Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Oscar Arias visits Colombia

Costa Rica's President Oscar Arias attends a ceremony during a visit to Bolivar Square in Bogota March 23, 2010. Arias is on a two-day official visit to Colombia. (Photo:REUTERS/John Vizcaino)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Nery Brenes finishes fourth

Bershawn Jackson from the US, Britain's Richard Buck, Costa Rica's Nery Brenes and Austria's Clemens Zeller, from left, compete during their Men's 400m heat at the 13th IAAF World Indoor Championships in Friday, March 12, 2010 in Doha, Qatar. Brenes qualified to the final and finished in 4th place. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Monday, March 08, 2010

Metallica concert in Costa Rica

Metallica's James Hetfield (right) and bassist Robert Trujillo perform at Saprissa stadium in San Jose, Costa Rica on March 7, 2010.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Sewing MLB balls

A Rawlings employee sews baseballs for use at the 2010 Major League Baseball season at a factory in Turrialba, Costa Rica March 3, 2010. The average baseball is only used for a few pitches in the Major Leagues, but for the Costa Ricans who make them each ball is the result of hours of painstaking stitching by hand. Picture taken March 3, 2010. (Photo: REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate)

Friday, March 05, 2010

Laura Chinchilla meets Hillary Clinton

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Costa Rica's President-elect Laura Chinchilla waves after a meeting of Trade Ministers of America in San Jose March 4, 2010. (Photo:REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate)

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Clinton in Costa Rica for regional ministers' meet

Costa Rica's President Oscar Arias (L) walks next to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a meeting in San Jose March 4, 2010. (Photo: REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate)San Jose (AFP) – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived early Thursday in Costa Rica to meet the country's leaders as well as ministers from Latin America to discuss economic and democracy issues.

She will meet with president-elect Laura Chinchilla, set to become Costa Rica's first female head of state, in talks expected to focus on economic and development issues.

The top US diplomat will also meet President Oscar Arias, who hands over to Chinchilla on May 8.

Clinton flew in from Brazil where she faced strong resistance to the US-led push for sanctions against Iran over its disputed nuclear program.

In San Jose she sits down with female entrepreneurs and attends a Pathways to Prosperity roundtable, a Bush-era initiative involving 14 regional countries whose foreign ministers meet to promote economic development, democracy and women's rights.

The group includes six Central American countries as well as Canada, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru, the United States and Uruguay.

This is the fifth stop in Clinton's six-country Latin America tour, which she completes Friday in Guatemala, where she attends another meeting with regional leaders.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Weighing coffee in San Marcos

A coffee producer weighs coffee beans at a plantation in San Marcos de Tarrazu 90 kilometers (56 milles) south of San Jose, February 18, 2010. Costa Rica's coffee farmers are in a push to replace many of their aging high-quality coffee trees in a strategy that could lower output in the short term but pay off down the road. (Photo:Reuters)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Costa Rica finds ton of cocaine, arrests Mexicans

San Jose, Costa Rica (Reuters) - Costa Rican police seized around a ton of cocaine and arrested two suspected Mexican traffickers on Friday in the latest sign Mexican gangs are stepping up their use of the country as a storage point.

Police found 2,139 pounds (969 kg) of cocaine stashed at a rural house near the Pacific coast northwest of San Jose, and arrested two Mexican nationals at the scene. They are believed to be members of Mexico's Juarez cartel, the public security ministry said.

President-elect Laura Chinchilla, a former security minister who won a landslide election victory on Sunday, has said combating Mexican drug gangs operating in Costa Rica will be a priority when she takes power in May.

A three-year army crackdown on drug gangs in Mexico has encouraged some traffickers to push south into Central America, setting up bases in countries like Guatemala as they seek new routes to smuggle South American cocaine to the United States.

Costa Rican authorities have seized 93 tons of cocaine between 2006 and 2009 - nearly twice the amount the country captured in the preceding decade.

Costa Rica is known for being an oasis of stability, high living standards and low crime in a region scarred by Cold War-era civil wars and plagued by violent street gangs.

But it also sits halfway between the cocaine-producing Andes and Mexico, whose smuggling gangs earn some $40 billion a year smuggling the drug north using planes, boats and trucks.

Police raided the house in Costa Rica early on Friday following a tip-off from neighbors, the ministry said.

The two suspects are from the northern Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez, one of the world's most violent spots. One had a press credential from a Mexican newspaper, the ministry said.

(Reporting by Leslie Josephs; editing by Mohammad Zargham)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Time: Recovering the Tico mojo is Chinchilla's prime mandate

Yesterday Time magazine published an article highlighting Costa Rica's election of Laura Chinchilla as its first female president and the generational and gender changes that this represents in the Costa Rican political arena.

Time points out that "at a moment when Costa Rica's stature as the Switzerland of Central America is in decline..." Chinchilla's prime mandate is to help our country recover its "Tico mojo" .

For Time, the fact that Chinchilla is "the first Tica President is definitely important — but taking Costa Rica back to the future will matter even more."
Read the whole article here.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Laura Chinchilla visits La Basilica

Costa Rica's President-elect Laura Chinchilla greets her supporters inside the Basilica of Los Angeles in Cartago for a service of thanks February 8,2010. Chinchilla, a protege of Nobel peace laureate President Oscar Arias, won a landslide election victory in Costa Rica on Sunday to become the country's first elected woman president. (Photo:Reuters)

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