

Chief prosecutor comes to aid of runaway mom
December 24, 2008 2:07 AM
The nation's chief prosecutor has interjected himself into the case of a U.S. woman being extradited to face a federal charge of international child abduction.

It is possible to make a difference
December 23, 2008 1:39 AM
"When this author arrived with his family 36 years ago, Costa Rica was truly a paradise. It has a good chance to be so again. It will just take time as with all evolution. This writer is dedicated to making a difference with the help of A.M. Costa Rica, and this dedication will continue well past the New Year."

Allegro Papagayo tries to reduce its fine
December 22, 2008 2:03 AM
The operator of the Allegro Papagayo was in environmental court Thursday seeking to reduce a claim for some $224,000 by the government because the hotel ran sewage into the Golfo de Papagayo.

Russia interested in Nicaraguan canal
December 22, 2008 2:03 AM
Russian President Dmitri Medvedev expressed interest in a Nicaraguan proposal to link the Atlantic and Pacific oceans with a new canal. The project could include the Río San Juan that runs along Costa Rica's northern border.

The secret drug war continues
December 19, 2008 2:10 AM
Despite the pretensions of peace and tranquility, a hidden war rages in and around Costa Rica. Only infrequently do signs of this battle come to light. Wednesday two separate incidents illustrated the situation. In the Golfo Dulce a presumed drug fastboat turned up adrift with 25 bullet holes in the hull.

New traffic law is coming after New Year's
December 19, 2008 2:10 AM
Those caught driving drunk New Year's morning will not face the stiffer penalties of the new traffic law. The law was signed by President Óscar Arias Sánchez Wednesday, but it will not take effect until 10 working days after it is published in the La Gaceta official newspaper.

Immigration bill likely to be put off until new year
December 17, 2008 4:22 AM
A proposed bill that would change the current immigration laws probably will not see discussion in the legislature until next year.

Christmas dish is more expensive
December 17, 2008 4:21 AM
According to the unreconstructed Ebenezer Scrooge, Christmas is a poor excuse for picking a man's pocket every 25th of December.

Tourism institute seeks 2 millionth tourist
December 16, 2008 4:43 AM
Optimistic tourism officials are getting ready to welcome the person they are calling the 2 millionth tourist to the country for 2008.

The official Christmas lubricant: Guaro!
December 16, 2008 4:43 AM
Eggnog may be the seasonal drink elsewhere, but in Costa Rica the universal lubricant is cane liquor or aguardiente. The government monopoly Fábrica Nacional de Licores, makes the product that is a favorite of many family gatherings, alcoholics and casual tipplers.

Age thrown out as critierion for mortgage
December 15, 2008 2:33 AM
Folks who may never live to see their mortgage paid off can still get one, the Sala IV constitutional court has ruled.

Sick kids will get a colorful mural
December 15, 2008 2:33 AM
Sick youngsters at Costa Rica's famous Hospital Nacional de Niños will be getting a brightly colored early Christmas present from some of the best artists in the country.

Jet Blue plans a daily flight starting in March
December 12, 2008 3:20 AM
Jet Blue Airways, which opened a hub for Latin America in March at Orlando, Florida, said Wednesday it would begin flights to San José March 26.

Trace molybdenum vital to rain forests, study says
December 12, 2008 3:19 AM
A team of researchers led by Princeton University scientists has found for the first time that tropical rain forests, a vital part of the Earth's ecosystem, rely on the rare trace element molybdenum to capture the nitrogen fertilizer needed to support their wildly productive growth. Most of the nitrogen that supports the rapid, lush growth of rain forests comes from tiny bacteria that can turn nitrogen in the air into fertilizer in the soil.

Gringo arrested here will face 450 U.S. complaints
December 11, 2008 4:19 AM
Law officers, acting on a U.S. warrant Tuesday, captured a U.S. citizen wanted to face multiple charges of fraud. The man is suspected of being one of nine persons who ran a series of scams from Costa Rica that collected up to $13 million from customers in the United States.

New tax pushed for witness and victim protection
December 11, 2008 4:19 AM
Lawmakers discussing ways to finance protection of witnesses and victims seem to have come to an agreement that a new tax is needed. They will suggest that a tax be imposed on the interest from bonds issued in foreign currencies.

Long holiday starts Dec. 19 for many
December 10, 2008 4:22 AM
The vacation for public employees will be about 16 days this year, thanks to Christmas and New Year's Day being on Thursdays.

Art museum will be closed for repairs for a year
December 10, 2008 4:21 AM
The Museo de Arte Costarricense closed its doors Monday to begin a year-long, 350 million-colon restoration and repair job. The museum is in the former international airline terminal on the east side of Parque la Sabana.

Tax time details for expats
December 9, 2008 3:57 AM
Here is the help one needs for this year's tax season. Most expats hold their Costa Rican assets in a company. Whether it be a sociedad anónima or a sociedad de responsabilidad limitada — also known as an S.R.L. or in Gringo speak an L.L.C. — expats have tax obligations like Costa Ricans. However, most expats use inactive companies to hold the assets, and tax obligations are different for active and inactive companies.

How to rewrite the Constitution expat style
December 9, 2008 3:57 AM
The Arias administration is making moves to change the nation's Constitution because officials think that the current document makes the country ungovernable. Administration officials have not said what they have in mind, but here are some suggestions from the expat point of view.

How to control mildew and mold
December 8, 2008 4:03 AM
Many suggestions on what to do about a major tropical problem.

U.S. mother here says she will seek refugee status
December 8, 2008 4:03 AM
A U.S. woman facing a federal charge of international child abduction said Thursday she is seeking refugee status in Costa Rica. If granted, Costa Rica would decline to extradite her to face the U.S. charge.

Downtown will get a vivid reminder of Nazi horror
December 5, 2008 4:52 AM
The Dutch government is donating a statute of Holocaust victim Anne Frank, the young German girl who hid with her family in a Dutch attic until discovered by Nazis during World War II.

Administration wants to rewrite Constitution
December 5, 2008 4:52 AM
The Arias administration is pushing constitutional reform as a way to change what officials see as the ungovernability of the country.

Don't count on that atm machine late at night
December 4, 2008 2:55 AM
Banco Nacional, despite full time advertising and promotional employees, likes to surprise its customers. Instead it was the ministry that said Tuesday that the bank will be closing down its automatic teller network at 10 p.m. Friday and every day afterwards until 5 a.m. the next morning.

Administration will restructure intelligence unit
December 4, 2008 2:55 AM
The minister of the Presidencia said Tuesday that the time has come to put what has been known as the nation's secret police under clear controls.

Milanes creditors are getting restless
December 3, 2008 5:00 AM
Investors who lost their money with Savings Unlimited are getting restless because former fugitive Luis �ngel Milanes Tamayo has been free here for more than five months, and their money seems as far away as ever.

Boyeros and their bueyes brave heavy rain
December 2, 2008 4:13 AM
San José's 12th annual oxcart parade, known as the entrance of the saints, is nothing to sneeze at, admitted Arturo Arrollo, a 70-year-old oxcart handler, or boyero, from Atenas. The parade, which kicks off Christmas festivities in the capital, is a showcase both for boyeros and their massive oxen. The animals pull delicately painted, brightly colored traditional oxcarts from Paseo Colón to Avenida Segunda, a highway usually occupied by taxis and buses belching black smoke.

Immigration bill on Arias priority list
December 1, 2008 4:02 AM
The executive branch has placed a new immigration bill on the priority list for the Asamblea Legislativa in the so-called extraordinary session that begins Monday.

Damage at $77.3 million, and Sixaola is evacuated
December 1, 2008 4:02 AM
The preliminary damage report from more than a week of flooding is in, and the national emergency commission has a preliminary figure of 42.3 billion colons or about $77.3 million.

The heritage of a Latin American Thanksgiving
November 28, 2008 3:12 AM
I was a Pilgrim. I had to wear a squat, black cardboard hat with an ugly buckle in the middle. Thanksgiving stinks, I thought.

Developer on Pacific faces $2 million in environmental damages
November 28, 2008 3:12 AM
In the first environmental case involving projects cited this year along the Pacific, the nation's environmental court says a conservation district is seeking $2,124.509 in damages against Hermosa Vista, a 60-hectare (148-acre) development 15 minutes south of Jacó.

Assembly committee votes out immigration bill
November 27, 2008 3:14 AM
A legislative committee unanimously reported out a new immigration bill that would jack up dramatically the income required by of foreign residents.

Transit bill advances in legislature
November 27, 2008 3:14 AM
The full legislature gave initial approval Tuesday to a rewrite of the nation's traffic laws that contains stronger penalties.

Christmas season officially starts Sunday
November 26, 2008 4:24 AM
Sunday marks the official start of the Christmas season in San José. The kickoff will be highlighted by the traditional Entrada de Santos y Boyeros, which is a procession of carretas pulled by bueyes with santos aboard.

Caribbean coast and elsewhere still taking a hit
November 26, 2008 4:23 AM
Costa Ricans in the Caribbean and northern zone are waking up today to the eighth straight day of rain. About 4,000 of them are in shelters because of heavy flooding and rivers running out of their banks.

The Caja wants to sign you up
November 25, 2008 4:39 AM
How to handle employees and their paperwork represent continuing problems for expats. An article on domestic employees produced a great deal of interest. Many persons wrote and said they were not legally registering their employees and did not have workers compensation for them either. Some expats asked if they needed to cover themselves as well. Everyone that wrote still is confused.

Caribbean coast weathers another disaster
November 25, 2008 4:38 AM
The Caribbean coast is taking it on the chin again with rains and flooding spawned by a cold front. Some 32 communities have been affected, and up to 2,100 persons are in shelters, according to the Cruz Roja,

Fraud suspect close to Arias raises a cloud over police agencies
November 24, 2008 1:41 AM
High government officials and police supervisors are dumbfounded that the No. 2 man in the Dirección de Inteligencia y Seguridad is accused of using his position and inside knowledge to advance a long-running check fraud scheme.

Legislators give final OK to $15 tax on air tickets
November 24, 2008 1:41 AM
Legislators passed for the second and final time Thursday a $15 tax on every air ticket to Costa Rica purchased outside the national borders. The same vote also results in eliminating a 3 percent tourism tax on hotels and other temporary housing vendors.

Amnet says it will pull out of metro area
November 21, 2008 2:50 AM
Amnet, the cable television company, appears ready to surrender its franchise in the Municipalidad de San José rather than put its lines underground.

New drivers have to know about gears and clutch
November 21, 2008 2:49 AM
Those who hope to pass a driving test now have to do so by using a vehicle with a manual transmission. The Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transporte said Wednesday that a decree has been published in the La Gaceta official newspaper prohibiting test-takers from using automatic transmission vehicles.

Real estate business moves from bonanza to prudence
November 20, 2008 2:37 AM
The Costa Rican economy is expected to surmount lower real estate activity that will last well into 2009, said representatives from a Costa Rican real estate association during a Tuesday conference on the future of Costa Rican real estate.

Frogs fare badly with chemical mix
November 20, 2008 2:36 AM
The decline of some frog species in Costa Rica may be related to pesticides and herbicides. That is suggested by the reports of two recent studies.

Costa Rica is no. 10 in hosting U.S. students
November 19, 2008 4:00 AM
Costa Rica hosted 5,383 U.S. students in 2006-2007, a slight drop from the previous year, according to statistics available on the Web site of the Institute for International Education.

Alguinaldos are a form of stimulus plan
November 19, 2008 4:00 AM
The world economy may be dragging, but Costa Rica will soon see an incentive payment of its own, a traditional one. Fast approaching is the time when employers have to come up with the aguinaldos for their workers.

Costa Rican officials all agog over Chinese president
November 18, 2008 4:07 AM
What is just a tropical layover for the president of China has become a defining moment for Costa Rica.

Legislature decides to slap another tax on tourists
November 17, 2008 4:25 AM
The Asamblea Legislativa approved on first reading Thursday the administration's $15 a head tax on tourists. The measure also would repeal the 3 percent tax on hotel stays and other purchases in tourist-related businesses.

Justice is a do-it-yourself project here
November 14, 2008 3:24 AM
Justice can be a do-it-yourself occupation in Costa Rica. Or at least some situations can illuminate the reluctance of judicial employees to seek justice.

Desdemona is naughty in Dominical
November 14, 2008 3:23 AM
Although a new reading of the play by the Dominical Little Theatre group uses only three microphones and some dramatic lighting for staging, theater group founder Monica Perez said most of the play's bawdy humor remains.

Quick committee approval seen for immigration draft
November 13, 2008 3:58 AM
A new draft of the nation's immigration law was accepted as a substitute Tuesday by the legislature's Comisión Permanente de Asuntos de Gobierno y Administración. Olga Marta Corrales Sánchez, the president of the committee, said that the bill is a consensus, and she hoped that the committee would approve the bill, No. 8487, and send it to the full legislature next week.

Escazú mayor told to clean up community
November 13, 2008 3:58 AM
The Sala IV constitutional court ordered Escazú to clean up its act after residents complained of too many empty lots piled with garbage and producing sewage.

Legislature ready to give final approval to treaty bill
November 12, 2008 4:13 AM
Lawmakers are expected to vote this morning on the last piece of implementing legislation needed to bring the country into compliance with its promises under the Central American Free Trade Treaty.

What is a little robbery among friends?
November 12, 2008 4:12 AM
It's midnight on a Sunday, and there is a guy in a motorcycle helmet pointing a six-inch knife at my boss. I'm standing a few feet away with my mouth wide open, because even though I have walked home late at night through crime-happy neighborhoods in Colombia, Madrid and that infamous gangster rap stronghold in East Bushwick, Brooklyn, I am only just now witnessing for my first honest-to-God stickup.

Some citizens are fighting back and winning
November 11, 2008 3:44 AM
People are tired of losing money in Costa Rica. They are fed up with flushing it down the toilet due to the mistakes made by the Registro Nacional and other government entities. They are also disgusted with the bulling around they get from administrative offices.

Report says that Sardinal has enough water to share
November 11, 2008 3:43 AM
A government commission reported Sunday that there is enough groundwater in Sardinal to allow for continued construction a controversial pipeline. The information was based on studies conducted by the national water company, the environmental ministry and an agency that studies the risks of construction related to the water industry.

Officials maneuver to keep Costa Rica solvent
November 10, 2008 1:34 AM
The economy was at center stage Thursday as President Óscar Arias Sánchez outlined the executive branch's commitment to lessen as much as possible negative impacts on the country.

Not everyone is happy with Obama victory
November 7, 2008 3:22 AM
For conservatives in Costa Rica's expat community, the future was not looking rosy after Sen. Barack Obama's victory in the Tuesday presidential election.

Embassy bash is a celebration of democracy
November 6, 2008 3:19 AM
At the end of the U.S. Embassy's election night party, the sound that filled the room was not cheers or wild applause, but the thud of empty wine bottles being dumped into garbage cans. TV wires taped to the floor with grey masking tape were yanked loose. The giant, flat white screen that projected CNN's announcement that Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois had become the president-elect of the United States was hauled down and folded away.

Tribunal Ambiente lists investigations
November 6, 2008 3:19 AM
Twin sweeps by the environmental watchdogs resulted in 15 development projects being frozen and 18 more under investigation in the Cantón de Osa.

A tree that grows in Central America!
November 5, 2008 3:46 AM
A special tree here helps scientists assess climate change issue.

Some expats feel they were blindsided by draft law
November 5, 2008 3:45 AM
Some expats reacted with surprise Monday when they learned about a proposed rewrite of the nation's immigration laws that would mean pensionados and rentistas would need to show a lot more financial depth.

Draft law would jack up residency requirements
November 4, 2008 4:06 AM
The Arias administration has come up with a rewrite of its proposed immigration law that jacks up financial requirements for pensionados to $2,000 a month and for rentistas to $5,000.

Criminality not good for turtles either
November 4, 2008 4:05 AM
The Parque Nacional Tortuguero, a breeding ground for four species of turtle, receives about 75,000 visits from the creatures each year. However, the park lacks the security needed to face threats from poachers and narcotraffickers operating in the area, according to the manager.

Bandits sacked home of missionary family
November 3, 2008 5:23 AM
A Canadian-Costa Rican family endured five hours at the hands of home invaders who even pulled a gun on the 82-year-old bedridden grandmother.

Arrests made in horrific casino murder case
November 3, 2008 5:22 AM
The director of the judicial police said Friday evening that his agents have detained two men and a female minor in the murder Tuesday of a hotel casino worker and the shooting of her sister and work companion. This is the case of the three women abducted as they left the White House Hotel casino.

It's time to get divorced!!
October 31, 2008 4:12 AM
The constitutional court has done away with two marriage rules that have caused pain and suffering for hundreds of expats and Costa Ricans. The rules are those that required a three-year wait after a marriage for the couple to obtain a divorce. A second section, also thrown out, required a two-year wait for a couple to get a legal separation.

Organized crime bill is reported out of committee
October 31, 2008 4:11 AM
A legislative commission Wednesday reported out a proposed law that is designed to attack organized crime. A short time later the Poder Judicial announced that the proposal contains all the revisions sought by Francisco Dall'Anese Ruiz, the nation's chief prosecutor.

Nation horrified by murder of casino worker
October 30, 2008 4:29 AM
Violent crime took center stage again Tuesday after bandits attacked three young women in a car in Escazú, killed one and distributed the victims in three different parts of the western metro area.

Increase still predicted for Latin exports
October 30, 2008 4:27 AM
Exports from Latin America and the Caribbean are on track to grow at an estimated 23 per cent this year, despite the global financial crisis, according to a report released Monday by the United Nations office for the region.

Can it be true? The transition is starting?
October 29, 2008 3:51 AM
For many, the sweetest sound is the phrase "I love you." But in October in Costa Rica the three little words that caress the ear is "Dry season's coming."

Employers upset by stranglehold on credit
October 29, 2008 3:51 AM
The organization representing the nation's employers Monday demanded the loosening of credit by the Banco Central and the county's other financial institutions and said that 20,000 workers already had lost their jobs.

Three dangerous errors expats make hiring domestic help
October 28, 2008 3:38 AM
So many expats make the same mistakes with domestic workers in Costa Rica. Usually their intentions are good. Nevertheless, from the outset of the work relationship most start it off on the wrong foot, giving workers a reason to go to court. Why should they wait to be fired upon by the domestic staff? They should fix the mistakes. It is easy to do.

Environmental tribunal investigates 14 of 16 projects
October 28, 2008 3:37 AM
Of 16 projects inspected by the nation's environmental watchdogs in the Cantón de Osa, 14 have come under investigation.

A.M. Costa Rica endorses John McCain
October 27, 2008 4:17 AM
America does not cut and run. American finishes what it starts, including efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. American does not sit down with second-rate authoritarian dictators. American does not whimper and beg pardon from the world for being great.

Reporter sees what acupuncture is like
October 27, 2008 4:16 AM
"I show up to my appointment late. It's pouring rain as usual, and it's the last day of my period and I am feeling cranky. I visit Eugene Mc Donald, who graciously agreed to give a demonstration at his Escazú office. He's been licensed in Florida, and the walls of his office are covered in framed certificates. He smiles a lot, gives me three business cards and asks me whether I would like some grape juice."

Forbes tells world about property problems here
October 24, 2008 3:17 AM
\Real estate here took another hit this week as Forbes, the U.S. publisher of authoritative business magazines, posted an account of Costa Rican property ownership problems.

Minimum wages are going up
October 24, 2008 3:16 AM
The minimum wage employers must pay their workers is going up 7 percent Jan. 1, but the increase is much less than employee negotiators sought. Workers sought more than 16 percent.

Chief prosecutor opens a case against Arias
October 23, 2008 3:23 AM
The nation's chief prosecutor stepped into the open pit gold mine controversy Tuesday and announced he was opening an investigation against President Óscar Arias Sánchez and the environmental minister.

Osa sweep focuses on luxury projects
October 23, 2008 3:24 AM
Government enforcers of environmental laws closed down nine construction sites in the Canton de Osa Monday, and inspections elsewhere are scheduled all this week.

Trees put the brakes on gold mine
October 22, 2008 3:39 AM
The controversial open pit gold mine in northern Costa Rica has suffered a new setback because the Sala IV constitutional court froze work there to determine if the firm would be allowed to cut down trees.

Environmental police visiting Canton de Osa today
October 22, 2008 3:38 AM
The environment minister will be among those who overfly the Canton de Osa today to draw attention to what they say is damage to the land.

Fast cash deals are very profitable . . . for the lender
October 21, 2008 3:13 AM
Is the credit crunch putting a crimp in your lifestyle? Help can be found on most any electric pole in San Jose.

Law that protected just women is unconstitutional
October 20, 2008 4:24 AM
The Sala IV constitutional court in a split vote overturned two key elements of a law designed to protect women in a decision released Thursday.

An expat named Garfield
October 20, 2008 4:23 AM
Long time resident Garfield George Wagner a familiar imposing presence in the Gringo bar circuit is gone. "Field," as he was know by his family, was highly visible for years in the San Jose's Downtown scene. Locals will well remember the immaculately groomed, 6-foot, 4-inch, bigger-than-life guy with the perfect tan, big toothy smile and long blond pony tail.

Criminals swiftly go through court system to freedom
October 17, 2008 2:55 AM
The judiciary's swift justice process whisked three more individuals through court and onto the streets Wednesday. That followed by a day the first conviction of a criminal under the program. He got out of jail, too.

Neighbors get 20 years for killing a thief, but robber walks
October 16, 2008 4:28 AM
Two separate but significant cases played out in the Costa Rican courts Tuesday. In one case, five persons who had attacked and fatally injured a man who was ransacking a vehicle each got 20 years in prison for aggravated homicide. The second case was the first of the rapid justice officials promised for persons caught red-handed committing a crime.

New Osa radio station was a long time in coming
October 16, 2008 4:27 AM
After three years of wrestling with contractors, some inconveniently placed mangrove trees, and that infamous Tico attitude towards time, the expat-themed radio station Radio Pacifico Sur is making some waves across San Buenaventura. But owner and DJ Stephen Petretti now has a warning for other aspiring Gringo entrepreneurs: the bureaucratic struggles in Costa Rica are not to be underestimated.

The president complains about faults in the system
October 15, 2008 4:40 AM
Every expat businessman and developer can identify with the nation's president and his brother, who are now complaining about the obstacles confronted by those who would move the nation ahead.

Museum education program sidesteps racial issues
October 15, 2008 4:40 AM
In an effort to make Costa Rican history come alive for the Youtube generation, the Museo Nacional is now featuring dramatic historical tours of the museum's exhibits, hoping that the interactive field trips will complement what students are learning in the classroom.

He fought long and hard with little official help
October 14, 2008 2:40 AM
After four long years of fighting hard in the courts in Costa Rica, an expat saved his property investment. He thought all hope was lost, but in his case justice prevailed. Last week the expat had what was stolen from him returned: A mortgage fraudulently canceled by property thieves and an attorney gone bad.

'Latin idol' hopes dashed
October 13, 2008 2:12 AM
Costa Rica's Latin American Idol finalist María José Castillo came in second last night at the end of a two-hour, commercial-filled spectacular on Sony Television..

Tribunal orders Banco National to reimburse Internet victim
October 13, 2008 2:11 AM
In a Thursday decision that may set a groundbreaking precedent for other cases involving Internet fraud, a court ruled that the Banco Nacional must pay damages to a man after money was stolen from his bank account via the Internet.

King of Jordan planning to make a visit here
October 10, 2008 4:10 AM
Jordanian King Abdullah II begins Oct. 19 a Latin American visit that will include Costa Rica.

Kentucky governor launches battle against Internet gambling
October 9, 2008 4:20 AM
Online gambling operations in Costa Rica have been blindsided by the governor of the U.S. State of Kentucky who is trying to seize control of some 140 Internet domains.

Ice hockey in Heredia?
October 9, 2008 4:20 AM
The hockey program at the Castillo Country Club emerged in 1997. El Castillo Knights have since gone on to win a tournament in Cuernavaca, Mexico, received praise from Canadian Ambassador Neil Reider and hosted the Vancouver Flying Pirates.

Sugar cane crop endangered by fungus
October 8, 2008 5:20 AM
Lawmakers Monday asked the central government to declare an emergency in the Pérez Zeledón and Buenos Aires regions because of the fungus disease orange rust.

Tax collectors change the rules
October 8, 2008 5:20 AM
The nation's tax collecting agency just made a change in its rules that will mean more paperwork for businesses and individuals.

Some uncomfortable history rears its head
October 7, 2008 4:21 AM
However, before the performance — a dance originating from the Santaría religion, originally performed by “Caribbean witches,� as Ms. GRACE Fernández put it — she wanted to remind the audience of a little bit of uncomfortable history.

María José makes it to the finals
October 6, 2008 4:10 AM
The country is flying high because María José Castillo will be one of two finalists next week on "Latin American Idol," a television reality show based in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Taxi fares are going up but not by much
October 6, 2008 4:13 AM
Higher taxi fares go into effect Thursday if the plans of the price regulating agency are accurate.

It's not just the boomers who are coming here
October 3, 2008 3:39 AM
Thanks to Costa Rica's lax immigration policies, waves of mortgage brokers, Wall Street hotshots and bankers are even now getting their travel plans together. Dominical is much more inviting than Club Fed. Tamarindo sure beats the local county lock up.

Convicted priest agitates for his radio show
October 2, 2008 4:13 AM
They say there are no guilty persons in prison. That is never truer than in Costa Rica where those convicted of high crimes can appeal to the court of public opinion via Web pages, radio shows and even pocket calendars.

Costa Rica gets yet another extension for free trade OK
October 2, 2008 4:12 AM
When it comes to ratifying the Central American Free Trade Agreement, the clock keeps running out on Costa Rica. The country got another break Tuesday when its trading partners agreed to reset the clock and approve another extension.

Heredia girl makes Ticos proud
October 1, 2008 3:47 AM
There were no medals from the 2008 Olympics, the last World Cup soccer effort was a disaster, and the Nobel Prize is a bit dusty. But that is all forgotten because the hopes of Costa Rica are hanging on the sweet sound of a 17-year-old Heredia girl. She is a finalist in "Latin American Idol."

Forest that birds love has a broad sidewalk
October 1, 2008 3:47 AM
Finca La Selva is a world-renowned destination for tropical biologists and a tourist destination as well. Visitors can sample the forest with a guide or stay overnight to be there at dawn when activity is best.

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