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Tag-Archive for "Third World Laws"

Has Costa Rica’s ICE Forgotten its “Calling?” Jun 06

60,000 telephone lines for 150,000 people. It doesn’t quite add up! But this is what is being offered by the Instituto Costarricense de Electridad (ICE) on Monday, Dec. 8. The Electricity Institute is Costa Rica’s only telecommunications service and currently enjoys being the only player in the market, much to the dismay of its neglected customers.

To get a telephone line in Costa Rica, one must fit several requirements including being a permanent resident or citizen as well as produce proof of an address via a utilities bill. This process leads to several complications for numerous expats and tourists who visit Costa Rica in their thousands each year yet are unable to communicate with friends and family via their mobile phone. more…

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Costa Rica Looks to Update ID Cards May 27

A Costa Rican ID Card, Courtesy of the TSE Website.

The Supreme Elections Tribunal (TSE) urged the Costa Rican Hacienda (Treasury) to find million to modernize its ancient system for producing citizenship and residency cards (cedulas). The President of the TSE, Luis Antonio explained that the equipment that is used to make the documentation usually has a life span of six years, however the Hacienda has currently been using it for over a decade. “The equipment is old, we have been repairing parts of it and if it stops, its effects would be devastating for all of society,” he said.

The TSE magistrates completed a feasibility study for the modernization of the Costa Rican ID cards and presented it to the Minister of the Hacienda in mid November. Though the study has been reviewed, the Minister has yet to issue an official answer to the TSE.

If the plan is approved, the system would not be modernized until two years after the funds are collected. Based on that, you will most likely will not be seeing any new cedulas in Costa Rica for another three years.

The new identification cards would allow Costa Rica residents to be identified by their picture as well as a digital signature and finger print thanks to a computer chip that will be placed in each one. The cards will be issued in all the 21 regional offices of the TSE. The price for these new IDs will not raise from the regular .

New Rules Limit Costa Rican Offshore Bank Operations May 25

No More Loopholes for Offshore Banks in Costa Rica.

The Superintendent General of Finances (SUGEF) intends to pass a bill on December 18th highly limiting the operation of offshore banks in Costa rica. Such banks are considered to be foreign owned banks existing in Costa Rica that license their banking to a Costa Rican organization. Until now, these banks enjoyed a large amount of freedom in setting their own interest rates and were not obligated to pay a large tax to the Banco Central de Costa Rica, as national banks are.

The economic authorities voted to restrict the operational activities of offshore banks as they cannot supervise or oversee their monetary control. Currently Costa Rica has six offshore banks operating in Costa Rica of which Scotia Bank and BAC are two of the biggest. more…

Costa Rica rated poor for Port conditions May 24

Costa Rican Ports ranked poorly
Costa Rican Ports are ranked amongst the worst in the World.

It’s as if the Costa Rican authorities are throwing money down the drain after a report for the International Competitiveness forum was released detailing that Costa Rica has some of the worst ports in the World. The report took into account official figures and opinion polls as well as many other indicators before ranking the country in position 128 out of 134. Long waiting times and poor infrastructure contributed to its downfall. The ports analyzed included Limon, Moin in the Caribbean and Caldera where one boat reportedly waited up to four days before being served. more…

Supreme Court reverses portions of Domestic Violence law May 23

On Thursday November 13th, the Sala IV constitutional court in a split decision overturned two key provisions of a controversial Domestic Violence law designed to protect women. The Sala IV is Costa Rica’s equivilant of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The first section overturned, provided six months to 2 years prison sentence for anyone who attacks or physically harms a wife or live-in companion when the event was too minor to be handled by other criminal laws. For anyone who understands email managment, this is Costa Rica’s version of the “catch-all” email address. If you cannot find what to do with it, send it to the “catch-all” account. For those who follow human rights abuses, this law when enacted provided prosecutors with an easy way to convict people without burdening them with rules of evidence.

The second section overturned, provided the same sentencing rules for someone who insults, devalues, frightens or embarrasses a wife or female companion in public or in private. If you grew up in a family where older brothers or sisters harrassed you, you might describe yourself as having “thick skin.” When this law was enacted, womans groups hailed it as the Holy Grail for woman in Costa Rica. more…

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