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Viewing cable 06SANJOSE812, COUNTRY CLEARANCE FOR MARIA SOSA

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06SANJOSE812 2006-04-12 20:08 2011-03-03 16:04 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy San Jose
Appears in these articles:
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-03/Investigacion/NotasDestacadas/Investigacion2697430.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-03/Investigacion/NotaPrincipal/Investigacion2697496.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-03/Investigacion/NotasSecundarias/Investigacion2697489.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-03/Investigacion/NotasSecundarias/Investigacion2697532.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-03/Investigacion/NotasSecundarias/Investigacion2697535.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-03/Investigacion/NotasSecundarias/Investigacion2701964.aspx
http://www.nacion.com/2011-03-03/Investigacion/Relacionados/Investigacion2701965.aspx
VZCZCXYZ0039
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSJ #0812/01 1022030
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 122030Z APR 06
FM AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE
TO RUEHSN/AMEMBASSY SAN SALVADOR 3890
INFO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4753
UNCLAS SAN JOSE 000812 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: EAID OTRA CS
SUBJECT: COUNTRY CLEARANCE FOR MARIA SOSA 
 
REF: SAN SALVADOR 976 
 
1. Embassy San Jose is pleased to grant country clearance to 
contractor Maria Sosa from Booz Allen Hamilton who will be in 
Costa Rica on assignment from April 17 to April 19.  The 
purpose of this visit is to attend a meeting of the regional 
technical commision on valuation to review the FASTrade 
project's approach to addressing CAFTA advance ruling 
commitments and to discuss developments related to the 
relevant implementation customs regulations. 
 
2. Post understands assistance is not necessary.  Maria 
Villanueva, Economic Assistant, is the assigned Control 
Officer and she can be reached at Embassy number 
(506)519-2418.  The Embassy after-hours emergency phone 
number is (506)220-3127. 
 
3. Upon arrival in country all TDY visitors are to make 
contact with their Embassy Control Officer for information 
regarding a security briefing. 
 
4. Accommodations:  Post understands visitor will make their 
own hotel reservations.  The perdiem rate for San Jose is 
$104 for lodging, and $67 M&IE.  Post will send confirmation 
number by email.  Please be advised that hotels in San Jose 
require a minimum notice of 72 hours if canceling or changing 
reservations.  Travelers must notify the hotel or Embassy 72 
hours in advance if schedule changes.  Hotels will assess a 
one-day charge if they do not receive advance notice of 
cancellation or changes.  Prior to arrival travelers are to 
provide the RSO office the required information for TDY 
registration/emergency contact, which is hotel and/or point 
of contact information. 
 
5. Transportation: The only taxis available at the airport 
are the Taxi Aeropuerto orange taxis found outside the 
arrival hall.  Tickets for the orange taxis are sold at a 
ticket booth located immediately outside the arrival hall 
exit doors.  Fares (payable in U.S. dollars or local 
currency) vary according to destination but the cost of a 
standard orange taxi ticket to the Embassy is $12, to the 
Intercontinental Hotel is $14 and to downtown San Jose is 
$12.  Vans are also available at increased cost.  If you miss 
the ticket counter or otherwise need assistance with orange 
taxi service, the company has an individual posted curbside 
from where the orange taxis are dispatched.  Taxi Aeropuerto 
also offers pick-up service and transportation to the airport 
for departing passengers.  Reservations can be made 24 hours 
a day by phoning (506)221-6865. 
 
Elsewhere in San Jose, licensed taxis are considered safe 
when using standard security precautions.  Licensed taxis 
have a yellow triangle on the door, an identification number, 
a taxi light on the roof of the car, and generally have 
working meters.  Ask if the meter is functioning before 
entering the cab.  If the meter is not functioning, the cost 
of the fares should be negotiated prior to entering the cab. 
Licensed taxis are also easily obtainable from hotels. 
 
Unlicensed cabs come in all shapes and sizes and should be 
avoided. 
 
6. Public Affairs:  Please note that the Public Affairs 
Office is the Embassy's designated point of contact with the 
press.  If visitors have been scheduled for press events by 
local partner organizations or others, please inform the 
Embassy's Public Affairs Office.  Should   visitors be 
approached by the press with questions or a request for an 
interview, they should refer the press to the Embassy Public 
Affairs Office.  In short, post requests that visitors not 
speak with the press before consulting with the Public 
Affairs office and they can be reached at 506/519-2441. 
 
7. Travel documents/Threat assessment/Local conditions: All 
official visitors must travel with passports, preferably 
official or diplomatic.  Without a valid passport, a visitor 
lacks official status in the eyes of the Costa Rican 
Government.  However, no repeat no visa is necessary. 
 
During this time of heightened security alerts, all travelers 
should consult the Department's website for the latest public 
announcements or other safety notices at www.usembassy.or.cr 
or www.usembassy.or.cr/osac.html. 
 
Costa Rica is currently rated as a "high" crime threat post. 
The increasing use of violence during the commission of a 
street crime is a threat to all visitors.  Travelers are 
urged to exercise caution, as in any large city.  Local law 
enforcement agencies do not act according to U.S. standards 
and have limited capabilities.  Jewelry should not be worn on 
the streets.  Large amounts of cash should not be displayed. 
The downtown area of San Jose should be avoided at night 
because of the increase of criminal activity that occurs in 
 
this area. 
 
Credit card fraud and credit card "number skimming" is a 
rapidly growing crime.  Visitors should avoid using debit 
cards for point-of-sale purchases, as a skimmed number can be 
used to clean out an account.  Visitors should check their 
credit card accounts frequently. 
 
Visitors are advised to avoid unofficial moneychangers who 
may offer better rates but who often trade in counterfeit 
currency.  The present rate of exchange is approximately 504 
Costa Rican colones to one dollar.  Accommodation exchange is 
available at a comparable rate at the airport. 
 
Visitors should exercise caution if they will be driving in 
Costa Rica.  The combination of poor road conditions, erratic 
driving, and pedestrian and animal traffic on the roads make 
driving very treacherous.  Costa Rica has one of the highest 
accident rates per automobile in the world.  The Embassy 
strongly recommends against driving outside of the San Jose 
area at night.  Vehicles should not be left unattended or 
packages left visible inside them. 
 
Costa Rica is an earthquake zone and periodically experiences 
significant tremors. 
 
Visitors should be careful not to eat peanuts or products 
made from peanuts grown in Costa Rica because they may harbor 
aflatoxin, which is suspected in the causation of liver 
cancer. 
 
8. Please note: Effective January 1, 2005, all American 
personnel traveling to post for a TDY of 30 days or more will 
need to certify in the country clearance request that they 
have completed mandatory overseas personal security training 
as outlined in State cable 66580, dated 25 March 2004. 
 
9. Please be advised that State Department regulations 
prohibit installation or use of privately-owned computers in 
any State Department building.  Visitors must notify the 
Regional Security Office in advance if they intend to use 
U.S. Government-owned portable computers in the Chancery. 
FRISBIE