San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Cunning Web Site Owner Causes Libertarian Confusion

• Although the Web seemslike a portal into theworld of Costa Rica’sLibertarianMovement Party, itinstead leads to theofficial site of thevery different CitizenAction Party (PAC).Libertarian presidentialcandidate OttoGuevara explained to the daily La Naciónthat a man who registered the name saidhe would hand it over for $15,000. Whenhe was denied, he linked it to the PACsite. The party, whose real site, is takingsteps to freeze the other address.• In an effort to knock presidentialcandidate and clear front-runner OscarArias down a few notches, fellow candidateHumberto Arce, a legislator with thePatriotic Union Party (UP), claimed abusiness owned by the Arias family evaded$813,000 in Social Security paymentsand did not report dozens of Nicaraguanworkers. Arce added that Arias, who wasPresident from 1986-1990 and won theNobel Peace Prize in 1987, promotesvetoing the recently approvedImmigration Law – which will punishbusinesses that hire undocumented workers– not for humanitarian reasons, but forbusiness interests. Arias, the candidate forthe National Liberation Party (PLN), saidthe charges have “no base whatsoever”and that if businesses that the Arias familycompany subcontracts are not in compliance,the Arias family cannot be heldresponsible.• Costa Rica’s homosexual communityis asking the 2006 presidential candidatesto support formalizing gay unions as astep to the eventual legalization of gayand lesbian marriages and adoptions. Thecall was made last week during a meetingof the Diversity Movement, which surveyedthe candidates on their attitudestoward the gay population. While mostcandidates said they support combatingdiscrimination, they offered no concreteproposals, according to the organization,which says it defends the rights of250,000 homosexual voters.• The Libertarians have announcedthat rather than using ¢100 million($204,000) for rallies, they will use thefunds to renovate schools and improvelocal infrastructure. Although some of themoney in question comes from state fundsmeant for campaigning, they can be usedfor public works projects because theefforts will be filmed and serve as sets forparty advertisements, Libertarian campaignmanager Alvaro Alpízar told LaNación. The first project will involve the$41,000 renovation of two classrooms inSarchí, west of San José.• A judge has ordered the preventiveseizure of ¢169 million ($345,000) fromthe Social Christian Unity Party (PUSC)because of a former Unity leader’s claimagainst the party, the daily La Naciónreported. The former leader, Bernal Soto,says the party prevented him, using questionablemeans, from seeking a seat on amunicipal council in 2002. The SupremeElections Tribunal (TSE) found in favorof Soto and he later went to an administrativecourt to seek damages. While thespecific amount has yet to be determined,damages could reach ¢169 million, whichis why the seizure of the funds wasordered, the daily reported. This includesUnity bank accounts, real estate and statefunds the party receives. A Unity leaderresponded this week that it is against thelaw to seize funds that come from thestate contribution.• A legislative commission is discussinga bill that would allow airlines tocover the exit tax all people leaving CostaRica by air must pay. Tourists, citizensand residents now pay $26 at a counter inthe country’s international airport beforechecking in with their airlines. Under theproposal, airlines would collect the fee aspart of the airplane ticket cost and thenturn it over to the Finance Ministry.• The same commission is also studyinga bill to increase the exit tax to $30,dedicating the $4 increase to promotesports and national parks. The bill proposesusing $2 of every person’s payment forthe renovation or reconstruction of theNational Stadium and $2 to pay debts inzones declared national parks.

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