ARCHIVE Published Tuesday, September 4, 2018 - First news page


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Health Ministry celebrates international sexual health day

By A.M. Costa Rica staff


In 2010, the World Association for Sexual Health settled on Sept. 4 as a day for promoting greater social awareness of the topic.

The World Health Organization defines sexual health as a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being related to sexuality.

According to the world organization, to achieve and maintained sexual health, the sexual rights of all people must be respected and protected.

The Ministry of Health supported this decree for the promotion of safe sexuality in Costa Rica in order to encourage the use of male condoms, female condoms and water-based lubricants.

The Costa Rican health authorities stressed the importance of living a life of safe sexuality and self-care, and they also highlighted the importance of using the condom correctly and systematically and using a water-based lubricant.

This is the second year that this special day is being celebrated in Costa Rica, and the ministry said it hopes to open new spaces for reflection on the right of all people to have  updated  information that facilitates their living a life of  safe sexuality and mutual care.

In relation to these sexual health and reproductive health supplies, the U. N. Population Fund and the World Health Organization have stated:

"Male and female condoms are the only devices that reduce the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections and prevent unwanted pregnancies."

"Quality condoms should be readily available universally, free of charge or at a low price," the statement said.



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A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo
 
The date and quantity of the release of female
condoms has not yet been determined.



The ministry said it recognized the importance these items and promotes their use. It provides these sexual protection items to the people free or at low cost through Social Security and tries to ensure their availability.

Social Security confirmed that the female condom will be available at some point in the future. About this form of protection, the Social Security Fund said:

"Celebrating this day is a big step, since we hope it opens the spaces to talk about the importance of promoting practices and attitudes that help people achieve the experience of a safe, informed, pleasant and co-responsible sexuality."

The date and quantity of the release of female condoms has not yet been determined.



Union calls for strike against tax plan

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

Trade unionists say that the new tax plan, which is being analyzed in the legislature, does not eliminate the structural causes of the fiscal deficit.

According to the unions, these new taxes will generate less economic activity and negatively impact employment, poverty, inequality and exclusion.

"Public employees are the only ones who pay taxes punctually in this country, while the private sector is exonerated or evades," said Gilberto Cascante, secretary of the National Association of Public Employees.

The unions also said that the cost of living will be increased by the new consumption taxes, the government's economic support to social programs would be weakened and the salaries of employees in the public sector would be affected.

"We have set aside our differences to unite in this great fight against the paquetazo of taxes, which the government of Carlos Alvarado intends against the most humble," said Albino Vargas, secretary of the National Association of Public Employees. 

Paquetazo is slang for the big package, a nickname for the government’s proposal.

The unions presented a proposal different from the tax plan, called Fair and Solidarity Tax Reform for Costa Rica.

It is a basic set of 39 proposals, of which 10 reinforce the income tax and seek to stop tax fraud.

In addition, 14 measures representing a frontal assault against tax fraud and corruption are included. There is a proposal to improve the collection of taxes by customs (absent in the fiscal combo) and other proposals for economic reactivation and immediate containment.



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A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo
 
The government of Carlos Alvarado asked the trade union leaders to avoid the strike and continue with negotiations.


According to the unions' press release, this proposal could raise up to 4.2 percent of gross domestic product in new revenues.

It exceeds the revenue that is sought with the new tax plan by two and a-half times, without the need for more taxes on consumption, the basic basket and without dismantling services, the release said.

According to the unions, there has been no clear response from the government on this proposal.

In order to make their opposition to the fiscal plan visible, the unions announced a strike for next Monday.


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Published Tuesday, September 4, 2018 - Second news page
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Alvarado government inherits stockpile of shark fins

By Randall Arauz
Marine conservation policy consultant
Fins Attached Marine Research and Conservation

The Rescue Center for Endangered Marine Species is a Costa Rican non-profit, non-government organization founded in 2012.

This organization is denouncing the inaction of the Alvarado government on shark finning, stating that shark fin exporters have continued to purchase hammerhead shark fins from domestic fishermen and stockpile them in Puntarenas with hopes of exporting the fins in the future.

Hammerhead shark fin exports were banned on March 1, 2015 by the National System of Conservation Areas of the Ministry of Environment. The measure remains in effect until the CITES Scientific Council (a panel established by the Wildlife Conservation Law and under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Environment) approves the resumption of exports under criteria of biological sustainability.

The Scientific Council has since issued two biological opinions (August 2015 and February 2017) recommending that the export ban stay effective, as current extraction to satisfy the demand for international trade is a detriment to the survival of the species.

The current size of the stockpile in Puntarenas is anyone's guess. From May 1 to Dec. 31 of 2015, it is known with certainty that exporters managed to amass over 10 tons of hammerhead fins (15,000 hammerhead sharks are needed to amass a 10-ton stockpile).

In August 2017, frustrated with the advice of the scientists disallowing hammerhead shark fin exports and urged by the shark fin industry, the government of Luis Guillermo Solis stripped the Environmental Ministry of its jurisdiction over sharks, by placing them on the Costa Rica Fishery and Aquaculture Institute´s commercial species list. The institute has regulatory authority over fishing and agriculture.

As a result, the conservation and management of sharks is now the sole responsibility of the Fish and Aquaculture Institute and beyond the reach of the Wildlife Conservation Law and the jurisdiction of the Environmental Ministry.

According to agreements reached by the fishing sector and the Executive Branch Aug. 29, Sept. 22 was assigned as the deadline for the fishery institute to issue its own biological opinion regarding whether or not to resume hammerhead shark fin exports.

"Sadly, hammerhead shark conservation has taken numerous steps backwards since Costa Rica boldly led the process to list them under Appendix II of CITES just five years ago," regretted Isabel Naranjo of the Costa Rican Endangered Marine Species Rescue Center. "As of yet, no official actions have been taken to improve the conservation status of this endangered species," said Naranjo.



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A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo        
 
On May 18, the Contentious Administrative and Civil Appeals Court ordered the removal of hammerhead sharks from the fishery institute's commercial species list.

President Carlos Alvarado inherited this issue from the previous administration, and now he must decide. will his government allow the export of hammerhead shark fins obtained during an export ban?

Fortunately, Alvarado has a valuable tool to change the situation for hammerhead sharks once and for all in Costa Rica. On May 18, just two weeks into his presidency, the Contentious Administrative and Civil Appeals Court ordered the removal of hammerhead sharks from the fishery institute's commercial species list.

"This ruling paves the way to return shark management and conservation responsibility to the Ministry of Environment where the Wildlife Conservation Law must be implemented to its full extent to save endangered hammerhead sharks," said an optimistic Randall Arauz, representative in Costa Rica of the Colorado-based Fins Attached Marine Research and Conservation.

"Conserving the population of hammerhead sharks in Costa Rica will take nothing short of this action," he warned.

The Fins Attached Marine Research Center calls on the general public to keep supporting our petition to the President for Costa Rica to not export that hammerhead shark fin stockpile, and for the protection and management of sharks to occur under the tutelage of the Environment Ministry and the implementation of the Wildlife Conservation Law to its full extent.

Click here   to read the petition.



__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________





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Published Tuesday, September 4, 2018 - Third news page
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New company registry system in Pacific Zone

By A.M. Costa Rica staff


The Ministry of Economy established a new program for the easy and fast registration of new companies or renewal of existing companies.

The system is called Simplified and Coordinated Procedure for the Start and Renewal of Companies in the Central Pacific Region.

"This is a big step and is part of the actions we carry out to have single window models to promote entrepreneurship and formalization of companies, in addition to promoting the standardization and improvement of processes and procedures for citizens," said Victoria Hernández, minister of Economy.

According to the ministry, this rapid commercial management system is already available in all municipalities throughout the Central Pacific area.

The system will make the procedure more agile and faster so that people can obtain a commercial license, or renew an existing commercial license easily.

The municipalities initiating this fast service are: San Mateo, Orotina, Esparza, Parrita, Quepos, Puntarenas, Montes de Oro, Monteverde and Paquera.

In addition to commercial permits, other quick procedures such as commercial patents and operating permits, which are a requirement of the Ministry of Health, may be obtained.

According to the ministry's report, this new rapid system should reduce processing resolution time by 70 percent.


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A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo       

This rapid commercial management system is already available in all municipalities throughout the Central Pacific area

What used to take 33 days now will only take 10 business days, the report said.

The process also eliminates unnecessary requirements, decreasing paperwork by 47 percent. A process that previously had 19 steps or documents now only needs 10, the report added.

The stated goal of this rapid system is to help merchants increase their productivity and increase the generation of more jobs in the region.

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Published Tuesday, September 4, 2018 -  Fourth news page


Identified, 79 towns with high risk of flooding

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

The National Emergency Commission presented a study identifying 79 communities in Matina, Guácimo, Siquirres and Pococi in the province of Limón that have a high risk of flooding.

The year-long study included an analysis of the behavior of the Reventazón, Parismina, Madre de Dios, Pacuare and Jiménez rivers, as well as the interaction of these with the rainy season and other climatological events. The study included a hydraulic survey and aerial topography of an area of 60,000 hectares

The study resulted in the identification of the communities and some solutions were proposed. The first stage includes:

• In Matina: in the basin of the Madre de Dios River, construction of a two-kilometer dike and two extensions of channels (13.5 km).

• In Siquirres: for the Pacuare and Madre de Dios basins, the construction of five dams, with a total length of 24 km, and a deviation of a river by 1 km.

• On the Reventazón River, a 30-kilometer natural flood corridor is being proposed in order to control the effect of the floods and mitigate their effect.

" The realization of this study is of great importance for the area, since it is carried out in an agri-food production site, with crops such as banana and cocoa mainly. In addition, it corresponds to a tourist corridor, which includes visits through the port of Caño Blanco to the Tortuguero National Park, Barra de Parismina, the Reventazón River and the Pacuare River, " said the manager of the National Groundwater Service, Patricia Quirós.

She pointed out that these studies allow for input from the municipalities so they have a part in the decision making and planning of land use and the protection of human life.

The director of the emergency commission, Alexander Solis, agreed on the value of the study since it uses a topographical base that results in a highly detailed map.



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A.M. Costa Rica wire services          
       
These studies allow for input from the municipalities so they have a part in the decision making and planning of land use and the protection of human life.

Solis said that the study is an important tool for planning immediate and future actions to prevent flooding. It can be part of the integral management of watersheds and a tool to help protect the people who live in the area.

Renato Alvarado, minister of Agriculture and Livestock, cited the study as a reference to intervene in other population areas of the country that present constant flood problems, promoting an adequate management of watersheds with constant monitoring and monitoring.

"This is a project that includes components of mitigation, prevention, foresight and resilience for the benefit of a population and productive sector that generate economic dynamism in communities," explained Alvarado

The study began in August 2017 and it is estimated that the conclusions, which indicate how to solve these flooding problems, will be ready to be published by the end of September.
 


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Specializing in all matters of concern to U.S. taxpayers residing abroad including:
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Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal
 services. Over 16 years in Costa Rica

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  • Quarterly and Annual Payroll Tax Returns
  • Corporate Tax Returns
  • Tax Planning
  • Corporate Formation
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  • FBAR
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Published Tuesday, September 4, 2018 -  Fifth news page


Caution! Drive with care!

Dear A.M. Costa Rica readers:

The lake road, Route 142, between Tilarán and La Fortuna is full of dangerous and complicated curves, many with nearly impossible visibility.

Several areas are under repair with the road being widened and what were veritable cliffs being filled with boulders, although the most dangerous, a spot with no shoulder, no railing, no warning and a 30-foot plunge into the lake, has yet to be touched.

Still, the most accident prone area seems to be close to Nuevo Arenal and between that community and La Unión a distance of about 12 km. In August, there have been at least six separate accidents in the area.

The most serious accident occurred last week when a semi ran off the road and overturned near La Unión. The 26-year-old driver was airlifted from the site for treatment.

Along the same route, a car has run off the road and crashed into trees, and a bus has left the road and ended up in a ditch, blocking the road for several hours.

Friday the road was blocked again although no details are available. The sixth accident involved a car and a semi, and no serious injuries were reported.

Route 142 is popular for buses taking tourists from resorts to La Fortuna and the Volcano Arenal National Park, but there are stretches of the road that are in poor repair and heavily potholed due to the recent rains. Those taking the road should reduce the speed and drive with caution.

Victoria Torley,
Nuevo Arenal


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A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo       


----
Editor’s note: The views or opinions expressed by the author are the sole and exclusive responsibility of the sender and do not necessarily represent the opinion of A.M. Costa Rica. Therefore, the newspaper does not accept liability for reader's opinion letter content.



_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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The Dark Side of Pura Vida: Murder, Betrayal, Abduction and Revenge in the Vacation Paradise
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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
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Published Tuesday, September 4
, 2018 -  Sixth news page

Suspects detained inside national parks

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Ministry of Security reported the weekend arrest of individuals suspected of the theft of turtle eggs and illegal gold mining in different national parks.

According to Enrique Obando, a member of the Department of Control and Protection of the Ministry of Environment: "The detainees in the Corcovado National Park are repeat offenders in crimes against the environment. The men's surnames are: Espinoza and Vargas.  The last one, Vargas, was arrested wearing an electronic bracelet."

According to the report of Obando, the first detainee, surnamed Espinoza, is suspected of extracting gold.

"We found a person extracting gold in Corcovado Park,” and sent him to the prosecutor’s office and court of Ciudad Neily for precautionary measures. Obando added that officers “found an improvised tent called a champa, a mattress, clothing, and food.”

Regarding to the second detention of the man surnamed Vargas, the officer said:

"Yesterday we followed another person, with a suspicious attitude, who was walking down the road to Puerto Jiménez. When the officers interviewed him, they realized that he had 77 turtle eggs. The man was arrested and the eggs were taken to a nursery.  The suspect’s surname is Vargas. He wore an electronic bracelet, which shows that he was under house arrest. The suspect was taken to the Puerto Jiménez delegation to be transferred to Ciudad Neily court. If he is find guilty, he could get  a sentence of three to six months of  detention, or precautionary measures will be imposed. "

According to the report, the patrol operations are done in order to detect suspects and protect the main areas where illegal gold miners and turtle egg thieves frequently operate.

According to official data, areas when miners and thieves most frequently operate are: the town of Venada, near Rio Sirena, the town of Los Chiles, near Rio Izquierdo del Tigre, the town of Porsillego  and the Piro sector near the Golfito Dulce reserve forest.



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A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo     

The man was arrested and the eggs were taken to a nursery.


When the suspect are arrested committing the offense they are taken to the Ciudad Neily Prosecutor's Office, where they could face sentences of three to six months in prison or imposition of precautionary measures.


In addition to these arrests in the vicinity of Corcovado Park, park rangers, with police support, made patrols in the  Manuel Antonio National Park area.

According to the police report, three more people were arrested in the vicinity of the park where they had hidden 344 turtle eggs. The eggs were seized and sent to a nursery.

These last three detainees could not be identified in the police report so this case continues to be under investigation.

Police estimate that more than 50 illegal gold miners have been detained in the areas surrounding Corcovado National Park. The area is being protected by nine rangers who have to patrol 50,000 hectares.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

House - Apartments For Rent
(paid category)



Furnished House Inside Gated Property
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Beautiful house, surrounded by a wonderful nature. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath on private property close to town. $650.00 Includes Electric, Internet, WiFi, Cable TV, water. In Santa Barbara de Heredia. American owner lives on site, quiet, secure.
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Code: 9386-072918

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Code:9325-082618



Real Estate For Sale
(paid category)

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Jaco Oceanfront Furnished Condo
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Jaco Oceanfront Condo in excellent condition, completely furnished, with air conditioning, hot water, private parking, equipped gym, large pool and garden area, and 24 hour security.

Contains: large bedroom, bath with shower, living/dining area combined with kitchen, equipped with new refrigerator, TV, furniture and cooking equipment. Granite table and counter tops. Continuous cross-current ocean breezes.

Located at the south end of Jaco on quiet extensive beach away from noise, traffic and city tourism.

Monthly maintenance of $221 includes water, security, cable/internet and pool and garden maintenance. Asking price: $145,000.

Contact numbers: (506) 8820-9768 or (506) 2240-2240.

Code: 9380- 090118

Colinas Del Sol
Fenced Gated
Parcels

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Fenced Gated Parcels for Sale
* Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project in a quiet area. * There are 88 clear titled parcels. * Mountain areas with great views.
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In Costa Rica, Jeffrey Sandi Murray: jsandimurray@colinasdelsolcr.com
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Code: 9342-090318




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Vista Verde Del Mar
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U.S.A. phone: 770-310-1351
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Code: 9350-050419



Costa Rica's first Realtor specialized in Eco Properties, Eco Consulting, Green Living and Hotel Real Estate & Hotel Consulting. Own farm with sustainable development project under planning.





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Green NAR designee, member of the CCBR, CRGAR
Code:9368-112118


Business For Sale
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Versatile 2 Floors Building
in La Sabana


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Completely remodeled building. 14 areas for residence and/or offices, call center, upscale storage. Transportation within 50 meters, commuter train, buses and taxis. In La Sabana, San Jose. School, park, gymnasium, tennis club and National soccer stadium walking distance. 24-hour security, many restaurants, clubs and social facilities nearby. Approximately 323 meter construction. Asking $295,000.
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Code:9333-072318

Three Cabins in La Fortuna
San Carlos


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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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Code:9344-081518


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Published  Tuesday, September 4, 2018 -  Seventh news page

Seven forgery suspects get preventive prison

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

The deputy prosecutor of frauds reported that the Criminal Court of the I Judicial Circuit of San José has ordered six months of preventive prison against seven people suspected of forming a network dedicated to the falsification and commercialization of public documents.

The suspects with the last names Laitano, Varela, Rímola, Fuentes, Quirós, Hernández and Durán were arrested a week ago along with 16 other people, the prosecutor's office said.

The remaining suspects were deemed to be less of a flight risk as they have more roots in the community, so they were sentenced to precautionary measures rather than imprisonment, the office added.

Precautionary measures, as an option to avoid preventive imprisonment, include: signing in monthly, inability to leave the country, surrendering a passport, refraining from communicating with witnesses and each other, and refraining from committing new crimes. These measures will be in force for a period of one year.

In addition to these measures, one of the defendants, surnamed McClean, will be banned from approaching within 500 meters of the facilities of the Road Safety Council in any area of the country.

Officials said the criminal group began its activity in May 2016, led by the man surnamed Laitano and the man surnamed Varela.

The group is alleged to have falsified and commercialized documents such as driver's licenses, identity and residence cards, passports, marches, high school diplomas, vehicle license plates and vehicular technical vehicle stickers.

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Security Ministry courtesy photo       

Officials said the criminal group began its activity in May 2016.


It is thought that these were sold and delivered in the vicinity of San José or sent by parcel service to locations in Perez Zeledón, Puntarenas and Guanacaste.

The investigation into additional facts and evidence is an ongoing process.