Monday, 23 November 2020
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Costa Rica begins evaluation of industrial hemp

QCOSTARICA - The Ministry of Agriculture (MAG) reported the beginning of evaluations for the cultivation of industrial hemp in Costa Rica, with the first three cultivars. "Three cultivars of the species that are used for the production of fibers, seeds and essential oils were brought...

Puntarenas declares President Carlos Alvarado “persona non grata”

QCOSTARICA - On Monday night,  the Municipal Council of the Central Canton of the Province of Puntarenas declared President Carlos Alvarado "persona non grata" for having vetoed the shrimp trawler law approved by Congress. "We motioned for a firm agreement for lying to the people...

Congress approves reduction in 2021 Marchamo

QCOSTARICA - As had been expected, Congress approved on Tuesday night the bill to reduce the property tax of vehicles of the 2021 Marchamo. By a majority vote, 43 in favor and none against, the bill was approved in first debate, after a marathon session...

Disinfecting the “Concrete Box”

QCOSTARICA - Thursday afternoon, October 22, 2020, the Costa Rica's Legislative Assembly or Congress building - I call the "concrete box" became a superspreader of the coronavirus, with more than 50 cases confirmed, forcing a halt to the day's legislative session and a shut...

Legislator: “There is no prostitution anymore because there is no tourism”

QCOSTARICA - In the middle of the discussion about the project to revive trawling on Thursday, independent legislator Zoila Rosa Volio was very critical of the situation of neglect in the province of Puntarenas, which directly affects households headed by women. Legislators have been debating...

Costa Rica’s new Congress building becomes a ‘super spreader’

QCOSTARICA - After six and a half hours of discussion on the Legislative floor, Eduardo Cruickshank, chairman of the Legislative Assembly, suddenly stopped the session to alert legislators of an outbreak of COVID-19 cases. According to the Legislative Assembly doctor, Walter Rodríguez, the number of...

14 cases of COVID-19 confirmed in new Congress building

QCOSTARICA - Fourteen officials of the Legislative Assembly were diagnosed with COVID-19 on Tuesday. The cases resulted in a temporary suspension of functions, including legislative commission, until October 31. The outbreak occurred between the Legal, Economic, Government, and Administration committees, during the move to the new...

Legislators breaking new Assembly floor by cutting annuities for officials

QCOSTARICA - One of the first laws that the legislators will approve in the new Legislative Assembly building is the one that eliminates the payment of annuities for public officials in 2021 and 2022, as a result of the weak fiscal situation triggered by...

Avoid downtown San Jose this Monday as protests continue

QCOSTARICA - Another massive march against the Government was called for this Monday in San Jose by the Movimiento Rescate Nacional (National Rescue Movement). Célimo Guido, on Sunday afternoon, called on the protesters holding blockades across the country to give it a "rest" on Monday,...

Legislators move to luxurious building amid crisis

QCOSTARICA - Amid the financial crisis that has erupted into violence in the streets, in Cuesta de Moras, legislators have moded into their luxurious building. The 18 storey high (and 4 floors of underground parking) building, that many have criticized for its not very striking...

In Costa Rica, the Legislative Assembly is the power of the people

RICO'S DIGEST - Today is day 7 of protests, roadblocks, and violence in response to President Carlos Alvarado and the Executive Branch of the government's plan for new taxes, among others, to negotiate a US$1.75 billiion dollar loan with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This...

Tax hike an uphill race for government to negotiate with the IMF

(QCOSTARICA) A varied and wide outbreak of criticism and manifestations of discontent arose almost simultaneously with the presentation of the proposal prepared by the Government to start negotiations for an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that the authorities consider critical to stabilizing...

Harllan Hoepelmann is the first legislator to be diagnosed positive

(QCOSTARICA) Legislator Harllan Hoepelman, of the Nueva República, is the first legislator to test positive for COVID-19, as published this Friday morning by the weekly Semanario Universidad. The Semanario says that Hoepelman sent to the weekly statements that he is at home, "in total isolation...

The perfect way NOT to use a mask

(QCOSTARICA) A large group of mayors, unionists and municipal workers gathered outside the Legislative Assembly today (Tuesday), in downtown San Jose, demanding legislators approve the "Law to support the local taxpayer and strengthen the financial management of the municipalities in the face of the...

Electric Train Progresses in Costa Rica

(QCOSTARICA) The government on Monday (May 4) presented to the Legislative Assembly the draft law of the loan contract with the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), which will be used for the construction of the Passenger Electric Train of the Great Metropolitan...

New Legislative Building Design Comes Under Criticism

The expressions that Costa Ricans use to refer to the new Legislative Assembly building, which is currently being built on the north side of the Plaza de la Democracia, are incalculable. From the  “réplica del sarcófago de Chernobil” (replica of the Chernobyl sarcophagus), “caja de...

President Alvarado laughs it off being compared to Ortega and Maduro

While taking part in the Marcha de la Diversida (Gay Pride March) in downtown San Jose Sunday afternoon, Costa Rica president Carlos Alvarado Quesada, rejected the comparisons with the dictators in Nicaragua and Venezuela; Daniel Ortega and Nicolás Maduro, respectively. The prez also rejected the...

Carlos Benavdies Elected President Of The Legislature

The election of Carlos Ricardo Benavides as the new president of the Legislative Assembly for the period 2019-2020 went smoothly this Wednesday, May 1, obtaining 40 of the 57 votes thanks to a multi-party agreement between the PLN, PAC and RN. Meanwhile, contender Erwen Masís...

May 1st in Costa Rica

Today is May 1, a public holiday in Costa Rica, celebrating the Día Internacional de los Trabajadores - International Workers' Day, also known as Labor Day in some countries. The day is also an important day for government activities. Traditionally on this day, the President of...

President of Legislature Miffed Over Ash Wednesday Mass During Working Hours

The president of the Legislative Assembly, Carolina Hidalgo, expressed her displeasure over the Catholic Church's Ash Wednesday mass taking place in the Salón de Expresidentes (Ex-president's hall), on Wednesday, during working hours, without the proper permission. For his part, Catholic priest Sergio Valverde denounced the...

Fabricio Alvarado resigns from National Restoration and founds new party for upcoming elections

He would have been president, today he is without a party. Tomorrow he will have a new one. Fabricio Alvarado, presidential candidate in 2018, announced Tuesday his resignation from the Partido Restauración Nacional (PRN), a party he claims it does not welcome him, to...

Fuerza Publica keeps road closed despite there being no protesters in Cuesta de Moras

Though the early Monday afternoon rains on downtown San Jose dispered the hundreds of protesters in the area of the Legislative Assembly, khnown as Cuesta de Moras, a lone Fuerza Publica (National Police) vehicle closed off traffic.

Nicaragua Slashes Budget Due To Socio-Political Unrest

The Asamblea Nacional de Nicaragua (Nicaragua’s National Assembly) on Tuesday approved a drastic cut to the national budget because of the economic impact of months of anti-government unrest. The legislators approved a 9.2% reduction of the Ley Anual de Presupuesto General de la República 2018...

Evangelicals Make Up A Quarter of Costa Rica’s New Legislative Assembly

While the new government of Carlos Alvarado won't be starting their work until May 8, Costa Rica's new Legislative Assembly will formally begin work on Tuesday, May 1, Labor Day - a national holiday in Costa Rica - with 14 of its 57 new...

Tax Reforms To Suffer New Impasse

Today, Monday, the tax reform bill "Ley de Fortalecimiento de las finanzas públicas' will suffer a new impasse: a pause in the legislative process to make way for the new Legislative Assembly that forms on May 1. On April 30, the current crop of legislators...

Costa Rica Looks “Brighter Now”, says President Solis

Q COSTA RICA - Costa Rica's President Luis Guillermo Solis begins his last year in office saying it's not what people expected with the changes promised during his campaign three years ago, but the country is better off now though he still faces the...

Otto’s Crew Take Control Of Congress: Stopping The Government’s Tax Plan High On Their Agenda

Q COSTA RICA / The fate of President Luis Guillermo Solis' proposed tax plan that would see increases in taxes, is now in the control of Otto Guevara and his fellow Movimiento Libertario (ML) party legislators, with the election of Jose Alberto Alfaro as...

Legislators Take Up To 9 Years To Process A Law

(QCOSTARICA) It takes an average of 700 days or 23 months for a bill to move through the Legislative process and become law. Between May 1, 2002 and 2015, legislators approved 1.015 bills that became law, according to data provided by the Department of Parliamentary...

Opposition Bloc Takes Control of Legislature

QCOSTARICA - The ability of the government to approve new taxes, in vitro fertilization (IVF) and gay marriages in this second year was diluted with the election PUSC legislator Rafael Ortiz to chair the Legislative Assembly for the 2015-2016 session. With Ortiz, the government and...

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