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Published Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017, in Vol. 17, No. 4
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Judiciary looked for a few misplaced individuals
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The judiciary says it would like a little help in locating 38 criminals that it has misplaced.

The Poder Judicial noted Wednesday that it has a website that contains the identification and photos of crooks who are in flight. These are individuals that have gone through the judicial process and have been convicted of various crimes. The charges include sex abuse, sex abuse of a minor, internet fraud, armed robbery, rape, attempted murder and drug crimes.

A trial court sentence usually is not final in Costa Rica until the case is reviewed on appeal. This may take some time, and judges sometimes give those convicted conditional release until the sentence is final.

Many accused fail to hang around.

The 38 photos that now are on the website include five women, including one convicted of attempted murder. Descriptions of the convictions show that many are not violent offenders, but some are. The individuals may be searched by nationality and type of crime.

The judiciary has a free phone number where fugitives may be turned in. It is

Here is the first of four pages on the website.

800-8000-645. There also is an email address:

Some will never be located because they are foreigners from Nicaragua or Colombia who probably have returned to their home country. There are no U.S., Canadian or European citizens on the current list.

The website should prove to be helpful for rental agents and employers.

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A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


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Dental Services Costa Rica

Dr Oscar Vargas specialist in prosthodontics
Where Science and Art meet!

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CR local phone:  +506-2274-3231
Cell: +506-8302-5877



Dr. Gray
Dr. Lucinda Gray
California Licensed
International Practice

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US (310) 827-4241
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Insurance professionals

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Residency experts


A full service immigration agency
U.S. and San José offices

There are four primary ways to apply for legal residency in Costa Rica:
    Retiree (Pensionado):  For those with a pension or other retirement income.
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U.S. Phone: (323) 255-6116
U.S.  Fax (323) 344-1620
Phone in Costa Rica: ( 506 ) 2226=0755  (En español )



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Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620

Fine art restoration and conservation

Gilbert Carmichael
Master Art Restorer
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Real estate agents and services


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Tour desk

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Casa Presidential photo
Cleaning waterways was among the priorities.

Otto expenses are put at $5.4 million

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The latest report says of 2.9 billion colons or $5.4 million were spent to address the effects of Hurricane Otto.

The report originates from the Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias. Out of the total investment, around 1 billion colons were used for first impact attention that the report classified as the cleaning and channeling of rivers, construction of protection works in the river banks, material stacking, road repair, and cleaning of landslides.

Some 994 million more were used to fund materials and supplies for emergency care, while 615 million colons were devoted to operating expenses. The last item in the report states that 230 million were used in emergency purchases by mayors in affected areas.

Officials also said that the Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados made an investment of 104 million colons in restoration of basic sewer and plumbing services to the impacted communities. The health ministry made their investment in 70 million colons, while the child welfare agency devoted 25 million colons to the care of minors.

Out of all the affected areas, the canton of Upala in Alajuela was the one that received the most amount of investment at around 292 million colons.

Otto swept into northern Costa Rica from Nicaragua Nov. 24.

Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico photo
Face masks that are recommended to the public.

Turrialba continues to let off steam and ash

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Turrialba continued its emission of gas, vapor and ash Wednesday from morning to evening when the summit was no longer visible.

The wind direction was mainly west southwest, said the Red Sismológica Nacional.  Sometimes the direction fluctuated to the northwest, the agency added. The ash emission was enough for major airlines to suspend flights to Juan Santamaría airport in Alajuela.

The Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico went so far as to suggest appropriate face masks for the public. Some residents north and west of the capital are wearing such masks. That is where the ash has landed the most. The Observatorio said the face masks were recommended by the Instituto Nacional de Seguridad y Salud Ocupacional to be 95 percent effective.

The emissions are not dramatic and generally are below 1,000 meters with velocities up to 45 kph, said the Observatorio.

A computer model projects ash falls in Heredia Centro, Carrizal, Guadalupe, Tibás, Moravia, San José, Alajuela, Coronado, Guadalupe, Pavas, Zapote, Santa Ana, Curridabat, San Pedro, Escazú, Santa Ana and Santo Domingo de Heredia, said the Observatorio.

Pro soccer teams in trouble with Caja

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Every business that has employees struggles with making the obligatory monthly social security payments.

That also is true with soccer teams that most do not consider to be businesses. But if the team management pays players, the organization also has to remit about 20 percent additional to the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social. About 9 percent of the players' salaries go there, too.

Sometimes there is not enough money. The Caja said this week that 12 soccer teams, including eight in the first division, were behind in payments. They owe collectively more than $1 million. They will pay because the Caja has been known to shut down stadiums and forbid games until the amount due is paid.

The biggest amount, 258.5 million colons, about $470,000, is owed by the  Asociación Deportiva Santos, the Caja said.

Trump's impact of petroleum weighed

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Oil industry leaders and analysts are split over their views of what president-elect Donald Trump's policies could mean for the nation's oil sector, which has been battered by falling oil prices the past few years.
Recently, oil prices have recovered somewhat.

In a Washington speech Wednesday, American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard said Trump's pledge to cut regulations and reform taxes could help the energy sector and produce additional jobs.

Gerard said the U.S. oil and natural gas industry supports 9.8 million jobs but could employ hundreds of thousands more if smart regulation replaced rules that he called duplicative, contradictory or silly.

Industry analyst Diane Munro, however, said Trump's policy proposals are hawkish and a cauldron of contradictions, which raise a perceived risk for international oil markets.

Writing for the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, Munro said Trump's vow to upend the Iran nuclear agreement and his suggestions of a Saudi oil ban while campaigning have added to the fraying relationship between Washington and Riyadh, raising the level of uncertainty.

Trump has nominated several people with strong oil industry ties to his Cabinet.

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 4
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Misplaced focus overlooks some serious social problems
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The war on sex seems to be faltering along with the drug war. In both cases, the United States and its Costa Rican surrogate are involved in battles punctuated by misinformation and strong ideologies.

Everyone is aware of the failings in the drug war. Plenty of cocaine reaches the United States despite brave efforts of U.S. service members on the high seas.

The war on sex is a little different. The United States and Costa Rican officials and non-profits have set up straw men for their own benefit.

U.S. government workers are trying to police the world. Each year the State Department assigns rankings to foreign countries based on perceptions of human sex and labor trafficking.

Costa Rican officials are seeking various benefits, financial and otherwise, from the United States, so they are prepared to go through the motions of waging war against human traffickers. Non-profits apply for and receive six-figure grants to provide training to failed prostitutes in order to ease the guilty conscience of the U.S. government.

The story is that innocent Costa Rica children are being victimized by lusty U.S. males who come to Costa Rica as tourists. That is the narrative promoted by the non-profits and U.S. embassy workers who would never dispute the opinions of their Washington bosses. In fact, many embassy workers fear traveling to downtown San José, and the diplomatic mission puts up visitors in hotels far from the capital. There is a pretty good chance that no U.S. citizen at the embassy has acquired any first-hand knowledge of the country's sex business, so their information comes from officials and the non-profits.

The Costa Rican narrative in the annual human trafficking report that comes out each June seems to be a copy of the previous year's. The report fails to mention that prostitution is not penalized here, which may be one reason participation by young women may be so attractive. Each year reporters note the omission to embassy staffers without success.

Those who write the report have difficulty in supporting their thesis that "Child sex tourism is a serious problem, with child sex tourists arriving mostly from the United States and Europe." They have difficulty finding any cases, noting in the 2016 report:

"Despite an identified child sex tourism problem, the government did not prosecute or convict any child sex tourists or other individuals who purchased commercial sex acts from children, although the government did collaborate with international partners to restrict entry to registered sex offenders."

The report also notes that "The government conducted 25 targeted raids of sites where sex trafficking was suspected and interviewed 934 potential victims (931 women and 3 men), but did not identify any trafficking victims among them . . . ." The U.S. government attributes failure to find victims to a faulty methodology or implementation of the interviews.

Costa Rican investigators failed to find a real sexual predator when they followed around David Strecker for 12 days before arresting him for running an explicit website. Clearly they were expecting the tourist to do something illegal, perhaps getting involved with a teen. Most tourists, however, are very aware of the prohibition of becoming involved with minors. There are big signs all over the airports, compliments of yet another non-profit.

The Poder Judicial has confirmed that the Fundación Rahab was the organization that initiated a criminal case against Strecker. He was sentenced to five years for

access ramp
A.M. Costa Rica archives
Police once raided a downtown brothel and then made the owner put in access ramps for the disabled.

writing about sex tourism in Costa Rica. The foundation has been a recipient of multiple U.S. grants.

The U.S. government has a history of making bad choices in foreign relations. And the money spent to ferret out U.S. child molesters in Costa Rica pales when compared to other government programs.

But the repetition that the sex perverts are U.S. tourists tends to take the focus off very serious problems in Costa Rica. These problems include periodic rape of domestic help, child molestations within the home, harassment in the workplace and other crimes and misdemeanors that do not include foreigners. The government reports that 2,450 children between 10 and 14 give birth each year.

The other aspect of trafficking, forced labor, is something that no one wants to touch because this is so prevalent in Costa Rica where much of the workforce is off the books.

U.S. officials and many Americans have difficulty believing that any women would voluntarily adopt the commercial sex lifestyle, full or part-time. They would be surprised to find that there are multiple generators of the same families in this business.

Yet there still are situations of forced prostitution, usually involving foreign women lured to Costa Rica with job offers. Periodically judicial agents raid a bar where the management is holding the passports of hostesses who work there. But there is much worse.

Out of sight of police agencies and even the nearsighted U.S. diplomats there are criminal gangs that have never been touched by investigations. They are  Russians, Colombians and Chinese. This newspaper has reported how women are imported as language students for these prostitute rings. At least one woman became a true victim with a bullet hole in the back of her head in a Jacó ditch. Lesser forms of harsh discipline are frequent.

These organizations that deal in many other illegal businesses are complex and outside the scope of typical police activities.

The split mindset of Costa Rican law enforcement can be seen in the acceptance of brothels. Once in awhile one is raided for unspecified reasons, but most thrive without interference. The many houses of prostitution here never rate mentioning in the U.S. reports. Pimping in which a manager accepts money on behalf of prostitutes is supposed to be illegal here. But such activity takes place daily.

The possibility is that Costa Rica is moving toward a more open society regarding sex. Prostitutes have an organization that is lobbying for health care, retirement and other benefits. Now commercial sex workers have trouble doing daily chores like opening a bank account. Despite that, some have become major downtown property owners.

This change in attitude is a situation that Costa Rican lawmakers eventually will confront. They would not even have to hold hearings. They would make inquires at the many brothels that are within a stone's throw of the legislature and the court complex.

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You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2017 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 4
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Small amount of zinc each day found to have massive benefits
By the Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland
Research Institute news staff

A new study by researchers from the Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute shows that a modest 4 milligrams of extra zinc a day in the diet can have a profound, positive impact on cellular health that helps fight infections and diseases. This amount of zinc is equivalent to what biofortified crops like zinc rice and zinc wheat can add to the diet of vulnerable, nutrient deficient populations.

The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, was led by Janet King.  She and her team are the first to show that a modest increase in dietary zinc reduces oxidative stress and damage to DNA.

“We were pleasantly surprised to see that just a small increase in dietary zinc can have such a significant impact on how metabolism is carried out throughout the body,” says Ms. King. "These results present a new strategy for measuring the impact of zinc on health and reinforce the evidence that food-based interventions can improve micronutrient deficiencies worldwide."

Zinc is ubiquitous in the human body and facilitates many functions that are essential for preserving life. It plays a vital role in maintaining optimal childhood growth and in

ensuring a healthy immune system. Zinc also helps limit inflammation and oxidative stress in the body, which are associated with the onset of chronic cardiovascular diseases and cancers.
Around much of the world, many households eat polished white rice or highly refined wheat or maize flours, which provide energy but do not provide enough essential micronutrients such as zinc. Zinc is an essential part of nearly 3,000 different proteins, and it impacts how these proteins regulate every cell in our body. In the absence of sufficient zinc, human ability to repair everyday wear and tear on DNA is compromised.
In the randomized, controlled, six-week study the scientists measured the impact of zinc on human metabolism by counting DNA strand breaks. They used the parameter of DNA damage to examine the influence of a moderate amount of zinc on healthy living.

This was a novel approach, different from the commonly used method of looking at zinc in the blood or using stunting and morbidity for assessing zinc status.
According to Ms. King, these results are relevant to the planning and evaluation of food-based solutions for mitigating the impact of hidden hunger and malnutrition. She said she believes that biofortification can be a sustainable, long-term solution to zinc deficiency.

Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland is part of the University of California,  San Francisco.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

HIdden Garden graphic
Put Costa Rica on your walls
The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is the perfect place to find quality Costa Rican and international art for your home or office.  With over 60 artists and 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we have been your source for fine art since 2010.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever. Located just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport (towards the beaches).

Visit our Web site at:
Contact us by email:  
Find us on Trip Advisor, Facebook, Twitter,
Moon Travel Guides & Frommer's

Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tel.  8386-6872 / 2667-0592; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073
International shipping available.

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The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

 (as reported by the moving companies)
Visit many rental options to actually experience the price/amenity options available in more of the areas chosen by Expats for security, comfort, and quality of life.

Meet many Expats who are willing to share their experiences and how the tour has value long after the “lust” wears off.
See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!

Ask the others what you get for your money, and then compare the quality of accommodations, quality, quantity and variety of food and drink to measure the best value for your money. 

Learn how others “talk the talk” and learn who really can “walk the walk”

Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
George Lundquist, retirement, relocation columnist, Guide & Developer/Builder.

George Lundquist

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Contact us: 
Dial toll FREE from USA or Canada:  1.800.901.0114
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   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
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Beautiful Home for Rent.
2-bedroom, 1-bath, furnished house inside gated farm. Close to town. No dogs. $650  includes electricity, internet, WiFi, cable TV, water. Santa Barbara de Heredia. American owner lives on site. Quiet, secure. 

Tropical Homes

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for  your stay in this beautiful part of Costa Rica.We are offering homes for every budget and every need. Please visit our Web page at or contact us at or call at (506) 2654-5442

Spectacular rentals are available for low weekly prices on at resorts such as Bahia Turquesa Residences and Villas Sol Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. We have 
1- to 3-bedroom ocean and garden view timeshares available and most offer air conditioning, cable TV, fully equipped kitchens, and relaxing hammocks on private balconies. Enjoy the unique combination of seclusion and convenience as all resorts listed on our site are close to popular Costa Rican attractions and downtown 
centers, but are surrounded in lush, tropical forest. Villas are also available for sale in our inventory, so you can enjoy yearly vacations to this mesmerizing rainforest paradise. Please visit our rental inventory HERE!  or call us toll free at 877-815-4227, International: 603-516-0200.  Email:

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What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2016 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 4
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Axiom new ad

Vaccine may cure malaria,
medical researchers report

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A genetically engineered malaria vaccine has been shown to prevent the disease in mice, researchers say. The findings offer hope of halting the illness in humans, as well as stopping transmission of the mosquito-borne disease.

Researchers at the Center for Infectious Disease Research at the University of Washington in Seattle, in conjunction with the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center, have developed a vaccine that uses the entire malaria-causing parasite called P. falciparum to stimulate a protective immune response.

Researchers weakened the malaria parasite by knocking out