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Erroneous report causes confusion amongst perpetual tourists

January 13th, 2014 ( An erroneous report by a web site called The Costa Rica Star prompted confusion amongst so-called ‘perpetual tourists’ over the weekend.


In the report, titled “New Law in Costa Rica for Perpetual Tourists,” the web site claimed that new immigration laws “aimed at cracking down on perpetual tourists” were to go into effect on March 1st, citing statements from “Mario Zamora, director general of Migracion y Extranjeria.”  The report quickly spread on social networks.


However, Zamora has not headed immigration in nearly four years.


Readers quickly pointed out that the article was in fact a word-for-word copy of an article that appeared on another news web site, AM Costa Rica, on February 19th, 2010, as new immigration laws were debated that year.


The Costa Rica Star later issued a statement in which it claimed that the erroneous report was in fact intentional, in order to “prove how misinformation online can cause problems.”  The report as originally published, however made no mention of such an intent.


“That was the purpose of this article that we published, to prove that it is always best to consult a lawyer in legal matters related to immigration and residency. So much inaccurate content is published online about the subject, we had to blow it wide open, and we did,” Adrian Vargas, the web site’s editor and publisher, said in an emailed statement to Inside Costa Rica.


No changes in Costa Rica’s immigration laws are slated for March 2014.

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  • ExSF

    In a word, unbelievable. I’ll just leave it at that.

  • SarongGoddess

    REALLY??? Intentional eh?? So how can they explain ANOTHER article written by the same lawyer that they published on December 26, 2013 on the same topic (not sure how this got by without the wildfire speed the one yesterday did??)

    It sure looked to MANY like it was an advertising piece for the lawyer to drum up fear in people to drum up business for HIS services (this is NOT an new way of doing that here). Did YOU get that feeling??

    At least based on MANY people I asked, it SURE hurt the credibility of the lawyer AND the Costa Rica Star!!! MANY of the people that shared with me said there’s NO WAY they’d trust that lawyer to help them with their residency since it sure didn’t appear that he knew what was going on within Migracion!!!

    • Yeims

      Yes, I was fairly surprised at the article by the lawyer. 100% “infomercial”. In the past, the Star had a fairly strong policy against this.

  • GoingLikeSixty

    There is an old saying in the US: “if your mother says she loves you – trust, but verify.”

  • ElCoco

    There are a lot of CR blog and news posts out there that publish without
    fact checking. So…..if you read something posted on a blog and you’re
    going to share it, first check the source the blog/newpage is
    referencing. (And yes, by all means, be skeptical of our blog posts as
    well) Here’s my writeup on the issue.

    • Buddy Bear

      El Coco, the guy who publishes the CR Star works at Palm Real Estate. Wonder if he has been cleared to work in Costa Rica?

      • ElCoco

        No idea…..My only concern is that expats aren’t perpetuating non-truths and that the CR Star blunder doesn’t go any further than it already has.

  • Hydrangea

    I am amazed at he stupidity of some “perpetual tourists”, believing this nonsense, and no, the Star is a glorified blog/linkbait site, with no journalistic integrity. Gringoes here are way too quick to believe the nonsense and misinformation and jump to ridiculous conclusions. These are the very same people who are outraged at illegal immigrants in their home country, yet are fine with bending the laws here to their own advantage. They show disrespect to Costa Rica, circumventing the law and getting their legal advice from the bloggers, pedophiles and whoremongers that post on the internet. Pay for qualified advice, cheapskates.

  • Buddy Bear

    No credibility for the CR Star. He just shot himself in the nuts.

  • expatin paradise

    This is a low for “journalism.” There is a petition to the advertisers of the Star encouraging them to withdraw their advertising from this site. The petition can be found at:

    • gcblues

      organized by icr undoubtedly

      • Timothy Williams

        I can assure you it most certainly was not.

  • mhogan

    While the report was erroneous, let’s not for a minute dismiss that Costa Rica is fickle and seems to care little about respecting agreements or understandings. Rule changing is Costa Rica modus operandi and if you don’t like the changes that threaten to dismantle your ability to live without hardship, you get people like Hydrangea telling you to go home.

  • roberto

    I guess that desperate times mean ‘desperate actions.’ So who is the person behind the Star?