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(506) 2223-1327                                  San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Aug. 22, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 166                        Email us
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Government acts quickly to safeguard anthem
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A Swedish television show upset officials in Costa Rica because the producers used the Costa Rican national anthem as background music.

The foreign ministry blasted off a note of protest to the Swedish Embassy in Guatemala Wednesday. Now the producers of the show, called "Parlament”  on the country's television channel 4, have said they will find other music, said the ministry Thursday.

The Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto here never did say how employees there found out about the music, called the  "Himno Nacional de Costa Rica." They did say the use on a weekly comedy and parody show was disrespectful.

The protest even involved the Costa Rican ambassador to Norway, Manuel Barrantes, who also serves as ambassador to Sweden.

Apparently the producers of the television
show did not know the origin of the music. Legally the music is in the public domain because it was composed in 1853. The music is HERE!

Another group of U.S. tourists victims of thefts
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A group of tourists from the United States were victims of a theft Monday morning at the La Posada Hotel in Hacienda Pinilla, confirmed the hotel's general manager Jorge Varela. He said that the hotel reimbursed the five guests of the cash that was taken from their rooms.

Varela said he was hesitant to release any more information as the case was still under investigation. The group was transferred to the neighboring JW Marriott in Guanacaste. A representative from the Judicial Investigating Organization said
investigators are still looking into the case and that no arrests have yet been made.

Hacienda Pinilla is a 4,500-acre luxury beach property in Guanacaste just south of Tamarindo with a golf course, real estate opportunities, and villas. Just weeks ago, 11 rooms at the Hotel Barceló in Playa Tambor were burglarized as Costa Rican customers lost cash, electronic devices, and purses.

Leaders from the tourism chamber said they found those burglaries surprising because of the hotel's tight security and said investigators were considering that it could have been an inside job.

Customs agency will tighten oversight on imports
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The customs agency is moving to tighten up evasion on import duties.

The Servicio Nacional de Aduanas reported Thursday that the first step will be the creation of a detailed data base that will provide an estimated value on a multitude of goods.

Importers have a number of tricks to reduce the duty assessed on goods. One of these is simply lying about the value of merchandise. The agency
 said that it would be flagging merchandise when there is a reasonable doubt that the declared value is correct.

Several expats have gone so far as to create U.S. companies with names similar to major vendors.

Then they simply create new invoices from the sound-alike firm that shows a much lower value than is correct on goods being shipped to Costa Rica..

The Aduanas effort also will involve additional training of customs employees, the agency said.


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