food / travel

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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Geopolitics

Central American Drug Cartel Uses Churches As Fronts

Worldcrunch

EL UNIVERSAL (Mexico)

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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Sources

'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.

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