Powerful Eruption Rocks Costa Rica’s Rincón de la Vieja Volcano
The Rincón de la Vieja volcano in northern Costa Rica recently experienced a powerful eruption, although there were no reported impacts on people or infrastructure. The eruption, classified as “phreatic” by the Vulcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (Ovsicori), resulted in a plume composed of water vapor and volcanic material reaching a height of 3,000 meters above the crater level. The National Emergency Center (CNE) advised residents of nearby areas to avoid riverbeds that could carry volcanic materials and sediments. While this month’s eruptions have been highly energetic, they are not the highest recorded this year. Monitoring parameters indicate a possibility of a small intrusion of magma and volcanic activity beneath the crater of the Rincón de la Vieja volcano, which is a 1,895-meter-high massif located in Costa Rica’s Central Mountain range.
Protecting Costa Rica’s Bees
Costa Rican environmental organization Bloque Verde has issued a crucial call for action on World Bee Day, highlighting the urgent need for greater protection of bees. Alarming statistics reveal a significant decline in bee populations, with the potential for Costa Rica to lose all its bees by 2035 if the current rate persists. The loss of 2,200 hives and approximately 100 million bees in the Los Santos area between 2010 and 2020 further emphasizes the devastating impact on bee populations and the delicate balance of ecosystems. Bloque Verde is advocating for the banning of fipronil and neonicotinoids in all forms, including agricultural use, to halt their destructive effects on bees, ecosystems, and food security. Protecting bees is essential for the sustainability of both the environment and human well-being. Immediate action is necessary to ensure a thriving future for bees and the ecosystems they support in Costa Rica.
Investors Sue Costa Rica Over Hydroelectric Plant’s Expropriation
Three German investors have filed a $1.5 billion investment arbitration claim against Costa Rica at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The claim stems from the alleged expropriation of their land for the construction of the Reventazón hydroelectric power plant, resulting in the destruction of natural habitats for endangered species. The investors argue that Costa Rica, through the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), extracted construction material from the river wall, causing landslides and altering the river’s course. They claim that their property, which included protected lakes and diverse flora and fauna, is no longer suitable for their planned development projects. The Reventazón plant, financed by the Inter-American Development Bank and managed by ICE, began operating in 2016. The investors seek compensation for their conservation and ecotourism investments, as well as the damage to their property caused by the construction.
Costa Rican Congress Takes a Stand Against Organized Crime
The Costa Rican Congress has taken a significant step in combating organized crime by approving a reform to the Law against Organized Crime. With overwhelming support from 49 legislators and positive opinions from key figures in the Judicial Branch, the initiative aims to address the urgent need to tackle organized crime and prevent the release of dangerous group leaders from prison. The approved Bill introduces reforms to existing regulations, clarifies the jurisdiction for organized crime cases, and emphasizes that such cases should remain matters of public action. While most deputies recognize the importance of the project in enhancing security, there were dissenting voices expressing concerns about procedural rights and human rights. The Bill will undergo further discussions and potential amendments in the Legislative Assembly, but its initial approval signifies the Congress’s commitment to combating organized crime and improving security measures in Costa Rica.