free webpage hit counter
Ship Costa Rica
Hotel Cocal
Costa Rica

Your daily

news source
Monday through Friday

Pacific lots
(506) 2223-1327           Published Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011, in Vol. 11, No. 238       Email us
Real Estate
About us
Jo Stuart
American European Realty

Banks plan to tighten cash transfers for foreigners
By Andrew Rulseh Kasper
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Government oversight will tighten for foreigners looking to participate in Costa Rica's banking system when a form of identification is extended and becomes a requirement next year for certain electronic transactions.

The identification is called DIMEX, Documento de Identificación Migratorio para Extranjeros, and foreigners will be required to present their personal identification beginning in January while making money transfers. The card will also link the person to the country's electronic immigration network which tracks the movements and status of foreigners. That network is run by Radiográfica Costarricense S.A. The DIMEX system is the same one that currently issues cédulas for permanent residents, rentistas and pensionados, among others.

The identification card primarily will be used to track transactions through the Sistema Nacional de Pagos Electrónicos, known as SINPE. Currently, there are about 350,000 documented foreigners living in the country, the majority being Nicaraguans.

The implementation of the new regulations is a cooperative effort between Costa Rican immigration officials and the nation's banking establishments. Kathya Rodríguez, the director general of Migración y Extranjería, said permanent residents, temporary workers, students, refugees, the stateless, among others, will be subjected to the new guidelines, but it should not have an effect on tourists. There also is a regulation to issue numbers for persons who do not fall into these categories based on the identification in their passports.

Ms. Rodríguez said the change in standards is aimed at monitoring and targeting illegal activity such as money-laundering, especially that associated with arms and drug trafficking,

In theory, the new procedure will allow immigration officials to track suspicious banking transactions by foreigners. Ms. Rodríguez said the identification card will reduce identity theft.
Immigraiton director
A.M. Costa Rica/Andrew Rulseh Kasper
Kathya Rodríguez displays an example of the cédula-like card some foreigners will need.

 Currently some foreigners use their passports to make certain money transactions in banks. Ms. Rodríguez said that puts them at risk for possible identity theft, perhaps resulting in large losses of money from their bank accounts.

With their new identification card, the bank teller will be able access the cardholders information in the immigration database and verify if the person standing at the bank is the rightful account user, she said.

Like the current cédulas, the identification card will contain basic personal data, a photo and electronic data as well. Annabelle Ortega, executive director of the Cámara de Bancos e Instituciones Financieras de Costa Rica, said a high prevalence of fraud and identity theft exists among foreigners, whether as the victims or perpetrators. She said the new measures were mandated by the Banco Central, and all banks must comply.

The program to establish such a system of identification began with then-immigration director Mario Zamora Cordero in 2007. He is now the security minster. A person who will need the new identification would be able to obtain it at an immigration office.

Banana strike at Sixaola finally comes to an end
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An agreement has put an end to the strike by banana workers in the Sixaola area in southeast Costa Rica..

President Laura Chinchilla announced through her Twitter account that the banana workers struck a deal with the Del Monte subsidiary, the Banana Development Corp., known as Bandeco.

“Thanks to the mediation by the Ministerio de Trabajo, an agreement has been signed between the union and the banana company to lay down the strike,” she wrote in Spanish at 1:25 p.m. Wednesday.

There are no details as to whether Bandeco agreed
 to the demands that the banana worker union sought. Monday, representative José María Villalta Florez-Estrada of the Partido Frente Amplio, held a press conference with Luis Angel Serrano, president of Sindicato de Trabajadores de Plantaciones Agricolas, to demand for the Ministerio de Trabajo to intervene in the strike. The Sindicato de Trabajadores de Plantaciones Agricolas accused Bandeco of violating their human and worker rights by lowering their pay and not paying them overtime.

Meanwhile, at the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, physicians remained on strike despite lenghty neogiations Wednesday.

More talks are scheduled today. The Caja runs the public hospitals which have been crippled.

Find more about Weather in San Jose, CS
Click for weather forecast
exchange rate
to our
daily digest

our site

Send us
a news story

Real estate ads

Tourism and

ad info

ad info

Contact us

Del Rey King's Club
CR Home

Ship to Costa Rica

Organic banner
Find it here

Residency in Cost aRica
Great Sunrise

rss feed graphic
Twitter link
Facebook graphic
Have you seen our crossword puzzle?

90210 dentistry
Assocaition of Residents of Costa Rica
HRG fishing
Humidor room

Casa Roland

Prisma Dental

Latigo K9

What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
Real Estate
About us
Jo Stuart
The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2011 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for more details

Smile 90210
A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011, Vol. 11, No. 238
Real Estate
About us
Jo Stuart

Costa Rica Expertise

La Casa de habano

Sportsmen's Lodge

Page One is HERE!    Go to Page 3 HERE!    Go to Page 4 HERE!    
Go to Page 5 HERE! 
  Go to Page 6 HERE!     Sports is HERE!
Opinion is HERE!   Classifieds are HERE!    Plus useful links

Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.

Residency experts

Residency in Costa Rica
A full service immigration agency
U.S. and San José offices
Getting and authenticating documents can be a chore —

we know how to do it. Experienced with many nationalities. Up-to-date on
Costa Rica's evolving immigration law.
Pensionado and rentista. Your first stop for smooth, professional service and a positive experience. Javier Zavaleta
Tel: (323) 255-6116

Legal services

Lic.Gregory Kearney Lawson.
Attorneys at Law and real estate brokers
Relocation services, Wedding Planning
Greg Kearney
*Investments  *Corporations
*Tax Shelters *Immigration
*Real Estate Sales in Costa Rica
*Name & Product registration
*Business procedures 
*Family and Labor Law
*Locate People   *Private Investigations
Phone/Fax: 2290-8117, 8841-0007
New location on Rohrmoser Blvd.
 Phone: (506) 2232-1014

Attorneys & Notaries
 Tel.  2280-9692 / 2225-9322
       We offer the highest professional standards with very competitive rates. All our official documentation and Notary deeds are always translated in English for better comprehension, client satisfaction and safety.
consultoria logo
• Immigration Law.
• Real Estate Law.
• Corporations, Foundations
       and Associations. 
• Trademarks & Intellectual
• Notary public services
• Criminal Law
•Civil & Commercial 
Our Law Office is conveniently located near Mall San Pedro,  350 meters south from the Subaru dealer, Los Yoses, San José.


U.S. Tax International

Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal services
Over 15 years in Costa Rica
(English Spoken)
C.R. 2288-2201   U.S 786-206-9473
FAX: 2231-3300
Web page with vital U.S. tax info HERE!

James Brohl, C.P.A. & M.B.A.
US Income Tax,  US GAAP Accounting
& Business Consulting

Uncle Sam's hat
• US Tax return preparation  for
individuals and businesses
• eFile returns: secure with faster refunds
• Assist with back reporting and other filing issues
• Take advantage of the Foreign
Income Tax Exclusion (up to $
92,900 in 2011}
• Business Consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica
• Accounting for US and International Financial Reporting

Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620

Language education

If I Can Learn To Speak Spanish, Anybody Can!

It is very important that as residents of Costa Rica, we at least learn to speak basic Spanish, especially at the bank,supermarket, etc. We at Epifania Spanish School want to help you.  Our teachers are all courteous professionals and will teach you basic Spanish as well as Spanish you 
SPanish school presidentJames DeRoy
president, Epifania
can  start using immediately.

 Conveniently located in Curridabat the Spanish Program for Residents consists of two hours per day, two days per week. Regular Price per month is $200. During September, October and November we have a Special Promotion. 2 for1 – Two Students for One Price.
Ep;ifania graphic
If you want more info, visit our Web site  Epifania School or call us at 2524-1726 for complete details.

Real estate agents and services

CR Beach logo

Jeff Fisher, 18-year CR resident & Owner-Broker of CR Beach Investment Real Estate is
pleased to announce the hiring of his new licensed realtor, Peter Van Hussen, former owner of Hotel Canciones del Mar, and long-time Jaco-CR resident.
 Peter, who speaks 5 languages, will join Colin, Frances and Junior in helping clients like you find their dream properties in  the New Jaco-Central Pacific area. Let CR Beach show you why this is still the best area for you to  invest-retire-enjoy! 
 Fire sale Deal of the Week: $209,000 Hermosa Beach Bungalow Sunset Special!
Member of the N.A.R., the Costa Rican Real Estate Board CRGAR and the Central Pacific Chamber of Commerce.
Toll Free: 1-888-782-1119 
Office: 2643-4334, 2643-3672
Located in the heart of Jacó. IL Galeone Center, Jacó, Costa Rica

with Great Estates of Costa Rica

20 years Costa Rican
real estate experience

Member of the Costa Rican Real Estate Association, Lic. #1000

Member of
Costa Rican-American Chamber of Commerce
(506)  2220-3729 &  (506)
8333-8391 cell
(506)  2232-5016 (phone/fax)

Latitude Nine real estate graphic
Latitude 9
Real Estate, Development, Investments.

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
506 2777-1197

Over 25 years experience in Costa Rica


We will translate your documents from English into Spanish or Spanish to English
Rose Monge
Rosa Maria Monge
Legal problems?
Tired of getting the
Tired of excuses?
Tired of being kept in the
Afraid of signing documents in Spanish that you do not understand?
Rosa Maria Monge, interpreter in court,
simultaneous translator, paralegal
Cell 8919-4545 or e-mail 
Contact us today to find out how we can help you.
We get results!


Dr. Vargas logo
Dental implants in Costa Rica
Call us: Within C.R.  2225-1189
From USA    1-866-7060-248
Please visit:

Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants and Crowns

Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini has placed and restored
DR. Cavallini
Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini
over 17,000 dental implants since 1980. The Dr. Marco Muñoz Cavallini Dental Clinic, is recognized as one of the best practices in Dental Reconstruction, Dental Implant placement and Cosmetic Dentistry in Costa Rica and the World. For more information, visit us today at:
Martinelli's visit finally
confirmed by Presidencia

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Casa Presidencial has confirmed finally that Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal, the president of Panamå, will be a guest today at the commemoration of the 63rd anniversary of the abolition of the Costa Rican army.

The Quaker Peace Center Tuesday said he was coming and expressed unhappiness.

The official ceremony will be at 10 a.m. today in the Museo Nacional. The peace center will have a parallel ceremony in Parque Nacional, also at 10 a.m.

President Laura Chinchilla Miranda and Martinelli will have a meeting at the Casona de los Comandantes on the museum grounds after the formal ceremony, said Casa Presidencial. A summary said that the two would discuss narcotrafficking and the improvement of the way people can move from one country to another.

There was no indication on how long Martinelli would stay. Ms. Chinchilla leaves for Japan and a state visit there Tuesday. She will return Dec. 10, according to Casa Presidencial.

Police turning out in force
for museum illumination

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The seasonal illumination of the facade of the Museo de los Niños will be Wednesday. This is a big event that attracts a lot of parents with their children.

The big problem is that to reach the museum visitors have to pass through an area that even police officers are loath to visit.

So the Fuerza Pública will turn out in force to protect visitors. An estimated 10,000 persons are expected.

The illumination includes songs, comedy sequences and a fireworks display.

In addition to the Fuerza Pública, traffic police, firefighters and other agencies will be present.

The police are calling the effort the Ruta Segura. At 4 p.m. Calle 4 will be closed from Avenida Segunda to the entrance to the museum on Avenida 9. At 6:30 p.m. the road will be opened again because of the evening rush hour. But an hour later, the road will be closed again until the end of the event.

Police said they hope that spectators use the blocked route to arrive and to reach bus stops when the event concludes.

Police also will construct a perimeter on all sides of the museum, which happens to be a former prison. It now is called the Castillo de los Sueños or “castle of dreams” because of its architecture and turrets.

Court upholds procedure
for setting rates and tariffs

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Sala IV has rejected a claim of unconstitutionality in the way the nation's price regulator sets fees.

The Authoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos had set up a committee to set rates, and this procedure had been challenged.

During the two months that the rates set by the committee were frozen, there were 31 decisions that will translate now to more costs for citizens. They include electricity, other utilities and bus fares.

Find out what the papers
said today in Spanish

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Here is the section where you can scan short summaries from the Spanish-language press. If you want to know more, just click on a link and you will see and longer summary and have the opportunity to read the entire news story on the page of the Spanish-language newspaper but translated into English.

Translations may be a bit rough, but software is improving every day.

When you see the Summary in English of news stories not covered today by A.M. Costa Rica, you will have a chance to comment.

This is a new service of A.M. Costa Rica called Costa Rica Report. Editor is Daniel Woodall, and you can contact him HERE!
From the Costa Rican press
News items posted Monday through Friday by 8 a.m.
Click a story for the summary

Costa Rican new ssummaries are disabled
on archived pages.

Have you seen these stories?
From A.M. Costa Rica

Top story feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Newspaper nameplate

Del Rey casino

Real Estate
About us
Jo Stuart
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2011 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

Hacienda banner
A.M. Costa Rica's
Third newspage
International Baptist Church
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011, Vol. 11, No. 238
Real Estate
About us
Jo Stuart

Crucita decision again targets Arias for giving OK to project
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Even as the Poder Judicial was announcing a decision in the Crucitas open pit gold mine case,prosecutors confirmed they were questioning 10 persons, including former president Óscar Aria Sánchez, who were named as suspects in approving the project contrary to the law.

The Sala Primera, in its decision, specifically called for an investigation into Arias, former environmental minister Roberto Dobles Mora, and seven other current and former public officials. The decision upheld a similar order from a lower court.

The Poder Judicial said that 10 of the individuals had been questioned by prosecutors. At issue is the awarding of an environmental approval for the extraction of gold by the firm Industrias Infinito S.A.

The case was in the hands of anti-corruption prosecutors.  Some of those being questioned work or worked for the Secretaría Técnica Nacional Ambiental, a division of the Ministerio de Ambiente, Energía y Telecomunicaciones that Dobles used to head.

Most, including Arias, had been named before. He was specifically mentioned earlier because he and Dobles signed a decree that said the gold mining project was in the public interest.

Infinito and its parent, Infinito Gold of Calgary, Canada, issued a short statement saying executives were considering their legal options.

A.M. Costa Rica reported early Wednesday afternoon that the Sala Primera the Corte Suprema de Justicia, acting as an appeals court, has upheld the lower court decision that cancels the concession to construct the open pit gold mine.
The decision in the case became known Wednesday via a release from the Poder Judicial, and it appeared that magistrates had voted that morning.

This is the highly controversial case involving the company that seeks to mine up to a million ounces of gold at the site in northern Costa Rica.

The decision likely will be appealed to the Sala IV constitutional court which has upheld the company's concession in a previous case. The company has vowed to carry its case to international arbitration if it cannot mine in Costa Rica.

Specifically, the court overturned three environmental approvals and a decree signed by Arias that said the mine was of public interest and for the national convenience. The decree gave the company special rights to sidestep some environmental rules, such as cutting protected trees on the mine site.

The court decision also ordered the Colegio de Abogados to investigate the role of a lawyer in the case.

The decision was basically the same as that emitted by the lower court, the Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo.

This is the long-awaited decision that was leaked to mining company officials by a replacement magistrate. When that fact became public, a Sala Primera magistrate resigned and a criminal investigation was launched.

The mine has been continually opposed by environmental activists who want to protect the trees, the scarlet macaws that live in them and the local topography. They also expressed concern about the use of cyanide to leach gold from crushed rock because of the proximity of the Río San Juan just three kilometers to the north.

Drug raid grabs 13 in what is seen as a wholesale network
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Agents disrupted Wednesday morning what they say is one of the larger local drug trafficking networks in Costa Rica. They arrested more than a dozen suspects they characterized as its operators and leaders.

The criminal network operated and transported an estimated 10 to 15 kilograms of cocaine, crack and marijuana each week to areas around the country such as Siquirres, Sarapiquí, Guácima in Alajuela, Heredia and San José, said the Poder Judicial.

Agents with the Judicial Investigating Organization reported the criminal band transferred the bulk of the drugs out of Limón by car or bus to the other locations. When agents made simultaneous raids early Wednesday morning in Limón, Siquirres and Sarapiquí they seized four vehicles, cash, firearms, cell phones, crack and more than a kilogram of marijuana, agents said.

The counter-drug operation, called “four rings,” was a joint effort involving 14 prosecutors, 10 judges and 150 judicial agents. All 13 persons arrested were Costa Ricans, according to the Judicial Investigating Organization.

Raided soda in Sarapiquí
Judicial Investigating Organization photo
This soda or small eating place was one of the locations raided Wednesday. It is in Sarapiquí.

Among the arrested were supposedly the gang's general  leader and the leaders from the drug rings in Siquirres and Sarapiquí.

The Judicial Investigating Organization reports that the suspected drug dealers have been in operation for many years.

Del Rey green season

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

Real Estate
About us
Jo Stuart
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2011 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's
Fourth news page
renes law firm
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011, Vol. 11, No. 238
Real Estate
About us
Jo Stuart

Cheap international calls with Localphone

No room
at the tent

The portal or nativity scene this year at the Teatro Nacional has a new twist. Workers said the scene will include living creatures and actors. If so, this will be the first year for that type of presentation.

The usually elaborate nativity scene has given way this year to something less costly. In the past, theater workers built rain forests from Fiberglas and structures from Styrofoam.

The festivities are tonight and Friday night.
Portal at Teatro Nacional
A.M. Costa Rica/Andrew Rulsek Kasper

U.S. out of step with Costa Rican reality on human trafficking
By Jay Brodell
editor of A.M. Costa Rica

The U.S. ambassador said Wednesday that she is well aware that prostitution is legal in Costa Rica. She disputed a contrary statement attributed to her in a news story that appeared in the morning's edition of A.M. Costa Rica.

The ambassador, Ann S. Andrew, delivered her comments through Eric Turner, a  press officer at the embassy in San José. He said the ambassador was concerned that either she might have misspoken or been misquoted in saying that prostitution is illegal in Costa Rica.

Commentary on the news

The comments were to a reporter at a presentation of a $200,000 grant to the Fundación Rahab, an organization that helps former prostitutes enter the normal workforce.

A.M. Costa Rica stands by the story, but the ambassador could have been talking about human trafficking, which certainly can be illegal.

As A.M. Costa Rica has reported in the past, U.S. officials and even Costa Rican law enforcement officers lump human trafficking activities together.

Human trafficking, under the U.S. definition, includes forced labor, slavery and a couple of Colombian girls who prostitute themselves in Costa Rica seeking a better life.

Costa Rican law does not square with the U.S. concept. The Costa Rican prohibitions in the 2009 immigration law basically cover transporting illegal immigrants.  The law says nothing about prostitution. A 2009 criminal law would penalize anyone who promotes prostitution or helps a prostitute enter or leave Costa Rica.  But the law covers many other crimes, including slavery, forced labor, begging and extraction of human organs.

Said the U.S. State Department in its 2011 human trafficking report:

“Costa Rican women and children are subjected to sex trafficking within the country, and residents of the north and central Pacific coast zones are particularly vulnerable to internal trafficking. Women and girls from Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, and other Latin American countries have been identified in Costa Rica as victims of sex trafficking and forced domestic service.”

Nowhere in the report does the State Department mention that prostitution is legal in Costa Rica.  Consequently, prostitutes are characterized as victims, and Costa Rica is admonished for not having shelters for trafficking victims.

Clearly, State Department workers have little experience in learning about the facts of Costa Rican prostitution. The bulk of the prostitutes in Costa Rica are here willingly. Many began this type of work when they were underage, and some have been urged into this life by a parent.

That is not to say the life is not a tough one. One Russian woman died at unknown hands, but the killers are presumed to be part of an Eastern European criminal organization. Her expat sometimes boyfriend believes she was killed for free-lancing. There are other tales of foreign women being beaten for trying to run out on persons who profit from their work.

More often than not, however, the foreign prostitutes are sending money home and are living in overcrowded conditions to save cash.

A.M. Costa Rica has documented the case of two Dominican prostitutes who said they got visas in their home country through bribery and who said they paid the outstanding half of the bribe to a person who answered a back door at the Costa Rican immigration agency. The U.S. State Department would characterize them as trafficking victims even though they trafficked themselves.

The State Department says that child sex tourism is a serious problem, particularly in the provinces of Guanacaste, Limón, Puntarenas and San Jose. That view is opposite to that held by many expats who fear contact with underage women. They are continually warned about the possible penalties.

A recent conviction involved an expat who was accused of having sexual contact with an underage woman in a center for prostitution a short walk from the judicial buildings in San José.  He presumed that only women over 18 were working in the establishment. The case has other complexities and is under appeal.

The State Department placed Costa Rica on what is called Tier Two watch list for human trafficking. And Costa Rica continues to make efforts to appease U.S. evaluators.

Still, a typical human trafficking case involves a couple of bus drivers found to have a load of illegal Nicaragua immigrants on a back road in Guanacaste.

Clearly, the basic question is can participating in a legal activity, prostitution, be promoted to human trafficking? And if prostitution is legal, why does not the U.S. government adjust its perceptions?

According to Mariliana Morales, director of Fundación Rahab: “Prostitution is practiced and is accepted here, especially since it has become part of ordinary culture in Costa Rica.”

The U.S. State Department has yet to accept that point of view.

Real Estate
About us
Jo Stuart
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2011 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Fashion CR
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011, Vol. 11, No. 238
Real Estate
About us
Jo Stuart

Medical vacations in Costa Rica

Mexico's senate dumps
criminal libel offenses

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
and special reports

The Mexican senate has passed a bill to make defamation, libel and slander no longer criminal offenses.

The full Senate Tuesday night approved, 81 to 0, a repeal of Articles 1 and 31 of the press offenses law. It thus ended punishment by imprisonment for defamation, libel and slander, instead making them civil offenses. The bill now awaits signing into law by President Felipe Calderón and then its immediate publication in Mexico’s Official Gazette.

Costa Rica has a criminal penalty, and lawmakers have declined to change it even though there has been pressure from abroad and from the local press.

Under Costa Rica’s Penal Code, anyone who libels, slanders, defames, or reproduces offensive statements against someone, even public officials, can be fined or placed on an official list of convicted criminals, but not imprisoned, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

The Sala IV threw out prison terms for defamation in early 2010 in acquitting a reporter for the Spanish language press, the committee, an international organization noted.

The Inter American Press Association Wednesday praised the action in México. It called the move a notable advance for press freedom and democracy.

The action by the Senate brings the press law into line with the federal penal and civil codes. In April 2007 President Calderón signed a decree repealing several clauses of the federal penal code, among them Articles 350 to 365 which made the offenses of defamation, libel and slander punishable by imprisonment. Violations of that law would then be treated as civil offenses subject to award of damages rather than offenders having to face prison terms. Federal senators said their action sets new bases for strengthening freedom of expression and of the press in Mexico.

In addition to Mexico and El Salvador countries that have also made defamation no longer a criminal offense are Argentina and Uruguay.

Business forum in Haiti
seeks more investments

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Business leaders discussed new possibilities for Haiti at a conference designed to bring more money and jobs to the impoverished Caribbean nation.

The two-day Invest in Haiti Forum in the capital, Port-au-Prince, was aimed at highlighting business opportunities in the country.  The Inter-American Development Bank organized the event along with the Haitian government and the Clinton Foundation.

Haitian President Michel Martelly said his government wants to create 500,000 jobs during the next three years.

The Inter-American Development Bank says participants have discussed opportunities in areas such as apparel, tourism and agribusiness, as well as infrastructure projects linked to Haiti's reconstruction and development efforts.  New projects include a Marriott hotel planned for Port-au-Prince and a South Korean-run industrial park.

Former U.S. president Bill Clinton said the forum shows the world that Haiti is again open for business.

The Inter-American Development Bank says companies, non-profits and government agencies from 29 foreign countries and territories took part in the conference which ended Wednesday.  International companies have long been hesitant to do business in Haiti because of political instability and cumbersome laws.

Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and is still recovering from a January 2010 earthquake that devastated much of Port-au-Prince.

Workers in Britain
strike over pensions

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Hundreds of thousands of medical workers, teachers, border guards and other public sector employees went on strike Wednesday in Britain to protest government plans to reduce their pension benefits.

Most public schools and other services were closed Wednesday and many hospitals were only providing essential services.

But the intended gridlock at London's Heathrow Airport, Europe's largest, did not take place, mostly due to effective contingency plans.   The government secured additional personnel to staff immigration desks.

Prime Minister David Cameron referred to the action as "something of damp squib,"  and said it was not the biggest in 30 years as organizers had said it would be.  But unions insist that up to about two million workers participated in the nationwide strike. 

Workers from more than 30 unions protested government plans to reduce a $185 billion budget deficit by cutting pension benefits and introducing other austerity measures.

The government says the current pension system is no longer affordable and that people now live longer so it is only fair that they work longer.
News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute

Some of our other titles:
A.M. Panama
A.M. Colombia
A.M. Guatemala
A.M. Honduras
A.M. Havana
A.M. Nicaragua
A.M. Venezuela
A.M. Central America
Dominican Republic

A.M. Ecuador A.M. San Salvador
A.M. Bolivia

Real Estate
About us
Jo Stuart
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2011 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

Looking for a story from a past edition?

See our search page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011, Vol. 11, No. 238
Real Estate
About us
Jo Stuart

Costa Rica Reprot promo

Latin America news
Legislature gets 33 tasks
for the special session

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Tuesday marked the end of the regular session of the Asamblea Legislativa as stipulated in the Costa Rican Constitution.

Now it is the executive branch's turn to establish the agenda of what lawmakers can consider. The period is known as the extraordinary session.

President Laura Chinchilla Miranda has issued a decree to the Asamblea Legislativa listing 33 measures for consideration.  The new tax package is at the head of the list.

There also is a proposed law to tighten rules against smoking tobacco and a measure for new taxes on casinos and betting centers.

Museum plans blessing
of its nativity scene

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Museo Nacional will welcome the Christmas season with a blessing of its nativity scene or portal Wednesday. The museum will be open to residents without charge from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

There will be concerts, theatrical presentations, workshops, an artisans' fair and sale of traditional food, the museum said.

The blessing of the portal is at 10 a.m. The Rev. Carlos Humberto Rojas will preside.

Pakistan cable firms
censor BBC over show

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Pakistan's cable operators have pulled the plug on the BBC World news TV channel, in a move it hopes will be a warning to other foreign broadcasters.  Amid anger over a BBC documentary the cable companies describe as anti-Pakistan propaganda, the British broadcaster may now face government punitive action as well. 

Pakistani cable subscribers who watch the BBC World news TV channel have had nothing to look at since Tuesday night but a graphic still shot of a satellite with a red "X" drawn over it.  Accompanying text says "Service is currently not available, sorry for the inconvenience."

In fact, it was Pakistani cable operators who caused the inconvenience, when they deliberately cut the BBC World News shortly before midnight local time. The public justification for the move was said to be a response to a documentary the British channel broadcast several weeks earlier, called "Secret Pakistan."

A soundbite in the documentary says, "This series tells the hidden story of how, for a decade, Pakistan deceived America and the West - and was then found out."

The two-part documentary, which the BBC commissioned from an independent third-party production company, builds a case that Pakistan's military deliberately aided the Taliban and al-Qaida even as it assured Washington and the North Atlantic Treaty Oganization that it was an ally in the fight against the militants.

Latin American news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Costa Rican News
Retire NOW in Costa Rica

Real Estate
About us
Jo Stuart
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2011 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details