Monday, October 30, 2006

Legislation reform would eliminate the right of Costa Rican gays to adopt children

The Legislative Assembly's Childhood and Adolescence Comission is preparing to discuss a reform to Article 107 of the Costa Rican Family Code that would eliminate the possibility for gays to adopt children.

The proposal was presented by legislator Guyon Massey, of the Restauracion Nacional party. The legislator feels there is a loophole in the current legislation which does not clearly establish that the adopting parents must be of opposite sex as the accepted constitutional and legal provisions for a heterosexual marriage.

Massey says that his proposal is not against gays, but rather to defend the rights of minors and protect them from uncomfortable situations that can cause trauma in the development of the child. The legislator says that children who have been adopted by same sex partners, suffer confusion and social pressures.

The proposal has support, especially in former Ombudsman, now legislator for the National Union Party, Jose Manuel Echandi.

Echandi explained that, though the rights of gays must be respected, they should not have the right to adopt minors. Echandi reinforced that the prohibition is to protect the rights of children and not against gays.

(Information provided by Inside Costa Rica)

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Images of protest - day 2

Here are a few more pictures from Costa Ricans protesting against the Free Trade Agreement. Marches and protests took place in several places around the country however the strongest ones were in the Central Valley and specially in downtown San Jose. These are photos from October 24 (day 2 of the protests).

Costa Rican students shout slogans in front of a barricade with a painted sign that reads 'Sold press stop the lies' during a demonstration against the proposed free trade pact between Costa Rica and the United States in San Jose, October 24, 2006. Public workers' unions also demonstrated in other Costa Rican towns and cities to try to persuade the government to scrap the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), which has been signed but not ratified by congress. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate

A Costa Rican protester rests during a demonstration against the proposed free trade pact between Costa Rica and the United States in San Jose, October 24, 2006. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate

Costa Ricans march in protest against the Free Trade Agreement in San Jose, Costa Rica, Tuesday, October 24, 2006. Thousands of Costa Ricans marched to protest for the second day against a Free Trade Agreement between the U.S. and Central America, which Costa Rica has not ratified. (AP Photo/Kent Gilbert)

Costa Ricans protest against the Free Trade Agreement outside the Legistlative Assembly in San Jose, Costa Rica, Tuesday, October 24, 2006. (AP Photo/Kent Gilbert)

A mock coffin that reads 'Homeland 1821-2006' and that represents a dead and sold-to-foreign-interests Costa Rica is seen as Costa Rican police stand guard outside the Legislative Assembly in San Jose, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2006. (AP Photo/Kent Gilbert)

Two Costa Rican protesters chat while sitting on an armchair used as barricade during a demonstration against the proposed free trade pact between Costa Rica and the United States in San Jose, October 24, 2006. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate

A Costa Rican wearing medical clothes and a hat protests against the Free Trade Agreement outside the Legislative Assembly in San Jose, Costa Rica, Tuesday, October 24, 2006. (AP Photo/Kent Gilbert)

Costa Rican indigenous people take part in a protest against the Free Trade Agreement outside the Legistlative Assembly in San Jose, Costa Rica, Tuesday, October 24, 2006. (AP Photo/Kent Gilbert)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Images of protest - day 1

Here are pictures from Costa Ricans protesting against the Free Trade Agreement. Marches and protests took place in several places around the country however the strongest ones were in the Central Valley and specially in downtown San Jose. These are photos from October 23 (day 1 of the protests).

Personally, I support the Free Trade Agreement and I hate to see these events unfolding in our capital, however my journalistic duty forces me to show them on my blog to keep you all informed of whats's happening in our country. I just hope that despite all these protests the goverment stays firm in its position and gets the agreement ratified by the first quarter of 2007 as it announced in previous days.
Uri R.

A Costa Rican man holds up a poster rejecting the Free Trade Agreement (TLC) as police stand guard outside the Legislative Assembly in San Jose, Costa Rica, Monday, October 23, 2006. Thousands of Costa Ricans marched to protest against a Free Trade Agreement between the U.S. and Central America, which Costa Rica has not ratified yet. (AP Photo/Kent Gilbert)

Costa Rican Brian Retana wears a Batman mask and a headband that reads 'Stand Up Costa Rica Stand Up, NO TO THE FREE TRADE AGREEMENT (TLC)' as he shouts slogans outside the Legistlative Assembly in San Jose, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 23, 2006. (AP Photo/Kent Gilbert)

A Costa Rican man wears a mask of "V", the masked vigilante of the "V for Vendetta" movie, as he marches towards the Legislative Assembly to protest against the proposed free trade pact between Costa Rica and the United States in San Jose October 23, 2006. (REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate)

Two policemen stand guard in front of a wall painted with anti-government slogans at the building of the Legislative Assembly, during a march against the proposed free trade pact between Costa Rica and the United States in San Jose, Costa Rica, October 23, 2006. (REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Costa Rica reports significant fall in dengue fever cases

The Aedes Aegypti mosquitoSan Jose, Costa Rica (Xinhua News) - Costa Rica's Health Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that 8,033 cases of dengue fever were reported from the beginning of this year to Oct. 14, down by 75 percent from the same period of last year.

During that period, Costa Rica registered 32,056 cases of the disease. Hemorrhagic dengue fever cases also dropped to 26 from 50, compared with the same period of last year.

The year of 2005 was a particularly bad one for Costa Rica, with nearly 37,800 dengue fever cases and 52 hemorrhagic dengue fever cases reported in the whole year.

Dengue is an acute infection characterized with fever, bone and muscle pain and rashes. The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the only known way of spreading the disease. The mosquito breeds in stagnant water close to human houses.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Costa Ricans march against Free Trade Agreement

An estimated 9,000 people demonstrated on the streets of San Jose against the Central America and Dominican Republic-United States Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) on October 23 and 24.

Even though the rallies did not have the impact that the organizers –mainly labor unions of state institutions– had forecast, they are not likely to be the last staged by those who oppose the Free Trade Agreement.

However, a majority of the people –according to opinion surveys– believe that the DR- CAFTA will be approved because there is no other way out in the trade with Costa Rica’s major partner, the U.S.

Image: Protesters march on Second Avenue towards the Legislative Assembly in San Jose, Costa Rica, during the protest to demand the rejection of the DR-CAFTA. The protests took place without violence, although some roads in Guanacaste, San Carlos and Siquirres were partially blocked. (Photo: Carlos Gonzalez/La Nacion)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Caribbean-flavored Carnival

Sandra Harr, wearing a dress made of coconuts, sells typical coconut desserts and pastries, during the festivities of the Limon Carnival in Limon, Costa Rica, October 21, 2006. For more than three hours the inhabitants of the port of the Caribbean attended the annual celebrations full of music, dance and rythm. (Photo: La Nacion)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Costa Rica-Nicaragua meeting hardly a success

Nicaragua's Foreign Minister Norman Caldera, left, and Costa Rica's Foreign Minister Bruno Stagno, right, sign an agreement during the closure of the fifth Reunion of the Bi-National Commission between Nicaragua and Costa Rica in San Jose, Costa Rica, Friday, Oct. 20, 2006. The two-day reunion sought to mend the tense relationship between the two countries, and focused on politics, public security, and immigration. Although an agreement was reached on some touristical and employment issues the Costa Rican press refused to call the meeting a success as key issues between the two countries remained unresolved. (AP Photo/STR)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Costa Rica and Nicaragua try to mend relationship

In this photo released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nicaragua's Vice-Foreign Minister Mauricio Gomez, left, and Costa Rica's Vice-Foreign Minister Edgar Ugalde, right, inaugurate the 5th Reunion of the Bi-National Commission between Nicaragua and Costa Rica in San Jose, Costa Rica, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2006. The two day reunion will seek to mend the tense relationship between the two countries, and will focus on politics, public security, and immigration. (AP Photo/Costa Rican Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Miguel Diaz)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Strike against CAFTA announced

Protesters march against the Free Trade Agreement between Central America and the U.S. in San Jose, Costa Rica, June 7, 2006. (AP FILE photo/Kent Gilbert)(Prensa Latina) San Jose, Costa Rica - Costa Rican unions and social organizations confirmed their participation in a national strike against the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States, currently being evaluated in Congress.

According to Jorge Coronado, representative of the Coordinadora de Lucha contra el TLC (Coordinator of the battle against the FTA) the central theme of the massive protest will be the immediate withdrawal of the treaty from legislation and projects to apply an agreement on telecommunications and security.

Coronado added that work will be stopped on the 23rd and 24th of this month, in primary and secondary schooling, Social Security, the Electricity Institute and other areas of public services.

Friday, October 13, 2006

World Egg Day in Costa Rica

Each October World Egg Day is celebrated in about 150 countries around the world, Costa Rica being one of them. This Friday 13, the province of Alajuela was one of the places in this Central American nation that held festivities to celebrate such day. Here are a few photos. (All photos by AP/ Cristobal Herrera)

Costa Rican children, dressed as chickens and eggs, attend the celebration of World Egg Day.

Maria Jose, right, dressed as an egg, plays with another child holding a large plastic egg during the celebration of World Egg Day.

An unidentified girl shows off an egg that she cooked during World Egg Day

Ivania Hernandez, left, dressed as egg, attends the celebration of World Egg Day

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Remembering 1492

Costa Rican Children dressed as Native Americans sing the national anthem at an elementary school during an act that marks the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus, Oct. 12, 2006 in Alajuela, Costa Rica. This historic event is celebrated in Costa Rica as the Encounter of Cultures Day. (AP Photo/Cristobal Herrera)

Note: October 12, 1492 is also called 'Hispanic day', 'Columbus Day', or 'Indigenous People's Day' depending on the recognition of Columbus and colonization as a positive or negative event in history.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Cocaine shipment intercepted

In this photo released by the Costa Rican Ministry of Public Security, Costa Rican drug enforcement officers stand guard over 3.5 tons of cocaine in the Pacific port city of Puntarenas, Costa Rica, 125 km (about 75 miles) west of the capital of San Jose, Monday, Oct. 9, 2006. The drug shipment was captured on a Costa Rican flagged boat in a joint operation between the United States and Costa Rica, and was estimated to be worth $ 55 million, with a possible street value of $ 500 million if it had reached the U.S., according to Costa Rica's Minister of Public Security Fernando Berrocal. (AP Photo/Costa Rican Ministry of Public Security/Humberto Ballestero )

To read more on this story click here.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Central American ministers of commerce meet in Costa Rica

Costa Rica's Foriegn Minister Bruno Stagno, left, speaks with Anibel Quinanos, right, secretary general of the Central American Integration System in San Jose, Costa Rica, Friday, Oct. 6, 2006. The Foreign Ministers and Ministers of Commerce of Central America were meeting to discuss the region's economical and political agreeements to be negociated with the European Union . (AP Photo/Kent Gilbert)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Felipe Calderon in Tiquicia

Mexico's President-elect Felipe Calderon, left, and Costa Rica's President Oscar Arias shake hands during a visit at the Presidential House in San Jose, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2006. Calderon was on a one-day visit to Costa Rica before heading to South America. (AP Photo/Kent Gilbert)

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