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Costa Rica


New Zealand And Beyond: How Anti-Smoking Laws Are Changing

New Zealand has reversed its decision to implement the world's toughest anti-smoking law, to the disappointment of many inside and outside the island nation. But how are other laws aimed at tobacco use faring around the world?

Updated Nov. 27, 2023 at 6:50 p.m.

In 2022, New Zealand announced that the country would enact a pioneering anti-smoking law that would ban the sale of cigarettes to anyone born after 2008. The decision was hailed by health activists as a radical and righteous measure that would help prevent the deaths of millions every year.

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The Latin American Left Is Back, But More Fractured Than Ever

The Left is constantly being hailed as the resurgent power in Latin America. But there is no unified Left in the region. The "movement" is diverse — and its divisions are growing.


LIMA — Lula da Silva's reelection to the presidency in Brazil is the 25th consecutive democratic election in Latin America in which the ruling party has lost power. There appears to be general discontent with ruling parties, caused partly by external factors: the world's worst pandemic in a century, the worst recession since the 1990s, and sharpest inflation rate in 40 years.

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How Courts Around The World Are Stripping No-Vaxxers Of Parental Rights

The question of who gets to decide questions around a child's health when vaccines are at play is complicated, and keeps popping up from Italy to Costa Rica to France and the U.S.

It is a parent’s worst nightmare to find out their child needs heart surgery. When it happened to the parents of a two-year-old child in the central Italian city of Modena, there was something extra to worry about: The blood transfusion required for the operation could include traces of the COVID-19 vaccine, which they opposed for religious reasons.

The parents asked the Sant'Orsola clinic in Bologna if they could vet the blood for the transfusion to make sure it hadn’t come from vaccinated donors. When the hospital refused, the parents took it to court, putting their child’s surgery on hold.

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How Asia's High-End Demand Fuels South American Coffee Exports

Amid post-pandemic trade distortions and changing consumer habits, Latin American countries seeking to boost coffee exports should eye a growing specialty market in prosperous Asian countries.

SANTIAGO — Like many sectors of the economy, coffee production has suffered the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. But COVID-19 and a consequent change of habits that include working from home have also boosted consumption of hot and caffeinated drinks. Now, cultivators of a crop grown around the Tropic of Capricorn are striving to meet this global demand of around three billion cups of coffee per day.

As marketing consultants Euromonitor observed in a recent study, coffee is an eminently social drink and global lockdowns distorted social habits. At the same time, consumers are also seeking out drinks thought to boost the immune system and provide comfort during this troubling era.

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Haitian Migrants Flock To Costa Rica To Flee Brazil Crisis

LA CRUZ — Yet another migrant crisis for the world: the tiny Central American nation of Costa Rica is now faced with the arrival of thousands of Haitians, many by way of crisis-hit Brazil.

Over the past four months, some 8,500 Haitians have entered the tiny Central American nation, reports La Nación, based in the capital of San José. Approximately 4,500 of the new arrivals are staying in government camps. The others crowd the streets of the northern border crossing with Nicaragua, looking to go further northward.

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African Migrants' Transatlantic Route Floods Tiny Costa Rica

SAN JOSÉ — A troubling new sea-bound migration route has opened up, as some 20,000 migrants from African countries are believed to have flocked to Costa Rica, according to a recently released International Organization for Migration (IOM) report.

La Nación, a daily in the Costa Rican capital of San José, reports that the figure of 20,000 greatly exceeds the estimate of 9,000 made last month by the Organization of American States (OAS), and is set to expand further as people fleeing economic hardship and state repression in Africa seek an alternative to the dangerous Mediterranean crossing to Europe.

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Costa Rican Official In Hot Water After Sexy Video Goes Viral

24HORAS (Costa Rica), CLARIN (Argentina), CNN EN ESPAÑOL

SAN JOSE - Costa Rican Vice-Minister of Youth Karina Bolaños is in hot water after a ‘hot" video of her, lying in bed wearing only lingerie and flirting with the camera began to circulate on the Internet, 24Horas reported.

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Central American Drug Cartel Uses Churches As Fronts



SAN JOSÉ - The Costa Rican capital is where Los Charros, a Central American drug cartel with links to to one of Mexico's biggest mafia families, picks up cocaine to transfer through Central America. And Los Charros has found a way to launder money to cover up its trafficking revenue: by purchasing and registering vehicles and property in the name of Evangelical Churches, El Universal reports.

At least one religious foundation was identified by tax authorities as actively taking part of the cartel network.

Several of the cartel's leaders were sentenced to 27 years in prison in Nicaragua this past March, and their prosecution shed some light onto the cartel's methods. Los Charros is run from Guatemala, and its members include nationals of several Central American countries.

One member, captured in May 2011, was a judge in Nicaragua and is suspected of being a key piece in a network of document forgery. Los Charros also used hardware stores, construction companies and transportation companies to launder its drug cash.

The cartel mainly transported cocaine that was bought in Costa Rica and then transported through Nicaragua and into Guatemala in fleets of cars and trucks, El Universal reports. It is believed to work in association with Mexican drug cartels.

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food / travel

Finally! Tiny Tropical Costa Rica Puts A Man On Everest

LA NACIÓN (Costa Rica)

SAN JOSE - Costa Rica's claims to fame include beautiful beaches, a stable democracy, a greasy pigskin specialty called "chicharrónes," a couple of World Cup appearances and… as of this week, membership in the exclusive "Mount Everest Club."

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'Gringo' Who Ran Costa Rican Sex Slave Operation Still At Large

LA NACIÓN (Costa Rica)

SAN JOSE - An American man accused of running a sex slave operation in Costa Rica is on the lam while his associates – a Colombian, a Costa Rican and an Egyptian man – are now behind bars following a series of raids this past week.

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food / travel

In Costa Rica, Nutritionists Push Diet Of Worms And Insects

In sauces and on skewers, critters that crawled and worms that squirmed are increasingly seen as a thrifty source of protein for people in the developing world -- and beyond.