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Quick Reads + Costa Rica

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Latest stories from Quick Reads + Costa Rica

Costa Rica: “God Bless your X”

On Sunday, April 6 2014, Costa Rica held the run-off to elect a new president [es]. After governing party's candidate Johnny Araya retired his campaign, the whole process lost intensity, and abstentionism was a threat.

Making an analogy with football soccer [es], website Costa Rica Azul says:

Con su equis, este domingo, en la papeleta usted elige al nuevo director técnico, quien nos guiará en el campo de juego, será el encargado de motivarnos, dar el ejemplo, marcar la ruta, indicar dónde debemos reforzar, cuidar la marca y escuchar para comprender lo que vivimos quienes estamos en el terreno de juego.

[...]

¡Reinventemos el futuro! ¡Dios bendiga a Costa Rica!

With your X, this Sunday on your voting ballot, you choose the new trainer, who will guide us in playing filed, who will be in charge of motivating us, who will be an example, show us the path, indicate us where to strengthen, who will take care of determining the course and listen to understand what are we going through, those of us who are in the field.

[...]

Let's reinvent the future! God bless Costa Rica!

‘Costa Ricans Are Fed Up’

A myriad of articles about the recent Costa Rican elections have proclaimed the country’s “turn to the left.” Perhaps some do this because it is simply too convenient to whip up an article or op-ed about leftist victories in El Salvador and Costa Rica. Or perhaps some are still trapped in the Cold War. But these headlines miss the more salient point of Costa Rica’s elections – Costa Ricans are fed up. And they’re fed up with the status quo.

Christine Wade writes a guest post in the blog Central American Politics where she discusses “the general political malaise amongst Costa Ricans”. She concludes:

It’s time to move beyond the left-right discourse that all too frequently characterizes the analysis of Central American politics if we are to better understand the political dynamics of a region in flux. As the case of Costa Rica demonstrates (and this is true for El Salvador as well), such superficial explanations obscure more than they enlighten.

El Salvador and Costa Rica to Hold Runoff Elections

El Salvador and Costa Rica held presidential elections yesterday, February 2, but both countries will define their president in a runoff vote.

In El Salvador, “results show Salvador Sanchez Ceren (FMLN) winning 49%, just short of the 50% he needed to win in the first round. Norman Quijano (ARENA) is in second place with 39%,” writes Boz from Bloggings by boz, where he shares “Five points on El Salvador's elections.”

Meanwhile in Costa Rica, The Tico Times reports:

Center-left presidential candidate Luis Guillermo Solís will battle ruling party candidate Johnny Araya in a runoff on April 6 after Solís shocked many in this small Central American country by taking first place in preliminary results released late Sunday night.

[...]

Costa Rica’s elections, which were peaceful, showed a growing polarization among progressive and conservative voters.

Costa Ricans Go to the Polls to Elect a New President

Glenda Umaña, a Costa Rican journalist who is covering today's presidential elections, comments on Facebook [es] and Twitter:

I found my name on the electoral roll. I'm so excited about voting that I'm in tears!

This is part of the electoral party that is currently taking place in Costa Rica.

Costa Ricans are using the hashtag #VivoMiVoto to share reports and photographs.

You can also follow today's vote live online through streaming by Canal 7 [es] and Onda UNED [es].

From Barcelona to Madrid for the Love of a Candidate

Blogger Denise Duncan makes a confession [es] on her blog:

¿Por qué voy a viajar 1400 kilómetros para votar por Luis Guillermo Solís? ¿Por qué ir y volver de Barcelona a Madrid en 24 horas? ¡Pero es un voto, nada más!, podría pensarse. ¿Qué diferencia hay? Una: estoy enamorada.

Why am I going to travel 1400 kilometers to vote for Luis Guillermo Solís? Why am I going from Barcelona to Madrid and back in 24 hours? But it's just a vote, nothing else!, you could think. What's the difference? One: I'm in love.

Denise is a Barcelona-based Costa Rican citizen and she'll have to travel from there to Madrid to cast her vote for Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera [es], a candidate running for president in the upcoming elections on February 2, 2014.

She remembers an earlier experience, when she spent 24 hours in a train to meet the man who is now her husband. She ends her confession saying:

Entonces brindaré por lo que viene, por un cambio que hará que mi corazón diga: yo recorrí 1400 kilómetros por dos hombres decentes en mi vida. Uno es mi marido. El otro el Presidente de la República.

Then I'll make a toast for what's yet to come, for a change that will make my heart say: I traveled 1400 kilometers because of two men in my life. One is my husband. The other one is the President of the Republic.

Online Platform ‘Ojo al Voto’ Seeks to Lure Young Costa Rican Voters

"Politics in your language!" Image from the Ojo al voto Facebook page.

“Politics in your language!” Image from the Ojo al voto Facebook page.

The interactive platform Ojo al voto [es] wants to provide young voters with useful and straightforward information about the upcoming presidential and legislative elections in Costa Rica, scheduled for February 2, 2014.

The Hivos Central America website explains:

Ojo al voto is an interactive platform, independent from the mainstream media, that combines detailed information about political parties and the profiles and platforms of presidential and legislative candidates with digital storytelling and data visualizations.

[...]

This innovative initiative is especially aimed at young voters between the age of 18 and 37, who represent 48 percent of the electorate according to Costa Rica’s Supreme Elections Tribunal (TSE). A poll published by the daily newspaper ‘La Nación’ showed that 5 out of 10 young people claimed to be indifferent to politics. Working in this climate of apathy, Ojo al Voto’s challenge is to bring youth closer to politics.

You can follow Ojo al Voto on Facebook [es] and Twitter [es].

Costa Rica's ‘Green Judges’ vs. Illegal Property Developers

In Culture Unplugged you can watch a short documentary called “Costa Rica, a Land for Sale“:

Between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, the smallest country in Central America is now the planet’s champion in biodiversity. However, for several years, the success of ecotourism has been driving Costa Rica into runaway urbanization. Today the country is for sale, regardless of biodiversity. That is why the state has created the Environmental Tribunal. A battle has been engaged, and the green judges have declared war on illegal property developers.

Costa Rican Blogger (Almost) Meets Obama

While Laura [Chinchilla] was talking, at one point he [Obama] turned and looked toward my direction. I took the opportunity and put on my best smile and raised my hat as a greeting. With my other hand I was holding his book over my chest. And you know what? He saw me. He said hello with his eyes. Either that or he was very amused with my hat.

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#FLISOL 2013: Hundreds of Latin Americans Installing Free Software

Flisol 2013 Banner.

Flisol 2013 Banner.

From the Patagonia to Havana, hundreds of computer users across Latin America are choosing freedom over control by installing free software on their computers. On April 27th, groups of free software enthusiasts will be installing free software in dozens of cities across Latin America as part of FLISOL [es], the Latin American free software installation festival.
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Developing Latin America: A Summary

dal-anca
Desarrollando América Latina (Developing Latin America) has published a video summary of the regional hackathon DAL 2012, where 400 participants and 70 social experts developed 80 applications. Here [es] you can see Global Voices’ coverage of the event.

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