Stories written by Daniel Zueras

COSTA RICA: Infertile Controversy over Right to Form a Family

Costa Rica is one of the few countries in the world where in vitro fertilisation (IVF) is illegal. And the Vatican wants it to stay that way: Pope Benedict XVI himself recently urged the government not to pass a law that would make it legal.

A cloud forest in Costa Rica. Credit: Germán Miranda/IPS

Cracks in Costa Rica’s Green Image

For many, Costa Rica embodies the notion of a country committed to taking care of its natural environment. But Costa Rican activists beg to differ, and have a list of the actions that contradict the country's green "for-export" image.

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COSTA RICA: Gays Unite Against Referendum on Civil Unions

Human rights organisations and the gay community in Costa Rica have joined forces to try to block a referendum on a law for civil unions between partners of the same sex.

COSTA RICA: Working Towards Carbon Neutrality

With the elimination of certain taxes and the implementation of several green initiatives, Costa Rica is pressing forward in its aim to promote sustainable energy generation with a view to achieving "carbon neutrality" by 2021, the year this country will celebrate two centuries of independence.

COSTA RICA: Holiday Homes, Hotels Endangering Ecotourism

The boom in construction projects on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica is threatening biodiversity and compromising the future of the country's widely promoted ecological tourism, says a study by Costa Rican and U.S. scientists.

COSTA RICA: (In)human Trafficking

The rescue in a Costa Rican port of 36 Asians working as slaves in appalling conditions on two fishing boats once again highlighted the need to fight people trafficking in this Central American country.

CLIMATE CHANGE: Native Peoples Reject Market Mechanisms

Solutions to global warming based on the logic of the market are a threat to the rights and way of life of indigenous peoples, the Latin American Indigenous Forum on Climate Change concluded this week in Costa Rica.

HAITI: Watching the Sky with Dread

With the spring rains and hurricane season just around the corner in Haiti, some 600,000 people are still living in camps, many in areas prone to flooding. And plans to provide solutions for the survivors of the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake are moving forward slowly.

COSTA RICA: Headhunting First-World Seniors

The Costa Rican government has declared retirement communities, aimed at attracting U.S. pensioners, to be "of national interest." Plans to create "retirement clusters" providing complete health services for older adults are seen as a profitable prospect for this Central American country.

COSTA RICA: Chinchilla to Join Club of Women Presidents

Laura Chinchilla of the governing National Liberation Party (PLN) will be the first female president of Costa Rica and the ninth in the history of Latin America.

COSTA RICA: Luxury Homeowners Evade Solidarity Tax

The first attempt to collect a new tax on luxury homes in Costa Rica has ended in failure, in spite of the fact that it is a solidarity tax entirely devoted to building social housing for slum-dwellers.

COSTA RICA: Last-Ditch Leftwing Alliance to ‘Save’ the Country

Political forces on the left in Costa Rica have formed a partial last-minute alliance to support Ottón Solís, the presidential candidate for the centre-left Citizens' Action Party (PAC), in a bid to counter the conservative lead that the polls predict for the upcoming Feb. 7 elections.

COSTA RICA: Media Bill Languishes in Congress

A bill on the press and freedom of expression that has been kicking around in the Costa Rican Congress for the past eight years, which deals with questions like source confidentiality, access to public information, and libel and slander laws, was saved in late August from being permanently shelved by the legislature.

POLITICS-CENTRAL AMERICA: Falling Out and Falling Apart?

The late June coup d'état in Honduras was a body blow to political integration in Central America. The institutions of the regional integration process have been incapable of reacting to the event, leaving the future of the process increasingly uncertain and trade agreements, themselves in poor shape, as the only viable way forward, experts say.

Chirripó, Costa Rica's highest peak, located in the Talamanca range.  Credit: Daniel Zueras/IPS

TOURISM-COSTA RICA: Much More Than a Walk in the Countryside

Some 3,000 people make their living from rural community-based tourism in Costa Rica, according to the association of tour operators who connect visitors to the delights of rural life.

: Chirripó, Costa Rica's highest peak, located in the Talamanca range. - Daniel Zueras/IPS

Much More Than a Walk in the Countryside

Costa Rican tourism is incorporating rural community-based vacations as the fourth leg of an industry otherwise centered on beaches, ecotourism and adventure travel.

COSTA RICA: Indigenous People Sidelined in Plans for Dam

The Diquís dam, the largest hydroelectric project in Central America, is worrying indigenous communities because Costa Rica’s state power company has excluded them from the decision-making process, in spite of international treaties that stipulate that they must be consulted.

COSTA RICA: Indigenous People Sidelined in Plans for Dam

The Diquís dam, the largest hydroelectric project in Central America, is worrying indigenous communities because Costa Rica’s state power company has excluded them from the decision-making process, in spite of international treaties that stipulate that they must be consulted.

Sign announcing national day against homophobia. Credit: Daniel Zueras/IPS

COSTA RICA: A Day of Multi-Coloured Splendor

Government institutions and civil society organisations are holding talks, workshops and other activities aimed at raising awareness and overcoming intolerance, in preparation for the National Day Against Homophobia on Sunday in Costa Rica.

RIGHTS-COSTA RICA: Persons for Sale

Global trafficking of persons continues apace and Costa Rica is not exempt from sexual exploitation and forced labour. Data compiled by the United Nations indicate that women and girls are most affected by human trafficking, making up 80 percent of victims worldwide.

Protest by domestic workers in Costa Rica Credit: Daniel Zueras/IPS

MAY DAY-COSTA RICA: Domestics Fight for Eight-Hour Day

Domestic employees in Costa Rica have run out of patience. After 17 years of fighting, they are threatening to report the state to international bodies if their slave-like working hours are not cut back.

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