A.M. Costa Rica
Top stories from
May 11, 2010, to  Aug. 30, 2011

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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 recently in A.M. Costa Rica, the English-language daily newspaper, from Dec. 10, 2009, to Dec, 29, 2010. The latest daily news feed is HERE!

Top stories   Oct. 1, 2008 and Sept, 24, 2009 HERE!
Top stories two Sept. 28, 2009, July 12, 2010 HERE!
Top stories three May 11, 2010, to  Aug. 30, 2011 HERE!

Expat is suspect in marijuana-growing operation
Three men invaded the Heredia home of a Canadian and beat him up Thursday. But that was not the worst of it for the foreigner.
2011-08-30, 03:14:06

Opinion mainly negative on slippery banknotes
The Banco Central figured the country could save some money with plastic currency. So the 1,000 colons note is just that. An informal survey of Costa Ricans suggest that the plastic notes are not held in high regard. They are slippery and have a tendency to leap out of purses and pockets.
2011-08-30, 03:13:39

Jacó is off, off Broadway but with big plans
The location may be really, really off Broadway, but Jacó is getting a professional theater and a venue to match. The site is the new Oceans Center that will host “A Christmas Carol,” the uplifting musical by Michael Sgouros and Brenda Bell Dec. 20 to 30. The group Teatro Jacó said the hour-long performance will feature both the New York City award winning cast as well approximately 16 Costa Rican musicians and actors who will make their professional stage debut.
2011-08-29, 03:59:18

Can you believe a 119 percent interest rate?
Buying on credit is expensive anywhere, but in Costa Rica shoppers may face effective interest rates as high as 119 percent, according to a study by the economics ministry.
2011-08-26, 03:37:26

Corporate tax hits another bump in the road
A proposal to assess an annual tax on corporations ran into another problem in the legislature Tuesday. Juan Carlos Mendoza García, president of the Asamblea Legislativa, confirmed during Tuesday's afternoon legislative session that 12 lawmakers have signed a request to send the measure to the Sala IV for judicial review.
2011-08-25, 03:42:01

What goes on in the streets at night
Call them the army of the night or the midnight recyclers. They are the vast number of the country's poor who supplement their living by salvaging what they can from garbage. The mostly are invisible to the average citizen.
2011-08-25, 03:41:41

Fire fighters to demonstrate for approval of new tax
The nation's fire fighting agency, the Cuerpo de Bomberos, is poised to open 32 stations in the next 10 years. The only problem is money. That is why the fire crews will be demonstrating at the Asamblea Legislativa today in support of bill No. 17881 that would impose a 1.75 percent tax on all but the smallest monthly electrical bills.
2011-08-24, 03:37:30

Tax on corporations back to committee
As expected discontent with the proposed tax on corporations resulted Monday in the proposed law being sent back to a committee.
2011-08-24, 03:37:07

Seniors complex being planned west of town
In what is being described as still a concept, a seniors' community of perhaps 500 living units is planned west of Escazú. Developer José Luis Salinas, architect and president of Grupo Inmobilario del Parque, estimates that the concept may become a reality in about a year.
2011-08-23, 03:38:05

Osa crimes might be connected
Investigators are coming to the conclusion that a number of serious crimes on the Osa peninsula are related. That is in contrast to the original theories that a string of murders were motivated by unrelated events.
2011-08-23, 03:37:37

President critical of how bill was drafted
The president has vetoed a proposed law because the measure would generate confusion among citizens, was contradictory and demand excessive requirements, said Casa Presidencial.
2011-08-22, 03:41:25

Tico Times apologizes for scammer's full page ads
The Tico Times is apologizing to its readers for running a series of full-page ads offering half-price cell phones and Apple products.
2011-08-22, 03:40:47

Prosecutors crack down in three separate cases
Judicial police and prosecutors detained 19 persons in the vicinity of Puntarenas Centro on allegations of robbery, threats, extortion and drug trafficking. The Poder Judicial said 12 of the suspects are current police officers and that three were former police officers. One person detained was a priest from a Puntarenas church.
2011-08-19, 03:16:30

Mayor wants an urban forest
The Municipalidad de San José and Banco Nacional have kicked off a project to plant 50,000 trees of native species in the city over the next five years. And they plan is that bank customers will purchase trees for planting.
2011-08-19, 03:16:08

Ortega is at it again
Nicaraguan presidential elections are Nov. 6, so the Daniel Ortega administration is trying to drum up more patriotism. Members of his Sandinista youth movement have set up camp on the disputed Isla Calero in the face of an International Court of Justice prohibition.
2011-08-18, 03:40:06

Despite editors, buyers must be beware
Those who may have been trapped by a suspect full-page ad for cell telephones in The Tico Times have learned a valuable lesson. Sometimes newspaper publish material that is not correct or is fraudulent, usually by mistake. That has been true for nearly 170 years when the newspaper for the general public appeared.
2011-08-18, 03:39:37

Nigerians want you to buy their cell phones
Expats and subscribers elsewhere probably do not know that a full-page Tico Times newspaper ad marketing cell telephones and other electronic devices was placed by Nigerians who have a history of scams. The ad has run for at least three weeks on the back page of the English-language weekly.
2011-08-17, 04:02:34

Happy 10th birthday to us
A.M. Costa Rica today marks its 10th birthday of providing a free news service to expats here and those with an interest in this country everywhere.
2011-08-16, 02:22:38

Big project on Paseo Colón is a vote for optimism
A new high rise, Torres Paseo Colón, will be the tallest building in San José when workmen finish the remaining upper floors.
2011-08-15, 04:51:40

Harper visit here results in accords
The government of Canada will open a consulate in Costa Rica to provide visas to Costa Ricans who want to travel north. That was one of the developments that came Thursday from an official visit by Stephen Harper, the Canadian prime minister.
2011-08-15, 04:51:10

Two detained in murder of Osa hotel manager
Investigators have made arrests in the case of the murdered U.S. woman at her family's luxury hotel in Matapalo de Puerto Jiménez. As most friends and neighbors suspected, agents say the murder was an inside job. The victim was Lisa Artz, who was the resident manager of Casa Tres Palmas on the east shore of the Osa peninsula. She was suffocated July 20.
2011-08-15, 04:50:42

Tourism chamber wants more than just numbers
The national tourism chamber says that how long a tourist stays and how much each spends should be considered when assessing the state of the market.
2011-08-12, 04:28:08

Mayor, vice mayor and police chief in Jacó detained
Anti-corruption investigators raided the Garabito municipal building in Jacó Wednesday and detained four persons, including the mayor, vice mayor and chief of the municipal police. A fifth person, a lawyer, was detained at his office in Puntarenas.
2011-08-12, 04:27:34

Avenida 3 road work disrupts whole town
Christmas will be a merry one if the firm reconstructing Avenida 3 in the heart of the downtown finishes on time. Until then, the ripple from the section of closed road reverberates all over the city.
2011-08-11, 03:29:50

Ministry expects a flood of exoneration requests
Some 4,061 firms already have registered as a micro, small or medium-sized enterprise and the first two categories will be exempt from the new tax on corporations approved on first reading by the legislature Monday.
2011-08-11, 03:29:30

Corporation tax moves closer to reality
As expected, lawmakers took action Monday on a plan to impose a tax on corporations to raise money for undefined security measures. The measure passed 39 to 5 on first reading.
2011-08-10, 02:55:08

Campaign launched against trafficking
The judicial police launched a campaign Monday to combat human trafficking. The campaign, No todo es lo que parece (“Not everything is what it seems”), is a joint effort with the International Immigration Organization.
2011-08-10, 02:54:45

How to protect against employee revenge
Today’s employee could be a company’s worst enemy tomorrow. If an employee turns, some will do as much harm as they can to their employer.
2011-08-09, 04:13:52

Park ranger still among the missing
Rescue workers and police are again dealing with the case of a young man who vanished from a national park.
2011-08-09, 04:13:24

Corruption fighters had a big week
This has been the week for corruption fighters to work overtime. Saturday agents detained three municipal officials in Golfito on the allegation that they sought a $75,000 bribe from two foreigners there to approve a maritime concession. Thursday agents detained five persons, including a guard, in the continuing investigation of the attempted May 11 prison break at La Reforma penitentiary.
2011-08-08, 05:24:04

Convention center promised for 2014
The Chinchilla administration expects to put into service a new national convention center at the beginning of 2014, according to Vice President Alfio Piva. He was speaking Thursday to the Cámara Costarricense de Hoteles.
2011-08-08, 05:23:41

Bandits working the night shift
The bold downtown robbers seem to be targeting hotels. Bandits robbed two such places in San José early Wednesday within an hour.
2011-08-06, 10:38:05

Liberación is the target at the legislature
When the Asamblea Legislativa meets in afternoon session the 57 lawmakers usually have from five to 10 minutes to express themselves on any topic. Because they are elected officials speaking in a political forum, they are protected from being sued or hit with a defamation charge.
2011-08-06, 10:37:37

Pilgrims treated to a rain of flower petals
True to their word, the Servicio de Vigilancia Aérea of the security ministry flew over the celebration at the Cartago basilica Tuesday and dumped 2,000 kilos of rose petals on the multitude gathered there for the Día de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles. The aircraft was the fixed-wing Caribou that carries a heavy payload.
2011-08-06, 10:36:56

New Panamá Canal channel expected to be ready in 2014
Colossal is the best word to describe the dimension of the expansion works here. With an investment of $5.5 billion, the Panama Canal will soon have a third channel for the transit of much larger ships. Jorge Luis Quijano, the canal's executive vice president of engineering, says the canal is operating at full capacity and needs to expand.
2011-08-06, 10:36:37

Some ideas to raise money for the country
Clearly both Costa Rica and the United States are living far beyond their means, and some tough decisions will have to be made to maintain financial stability. Sucking $1 billion a year from the Costa Rican economy with new taxes probably is self-defeating.
2011-08-06, 10:36:05

Do you have to pay your employees for the holiday?
The labor law has two categories of holidays. One is called pago obligatorio. The other is pago no obligatorio. The only holidays or dias feriados in the second category are today, the celebration of the Virgen de los Ángeles, and the Dia de la Cultura, Oct. 12.
2011-08-06, 10:35:34

Suspect named in horrific Herradura arson murders
Investigators say it was an angry ex-boyfriend who put chains around two containers used as living quarters and killed the four persons who were sleeping inside.
2011-08-06, 10:34:57

Former president Echandi accorded a state funeral
Mario Echandi Jiménez, the man who is credited with mending the political wounds of Costa Rica's civil war, was buried with high honors Sunday.
2011-08-06, 10:34:13

Shootouts on the high seas over marijuana imports
Costa Rica has become a destination for at least Jamaican marijuana. That became clear over the weekend when two local boats were intercepted on the Caribbean coast in actions punctuated by gunfire. The boats carried marijuana imported from Jamaica, police said.
2011-08-06, 10:33:53

Police face mob to occupy two hotels
Police who responded to open up the Caribbean highway Tuesday met firebombs, rocks and burning tires at four locations. The Fuerza Pública said that 10 persons had been arrested.
2011-07-28, 03:23:50

Body photos on page one bring more criticism to La Extra
El Diario Extra, Costa Rica's version of a sensational tabloid, is in trouble again because it published a photo of a body on the front page.
2011-07-28, 03:23:25

Another prison sweep produces television sets
Televisions, frying pans and cell telephones are supposed to be prohibited in Costa Rican prisons. But somehow individuals managed to smuggle nine television sets, six fry pans and three cell phones into the Centro Penitenciario de Pérez Zeledón.
2011-07-27, 04:16:02

Someone must know something
In just a few days last August, the disappearance of Kim Paris from a hotel in Santa Teresa de Cóbano dropped out of the headlines. There was nothing new.
2011-07-27, 04:15:40

Two communities march against crime
Citizens in San José and San Ramón marched against criminality Sunday. In San José the march was organized by the family and friends of Alejandro Chacón, the 23-year-old motorist who was gunned down June 24 in San Pedro. In San Ramón about 100 persons marched to promote a specific anti-crime agenda.
2011-07-26, 02:31:04

Maybe we can call it a 'no arm bandit!'
Can't wait to lose money? If so, there is a robot waiting at many of the city's casinos that will do the job. At the speed of light.
2011-07-25, 04:21:14

U.S. woman murdered on Osa Peninsula
Someone murdered a 52-year-old U.S. woman on the grounds of her family's luxury tourist rental on the Osa Peninsula.
2011-07-22, 03:41:31

National mourning declared over deaths of teens
In an unusual decision, President Laura Chinchilla Miranda has decreed a period of national mourning from today through Saturday in response to the deaths of students in Orotina and in San Ramón. During this period the national flag will fly at half staff.
2011-07-22, 03:41:09

Four students die in San Ramón when car hits group
Four high school students died early Wednesday after a motor vehicle ran into a group of pedestrians in the public right-of-way in the San Rafael section of San Ramón.
2011-07-21, 03:55:13

Scientist get five new moth species from Costa Rica
Researchers find six new species of moths, and five are from Costa Rica.
2011-07-21, 03:54:48

Deal with Milanes depends on clear titles
The deal struck between former fugitive Luis Milanes and his Savings Unlimited investors is fast approaching a meltdown.
2011-07-20, 03:34:03

Coast guard acts to reduce slaughter of green turtles
The Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas is on patrol off the northern Caribbean coast to protect green turtles that are coming ashore now to lay eggs. The patrols have been reinforced after coast guard officers found a boat there the crew was harpooning the swimming turtles. The green turtle is in danger of extinction.
2011-07-19, 03:08:49

Hanna Gabriels among those now on stamps
The postal service, Correos de Costa Rica, has come out with a four-stamp set honoring outstanding athletes. The first day of issue was Thursday, but postal officials did not hold a ceremony until Friday.
2011-07-19, 03:08:19

Are you ready for a pilgrimage?
Only two weeks remain before Costa Ricans head for the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Los Ángeles in Cartago, and police officials are getting ready. The Fuerza Pública said Thursday that more than 1,000 officers will be involved in safeguarding pilgrims.
2011-07-18, 04:36:50

The wanderings of a loggerhead turtle
Filmmaker Nick Stringer follows a female turtle’s journey from a sandy Florida beach, across the Gulf Stream to Newfoundland to the Azores, back to the Caribbean and, years later, back to Florida. It's a years-long journey that only one in 10,000 loggerheads survives, putting the turtles' long-term survival at risk
2011-07-15, 04:18:57

Giant snails present a threat
Costa Rican agricultural officials say that the giant African snail would cause vast loses to the country's biodiversity if it ever got a foothold here. The snail also is a public health threat because of the diseases it carries, they said.
2011-07-15, 04:18:27

Complex web links Chávez, Iran, Hezbollah and drugs
The international drug trade in which Costa Rica plays a key transit role is part of a complex relationship between hostile nations and Muslim extremists with the goal of destroying the United States. That is the scenario outlined before a U.S. House subcommittee last week. Witnesses described a lengthy partnership of Venezuela, its Bolivarian supporters, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua, Colombian drug producers and smugglers, Mexican cartels, the revolutionary governments of Iran and Syria and the terrorist group Hezbollah.
2011-07-14, 04:00:20

Northern zone is all shook up
Three earthquakes that registered better than 5.0 rattled the northern zone Tuesday afternoon. All took place within 40 minutes. Then a 4.1 magnitude aftershock hit less than an hour later.
2011-07-14, 03:59:53

The tax man commeth, and he's serious
The finance ministry is taking actions to increase collection of sales taxes and to crack down on those who understate income taxes. Once again the ministry, officially the Ministerio de Hacienda, plans a lottery. This time the lottery will offer prizes to those who use credit or debit cards in everyday transactions.
2011-07-13, 04:18:15

Avenida 3 is not the way to go
If motorists liked the Avenida 8 detours, they will love the one at Avenida 3. Work crews have begun to tear up that vital downtown artery. The street will be blocked for at least four month
2011-07-13, 04:17:40

Proposed tax will cost you one way or the other
There is a new tax on the horizon for all types of companies, including inactive ones, that could prove to be very expensive for expats living in Costa Rica. This tax is just another way to squeeze everyone, including expats. It will surely prove to be a deterrent to investing in the country.
2011-07-12, 03:31:14

A video to remind tourists to be alert
What can happen to a tourist here who does not pay attention to basic security precautions? That's the premise of a video produced by the U.S. Embassy here that seeks to promote vigilance.
2011-07-12, 03:30:48

Costa Ricans are getting more connected
Although President Laura Chinchilla has embarked on a bold plan to put Internet access and computers to use it all over the country, the government's service provide reported Thursday that 56 percent of the population use the Web and that 370,000 homes have connections.
2011-07-11, 03:12:49

Reader recounts a tragic experience with the Caja
A total failure to coordinate and manage her treatment robbed my wife of the chance to survive. There was on the part of some of the nurses a clear expression of not caring and a strong disdain for foreigners.
2011-07-08, 03:39:36

Presumed robber kills three women in Heredia
Someone broke into a clothing and shoe store in San Joaquín de Flores de Heredia Wednesday morning and murdered the two sisters who were the owners. A third woman found alive but died later.
2011-07-08, 03:39:06

Caja fighting to keep head above water
If the Caja were consistent, Casa Presidencial and the other main government agencies would be decked out in yellow tape. The Caja's employee union estimated Tuesday that the central government is behind 1 trillion colons or about $2 billion.
2011-07-07, 03:37:13

Have trouble figuring the new minimum wage? Here's the link!
The Consejo de Salarios decreed a 2.55 percent wage hike in the minimum wages this year, but it also decreed a 3.5 percent wage hike for low-wage earners. Expats are having trouble figuring out haw they should adjust the salaries of their workers.
2011-07-07, 03:36:46

Tourism operators expect nearly 60 percent occupancy over vacation
Tourism operators are anticipating an occupancy rate just short of 60 percent as Costa Ricans take advantage of the midyear vacation.
2011-07-06, 03:50:03

Uncertainty follows end of La Niña
Bill Patzert, a climatologist and oceanographer, likes to call the current Pacific weather situation La Nada. This is the puzzling period between cycles of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation climate pattern in the Pacific Ocean when sea surface heights in the equatorial Pacific are near average.
2011-07-05, 03:56:31

Internet situation beginning to improve
Opening of the telecommunications market in Costa Rica is starting to provide real options for Internet consumers in Costa Rica. The biggest change happened earlier this year when Amnet cable decided to drop Radiográfica Costarricense S.A., the state-owned Internet provider, in favor of Navega as its Internet backbone provider.
2011-07-05, 03:56:02

Traffic restrictions suspended for two weeks
Traffic officials are listing the license plate restrictions for San Jose's downtown for two weeks starting Monday.
2011-07-04, 03:51:32

IBM to make major investment
IBM said Thursday that it would invest $300 million over the next 10 years and employee 1,000 persons to develop a technology information center.
2011-07-01, 03:24:03

President outlines internet for social ends
The central government announced its massive computer social program that will seek to hook up every corner of Costa Rica with wide band fiber optic Internet cable.
2011-07-01, 03:23:27

Tourism operators decry legal insecurity
Representatives of the tourism industry have called upon the legislature to take action to clear up some of the investment insecurity that comes from Costa Rica's enforcement of laws.
2011-06-30, 04:47:28

It's a great time to be in the coffee business
This is a great year for coffee producers. Prices for export grade coffee are at the highest point in years, and a family in Dota just sold one lot for $2,000 a quintal. Now come a report from the University of South Florida that says researchers there have found an as-yet unidentified component of coffee that interacts with the caffeine to protect against Alzheimer’s disease, and they urge people to drink more coffee.
2011-06-30, 04:46:46

The waves can set the weather pattern
For about eight months of the year, Costa Rica is under siege from weather patterns that form over Africa. These are the infamous tropical waves that bring clouds and rain. Sometimes they combine with home-grown weather instability to really drench the country.
2011-06-29, 04:08:08

Human trafficking report seems to lack evidence
The United States downgraded Costa Rica and put the country on the so-called watch list in the annual human trafficking report released Monday.
2011-06-29, 04:07:36

An expert checks in on global warming
In fact, I have found almost no scientists, in my recent studies, who do not harbour strong misgivings about the man-made warming hypothesis.
2011-06-28, 03:44:05

Coconut DNA harbors some surprises for scientists
So extensively is the history of the coconut interwoven with the history of people traveling that Kenneth Olsen, a plant evolutionary biologist, didn't expect to find much geographical structure to coconut genetics when he and his colleagues set out to examine the DNA of more than 1,300 coconuts from all over the world.
2011-06-28, 03:43:29

Inside report on the gold on the Osa Peninsula
The peninsula, on the south Pacific coast of Costa Rica has a hot humid climate and contains the richest biodiversity in the whole of Central America, especially within its Parque Nacional Corcovado. Unbeknownst to most foreigners, it has been one of Costa Rica’s largest and most prolific gold bearing regions since the 1930s. Its placer gold, at 21 karats, ranks as some of the world’s most pure.
2011-06-27, 03:48:48

New British ambassador is a two-for-one deal
The new ambassador is Sharon Isabel Campbell, a career diplomat. Her husband, Christopher John Campbell, has been named non-resident ambassador to Nicaragua. The embassy here also has responsibilities for the country to the north.
2011-06-27, 03:48:13

Robin Hood is a good model for the tax man?
Leaders of the nation's public employee union urged legislators Wednesday to adopt a so-called Robin Hood tax. Specifically the Asociación Nacional de Empleados Públicos y Privados lobbied for a tax on international financial transactions. The organization said that such a tax could raise $400 billion a year if assessed worldwide.
2011-06-24, 04:05:28

Hotels agree not to serve sailfish and marlin
The Billfish Foundation entered into an agreement with its conservation partner, the Costa Rica Sport Fishing Federation and four participating Hilton Worldwide hotels in Costa Rica, pledging to stop serving all sailfish and marlin.
2011-06-24, 04:05:06

Will Arenal go dormant?
Is Arenal volcano running out of steam. That is the question on many lips, especially those of persons with a large investment in tourism in the La Fortuna de San Carlos area near the mountain.
2011-06-23, 03:49:04

Tax plan returns with some compromises
The central government sent a revised tax plan to the legislature Tuesday. The proposal contains some changes that are expected to attract more votes from lawmakers.
2011-06-23, 03:48:36

Here's where you can meet the new money
Pretty soon Costa Ricans will be saying una plastica when they mean a 1,000-colon bill. The new emission that is coming out this week is just one of two, but it is the only bill that is being made of a plastic material that is supposed to wear three times as long as the current cotton fiber paper.
2011-06-22, 03:45:03

Stolen boat found stripped in Limón
International diving operator Perry Edwards said his associates have been able to locate their stolen boat. The major problem was that crooks stripped the boat of all of it gauges, radio and its two outboard motors.
2011-06-22, 03:44:35

U.S. passport thefts and robberies on the decline
The stolen passport trend, which gave Costa Rica a black eye, appears to have peaked in 2007 and has continued to decline since.
2011-06-21, 03:40:38

Sámara residents seek more police in wake of tourist murder
Residents and business operators in the Pacific coast community of Sámara are organizing in an effort to seek better police protection there. The effort follows the murder of an Argentine tourist as she relaxed in an open-air hotel restaurant Thursday night.
2011-06-21, 03:39:32

Murder is the most recent and most serious scandal
The Laura Chinchilla administration is immersed in scandals today and not all of them are of the sexual variety.
2011-06-20, 03:23:57

Salary discussions under way
The twice yearly battle over the minimum wage has begun. The Consejo Nacional de Salarios eventually will fix the percentage of the wage increase that will take effect July 1.
2011-06-17, 03:29:39

Work begins on the Cartago passenger line
Work began Wednesday to clear the rail right-of-way from Curridabat to Cartago so that passenger service can resume.
2011-06-17, 03:29:15

President is now on a stamp
Correos de Costa Rica has come out with a new stamp commemorating the constitutional change that gave women the vote in 1949, and featured on the stamp is the leading women politician of today, Laura Chinchilla.
2011-06-16, 03:36:20

Autopista del Sol haled into environment court
As if Autopista del Sol did not have enough problems, the environmental enforcement agency has haled the firm and its executives into a trial for damage to the landscape.
2011-06-16, 03:35:56

Census seeks the missing residents
Despite legions of teachers working a week to count the Cost Rica population, the census agency fears some residents here remain uncounted.
2011-06-15, 02:48:57

High court absolves fiscal general
The Corte Suprema de Justicia has voted 21 to 1 not to punish the fiscal general, Jorge Chavarría Guzmán, in the case of Rodrigo Arias Sánchez.
2011-06-15, 02:48:35

Want to do business with the government?
One after another Costa Rican ministries, institutes and other agencies are turning over their purchasing procedures to the Sistema Mer-Link, an online project that is supposed to inject transparency into government acquisitions.
2011-06-14, 03:51:25

What factors keep expats in Costa Rica?
The front page is usually where crimes and other tragedies are reported. But good things frequently are overlooked because they are not news.
2011-06-13, 04:06:10

Agents follow up drug seizures with raids and arrests
Anti-drug agents Thursday conducted 15 raids as they followed up on discoveries of cocaine shipments discovered last April 29 and June 1.
2011-06-13, 04:05:33

Crooks rule the inlet in Limón
Armed men appear to have taken over a Caribbean inlet near Limón. They have threatened persons in boats and ordered them to leave the area. They have fired on the coast guard and police officers who beat a hasty retreat and seem to have forgotten about the incident.
2011-06-10, 03:19:56

Emergency officials will monitor dangerous slide sites
The national emergency commission has identified eight slopes that are in danger of becoming landslides in the Central Valley.
2011-06-09, 03:49:47

Government embracing gas exploration
A U.S. oil exploration company has survived 10 years of legal challenges against its concession, and now the government wants to become its partner.
2011-06-09, 03:49:11

Scientist predicts much hotter tropics
The tropics and much of the Northern Hemisphere are likely to experience an irreversible rise in summer temperatures within the next 20 to 60 years if atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations continue to increase, according to a new climate study by Stanford University scientists.
2011-06-08, 03:21:08

Exciting discoveries in Cartago prison
A surprise shakedown of the Centro Penitenciario Cocorí in Cartago produced a large quantity of weapons, including a piece of rebar several feet long honed to a sharp point.
2011-06-08, 03:20:35

Web site provides slick way to computer worker pay offs
Most expats in Costa Rica have experienced the problem of firing an employee or have one leave unexpectedly. One of the biggest headaches is calculating what is owed to them.
2011-06-07, 03:17:47

Lawmakers decline to stiffen criminal laws for juveniles
Lawmakers appear to have declined to include suspects younger than 18 years in the country's criminal code.
2011-06-07, 03:17:16

U.N. native expert uncovers simmering complaints
A United Nations expert sent to study the situation of the country's native peoples in the face of the El Diquís hydro project in southern Costa Rica says the government should address underlying issues affecting the native peoples in the country.
2011-06-06, 02:57:25

Professor has electronic eye on billfish
A fish whisperer from Miami came to tell Costa Ricans about a new tracking device for that darling of the sport fishing world, the billfish.
2011-06-06, 02:56:59

Security guard accidently kills U.S. student
A resort guard fatally shot a U.S. high school student visiting La Fortuna to study Spanish. The incident in which the guard appears to have mistaken the student guest at the La Cangreja Lodge for a prowler happened about 4 a.m. today.
2011-06-03, 04:04:03

Cell towers might provoke a backlash
A World Health unit's report classifying cell phone radiation as a possible cancer cause came at the wrong time for Costa Rica. Two companies that have been authorized to offer mobile telephone service are putting up more base stations. These towers are in addition to the many in service by the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad.
2011-06-03, 04:03:24

Abducted baby found safe
The case of the stolen baby has had a happy ending. The tot has been reunited with parents and has been pronounced unharmed by physicians.
2011-06-02, 03:46:46

Archbishop and presidential candidate questioned by prosecutors
Two leading figures in Costa Rican society showed up at prosecutor's offices Tuesday to submit to questioning. One was Rodrigo Arias, the brother of the former president and a presidential candidate himself. The other was Archbishop Hugo Barrantes, the highest Roman Catholic churchman in the country.
2011-06-02, 03:46:20

Action promised on traffic law rewrite
Lawmakers promise that a revised traffic law will come to the floor of the Asamblea Legislativa for action within a week, and that the measure will contain penalties that are proportional to the offense and consistent with common sense.
2011-06-01, 04:09:14

Tourism chamber wants its proposals passed
The tourism chamber wants action from the Asamblea Legislativa, too. They join a line of organizations and individuals seeking passage of certain bills.
2011-06-01, 04:08:30

The continuing cost to U.S. servicemen
Today is Memorial Day in the United States, and editors thought they should remind readers of the U.S. servicemen who died in the last month in Afghanistan or Iraq.
2011-05-31, 03:32:31

U.S. expat loses appeal over citizenship rule
The Sala IV constitutional court has rejected an appeal from a woman in Playas del Coco who did not want to give up her U.S. citizenship in order to become a Costa Rican citizen.
2011-05-31, 03:32:04

Not every expat will be counted
Not every expat will be counted in the 2011 census that kicks of Monday. Local teachers are gathering the data, but only those expats who have been in the country six months or have the intention of being here that long will be asked to collaborate on filling out a census form, according to the government agency in charge.
2011-05-30, 03:05:56

Motorists face challenges during rainy season
Some crazy nuts will roar by at high speeds even when the visibility is just 15 feet. His brother is parked in the middle of the highway around the next curve.
2011-05-27, 03:04:50

British warn about missing tourists here
The British government has updated its travel advice about Costa Rica to note that eight foreign nationals, including one British citizen, have gone missing in the last two years with some related to criminal activity.
2011-05-27, 03:04:20

July Fourth will be different this year
The American Colony Committee is collaborating this year with Avenida Escazú for a July 4 celebration. That means the traditional morning picnic will not take place.
2011-05-26, 02:53:36

Milanes payout might be 18 percent
Most former investors with Savings Unlimited who have filed legal cases will get about 18 percent of their money back. That appears to be the conciliation deal worked out between casino owner Luis Milanes and most of the lawyers representing those who lost funds.
2011-05-26, 02:53:15

More gambling crackdowns
Federal officials unsealed two indictments Monday and said they had seized 11 bank accounts and 10 Internet domain names, including the well-known doylesroom.com poker site that was run from Costa Rica.
2011-05-25, 02:31:03

Those Texas bugs are just puny by comparison!
The San Antonio, Texas, Zoo has just acquired a giant Costa Rican beetle for display and a research project.
2011-05-24, 03:33:28

First Milanes proposal featured a fake letter
Savings Unlimited investors today are trying to put the finishing touches on a second conciliation agreement that will keep casino operator Luis Milanes out of jail. What many do not know is that the first proposal was suspected of being rife with fraud and identity theft.
2011-05-24, 03:33:03

Just lookin' for a home
Finding housing of prisoners has approached high frustration as the judiciary seeks to comply with or overturn a judge's order that two suspected international drug smugglers be transferred from cells to house arrest.
2011-05-23, 03:08:24

That quake was just 3 second long!
The quake that struck near Puriscal a week ago lasted just three seconds at the epicenter, but the time it was felt elsewhere depended on the composition and consistency of the soil, said the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica.
2011-05-23, 03:07:55

Tourism figures are a record
The tourism institute confirmed Wednesday that international arrivals were up just short of 8 percent in the first three months of the year.
2011-05-20, 03:06:11

Percentage of tourists from North America declined over the years
Over the last six years there has been a fundamental shift in the tourism market. The percentage of visitors from North America has declined while the percent of visitors from Central America and South American has increased.
2011-05-19, 02:49:29

New hot issue is home stay for drug suspects
Expats living in Sabana Sur might be getting two new neighbors. The pair are two Mexicans who are suspected to be principals in smuggling cocaine.
2011-05-19, 02:48:55

Schools show their best side with English and computers
Anyone with doubts that Costa Rican public education can deliver high-level programs should visit the Antigua Aduana today. There they will find the second day of demonstration mostly by more than 300 youngsters in primary and secondary school from all over the country.
2011-05-18, 03:50:49

Robbery advanced as motive for death of expat in Jacó
Investigators believe initially that two men found dead near Jacó early Friday were the victims of a robbery. However, they are checking into the background of both men for other motives.
2011-05-17, 04:00:51

Telephone scam took in $40 million, judiciary says
Telephone scammers here took $40 million from the vulnerable and the aged in the United States though an advanced fee lottery scam.
2011-05-17, 04:00:23

Hardly any damage from 6.0 quake
A moderate to strong earthquake took place at 4:47 p.m. Friday as Central Valley office workers were getting ready for the weekend. Many described the quake as scary because it endured for more than a minute.
2011-05-16, 03:20:56

Jail break was a carbon copy
The jail break attempt Wednesday was a copy of the successful 2006 flight from the same penal institution. In both cases there were vehicles provided by unknown persons awaiting the fugitives.
2011-05-16, 03:20:33

Jail break attempt leaves three dead
A fierce and prolonged firefight ended an abortive escape from the La Reforma maximum security prison Tuesday and freed 14 hostages. A prison guard held hostage and two prisoners died as a result of the firefight.
2011-05-13, 02:48:17

Fingerprint unit raided
The location is well known for expats who have sought residency. The first-floor location is in the Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Públicaacross the street from the Centro Comercial del Sur where fingerprints are taken.
2011-05-13, 02:47:52

Expats may find a silver lining in poker scandal
The situations involving online poker operations in Costa Rica continue to be confusing, but expats seem to be benefiting. The exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the colon took a small jump, and several hundred bilingual potential employees are now in the job market.
2011-05-12, 03:23:09

Calderón declared guilty but will not do time
The Sala III high criminal court upheld, much of the case against former president Rafael Ángel Calderón Fournier and his associates in a decision released Wednesday. But the court downgraded the allegations to one count of simple embezzlement and overturned the penalty of prison.
2011-05-12, 03:23:32

Expotur emphasis this year is cultural tourism
Expotur, the 27th annual tourism marketplace, kicks off Wednesday night, and this year cultural tourism are the watchwords. That culture is an integral part of tourism may seem obvious, but officials this year are promoting the concept as a valuable resource.
2011-05-11, 03:17:52

Country awaits decision on Calderón
As the so-called Caja-Fischel case approaches a final decision, The majority of Costa Ricans appear to believe that the Sala III high criminal court will uphold the lower court convictions.
2011-05-11, 03:17:28

Our opinion: Savings Unlimited victims should get a fair deal
But it would seem unfair after ruining so many lives, that Milanes should be the one calling the shots. He has not included those casinos in the offering to investors. Those are money machines. When he was collecting investments from those would become victims, he and his colleagues said the money would be used for casinos development. So it seems fair that the victims should get the casinos.
2011-05-10, 03:15:03

Coalition of established tourism groups seeks concrete action
A coalition of tourism organization has called on the Laura Chinchilla administration to take concrete actions over the next three years.
2011-05-10, 03:14:38

The rainy season is really here
The rainy season came in full force Thursday, and sections of the Caribbean and the northern zone are expected to get up to 17 centimeters or nearly 7 inches of rain over 24 hours, according to the national weather institute.
2011-05-09, 03:32:27

Credit card crooks bilked tourism agencies
Crooks came up with a new wrinkle on credit card theft that left tourism operators and agencies holding the bag.
2011-05-09, 03:32:00

Crime hits commerce hard
There are no accurate ways to estimate the cost of crime to Costa Rican society. When a crook rips up a few dollars worth of copper wire and darkens an entire neighborhood, the true cost is much greater than the repair bill.
2011-05-06, 02:41:19

Another tragedy in the Pacific surf
The news of deaths on the central Pacific coast was familiar. Shortly before noon rip tides swept away students who were in Costa Rica for a short visit.
2011-05-06, 02:40:53

Another study predicts drastic sea level rise
There is some more bad climate news for Costa Rica's coasts. A panel of arctic experts predicts worldwide sea level rise in the next 90 years of from .9 to 1.6 meters. That's from 35.5 inches to 63 inches.
2011-05-05, 04:17:37

Container port passes legal hurdle
The proposed super container terminal at Moín has passed another legal hurdle, according to the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes.
2011-05-05, 04:17:12

Freedom of the press is for all now
The monopoly of the printed press and television has been broken. No longer do those who wish to express their opinions have to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars for equipment. A couple of hundred dollars in a computer and an Internet connection is all that is needed.
2011-05-04, 03:01:06

Big push for vaccinations kicked off
The country has embarked on a project to vaccinate 700,000 youngsters this month. The youngsters are getting shots against polio, rubella, measles and mumps.
2011-05-04, 03:00:42

The new digital Registro
There is nothing more frustration in Costa Rica than to go to a bank, government agency or some store for a company purchase and the clerk asks: “Do you have a personería jurídica?”
2011-05-03, 03:13:56

Memories rekindled of Sept. 11, 2001, here
Nearly 10 years ago when Muslim terrorists struck the United States, most U.S. expats in Costa Rica felt impotent. The nation was under attack, and the best citizens here could do was watch the tragedy unfold via television.
2011-05-03, 03:13:33

Agencies nudged to speed up approval processes
The central government took steps to speed up approval processes and eliminate certain regulations covering the importation of low-rick merchandise.
2011-05-02, 03:24:11

Chinchilla decrees promote individual generation of power
The Chinchilla administration has asked electrical distributors to come up with pilot plans so that customers can generate their own power and market the excess.
2011-04-29, 03:19:19

Two presidents now will have criminal appeals pending
The country now has two former presidents under a cloud of corruption awaiting a final decision by the Sala III high criminal court.
2011-04-29, 03:18:50

Court finds ex-president Rodríguez guilty of corruption
A trial court Wednesday found former president Miguel Ángel Rodríguez Echeverría guilty of instigating a kickback scheme and sentenced him to five years in prison.
2011-04-28, 03:07:14

New tourism group seeks declaration of emergency
Members of a new, more aggressive tourism organization are meeting this morning at Gran Hotel Costa Rica in San José to press their smorgasbord of petitions to the government.
2011-04-28, 03:06:46

This weekend is all for John Paul II here or in Rome
Whether in Rome or in San José, Catholics will get the chance to participate in religious ceremonies marking the ascension to sainthood of former pope John Paul II.
2011-04-27, 03:25:05

San Pedro man loses court fight over train noise
Living near one of the rail line's grade crossings can be a nightmare. The Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles has declined to install crossing gates, and every few weeks a train demolished a motor vehicle.
2011-04-27, 03:24:35

In Lindora burning Judas was non-violent
Fuerza Pública officers were out in force Saturday night to put the lid on the traditional quema de Judas that has frequently led to excesses by youth mobs and even set fires. In Lindora de Santa Ana, an area that has seen its share or violence on the night before Easter, police acted first.
2011-04-26, 03:33:10

Scary spiders are living fossils
University of Kansas scientists are thrilled because they found a Jurassic period spider fossil in China. They could have found the same type of critter very much alive in the Central Valley or hundreds of other Costa Rican locations.
2011-04-26, 03:32:48

Mass media really messes up traditional Easter story
A century ago worshippers generally had to accept whatever the Bible said or whatever the priest or minister handed down from the pulpit. Television and the Internet have brought vast changes, and dozens of academics and producers are floating theories that clash with the traditional Easter story.
2011-04-25, 03:01:18

Bilingualism as a method to keep elderly sharp
The Costa Rica experience may keep older expats from becoming dingy. Now comes evidence that older bilingual adults compensate for age-related declines in brainpower by developing new strategies to process language. In other words bilingualism gives older adults the edge even with lesser lapses
2011-04-21, 03:33:33

Five saved in surf at Manuel Antonio
High seas continue to lash the Pacific beaches of Costa Rica, and five apparent tourists were trapped by the rip tides at Manuel Antonio Tuesday
2011-04-21, 03:32:28

Drowning unlikely for missing French couple
A community crime prevention group has concluded that a missing French couple probably did not drown in the Río Naranjo. The group is the Dominical-based CAP on Crime, which stands for Crime Awareness and prevention.
2011-04-20, 03:05:34

Revolt brewing for legislative leadership
Barack Obama faces a Republican controlled House of Representatives in the United States. Soon President Laura Chinchilla may face a legislature controlled by opposition parties.
2011-04-20, 03:05:09

Big Limón port project dodges judicial bullet
Government officials are applauding the decision by a court not to delay the Caribbean container terminal project.
2011-04-19, 03:18:52

Poker sites back in business without .com domains
The three largest poker operations frozen Friday by the U.S. federal government wasted little time in getting back into business. The online operations are all offshore and all three have returned with .eu domain names.
2011-04-19, 03:18:25

Expedition will drill deeply into the Cocos plate
The team of scientists who are leaving here Sunday on a special ship hope to drill as deep as possible, perhaps as deep a 2 kilometers (6,560 feet), into the Coco tectonic plate that is beneath the sea.
2011-04-18, 03:46:32

Forced prostitution alleged in Palmar Norte
A 61-year-old central Pacific man has been detained on allegations that he was luring foreign women to Costa Rican and forcing them into prostitution.
2011-04-18, 03:45:57

More on tourism and occupancy in Semana Santa
A new organization of small and medium tourist operations has a litany of complaints. Some are consistent with universal economic concerns such as electrical rates. But the group, Asociación para Protección de Turismo, also would like to see more of the taxes tourism generates for the government. And the tourism operators would like to see the lion's share spent on promotion.
2011-04-15, 04:15:31

More variations in store prices
Semana Santa is when Costa Ricans change their diets to more fish and other traditional Lenten foods. The holiday also is the time for surveyors of the Ministerio de Economía, Industría y Comerico to check up on prices in the retail stores.
2011-04-15, 04:15:01

Another black eye for judicial system
In a major embarrassment for the judicial system, agents detained a criminal prosecutor in Limón on the allegation that the man accepts a bribe to allow a murder case to expire.
2011-04-15, 04:14:26

New tourism group gets support from lawmakers
More than 100 persons showed up to hear the plans Tuesday of a new organization that aims to support struggling small and medium tourism operations.
2011-04-14, 03:42:58

Another mother seeks return of her children
A Honduran mother carried her effort to recover her children to the Asamblea Legislativa Tuesday.
2011-04-14, 03:42:31

We're going bananas again
It looks like we will be going bananas again. Banana daiquiri, banana splits, baked bananas, banana and Corn Flakes, chocolate-covered frozen bananas on a stick.
2011-04-13, 04:02:53

Protesters heckle Ms. Chinchilla in Alajuela
President Laura Chinchilla took a harder line toward Nicaragua in a speech Monday and likened the current administration there to the filibusters of 1856.
2011-04-13, 04:02:21

Winds keep radioactivity away from Costa Rica
The trade wins appear to be protecting Costa Rica from even tiny amounts of radioactivity produced by the March 11 Japanese earthquake and subsequent damage to the Fukushima Daichi nuclear power plant.
2011-04-12, 03:21:56

Cost of crime in Central America reported as staggering
Growing crime and violence in Central America not only have an immediate human and social toll, they also pose a tremendous threat to development potential in the region. These sources of instability may decrease regional gross domestic product by 8 percent, once health, institutional, private security, and material expenses are accounted for.
2011-04-12, 03:21:32

Gasoline at more than $5 a gallon!
Unrest in the oil-producing Middle East and the continued weakness of the U.S. dollar against the colon are being blamed for a sharp increase in the price of petroleum fuel. Both types of gasoline will be above the $5-a-gallon mark.
2011-04-11, 03:28:35

Tourism here taking it in the chops
Advertising, good or bad, cannot be measured easily. So it is fair to say that Costa Rican tourism has taken multiple hits lately, but the monetary value is hard to estimate.
2011-04-11, 03:28:03

Active hurricane season prediction still stands
The latest Atlantic hurricane forecast continues to predict an above-average probability of a major hurricane making landfall in the Caribbean coast.
2011-04-08, 03:51:25

Missing French couple becomes a police case
The disappearance of two French tourists has turned into a criminal investigation after their passports were found Wednesday in a trash can in Jacó.
2011-04-08, 03:50:48

Juan Santamaría a hero once again
Juan Santamaría is again being declared a national hero. If there was an doubt, the Asamblea Legislativa approved on first reading by unanimous vote Tuesday a declaration to that effect.
2011-04-07, 03:49:44

Sandinistas mock Calero visitors
Scientists and environmental experts who went to the Isla Calero Tuesday were heckled by about 50 young Sandinistas who arrived in three boats.
2011-04-07, 03:49:20

U.N. expert here to study giant hydro project
A United Nations expert on the human rights of native peoples is coming to Costa Rica to observe and talk to residents in the vicinity of the Proyecto Hidroeléctrico El Diquís in the southwestern part of the country.
2011-04-06, 03:15:15

Puntarenas will get a $3 million pool
Puntarenas is getting a new swimming pool complex with the official hope that this will spur tourism.
2011-04-06, 03:14:43

Campaign launched to defend young criminals
A child welfare organization has embarked on a campaign to bury a legislative proposal that would reduce the age to 15 of lawbreakers exposed to adult penalties. The age now is 18 years.
2011-04-05, 04:15:44

Japanese radiation unlikely to have effects here
Radioactive material from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan is gradually spreading into the global atmosphere, but at extremely low concentrations that do not present health hazards, the United Nations reported Friday.
2011-04-05, 04:15:19

Fire danger alert issued for three provinces
The national emergency commission declared a fire alert Friday in three provinces and 20 cantons, many of them in the Central Valley. The commission said that Guanacaste was the region with the highest probability of field and forest fires. It said that low humidity, higher temperatures and strong winds typical of the season encouraged such fires.
2011-04-04, 04:05:57

Southern Command chief cites extreme violence in Central America
Central America remains a hotspot of instability caused by violent criminal organizations that use drug money to undermine legitimate governments, the commander of U.S. Southern Command said Wednesday. The commander, Air Force Gen. Douglas M. Fraser, said the northern triangle formed by Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras is possibly the most violent place on Earth today.
2011-04-04, 04:05:06

More opponents to tax proposals surface
Representatives of the dental profession warned lawmakers that assessing taxes on medical procedures would result in greater numbers of people seeking care at the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social.
2011-04-01, 04:16:06

Frontier police ready for deployment
President Laura Chinchilla reviewed A force of 150 officers who now make up the Policía de Fronteras, a new unit of the Fuerza Pública that is charged with securing the national borders.
2011-04-01, 04:15:33

Sphere festival better than the average fiesta
The Festival de las Esferas is shaping up to be much more than the usual local fiesta. The three-day event starts Friday in Palmar Sur in the Municipalidad de Osa in southwestern Costa Rica.
2011-03-31, 04:20:19

Semana Santa means special foods
For Costa Ricans, miel de chiverre has a status only slightly lower than mom's gallo pinto.
2011-03-31, 04:19:51

Volcano is not a very good neighbor
Acid rain and acidic gas have been ravaging the southwest side of the Turrialba volcano. Not only the vegetation has suffered. Homes and outbuildings constructed of metals like zinc are being consumed continually by the years of exposure.
2011-03-30, 03:26:08

Despite lots of cops, bandits prey on downtown stores
Even though dozens of police officers have been stationed downtown, a band of bold robbers is sticking up businesses on San Jose's Avenida Central, better known as the pedestrian mall.
2011-03-30, 03:25:23

How will Costa Rica maintain the new stadium?
Now that the inauguration of the new national stadium is over, Costa Rica finds itself in the same situation as a youth whose grandmother just presented him a high performance sports car.
2011-03-29, 03:25:43

There's serious swimming at Heredia's public pool
The concept of the power lunch is taken to a new level at the Heredia municipal pool. During lunch hour, the pool’s lap lanes are congested with men and women getting down to the business of swimming. Freelance trainer Mario Ureña assigns specific swim regimens to a group of businessmen who gather every day to enjoy swimming as well as train for competitive events.
2011-03-29, 03:25:08

Banco de Costa Rica enlisted to help Milanes
Banco de Costa Rica has joined with the defense in an effort to keep casino owner Luis Milanes out of jail. The bank has agreed to serve as trustee for properties that Milanes, former operator of the defunct Savings Unlimited, will give his victims in exchange for them dropping the charges. In Costa Rica criminals can buy their way out of court if the victims agree.
2011-03-28, 02:53:37

Road projects announced, some for second time
Saturday is the inauguration of the national stadium built by the People's Republic of China. As if to deflect criticism, the Chinchilla administration announced a series of road and bridge projects Thursday. The central government had been criticized for accepting the stadium and not using the Chinese generosity to fix the roads. Some of the projects announced by the central government already had been announced.
2011-03-28, 02:53:12

Rewrite sought of country's gun law
Lawmakers will have the opportunity to tighten up the country's gun laws, although there is no guarantee that they will do so.
2011-03-25, 03:16:00

Authenticity of ancient artifacts in question
The government of México and a French auction house are disputing the authenticity of a Maya statue that just sold for $4.2 million. The dispute could very well be argued in Costa Rica where many statues and other artifacts claim an ancient origin. And there really is no easy way of telling.
2011-03-25, 03:15:34

New train line will help with traffic at stadium opening
Train service between Belén and San José will have a jump start Saturday when the new line carries spectators for the inaugural of the $100 million Estadio Nacional.
2011-03-24, 03:26:07

A plea to find the Osa murderer
How do we know that there is not a serial killer on the loose? And this is a country of peace not violence. Any and all murders need to be investigated properly.
2011-03-24, 03:25:42

How about some flower petals in your scrambled eggs?
If it's the Easter season, the time has come to cut some flor de itabo flowers for a slightly bitter addition to the daily diet.
2011-03-23, 03:00:40

Surprise find during river cleanup
There is no telling what volunteers might find when they do a river cleanup. Volunteers found an injured white horse trapped by rocks, the Río Tibás and trees.

2011-03-23, 03:00:19

Giant crowd in support of Japanese
Costa Ricans who came to show their support for disaster-struck Japan overwhelmed the Centro Nacional de la Cultura Sunday.
2011-03-22, 03:31:48

Former ambassador says Ms. Tomayko manipulated media
By manipulating the Costa Rican media and playing to Costa Rica's self-image as a protector of human
rights, Chere Lyn Tomayko and her team of supporters were able to persuade Janina Del Vecchio, the security minister, to confer refugee status even before the Supreme Court had issued its ruling on Ms. Tomayko's extradition. That is a summary of a diplomatic cable sent by Ambassador Peter Cianchette about the much publicized child abduction case.
2011-03-22, 03:31:23

The ups and down of the Caja medical system
A SUBJECTIVE REPORT: For trauma care, there is nothing better. If you look down and find a knife in your chest, Hospital Calderón Guardia or Hospital San Juan de Dios are the places to go. They have a lot of practice. For major accident and trauma issues and complex surgeries, Hospital México in la Uruca is as good as it gets.
2011-03-21, 03:36:43

2011 census is in the works
More than 25,000 teachers will be knocking on doors from May 30 to June 3 as the 10th national census takes place.
The teachers are expected to visit an estimated 1.3 million homes to obtain basic demographical data. This is the first census since 2000.
2011-03-18, 03:58:10

Lessons from the Irish experience
St. Patrick's Day is a good time to reflect on the religious division that has driven the history of the Western Hemisphere. The division between Catholic and Protestant has defined much of history. And it also explains why the Irish were treated as second-class citizens during much of their time in the United States.
2011-03-18, 03:57:42

Chinese criminals quietly build their empires
Chinese criminals have infiltrated Costa Rica and setting up their networks quietly and without much notice from police agencies. The presence of Taiwanese and mainland criminals is not new, but until now most of the illegalities remained within the growing Chinese communities in San José and Puntarenas.
2011-03-17, 03:13:15

Unwanted fish slowly taking over
The rapid spread of lionfish along the U.S. eastern seaboard, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean is the first documented case of a non-native marine fish establishing a self-sustaining population in the region, according to recent U.S. Geological Survey studies.
2011-03-17, 03:12:46

Street justice possible in two cases
Street justice resulted in the death of one man and may have been the reason why eight young people were shot as they stood at a Zapote bus stop. Both crimes happened Sunday.
2011-03-16, 03:42:31

Tico frog makes scientific contribution
A tropical frog – the only one of its kind in the world – is providing conservationists with exclusive insights into the genetic make-up of its closest endangered relatives.
2011-03-16, 03:42:09

Tsunami alert is a test of the system
The possibility of a tsunami Friday gave Costa Rican emergency system a test. The national emergency commission issued a low-level alert at 3 a.m. Friday. By that time scientists had calculated that any serious tsunami effect would touch northern México and not Central America.
2011-03-15, 04:37:59

Longevity study attacks some myths
A 20-year study of human longevity has major implications for Costa Rica, which likes to style itself incorrectly as the world's happy country.
2011-03-15, 04:37:25

A page full of helpful and important links
This newspaper published today for the first time a page of important links and services. Over the next week the page will be expanded and improved. However, the page still will contain embassy listings and emergency numbers, flight information for both international airports, immigration contacts, links for movie listing, traffic information and weather and disaster links.
2011-03-15, 04:36:57

A pair of dysfunctional families
Twin tales of dysfunctional families in tragedies laced with drugs have emerged in the police reports. In one case, a man faces an allegation that he murdered his brother's wife during an effort to steal items from the home. In another, a convicted drug dealer is accused of keeping his wife a hostage in their Heredia home for eight to 10 years. He may also have held two 80 year olds, his parents.
2011-03-14, 03:39:57

Here's how to solve the Isla Calero mess
The Isla Calero and the international border dispute will be popping in and out of the news now for years, and each time there will be a healthy fee for lawyers. Costa Rica needs to come up with a more economical way to handle the situation.
2011-03-14, 03:39:31

(Big march probably just the start
The massive march planned for this morning by public employees is more than just union members flexing their muscles. This event appears to be the start of a prolonged campaign against the central government.
2011-03-11, 02:34:36

After an exhaustive year of research . . . .
Just in time for St. Patrick's Day scientists have made a startling discovery: Guinness beer tastes much better in Ireland than other parts of the world.
2011-03-11, 02:34:12

Both Nicaragua and Costa Rica claim victory
Although both Costa Rica and Nicaragua are claiming victory in a decision handed down by the International Court of Justice Tuesday, the action is only temporary and the case has not been decided on its merits.
2011-03-10, 02:47:06

International court orders everybody out of disputed territory
Costa Rica and Nicaragua have been ordered to stay out of the disputed area on the Isla Calero until the International Court of Justice decides the situation on its merits. In addition, Nicaragua may continue the dredging it has undertaken in the Río San Juan. These were the core decisions ordered Tuesday by the court which is based in The Hague, Netherlands.
2011-03-09, 03:38:31

A quick course in making an arepa
Most people identify foods with a particular country. Pizza for Italy, tacos for Mexico and gallo pinto is 100 percent Costa Rican. Well, if you ever want to impress a Venezuelan, you should tell them how much you love their famous arepas.
2011-03-09, 03:38:05

President Chinchilla appeals to the Highest Power
With a decision expected early Tuesday from the International Court of Justice in the Hague, Netherlands, President Laura Chinchilla sought help from a higher power Sunday. She attended Mass at the Catedral Metropolitana and heard Archbishop Hugo Barrantes ask for peace here and in Nicaragua.
2011-03-08, 02:16:31

Wikileaks posted more than 130 diplomatic cables from San José
Wikileaks has posted more than 130 diplomatic cables from the U.S. Embassy in San José. The disclosures come as La Nación, the Costa Rican Spanish-language daily, is publishing news stories about the same cables. The newspaper made a deal with Wikileaks to get copies of the cables.
2011-03-08, 02:16:06

Houses in corporations targeted for transfer tax
The finance ministry is preparing a proposed law that would simplify reporting for tax purposes, double the penalties for false reporting and also apply the 1.5 percent property transfer assessment to properties that are held in corporations.
2011-03-07, 02:53:54

Giant protected area created around Isla del Coco
President Laura Chinchilla signed a decree Thursday that creates a massive undersea protected area around Isla del Coco in the Pacific. The undersea landscape contains mountains so the new tract is called the Área Marina de Manejo Montes Submarinos
2011-03-07, 02:53:26

Young croc just can't stomach a few hooks
A female crocodile went for the bait hook, line and maybe sinker. The result was two fish hooks stuck in the stomach. The animal survived because a veterinarian and a surgical team removed the hooks and closed the perforation one had made in the crocodile' stomach.
2011-03-04, 03:04:40

Judicial employee called informant for drug gangs
Anti-drug police said they have uncovered a criminal spy network that reached into the heart of the organized crime prosecutor's office. The agency, the Policia de Control de Drogas, the Ministerio Público and even the nation's chief prosecutor, staged raids Wednesday to detain a judicial employee and a Colombian associate.
2011-03-04, 03:04:19

Famous Costa Rican sculptor is now on a stamp
Costa Rican sculptor Jorge Jiménez Deredia has been honored with a commemorative postage stamp bearing his image and those of works he created.
2011-03-03, 02:40:23

$1 billion deal for new Limón port
The Costa Rican government has awarded a Dutch company a concession totaling $1 billion to construct a state-of-the-art container terminal at Moín on the Caribbean coast.
2011-03-03, 02:38:27

Peace Corps celebrates 50th birthday
Jack Kennedy got it wrong. He said at his inaugural: And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country Many feel that in the case of the U.S. Peace Corps the volunteers were the persons who benefited far more than those they sought to help. More than 200,000 volunteers served in 139 counties, the Peace Corp is quick to note.
2011-03-02, 02:45:58

Foreign document validation will be easier
Importing or exporting documents will become easier now that Costa Rica has agreed to adopt a simplified system based on an international treaty.
2011-03-01, 02:22:16

Sophisticated bikes are new robbery target
Crooks have suddenly realized that those bikes athletes are peddling all over the country are not your grandfather's Schwinn Cruiser.
2011-03-01, 02:21:49

Property assessment becomes personal
How much is a house worth? The quick answer is whatever someone is willing to pay. The longer answer is whatever similar homes in the same area have sold for recently.
2011-02-28, 03:07:36

Recording industry wants to shame Costa Rica
A trade organization dedicated to protecting copyrights and other intellectual property has asked U.S. officials to place Costa Rica on a priority watch list, the so-called list of shame.
2011-02-25, 02:42:51

Security plan battle moves to television
President Laura Chinchilla took to the television again Wednesday night in an effort to save her much ridiculed security plan. The president took her cue from her new minister of communications, Roberto Gallardo, who said he wanted to clarify the plan when he spoke with reporters Tuesday.
2011-02-25, 02:42:10

Rotary Club campaign reaches bank building
Rotary Club members here and around the world have been fighting polio for two decades, and this evening around the world they will publicize the campaign by projecting En d polio now on the facades of famous buildings In San José the main Banco Nacional headquarters will be illuminated, local Rotary members said.
2011-02-24, 02:28:02

Red Sea figures draw civil suit and indictments
Red Sea Management Ltd., a San José-based firm, is in trouble again with U.S. stock regulators and the U.S. Justice Department.
2011-02-24, 02:27:30

Vehicle inspection monopoly may be ended
The transport minister told lawmakers Monday that RTV SyC would lose its monopoly in July 2012, and that other firms could participate in providing vehicle inspections.
2011-02-23, 03:03:52

Young soccer fans need a spanking
I boarded the bus in Desamparados Centro shortly after a shopping trip and after a soccer match between Saprissa and Brujas ended. Once again, the young fans, most of them minors, were in high spirits. More than a dozen crowded in to the back of the bus laughing and joking. Then a young woman pulled a butcher knife . . .
2011-02-23, 03:03:16

Skeptics take on global warming
Listening to the constant drumbeat from the media and scientific experts about the dire consequences of man-made global warming can be depressing at times. Most of these scientists are agenda-driven and/or being sponsored by special interests, first world governments, or the United Nations.
2011-02-22, 02:05:06

President's big PR effort was positioned poorly
President Laura Chinchilla has taken to the television to promote her 10-year security plan that has been criticized heavily. The juxtaposition was unfortunate. The taped promotional footage came on after the television news on both Channel 7 Teletica and Channel 6 Repretel. Both newscasts made much of a bloody weekend where 20 persons died violent deaths.
2011-02-22, 02:04:33

Showing the colors: tinto . . . blanco . . . rosado
U.S. producers were at the Hotel Real Intercontinental in Escazú Thursday night promoting their wines, meats, cheeses and other foods.
2011-02-21, 02:39:28

More robbers in police uniforms
More robbers in police uniforms

If police officers come to your door, you ought to call the cops. That is the advice from Fuerza Pública officials as more and more crooks are dressing in blue uniforms.
2011-02-21, 02:38:53

A president's lot is not a happy one
Being president cannot be a great gig. Laura Chinchilla has a new budget that is deeply in the red. The wish list of taxes she presented to the legislature was dead on arrival. Meanwhile the legislature is running away with issues. Opposition members have asked former president Óscar Arias Sánchez and his brother, Rodrigo, to appear to answer questions about a multimillion dollar slush fund that was used to smooth the way for the free trade treaty with the United States.
2011-02-18, 02:41:06

Neighbor was involved in shooting along with police
A burglary suspect died during an exchange of bullets with police and a civilian and soon may become a test case for weapon use by someone who is not a police officer.
2011-02-18, 02:40:37

TDMA lives again
The ownership of a TDMA telephone line has been elevated to a human right. Just as the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad began Tuesday what it called a gradual elimination of the obsolete cell telephone system, the regulators stepped in and said that telephone users cannot be allowed to lose service.
2011-02-17, 02:21:15

Planning? The tourism chamber wants planning!
The nation's tourism chamber said that the country needs better planning particularly with road projects.
2011-02-17, 02:20:35

Creative wiring seems to be the standard
Visiting electricians frequently are in awe of the creative methods used here to bring power into homes.
2011-02-16, 02:36:21

Security plan stresses democratic values
The Integrated security plan outlined Monday by President Laura Chinchilla calls for a balanced intervention for prevention, attention and protection, control, reparation and reintegration in accordance with human development and democratic values of Costa Rica.
2011-02-16, 02:35:52

Security plan is fairly abstract
President Laura Chinchilla Monday outlined an abstract, 10-year plan she called a crusade for the most fundamental rights with respect to life, physical integrity and peace. However, there were no concrete calls for new laws and just a brief mention of new prisons.
2011-02-15, 03:12:35

IRS launches new campaign for tax cheaters
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service announced last week a new initiative to crack down on citizens who are hiding money offshore. The crackdown extends to those U.S. citizens who have control of overseas corporations, what the IRS calls an entity. Many expats in Costa Rica fall into that category if the total amount in bank accounts is $10,000 or more at any time in the year.
2011-02-15, 03:12:09

Law firm discounts substance of suit it faces in Florida
The law firm that is facing a civil action in Florida said Thursday that the case lacks substance and probably will be dismissed. The firm, Facio & Cañas also said that it fully supports two lawyers who are accused civilly of extortion and fraud in the Florida case.
2011-02-14, 02:44:10

Lawyer critiques state of the profession here
After 30 years as a resident here and a U.S. attorney and C.P.A., at the editor’s request, I make the following observations based on experience of my U.S. tax clients here of the legal system in Costa Rica.
2011-02-14, 02:43:28

A page of reader letters on crime and solutions
Finally, I would propose the use of corporal punishment; it is cheap and effective. Public flogging or caning would do wonders for reducing petty crimes. Cutting off a finger or a hand for repeat offenders would certainly reduce recidivism. After the punishment, there is no need to feed or to house these criminals; the debt to society is paid…think of the money saved.
2011-02-14, 02:42:57

It's the exciting start of the school year
Today is the day most public school students have been dreading. Today is the start of the new school year. More than 950,000 students are off to class this morning with officials worried about security, traffic, dropouts and crime. Some 600,000 of the students are in pre-school and primary grades.
2011-02-11, 03:38:24

Photo accidentally shows how bad the sewers are
Photo accidentally shows how bad the sewers are

The Municipalidad de San José has completed some anti-flood work along the Río María Aguilar in Las Luisas and Barrio Méndez in San Francisco de Dos Ríos. Municipal officials want to promote their efforts, but a photo they sent with a press release serves another purpose. It demonstrates the deplorable condition of the Central Valley sewers.
2011-02-11, 03:37:59

Florida court case illustrates weaknesses in Tico justice
A man who ran a business in Costa Rica lacked confidence in the court system here so he filed a case in Florida and haled a number of Costa Ricans into civil court there.
2011-02-10, 02:22:11

Firemen warn about field fires
Fire officials have issued a warning about grass fires and said that the higher temperatures and lack of rain in the dry season increase the risk. Already the year the Cuerpo de Bomberos turned out for 592 weed and brush fires, firemen said. The province of San José had the most, 203, but Guanacaste with 107 and Alajuela province with 106 kept firemen there busy.
2011-02-10, 02:21:50

Strong reader response to ideas to stem crime
Readers responded vigorously to present suggestions on changes in the Costa Rican system that would reduce crime and enhance punishment. They were responding to an article Monday.
2011-02-09, 03:22:31

Defensoría expects to stop return of child
The Defensoría de los Habitantes says it is confident that the Sala VI constitutional court will approve a request for habeas corpus in the Tina Atwell case that will allow her to be reunited with her daughter and remain in Costa Rica.
2011-02-09, 03:22:03

Ideas sought to stem crime
The purpose of this article it so outline some proposals and ask readers to come up with their ideas. Please send them for publication to editor@amcostarica.com
2011-02-08, 02:42:09

This is an old, old plant
Many streets and gardens in the Central Valley host living fossils. That are the so-called sago palms that are distinctive this time of year with giant cones protruding from the male plants.
2011-02-08, 02:41:40

Murder suspected in death of Canadian woman
Judicial investigators are treating the death of a Canadian woman in a rural area of the Osa Peninsula as a homicide.
2011-02-07, 02:42:49

Costa Rica miffed a new Nicaraguan map
The government of Costa Rica has protested energetically against a new map produced by Nicaragua that takes in some of the Costa Rican territory.
2011-02-07, 02:42:11

Death of Canadian woman investigated
A Canadian woman who ran a chocolate operation near Puerto Jiménez died at her home and judicial agents were at the scene Wednesday afternoon.
2011-02-04, 03:16:09

Dominical lifeguards get a hero benefit
Dominical residents are planning to make sure their lifeguards stay on the job by means of a Feb. 13 benefit. That central Pacific community has had lifeguards on the beach since 1996. Recent economic conditions have created stress, so much so that the six-person lifeguard corps briefly staged a walkout. The situation there is typical of other beach communities.
2011-02-04, 03:15:40

A reason to live in Costa Rica
Thousands of flights have been canceled across the United States, as ice, snow and hail from a winter storm is affecting nearly half of the country.
2011-02-03, 02:59:39

Point system has grounded more nearly 2,200
Here's a report that will encourage expats to take a taxi or a bus. Traffic officials report that 2,190 motorists already have lost their right to driver under the new point system.
2011-02-03, 02:58:58

Nicaraguan troops may have pulled out
The foreign ministry said Monday that no Nicaraguan troops can be seen at the former camp on Costa Rican soil. Officials think that the Nicaraguan soldiers may have pulled out, but a dredge still is hard at work trying to open a new mouth to the Río San Juan.
2011-02-02, 02:18:50

Horse incident prompts call to end bulls on TV
The televised shot of a buffalo goring a horse has generated a sharp response from a local animal rights organization.
2011-02-02, 02:18:29

Comments sought on immigration regulations
Proposed regulations that supplement the new immigration law have been posted to the La Gaceta Web site, and everyone is being invited to submit comments, said the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería.
2011-02-01, 03:03:42

Beware of traffic stops
Motorists have to make a choice when they are flagged down by police officers, either Fuerza Pública or Tránsito. The choice is whether to obey the signals of the officer. Sometimes the policeman really is a crook in a uniform. There have been several robberies in the last two months in which the criminals dressed as policemen.
2011-02-01, 03:03:16

Minister makes pitch for tax plan
The nation's finance minister carried the case for the administration's new taxes to the legislature Thursday and said that the proposals were urgent and necessary.
2011-01-31, 02:28:19

Young inventors have a robot and other cool things
Intel Corp. is sending 10 Costa Rican youngsters to its international science fair in Los Angeles, and the innovations developed by the students are a long way from typical high school work.
2011-01-28, 02:56:10

Equality law leads to constitutional appeal
The nation's business chamber has filed an appeal against a law that went into effect in December that requires equal participation of men and women on the boards of private organizations. The chamber noted that there are many organizations that are exclusively for men and exclusively for women. Plus it said the law violates the principal of free association.
2011-01-28, 02:55:38

Minister says police are in unequal struggle
The security minster defended the actions of the police forces Tuesday and said they were in an unequal struggle with international drug cartels, organized crime and criminals.
2011-01-27, 03:24:51

Pirrís hydro project nearly finished
The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad expects that its new Pirrís hydro generating station will be online in September.
2011-01-27, 03:24:19

Starting school is an expensive process
Poor families in Costa Rica are facing the choice of eating or preparing their children for school.
2011-01-26, 02:45:36

Japanese visitors will tour parks
Members of the royal family of Japan will be in Costa Rica today for a visit through Sunday morning.
2011-01-26, 02:45:08

Fire department really has financial problems
The financial situation affecting the national fire department appears to be much greater than just the absence of stations in key locations in the Pacific.
2011-01-25, 03:29:20

Murder rate dips slightly
The number of murders dipped slightly in 2010, according to the Judicial Investigating Organization. Statistics released Friday showed that there were 486 murders in Costa Rica for a rate of 10.65 killings per 100,000 of population.
2011-01-25, 03:28:51

Ms. Chinchilla labels tax cheats as criminals
Speaking to a friendly crowd from the budget ministry, President Laura Chinchilla lashed out Thursday against tax evaders and said they should be called by what they really are, criminals.
2011-01-24, 03:16:29

Game fish study reveals new threat
A new study says that fish vital to the sports fishing industry are becoming more vulnerable because they are being concentrated as large patches of the sea lack sufficient oxygen.
2011-01-21, 02:03:45

Tico businessman faces multiple U.S. fraud charges
The president and the auditor of a Costa Rican company selling reinsurance bonds to life settlement companies were arrested and charged, along with the company itself, in a seven-count indictment unsealed today for their alleged role in a $670 million fraud scheme involving victims throughout the United States and abroad.
2011-01-21, 02:03:08

Some expats have to fight their own fires
With the end of the rainy season comes the start of the fire season, and some expats are realizing that they are on their own.
2011-01-21, 02:02:40

Occupancy rates bring some good news
The national tourism chamber said that a national survey showed hotel occupancy at 68.13 percent in the last two weeks of December. That's 6 percent lower than hotel operators guessed based on reservations for the last 15 days of the month.
2011-01-20, 02:20:42

Lawmakers opt for digital publication
The central government's new tax plan is generating rumbles in political circles, but most are prepared to wait to see the actual law before passing judgment. The Asamblea Legislativa has set up a place for the law, No. 17.959, on its Web site, but the space is empty. The measure is expected to be published in the La Gaceta shortly. But it will not be on paper.
2011-01-20, 02:20:15

Value added tax comes in at 14 percent
The Chinchilla administration presented its tax package to legislators Monday, and the proposal contains a 14 percent value-added tax instead of the 15 percent levy that was predicted.
2011-01-19, 02:19:33

Costa Rica tourism on the rebound
The country hosted nearly 1 million Canadian and U.S. tourists in 2010, an 11 percent increase over 2009, according to immigration figures released Monday by the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo.
2011-01-19, 02:19:09

Breakthrough reported on coffee benefits
Researchers think they know why coffee protects the body against type 2 diabetes. That's good news for Costa Rica's coffee producers.
2011-01-18, 03:21:40

Earthquake deaths linked to corrupt governments
A new assessment of global earthquake fatalities over the past three decades indicates that 83 percent of all deaths caused by the collapse of buildings during earthquakes occurred in countries considered to be unusually corrupt.
2011-01-18, 03:21:16

Country endured 3,000 earthquakes in 2010
More than 3,000 earthquakes took place in and around Costa Rica in 2010. Most were too small to be felt, and the nation avoided any serious quake damage.
2011-01-17, 03:11:16

Tourism institute hires a U.S. ad agency
The Instituto Costarricense de Turismo picked 22squared, an Atlanta, Georgia, advertising agency, to market the country in the United States and Canada, the state agency said Thursday.
2011-01-17, 03:10:43

IRS plans another intrusive form for U.S. expats
U.S. expats are facing double tax trouble though twin developments in Washington. On one hand, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service seeks to force U.S. citizens overseas to outline their financial live as part of the annual tax filings if they have overseas assets worth more than $50,000.
2011-01-14, 03:05:25

Chinchilla tax plan could put crimp in medical tourism
The central government's new tax proposal will hit hard at medical tourism. Unless lawmakers exempt foreign patients from the proposed value added tax, medical services here will be 15 percent higher than they are now.
2011-01-14, 03:04:57

Government to cut expense to sell new tax plan
The central government announced an austerity plan Tuesday and said it would increase collection of taxes. Government spending and weak enforcement are two major arguments against the Chinchilla administration plan for a 15 percent value added tax and other increases. The plan for new taxes to be presented next Monday to lawmakers.
2011-01-13, 02:19:00

Immigration plans rapid entry for legal residents
The immigration department plans to install electronic readers at another ground border entry post after a successful trial with 2,516 residents who returned to Costa Rica form Nicaragua over the holidays.
2011-01-13, 02:18:37

More violence over shark finning
An environmentalist who is an opponent of shark finning said he was approached by a mob, threatened and then had a run-in with police who responded.
2011-01-12, 03:30:15

Police beef up numbers in Limón
The Fuerza Pública is putting 25 more offices in the Limón region and two bicycle officers in Pococí. This was announced over the weekend at the same time that José María Tijerino Pacheco, the security minister, and Juan José Andrade, the police director, went to the two communities to meet with residents.
2011-01-11, 02:42:34

A confrontation with unruly soccer fans
Once we were surrounded by dozens of hostile teens, some smaller and some bigger than us, I drew my stun gun. It is a hand held device that shoots a stunning voltage charge from a hard plastic base. It is designed for a last chance ally at close combat range. By now, there were more than 20 kids around us, and twice as many running down the hill to join the rumble. Combat was the only option. The situation was taking on intensity. By now it was two against 20+. The odds were bending quickly out of favor.
2011-01-11, 02:42:10

Long-time watering hole closes down
Expats are mourning the death of the New York Bar, an institution in downtown San José for 36 years.
2011-01-10, 02:47:50

Police troubled by increasingly violent robberies
A wave of murders that began the year is linked to gang members and other young men who punctuate robberies with additional violence. The latest case was Thursday when a 27-year-old mother on her way to work suffered a fatal stab wound near the heart in a botched robbery attempt at 5:30 a.m.
2011-01-10, 02:47:21

New system at Peñas Blancas
The heavily traveled Peñas Blancas border crossing to Nicaragua is getting new equipment to keep track of those who seek to enter and leave the country.
2011-01-06, 02:16:57

Inflation was 5.82 percent
Inflation in Costa Rica in 2010 was 5.82 percent, according to the Instituto Nacional de Estadisticas y Censo. That's 1.77 points higher than for 2009, the institute said.
2011-01-06, 02:16:31

Shark finning takes center stage
Conservationists say that the country's fishing institute is allowing foreign ships to bypass required inspections when they come into port. The situation involves ships that are in the shark-finning trade, a controversial occupation.
2011-01-05, 02:22:36

Many young people carrying a variety of weapons
Fuerza Pública officers did what amounts to a crowd survey at the Fiestas de San José from Christmas to New Year's. The found a staggering variety of weapons being carried by those who sought to attend the event at the Zapote fairgrounds.
2011-01-05, 02:22:01

Christmas holiday saw fewer deaths
The Christmas holidays seem to have been uneventful with no great loss of life. Even in the bull ring at the Fiestas de San José young men were unsuccessful in trying to kill themselves, although many tried.
2011-01-04, 03:21:06

A.M. Costa Rica readership up 5.9 percent for year
This online daily newspaper hosted 3.6 million Internet visitors in 2010, according to an independent statistical program. Despite the financial crisis and other problems that have affected world interest in Costa Rica, Internet readers were up 5.9 percent in 2010.
2011-01-04, 03:20:38

Country amid a flood of drugs
Law enforcement officials generally agree that agents and police intercept only a percentage of the drugs flowing through Costa Rica. If that is the case, the country is awash in cocaine.
2011-01-03, 03:27:54

U.S. Embassy says it has improved visa service
The U.S. Embassy's consular section says that it has reduced the waiting time for visa interviews and no longer are Costa Ricans on line standing outside the embassy for their appointments.
2010-12-30, 03:03:39

Time for the diablitos
New Year's Eve is party time, and the most elaborate celebration is by the Boruca in southern Costa Rica.
2010-12-29, 02:32:52

Plenty of horse flesh in the downtown
More than 4,000 horsemen and horsewomen, some of them fortified against the chilly weather by beer, wine and other alcohols, took to the streets of San José Sunday for the annual Tope Nacional. They were cheered by an estimated 200,000 persons, many of them also fortified against the elements.
2010-12-28, 02:44:36

Ambassador defends U.S. rice shipper
The U.S. ambassador said that Costa Rican lab workers made an error when they conducted test for harmful fungus on a boatload of rice imported from the United States.
2010-12-28, 02:44:09

Defensoría tries to block return of U.S. child
The Defensoría de los Habitantes said Wednesday that it has filed a habeas corpus action to prevent a U.S. child from being returned to her father in Missouri.
2010-12-27, 02:25:45

Another loan coming for sewer work
The plan to put in a sewer system and treatment plant for the metro area has been enriched by some $93 million, even though the project has yet to break ground.
2010-12-23, 02:42:43

Language barrier gets her out of prison
A woman who got 13 years in the beating murder of a family member suspects of witchcraft has been released from prison by the Consejo de Gobierno.
2010-12-23, 02:42:15

Researchers study the complexities of accents
A rose by any other name may still smell as sweet, but it the name is said with an accent, there are unexpected complexities that are being unraveled now by scientists. And understanding these complexities may be of value to foreigners living in a country where the principal language is not their own.
2010-12-22, 03:15:28

Costa Rica volcano study considered important
A team of the Collaborative Research Centre in Kiel, Germany, has for the first time tracked the pathway of the water up to 120 kilometers depth. This is being called an important piece in the puzzle to understand the highly active volcanoes in Pacific ring of fire of which Costa Rica is a part. The research was conducted in Costa Rica and offshore.
A researcher from Costa Rica was part of the research team.
2010-12-22, 03:14:58

We lose again, but the Junta does not
Once again, for the 10th straight year, the staff and editors of A.M. Costa Rica were shut out in the Gordo Christmas lottery. Despite weeks of studying on how to beat the U.S. Internal Revenue Service on taxes from lottery windfalls, editors saw other numbers come up.
2010-12-21, 02:45:38

Another committee to plan anti-crime strategy
Police officials and prosecutors met Friday in an effort to map out a way to fight crime. Leading the session was Jorge Chavarría Gúzman, the fiscal general or chief prosecutor. He proposed forming a committee that would be called a national commission. It would include heads of police agencies as well as the head of the Judicial Investigating Organization. He also would be a member.
2010-12-21, 02:45:15

Piano doctor makes house call at Teatro Nacional
The concert grand piano at the Teatro Nacional has been getting acclimated to Costa Rica after its trip from the manufacturer, Steinway & Sons, in New York.
2010-12-20, 03:26:57

We support those who support us
A report on tourist occupancies Wednesday did not point out that the impact of the world's financial crisis falls disproportionately on smaller firms. We try to help them out.
2010-12-17, 04:12:22

A reminder that tire puncturers are still at work
Tourists continue to be easy picking for crooks who take advantage of flat tires on rental vehicles.
2010-12-17, 04:11:27

Tourism: the good news and the so-so
The nation's tourism chamber expects that the number of visitors to Costa Rica will be up 10.56 percent in December over the same month in 2009. Still, the industry is facing a lackluster high season if initial statistics are correct.
2010-12-16, 04:17:55

Chill got your down? Go bake some cookies
With the overnight temperatures threatening to set a record low for the year, a couple of batches of cookies can quickly warm the inside environment.
2010-12-15, 03:48:35

Nicaragua promotes specter of U.S. invasion
The Nicaraguan administration is playing the nationalistic card by suggesting that expats living in Costa Rica are being mistreated and that U.S. troops and warships are on the move.
2010-12-15, 03:48:04

Expat concerns not on agenda
The legislature is studying the agenda of bills sent over by Casa Presidencial. The proposals are heavy with new taxes, but none seems to address the problems most expats consider the most important.
2010-12-14, 03:54:46

How will Costa Rica neutralize volcano emissions?
Costa Rica repeated its promise Thursday that it will become the first carbon neutral country by 2021. Vice President Alfio Piva told this to the U.N. climate summit in Cancún, México.
2010-12-13, 04:11:45

Time to count the migrant birds
Now that neotropical migrant birds are settled in and established on their wintering grounds in México and Central America, the new season of Monitoreo de Supervivencia Invernal can get underway. This program seeks to determine if survival in the birds’ wintering habitats is a limiting factor for a number of species that have been identified as declining in North America.
2010-12-13, 04:11:22

Work on ancient church ruins completed
The Centro de Patrimonio has pronounced reinforcement work on the country's oldest church to be finished. There was a ceremony to that effect Wednesday at the church, the Templo Católico de la Purísima Concepción del Rescate. It is in Ujarrás de Cartago.
2010-12-10, 03:27:59

Poe influences new book by Ticos
The tangled mind of 19th century writer Edgar Allen Poe is coming alive again and with a Tico twist.
2010-12-09, 04:26:07

Aguinaldos this year total $1.2 billion
The country's private sector workers will share some 466 billion colons in Christmas bonuses, according to an employers group.
2010-12-09, 04:25:37

New law is supposed to protect consumers better
Whether they know it or not, merchants are working under an updated consumer law that went into effect Nov. 1.
2010-12-08, 01:58:30

Ortega gets his 15 minutes of Wikileaks fame
A Spanish newspaper published Wikileaks material Monday that is not yet available online. The material is an indictment of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega drafted by the former U.S. ambassador.
2010-12-08, 01:58:09

African bees: A possible danger to expats
An encounter with Africanized bees Sunday highlighted the continual danger of those insects in Costa Rica.
2010-12-07, 03:41:48

Flood may have opened new river mouth
While President Laura Chinchilla sought support opposing the Nicaraguan invasion, heavy flooding took place at the Río San Juan and adjacent waterways.
2010-12-07, 03:41:21

Flooding leaves 2,000 in shelters
A low pressure area has moved toward Panamá leaving flooding, death and heavy damage in its wake. The national emergency commission said that 2,000 persons were being housed in 38 shelters as a result of the heavy rain that began Monday.
2010-12-06, 02:38:32

More money on the streets
The economy is about to see a major uptick. The Costa Rican law that provides workers with a fat Christmas bonus also covers pensioners and even those who hold certain governmental positions.
2010-12-02, 04:07:02

Legislative agenda mushrooms to 32 bills
The executive branch's legislative agenda mushroomed Tuesday to 32 separate bill that are being given a priority until next April 30.
2010-12-02, 04:06:41

Corporate tax proposal gets a high priority
The government is pushing ahead with its plan to slap a $300 tax on every corporation, purportedly to pay for increased security.
2010-12-01, 03:36:24

Wikileaks on Honduras, Panamá and Brazil
The U.S. ambassador in Honduras said U.S. officials there had no doubt that the military, supreme court and the national congress conspired to effect an illegal and unconstitutional coup against then-president José Manuel Zelaya. However, the ambassador said that there may be a prima facie case that Zelaya may have committed illegalities and may have even violated the constitution.
2010-12-01, 03:35:59

Hurricane season was very active as predicted
The 2010 Atlantic hurricane season is drawing to a close, and two U.S. weather experts appear to have been correct when they said the season would be above average.
2010-11-30, 03:20:09

British woman suffered from intruders
A Canadian man has returned to Costa Rica to help out a 62-year-old British woman who has been a victim of multiple intrusions into her central Pacific apartment. In one encounter, an intruder poured lighter fluid on her lower body and pubic area and ignited the woman, said the man.
2010-11-30, 03:19:44

It's beginning to look at lot like tax time
Can't figure out how to stay busy over the weekend? Well, the tax form D-151 is due by Tuesday. That should keep most taxpayers here occupied.
2010-11-29, 03:13:11

Mining decision was a blow to country's future
OUR OPINION: The Wednesday court decision on the Crucitas open pit gold mine is another black eye for Costa Rica and a clear warning to international investors to take their business elsewhere. The country already is in the cellar on an index of the ease of doing business.
2010-11-29, 03:12:37

Preservationist policies questioned
A new study questions the impact of forest protection schemes in Costa Rica and four other countries. The study says that although these developing nations have protected their own woodlands, they are encouraging deforestation elsewhere by importing wood.
2010-11-26, 03:33:34

Another stumbling block for Crucitas
The Crucitas open pit gold mine project hit another barrier Wednesday. After more than a month of trial, the Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo ordered the central government to cancel the mineral concession held by Industrias Infinito S.A.
2010-11-26, 03:32:52

Customs agency runs up the tab
A lot of so-called Black Friday ideas on the Web promise to deliver Stateside products, mostly electronics, cheaply and painlessly to Costa Rican residents.
2010-11-25, 04:23:36

Dental surgeon loses case over wife's embarrassment
The Sala II high court ha upheld a 3 million-colon judgement against a dental surgeon based on allegations that he humiliated his wife and caused her public shame and embarrassment.
2010-11-25, 04:23:03

Turkey's the same, but society sure has changed
Thanksgiving, which is Thursday, appears on the surface to be unchanged over the years. The main dish is turkey with all the trimmings. It is a holiday. Leftovers provide meals for the next week. Yet there have been profound changes.
2010-11-24, 03:28:00

Nicaragua gets bad marks from environmentalists
An environmental expert characterized the possible impact of Nicaragua's work on the Isla Calero as very dramatic and irreversible.
2010-11-24, 03:27:36

Another restoration project
Another 19th century landmark structure in San José has been restored with the financial help of an agency of the culture ministry.
2010-11-23, 03:07:00

Cable company generates unhappiness
A reader appears to have hit a nerve with expats here when he criticized Amnet for its cable television service. The reader, Gary Mathews of Escazú, said that received e-mails from more than 50 persons Thursday as a result of his letter that was published in A.M. Costa Rica.
2010-11-22, 04:30:25

Cautionary tale about insect bites
What may have been the bite of a tiny mosquito last April in Jacó marked the beginning of a medical ordeal for a Denver man.
2010-11-22, 04:30:02

Caribbean coral in jeopardy this year
The Caribbean is suffering severe bleaching again this year, and in some locations, this bleaching event is worse than the event in 2005. Not only are temperatures causing further damage to reefs hit hard during the 2005 event, but new locations have also been impacted.
2010-11-19, 04:21:07

Bilingualism influences choices
As many bilingual individuals know, their abilities to speak two or more languages fluently is like hosting several persons within the same body.
2010-11-19, 04:20:40

Consumer law firm posts BBG complaints
The law firm taking on BBG Communications Inc., announced the address of a Web site Tuesday where victims of outrageous overseas telephone credit card charges can complain and perhaps join in a federal class action law suit.
2010-11-18, 03:41:30

Super high rate phone company faces suit
A California law firm has filed a class action suite against BBG Communications, Inc., the company that is known for charging astounding fees for credit card telephone calls.
2010-11-17, 04:36:45

Real estate buyers think small is beautiful
Long gone are the halcyon heydays where investors who had no intention of ever living in Costa Rica could come down, purchase properties, hold for a short while and flip them for a fast buck. But something new is now emerging; people are buying lower priced homes, paying with cash and planning to use the homes themselves while also earning vacation rental income.
2010-11-17, 04:36:18

Misinformation causing problems
An expat martial arts instructor has been sucked into the Costa Rica-Nicaraguan conflict and unfairly labeled an undercover agent. The allegation was published in Costa Rica on a real estate Web site. The individual, James Powell, said that someone threw a rock at his car Saturday night.
2010-11-16, 03:40:24

Nicaraguans dig a new channel for river
Late word from northern Costa Rica reports that Nicaraguan workers have dug a small ditch from a bend in the Río San Juan to the Caribbean coast in Costa Rican territory. The ditch is just two or three shovelfuls wide, but local observers expect the hydraulic power of the river to blow out a new river mouth during the late November and December rainy season there.
2010-11-15, 03:42:10

Employers group opposes lifting bank secrecy
The major organization of private employees has come out against a proposed law that would lift bank secrecy and give full access to account information to tax authorities. The measure is being considered in a legislative committee.
2010-11-12, 04:28:36

Deadline for nicaraguan invaders expires today
Costa Rica's deadline for Nicaragua to leave its national soil expires today, but the country lacks the capability to enforce the demand.
2010-11-12, 04:28:12

Costa Rica gets low marks for encouraging business
The country finished second to last among Central American states in an assessment of the ease of doing business here. The rating was by the World Bank Group - International Finance Corp., which awarded Costa Rica 125th place among nations of the world.
2010-11-11, 04:29:06

Insulza fails to take a stand on Nicaraguan invasion
If Costa Rican officials were expecting a strong stand in support of their territorial integrity, they went to the wrong international organization.
2010-11-11, 04:28:26

Bilingualism delays onset of Alzheimer's, study says
There's good news for expat retirees struggling to learn Spanish. A Canadian science team has found more dramatic evidence that speaking two languages can help delay the onset of Alzheimer’s symptoms by as much as five years, according to the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest, a University of Toronto affiliate.
2010-11-10, 04:46:32

Victorian-style house revived in Guadalupe
The owner of a landmark Guadalupe home decided to take out the wooden floors and replace them with concrete in 2006. That's a big error when the property has been designated a heritage site.
2010-11-10, 04:46:08

Man buried in river mud for 72 hours found alive
Sometime Wednesday a surge of water prompted by the heavy rains caught a man in Naranjo de Dota and swept him away. Cruz Roja rescue workers extracted the man alive Sunday from the mud and sediment downstream that had trapped him for at least 72 hours, they said.
2010-11-09, 03:47:52

Insulza will inspect Isla Caleto
José Miguel Insulza, secretary general of the Organization of American States, spent the weekend being very diplomatic.
2010-11-09, 03:47:20

The results of the tragic storm
Nearly three feet of rain may have fallen in the Central Pacific since Monday, but it was in Escazú where the loss of life took place. A landslide from Pico Blanco entombed families as they slept in e Lajas, Barrio El Carmen. San Antonio de Escazú. Emergency workers recovered 20 bodies and they still are looking. Elsewhere nearly 1,400 persons are in shelters, more than a hundred section of road are damaged, homes are flooded, bridges are down and utilities are cut off. Many routes are blocked by landslides.
2010-11-08, 03:41:13

Ortega acting like a run-of-the-mill squatter
Costa Rica is facing a problem similar to that experienced by many landowners here. Someone has moved on to the property and will not leave. When that happens to a Costa Rican or expat property owner, one option is always force. A goon squad can beat up land thieves and tear down their temporary structures.
2010-11-05, 05:46:25

City wants to set the swing record
The municipality of San José will try to get in the Guinness World Records with the largest dance class of swing criollo ever.
2010-11-05, 05:45:55

Supermarket roulette: Prices are all over the place
The economics ministry has shown once again that it pays to shop around. This time the ministry's consumer agency shopped around and found differences in prices of basic products as much as 90.5 percent. For example, the agency's shoppers found that 120 grams of tuna in a metal can under the Splash brand cost 630 colons in Coopro San Vito in San Vito and 1,200 colons in Super Saint Clare in San Sebastián, according to its summary.
2010-11-04, 04:39:58

Nation's scorecard lists weaknesses
Costa Rica was able to avoid much of the effects of the world economic crisis in 2009 but the unequal distribution of income showed the biggest increase in 10 years and the threats to citizens security were more dangerous.
2010-11-04, 04:39:34

Río San Juan: Round Three
Costa Rica's tradition of pacifism is being put to the test, perhaps on purpose, by the Nicaraguan government. The stakes are high for Nicaragua and low for Costa Rica.
2010-11-03, 04:37:53

Southern Nicoya may become a canton
The Provincia de Puntarenas may soon get a new canton. Lawmakers are considering creating a 12th canton for the sprawling province
2010-11-03, 04:37:25

Readers seek to aid expat caught in bureaucratic web
Steve Doyle of the small town of Volio struck a chord with readers when he outlined his problems in getting water for his small subdivision. Dozens wrote letters. Some were short. Others offered the detailed possible solutions Doyle sought.
2010-11-02, 03:21:23

Environmental agents file 19 cases near Caño Negro
The Tribunal Administrativo Ambiental reported Thursday that the Refugio de Vida Silvestre Caño Negro and adjacent areas harbor a multitude of environmental problems.
2010-11-01, 04:00:40

Lottery history on display
Some 125 years have past since the Junta de Caridad in San José stage a lottery to support Hospital San Juan de Dios. The concept was not universally popular and the city was full of such lotteries, legitimate or not.
2010-11-01, 04:00:10

San Juan battle goes to Round Two
Round Two of the Río San Juan saga will be in the diplomatic arena. The foreign ministry said Wednesday that it has received a reply from Nicaragua to the protest it lodged a week ago about dredging on the river, which is part of the northern boundary of the country.
2010-10-29, 03:50:49

Small developer stonewalled by water company
I need help. If anyone reading this has meaningful suggestions, I am open and ready to hear them. I am trying to do our project within the parameters of Costa Rica. This is not the U.S.A. and I have no illusions that those standards apply here. I do not believe paying graft to get this done is the way to go, though that has been the suggestion of several resources. I will not contribute to that sorry process.
2010-10-29, 03:50:18

Ghosts have their problems with modern life, too
Life has been tough for Costa Rica's ghosts and goblins as they try to put on good faces (for those who have them) because Halloween is approaching.
2010-10-28, 04:26:47

Telethon will go on
The Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones has again asserted its authority over private events during election times. But it will allow the annual telethon to take place Dec. 3 and 4. The municipal elections are the same weekend.
2010-10-28, 04:26:22

Mine foes irked at lack of coverage
Anti-mining activists continue to protest seeking an action by President Laura Chinchilla, but they seem to be unaware that every demonstration is not successful.
2010-10-27, 04:52:18

Turtle smear now in many languages
An e-mail condemning a legal turtle egg harvest in Guanacaste is now circulating in at least English, Spanish, German, French, and Portuguese. Tourism agencies and guides report spending considerable time and effort defending Costa Rica’s reputation from what some describe as a malicious assault.
2010-10-27, 04:51:48

(Security ministry confirms Nicaragua was building canal
Costa Rican officials who sat on reports of Nicaraguan incursions for nearly two weeks are characterizing what happened along the Río San Juan as environmental damage. In fact, the Nicaraguan work crews and a dredge were attempting to cut a channel or canal to the Caribbean and annex part of Costa Rica a new Nicaraguan territory.
2010-10-26, 04:45:39

Slide detector may save lives here
British scientists and engineers have created a device that may save lives in Costa Rica and other countries where landsiide are common. The device is a new type of sound sensor system.
British engineers have created a device that may save lives in Costa Rica and other countries where landsiide are common.
2010-10-26, 04:45:11

River situation defused as Nicaragua moves pipe
The situation along the Río San Juan that had the potential for armed conflict between Costa Rica and Nicaragua appears to have been defused.
2010-10-25, 05:05:57

Some positive real estate news
There were three positive developments in Pacific coast real estate this week.
2010-10-25, 05:05:32

Expats have chance to learn about impeding quake
Earthquake experts are hosting another conference Friday to alert Nicoya peninsula residents to the probability of a major quake
2010-10-22, 04:30:44

Parents of tourist file claim over his death
The family of a man killed in a boating accident in Costa Rica have filed suit for damages in U.S. district court in New Jersey.
2010-10-22, 04:30:13

Repairs at Cambronero very temporary
Motorists along the Interamericana Norte at Cambronero might be interested to know the road is falling apart again.
2010-10-21, 03:49:33

Tico Times adopts non-profit model
The venerable Tico Times has taken a dramatic step to reinvent itself with a non-profit arm. The weekly newspaper outlined the plan in an editorial this week in which it admitted that it has been forced to make drastic cutbacks due to less income.
2010-10-21, 03:49:02

Believe it or not, Christmas is coming
With the Día de las Culturas in its wake, the country is moving headlong into the Christmas season. Already stores have Yule displays, and many Costa Ricans already are planning their 10-day escape from the Central Valley.
2010-10-20, 04:09:13

Ocean garbage patch predicted near here
A mathematical model of ocean currents has proven successful in predicting the location of the previously known Great Floating Garbage Patch, an area between Hawaii and California with large amounts of degraded plastic debris. This model also shows a mini-gyre that theoretically would accumulate plastic and nets in the area between Panamá and the Galapagos islands, part of which is in Costa Rican waters
2010-10-20, 04:07:44

Even in-country air passengers will get once-over
Tourists who fly from a regional airport like Tobias Bolaños in Pavas will have to undergo a baggage check and inspection by anti-drug dogs.
2010-10-20, 04:07:15

Mother of young ATV victim featured on ABC show
The mother or a girl killed in an all-terrain vehicle accident in Costa Rica was part of a presentation on ABC in Brian Ross Investigates Friday.
2010-10-19, 03:22:34

Rock claims two lives
A father and small child died Friday evening when a rock plunged from above Ruta 32, the San José-Limón highway, and flattened the car. The mother suffered critical injuries.
2010-10-18, 03:57:53

Heritage site of coffee days refurbished
A sagging typical Costa Rican structure in Heredia has been restored six years after it was declared a national heritage site. The structure is the Casona de Bahareque del Beneficio Miramontes, which was built in 1894 to Play a role in coffee production.
2010-10-18, 03:55:54

Coral bleaching found in Caribbean
A team of Smithsonian scientists and local dive operators first noticed the bleaching and mortality event in the surrounding waters of Istmito in Isla Colon, Bocas del Toro.
2010-10-15, 04:40:42

Woman shoots would-be rapist, but store owner not as lucky
Two crimes had dramatically different outcomes Wednesday because one of the victims had a firearm.
2010-10-15, 04:40:14

Rewards offered for blowing whistle on U.S. firms
An organization that fights corporate wrongdoing is looking for consultants in Costa Rica. The organization is the Anti-Corruption Alliance, which seeks to encourage and help those who would be whistleblowers about corporate bribery and corruption
2010-10-14, 04:51:34

Endangered birds featured on new stamp issue
This year's Parque Nacional postage stamp issue features four birds that are in danger of extinction.
2010-10-13, 05:27:38

The deeper the quake the better
If anyone had doubts that Costa Rica is geologically active, a report this week by the Red Sismológica Nacional will change the mind.
2010-10-13, 05:27:09

Drug load believed cause of air crash
Two Guatemalans failed their math test big time Sunday when they took off from Pavas in a single-engine Piper Cherokee that appeared to be overloaded. Police attributed their flying problems to the 200 kilos, some 440 pounds of suspected cocaine that was concealed in a wing fuel tank.
2010-10-12, 04:58:33

Can they please keep these guys in jail?
As in the words of Yankee great Yogi Berra, it was déjà vu all over again for police.
2010-10-11, 04:10:16

Chinese will get a taste of Cafe Rica
A proposed free trade agreement with China would eliminate import duties there on frozen orange juice, fresh flowers, leathers, rum and other liquors. And the proposal would eliminate over five years duties of from 12 to 25 percent on frozen beef, chicken and pork.
2010-10-11, 04:09:39

A plea for economic help
In Costa Rica 150,000 persons work in growing and exporting agricultural products. Some 5,000 more are engaged in exporting fish and other seafoods. These are the sectors most vulnerable to the economic winds.
2010-10-08, 03:31:11

Villalobos defenders off to court
The small group of Villalobos Brother investors who still believe in the validity of the high-interest scheme have gone to court again.
2010-10-08, 03:30:42

Some online newspapers consider charging for content
Printed newspapers are under increasing pressure to begin charging for content. In some cases, the decision is made shortly before executives of a printed newspaper move it completely to Web publishing.
2010-10-07, 03:50:23

Michael Dixon's family seeks help from British MP
The family of Michael Dixon are getting support from a British member of Parliament in efforts to involve British police in the search for the missing man. The family and Syed Kamall, a Conservative Party parliamentary representative for London, plan a press conference there Friday to publicize their inability to get the London Metropolitan Police Service involved in the case, said a family representative.
2010-10-07, 03:49:58

Magistrates pick a familiar face
The Corte Suprema de Justicia reached into the ranks of its own retirees and selected Jorge Alberto Chavarría Guzmán to be the next fiscal general de la República or chief prosecutor of the nation.
2010-10-06, 04:50:14

Government saved face with Sala IV non-response
A recent decision put the Sala IV constitutional court in the news when it restricted random searches of vehicles at the impromptu checkpoints often set up by law enforcement agencies. Reaction from the public, the security ministry, and President Laura Chinchilla was quick to condemn the judgment, even before the main text was available.
2010-10-06, 04:49:14

Tourism runs into some bad pr
Costa Rican hopes for a banner tourism season are being hurt by terrorism threats in Europe, cartels in México, the weather and the dollar-colon exchange rate.
2010-10-05, 04:48:11

Rain problems continue
The Cerro Chitaría above Salitral, Santa Ana, produced another large landslide Saturday night, and the continuing rain raises the possibility that more will follow.
2010-10-05, 04:47:32

Those turtle egg photos
A doctoral student in Hawaii has published a definitive rebuttal to that perpetual e-mail entitled World Shame Costa Rica. The -mail shows photos of Ostional residents collecting turtle eggs on a local beach, and most expats in Costa Rica get a forwarded e-mail once in awhile.
2010-10-04, 04:22:44

There's a long wait for a biopsy report
The national medical system is backed up with 11,000 biopsies awaiting study and a report.
2010-10-01, 04:17:01

Substantial coral bleaching predicted
The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says that coral bleaching is likely in the Caribbean in 2010. With temperatures above-average all year, the agency's models show a strong potential for bleaching in the southern and southeastern Caribbean through October that could be as severe as in 2005 when over 80 percent of corals bleached and over 40 percent died at many sites across the Caribbean, the agency said. Scientists are already reporting coral bleaching at several Caribbean sites and severe bleaching has been reported from other parts of the world.
2010-10-01, 04:15:40

Big moving day in Puntarenas
Workmen will need 10 days starting today to move five generator motors via land and sea to the new Garabito thermal project. Each of the machines weighs 320 tons.
2010-09-30, 04:24:39

Sex sandal in women's prison
The Buen Pastor women's prison in Desamparados is the scene of forced sex and a code of silence among guards that cause them to turn a blind eye to depravity, according to a complaint by an employees union.
2010-09-30, 04:24:08

Soccer violence has police worried
Hooliganism in the European sense is not as prevalent here. But fan violence still is a fact at many soccer games. Some fans are members of informal groups called barras. They dress in their team's colors and frequently carry the competition on the field into the streets. Buses are pelted with rocks or worse.
2010-09-29, 04:52:41

Courts will initiate new paperless pilot projects
The judicial system is kicking off three pilot projects, starting this week that, if adopted, will transform the courts. These include litigation online, oral hearings and judicial offices without paper.
2010-09-28, 03:59:26

Politics of red beans is a bit complex
Inclement weather and market distortions have the highly integrated Costa Rican and Nicaraguan red bean markets disrupted in recent months, with poor Nicaraguans the most affected.
2010-09-28, 03:59:01

Tropical storm has little impact here
The country has ducked the full intensity of Matthew, if estimated storm tracks hold true. The center of the storm is expected to make landfall near the NIcaraguan-Honduran border lateR today.
2010-09-27, 04:19:13

Security minister promotes community policing
The security minister went before a legislative committee Tuesday and said that an integrated policy to tackle the drug trade was a critical part of the Chinchilla administration security plan. The minister, José María Tijerino Pacheco, also lobbied for two tax bills that the administration expects will pay for the anti-crime effort.
2010-09-23, 04:02:38

Even earlier residents battled water problems
Residents have been wrestling with rain and flooding since the first human prowled the rainforest. If there is a constant in Costa Rica, it is that residents must plan to prevent rainy season disasters.
2010-09-23, 04:02:11

Officials consider opening Turrialba Park
The national emergency commission is considering reopening Parque Nacional Volcán Turrialba, which contains the smoking volcano. The park have been closed for safety reasons since January.
2010-09-22, 04:43:25

Waiting for a fiscal general
Although the chief prosecutor may not be involved in every judicial case, he or she will set the tone. Under the Costa Rican system the judiciary is responsible for investigating crimes, and the fiscal general will head the independent Ministerio Publico where prosecutors work.
2010-09-20, 04:28:42

Even when parents are citizens, registering a child is complex
The process of getting a U.S. passport for a child born to U.S. parents in Costa Rica has become increasingly complicated. I have to say I was shocked to see how much the requirements have changed in just two short years. (Our older son is 2.5 years old).
2010-09-20, 04:28:06

Alcohol brings out the worst at parades
Costa Rica celebrated its independence Wednesday with parades all over the country. But another local obsession surfaced as rival young soccer fans staged confrontations in San José, Alajuela and Heredia.
2010-09-17, 03:35:54

Ms. Chinchilla gives chilling speech
President Laura Chinchilla gave what can only be described as a terrifying speech to mark the country's 189th year of independence, She said that criminal elements were threatening the sovereignty of the nation..
2010-09-16, 02:51:33

Agreement advances Cartago rail services
The extension of rail service to Cartago will be in two steps, the transport ministry has announced. The first will be to restore the trackage east to Tres Rios. The second stage will refurbish the line all the way to Cartago.
2010-09-16, 02:51:06

Gender issue involved with citizenship case
A U.S. citizen mother who gives birth overseas can pass on her citizenship automatically. But a U.S. man who fathers a child overseas by a non-U.S. mother has to fulfill legal requirements if the child is to be a U.S. citizen.
2010-09-15, 03:58:30

Bike is main clue in murder of U.S. tourist in Puerto Viejo
Judicial investigators are hoping that the killer of a U.S. tourist Thursday left behind his bicycle at the scene. The bike is similar to many used in the areas, but it appears to have a distinctive decoration on its seat.
2010-09-14, 04:01:46

First documents going online
Three documents that told Costa Ricans they were independent of Spain are treasures in the Archivo Nacional where facsimiles will be on display this month in the lobby. The originals are kept safe.
2010-09-13, 03:34:27

Panamá wants to take on the FARC
The Colombian war with leftist drug traffickers came a little closer this week as Panama's security minster promised that his country will fight the rebels with all severity.
2010-09-10, 05:17:49

Crime has personal liberties as its first victim
AN ANALYSIS: Costa Rica is experiencing a reassessment of human rights in much the same way that the United States did after the terrorist attacks Sept. 11, 2001.
2010-09-10, 05:17:18

Woman expat missing on Nicoya peninsula
Another expat has vanished under suspicious circumstances on the Pacific coast. This time the missing expat is a woman, 33-year-old Kim Paris, a Canadian.
2010-09-09, 04:43:19

Security officials riled over checkpoint decision
The security ministry went on the offensive Monday and questioned the reasoning by which the Sala IV constitutional court forbade the routine use of police checkpoints and roadblocks.
2010-09-08, 04:30:54

Ballot positions selected
When Costa Ricans vote for municipal offices in Dec. 5, they will have many colorful choices. The graphic above shows the emblem of each party in the election and the place in which it will be on the ballot. Since many of the parties are restricted to one canton, not all the parties will be represented on each ballot.
2010-09-08, 04:30:27

Arizona law generates mixed feelings here
Although the central government wanted to file a brief against Arizona's new immigration law, responses to a Sunday article in La Nación show that opposition to the law is not uniform here
2010-09-07, 03:32:48

Court rules out road checkpoints
The Sala IV constitutional court told the security ministry that police roadblocks may only be used when there is a suspicion or evidence that a crime has been committed.
2010-09-07, 03:32:16

Book fair has international dimension
Even Hugo Chˆavez, the president of Venezuela, was there, at least in spirit. The Venezuelan Embassy was promoting the literature of the country under smiling posters of the president. This was the only booth that raised a large national flag.
2010-08-31, 05:06:31

Overseas call centers getting bashed in the U.S.
With the United States living through the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression, politicians are making headlines by promoting protectionism and opposing outsourcing to foreign call centers.
2010-08-31, 05:05:47

Expats are battling for rights
The U.S. government estimates that there are 5.26 million American citizens living abroad. These are individuals who are not affiliated with the U.S. government or its military. The estimate of U.S. citizen residents in the Western Hemisphere is 2.2 million. The number is Costa Rica varies depending on who is making the guess. There are expat organizations that say such overseas Americans are second-class citizens.
2010-08-27, 04:32:01

Women’s Equality Day remembered
A READER SAYS: Every year when Aug. 26 is nearing, I feel a tug at my heart. Women’s Equality Day was designated by a joint resolution of Congress in 1971 at the behest of Bella Abzug. It’Äôs easy for me to remember the year because it’Äôs when I moved back to Europ
2010-08-27, 04:31:27

Museum dispute revolves around 2,000 artifacts
The drama that is playing out now as judicial agents confiscate more than 2,000 pre-Columbian artifacts points out the continual tension between private owners and professional archaeologists.
2010-08-26, 04:11:41

New look for historic building
One of San Jose's historic buildings is now equally as dramatic in the evening as in the daytime.
2010-08-25, 03:56:09

Zoning plan might trump concession claims
Long-term struggles over a potential beach concession behind Playa Tortuga near Ojochal on the south Pacific coast are likely for naught once a zoning plan is approved, authorities say.
2010-08-25, 03:55:45

14 cantons hit with heavy rain
The heavy rains that hit late Thursday and Friday have caused flooding in a number of parts of the country. The rains slacked off Sunday, but the emergency commission still has an alert in force for 14 cantons of the country.
2010-08-24, 03:57:04

Reader really likes Hospital Calderˆ„n Guardia
I have lived in Costa Rica for almost 20 years, and I had to use the facility of Hospital Calderˆ„n Guardia only three times, twice in the emergency room and just a few days ago for a four-day stay.
2010-08-24, 03:56:39

Country stars in peace initiative
The country is the star in a disarmament campaign capitalizing on the 60-year-long absence of a military.
2010-08-23, 03:46:49

Country hosts adventure race
Adventure racers from different countries will travel to Costa Rica next week for the first edition of the Costa Rica Adventure Race.
2010-08-23, 03:46:22

The many joys of Costa Rica
Pessimism is a frequent failing of expats when they face the unusual or the frustrating. Still most stay here because Costa Rica has unique benefits.
2010-08-20, 04:07:47

Limˆ„n to celebrate three anniversaries
They were English speakers, Protestants and black. That was enough to make Limˆ„n and its residents close to a separate country in the eyes of many Costa Ricans. Until 1948 black Limˆ„n residents were not permitted to travel to the Central Valley except under special circumstances. But now the tables are turned and residents of the Limˆ„n area will celebrate their differences on the 30th anniversary of the decree that made Aug. 31 El Dˆ‚a del Negro y la Cultura Afro-costarricense.
2010-08-19, 03:53:50

Mom and tot die when bus runs off autopista
An Alajuela-bound bus swerved out of control off the Autopista General Caˆ±as Tuesday, killed a mother and child on the road shoulder and then plunged down a wooded bank into the Rˆ‚o Torres.
2010-08-19, 03:53:35

Tax police on the prowl
Costa Rican tax collectors are in the middle of what they call an aggressive plan of control.
2010-08-18, 03:40:39

San Pedro man among San Andres survivors
A passenger jet with 130 aboard sustained a lightning strike when it was some 200 feet above the airstrip at San Andres, the Colombian island in the Caribbean.
2010-08-18, 03:40:12

Surprise checkpoints snag drivers
Fuerza Pˆ†blica officers set up 94 checkpoints around the country Saturday and Sunday and managed to detain 64 persons.
2010-08-17, 03:43:57

Courts will try to eliminate paper
When one thinks of the Costa Rica court system, the image of mountains of paper leaps to mind. In fact, the courts used 52.5 million sheets of official paper and thousands of reams of plain white paper in 2009
2010-08-17, 03:43:27

Household appliance prices are all over the map
A new consumer sweep in anticipation of el Dˆ‚a de la Madre Sunday shows gigantic variations in prices of similar and identical home appliances. The study also revealed deficiencies in giving consumers correct credit information.
2010-08-16, 04:31:36

New life for historic building
The heritage section of the culture ministry has designated a run down store front in San Josˆ© downtown as the winner of a money prize for restoration.
2010-08-16, 04:31:10

Taxes disguised as security measures
The Chinchilla administration announced officially Wednesday that it is submitting 20 bills to the legislature. The measures relate to security, environment and social welfare. The security measures probably were not what expats were seeking. The administration put forward a tax on casinos and a tax on corporations as its version of a security initiative.
2010-08-13, 03:14:00

Legislature eyes $25 million purchase
The legislature may have $25 million in temporary quarters in Zapote until a new structure is completed at the present complex on Avenida 2.
2010-08-13, 03:13:32

Civil union decision raises lots of questions
The Sala IV constitutional court rejected a referendum over civil unions between individuals of the same sex, but the decision seems to raise significant legal questions.
2010-08-12, 04:15:11

Save the reefs by eating a fish
Lionfish are making a nuisance of themselves by eating everything in sight. The Pacific invader is well established along the Caribbean coast. It uses its broad fins to herd smaller fish to where they may be eaten. But now the species at the top of the food chain might help reverse the lionfish invasion with the help of such weapons as garlic-basil butter.
2010-08-11, 04:37:40

Orosi church gets a makeover
The Catholic church at Orosi which dates from 1743 has been restored with a 40 million-colon contract from a dependency of the culture ministry
2010-08-11, 04:37:13

Sportsfishing group appeals to president
he high seas encounter between a U.S. registered sportsfishing boat and a Venezuelan commercial purse seiner is the third major incident in two years, according to The Billfish Foundation.
2010-08-10, 04:25:02

Possible record hurricane season predicted
The Atlantic Basin remains on track for an active hurricane season, according to the scheduled seasonal outlook update just issued by the Climate Prediction Center, a division of the U.S. National Weather Service. With the season’Äôs peak just around the corner ’Äì late August through October ’Äì the need for preparedness plans is essential, the agency said.
2010-08-10, 04:24:36

Commercial crews bullying sports fishermen
The owner of a Costa Rican sports fishing boat said that a Venezuelan tuna seiner threatened to run down his boat while the commercial fishing boat's helicopter dropped incendiary devices on all sides.
2010-08-09, 04:03:56

Where are all those tourists?
Tourist arrivals are up 9.6 percent for the first half of this year, according to the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo. However, most tourism operators are wondering where the visitors are.
2010-08-06, 05:04:32

Border conflict would affect Costa Rica
The possibility is growing of an armed conflict at the Venezuelan-Colombian border. Such and event will have an economic impact on Costa Rica.
2010-08-05, 04:12:24

Telecom officials told to move on cell phones
The Sala IV constitutional court has given public officials three months to award concessions for cell telephone frequencies.
2010-08-05, 04:11:54

Ocean is being unkind to Isla Palo Seco beach
Recent months have seen the outer shore of Isla Palo Seco near Parrita eroded to the point where waves are lapping at the fences of beach properties.
2010-08-04, 03:40:48

Bridge approach repaired in record time.
Transport contractors managed to open the bridge over the Rˆ‚o Seco Friday night, about 48 hours after the roadway gave way, dumped a tractor-trailer in the river and effectively blocked the Interamericana Norte.
2010-08-03, 05:36:07

Undermined bridge approach cuts key route
The country's bridges seem to be falling apart before the money arrives to fix them. The latest incident is a serious blow to transportation. The Rˆ‚o Seco undermined the approach to a bridge over the Interamericana Norte. The 66-year old bridge still is standing, but the roadway leading to it vanished into the river.
2010-08-02, 03:24:43

Accord reached to make water a constitutional right
The executive branch and all but one political party in the legislature have reached an agreement to elevate water to a constitutional matter.
2010-08-02, 03:24:17

Borders were no barrier to Milanes
While Luis ˆÅngel Milanes, the casino operator and fraud suspect, was a fugitive he appears to have been able to enter and leave Costa Rica at will.
2010-07-30, 05:02:57

The murder suspects among us
Some expats in Nuevo Arenal are having trouble sleeping because they unknowingly befriended the couple who are suspects in a growing list of murders.
2010-07-29, 05:19:38

Put a light on that tower
The large number of towers needed for the three companies that win Costa Rica’Äôs spectrum auction could prove a substantial blight on the scenery, if the Civil Aviation authorities have their way. They require all towers, regardless of distance from airports, to be red and white with blinking lights.
2010-07-29, 05:19:10

Geothermal plant moving along
After an inspection Monday, top officials of the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad said that the Proyecto Las Pailas is 65 percent compete.
2010-07-28, 04:15:20

Researchers interested in more than turtles
A converted pizza joint is the locus for a new research station to study the Playa Tortuga area. The project developers hope to concentrate on the study of the nesting Ridley sea turtles in that area but also promote other biological themes.
2010-07-28, 04:14:49

Panama fugitives caught escaping to Nicaragua
A man and woman sought for investigation of multiple murders in Panamˆ° seem to have spent several weeks in Costa Rica before they tried to flee to Nicaragua Monday morning.
2010-07-28, 04:14:16

Expat petition directed at president
A new expat anti-crime initiative developed over the weekend. The origin is with the anti-crime organization in Dominical with assistance from a similar group in San Ramˆ„n.
2010-07-27, 04:39:03

Milanes says he is close to death
Luis Milanes has warned his creditors that they better accept his offer of 25 cents on the dollar because he is in poor physical shape and likely to die suddenly.
2010-07-27, 04:38:35

Expats helping to organize against crime
Expats and their neighbors are organizing and getting training to frustrate the criminals in their midsts.
2010-07-26, 03:41:17

Police evict 200 squatter families
Police moved in Thursday and evicted about 200 families that had created a community in La Managua de Quepos not far from the Escuela El Estadio.
2010-07-26, 03:40:49

Drug money a factor in exchange rate
one of the hidden factors that influence the rate is the uneven flow of drug money from the north. The bulk of the dollars being smuggled south ends up in Caracas or Panamˆ°, according to a survey or arrests elsewhere. But some ends up in Costa Rica, despite the risks.
2010-07-23, 05:12:51

Immigration rapped over failings
The Contralorˆ‚a de la Repˆ†blica said it found weaknesses in the security of the immigration department's computer systems that jeopardize the integrity of the issuance of cˆ©dulas.
2010-07-23, 05:12:21

Frog species vanish before they are discovered
The first before-and-after view of an amphibian die-off has just been published by scientists working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panamˆ° and the University of Maryland.
2010-07-22, 03:30:48

Unique cemetery found in Tres Rios
The Museo Nacional has a major archaeological find on its hands in Tres Rios.
2010-07-22, 03:30:22

U.S. Navy ship will visit on humanitarian mission
One of the U.S. Navy vessels to take advantage of Costa Rica's approval of its visit is the USS Iwo Jima.
2010-07-21, 03:47:00

No official action on Osa beach squatters
A deadline has passed for the removal of squatters occupying public beaches and private property in Ojochal, with no action by authorities to evict them. Beach zones at various places in the Osa municipality have been occupied for some time.
2010-07-21, 03:46:30

An opportunity to steal
The intention of the alimony and child support laws is to provide a source of income for children, spouses, and the elderly. The law also covers cases where people are incapable of working due to illness or a handicap. However, this law, too, has been in some many cases been distorted into a way to steal from another.
2010-07-20, 02:30:54

Indulgences promoted in Cartago
Those who participate in the pilgrimage to the Cartago Basilica got an incentive Sunday.
2010-07-20, 02:30:07

New trash law affects everyone
A new law covering trash and other solid waste is far reaching and covers producers of garbage right down to the housewife making salad.
2010-07-19, 02:11:40

Colombian banking giant buys BAC from GE
GE Capital Global Banking announced Thursday that it has reached a definitive agreement to sell BAC Credomatic GECF Inc. to Grupo Aval, Colombia’Äôs largest banking holding group, for $1.9 billion.
2010-07-19, 02:10:55

This year will be a wet one, weather experts say
The Pacific coast and the Central Valley could be in for a rainy year, thanks to La Niˆ±a, the weather phenomenon in the western ocean. The Instituto Meteorolˆ„gico Nacional is predicting rain from 20 to 45 percent above average this year along the Pacific coast. However, the Caribbean will see somewhat less than the annual average, said the institute.
2010-07-16, 03:27:22

Call it miracle grass
A grass from India is on the way to providing miracle solutions for many tropical agricultural and environmental problems, according to researchers in Australia and Southeast Asia. Vetiver can stabilize land against erosion, clean water, absorb heavy metals, and provide fodder.
2010-07-16, 03:26:49

Caja does not want paper
The Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social is putting all of its 84,000 employers on the Web. The paper documents on which employers report salaries paid are being eliminated as of August.
2010-07-15, 06:11:24

Amazon storm killed 500,000 trees, study says
A single, huge, violent storm that swept across the whole Amazon forest in 2005 killed half a billion trees, a new study shows.
2010-07-15, 06:10:01

Is social media just a craze?
The future of so-called social media still is uncertain. Will instant access to others continue to be valued highly or will social media collapse like the citizen band radio craze of the early 1970s.
2010-07-14, 03:51:19

Breakthrough suggested in earthquake prediction
A Costa Rican who is a geologist in Italy has developed a way he says predicts earthquakes. He will present his concept by video in Costa Rica Tuesday.

http://www.amcostarica.com/071210.htm#31
2010-07-13, 04:59:46

The true story about the U.S. troops
An Irish mystic announced that 7,000 U.S. troops are being sent to Costa Rica because the gulf oil spill is lubricating a Caribbean earthquake zone with potential devastating results.
2010-07-12, 02:39:50

Can you speak pachuco?
Most people think English is Costa Rica’Äôs second language, but surprisingly that is not the case. In Costa Rica, the word pachuco refers to a person who has manners that are socially unacceptable and often uses shocking language when speaking. Pachuco is also a pejorative name given to certain colloquial words and expressions. Some consider pachuco and its pachuquˆ‚smos to be Costa Rica’Äôs second language.
2010-07-12, 02:39:23

Bilingual individuals think better, study said
Bilingual individuals appear to think faster and more efficiently due to a different form of cerebral control.
2010-07-09, 03:33:02

No blockages on Rˆ‚o Sucio
Scientists concerned about a change in the water color of the Rˆ‚o Sucio flew over the watershed Wednesday and determined that there are no blockages in the river that could cause a flash flood later.
2010-07-09, 03:32:27

Anti-American sentiment stoked
The legislature's approval of shore leave for U.S. Navy and Coast Guard crews has galvanized the left and stoked anti-American sentiment.
2010-07-08, 03:18:09

Environmental tribunal reports 13 more Osa cases
The Tribunal Ambiental Administrativo says it has uncovered 13 more cases of environmental damage in Osa, and that brings the number of open cases to 60.
2010-07-08, 03:17:42

New study shows sportfishing big tourism sector
Tourism is Costa Rica’Äôs top industry and new research shows North Americans traveling there in 2008 to fish generated $599 million or about 2 percent of Costa Rica’Äôs gross domestic product.
2010-07-07, 04:00:42

Backpack searches reinstituted after principal shot
Like after many other school crimes elsewhere, the shooting of a school director Thursday has produced a lot of hand wringing.
2010-07-07, 04:00:07

Companies need to use their marketing options
Businesses, including hotels, real estate agencies, tour operators and developers, to name a few, need to plan their long-term Internet strategies today. Social media is transforming the world dramatically, and a simple Web site is just not good enough anymore.
2010-07-06, 03:47:23

Big turnout for July 4 picnic
The annual July 4th picnic east of San Josˆ© brought an estimated 3,000 persons to the Cervercerˆ‚a Costa Rica picnic grounds Sunday, and the weather cooperated.
2010-07-06, 03:46:55

Cops will welcome tourists
Bilingual tourist police are being stationed at Juan Santamarˆ‚a airport to welcome tourists and give them some security tips.
2010-07-05, 03:10:41

The river becomes a puzzle
Scientists have a puzzle on their hands. Why did the normally yellow water of the Rˆ‚o Sucio suddenly turn gray?
2010-07-05, 03:01:16

July 4 Web site is dynamite
Getting to the American Colony Committee July 4th bash Sunday is easier, thanks to a dynamite Web site.
2010-07-02, 03:41:28

U.N. taps Dall'Anese for Guatemalan post
The United Nations secretary general tapped Francisco Dall'Anese Wednesday to direct the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala. Dall'Anese is Costa Rica's chief prosecutor, and the appointment means he will go to Guatemala and leave his job here.
2010-07-02, 03:41:01

Public opinion redefines rights every day
The Sala IV constitutional court Tuesday threw out a challenge to a proposed referendum on civil unions. The Defensorˆ‚a de los Habitantes had argued that the proposed referendum is contrary to human dignity and violates the Costa Rican Constitution.
2010-07-01, 04:18:51

Uncle sam's jacking up the fees
Getting a document notarized at the U.S. consulate in Pavas will cost $50 starting July 13, a 66 percent increase over the current $30 fee.
2010-06-30, 05:06:35

White tailed deer and a national bird
The Correos de Costa Rica has come out with a new issue of stamps featuring the yigˆºirro and the white-tailed deer. These are national symbols that the postal department said it wanted to bring to the attention of the public.
2010-06-30, 05:06:06

Milanes hearing is Thursday
The Luis Milanes cases finally reaches a courtroom Thursday, the day a preliminary hearing is scheduled.
2010-06-29, 04:16:04

Defensorˆ‚a files appeal against civil union vote
Defensorˆ‚a files appeal against civil union vote

The Defensorˆ‚a de los Habitantes filed a constitutional appeal Thursday to derail a proposed referendum on civil unions between persons of the same sex.
2010-06-28, 03:38:43

New salaries are slight boost for low earners
Workers getting lower wages will get a slight boost when the new minimum salaries take effect July 1. The Consejo Nacional de Salarios approved Wednesday a 4.2 increase for the lowest three levels of workers.
2010-06-25, 03:52:44

Legality was key to Villalobos decision
An attempt by Canadians to get back money lost in the Villalobos Brothers high interest scheme failed mainly because an international arbitration panel did not think the case involved legal investments.
2010-06-25, 03:52:10

President defends administration on all the right spots
President Laura Chinchilla has turned to the social networks to tell Costa Ricans about her successes in the first 45 days in office and also to counter opinions that her administration is overwhelmed by problems.
2010-06-23, 03:52:35

Online solicitation in U.S. could solve sex tourism problem here
Social media like Facebook and Myspace, among others, have officially overtaken pornography as the No. 1 activity on the Web. Obviously, people have not lost an interest in sex, but clearly the marketplace is moving, growing and operating with relative impunity in the United States via social networks.
2010-06-22, 03:33:35

Car thefts reported to be down
The head of the judicial police said Thursday that vehicle thefts have dropped from the monthly high of 226 in 2009 to 133 in May. That is a decline of nearly 100 vehicles a month, said the police director, Jorge Rojas.
2010-06-21, 03:59:45

How about some baby iguana?
An iguana captive breeding program at the Kˆ®kˆ�ldi Wak ka koneke indigenous center has released over 36,000 green iguanas into the wild in its 22-year history, says Duaro Mayorga, one of the group’Äôs members in charge of the operation.
2010-06-18, 03:57:15

Two faces of competitivity:abstract and concrete
There were two developments in the area of competitivity Tuesday. President Laura Chinchilla invited business leaders to discuss with her administration the challenges of competitivity with the goal of making Costa Rica the first developed nation in Latin America. Meanwhile, in an appeals courtroom judges declined to lift a ban on the open pit gold mine in Cutris de San Carlos because a lower court had not issued a final ruling.
2010-06-17, 03:59:13

Counting big cats in the Osa
Research on big cats in the Osa Peninsula is not limited to the large protected areas which are the last strongholds of jaguar in Costa Rica. Areas outside Parque Nacional Corcovado are the focus of Yaguarˆ°, which studies use of altered habitats and the interaction of jaguars and pumas with human activities.
2010-06-16, 04:08:53

Protesters get action from government
Rural residents in Cartago found out Monday how to get public works started. They blocked bridges in their area and then marched, 100 persons strong, down a main highway to Casa Presidencial.
2010-06-16, 04:08:24

The unpopular people
Academics describe them as unpopular people involved in an unpopular business. Taxi drivers who see new arrivals to San Josˆ© staring at the elegant and obviously available figures on the corner are quick to break the mood with Hey, they're guys!
2010-06-15, 04:35:19

A portrait of poverty in paradise
Under an afternoon rain Thursday Alejandro Martˆ‚nez Coronado came to the legislative complex looking for work in construction. He went to the former Edificio Daniel Oduber Quirˆ„s, which is being demolished to make way for a parking lot.
2010-06-14, 03:22:59

The nails make the woman
Nail art is not exclusively Latin, but Central and South American women are known for their devotion to beauty.
2010-06-11, 03:24:37

Prostitutes say immigration hosts trafficking ring
The security ministry, which seeks to fight human trafficking, seems to harbor ’Äî unknown to officials ’Äî a trafficking ring of its own.
2010-06-09, 03:50:23

Skateboarders to have their day
More than 1,000 skateboarders are expected to take to the San Josˆ© streets June 20 to celebrate the international day of their sport.
2010-06-09, 03:49:44

Social networking can ravage country's image
Internet social networking accelerates life in the 21st century. It also proposes challenges to everyone doing business in Costa Rica.
2010-06-08, 04:03:55

Chinchilla administration moves against sex tourism
The central government wants to jail anyone who promotes Costa Rica as sex tourism destination. That is part of a lengthy proposal for a trafficking-in-persons law that Casa Presidencial has kept on ice for more than a year but authorized its publication in the La Gaceta official newspaper Thursday.
2010-06-07, 03:23:30

Tropical waves continue to roll in
Tropical waves, which have been an abstract meteorological concept, became all too real for the central Pacific coast.
2010-06-07, 03:23:02

Unexpected storm ravages coast
Just four days after the weather system that would become the deadly tropical storm Agatha moved north, a surprise storm with high winds struck much of the near Pacific coast from Golfito to Jacˆ„. One fisherman is missing, thousands were without power, and Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio is closed through the weekend because of fallen trees and damage to trails. Internet and phone lines were down, too.
2010-06-04, 03:55:56

How about those Latin soap operas?
A telenovela or novela is a Spanish language soap opera. Telenovelas seem to be the opiate of the masses in Latin America.
2010-06-04, 03:55:23

Sala IV takes on credit reporting data bases
The Sala IV constitutional court has determined that the addresses of individuals, their telephone numbers and their photos are private and ordered a credit reporting company to eliminate the information from its data bases.
2010-06-03, 03:50:24

Young eco designers gather at Lincoln School
High school students from around Costa Rica met last weekend at Eco3, the third annual environmental awareness conference at Lincoln School north of San Josˆ©. The best ideas will earn a $500 grant to be put into practice.
2010-06-03, 03:49:55

Shaken, not stirred
Another earthquake rocked Costa Ricans Monday night, the latest in a series of tremors.
2010-06-02, 04:00:46

Explosion preceded earthquake
The last thing Costa Rica needs now is another erupting volcano. Poˆ°s, Arenal, Irazˆ† and Turrialba are misbehaving daily, and residents in the northern zone thought that the Tenorio volcano joined in last week.
2010-06-01, 03:33:34

Reader's guide to Internet statistics
A.M. Costa Rica continues to improve in its Internet rankings. The Amazon subsidiary Alexa said Sunday that the newspaper now had a world ranking of 85,012 and a ranking the United States of 37,979.
2010-06-01, 03:33:08

Experts begin to assess storm damage
Engineers and technicians from the emergency commission and other agencies went to work Thursday to evaluate the damage caused by heavy rains that ravaged the Pacific coast.
2010-05-31, 03:27:46

Expat seeks to protect Arenal from pollution
A local expat’Äôs efforts to prevent contamination in Lake Arenal have taken him to many government offices with little to show for it. The expat, Al Almeida, is concerned that once the lake is dirtied with human waste, it will no longer be the focal point for recreation it is now.
2010-05-31, 03:26:50

Building homes for the fishes
Costa Rica has no aircraft carriers to sink to help the ocean environment, but the Playa Hermosa Association in Guanacaste constructed 12 igloos just offshore using the building blocks.
2010-05-28, 03:37:20

A wish list for expats
At the start of a new administration everyone has a wish list. Here are some suggestions for President Laura Chinchilla Miranda that would be helpful to expats, if accepted.
2010-05-27, 04:16:26

Crocodile killings are a shocker
The execution of two crocodiles shocked television viewers Monday. Residents of a Guanacaste community burned one reptile alive as revenge for the death of a swimmer.
2010-05-26, 03:41:41

A U.S. teacher reports on her deportation
My deportation from Costa Rica, for a time period of five years, came to me as a rude awakening to the injustice of the immigration system.
2010-05-26, 03:41:17

Expats' tax situations become more complex
There are several types of company structures in Costa Rica. The two most common are the sociedad anˆ„nima and the S.R.L. However, there are only two types of tax statuses, active and inactive. This fact complicates tax filings for expats and is becoming more of a problem every day due to the enforcement of the country's new banking regulations.
2010-05-25, 03:53:13

18 days to go for the World Cup matches
With the World Cup just 18 days away the interest in soccer here is really heating up. The Cup is contested every four years and is the Super Bowl of soccer. This year’Äôs edition of the cup will be held in South Africa. Retirees in Costa Rica are bound to become interested in soccer or fˆ†tbol as it is called in the Spanish-speaking world. The game is almost a religion.
2010-05-25, 03:52:24

Costa Rica wins arbitration case
An effort by mainly Canadian Villalobos creditors to get money from Costa Rica has failed. A group of investors brought Costa Rica into arbitration under a treaty that exists between the two countries. The group claimed that Costa Rica did not exercise sufficient oversight to prevent Luis Enrique and Oswaldo Villalobos from taking their money.
2010-05-24, 03:43:58

Traffic law changes back to square one
The draconian traffic law will not be changed easily, even though the former group of legislative deputies appeared ready to pass it.
2010-05-21, 03:20:59

Just how do they compute that gas price anyway?
Gasoline in Costa Rica seem to vary without too much attention to international crude prices, but there is actually a clear system for setting prices at the pump.
2010-05-21, 03:20:32

Domestic violence laws fracture families
Domestic violence is real and women and men get hurt. Some even die horrible deaths at the hands of an aggressor. But, what has happened in Costa Rica is that a spouse that really wants to hurt his mate in many cases ends up doing it anyway. The law does not work when it should. The reality of the law is that women use it to humiliate and extort from men, meaning it works when it should not. This thesis is based on observation of a number of such cases.
2010-05-11, 03:18:4

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