San José, Costa Rica, since 1956


“There are powerful media who try to depict us as a failed country, a country without dreams. They’re liars interested in money and nothing more – which defines them as friends of Satan, the devil.”

–Outgoing President Abel Pachecoin April, taking one last dig at the media he criticized throughout his four-year administration.

“What’s better for reality TV than a big-ass police raid?”

–Calvin Ayre

billionaire owner of the online gambling company Bodog, after Costa Rican authorities stormed his house during the filming of a reality show, under suspicion there was illegal gambling going on.

“San José is a city that truly has a serious crime problem. San José is a city where you cannot walk at night.”

–Security Minister Fernando Berrocal

following his first day as minister.

“Natural law prevails over people’s rights.”

–Archbishop Hugo Barrantes

discussing why the Catholic Church opposes same-sex civil union and will continue defending the concept of marriage as “natural law” dictates: between a man and a woman.

“It seems that when Costa Ricans get behind the steering wheel, they transform themselves, like when Dr. Jekyll drinks his potion, into a different creature: disrespectful of the law, untroubled by the consequences of their acts and indifferent to pain and death.”

–President Oscar Arias

upon presenting the Roadway Safety Plan and proposed Traffic Law reforms.

“It’s a small, 360-degree turn.”

–Immigration Director Mario Zamora in September, with unintended irony, describing how the new administration seeks to reverse the direction of the country’s immigration policies.

“If God gave us oil fields then we have the opportunity to explore them and benefit from them.”

–Danny Quirós

Libertarian Movement director of communication, on why his party does not object to oil exploration in Costa Rica.

“If you are a classic woman subjected to the power of the classic political parties, you can pass unnoticed. Opposing these parties always brings problems, and if you’re a woman, it brings more problems.”

–Gloria Valerín

former legislator for the Social Christian Unity Party (PUSC), on being a woman in Congress.

“At 64 years old, I was discovering what it meant to have a roommate.”

–Ex-President Miguel Angel Rodríguez

in his book “Di la Cara”, on his time sharing space with fellow ex-President Rafael Angel Calderón, Jr. in late 2004 and early 2005. Both were imprisoned at penitentiary La Reforma while under investigation for corruption.

“It’s total happiness for us knowing that the whole world is watching Costa Rica, and that we gave a dignified performance.”

–Anthony Mora

soccer fan, after Costa Rica’s National Soccer Team (La Sele) scored a better-than-expected two goals against host team Germany, who scored four, in the opening game of the 2006 World Cup.

“I’ve heard that Costa Rica produces a good coffee; but I’ve never been to Costa Rica and I’ve never had a cup of Costa Rican coffee. Because I was born in the Colombian coffee plantations, I drink Colombian coffee.”

–Juan Valdez

in a statement from the Colombian NationalCoffee Growers’ Federation (FEDECAFÉ), on whether or not he drinks Costa Rican coffee.

“The Tico Times is the best newspaper in Costa Rica.”

–President Oscar Arias

to a former Tico Times reporter during a visit toWashington, D.C. in December.

“We think that to globalize a computer is the ultimate goal of globalization.Well, it turns out globalization has always been and existed in all times of humanity because the exchange of lives always existed.”

–Rigoberta Menchú

to the 2006 graduating class of theTropical Agriculture Research and HigherEducation Center (CATIE).

“In 1856, (Costa RicanPresident) Juanito Morakicked out (U.S.) filibusterWilliam Walker. Today wedon’t have Juanito Mora,but we need to kick out thefilibusters who supportCAFTA.We will kick outall those who betray thehomeland.”

–Mario Rojas

secretary of the Rerum Novarum WorkerConfederation, a national labor union, during aprotest against the Central American Free-TradeAgreement with the United States (CAFTA).

“It’s an atrocity that a man with that type of problem teaches classes, an atrocity. But this is the country of atrocities.”

–President Abel Pacheco

in January, on revelations that convicted sexoffenders were working in public schools.

“They need to be sent to Coto Brus to pick coffee, so they feel ashamed.”

–Rene Laurent

observer, referring to Costa Rica’s National Soccer Team players after La Sele was eliminated from the 2006 World Cup.

“The best example is the parliament – but the legislators get mad – because, diay, it is truly slow.”

–President Oscar Arias

on government inefficiency in September.

“The tragedy of Ivannia’s death would be magnified… if it went unpunished.”

–Armando González

Managing Editor of the daily La Nación, after the only suspects in the murder of journalist Ivannia Mora were set free after what a judge called errors by the prosecution.

“Costa Rica is a peaceable country with no army, so any conflict is terrible…It’s crazy that we have to spend a quarter of our budget on defense. Think of what we could do if we didn’t have that expense, but that’s impossible for the time being.”

–Outgoing Israeli Ambassador to Costa Rica Alexander Ben-Zvi

during Israel’s bombing of Lebanon over the kidnapping of two of its soldiers in July.


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