Uruguay, Costa Rica and Argentina
lead the Latin American telecom market
By AM Costa Rica staff
BuddeComm recently launched an exclusive telecommunications maturity index that analyzes the broadband, mobile and fixed lines of a country as well as a range of economic parameters to rank it from a scale of 1 to 100 and compare it to its region.
The Latin America index is now available and reveals the market leaders, the challengers and the developing ones.
Market leaders: Uruguay is the top-ranking country in Latin America with a telecoms maturity index score of 63, followed by Costa Rica at 55, Argentina at 52 and Brazil at 50.
Uruguay is one of the few Latin American countries where the local fixed-line market is neither privatized nor liberalized.
Antel, the state-owned provider, has a monopoly in the provision of local telephony and fixed broadband services.
Other segments of the telecom market have been opened to competition, including international long-distance telephony, mobile telephony, and fixed-wireless broadband.
Uruguay has the second highest fixed-line teledensity in Latin America after Costa Rica, and the second highest mobile penetration after Panama.
Uruguay is also one of the regional leaders in other key indicators, such as computers per household and internet access.
What the index developers call the top two market challengers are Mexico with a score of 40 and Peru at 33. , said the index.
Despite liberalization efforts, Mexico's telecoms market has remained highly concentrated.
The fixed line sector is dominated by the formerly government-owned incumbent, Mexico Telmex, while the mobile market is dominated by Telmex's sister company Telcel, which Telmex spun off in 2001.
The market share held by these operators is declining as telecoms reform measures take root.
The top two developing markets were given as Paraguay at 21 and El Salvador at 20, said the index.
The Latin America market report showcases the telecommunications maturity index for all Latin American countries providing a unique perspective on the region.
Paraguay has considerable potential for telecom market growth, given that the country has the third lowest fixed-line teledensity in South America and the Caribbean, with the lowest gross domestic product per capita.
In general terms, most countries in Latin America have poor fixed-line infrastructure being generally lower than in Europe but above those found in Africa and parts of Asia.
Although it can be effective in the major cities, in many semi-urban and rural areas it is woefully inadequate.
This state of play has helped the development of mobile voice and broadband services.
With regards to 5G the main operators are unlikely to introduce services until 2021 or 2022.
Countries in the region have generally been a step behind the U.S. and key European markets in adopting new mobile technologies.
The importance of having an Afro-feminist
activist in Costa Rica's government
By A.M. Costa Rica staff
Epsy Campbell Barr made history as the first black female vice president to be elected in Costa Rica and in all of Latin America. Following the vote, her sister, Shirley Campbell Barr, reflected in the significance of a woman being present in government in an email exchange with a Global Voices' editor. Below is an edited and translated version of that email, published with Shirley Campbell Barr's permission.
Now that the presidential race in Costa Rica has ended and the media frenzy has died down, it is worthwhile to go beyond the headlines and examine what makes Epsy Campbell's election as vice president such an important hallmark in the political life of the country and the region .
Epsy's win was a reason to celebrate for many communities of African descent throughout the Americas. In Costa Rica, the significance of their choice was not really explored in depth at the time of the vote, becoming a topic of discussion rather belatedly. Nevertheless, her rise was the result of the continuous work she undertook within and on behalf of communities of Afro-descendant people, especially women.
Epsy's arrival to the political scene took place in a country with a great democratic tradition, one of the oldest and most stable in Latin America but at a moment when another candidate running for office threatened to erase years of democratic progress.
The first article in Constitution of the Republic of which Epsy is now vice president may recognize Costa Rica as a multiethnic and pluricultural republic, but that is only a recent development (the previous government amended the text). Costa Rica is a country that has presented and continues to present itself as white, the whitest of the Central American region, and that has made the full recognition of its multiculturalism and diversity difficult.
Thus, in Costa Rica, there are several unresolved issues affecting minorities, such as those related to representation and visibility. Even with a national policy against xenophobia, everyday racism, largely related to educational programs and social interactions in school, remains a problem.
There is a long way to go, for example, in terms of recognizing how people of African descent participated throughout Costa Rica's history and helped shape its national identity. The school curriculum is supposed to address these issues, but current didactic material is scarce. In addition, continuous awareness building and training for teaching staff are needed. Intentions may be good, but without concrete plans and measurable results it is difficult to make achievements in the mid- and long-term. This training is necessary because, in many cases, teachers continue to reproduce the stereotypes that limit the possibilities of true intercultural education.
Everyday racism manifests itself in a series of stereotypes about the Afro-Costa Rican population and the areas of the country where there is a concentration of people of African descent, such as Limón province, which is often associated with violence and drug trafficking.
For more representativeness in feminism and social justice activism
I think the core element of Epsy's political activity, in light of the deep mistrust that exists between people and their governmental representatives, is that she remains very attached to her work as an activist and to her own personal experience. Her party certainly capitalizes on her image and the number of people in the sectors she represents.
However, the fact that it is one of the people's elected political representatives crystallizes the long-standing struggle for Afro-descendant presence in decision-making circles.
For this community, Epsy represents an Afro-descendant consciousness. People of African descent in the Americas know-how because of their participation in Costa Rica's partisan politics, but because of their work for the rights of the region's Afro-descendant population. Along with several other leaders, Epsy has contributed much to the idea of a black Latin American movement and also a black and Latin American feminist movement.
On that last issue, the struggle has been internal, confronting white feminists' resistance when raising issues pertaining to black women. The Latin American feminist movement, like that of other regions, has been rocked by the need to question its precepts in order to incorporate, or at least to consider, the existence of other types of feminism.
The mobilization of black women in the region has brought with it the need to understand that women are not homogeneous. On the contrary, the historical and social conditions of black women undermine the foundations of a movement envisaged according to the same colonial logic that excludes those considered to be the "other."
A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo
Epsy Campbell Barr, foreign minister
and vice-president of Costa Rica.
If they do not count us, we do not exist
Currently in most of our countries, the political representation of people of African descent is very limited. Afro-descendant communities continue to have lower health and education indices and face major obstacles in accessing acceptable levels of education and health. Therefore, in order to make a tangible difference, it has been vitally important to understand ourselves as a movement, and not only to Costa Rican one, but also one that operates at a Latin American and global level.
One part of the struggle is the presence of Afro-descendant communities in the census. I had the opportunity to work with a group campaigning to incorporate a question about ethnicity in official surveys of population. The process included collaboration with other experts of African descent in several Latin American countries. It's been hard work, and it's not over. Some countries still do not include this question because the responsible agencies refuse to recognize the importance of quantification.
If they do not count, we do not exist.
We know this because, until now, people of African descent have not had a voice in decision-making institutions when these institutions proclaim what's happening in our own communities. We are not a priority when policies meant to deal with these populations in an adequate manner are formulated.
Only with representation of people from these communities will it be possible to implement coherent public policies and affirmative actions that gradually dismantle inequalities that have existed for centuries.
A growing movement.
In these elections, we fought to protect the fundamental rights upon which we have built this country. One of the winning candidates in the first round of the presidential vote was an evangelical Christian pastor and singer whose campaign was based on the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) community. He also promised to transform the National Institute of Women into the "National Institute of Family," a very concerning prospect in a country where femicides reach alarming figures.
Although we understand that Epsy is vice president of a small country like Costa Rica, I still think it is a significant fact. It is a step, an example, and an impetus. While Marielle Franco was assassinated in Brazil for being a black, feminist and dissenting voice in politics, Epsy Campbell, a recognized leader of the Afro-Latin American movement, was elected vice president in Costa Rica.
Epsy represents a movement that is growing. People of African descent in Colombia, Brazil, Perú, Ecuador, Uruguay and other countries feel represented. And not because she represents them directly. (After all, she is only the vice president of Costa Rica). It's because representativeness matters. Seeing a black woman who comes from this community, and is active in it, is very important.
This article first appeared in globalvoices.org
Piano Festival will gather international
teachers in its fifth edition
By A.M. Costa Rica
The Costa Rica Piano Festival will be held for the fifth time in the country as of Monday to July 21 and will have the participation of internationally recognized pianists as well as national performers.
It is an initiative in which for several years, its founder and executive director, Lanzo Luconi thought that young students would share with national and international teachers and thus, encourage musical exchange.
This edition will be attended by
international pianists from Russia and the United
Among them, the founder and partner
of Bakitone International, the agency dedicated to
promoting the most important classical music
competitions around the world.
He is Sergey Kuznetsov, who studied at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow.
American musician Sean Kennard will also be part of the meeting, who at his 33 years has been recognized for winning several international competitions such as the National Chopin Piano Competition.
He studied with the Russian pianist Boris Berman, a renowned international professor, who has been a teacher in some of the best music schools in the world, such as the universities of Indiana, Boston, Brandeis and Tel-Aviv or Yale University.
Another well known participant is the soloist Vladimir Khomyakov who is also a conductor and musician.
The pianist and composer Nahre Sol, creator of a type of music that combines improvisation, form and traditional western harmony, jazz and minimalism, will also be part of the performers.
A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo
American pianist Sean Kennard will be part of the festival.
Independent workers can now pay their
fees by using credit and debit cards
A.M. Costa Rica staff
A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo
The insurance payment by using credit or debit cards will eventually benefit the whole country.
In addition, independent
workers and voluntary health care insurance
buyers can pay their fees through the 3,660
points of sales that the fund has in the
New contest allows you to make
money while traveling the country
By A.M. Costa Rica staff
A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo
Cabo Blanco Marine research area is one of
the places where the challenges will take place.
Only three teams of all the participants can be winners. The first place team will win $1,000 plus $600 to be donated to any of the parks they visited. The second place team will receive $500, and the third place team will receive $300.
To participate, groups must register on the website: desafio.costaricaporsiempre.org
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Police detained woman for apparent sexual exploitation
By A.M. Costa Rica staff
Judicial agents arrested a 63-year-old woman who is a suspect in the crime of sexual exploitation of third parties.
The detention took place after several months of investigations, surveillance and monitoring, according to a press release issued by the Judicial Investigation Organization.
that the woman
in a massage
An amount of 20,000 colones per hour was charged to clients, according to the judicial report.
Thursday about 2 p.m. the agents raided the place, and woman was arrested. In addition, money, cell phones and evidence for the case was confiscated
As it is usual in these cases, the suspect was sent to the Public Ministry to determine the woman´s legal status.
A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo
The suspect managed a massage parlor service where apparently sexual services took place.