IN THE NEWS
4Regional Youth Poverty High
Nearly 63 percent of children and teens in Latin America suffer some type of poverty, according to a study by the United Nations’ Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL) and the .N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The authors looked at household income, access to potable water, sanitation services and electricity, housing material and number of people per room, and school attendance to gauge poverty. The findings are a preview of a forthcoming multi-dimensional study on poverty.
4Who Put the CR in FARC?
The U.S. Treasury Department cited two Costa Rica-based agricultural companies as having ties to the narco-financed Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Agropecuaria San Cayetano de Costa Rica Ltda and Arrocera El Gaucho Ltda appeared in a June 17 statement from the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control which states that former FARC financial associate José Cayetano Melo Perilla owns the businesses. The office’s director, Adam J. Szubin, said the Treasury Department is “campaign(ing) against the FARC by exposing their key support networks in Ecuador and Costa Rica … (and) will continue to dismantle the FARC’s financial and logistical networks and reveal its facilitators.” In April 2008, then Public Security Minister Fernando Berrocal resigned suddenly after attempting to reveal alleged FARC influences in Costa Rica’s political quarters (TT, April 4, 2008).
4Equine Encephalitis Alert On
Costa Rica issued a warning Wednesday evening due to an outbreak of equine encephalitis. Dr. Alexis Sandí, assistant director of Costa Rica’s National Animal Health Service (SENASA) told The Tico Times that while the country has an ongoing monitoring program for the disease, this is the first time a case has been detected in the country’s northern zone. Two recent cases in Guanacaste, where outbreaks typically occur, were not surprising. The disease, which can be transmitted to humans, has also been detected in Panama, causing authorities in both countries to step-up monitoring of cross-border transport of horses, according to Panamanian daily, La Prensa.
4Court Rules on Access to Public Info
A Tuesday, June 22 ruling by the Sala IV on an injunction by Alejandro Fernández, a journalist from the Costa Rican weekly El Financiero, requires the Tax Administration to make public a list of all entities evading general sales tax payments along with the government actions and court cases pending against them. The court said such information is in the public interest since unpaid taxes undermine the public treasury’s ability to finance collective needs. Article 30 of the Constitution guarantees transparency of public entitites and citizens’ access to information of public interest.