A.M. Costa Rica
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San José, Costa Rica            Published Tuesday,  February 27, 2018             Vol. 18,  No.227

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Oscar Vargas clinic

Ombudsman office asks intelligence services
to be declared unconstitutional

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Ombudsman's Office filed an unconstitutionality appeal against the Directorate of Intelligence and Security, known as DIS, before the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court because in, its opinion, the institution carries out unconstitutional actions.

The appeal was filed directly against several articles of the General Law of Police.

"The articles on the DIS are deficient and suffer from gaps in terms of guarantees to the rights of the people that could put the human rights of the population at risk, and it is not in accordance with the highest standards of protection to the rights of the people," according to a press statement.

The office says the law does not precisely define the range of action of the agency, so it creates legal uncertainty, putting at risk the principle of legality and division of powers. It could also interfere in investigations entrusted to the judiciary, it said.

In addition, the ombudsman says the DIS has gone far beyond its functions. For example, interventions in the detection of suspected illegal water connections or leadership in emergency care situations such as the one that took place during Hurricane Otto in November, 2017.

The ombudsman says these powers should fall to other institutions that have direct jurisdiction over them and not to an organization which the President of the Republic, Luis Guillermo Solís, says is "merely informative and linked to national security issues."

"There is great confusion and public ignorance about the activities of the DIS. Intelligence is necessary for any police, mainly to face the enormous security challenges that the country has, and it is essential not to deviate efforts in a diffuse organization with no controls,” said Montserrat Solano, current ombudsman of the country.

ItelligencePolice022718.jpgDirección de Inteligencia y Seguridad courtesy photo    
Monserrat Solano, the country's Ombudsman has reminded magistrates that intelligence services in the world have been used for improper purposes.

Finally, the office reminded the constitutional magistrates that, historically, intelligence services around the world have been responsible for severe violations of human rights and, by virtue of those abuses, international standards have been established to control their actions. These controls are absent in the articles of the Police Law that regulates DIS, it said.

Constitutional chamber orders the release
of the names of bus company stockholders

By A.M. Costa Rica staff   

The Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court ordered the Public Transportation Council  to publish the list of shareholders of all bus concession companies.

The council had denied legislator Marlene Madrigal the information by invoking the right to privacy and informative self-determination of the shareholders.

In spite of that, the magistrates determined that this decision is part of an exception and that the principle of transparency must prevail in order to assure the public of the adequate provision of the public service.

"For many years we have requested this information, because it is the only way to determine if a few companies have taken over, irregularly, many routes in the country. Regrettably, the CTP has acted as the protector of the entrepreneurs. Now, the constitutional chamber rules in our favor and we hope soon to have the data and establish the next steps to follow," said the legislator of the Citizen Action Party.

The legislator said the list of shareholders is crucial to determine if the legal obligation to avoid the concentration of bus lines in few hands has been breached. The obligation was established in Article 11 of the Law Regulating the Remunerated Transportation of Persons in Motor Vehicles.
A.M. Costa Rica archive photo  
The ruling would allow the authorities to verify that transportation services are not concentrated in a few hands.

The resolution says that the information requested by the legislator constitutes information of public interest since it is intended to verify compliance with the law, in order to guarantee the adequate provision of a public service, such as bus transportation.

wheater122017.jpg Airports012818.jpg




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A.M. Costa Rica: Second news page

San José, Costa Rica         Published Tuesday,  February 27, 2018         Vol. 18, No. 227
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Costa Rica holds convention on human rights
for private defense and security companies

By AM Costa Rica staff

Next week Costa Rica will host the first regional meeting of the Montreux Document Forum which seeks to promote respect for international humanitarian law and human rights norms.

One of the objectives is to provide a space for dialogue on the challenges and good practices in the implementation of the Montreux Document at the national level, with a specific focus on the region. The meeting will be March 6 and 7.

In addition, the doctrine aims to undertake an exchange of experiences on the real challenges faced by specialized officials and national legislators when it comes to regulating military and private security companies, as well as the right practices identified in this field.

"It is the first meeting of its kind held in Latin America and the Caribbean, outside its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. It seeks the adoption of measures that contribute to the observance of these obligations by military companies and of private security at a global level,” said Manuel González Costa Rican Foreign Minister.

The event was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica with the collaboration of the co-chairs of the Montreux-Switzerland Document Forum, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the technical support of the Geneva Center for the Democratic Control of Armed forces.

The Montreux Document is an intergovernmental text whose purpose is to promote respect for international humanitarian law and the human rights norms that apply to the actions of military and private security companies.

Currently, 54 nations and three participating international organizations have agreed to adhere to this instrument.

A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo      
The gathering seeks to promote human rights in private military and security companies.

The authorities expect the assistance of political and technical experts from several countries, as well as regional and international organizations and civil society organizations that address issues related to the subject.

According to data provided by the ministry, the private security sector in Latin America and the Caribbean has grown significantly in the last 20 years. Currently, at least 16,174 private security companies operate in the region and have a combined total of 2,450,000 employees.

The military and private security companies in the region, especially in Central America, offer services to extractive industries, protection of critical infrastructures and strategic companies, training services and operational support, as well as participation in collaborative projects in the field of citizen security with the police and other public institutions.

Ferry service between Paquera and Playa Naranjo
will be suspended for 10 days

By AM Costa Rica staff

Beginning today, the public ferry service on the Puntarenas-Playa Naranjo route will be suspended for 10 days.

As reported in the Port Maritime Division of the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation, there will be a replacement of the access ramp to the ferries and other work at the Naranjo Beach terminal during this period.

This work is part of the improvements the transport has been implementing in the ferry terminals of the Gulf of Nicoya in recent years. The work will cost ¢450 million.

The service is expected to resume March 8 at the usual times, starting at 6:30 a.m. from Puntarenas and at 8 a.m. for the first transfer from Playa Naranjo.

A.M. Costa Rica archived photo       
The service will be suspended for 10 days.

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A.M. Costa Rica: Third newspage


San José, Costa Rica       Published Tuesday,  February 27, 2018         Vol. 18, No. 227
Real Estate
About Us
Legislators say they were spied upon
by the National Electricity Institute

By A.M Costa Rica staff

The legislator of the Frente Amplio Party, Jorge Arguedas, denounced alleged espionage by the Costa Rican Electricity Institute, known as ICE, the same day he accused the management of the institution of carrying out a plan to perpetuate themselves in their posts.

The alleged incident took place Feb. 13, when legislators Mario Redondo, Patricia Mora and Arguedas participated in a press conference in which the Internal Front of Workers of the ICE, known as FIT, made the public complaint.

According to the members of the FIT, managers and other officials from ICE tried to appoint themselves to their current post for a longer period of time  through what was called  a governance agreement.

That day, the security cameras of the legislative assembly recorded the arrival of two officials from the research area of ICE along with criminologists, according to Arguedas.

Arguedas recalled that this event was broadcast live through the YouTube channel of the Legislative Assembly, so it was accessible to anyone interested in the subject, making it unnecessary to send representatives of the institution to commit the alleged espionage.

"This is a serious event, where public resources are being allocated to carry out activities allegedly contrary to the legal faculties of ICE," added Arguedas.

“What would be the interest of ICE administration for sending spies to the Legislative Assembly, in a place where lawmakers of the Republic and representatives of the Workers of the ICE were making a complaint about alleged corruption in the said institution?," Arguedas asked.

The legislators and representatives of FIT would take legal actions to halt the impunity, Arguedas explained.

Arguedas also questioned the management of the institution for disobeying an order of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court.

A.M. Costa Rica archive photo       
Jorge Arguedas, a current legislator and former union leader of the National Electricity Institute. 

By the end of 2009, Arguedas could have been the victim of persecution by some officials of the institution. At that time he argued that it was a political and a union action.

The representatives at the time were ordered to abstain from engaging in any future illegal activity, such as granting themselves faculties that the legal system only allows to the judicial authorities and the police.

According to vote through vote 2011006571 of May 20, 2011, "the action violated the constitutional order, because, according to the Constitution, neither the State, nor its institutions, can persecute anyone for any act that does not infringe the law (Article 28). It should also be noted that the Constitution guarantees the right to privacy, which was violated when they followed the plaintiff."









A.M. Costa Rica: Fourth Costa Rica news page

San José, Costa Rica           Published Tuesday,  February 27, 2018         Vol. 18, No. 227
Real Estate
About Us
Fishermen temporarily block the Liberia airport
over licenses stand-off
By A.M. Costa Rica staff

A demonstration called for by different sectors of the fishing industry in Puntarenas kept Route 21 blocked yesterday and obstructed the operations in the Daniel Oduber International Airport, located in Liberia, Guanacaste.

There were additional problems along Routes 23 and 27. In Guanacaste, in the village of Chomes, fishermen also took the roads.

All that happened while representatives of the fishing sector and representatives of the government remained in negotiation.

Among the concerns of the fishermen are the granting of licenses, the issue of the export of hammerhead shark fins, the search for alternatives for the improvement of the economy of the area and sustainable development.

The demonstration began at 8:30 a.m. in Barrio El Carmen.

Mauricio González, the spokesman for the movement, explained that they will not allow the sector to continue to be abandoned.

"There are so many families with so much need and in poverty," he said.

They said authorities make a decision one day and then reverse it with another measure that harms the sector.

"Here we are talking about the national fishing sector. We have been mistreated. The only thing we want is the right to work, we want to dignify fishing," he said.

González added that part of the problem is that trust has been lost.

About 1,600 families live on fishing activities. In the case of artisanal fishing, around 16,000 families depend on it.

"We do not have to talk more or have meetings, what we want are solutions," he said.

"There is disrespect to the workers of the sea," he added.
A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo     
The issuance of licenses that allow fishing hammerhead sharks is one of the hot topics between government and workers of the sea.

The sector pointed out that it is not against achieving a balance between fishing and the environment, but with viable actions. "We are the most interested in a responsible use of the resource," González said.

Luis Felipe Arauz, minister of Agriculture and Livestock and rector of the national fishing sector, said that the demonstration was not justified.

"The government and leaders of the fishing sector have discussed the issues and reached agreements on almost all the points where we had differences," he said.

He added that all that remains is to agree on the legal fishing size of the hammerhead shark.

"Some fishermen want the capture of juvenile hammerhead sharks to be tolerated. The government wants to protect the sharks and allow only the incidental capture of adult specimens. We defend marine resources," Arauz said.

He argued that rather than trying to maintain the livelihood of the fishing families of the present and the future, "We seek the sustainable use of sharks so that they can reproduce. Let's keep the dialogue going."

Supreme Electoral Tribunal orders new ballots
By A.M. Costa Rica staff

Almost $87,000 will be spent to print the ballots that citizens will use to elect the next president of the republic Sunday, April 1.

As of this Friday, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal said that the printing of the ballots will begin Friday. They will be used in the second round of elections.

Each ballot will be white and 3,322,329 will be printed, one for each voter registered in the electoral roll, the tribunal said.

Each ballot will have two choices On the left will be the candidate of the National Restoration party, and on the right the candidate of the Citizen Action Party.

The tribunal also said that that members of the police, electoral officials and officers of the Special Unit of Intervention will monitor the printing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in order to safeguard the process.

The printing will be done by RR Donnelley S.A., which printed the ballots of the first electoral round. The work is expected to be done by March 12.
A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo     
Police take custody of the RR Donnelley S.A. company to safeguard the ballots for the second electoral round.

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Summers102317.jpg U.S. Income Tax Services
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San José, Costa Rica     Published Tuesday,  February 27, 2018     Vol. 18, No.227
Real Estate
About Us

Festival seeks to fight machismo and empower women

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

As a way to fight against machismo and achieve female entrepreneurial empowerment, the organization “Nosotras: Women Connecting” will hold an International Women's Festival at the Antigua Aduana in San José from Thursday through Sunday.

Through talks, conferences, workshops, and laboratories, all free of charge, female micro-entrepreneurs will learn strategies to take advantage of jobs or create job development opportunities among themselves and thus combat the gender gap, an organizer said.

"It is a way to promote leadership among girls, youngsters, and adults, so we are going to bring partners that are outstanding both nationally and internationally. There will also be shelves with topics of interest for entrepreneurs and leaders," explained Marysela Zamora, the organizer of the event.

The main event will be Saturday with up to 1,000 women are expected to attend. In addition, the event will have the participation of the Guatemalan community feminist Lorena Cabnal, the head of the Hands on Lesco program, Carolina Guzmán, the director and founder of Costa Rica Limpia, Mónica Araya, the libertarian legislator of the Legislative Assembly, Natalia Díaz, and the former minister of Health, María Luisa Ávila, among others.

Each of them will have a space to present their life story, the work they did and share with their tips to achieve success with attendees, according to the program.

We: Women Connecting courtesy photo
All activities are free and open to the general public.

Zamora hopes that attendees can find female representation, such as in economic development, political representation, influence in the media and more.

This is the second edition of the event.

All the activities will be free and open to the public. To find the agenda each day those interested can look up the official Facebook page of the event.

Costa Rica: Remarkable Tales from Our Super Vacation Spot
By the staff and contributors at A.M. Costa Rica & James J. Brodell
A.M. Costa Rica celebrates its 16th anniversary with a compilation of classic news reports geared to the needs of foreigners living here and those elsewhere with personal or business interests in this vacation paradise.
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New World Meditation: Focusing Mindfulness Healing Awakening
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Bohemian Road Trip
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Writing a will ? Expecting an inheritance?
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Trapped In The Damas Cave, Costa Rica
A true story by author Dusty Pilot, who lived in Costa Rica for 11 years. Dusty tells his horrifying story of being trapped in the Damas Cave, near Quepos, for 26 hours. The book is available from Amazon in both digital and print format. Digital format will be on sale for $2.99. Visit Amazon to preview or purchase Click Here

The Dark Side of Pura Vida: Murder, Betrayal, Abduction and Revenge in the Vacation Paradise
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Retired baseball player Jack Patterson becomes suspicious after his younger sister dies in a Pacific Ocean rip tide while on vacation in Costa Rica. Jack has to go there to find answers to troubling questions.
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The New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica: The official guide to relocation
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Life is a Tropical Garden
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Make gifts from dollars or colones
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The Trouble with Cash
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Greg and Liz must sell their property in Costa Rica to finance their retirement. They receive an offer for their full asking price of $1million, but it comes with one condition... the payment is to be in cash. They go for it. Things go wrong. The money is stolen.The local police are no help so Greg devises his own plan to get their money back. Buy the book on Amazon. Click Here


San José, Costa Rica     Published Tuesday,  February 27, 2018     Vol. 18, No. 227
Real Estate
About Us
Tico students will spend a year in the U.S. thanks to scholarship

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

Six students from the System of Scientific Colleges of Costa Rica will study one year in a secondary school in the United States, thanks to the AFS-CRUSA scholarships.

This is the seventh time that these scholarships have been awarded as a result of the partnership between the Costa Rica United States Foundation for Cooperation (CRUSA) and AFS Costa Rica, and the support of the U. S. Embassy.

In 2018, these are the six winning students of the AFS-CRUSA 2018 scholarships: Emerson González Cerdas of the Scientific School of Alajuela, Geovanny García Downing of the Scientific High School of Liberia, Daniela Lai Sánchez of the Scientific High School of Limón, Ximena Quesada Castro, also of the Scientific High School of Limón, and Amanda Valdez Calderón and Diana Mejías Hernández, both of the Scientific School of Pérez Zeledón.

Winners met several requirements, such as being in the 10th year, having academic excellence and English language proficiency.

"You will be the Costa Rican ambassadors who will share with your new families and classmates about the beautiful mountainous landscapes that you have here," said U.S. Ambassador Sharon Day. "Tell them about its biodiversity and the great places like San Gerardo de Dota. You will also have the opportunity to improve your English skills. I urge you to continue learning the language and take advantage of other programs that we offer at the embassy."

The minister of Science, Technology and Telecommunications, Carolina Vásquez, pointed out the importance of this type of program for Costa Rican youth since a population with higher knowledge is able to guide society towards the resolution of the problems that affect their well being.

Students will leave for the United States in August and return to Costa Rica in August 2019 to continue their studies in their own schools and graduate with their classmates.

In 2012, the U.S. Embassy started the AFS-Colegios Científicos scholarship program with the objective of supporting students with limited economic resources, academic excellence, leadership skills, a desire to continue studies in science and technology and to promote mutual understanding between Costa Rica and the United States.

US Embassy courtesy photo
The funding of the scholarships comes from an agreement between AFS and the CRUSA foundation.

In December, AFS Costa Rica and the CRUSA Foundation signed an agreement to give continuity to this initiative and awarded a scholarship to five students so that they could live this experience and learn more about the American culture, its people, and traditions.

On average, each scholarship has a value of $15,000 and includes transportation, lodging, food and stipend for personal expenses for one academic year.

AFS is in charge of selecting the scholars, preparing the program and providing support to the students during their stay in the United States and until their return to Costa Rica.

Since 2012 and to date, 20 students of the scientific schools have benefited from these scholarships.

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100' above sea level & one mile to beach. Safe & secure neighborhood. 3 bedroom and one bath, totally remodeled 3 years ago. Adding another bath right now. All new kitchen, windows, tile floors, AC, electrical, plumbing, yard for dogs and most importantly - very low electric, water, taxes and insurance bills. Possible financing. Owner has deposit on another property and needs to sell. $139,900
Call Glenn at (506) 6214-0056




Condominio Monte Donato II, is an unpretentious gated community, offering 44 lots at very accessible prices starting at only $19.995 and a monthly HOA fee of $28.

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CODE 9267-2/28/18

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Business For Sale/Business Opportunities (paid category)


In La Fortuna San Carlos. Price $145,000 USD
Three cabins for sale fully furnished with AC, hot water, micro waves, refrigerators, flat screen TV. three years old.Lot is 22 meters by 49 meters. fenced and gated with private drive.Fish and shrimp pond on property with several tropical plants as well as several fruit trees.Room for more new construction house or cabins. This property is in the country but close to Fortuna central.Cabins advertised on AirBnB. Good income property.
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Londres, near Quepos, is an authentic Tico town just 10 miles east of Quepos, but worlds apart. The government FINALLY paving 616 road, and after 13 years has begun construction of the new High School. 5.77 acres (23,368 M2) of flat and fertile development land and in the heart of this up and coming "suburb" of Quepos. Quepos offers
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Code: 04/16/18

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Costa Rica business news

San José, Costa Rica       Published Tuesday,  February 27, 2018      Vol. 18, No.227
Real Estate
About Us

First public school turns to solar energy
to reduce its electricity bill

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Santa Cecilia Educational Center in Poás de Alajuela has become the first public school in the area to install solar technology to reduce its energy bill.

With this decision, the school of 172 students that serves an isolated rural community, shows students that there are several non-polluting and sustainable energy alternatives, educates students about the environmental care and lessens the lighting costs, officials said.

The photovoltaic system, that began working in January, has eight solar panels and eight micro inverters that generate approximately 300 kwh per month. The project is part of the social responsibility and awareness strategy of the Sunshine energy company.

"Currently, the school spends 190,000 colones per month on electricity. With the installation of these panels the savings are very significant, approximately 80,000 colones. It is the starting point to generate less pollution, and at the same time save money that can be allocated to other areas," said Emilia Rodriguez, director of the school.

A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo
The school has eight solar panels which generate
300 kwh per month.

A.M. Costa Rica news archives
Archived News

Readers who conduct searches of A.M. Costa Rica content have access to back editions archived as a single page (including the news story, photos and old ads). A.M. Costa Rica Archives, provides more than 16 years of archived pages on A.M. Costa Rica.

A.M. Costa Rica users guide

This is a brief users guide to A.M. Costa Rica.

Old pages
Each day someone complains via e-mail that the newspages are from yesterday or the day before. A.M. Costa Rica staffers check every page and every link when the newspaper is made available at 2 a.m. each week day.

So the problem is with the browser in each reader's computer. Particularly when the connection with the server is slow, a computer will look to the latest page in its internal memory and serve up that page.

Readers should refresh the page and, if necessary, dump the cache of their computer, if this problem persists. Readers in Costa Rica have this problem frequently because the local Internet provider has continual problems.

A typical edition will consist of a front page and six other newspages. Each of these pages can be reached by links near the top and bottom of the pages.

Classified pages are updated daily. Employment listings are free, as are listings for accommodations wanted, articles for sale and articles wanted. The tourism page and the real estate sales and real estate rentals are updated daily.

Advertising information
A summary of advertising rates and sizes are available for display and classifieds by contacting a sales executive at (506) 6135-6500 , email:

A.M. Costa Rica makes its monthly statistics available to advertisers and readers. Advertising executives will be happy to provide a summary via email with no questions asked.

Contacting us
Both the main telephone number and the editor's e-mail address are listed on the front page near the date.

Visiting us
Directions to our office and other data, like bank account numbers are on this PAGE.

The daily digest
Editors send out early each morning a summary of the news that is in the newspaper's Web site. Readers can subscribe to the digest HERE!

Digest recipients also can manage their own account via the link that is included each day at the base of their personal digest.

Want to help?
We like news tips. If something is important to you, it also is important to us.

Contact us:
News staff phone: +506-8658-7314 Email:
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Information phone: +506-6314-6638 Email:

Useful links
Today's international flights

- Juan Santamaría, San José airport click here
- Daniel Oduber, Guanacaste airport click here

Foreign English-language Embassies in Costa Rica
Ave Central at Calle 120
Pavas, San José. 920-1200
San Jose, Costa Rica
Call 506 2519-2000
after hours call
506 8863-4895

U.S. embassy logo
Click for Web
British logo
Click for Web
Apartado 815-1007
Edificio Centro Colon
(Piso/floor 11)
San José 506 2258 2025

Oficentro La Sabana
Building 5, Third floor
Box: 351-1007, San José 506 2242-4400
Canadian flag
Click for Web
Dutch flag
Click for Web
Oficentro la Sabana,
P.O.Box 10285-1000
San José 506 2296-1490

Torre Sabana, 8ƒ floor,
Sabana Norte.
Box 4017-1000, San José 506 2290-9091
After hours 506 8381-7968

German flag
Click for Web
Embassy located in Mexico,
Rubén Darío No.55 street, Colonia Polanco , Delegación Miguel Hidalgo CP 110000, México D.F., México
Phone: (0052) 55 1101 2200
Direccion General
de Migracion
main page is HERE!

Appointment to renew
cedulas for residents

900-00-34639 Or click HERE!
Banco de Costa Rica
Community groups
Association of Residents of Costa Rica
Apdo 384-4250
San Ramon de Alajuela, Costa Rica