Costa Rica Delays Immigration Fine Implementation….Again

Costa Rica News – As it is with Costa Rica and most governments implementing new policies Costa Rica is still trying to figure out this one in regards to immigration.

We’ve heard that foreigners will be charged $100 for each month they overstay their visa in the country. It’s even been said they will not be allowed to enter the country again for three times the amount of time they were here illegally.

All of this, however, has been suspended again. The collection is not going to start for another 12 months. This is because authorities face technical difficulties in applying the sanctions and are asking deputies to approve a reform.

The current wording is confusing because it includes temporary residents and special categories whereas the sanctions should only apply to non-residents. Other adjustments will also be made to enable the collection of the fines in migratory posts.

A possible change to the text may also reference a fine for foreigners who have an expired Immigration Identity Document for Foreigners (DIMEX). The reform has been in the works for two years.

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Why Inexperienced People Should Not Venture into Costa Rica’s Active Volcanoes

Costa Rica News – Authorities remind us of the many reasons not to climb an active volcano. This comes after some photos of people posing close to the active crater in Turrialba were released.

The CNE and experts in volcanology have a “total disapproval” for people without sufficient knowledge or protective equipment approaching an active crater.

The area of the Turrialba volcano has been closed since 2012 because of intense activity. It is extremely dangerous to be in the zone because of the frequent falls of incandescent rocks that are a danger to human life. There are also highly toxic volcanic gases in high concentrations and temperatures. The wind takes them in unpredictable directions which change frequently and without warning.

The entrance is prohibited in order to protect human lives but also because entering causes irreversible damages to entry gates and expensive surveillance and investigation equipment.

For those who refuse to heed the warnings, the National Emergency Commission makes clear that there is “no possibility of recovering a body inside the crater.” It would be irresponsible to send rescue crews into such a dangerous place to save someone who voluntarily and illegally went there.

Costa Rica Delayed Admittance Into the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development

Costa Rica News – Sometimes the “manana” mentality does have its consequences.

There is a delay in the approval of six bills in Costa Rica that is slowing the country’s access to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The OECD wants the procedures done well, so they don’t ask for them to be expedited. It has been said that this subject is “too important to be urgent.”

The organization is waiting for Costa Rica to endorse laws on tax reform, investment and bribery. Bills are in the areas of fiscal deficit, regulation of the national financial system, statistics and competition promotion, among others.

Most of these are already in the legislative current, with the exception of those referring to strengthening the regulation of the financial system, as this will wait for the new Legislative Assembly to begin functions.

To join the OECD, 22 public policy committees made up of specialists from member countries evaluate the country and all must approve the country before it can become a member. Costa Rica so far has the approval of 12 of the 22.

Surf Photos & Costa Rica Weekend Surf Report- April 20th & 21st

Costa Rica Surfing – (Surf Report April 13th & 14th) – We are going to give you the surf forecast for Costa Rica and we have Costa Rica surf pics.  There are going to be overhead sets on the Pacific side  & the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. We have also added surf video from Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica.

North Costa Rica & Central Costa Rica & South Costa Rica Forecast for the Pacific

Good SSW swell next few days
Favorable AM conditions
Another round of SSW swell next week

WEATHER/WIND: Calm to light/variable to light offshore wind through the early to mid mornings (depending on precise location), before a moderate onshore seabreeze gradually develops over the late morning/afternoons (a little stronger for some areas, lighter for others). Most of the region will see partly cloudy skies each day. Possible isolated showers/thunderstorms here and there. Keep in mind that passing or nearby showers and thunderstorms can temporarily affect/change local wind conditions.

Friday 04/20- 5-8ft – head high to 3 ft overhead – Peaking SSW swell – 10′ sets possible at standouts.

Saturday 04/21 – 5-7ft – head high to 2 ft overhead – SSW swell holds early then eases slowly – 10′ sets possible at standouts.

Video of the Surf at Playa Hermosa – Equipment From Reel Cameras

Caribbean Costa Rica Forecast

Small short period wind waves from the east-northeast rising later in the next few days. Light and variable south-southwest winds until Saturday and switching to the northwest. Moderate short period wind waves from the east-northeast falling slightly during the early part of next week. Light and variable southwest winds later and switching to the north.

Small short period wind waves from the east-northeast holding during the day. Light and variable southwest winds and switching to the northeast.

Friday 04/20 – 5-6ft – Head high to 1ft overhead  – Small short period wind waves from the east-northeast holding during the day. Light and variable west-southwest winds all day and switching to the northwest.

Saturday 04/21 – 7-7ft – Shoulder high to 2ft overhead – Moderate mid period swell from the east-northeast holding during the day. Light west winds and switching to the east-southeast.

 

Now Some Costa Rica Surf Pics (Photos Taken By Una Ola Surf Camp (unaola.com)

Watch NASA’s TESS Planet-Hunting Satellite Launch into Space (Video)

NASA’s new planet-hunting TESS satellite launched into space from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Wednesday.

The satellite launched into Earth’s orbit aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, beginning a two-year mission to study nearby star systems to look for alien worlds that might harbor life.

https://www.nbcnews.com/widget/video-embed/1214143043609

Costa Rica’s New President Has His Work Cut Out

Carlos Alvarado Quesada’s election as president of Costa Rica on April 1, which defied every recent opinion poll, marks the rejection by Costa Ricans of fundamentalist populism.
The thirty-eight-year-old ruling party candidate—a former labor minister, musician, journalist, and novelist—won 60 percent of the vote. Despite taking place amidst rampant corruption, rising crime and inequality, and a looming financial crisis, the election was defined by the issue of same-sex marriage.

Alvarado Quesada’s opponent, Fabricio Alvarado Muñoz, an ultraconservative evangelical preacher, relied on family values rhetoric and opposition to same-sex marriage to garner support. In the end, that was not enough.

Alvarado Quesada has a long road ahead of him to repair not only societal divisions that have been deepened by the fierce election campaign, but the institutional and economic damage caused by previous administrations.

In a year marked by critical and high-profile elections in Latin America, Costa Rica’s election received more international press coverage than usual because of an advisory opinion issued by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights that appeared to legalize same-sex marriage in Costa Rica.

The international media intensely covered the impact of the opinion that described same-sex marriage as a human right. The Court’s opinion caused outrage in deeply religious Costa Rica, was seized upon by ultraconservative Alvarado Muñoz, and, as a result, had an impact on electoral forecasts.

Alvarado Muñoz made his opposition to the opinion the central issue of his campaign. He called for Costa Rica to withdraw from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Such rhetoric was enough to catapult him from an afterthought to leader in the polls and earned him a surprising victory in the first round of elections.

The Court’s opinion and Alvarado Muñoz’s unexpected surge polarized the country and sparked a national debate on human rights, the separation of church and state, so-called gender ideology,  and the rise of evangelical churches as a powerful political force.

In the end, it was ruling party candidate Alvarado Quesada who triumphed.

Alvarado Quesada inherits the presidency from the most unpopular administration in years. Outgoing President Luis Guillermo Solis, a member of Alvarado Quesada’s center-left Citizens’ Action Party (PAC), leaves behind a largely dysfunctional country. Mismanagement of public funds and unchecked spending by the Solis administration have stoked fears of an economic crisis—Costa Rica closed 2017 with the highest fiscal deficit in almost four decades. In 2017, it also witnessed the highest levels of violence in its history with more than 600 homicides. According to some estimates, 2018 will be even worse.

Finally, the Solis administration left Costa Ricans with the Cementazo: the single-largest corruption scandal in the country’s history. The Cementazo uncovered a complex and far-reaching influence-trafficking network that involved deputies from all of the country’s major parties, the Supreme Court of Justice, and many of Solis’s closest allies.

Despite the deep polarization in the country, there are a lot of reasons to celebrate. Voter turnout was high compared to the first round despite the fact that the election took place on Easter. The Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) officially announced Alvarado Quesada as the winner just two hours after polls closed.  Less than an hour later, Alvarado Muñoz delivered a concession speech in which he called for national reconciliation and respect for the results, an increasingly rare gesture in Latin America. The election also made a bit of history. Alvarado Quesada’s vice-presidential candidate, Epsy Campbell, will be continental America’s first black female vice president.

One of Alvarado Quesada’s biggest challenges during the campaign was to convince Costa Ricans that despite belong to the same party he is different from his predecessor. He must now address the fiscal deficit, the most ominous cloud hanging over his incoming government. A first step would be to push tax reform through the legislative assembly and impose legal limits to growth of public spending. He must also deal with the ballooning homicide rate, which, out of all countries in Central America, is the only one going up. He must also implement anti-corruption reform, a task made all the more urgent by the Cementazo.

Finally, and most importantly, he must heal the deep divisions that are the consequence of the recent election. He has already started down this path by offering half of the ministerial-level positions to opposition parties as long as they agree to help push forward a negotiable legislative agenda. The new president will also need to rebuild bridges with the marginalized and rural coastal areas that voted against him. As a Costa Rican journalist succinctly stated, it was necessity, not ignorance, that led these communities to vote for Alvarado Quesada’s opponent.

Significant challenges lie ahead, but Alvarado Quesada is uniquely situated to push the country forward. If he plays his cards right, Costa Rica, under his leadership, could come out stronger and more united than ever.

Alberto Matamoros is an intern in the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center.

BY ALBERTO MATAMOROS, From AtlanticCouncil.org

Amazon Now Offering Direct Shipping to Costa Rica

Costa Rica News – Amazon shopping is now easier than ever in Costa Rica as the company has included an international purchase option in its mobile application on iOS and Android. This was announced on April 17th.

Amazon now allows customers to receive packages directly in Costa Rica instead of going through services that give a US address and then forward the package. It will now be easier and quicker.

45 million items from around the world, and at great prices, are available on the platform. Some of the many categories include electronics, books, clothing, footwear and toys.

The international platform offers five languages and 25 currencies, including the Costa Rican colon. There are various shipping options and delivery speeds available. The company provides clear prices, shipping costs and estimates of import taxes.