San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rican environental group attacks Arias' recond

The group also expressed its view that Arias´ discourse at world forums was inconsistent with the administration´s actual policies, representing a reverse for the country´s longstanding reputation for environmental commitment.

According to the ecologists, the expansion of pineapple cultivation has caused water contamination and soil damage and is one of the main environmental blunders of the Arias administration, which concludes May 8.

Also marring the administration´s environmental track record, according to the report, is an Executive Decree signed in October 2008 approving open pit gold mining in Las Crucitas, a site in the northern region of the country located three miles from the Nicaraguan border.

“Today, this project, the biggest of its kind in Central America, is on hold thanks to 18 lawsuits filed by social and environmental groups in the country before the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court requesting an injunction,” the organization continued.

FECON pointed out that the operation of this mine would contaminate water tables, damage the soil, and affect dozens of tree and animal species, including the great green macaw, which is critically endangered.

Other shortcomings cited by the group include the expansion of real estate development on the Pacific coast.

Arias, who has not responded to the report, turns power over in May to Laura Chinchilla, who takes over as the first female president in the country´s history.

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