Timeline Costa Rica

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1502        Sep 18, Christopher Columbus landed at Costa Rica during his 4th and last voyage.  Columbus left 52 Jewish families in Costa Rica.
    (MC, 9/18/01)(WSJ, 6/15/00, p.A1)

1821        Sep 15, A junta convened by the captain-general in Guatemala declared independence for its provinces Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua San Salvador and Chiappas.
    (AP, 9/15/97)(EWH, 1968, p.843)

1823        Jul 1, The United Provinces of Central America (Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and San Salvador) gained independence from Mexico. The union dissolved by 1840.
    (PC, 1992, p.393)(ON, 12/99, p.5)

1824        Jul 25, Costa Rica gained Guanacaste province from Nicaragua as the town people of Nicoya and Santa Cruz decided to join Costa Rica. In 2013 Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega warned Costa Rica that he may ask the International Court of Justice to restore to Managua the province he said it lost to "occupation."
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guanacaste_Province)(AFP, 9/2/13)

1839-1840    The Liberals of the United Provinces of Central America under leader Francisco Morazan were defeated in a civil war led by Rafael Carrera. The confederation dissolved into its 4 component states: El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
    (EWH, 1968, p.857)

1856        Apr 11, Battle of Rivas; Costa Rica beat William Walker's invading Nicaraguans.
    (MC, 4/11/02)

1857        May 1, William Walker, conqueror of Nicaragua, surrendered to the US Navy. Cornelius Vanderbilt helped finance a Costa Rican army, which defeated Walker’s forces, and paid men under Walker’s command to defect. Walker later sought protection on a British naval vessel, whose captain turned him over to Hondurans, who executed him in 1860.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Walker_(soldier))(WSJ, 8/30/08, p.W7)

1871        Costa Rica hired Minor C. Keith (23), an engineer from Brooklyn, to build a rail line. Keith grew bananas on the right of way to help finance the project. His enterprise grew to become the United Fruit Company, later Chiquita.
    (WSJ, 8/9/99, p.A1)

1910        May 8, Ricardo Jimenez Oreamuno (b.1859) began serving his first term as president of Costa Rica. In 1914 he was succeeded by Alfredo Gonzalez Flores.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ricardo_Jim%C3%A9nez_Oreamuno)

1919        Jun 4, US marines invaded Costa Rica.
    (MC, 6/4/02)

1924        May 8, Ricardo Jimenez Oreamuno (b.1859) began serving his 2nd term as president of Costa Rica. In 1928 he was succeeded by Cleto Gonzalez Viquez.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ricardo_Jim%C3%A9nez_Oreamuno)

1932        May 8, Ricardo Jimenez Oreamuno (b.1859) began serving his 3rd term as president of Costa Rica.  In 1936 he was succeeded by Leon Cortes Castro.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ricardo_Jim%C3%A9nez_Oreamuno)

1940s        The US Navy acquired two-thirds of Vieques, Costa Rica, a 20-by-4-mile island for $1.4 million.
    (AP, 5/1/03)

1941        Dec 6, John Nelson, conductor (Les Troyens of Berlioz), was born in San Jose, Costa Rica.
    (MC, 12/6/01)

1943        A Vultee BT-13 Valiant disappeared on a flight from San Antonio, Texas, to Chile. Pilot Werner Martinez and Sgt. Tomas Ayala were on ill-fated flight, which crashed in Costa Rica. In 2008 police were led to the crash site after an anonymous caller reported seeing a local resident carrying plane parts in the town of San Isidro de El Guarco.
    (AP, 2/27/08)

1945        Jan 4, Ricardo Jimenez Oreamuno (b.1859), 3-term president of Costa Rica, died.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ricardo_Jim%C3%A9nez_Oreamuno)

1948        Feb 8, The National Republicans, who had held the majority of Costa Rica's political power for decades, were finally voted out of the presidency. The National Republicans used their strong influence in the Legislative Assembly to annul the presidential election of rival candidate Otilio Ulate of the Social Democratic Party.
    (www.elespiritudel48.org/docu/h_i01.htm)

1948        Apr 12, Cartago, Costa Rica, fell into the hands of Jose Figueres Ferrer, a vociferous adversary of the National Republicans.
    (www.elespiritudel48.org/docu/h_i01.htm)

1948        Apr 19, Teodoro Picado and Father Benjamin Nunez, an eminent labor leader within Costa Rica, signed The Pact of the Mexican Embassy, ending an armed uprising.
    (www.elespiritudel48.org/docu/h_i01.htm)

1948         Apr 24, The forces  of Jose Figueres Ferrer entered San Jose, almost six weeks after beginning their revolt in southern Costa Rica.
    (www.elespiritudel48.org/docu/h_i01.htm)

1948        Dec 1, Costa Rica’s President José Figueres Ferrer abolished the military after victory in a civil war.
    (SFC, 3/16/02, p.A19)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_of_Costa_Rica)

1948-1949    Jose Figueres Ferrer fought for democracy in Costa Rica. The war arose in a dispute between dictator Rafael Angel Calderon, who had stolen an election, and the social democratic partisans of Figueres
    (WSJ, 12/12/97, p.A19)

1949        Feb 21, Nicaragua and Costa Rica signed a friendship treaty ending hostilities over their borders.
    (HN, 2/21/98)

1949        Nov 7, Costa Rica adopted a constitution that prohibited a standing army.
    (SFEC, 11/17/96, Z. 1 p.2)(http://tinyurl.com/7s7uc)

1953        Jose Figueres Ferrer gained power in Costa Rica.
    (WSJ, 12/12/97, p.A19)

1960        The Central American Common Market was set up by a treaty between El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and later Costa Rica. It fell apart by the end of the decade.
    (Econ, 5/14/05, p.41)(www.bartleby.com/65/ce/CentrACM.html)

1963        Mar 19, In Costa Rica, President John F. Kennedy and six Latin American presidents pledged to fight Communism.
    (HN, 3/19/98)

1966        Miguel Angel Rodriguez (b.1940) received his doctorate from UC Berkeley in California. Rodriguez later served as president of Costa Rica from 1998-2002.
    (SFC, 3/16/02, p.A19)

1968        Jun 29, The Arenal volcano, dormant for 450 years, burst into life and killed 95 people. The village of Tabacon was wiped out.
    (SFC, 5/9/98, p.A7)(SSFC, 4/1/01, p.T6)

1971        Robert Lee Vesco (1935-2007) fled the US to avoid charges of bilking mutual fund investors of $224 million. In 1972 the SEC charged him and others in a civil lawsuit, but Vesco had fled to the Bahamas and then to Costa Rica where he established a close friendship with Pres. Jose Figueres, plowing some 11 million into the country.
    (SFC, 8/21/96, p.A8)(SFC, 5/3/08, p.A6)

1972        Costa Rica created the 1,680-acre Manuel Antonio National Park.
    (SSFC, 6/1/03, p.C5)

1978        In Costa Rica Rodrigo Carazo Odio (1927-2009) began serving as president and continued to 1982.
    (AP, 12/9/09)
1978        Cocos Island, some 330 miles west of Costa Rica, was made a Costa Rican national park along with 12 miles of seas surrounding it. In 1997 UNESCO named it a World Heritage Site.
    (SSFC, 12/1/13, p.H4)

1981        Costa Rica under Pres. Rodrigo Carazo Odio broke off relations Cuba. Ties were restored in 2009.
    (AP, 12/9/09)

1982        Cocos Island was made a national park. It is 9-sq. miles and located 300 miles off the Coast of Central America.
    (SFC, 7/29/00, p.E3)

1983        Oct 5, Earl Tupper (b.1907), a Massachusetts tree surgeon, inventor and founder of Tupperware, died in Costa Rica [see 1938].
    (WSJ, 2/18/04, p.A9)(www.ideafinder.com/history/inventors/tupper.htm)

1984        Nov, The CIA told Congress in 1987 that it had concluded in Nov, 1984 that it could not resume aid to the Costa Rican-based Contras because “everybody around Pastora was involved in cocaine."
    (SFC, 10/31/96, p.A7)

1984        May 30, There was an assassination attempt on Eden Pastora Gomez, a Nicaraguan anticommunist revolutionary, by Sandinistas. The Costa Rica government of Luis Alberto Monge Alvarez failed to make a serious investigation. Two Costa Ricans, four Nicaraguan rebels and US journalist Linda Frazier were killed and more than 20 other people were wounded in the attack at the village of La Penca, near the Nicaraguan border. In 2011 a former Nicaraguan official confirmed that Vital Gaguine (d.1989), a leftist Argentine guerrilla, had been hired by the Sandinistas to kill Pastora.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Penca_bombing)(WSJ, 12/12/97, p.A19)(AP, 8/26/11)

1986        May 8, In Costa Rica Oscar Arias (b.1940) began serving as president and continued to 1990. In 2006 he began serving a 2nd term as president.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%93scar_Arias)

1987        Oct 13, Costa Rican President Oscar Arias was named winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts on behalf of a Central American peace plan to end the war in Nicaragua.
    (AP, 10/13/97)(WSJ, 12/12/97, p.A19)

1988        Bill Graham produced a worldwide tour on behalf of Amnesty Int’l. featuring Bruce Springsteen, Sting and Peter Gabriel. They toured Costa Rica, India and Zimbabwe.
    (SFC,12/13/97, p.A15)

1990-1994    Rafael angel Calderon served as president of Costa Rica.
    (Econ, 11/27/04, p.38)

1991        Apr 22, Sixty people were killed when a strong earthquake shook Costa Rica and neighboring Panama, causing millions of dollars’ worth of damage.
    (AP, 4/22/01)

1993        Sep 9-1993 Sep 14, Hurricane Gert caused 76 deaths. It affected Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua.
    (AP, 9/11/04)(www.wunderground.com)

1995        Fresh Del Monte launched its "Gold" pineapple, grown in the volcanic soils of Costa Rica, and secured a patent for it.
    (WSJ, 10/7/03, p.A1)

1996        Jul 7-1996 Jul 28, Hurricane Cesar caused 51 deaths in Caribbean and Central America. The storm hit Costa Rica, Curacao, Aruba, San Andres and Nicaragua.
    (AP, 9/11/04)(www.wunderground.com)

1996        Aug, Maria Felix Bejarano escaped from the Buen Pastor prison. She gave the guards $4,700 for their kindness. This was the 7th escape of her career in which she applies for a job as a maid and then cleans out the houses in which she works .
    (SFC, 8/30/96, p.A14)

1997        Nov 13, In Costa Rica Max Dalton (78), an American-born rancher, was killed in a confrontation with squatters on his 10-acre ranch in Golfito. Squatters in the region have “confiscated" the holdings of more than 2 dozen Americans in the region.
    (WSJ, 12/12/97, p.A19)

1997        Intel opened a factory in the rain forest of Costa Rica. In 2014 Intel announced plans to move its Costa Rican assembly and test operations to Malaysia, Vietnam and China. 1,400 employees remained in Costa Rica in centers for global services as well as design and engineering.
    (Econ, 4/19/14, p.33)(Econ, 5/10/14, p.16)

1998        Feb 1, In Costa Rica Miguel Angel Rodriguez of the Social Christian Unity Party won the presidential elections by a narrow margin over Jose Miguel Corrales of the National Liberation party. Also elected were 2 vice-presidents, 57 members of the Legislative Assembly and 571 mayors.
    (SFC, 2/2/98, p.A8)

1998        May 8, In Costa Rica Miguel Angel Rodriguez of the Social Christian Unity Party began serving as president.
    (http://tinyurl.com/7s7uc)

1998        Oct 22-1998 Nov 9, Hurricane Mitch was one of the Caribbean's deadliest storms ever causing at least at least 9,000 deaths in Central America. The storm hit Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Jamaica, and Costa Rica. Later reports put the death toll in Honduras to 6,076. In Nicaragua the deaths reached 4,000, in Guatemala it was157, and in El Salvador it was 222. The storm parked over Honduras and rain poured for 6 days straight.  Aid of $66 mil was ordered from the US, $8 mil from the EU, $11.6 mil from Spain along with pledges from other countries and private organizations.
    (SFC, 11/4/98, p.A9)(SFC, 11/6/98, p.A14)(AP, 9/11/04)(www.wunderground.com)

2000        Jan 15, In San Jose, Costa Rica, a Czech-built Let 410 Taxi Aereo Centroamericano flight crashed and 4 people were killed with 17 injured.
    (SFC, 1/17/00, p.A11)

2000        Mar 13, In Costa Rica 2 American women were found shot to death near Cabhuita. Emily Howell of Kentucky and Emily Eagen of Michigan were attacked while driving an SUV. A 16-year-old boy was later arrested and 2 other suspects were sought. Jorge Alberto Urbina (19) was arrested Mar 28. The 16-year-old was sentenced to 14 ½ years in prison.
    (SFC, 3/15/00, p.A10)(SFC, 3/28/00, p.A12)(SFC, 3/29/00, p.A15)(SFC, 7/28/00, p.A12)

2000        Jul 19, In Tilaran, Costa Rica, a nursing-home fire killed 17 elderly people.
    (WSJ, 7/20/00, p.A1)

2000        Aug 1, Costa Rica planned to begin offering free e-mail access to all its citizens through the government owned commercial Internet monopoly, RACSA.
    (SFEC, 6/18/00, p.A15)

2000        Aug 27, Ten people were killed when a small plane crashed into a volcano in northern Costa Rica.
    (SFC, 8/28/00, p.A12)

2001        Mar 13, In Costa Rica Shannon Martin (23), a student from Topeka, Kan., was stabbed to death, after she left a nightclub in Golfito, 100 miles south of San Jose. In 2003 Kattia Cruz, 28, and Luis Alberto Castro, 38, were found guilty of murder and sentenced to 15 years in prison for the killing.
    (AP, 11/25/03)

2001        Jul 7, In Puerto Rico Parmenio Medina (62), a Colombian-born journalist, was gunned down in his car. He ran a radio program called "La Patada," or "The Kick," which denounced fraud at a religious radio station. In 2007 a court convicted Omar Chaves, a businessman, of ordering the murder of the journalist. Chaves also got a 12-year prison sentence on a fraud count. His partner, Father Minor de Jesus Calvo, was acquitted of the killing, but was convicted of fraud and sentenced to 15 years in jail.
    (AP, 12/19/07)

2001        The French firm Alcatel won a contract from Costa Rica telecoms and electricity firm ICE. In 2004 Pres. Rodriguez was charged with accepting a share of a $2.4 million payment made by Alcatel for the contract.
    (Econ, 11/27/04, p.38)

2002        Jan 6, It was reported that Costa Rica required medical professionals to serve a year treating disadvantaged communities. Mandatory community service programs were in place for high school students.
    (SSFC, 1/6/02, p.A3)

2002        Feb 3, In presidential elections Abel Pacheco, of the ruling Social Christian Unity Party, won 38.5% of the vote and Rolando Araya, national Liberation Party, won 30.9%. A runoff was scheduled for Apr 7.
    (SFC, 2/5/02, p.A7)

2002        Mar 15, Pres. Rodriguez spoke at UC Berkeley on its Charter Day.
    (SFC, 3/16/02, p.A19)

2002        Apr 7, Abel Pacheco (68), psychiatrist, poet and former TV commentator, was elected president in a runoff against Rolando Araya.
    (WSJ, 4/8/02, p.A1)

2002        Oct 14, A Costa Rica investment operation called The Brothers Fund (Ofinter Foreign Exchange SA) collapsed and siblings Luis Enrique (63) and Osvaldo Villalobos (58) were held responsible.
    (WSJ, 12/13/02, p.A1)

2003        May 1, The US Navy withdrew from Vieques Island.
    (AP, 5/1/03)

2003        Sep 5, Costa Rica's Arenal Volcano spewed lava, rocks and ash in its strongest eruption in more than two years.
    (AP, 9/5/03)

2003        Dec 25, A strong earthquake shook the border of Costa Rica and Panama, killing an infant and leaving dozens of others with mainly minor injuries.
    (AP, 12/26/03)

2003        Costa Rica changed its constitution to allow former presidents to stand again.
    (Econ, 2/4/06, p.34)

2004        May 28, US officials and 5 Central American countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua) signed a free trade pact (CAFTA), to be later approved by Congress. The Dominican Republic would be included later.
    (SFC, 5/29/04, p.A4)

2004        Apr, In Costa Rica some 80 families began staying at the Metropolitan Cathedral, when police removed them from the Bambuzal plantation, owned by Standard Fruit Co. in Rio Frio de Sarapiqui, about 30 miles north of the Costa Rican capital. The families say that the land should be divided among the landless under laws that require companies to work large tracts of land in order to keep it. Standard says it is working the land to produce bamboo.
    (AP, 7/19/04)

2004        Jul 27, A Costa Rican policeman apparently distraught over an impending job transfer killed himself and three of the 10 hostages he had taken at the Chilean embassy.
    (AP, 7/28/04)

2004        Oct 21, Former Costa Rica Pres. Rafael Angel Calderon was detained in connection with a corruption investigation. He was charged with distributing and taking a share of a commission of some $9 million connected to the supply of medical equipment. He was under investigation for allegedly receiving nearly $500,000 from a Finnish government loan to Costa Rica for the purchase of medicines.
    (AP, 10/21/04)(Econ, 11/27/04, p.38)(AP, 2/5/06)

2004        Nov 20, An early morning 6.2 earthquake jolted San Jose, Costa Rica, and killed 8 people. Leaders of 21 nations were gathered there for the Ibero-American Summit.
    (AP, 11/20/04)

2004        The US government removed Costa Rica from the list of the so-called "coalition of the willing" in regards to the war in Iraq. However Costa Rica still appeared in archive documents and on related Internet Web sites that haven't been updated as supporting the coalition.
    (AP, 6/22/06)

2005        Jan 11, Costa Rica Pres. Abel Pacheco signed a decree of national emergency after 3 days of heavy rains forced nearly 13,000 people from their homes and killed at least one person. Panama reported 2 dead.
    (AP, 1/11/05)

2005        Mar 3, The seven Central American nations (Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama) agreed to create a rapid-response force to combat drug trafficking, terrorism and other regional threats.
    (AP, 3/3/05)

2005        Mar 9, In Costa Rica police stormed a bank in a hail of gunfire following a thwarted robbery that turned into a 30-hour hostage standoff in the tourist town of Santa Elena de Monteverde. Officials said nine people were killed, including five bank customers.
    (AP, 3/10/05)

2005        Jun 30, In Honduras Central American leaders agreed to create a regional special forces unit to fight drug trafficking, gang violence and terrorism within their borders. The 2-day regional meeting included the presidents of Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Panama.
    (AP, 6/30/05)

2005        Jul 12, In Costa Rica a fire at the Calderon Guardia Hospital killed 19 people. 2 more people died later from complications. The building lacked proper fire exits. On Oct 7 the country's top investigator said died the fire was set deliberately.
    (WSJ, 7/13/05, p.A1)(AP, 10/8/05)

2005        Jul 16, A small plane from Costa Rica, piloted by the son of a former owner of the San Jose Sharks hockey team, crashed off the Pacific Coast, killing six people.
    (AP, 7/17/05)

2005        Sep 6, Dominican Republic legislators overwhelmingly approved a free-trade agreement with the US and five Central American countries, rejecting arguments that the pact would devastate the domestic sugar industry. The other five countries are Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Costa Rica and Nicaragua had not yet ratified the pact.
    (AP, 9/6/05)

2005        Oct 12, In Costa Rica the InterAmerican Human Rights court, announced that it has ordered Colombia to pay damages in the 1997 massacre of dozens of Mapiripan villagers by right-wing paramilitary fighters.
    (AP, 10/12/05)

2005        Nov 24, In Costa Rica thousands of supporters of a free trade pact for Central America marched through San Jose. The group of about 5,000 mainly workers and business owners urged Congress to approve the pact known as CAFTA.
    (AP, 11/24/05)

2006        Feb 5, Costa Rica held elections and former pres. Oscar Arias was expected to win.
    (SSFC, 2/5/06, p.A19)

2006        Feb 6, In Costa Rica with 78% of the votes counted, former president Arias had 40.7% compared to 40 percent for opposition figure Otton Solis of the Citizens' Action Party.
    (AP, 2/6/06)

2006        Feb 7, Costa Rican electoral officials began counting votes by hand in a laborious effort to determine the winner of one of the country's closest presidential races in history.
    (AP, 2/7/06)

2006        Feb 22, In Costa Rica results from the Feb 5 elections indicated that Oscar Arias, a free trade proponent, had won Costa Rica's presidential election by 18,167 votes, one of the country's closest races ever.
    (AP, 2/22/06)(WSJ, 2/23/06, p.A1)

2006        Mar 7, Nobel Peace laureate Oscar Arias was declared Costa Rica's president-elect.
    (AP, 3/7/07)

2006        May 8, Oscar Arias (65), Nobel Peace Prize winner (1987), returned to the Costa Rican presidency, hoping to use his skills as a mediator to unite a country sharply divided over free trade with the United States.
    (AP, 5/8/06)

2006        Jun 10, In Costa Rica a Kansas high school student and teacher disappeared in the in the waters off Palo Seco beach. The bodies of 2 other students were recovered.
    (AP, 6/12/06)

2006        Jul 11, Central American presidents agreed on a plan to ease border controls and install a common customs system on the way to negotiating an eventual free-trade agreement with the EU. The agreement signed by Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and Belize would allow residents to cross borders without passports or visas.
    (AP, 7/11/06)

2006        Jul 24, Costa Rica relaxed visa requirements for visitors from 102 nations, in the Central American country's most sweeping migration reform in decades.
    (AP, 7/24/06)

2006        Aug 10, Hector Orlando Martinez Quinto (38) was captured in Costa Rica. He was accused of participating in a 2002 rebel (FARQ) attack that killed 119 civilians in Boyaya, in one of the worst tragedies in Colombia's four-decade-old guerrilla war.
    (AP, 8/11/06)

2006        Oct 16, In Costa Rica several operators of Internet gambling sites known as "sportsbooks" say their businesses will not be significantly affected by a new US law prohibiting bank and credit card payments to the sites.
    (AP, 10/16/06)

2006        Nov 20, Authorities seized a 50-foot homemade submarine with 3 tons of cocaine off the coast of Costa Rica.
    (SFC, 11/21/06, p.A2)

2007        Feb 21, In Costa Rica an American senior citizen (70) killed an alleged mugger with his bare hands. His traveling companions aboard a tour bus fended off two other assailants in the Atlantic coast city of Limon. The tourists left on their Carnival cruise ship after the incident and authorities did not plan to press charges against them.
    (AP, 2/23/07)

2007        Feb 26, In Costa Rica tens of thousands of union members, farmers and political activists marched through San Jose to protest a free-trade pact with the US they say will be harmful to local businesses.
    (AP, 2/26/07)

2007        May 25, Costa Rica health officials said they have seized more than 350 tubes of Chinese-made toothpaste tainted with a deadly chemical reportedly found in tubes sold elsewhere in the world.
    (AP, 5/25/07)

2007        Jun 6, President Oscar Arias announced that Costa Rica has broken diplomatic ties with Taiwan and established relations with China, delivering a blow to the Asian island's fragile international standing.
    (AP, 6/7/07)
2007        Jun 6, The United States said it has canceled the visas of 22 Costa Rican immigration officials suspected of selling visa stamps so that Costa Ricans could stay illegally in the US without getting caught.
    (AP, 6/6/07)

2007        Oct 7, Costa Ricans appeared to narrowly vote in favor of joining the Central American Free Trade Agreement with the US, and President Oscar Arias declared victory for the pact.
    (AP, 10/8/07)

2007        Oct 12, In Costa Rica heavy rains caused a landslide that killed 10 people.
    (WSJ, 10/13/07, p.A1)

2007        Oct 17, In Costa Rica and agreement was reached by which the US government and environmental groups will trim $26 million off Costa Rica's debt rolls in exchange for the country spending the same amount on tropical forest conservation.
    (AP, 10/17/07)

2007        Oct 24, In Beijing Costa Rican president Oscar Arias signed several accords with his Chinese counterpart, months after the Central American nation established diplomatic relations with the Asian giant.
    (AP, 10/24/07)

2007        Nov 21, Costa Rica's president signed into law a free trade agreement (CAFTA) with its Central American neighbors, the United States and the Dominican Republic. Costa Ricans voted for the trade deal in a national referendum, moving it forward. But then it became stalled again as congress squabbled over the enabling legislation dealing with 13 different aspects of the deal. In late 2008 lawmakers overcame the final intellectual-property hurdle by allowing schools and universities to copy some materials and by reducing prison time for those guilty of selling pirated goods.
    (AP, 11/22/07)(AP, 11/11/08)

2007        Dec 21, Costa Rican agents made the largest marijuana bust in the Central American nation's history, seizing 4.85 tons of the drug found in an abandoned boat.
    (AP, 12/22/07)

2008        Mar 4, Costa Rican police detained 14 people, including a family court judge and a lawyer, on suspicion of participating in a scheme in which mothers allegedly were paid to give up their babies.
    (AP, 3/4/08)

2008        Jul 25, Texas nurse Chere Lyn Tomayko, wanted by the FBI for international parental kidnapping, was awarded refugee status in Costa Rica and cannot be extradited to the US. In December 1996, a US judge gave joint custody of a daughter, Alexandria Camille Cyprian, to Tomayko and her ex-boyfriend Robert Cyprian, with the condition that Alexandria live in Tarrant County, Texas. Tomayko said she moved to Costa Rica because she had been physically abused by Cyprian.
    (AP, 7/26/08)

2008        Sep 16, Costa Rica Security Minister Janina del Vecchio said that a 70-foot (20-meter) submarine-type vessel was intercepted by the US Navy in international waters near Costa Rica.
    (AP, 9/17/08)

2009        Jan 8, A magnitude 6.1 earthquake rocked Costa Rica killing at least 20 people with dozens still missing.
    (AP, 1/9/09)(AP, 1/14/09)

2009        Mar 18, Costa Rica said it will re-establish diplomatic ties with Cuba, and El Salvador's new president-elect, Mauricio Funes, promised to do the same after he takes office.
    (AP, 3/19/09)

2009        May 9, Costa Rica reported the first swine flu death outside North America and the US announced its third death from the virus, while Mexico delayed the reopening of primary schools in some states.
    (AP, 5/9/09)

2009        Jun 28, In Honduras more than a dozen soldiers arrested President Manuel Zelaya and disarmed his security guards after surrounding his residence before dawn. Protesters called it a coup and flocked to the presidential palace as local news media reported that Zelaya was sent into exile in Costa Rica. He was detained shortly before voting was to begin on a constitutional referendum the president had insisted on holding even though the Supreme Court ruled it illegal and everyone from the military to Congress and members of his own party opposed it. The nonbinding referendum was to ask voters if they want to hold a vote during the November presidential election on whether to convoke an assembly to rewrite the constitution.
    (AP, 6/28/09)

2009        Jul 13, The UN’s highest court set travel rules for the Nicaraguan river that borders Costa Rica, affirming freedom for Costa Rican boats while upholding Nicaragua's right to regulate traffic.
    (AP, 7/13/09)

2009        Aug 25, Nicaragua said it will reroute the San Juan River on the border with Costa Rica. The river has been at the center of a lengthy dispute between the two Central American countries. The UN’s highest court last month set travel rules for the San Juan River, affirming freedom for Costa Rican boats to navigate the waterway while upholding Nicaragua's right to regulate traffic. The judgment ended a four-year legal battle. Under an 1858 treaty, the entire river belongs to Nicaragua up to the Costa Rican bank, but Costa Rican ships have freedom of navigation for commerce.
    (AP, 8/26/09)

2009        Sep 12, Costa Rican authorities detained 54 US-bound migrants from Africa and Nepal after their boat arrived on the country's coast. Authorities also took into custody three suspected Colombian smugglers who were traveling with them.
    (AP, 9/13/09)

2009        Oct 5, Rafael Calderon, former Costa Rican president (1990-1994), was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison for embezzling funds from a Finnish loan intended for medical equipment for public hospitals.
    (AP, 10/5/09)

2009        Oct 19, In Costa Rica Michael Dixon (33), a British journalist, was last spotted leaving the Villas Macondo hotel in the popular surfers' resort of Playa Tamarindo, having traveled there on his own.
    (AFP, 11/5/09)

2009        Dec 9, In Costa Rica former President Rodrigo Carazo Odio (82) died of complications from open-heart surgery. Odio governed Costa Rica from 1978 to 1982.
    (AP, 12/9/09)

2010        Feb 7, Costa Rica held elections and elected its first woman president. Laura Chinchilla (50), a mother and a social conservative, who opposed abortion and gay marriage, won 47% of the vote after campaigning to continue free market policies. She served as vice president under current Pres. Oscar Arias. Otton Solis of the Citizens Action Party, got 25% of the votes. He and the other main rival, Libertarian Otto Guevara, quickly conceded defeat. Chinchilla’s National Liberation Party was the largest in congress, but held only 24 of 57 seats.
    (AP, 2/7/10)(AP, 2/8/10)(Econ, 2/13/10, p.41)(Econ, 5/8/10, p.40)

2010        Mar 4, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, on the sidelines of a meeting of regional officials in Costa Rica, said the Obama administration will resume aid to Honduras that was suspended after a coup last year and urged Latin American nations to recognize the new Honduran government.
    (AP, 3/4/10)

2010        Apr 19, Winners of the 2010 Goldman Environmental Prizes, known as the "green Nobels," were honored in San Francisco. Sereivathana Tuy of Cambodia won for his efforts in stopping farmers from killing elephants. Randall Arauz of Costa Rica won for his campaign to halt the maiming and killing of sharks for their fins. Humberto Rios Labrada (47) of Cuba won for his campaign to shift farming practices toward increasing diversity and reducing chemical use. Malgorzata Gorska of Poland won for her fight to stop a highway through the Rospuda Valley, one of Poland’s last vestiges of untouched wilderness. Thuli Makama of Swaziland won for her efforts in getting citizen participation on the Swaziland board in charge of the environment. She helped prompt investigations into allegations of private park rangers killing suspected poachers in sub-Saharan Africa's last absolute monarchy. Lynn Henning of the USA won for exposing polluting practices of livestock ranches in Michigan.
    (AP, 4/19/10)(SFC, 4/19/10, p.A1)

2010        May 8, Costa Rica inaugurated Laura Chinchilla as its first woman leader, replacing Nobel laureate Oscar Arias with his former vice president and protege.
    (AP, 5/8/10)

2010        May 24, Costa Rica's unicameral congress voted itself a 60 percent pay raise less than a month after legislators took office. The next day President Laura Chinchilla said she will veto the pay bill unless congress finds days to offset the cost in other areas. Costa Rica's congress shelved a final vote on the pay raise after Pres. Chinchilla promised to veto the measure.
    (AP, 5/26/10)(AP, 5/26/10)

2010        Oct 15, The Costa Rican government said it is receiving nearly $56 million in donations and debt write-offs to expand its forest and marine conservation programs and has become the first developing country to meet UN goals on protected areas. Under the plan, the US agreed to buy back $27 million of Costa Rica's foreign debt, money that will be used instead to invest conservation programs. The US already trimmed $26 million of Costa Rican debt in 2007 as part of the US Tropical Forest Conservation Act. The debt now stands at $77 million.
    (AP, 10/15/10)

2010        Oct 22, Costa Rica sent some 70 police reinforcements to the border area after receiving reports of Nicaraguan soldiers on its soil. This was one day after Costa Rica formally complained to Nicaragua's ambassador about the dredging in the San Juan River. Nicaragua's army chief of staff, Gen. Julio Aviles, later said the soldiers were on the Nicaraguan side of the border as part of an anti-drug operation.
    (AP, 11/2/10)

2010        Nov 4, In Costa Rica a rain-sodden hillside collapsed on homes in the suburb of San Antonio de Escazu, killing at least 20 people, many as they slept. At least 14 people were missing.
    (AP, 11/5/10)

2010        Nov 13, Costa Rica boasted of a "diplomatic victory" in its border spat with Nicaragua after the Organization of American States approved a resolution calling for removal of soldiers and security forces from a disputed area along the San Juan River.
    (AP, 11/13/10)

2011        Jan 11, Costa Rica accused Nicaragua of flagrantly breaching international law by putting troops on disputed land along the river that forms the two nations' border and asked the highest U.N. court to order their immediate withdrawal.
    (AP, 1/11/11)

2011        Jan 29, In Costa Rica raids  were carried out in San Jose and in the Pacific coast city of Puntarenas. Five Colombians and a Costa Rican national were arrested. The Security Ministry says in a June 30 statement that a Colombian-run network paid fishermen to haul cocaine to Guatemala and Mexico.
    (AP, 1/30/11)

2011        Mar 8, The International Court of Justice ordered both Costa Rica and Nicaragua to keep all military, police and civilian personnel out of a disputed border region along the San Juan river that separates them.
    (AP, 3/8/11)

2011        Apr 27, In Costa Rica former Pres. Miguel Angel Rodriguez (b.1940) was sentenced to 5 years in prison on corruption charges. Rodriguez  served from 1998-2002 and was briefly Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) in 2004.
    (SFC, 4/28/11, p.A2)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miguel_%C3%81ngel_Rodr%C3%ADguez)

2011        May 4, In Costa Rica Ohio teenager Caity Jones died in the Pacific Ocean when she was pulled by an undertow current. Two other students, on a school mission trip, were swept out with her. The body of James Smith was recovered the next day. The body of Kai Lamar was recovered on May 6.
    (AP, 5/5/11)(AP, 5/6/11)
2011        May 4, A Gervais beaked whale washed up on the southeastern coast of Puerto Rico. A necropsy of the whale found more than 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of twisted plastic inside its stomach.
    (AP, 5/7/11)

2011        Jun 2, In Costa Rica US high school student Justin Johnston (16), of McLouth, Kansas, was shot and killed at a hotel by a security guard who mistook him for a thief.
    (AP, 6/2/11)

2011        Jun 22, In Guatemala the World Bank unveiled a billion-dollar plan to fund security measures in Central America, amid other hundred-million-dollar pledges from donors bidding to cut a wave of drug gang-related violence sweeping the region. The announcement came as leaders of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama attended the Central American Security Conference aiming to curb crime fueled by a spillover from Mexico's war on drug cartels.
    (AFP, 6/22/11)

2011        Oct 20, Heavy rains generated by a low-pressure system hammered Central America for 10 days. Mudslides and swollen rivers killed at least 105 people including 38 in Guatemala, 34 in El Salvador, 15 in Honduras, 13 in Nicaragua and 5 in Costa Rica.
    (AP, 10/20/11)

2012        May 13, In Germany veteran anti-whaling campaigner Paul Watson, a Canadian national, was detained in Frankfurt on charges stemming from a high seas confrontation over shark finning in 2002. The founder of marine conservation group Sea Shepherd remained in custody a day after his arrest on a warrant from Costa Rica. Watson skipped bail on July 22 and fled the country. In August Interpol issued an international notice for his arrest.
    (AFP, 5/14/12)(AFP, 8/8/12)

2012        Sep 5, In Costa Rica a magnitude-7.6 earthquake blocked a few highways, collapsed some houses and left at least 2 people dead.
    (Reuters, 9/5/12)

2012        Dec 20, A Costa Rican ban on in-vitro fertilization was struck down by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in a decision that reproductive health groups said could lead to greater access to abortion and some contraception in other Latin American countries.
    (AP, 12/21/12)

2013        Mar 20, It was reported that Starbucks has purchased a 593-acre farm in Costa Rica.
    (SFC, 2/20/13, p.C4)

2013        May 2, Pres. Obama embarked on a trip to Mexico with a 2-day stop in Costa Rica. In a joint news conferece with Mexico’s Pres. President Enrique Pena Nieto, Obama sought to tamp down a potential rift with Mexico over a dramatic shift in the cross-border fight against drug trafficking and organized crime.
    (SFC, 5/2/13, p.A3)(AP, 5/3/13)

2013        May 3, In a press conference with Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla, Pres. Obama said only a comprehensive approach will work to solve the region's problems, including stronger economies, better institutions, education and youth centers. Obama went on to a closed meeting with the eight-nation Central American Integration System, known by its Spanish initials SICA, which was formed to discuss regional issues.
    (AP, 5/3/13)

2013        May 24, Arthur Budovsky, the founder of Liberty Reserve, a Costa Rica-based digital currency system long favored by cybercrime scammers, was arrested in Spain. A defendant identified as Budovsky's partner, Vladimir Kats, was in custody in New York. Budovsky was soon indicted in the United States along with six other people in a $6 billion money-laundering scheme described as "staggering" in its scope.
    (AP, 5/29/13)(SFC, 5/29/13, p.D1)(Econ, 6/1/13, p.71)

2013        Jun 2, China’s President Xi Jinping arrived in Costa Rica, the only country in Central America to have diplomatic relations with China.
    (AP, 6/2/13)

2013        Jun 3, It was reported that coffee leaf rust has devastated coffee plantations across Central America and knocked half a million people out of work. Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras were all severely impacted.
    (SFC, 6/4/13, p.A2)(http://tinyurl.com/alqvfoc)

2014        Feb 2, Costa Rican held presidential elections. None of four candidates had a clear lead in the polls.
    (AFP, 2/2/14)

2014        Feb 3, In Costa Rica with 76% of the ballots counted, Centrist Luis Guillermos -- a historian by training and candidate for the Citizen Acton Party (PAC) -- won 30.8% of the vote, narrowly ahead of Johnny Araya from the ruling right-wing National Liberation Party (PLN), who had 29.6%. Solis will now face a ruling party candidate in a run-off vote in April.
    (AFP, 2/3/14)

2014        Apr 6, Costa Rica held presidential elections. Historian and former diplomat Luis Guillermo Solis (55) faced no opposition in the run-off election.
    (AFP, 4/6/14)

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