IN THE NEWS
4Gift From MOPT Won’t Last
Drivers in San José will enjoy a gift from the Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT), but the gift will be taken back after the holidays. A MOPT news release issued last week said that vehicular restrictions on cars in the city will be lifted from Monday, Dec. 21, through Friday, Jan. 1, 2010. According to Rosaura Montero, vice minister of MOPT, the ministry’s traffic division has been notified and officers will not issue tickets for violations of this particular restriction during the holidays.
4Close, But No Cigar
Costa Rica’s Eduardo Aguirre came close to taking first place in the 4th Latin American Idol competition last week, but he was bested by 18-year-old Martha Heredia of the Dominican Republic. The musical talent journey of the two finalists began in July when they auditioned before Jon Secada, Mimí and Oscar Mediavilla in San José. That represented the first time an Idol audition had been held in Costa Rica. Last year, Tica María José Castillo took second place in the competition.
4Term Extensions for Nica Judges
A proposal by the Sandinista Front to extend until 2011 the terms of some 20 judges and magistrates whose terms end in the coming months is causing a year-end political scandal in Nicaragua. Sandinista Supreme Court Judge Rafael Solís, who was involved in the controversial decision last October to allow President Daniel Ortega to seek re-election in 2011, said the Sandinistas should present a law to extend the term limits of Supreme Court justices and the magistrates of the Supreme Electoral Council, which orchestrated the controversial 2008 municipal elections. Opponents, including Vice President Jaime Morales, are blasting the Sandinista proposal, arguing that term limits are clearly established in the constitution.
4Legislator Turns Ombudswoman
Costa Rica’s new ombudswoman, Ofelia Taitelbaum, assumed her new role on Thursday. She was elected by the Legislative Assembly with the support of 23 members of the National Liberation Party (PLN) and seven members of opposition parties. Upon her election on Tuesday, Taitelbaum, of the PLN, immediately resigned from her position as a member of the Legislative Assembly. The election spurred controversy because she pursued the ombudswoman position as a legislator and received the unsolicited backing of President Oscar Arias.
4Canada and C.R., Friends Forever?
Costa Rica’s economy stands to benefit from close ties with Canada. During her recent visit to Costa Rica, Canadian Governor General Michaelle Jean discussed with President Oscar Arias options for her country in Costa Rica’s telecommunications and insurance market, recently opened to private enterprise. During a Monday news conference, Jean also cited a Canadian company’s interest in the possible installation of a Maritime transportation operation, depending on the modernization of Costa Rica’s ports. Additionally, in the tourism realm, Jean mentioned possible direct flights between the two countries. Right now, Costa Rica receives some 100,000 Canadian tourists yearly