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San José, Costa Rica            Thursday Edition,  February 22, 2018             Vol. 18,  No.222

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Carlos Alvarado asks businessmen in Duty-Free areas
not to worry about taxes

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The presidential candidate of the Citizen Action Party, Carlos Alvarado, sent a message of calm and security to the representatives of the companies operating under the free zones regime promising stability for four more years in a possible government under his charge.

"I present myself as an ally to build a buoyant, growing sector that generates more employment, wealth, more investment attraction," Alvarado said. Companies in these zones receive tax benefits, but some politicians have suggested reducing or removing them.

Alvarado and his wife, architect Claudia Dobles, held a meeting with representatives of the Association of Free Trade Zone Companies of Costa Rica where he presented his proposal for that sector, while restating his position of not creating new taxes on the zones.

Part of the plan is to improve the training of professionals through public-private partnerships, which could help generate jobs. The free zones currently generate an approximate 90,000 high-quality jobs, with benefits in security and social welfare.

Jorge Brenes, president of the board of directors of the free zone association, thanked Alvarado for his support.

"The areas need legal stability and Don Carlos tells us that in his government that will be maintained. This is a very important factor for the companies that are established today to maintain and grow, and also for the new investment that is required," Brenes said.

During the session, they also talked about the need to solve basic problems of excessive paperwork, citizen's security and urban mobility.

The candidate of the Action Party said he was happy to talk about a future government that will be an ally for the expansion of employment and free zones.

"So I come to present, as an ally, to make a buoyant, growing sector that generates more employment, wealth, more investment attraction. That inspires me because I know we can do it together because we build from what unites us and these affairs greatly unite us," he added.


CarlosAlvarado022218.jpgA.M. Costa Rica wire services photo    
  Alvarado said he will support employment and growth in the duty-free areas.

Alvarado held a meeting this week with representatives of the trade and tourism sector, among them, representatives of the National Chamber of Tourism, the National Chamber of Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism, the Costa Rican Chamber of Restaurants and Allies, Pro Image Group Costa Rica, the Costa Rican Association of Wellness Tourism-Wellness Costa Rica, the Convention Bureau and the Chamber of Diverse Commerce.

"We have great opportunities, but we are not exploiting them all. The government must be an ally. We must direct our efforts, so we call for joint work with those who know the needs firsthand," said the Citizen Action Party candidate.

The businessmen recognized in Alvarado a sensible option given that the tourism sector can be affected by degradation of the international image of Costa Rica, as a result of the growing hate speech in the framework of the electoral campaign, said a party news release.


Evangelical candidate will seek to
suppress in-vitro fertilization
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By A.M. Costa Rica staff   

The presidential candidate of the National Restoration Party, Fabricio Alvarado, has confirmed he will study how to eliminate the decree that regulates in-vitro fertilization in the country.

The decree, issued by the government of Luis Guillermo Solís, was approved after the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ordered the country to legalize this medical practice, following a class action lawsuit by couples who were denied the procedure.

Fabricio Alvarado, who last night in the presence of former president Óscar Arias, promised that he will be respectful of the Inter-American human rights system, said that the decree of Solís is irresponsible and that the Inter-American Court exceeded its functions, so those issues must be handled by the Congress. "We are going to fight for this to be resolved in the Legislative Assembly," he said.

Costa Rica issued a decree Sept. 11, 2015, after the court admonished the country for not having a framework to regulate this procedure.

A note from the newspaper La Nación reported that since the decree came into effect, 71 babies have been born in Costa Rica thanks to this procedure.

Fabricio Alvarado affirmed that, regarding the advisory opinion on equal marriage, he will go to the Organization of American States if necessary, together with other countries of the region. "We are defining the route," he said.

Alvarado also stated at a press conference that his group of close advisers on security and justice issues, led by Álvaro Ramos, the former security minister, and campaign spokesman Juan Diego Castro were looking into the matter.

In a hard-line speech, the former minister affirmed that he is respectful of the decisions of the judges, but "as a citizen, he does not have to accept them." Ramos was also deputy minister of the Interior and Police and president of the National Migration Council.

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A.M. Costa Rica wire services  photo  
Since 2015, 71 couples have had children thanks to in-vitro fertilization.


The former vice minister of Peace of the Laura Chinchilla government, Max Loría, is also part of the close group of Fabricio's advisers, together with the criminal lawyer Gloria Navas, ex-defense attorney of Ricardo Alem, who is serving a 20-year prison sentence for the crime of international drug trafficking.

Navas was also head of the Public Defense, the prosecutor of the Public Ministry and member of the Court of Judgment.

Juan Rafael Lizano, president of the National Chamber of Agriculture and former minister of Agriculture, is included into this group of advisors, but will not join the campaign at the moment and remain just as advisers, the campaign said.

Afterward, Fabricio confirmed the departure of Marisela Rojas, who advised him on education issues and was widely questioned for allegedly posing as a blind mother in a meeting of parents in a school in San Carlos, with Minister Sonia Marta Mora.

Rojas was convicted in 2005 for not recognizing the labor rights of a teacher at the school she ran.

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