Vol.18  No. 817  Friday Edition, August 17, 2018
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Government publishes report on
new measures to improve environment

By A.M. Costa Rica staff


President Carlos Alvarado and the minister of Environment and Energy, Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, have informed the public of the most recent goals established in the quest to improve the environment.

The government cited these achievements:

A new directive was signed to promote hydrogen as fuel at the start of the Alvarado government, and next year, the first three electric buses will start carrying passengers.

The president also gave the order to keep access to the Crucitas mine closed to stop the intense, uncontrolled and highly polluting illegal mining. The Environmental Prosecutor's Office is in the process of rendering a verdict to the people who invaded the mines and extracted the gold illegally.

The president signed a law to regulate the consumption of plastic in public institutions. The plastic bags will be replaced by bags of continuous use such as fabric or biodegradable products.

In addition, the extension of the Rincon de la Vieja National Park in the area of the Cordillera de Guanacaste, declared by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as a natural heritage site, was signed. The goals of the park expansion are two-fold, protecting  migratory species and safeguarding watersheds to guarantee water for the future.

The government also declared the Santa Elena Bay in Guanacaste an ecological marine area. This will protect 732 hectares in the ecosystem of the region.

A plan was also approved to expedite the approval of permits given by the Secretary of Environmental Technical Constructions. This plan has approved more than a thousand cases that were pending approval.

"We seek that SETENA can provide an optimal and expeditious service to the user, harmonizing the environmental impact with the productive processes," declared Alvarado last July, when referring to the transformation of the institution. The transformation is expected to positively impact the country's competitiveness indexes. He used the Spanish acronym for the agency.


RinconVieja081718.jpg
Casa Presidencial courtesy photo
 
The Rincon de la Vieja park expansion are two-fold, protecting  migratory species and safeguarding watersheds to guarantee water for the future.


In other actions of immediate impact, the plan for the safe reopening of the Poás Volcano National Park has been designed and is expected to have a positive impact for this area which attracts a great many tourists. The park had been closed since April 2017 due to intense volcanic activity.  Local commerce has suffered.

Reopening the park has included training sessions with officials, neighboring communities and tour operators, reconstruction of trails, placement of security signs, construction of shelters for possible emergencies, and acquisition of gas measurement sensors in real time, all within the framework of a model of security management unique in the region.

Finally, the Environment Fund increased the amount allocated to Costa Rica, from $8 to $ 12 million for the next four years. This increase will help the country to develop more plans to increase environmental protection, officials said.



Mexico captures 2 men suspected of drug
trafficking with links in Costa Rica

By A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Secretariat of the Navy of Mexico arrested 2 alleged members of the Sinaloa Cartel with links to Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador and Guatemala.

The two subjects are identified as Jesús Alberto and Hugo Alberto and were captured last Tuesday in a joint operation with the Federal Police and the Attorney General of the Mexico.

The first of the suspects was arrested in the city of Mexicali (Baja California). Two houses linked to the suspect were raided and 17 cars and a boat were found.

The second of the suspects was arrested in a luxurious house located on Isla de la Piedra in Mazatlan, Sinaloa. On the site, the subject had 300 grams of methamphetamine, 100 more of synthetic drug, a digital scale, a quad and 8 cell phones. Additionally, 2 more buildings were raided in that Mexican Pacific city.

"The detainees are not considered within the 122 priority objectives of the Federal Government. However, they are likely members of an international criminal organization, with a presence in the state of Sinaloa and ramifications in the countries of Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Costa Rica, which sent the drug via sea to the coast of Sinaloa, continuing via land and / or air to the United States of America," Semar was quoted in a statement released Thursday.

According to the Mexican authorities, the police of those countries participated in investigative actions with presumed members of the organization.

"The arrest of the two suspects significantly impacts the international structure of the criminal group they led, as well as the criminal organization to which they supplied narcotics," said the Mexican authority.

According to the reports of the Judicial Investigation Agency, the presence of Mexican drug traffickers in not new territory.

Last May, in multiple raids conducted in Escazú and Alajuela, the Judicial Investigation Agency detained 7 Mexicans suspected of forming a group dedicated to mobilizing drugs -by the land route- to North America.


MarinaMexico081718.jpgSEMAR courtesy photo    

The Secretariat of the Navy of Mexico is a member of the federal executive cabinet with responsibility for managing the country's navy and marine forces.


According to the report, the suspects had two companies incorporated in Costa Rica, and the foreigners used the export of leather products as a screen to transport the cocaine in a hidden system in the tires of the trucks that covered routes to Mexico and the United States.

In rented warehouses, the suspects put metal plates on the wheels of the trucks so that the packages were hidden and covered by the metal object. To confuse officers, they introduced legal merchandise (leather and plaster products) inside the containers.

It is believed that the group started operating in the country in mid-2017, because that date coincides with the first income of the suspects and the formation of the companies in the national territory.



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