Presidents of Costa Rica and Colombia
met to discuss drug trafficking
By A.M. Costa Rica wire services
President Carlos Alvarado met this week with the president-elect of Colombia, Iván Duque, hours before the inaugural events in Bogotá.
Cooperation in the field of security for the fight against organized crime and drug trafficking, Colombia's successful experiences in public transport and the strengthening of cultural exchanges were the themes that dominated the agenda of the meeting, according to the Presidential House.
Both leaders emphasized the need to deepen and increase cooperation and bilateral assistance for the fight against organized crime and drug trafficking in order to strengthen regional security, the statement said.
In this framework, said Alvarado, a coordination meeting was agreed to between the security ministers of Costa Rica and Colombia for the implementation of these initiatives.
"We talked about the regional challenges, the environment, educational processes and the orange economy under the cultural, environmental and tourism axes," said Duque.
As part of Alvarado's agenda in Bogotá, he met with the Costa Rican police women who participate in the U.N. Verification Mission in Colombia for the implementation of the Peace Accords.
Silvia Álvarez, Hilda Alemán and Leonor Canales are the officers of the Ministry of Public Security who are part of this mission.
Costa Rica is the only country that contributed a delegation composed 100 percent of women.
The president thanked the women the work they do in the Colombian communities and stressed that they are source of pride for our country.
He also had a meeting with the prime minister of Curaçao, Eugene Rhuggnaath, with whom he addressed security issues in the context of the San José treaty for the fight against drug trafficking in the Caribbean, commercial exchange, higher education and cooperation in port development fields.
Ministry of Health says hepatitis A infections
are under control
By A.M. Costa Rica staff
While it is normal for the nation’s
hospitals to treat people for the virus that
that causes hepatitis A, the disease had an odd
pattern this year. The disease is usually
scattered, with cases occurring throughout
the country. But this year the disease appeared
primarily in four specific communities:
Alajuelita, Los Yoses, Tibás and the most recent
case, in Goicoechea, all in the province of San
In addition, it is important that whoever has this disease stay at home during the first 12 days of illness because it is the period with the highest risk of infecting other people. After that, the individual can return to work or school but must be very careful to wash his or her hands carefully, health officials said.
The following are the recommendations that doctors indicate to avoid the spread of hepatitis A:
-Wash hands after going to the toilet, before preparing food, after changing diapers and when coming in contact with feces, blood and other bodily fluids of an infected person.
-Wash food thoroughly before eating, avoid raw or little known meats and fish.
-If you do not have drinking water, chlorinate the water with four drops per liter of water or boil it for 20 minutes.
-Do not buy food in street vendors or of unknown origin.
-Buy packaged foods that have the sanitary registry of the Ministry of Health so as to avoid exposure or increase the risk of getting sick.
-Consume food in places with sanitary permission of operation.
-Keep the house clean.
-Where there has been vomiting or diarrhea of the infected person, care givers should disinfect with chlorinated solutions to neutralize the virus.
Public Water Institute sanctioned for distributing
contaminated water in Valle la Estrella
By A.M. Costa Rica
For the second time, the Constitutional Chamber validated an appeal against the Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers and the Ministry of Health and the Public Services Regulatory Authority for water pollution.
The inhabitants of Valle la Estrella must use filters in their pipes because of the dirt in the water. Polluted water affects schools, businesses and homes. According to the accusation, the area has lacked drinking water for several years.
According to the claim, the people have also had health effects including diarrhea and vomiting. The school canteen cannot work with the piped water, it said.
The drinking water supply system of La Guaria in Valle La Estrella also supplies the communities of Jupiter and Siberia. The pipe system has been administered by the Institute of Aqueducts since April 2014.
The institute presented a document that summarizes the quality of water in the Huetar Caribe Region from Jan. 1 to May 31 to justify its claim that the liquid is potable.
Since August 2017 there have been orders from the Ministry of Health about the situation in the area and subsequent verifications.
The water Institute assured the magistrates that the water consumed by the community is "of potable quality, and there are no records of notifications by health entities about health effects associated with the aqueduct water."
"It is a service that the institution provides complying with the parameters of quality, quantity and continuity. The service is provided in optimal conditions and meets the purity required for human consumption," said the entity.
The Constitutional Chamber, however, did not accept that statement and endorsed the testimonies of the neighbors about water pollution.
The magistrates assured that "it is clear that there are sufficient evidentiary elements" to demonstrate the pollution in the La Guaria water system.
This was based on the testimonies of neighbors about the coffee color, smell and taste of the water, and verified by health inspections. He also recalled that this contamination had happened before.
The Guiding Health Area in Limón conducted inspections last July and verified what was claimed by the neighbors.
According to one of the testimonies, four out of seven days a week the water presents a brown coloration, which makes everyday tasks like washing clothes impossible, since laundry is stained with a color of rust, according to testimony "They should open the water tap for at least 30 minutes, until the color of the water is clearer, a situation that causes a significant increase in the receipt of payment for the service," said the ruling.
"This situation is intolerable, especially considering that, since April 2018, this Chamber was emphatic in ordering that, immediately, a potable water improvement project should be prepared for the water system that supplies the community of La Guaria in Valle La Estrella, Limón, which includes the source, the treatment plant, and the storage and distribution systems, in order to comply with the provisions of the Water Quality Control Regulation," said the ruling.
That is why the people of the village emphasized that "the situation continues the same, with the aggravating circumstance that this entails for the health of the inhabitants of the community of La Guaria, as well as the impact on the development of their daily activities".
Although the Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers sent reports according to confirm that the water is of potable quality, the Chamber said that "the reality is different, as could be established from the inspection carried out on July 6."
"When in doubt and in the face of this clash of technical criteria, the Chamber is in favor of protecting the right to health of the residents of the community of La Guaria, as well as its fundamental right to have an adequate, efficient and safe supply of water,” concluded the decision.
Minister of Tourism reveals plan to increase
By A.M. Costa Rica staff
Maria Amalia Revelo, Costa Rica's minister of Tourism, has revealed her plans to increase tourism to the nation over the next four years. With over 40 years of experience in the airline, tourism and hospitality industry, Revelo has outlined an ambitious agenda to continue placing Costa Rica at the forefront as the most visited destination in Central America.
Among her priorities for the next four years are the promotion of small and medium-sized companies while strengthening the joint work between the public and private sector. Great emphasis will also be on the development of new local destinations and products with a special focus on culture and gastronomy, according to her plan.
"We are a destination that is constantly evolving, able to offer unique experiences to visitors 365 days of the year.
A small but large country not only in its natural richness, but also because of our warm and hospitable people, who will certainly manage to sow in your hearts the desire to return," said Revelo.
With the country's new convention center in full swing, Revelo is determined to position Costa Rica an attractive destination for the meeting and conference industry.
Efforts of attracting new flight routes to the country from North America are also on Revelo's agenda.
"The North American market remains the main generator of tourists to the country with nearly 1.3 million annual visitors and a prospect market potential estimate of more than 20 million visitors," said Revelo. "I will place special emphasis on the United States, as it is very important that we strengthen the relationship with the airlines that come from that region. Additional routes will strengthen the air operations of such an important market and open new opportunities at truly competitive prices."
Costa Rica is a leader in the quest for environmental sustainability. Naturally, sustainability is a priority in all of Revelo's actions in the ministry. She said she will focus efforts on strengthening and encouraging more companies in the sector to obtain sustainable tourism certification.
The tourism board has currently issued this certification to 391 tourism companies, including hotels, tour operators, car rental companies, as well as marinas and restaurants that showcase their commitment to sustainable operations in their businesses."It is my belief that together, Costa Rica is on a great path to attract more tourists and achieve environmental sustainability," said Revelo.
suspect apprehended in immigration
and could be deported
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services
Immigration police have arrested a Nicaraguan man with the last names of Díaz Hawkins who is a suspect in the murder of a Spanish tourist that took place over the weekend in Tortuguero.
Díaz Hawkins was arrested hours after the murder, but a judge from the Criminal Court of Pococí released him.
According to the judiciary press office, the man is in the immigration cells since he appears to have been in Costa Rica illegally.
"The apprehension extends for 30 days during the process of deportation," the agency said. The man is in the prison of Los Lagos de Heredia.
The Judicial Investigation Agency continues with its efforts regarding the murder of Arantxa Gutiérrez López.
The woman's husband posted a message on his Facebook account in which he thanked everyone for support he has received during these moments that he described as "hell."
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Fiscal Control Police seizes goods in
Peñas Blancas and Pérez Zeledón
By A.M. Costa Rica staff
The Fiscal Control Police of the Finance Ministry and the local police confiscated 128,259 units of merchandise, including toothpastes, deodorants, medicines and cosmetics Monday in Peñas Blancas.
The seizure was made from a man with the last names of Flores Ruiz, who was entering the country from Nicaragua without the required documentation for the products he was carrying, had not paid the corresponding taxes and did not have the authorized purchase invoice, the tax police said.
A second seizure was made in a bar in the town of Pérez Zeledón. This seizure was of approximately 5,148 units of mixed liquor, rum, whiskey and tequila, and 2,712 units of beer.
At that site, the police found wine and two vehicles loaded with liquor, as well as labels used by smugglers to re-label the bottles and thus circumvent existing controls.
Seized contraband from Peñas Blancas was transferred to a Customs Depository in Caldera. Items seized in Pérez Zeledón were sent to a fiscal depository in the jurisdiction of the Central Customs.
The investigation process will continue in conjunction with the Public Ministry.