Costa Rica. According to Countryaah, the most serious political crisis for the government since it took office three years ago broke out in May, when it was revealed that three top politicians in President Laura Chinchilla’s inner circle had close links with Ricardo Morales Fallón, a notorious businessman suspected of drug smuggling. Minister of Communications Francisco Chacón, Security Chief Maurício Boraschi and one of the President’s advisers were forced to step down as a result of the scandal. All in all, the state of affairs of the ruling National Liberation Party (PLN), which has already been at the center of a series of corruption scandals, deteriorated, and not least President Chinchilla’s own image for the February 2014 presidential election, when she hopes to be re-elected.
Another adversity for the government was the National Audit Office’s stop for the modernization of Costa Rica’s only oil refinery in Moín, which was to be co-financed by a Chinese oil company, but which the National Auditor Marta Acosta sentenced at the end of June because of budget and contract text irregularities. Costa Rica risks large fines for breach of contract, which also applied to other international agreements with companies from Canada and Brazil.
The border conflict with neighboring Nicaragua around the San Juan River flared up again when Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega in July announced plans for concessions to oil companies for oil exploration in the area. One of the few successes for PLN during the year was otherwise that their candidate was elected to the presidency in Congress in May.
- According to AbbreviationFinder.org, San Jose is the capital city of Costa Rica. See acronyms and abbreviations related to this capital and other major cities within this country.
HUMAN AND ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY
State of Isthmian Central America. In the period 2000-2005 the average annual growth rate of the population, which at the 2000 census was 3,810,179 residents, was quite sustained (1.9 %), albeit with a tendency to decrease, as shown by the coefficients birth rates and mortality rates fell to 18.3 ‰ and 4.3 ‰ respectively in 2006. From the point of view of demographic distribution, the opposition between the center of the country, the Meseta or Valle Central, and the sparsely populated outskirts of the mountains and the two maritime sides was even more accentuated. The heart of the Meseta was occupied by a real urban region, having as its nucleus the capital San José (336,860 residents in 2004, 1,085,000 residents the urban agglomeration), seat of an intense cultural life (two large universities ) and numerous international organizations. Unlike neighboring countries, the Costa Rica during the 20° sec. it has never known internal conflicts and this has allowed the government to allocate a large part of its resources to education, health and environmental protection, expenses which are in any case lower than the actual needs and heavily conditioned by the cuts imposed by budgetary requirements. In 2003, the country recorded a 5.6 % increase in GDP, the highest growth rate among Central American states and one of the best in Latin America. This result is mainly due to the increase in exports in the agricultural and industrial sector, which offset the lack of activity aimed at the internal market, conditioned by the stagnation of purchasing power. Indeed, employment growth (+ 3,2003) did not reduce unemployment, and wage adjustments barely offset the rise in prices. The traditional economy continued to be based on typical tropical products (bananas, cocoa, coffee), intended for export, flanked over the years, to implement a certain diversification, by other products such as flowers, pineapples, mangoes, lemons. Tax incentives and the creation of some free zones (maquilas) have attracted foreign companies from the IT and high technology sectors (electronic component factories). In particular, in 1998 a US company installed two factories for the construction of microprocessors near the capital, with a total of 1900 employees. The Costa Rica also recorded a consistent development of tourism, thanks to a promotion policy conducted by both the government and the private sector, placing itself among the most interesting destinations in the tropical zone.