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(506) 2223-1327                        Published Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015, in Vol. 15, No. 18                                Email us
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Acquittals in Jairo Mora case were unexpected
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

There was widespread surprise and condemnation Monday when a court in Limón acquitted seven men in the murder of environmentalist Jairo Mora Sandoval.

The Poder Judicial quickly noted the verdict is subject to appeal and that the president of the Corte Suprema de Justicia, Zarela Villanueva Monge, said the law gives judges independence.

The trial panel said that there were errors in the investigation of the case and the safeguarding of evidence. Some lawmakers are calling for an appearance by Jorge Chavarría, the fiscal general de la República, Carmen Zúñiga, the fiscal of the Tribunal de Juicio in Limón, and Francisco Segura, director of the Judicial Investigating Organization.

Marcela Guerrero Campos of the Partido Acción Ciudadana said the acquittal on technical grounds damages the image of Costa Rica.

Perhaps the most outspoken was Paul Watson, the founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. He called the verdict a sad, sad day for justice in Costa Rica.

"It is not surprising that the seven men charged with the murder of Jairo Mora Sandoval have been acquitted," Watson said on a Facebook page. "Evidence was conveniently lost, and the court made numerous errors, and although these men clearly are responsible for killing Jairo, they get to walk, although four of them will serve time for rape and robbery of tourists
on the same beach. All seven were acquitted of murder, kidnapping, sexual ...assault and robbery involving Jairo Mora Sandoval and the volunteer women turtle conservationists working with him."

He called Jairo Mora a martyr and added "he is in my opinion the greatest conservation hero in the history of Costa Rica, and the system has failed him, and it did so because of corruption and politics. The narco-poachers have won again, not surprising — they have the money, the power and the ruthless determination to advance their greed at all costs."

The case began May 31, 2013  when Mora and volunteers were traveling to a Caribbean beach, Playa Moín, on a mission to protect turtles. They were confronted by men who took Mora away and held the volunteers hostage for a time in a nearby dwelling.

The judges said that both the prosecution and investigators lacked rigor in handling evidence including breaks in the chain of custody. Problems also existed in the presentation of the case of the three U.S. volunteers and a Spanish woman who were held hostage while Mora was dragged to his death at the nearby beach.

The judges cited errors in the handling of wiretap results including a lack of attributing ownership of certain cell phones to the accused.

Three of the accused are free, but four others were convicted of robbery and holding people against their will. They will serve terms ranging up to 27 years.

New York has seen some big snow storms before
By Jay Brodell
editor of A.M. Costa Rica

My grandfather, visiting the north Jersey areas for Christmas from Scranton, Pennsylvania, picked the wrong time to get ill. The doctor said appendix and put him in St. Francis Hospital for Christmas Eve.

As the extended family gathered around the tree Christmas evening, as was the custom, we thought a lot about Papa Tom and not much about the quiet snow beginning to fall outside.

We were unaware that this was the start of the Great Blizzard of 1947. Eventually there would be three feet of snow on the ground and drifts much higher.

The New York newspapers were making comparisons to the Blizzard of '88 that paralyzed the region for weeks.

My grandfather recovered well despite the fact he was portly. The big problem was visiting him. Transportation was snowed in.  A few brave sons and daughters managed to hike in the heavy snow to the hospital to confirm his well being.

For schoolkids, as I was at the time, the storm was at first a big letdown.

After all, classes already were canceled for the Christmas holidays, and the snow
great blizzard
New York Public Library photo
Motorist digs out after Great Blizzard.

would be gone by the time schools reopened after New Year's.

Unlike the storm that is hitting the northeastern United States today, there was no warning in 1947.  There were no satellites to track the storm, and the blizzard snuck in from the Atlantic after having picked up strength from the Gulf Stream. That is an unexpected direction for northeastern storms because most of the weather comes from the west.

Papa Tom missed all the fun. By the time he exited the hospital, the streets were cleared and public transportation was back to normal. Snowmen dotted the landscape as did temporary ramps for sledding.

The blizzard was just an act of nature, folks said then. No one blamed global warming or climate change.

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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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U.S. blizzard's effect minimal here

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

So far the impact of a major snow storm in the U.S. northeast is minimal for Costa Rica. Each year snow or heavy rains slow transportation, and now New York is expected to get up to three feet of snow. New England also is expected to feel the effects of the storm.

United has canceled two flights out of New York today, and Jetblue has canceled one scheduled for the Daniel Oduber airport in Liberia. That means some tourists might be delayed in arriving or making a return flight. In the United States there have been more than 6,000 cancellations.

A high-impact winter storm is expected to bring crippling snowfall amounts and life-threatening blizzard conditions to much of the Northeast, said the U.S. National Weather Service.

However, the New York Daily news was more alarming:

IT'S A BIG APPLE LOCKDOWN! NYC subway system, commuter railroads, bridges and tunnels all shut down; cars will not be allowed on roads and all schools will be closed Tuesday.

Early today the snowfall was heaviest in Pennsylvania.

In Costa Rica the winds and choppy Pacific seas continue. A report from the Pacific said that a woman and a child had died in the surf when they were caught in an undertow. A full report still is not available.

More Circunvalación overpasses planned

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

In the short term motorists will have to struggle through three more projects on the Circunvalación. The first starts in September, said the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes.

But when the jobs are done, the traffic circles will be converted into slip ramps and overpasses.

The ministry said that the first job will be at the Rotunda traffic circle of  Las Garantías Sociales in Zapote. Two months later, work will begin at the Rotunda de Las Banderas in San Pedro and the intersection in Guadalupe.

Work already is going on at the traffic circle in Paso Ancho, known locally as the Rotunda de Guacamaya.

The new projects carry a $50 million price tag backed by the Banco Centroamericano de Integración Económica.

There have been some delays due to evictions, but the ministry also is in the process of constructing the northern loop of the Circunvalación from the current terminus in La Uruca to Ruta 32 north of San José.

This job, when completed, will keep heavy trucks off San José streets.

Escazú robbery suspects held

By the A.M. Costa Rica  staff

Armed men held up patrons in the Pizza Hut restaurant in San Rafael de Escazú Monday afternoon and stripped them of jewelry, handbags, wallets and cell telephones.

The Fuerza Pública said they were able to locate four suspects on the roadway to Alajuelita about 15 minutes later, they said.

Officers said that within the vehicle of the suspects were some of the items that appeared to be those reported robbed.

Computer ads can have unexpected  impact

By the University of Illinois news service

Those video ads playing in the corner of the computer screen, in the midst of multitasking, may have more impact than computer users realize. They may be as effective as the ads that are really watched, such as those during the Super Bowl, says a University of Illinois researcher.

It depends on how a computer user perceives and processes media content – whether the processing “style” is to focus more on one thing or to take it all in, according to Brittany Duff, a professor at the University of Illinois

Ms. Duff led two different studies on multitasking and ad recognition, each with a different group of undergraduates at a different Midwestern university. The results were recently published online in a paper for the Journal of Advertising.

As part of each study, participants were evaluated and categorized as being more analytic or holistic in their style of processing media. Analytic processors tend to focus on specific items, looking at them in isolation from the environment in which they’re found, Ms. Duff said. Holistic processors tend to take in everything at once, or as part of a whole.

Ms. Duff found in both studies that analytic processors did better than holistic processors on ad retention when their only task was to watch a series of video ads on a computer screen. When asked to split their time with a second simple task on the same computer, however, the results were dramatically different.

“For holistic processors, however, it’s like you did nothing to them,” Ms. Duff said. They were just as effective in remembering aspects of the ads."

Our reader's opinion
He's content with credit card bite

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

I read the article in Monday's edition about the government taking 1.78 percent withholding from all credit card purchases. It made it sound like this was a new and onerous tax payment, but that is not so. Every business in Costa Rica is taxed at a flat rate of 30 percent of profits. We have all heard that tax payment and tax collection is seldom achieved. This small portion of tax ensures that restaurants and bars and other businesses will file or if they fail to file will have, at least, submitted something to the tax department. Seems fair to me. There certainly would be no justification for a statement or action like "good business practices would mean ratcheting up slightly the amount charged to the customer to compensate for the governmental bite".
K. Noel Montagano
San Pedro de Poás, Alajuela

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 18
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Parents struggling to find uniforms and school supplies for their kids
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica is suppose to have free public education. Parents running around now buying mandatory items for their youngsters might have a different opinion.

The economics ministry said that supplies and school uniforms might cost from 78,331 to 97,445 for each child. The ministry, the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio, does a consumer survey each year at the start of school. The range in dollars is from about $148 to $184.

Although various items may not be used for months, students are supposed to have all the required material at the start of the year. Each school issues a list, and teachers check the items.

One item in some grades is a plastic flute. Ministry surveys found a wide range of prices for the identical flute. In Almacén El Rey in San José, the flute could be purchased for 1,800 colons, but in Tres Ríos in the Pasoca store, the price was 3,475 colons.

That was a difference of 93 percent and the biggest found by the survey team that checked prices in 20 outlets. But there were plenty of other identical items that had price differences from 71 to 93 percent.

The biggest difference was in school clothes. A girl's blouse could be had for 200 colons or for 7,900 colons. The average price was 4,786 colons. Naturally the qualities were different. Much of the school clothing comes from China.

The required articles also vary depending on the child's grade level.

Some parents save money by swapping clothing with neighbors or fitting used clothing. The Ministerio de

schoolk clothes
Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio photo
This is a time youngsters learn about smart shopping

Educación Pública has said that the use of used backpacks is permitted this year.

A number of expat organizations provide school supplies for children of low-income families as does the government.

The prices reported by the survey may include some for loss-leader items or in-store sales, and the prices also are affected by the individual store overhead and rent.

Visiting heads of state might find themselves beating dead horses
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Community of Latin America and Caribbean States will be beating a few dead horses when heads of state meet, according to some advanced reports from meetings of the technical staff.

Among these are sovereignty for Puerto Rico and a resumption of negotiations over the Falkland Islands, which Argentina calls the Islas Malvinas.

The two-day session that begins with heads of state Wednesday also will be considering the state of U.S. and Cuban relations.

Alejandro Solano, a Costa Rican vice minister, said that the technical staff had reached agreement on the majority of the 17 issues being discussed. He did not list them all but did cite Puerto Rico, the British islands off Argentina and U.S. relations with Cuba.

Puerto Rico is a U.S. commonwealth, and the wishes of voters there have been ambiguous. The election in 2012 presented
 voters with a two-part question that many did not answer. Residents have the possibility of independence, statehood or continue commonwealth status.

The United Kingdom fought a 10-week war to retake the Falklands from an Argentine invasion in 1982. The islands have been in British hands since 1841. Residents have voted overwhelmingly to remain a United Kingdom territory. Still Argentina officials continue to push for some form of negotiations involving the islands.

The continuation of the U.S embargo on Cuba is another topic for discussion. The U.S. designation of Cuba as a sponsor of terrorism also is on the agenda.

There was no mention if the human rights situation in Cuba would be brought up.

The foreign ministry said Monday that it has enlisted some 223 government vehicles to ferry the estimated 3,000 persons who will be attending the summit in Belén.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 18
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Social media does not increase stress levels of users, new study reports
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A new study suggests that frequent users of social media experience no greater stress in their lives than non-users and that some groups may benefit from their use. The results are contrary to several previous studies that found a link between social media use and negative conditions, such as depression.

“The biggest finding was that there was no relationship whatsoever between the use of these technologies and men’s self-reported levels of stress, but women who used a number of these technologies actually reported lower levels of stress,” said Keith Hampton, associate professor of communications at Rutgers University and the study’s lead author.

The report, “Social Media and the Cost of Caring,” was sponsored by the Pew Research Center Internet Project. Participants’ stress levels were assessed, as well as the frequency of their use of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and more traditional digital tools like email or text messaging.

Men who used these tools experienced no greater stress than non-users and female social media users experienced less stress, according to the study.

“It could be that women are gaining positive social support from using these technologies that counteract any stress,” Hampton said. “It could also be that women are better able to balance some of the competing demands they have in life.

"Or it could be that social sharing through these technologies -- just sharing positive and negative events as they happen in a very low-demand way such as email -- may provide women with a way to help manage their stress," he added.

Hampton said the results also suggest that heavy users of social media, notably women, can experience greater stress as they become aware of stressful events in the lives of friends and family.

“People who saw things happening to their friends and family that were unfortunate, such as the loss of  jobs or illness or death, they tended to report more stress as a result of their awareness of other people’s stress,” he said. “This is what’s often been called the cost of caring. ”

Importantly, all study participants live in the United States, where the use of social media overall can cause significantly less stress than in countries where liberties are curtained and communication tightly controlled.

Dating back at least to the 1990s, previous studies have pointed to the negative effects of heavy use of digital media such as the Internet.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in 1999 found that "greater use of the Internet was associated with declines in participants' communication with family members in the household, declines in the size of their social circle, and increases in their depression and loneliness.”

That result was echoed in a 2013 study that found the more people used Facebook, the less happy they felt.

Hampton said he and his fellow researchers had expected similar results when measuring stress and were surprised by the results.

“I think we had expected to initially find that there was a relationship between these technologies and higher levels of stress,” he said. “But counter to the expectation that the more you use these technologies, the more stress you have, it actually seems to be opposite for women -- those who use these technologies a lot actually have lower levels of stress.”

Hampton said that this is only one study and that it’s difficult to make sweeping generalizations about the positive or negative effects of social media use.

But the results suggest to him that one unexpected benefit of these tools is something he calls persistent awareness.

“A lot of social media are increasing our interaction with people by reminding us just how present they are in our lives, as well as keeping us in contact with people we might have lost contact with in the past,” Hampton said.

“I think areas we’re interested in exploring in the future are just how connected people are over time,” he said. “In other words, whether people who would have disappeared from our lives are actually staying more present than they would before.”

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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La Fortuna
Comfort of your home in the campo, 5 minutes from Fortuna Centro of San Carlos, in the shadow of Volcano Arenal, Flat screen TV, AC, refrigerator, free coffee. Local area activities like four-wheeling, horse riding, zip lining, hot springs, jungle walking tours. Bring your camera for great photos of nature, fishing and swimming, canyoning and wireless internet. Harry Hart, proprietor.  Call for reservations  (506) 2479-8670   and (506) 8682-9219  Email:

Will Costa Rica Retirement Work For You?
Find out for yourself on Live In Costa Rica Tours

When you visit Costa Rica, you'll want to discover what you need to know to  make the right choice about moving to this tropical paradise.  Our familiarization tours have won hard-earned credentials that prove general excellence and the right focus.  These are the only retirement tours that are licensed and approved by the Costa Rican government and tourism institute  (ICT). In 2006 we were featured on the NBC Today Show and World News.  In 2010, we won the  prestigious Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the Best and Most Unique Tour in Latin America.

   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
   * Find out how to live affordably
   * See how other expats live. Meet other expats who have made
          the move.
   * Access the country's affordable health care system
   * Informative two-day seminar given by local experts in their
          relevant fields.
   * Tours led by Christopher Howard, 34-year resident, citizen,
          and the author of "The New Golden Door to Retirement
          and  Living in Costa Rica – the Official Guide to Relocation”
Click HERE  to learn all about our Association of Residents (ARCR)  approved tours at

Anywhere Costa Rica plans custom vacations, and has the most comprehensive travel services in the country including travel guides, resorts and vacation homesCosta Rica tours
and car rentals.  
Call 1-888.456.3212 or 2479-8811 locally.

Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
at the largest gallery in Guanacaste.

The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is a great place to find quality remembrances of Costa Rica to take home or to decorate your home or office in Costa Rica.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever.  With more than 60 artists on exhibit and fine art in 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we are easy to locate just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport. Visit our Web site at
or contact us by email:   
Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tel. 2667-0592 / 8386-6872; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073. International shipping available.
Every Saturday - Vendor Fair!

Click photo for another video

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.


Here's reasonable medical care
Costa Rica's world class medical specialists are at your command. Get the top care for much less than U.S. prices. It is really a great way to spend a vacation. See our list of recommended professionals HERE!amcr-prom

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Real estate rentals
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Real estate for rent
Real estate wanted

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See our listing of real estate brokers on the for-sale page.

Real estate for rent (paid category)
Two houses for rent inside Sarchí working coffee farm. We will be renting out only one of them, so choose which suits you best.

Casita - Roomy, fully furnished 1 bedroom/1 bath/ 1 guest room, office or storage room. Hi-speed     WiFi, private phone line, hot water, balcony with lovely view across the Central Valley. Includes
linens, dishes, etc and washing machine. Rent is $500 per month plus utilities for 6 months or longer, $625 all inclusive for less than 6 months. Sorry, no pets.

Main house - Spacious 2 bedrooms/1 bath/ and an office w/Wifi. Fully furnished 
(except for TV), Sky satellite, private phone line, washer and dryer, alarm system.  There are lovely verandas with views of Poás and Central Valley, raised beds for gardening and lots of fruit trees. A well-behaved pet MAY be negotiable. Rent is $750 plus utilities for long term tenant.

Our farm is in a small, quiet and very safe neighborhood in Sarchí Sur and is gated and guarded 24/7 and we live on-site. It's totally private and quiet, but less than a 5-minute drive to Sarchí central and 15 minutes to Grecia.  There are great places to walk as well. More info and photos at

Maneul Antonio
The vacation homes at Manuel Antonio Estates offers luxury, comfort and peace of mind. We have numerous homes to chose from, all within walking distance of the town’s shops and restaurants and just a few minutes to the best beaches and the famous national park. While the homes are secluded and hidden among the rainforest, the surrounding area offers adventures like zip lines, white water rafting, mangrove kayaking and many more. All of the homes are available for short-term rentals, have easily accessible parking, cable TV, and Internet and are fully furnished. We are happy to assist with all your need for the perfect Costa Rican vacation.
Manuel Antonio Estates        TOLL FREE: 1800 346 9724
011 (506) 2777.3339

Beautiful 2-bedroom 2-bathroom American-style apartments with an elevator to your front door in a secure building located in Gringo Gulch the American Section of downtown San José. Costa Rica. Located between the Hotel Del Rey, the Hotel Mona Lisa and the Sportsman's Lodge and The Zona Blue (AKA) Little Habana across the street from Harry's Poas Bar, and next to the Holiday Inn.
apartment view
 There are 15 restaurants and American- style bars on this block and four supermarkets within a few blocks. There are 5 casinos within 2 blocks and dozens of hotels around this apartment. Included in your rental price, fast Internet, the best they have in Costa Rica, cable TV with 80 stations, water, washer
 and dryer. All you pay extra for is electricity. You have your own meter and receive a bill from the electric company every month.  This apartment has a American-style hot water system, hot water in both bathrooms and the kitchen. There is a 25-foot balcony to sit on and watch the people in San José walk by. The neighborhood Barrio Amón is the safest in San José For photos and more information contact:

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.

MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

Villas Casa Loma has everything you are looking for.  Best vistas, climate, value.  Four unique homes in a secure private compound on a ridge near Alajuela overlooking the entire Central Valley.  Two are available fully furnished and equipped, each a complete home accommodating 4 persons in two bedrooms with ensuite baths.  Pool, rancho, mirador, other features.  Ask about part-month rates.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.

HP Cattle rentals
Mountain homes or farm for rent
Barva volcano, Heredia province
We offer for rent a gorgeous two-bedroom mountain chalet and a one-bedroom mountain home located on the slopes of the Barva Volcano, Heredia Province. The homes are situated at 7,300 feet altitude and within a working horse ranch just three kilometers from the Braulio Carrillo National Park entrance. From our homes one can hike to the Barva volcano crater-lake.  Enjoy a spacious living room, kitchen, fireplace and breathtaking views of the Irazú volcano and the Central Valley. Observe dozens of cloud forest bird species to include the resplendent quetzal.  The homes are incomparable in beauty and attention to detail within the Barva highland area.  We are only 35-55 minutes from Costa Rica’s three principal cities (Heredia, Alajuela, and San José), less than two hours from the central Pacific beaches, and three hours from the Caribbean beaches. Enjoy the tranquility of the mountains while maintaining quick access to the conveniences of the city and rapid access to other eco-tourist destinations in Costa Rica. Additionally, we can board your horses at a reasonable fee.  We can also offer our clients rental of a small and fully functional farm complete with stables, pasture, and office space.
Mountain chalet: $750.  Basic mountain home: $400.
Boutique mountain home: One-bedroom $850. Two-bedroom $1,000.
Small Farm that includes a chalet, basic mountain home, stables, and 8,000m2 of pasture/green areas: $1,500.

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 18
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Some see God's influence
in top sports performances

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Forty years ago, after a professional American football player threw the game-winning  pass, he  told reporters that before throwing the ball, “I closed my eyes and said a ‘Hail Mary.’”

There’s no way to confirm whether a higher being had a hand in the outcome of that game, but it turns out that more than half of Americans do believe that God rewards religious athletes.

A new survey finds that 53 percent of Americans believe God rewards pious athletes with good health and success. However, 45 percent of people surveyed, about four out of every 10, disagreed.

Professional athlete Aaron Rodgers is one of them. The quarterback’s Green Bay Packers football team blew a big lead to lose a critical conference championship game earlier this month.

“I don’t think God cares a whole lot about the outcome,” Rodgers said when a fan asked whether he thought God intervenes or plays a role in the outcome of football games. “He cares about the people involved, but I don’t think he’s a big football fan.”

It is common for American athletes to thank God for their successes. Rodger’s counterpart on the opposing team, Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson, credited God for his team’s overtime win.

“That’s God setting it up, to make it so dramatic, so rewarding, so special,” he said about the come-from-behind win.

Catholics (65 percent) and Protestants (68 percent) were the most likely to believe God rewards pious athletes. By contrast, about one out of every three people who say they are religiously unaffiliated believe athletes with faith are rewarded.

“I think God has a hand in the gift of talent in the athletes,” said Betty Mattimore, a Virginia mother whose daughter is an accomplished high school athlete. “The rest is up to them.”

When it comes to winning, about one out of every four Americans, 26 percent, believe God plays a role in determining which team wins a sporting event. The majority of Americans (71 percent) disagree with that notion.

“I do not believe God directly carries the baseball over the wall or pushes the field goal attempt through the uprights,” said Cleveland, Ohio, resident Daune Robinson, who majored in theology and religious studies in college. “I think God puts all things in motion but does not intervene in a sporting event.”

Still, as an avid sports fan, Ms. Robinson isn’t above asking for a little divine intervention when her team is in a tight spot.

“I have to admit to praying about these things, but I usually just ask for my team/players to be blessed or helped by God’s grace, knowing its a silly request, but it helps me in the moment to feel I’m helping,” she said.

Meanwhile, on the campus of football powerhouse Norte Dame is a mural of Jesus Christ with arms upraised. The mural is still visible from some sections of the stadium. The mural's correct title is obscured by the popular name of Touchdown Jesus.

Islamic State's legal views
come under strong attack

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The images of the so-called Islamic State’s meting out their version of justice are brutal.
In the last week, men accused of being gay appear to have been thrown off buildings. Another woman is shown being stoned to death for allegedly committing adultery. Yet another image shows two men accused of banditry crucified and shot to death.
The Islamic State boasts it governs through strict observance of sharia law, but experts say it’s doing anything but that.
According to the U.N. High Commission for Human Rights, the sharia courts set up by the Islamic State are unlawful and the punishment doled out by them is cruel and inhuman.
It is difficult to confirm reports from people under the rule of the Islamic State.
But there have been reports from Raqqa, Syria, in which residents said they were not sure the sharia courts actually listened to evidence. The brutal punishments, they said, were to instill fear.
Mainstream Muslims have sharply criticized the Islamic State version of sharia.
Hundreds of Muslim scholars penned what they called an open letter to Baghdadi, referring to the self-proclaimed caliph of the Islamic State, condemning the oversimplification of sharia matters, and stating that it is forbidden to “ignore the reality of contemporary times when deriving legal rulings.”
“The only things that we have seen show a completely lack of due process,” said Joseph Lumbard, an assistant professor of classical Islam at Brandeis University. “They are not grounded in any methodologies in the classical school of Islamic law.”
He added that many of the so-called judges likely lack the qualifications needed to make legal rulings.
“We should really be calling them pseudo courts,” he said.
The violence of the punishments have a political agenda, experts say.
“My intuition is that they’re trying to do these spectacularly violent things to show they’re making a break with modernity in a radical way, said Mohammad Fadel an associate professor at the University of Toronto specializing in Islamic legal history. “The default assumption is the more anti-modern, the more authentic it must be.”
Lumbard said the West and other Muslims are likely audiences for the militant group’s medieval punishments.
“What they’re trying to communicate is ‘we take no quarter,’ and ‘we will not be messed with any more,’” Lumbard said.
In classical Islamic jurisprudence the law was a check, Lumbard said, not an arm of the state as it appears to be in the Islamic State.
Much of the Islamic State spin on sharia is isolated verbiage cherry-picked from Islamic history, experts said.
“I could take a verse from the Bible and say my neighbor was working on that Sabbath and kill him,” Lumbard said.
Fadel echoed the sentiment.
“These people, given their theological bent, are applying what the earliest community did based on reports one can find in books in Islamic history,” said Fadel. “They didn’t mean them to be binding.”
Fadel said you could find a report of a homosexual being punished by having a wall collapse on them, but “that doesn’t mean it was the usual manner for dealing with homosexuality.”
“Most of these crimes require a very high level of evidence,” Fadel said. “It’s hard to believe they could reach that,” citing that in order to make the case for adultery, there must be “four male eyewitnesses to penetration” or a confession.
“It’s hard to imagine that’s being applied,” he said.
The scholars also point out that some punishments fly in the face of orthodox Islamic law.
For example, the letter to Baghdadi says it is forbidden to force anyone to convert to Islam.
But recently an elderly Christian woman named Raheel told reporters that she was hauled out of a Mosul elderly home and brought before an Islamic State court and forced to convert. She said armed guards stood in the room as she stood in front of the judge.

“The judge began his speech, in a soft and elegant manner, and he was citing verses of the Koran and sayings of the Prophet Mohammad," she said.

"He said that Islam is the true religion and that we must embrace it or we would die as infidels,” she said after her freedom was obtained this month in an arrangement between Islamic State and Chaldean church representatives.

Many of the punishments and proclamations are brutal, but some are also absurd.
Last week the Islamic State released a dozen pigeon breeders after they’d been paid off. Islamic State members told the family members of one breeder that the practice was un-Islamic.
"He is not following the real Islam, he must be punished for being a pigeon breeder,” the fighters told the father of a breeder, according to NBC news. “This habit is taking him away from worshiping Allah."

Greek election result
shaking up eurozone

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Greece’s youngest ever prime minister, 40-year-old Alexis Tsipras, was sworn in Monday after his victorious far-left Syriza party entered a coalition with far right rivals.  Tsipras says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts.

From the outset Tsipras appears determined to shake up Greek politics.  Arriving at his swearing-in ceremony wearing an open collar with no tie, he refused the traditional blessing from Orthodox priests.

As he entered the prime minister’s office for the first time, supporters applauded and embraced their new leader.

His popularity is based on a promise of ending austerity.  He has pledged to re-negotiate the terms of the $268 billion EU and International Monetary Fund bailout, and he may stand a chance, says Dionyssis Dimitrakopoulos, political analyst at Birkbeck College, University of London.

“Institutions of the EU and other member states realize that the program that has been implemented in Greece is not producing the desired results to the extent that they wanted," he said. "So something has to change.  In my book this is common ground for negotiation.”

Far-left Syriza fell just short of an outright majority and entered a coalition with the far-right Independent Greeks Party.  They are unlikely partners, says Dimitrakopoulos.

“The glue that is opposition to austerity can be powerful, but I am not sure it is going to be powerful enough," he said.  "Because Greece is faced with a lot of problems that require broad consensus domestically.”

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker gave a diplomatic response when questioned on the Greek demands for re-negotiation.

"The European Union has its rules, which were established through a common agreement with Greek authorities," he said.  "We are going to see what the demands of the new Greek government will be."

Germany is seen as the driving force behind austerity.  Government officials have stated that it may be better for Greece to leave the euro currency. But that is posturing to the German public, says Christian Odendahl, chief economist at the Center for European Reform in London.

“Angela Merkel herself is a very careful politician," he said.  "So before considering a eurozone exit she would need to be sure that it does not have negative implications for the rest of the eurozone.  And I can not imagine that she is sure of that, so I do not see German politicians pushing actively for a eurozone exit of Greece.”

The costs of a Greek exit may be too high for both Athens and Brussels, agrees Dimitrakopoulos.

“It is in nobody’s interests, and that concerns not only Greece but also Germany, France and so on, for Greece to withdraw from the eurozone," he said.  "Because the next question will be, ‘who will be the next country to withdraw?’”

That question has echoed across European capitals.

Spain also received a bailout, and faces elections this year.  Leader of the anti-austerity Podemos Party, Pablo Iglesias, hailed the Greek result. He said that Syriza's victory in Greece has proven the failure of austerity policies.

As Syriza supporters celebrate, Brussels and the Monetary Fund now face tough negotiations with Athens.  Give too much ground and analysts say other indebted European countries will be next in line.  But forcing Greece to stick to the bailout terms could drive Athens to leave the euro currency, potentially delivering the first cut to one of the key threads that binds the European Union. 

Russian spy ring alleged
as New York arrest made

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says federal agents have broken up an alleged Russian spy ring in New York City where three suspects tried to recruit U.S. residents.

The FBI arrested Evgeny Buryakov in the Bronx section of New York Monday.

Two other suspects — Victor Podobny and Igor Sporyshev — are no longer in the United States and have diplomatic immunity, but were still charged.

According to the Justice Department's complaint, Buryakov broke U.S. law by not informing officials that he was in the country as a covert Russian intelligence agent.

He was working in a New York City office of a Russian bank. Podobnyy was an attache to Russia's United Nations mission, and Sporyshev was a Russian trade representative.

They are accused of trying to gather information about U.S. sanctions on Russian banks and plans to develop alternative energy sources, and send that information back to Russia's foreign intelligence agency.

The three also allegedly tried to recruit people already living in the United States. They include employees of major corporations and women connected to a major university.

More than 20 years after the end of the Cold War, Russian spies continue to work in the U.S., and are a direct threat to U.S. national security, say Justice Department officials.

The three Russian suspects face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Genital mutilation case
ends in prison for doctor

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

An Egyptian court has convicted a doctor of manslaughter in the death of a 13-year-old girl following a botched female genital mutilation procedure.

Raslan Fadl was sentenced to two years, three months in prison Monday after a judge overturned his original acquittal on an appeal.

The court also ordered the doctor to close his clinic for one year.

Soheir al-Batea died in 2013, the victim of a widespread practice performed on more than 90 percent of girls and women in Egypt.

Lawyer Reda el-Danbouki, who represented the deceased, called the verdict a triumph for women.

Female genital mutilation continues to be performed in Egypt despite a government ban in 2008.

Recreational drone flies
into White House grounds

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A small drone crashed onto the grounds of the White House early Monday, prompting a lockdown of the complex while authorities examined it.

A man later came forward to say he was responsible, telling authorities he was flying the drone recreationally and accidentally lost control of the craft. Officials say the man is a Washington resident and is cooperating with law enforcement officials.

U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, were visiting India at the time of the incident, however, their daughters stayed behind in Washington.

Earlier, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said indications are that the drone "does not pose any sort of ongoing threat to anybody at the White House."

The Secret Service described the drone as a 61-centimeter quadcopter, a small, unmanned aircraft that is lifted by four propellers.

It said the drone was spotted flying at a low altitude around 3 a.m. local time before it crashed on the southeast side of White House grounds.

In a statement immediately following the crash, the Secret Service said an investigation is underway to "determine the origins of the commercially available device, motive, and to identify suspects."

The incident is likely to reignite debate about the use of commercial drones in the United States, as well as White House security. The Secret Service has come under scrutiny following several security lapses that have raised questions about whether the president is adequately protected.

Chinese widen investigation
into top-level corruption

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A top Chinese security official and 16 senior People’s Liberation Army officers are reported to be the latest high-level suspects swept up in President Xi’s Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign.

The Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection announced this month that Vice-Minister for State Security Ma Jian is under investigation for what were called serious violations of the law. The announcement did not specify what those violations are, but it mentioned the words party discipline, signaling a corruption probe, according to numerous observers.

The South China Morning Post reports that Ma’s relatives are also under investigation.

Another publication, the International Business Times, said the probe into Ma and his relatives are expected to be part of a high-profile investigation into activities at the Founder Group, a Beijing University-owned technology conglomerate.” The newspaper adds that “Ma is suspected to have close relations with Founder Group CEO Li You, who allegedly helped one of Ma’s relatives to conduct highly profitable securities trades.”

The Founder Group was created in 1986 to focus on information technology, pharmaceuticals, real estate, finance, and commodities trading. It, too, is ensnared in corruption allegations.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s news site says those under investigation include the deputy commander of a major military unit in Chengdu, the former political commissar in Sichuan, the deputy political commissar for Tibet, and the commander in Shanxi.

This is not the first time the state security ministry has been the target of a corruption investigation.

Former state security minister Zhou Yongkang has been detained on corruption charges. The state also seized $14.5 billion in assets from the minister’s family and members of his inner circle.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


CoopeAgri Real Estate

The best option in real estate services in southern Costa Rica and the South Pacific coast. We are professionals promoting properties such as farms, lots, ranches, commercial premises, homes and apartments, through our advertising and marketing services.
Are you buying a property? Our experienced team is ready to help you to find the right place. Are you selling? We are experts selling properties.  Keep it simple. Don't waste your time. We are  the best local and international listing.  Contact us, and we will be glad to assist you!
Local CR Phones: (506) 2785-0282 or  (506) 2785-0278

Swimming pool at night
A Buyer’s Broker offering the best
of Costa Rica Real Estate.
For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 4030-5480 or 8339-2112.

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Re/Max Ocean Surf and Sun:

The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 20 years experience and the largest networked team of agents in the country.  We can help you learn if investing in Costa Rica is right for you with our low-key, educational approach to sales. Our professional agents can tell you more about Costa Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and commercial real estate.  Call us: Ocean Surf and Sun Int. Realty Ldta at 011 (506) 2653-0073 or send us an email at:

Moran Arenal
Lake Arenal, Costa Rica
The undiscovered jewel of Central America, 35 square miles of blue, pristine, clear water ideal for fishing, swimming, boating, Real estate values still low.
Great lake front, river front land, farms, homes, condos and commercial property. Some with owner financing
This is far and away the most beautiful place in all Central America — cool climate. Try our two-day, all-inclusive discovery tour for $299.

Check with our Web site at
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
Moran logo

Costa Rica,

Central America
Houses, lots and farms in Grecia,
western Central Valley.
Great climate
and safe communities.

Visit our Web Site:

English calls: (Cristian Arce) Phone: 
(506) 2494-0016 
(506) 8309-0173
English calls :  (Luis David) Phone: 
(506) 6154-1940

Español calls: (Luis G. Jiménez)  Phone:   
(506) 8707-4016
Grecia 884
Beautiful large house in Grecia, Costa Rica, with the best fresh natural weather. The property includes 9 challets and 12.000 m2 of land,  1,000 m2 of construction. Price $498,000. Click HERE!
Grecia 881
Beautiful house in Grecia, Costa Rica,  2 kilometers from the city.   340 m2 of land.
Price $135,000. Click
Grecia 898
Beautiful house in Grecia downtown. Full security cameras. Land 250 m2.  Price $400,000.  Click HERE!
  Send us your request to our email:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

1-acre beautiful beachfront lot
Power and water on the property A very nice tropical setting in Puerto Viejo, Limón. Choice location. 9 beautiful lots for sale. Each lot is $69,000 or offer. Please call Peter: 7122-3754 or e mail:

Jaco hotel

Beautiful beach hotel for sale.
Located at Jacó Beach, Costa Rica, Pacific Ocean.
Apartotel Costa Arenas is located just 5 minutes from the beach and 10 minutes from Jacó Downtown. The perfect place to rest in a cozy and familiar environment; surrounded by beautiful gardens. We have 11 fully equipped apartments. Also has swimming pool for adults and children and private parking 24 hours.  Retail value US$700,000.00   Contact:   Carlos Díaz  Local CR Phone: (506) 2643-2085   Email:   Web:

Photo one
photo two
Tambor three for jan. 15
Total area of the property is 23 hectares at $425,000. There's an option to buy 2 sub lots, the first one is land with no construction of 890 sqm at $19,900. The second, 1,700 sqm including a small house, for the price of $65,000
Located 300 meters from the south Jacó . First house is 110 sqm with 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom,  private pool, A/C, kitchen and separate laundry. Second is a 120m, two-story house with 2 bedrooms, There's a small lot has its own entrance and is perfect for building  $280,000.
This 115 sqm condo is located four blocks from the heart of Santa Ana. It is a corner unit with a view of the green area from your living room. Two bedrooms, a master bedroom with an ensuite bathroom. Kitchen is clean and modern. Home is in good condition, and ready to move into. $132.000.
Contact Jo-Anne  Cell phone number: 506 8310-2915
or through email:

Med house
Mediterranean inspired home overlooking the Bay of Nicoya and Pacific Ocean. This design allows for barrier free living, yet maximizes views from every room in the house . Vaulted ceiling over the living area and kitchen give the great room it’s spacious, open feeling with a natural stone fireplace and imported Spanish tile floors. $365,000.   Property: 22,000 m2 or 5.5 acres. Construction: 4,500 sq. ft. including porches and garage. 3 nedrooms, 2 baths, full dining room, separate office. Custom wrought iron gates, custom exotic wood cabinets, high-end stainless steel appliances, Granite countertops.    Slide show at   
For more information contact:

La Fortuna Distress Sale
Divorce forced wife to return to the U.S. with bills to pay. Just wants to get out from under. Modern 2-bedroom home on over 1100m2 intended for apartments or condos. Easy walk to center of town, great volcano view. $140,000 with 50 percent financing arranged. On vacation rental program now producing nice income, but Costa Rica no longer in her future. For details contact

Ringle resort
on one big lot in Esterillos Oeste, (Central Pacific)
Located on a breezy hill just 4 minutes walk to the beach, surf and tide-pools, only 20 minutes drive north to Jacó nightlife and shopping or south to the rural town of Parrita.

First, a 2-storey, 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1½-bathroom house with big kitchen and living room.  Full-width verandah with eating and sitting areas, overlooking lawn, pool and gazebo. Sitting balcony at upper, bedroom level.  Carport. and laundry. 

Second, a completely private single-storey. 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1-bathroom home with big back yard at a lower level on the same, big fully titled 1,100M2 lot.. Full security bars at all doors and windows, plus locking vehicle access and pedestrian gates at the street. In a very safe neighborhood, with private and natural surroundings

Well maintained, fully and tastefully furnished and equipped, hot water, local phone, cable TV/DVD and high speed wireless internet   The houses have been rented for both long-term and vacation for $100/$80 per day and $1,500/$1,200 per month respectively. See this place, you will love it! Then make an offer. E-mail or call (506) 8386-8825.  Rodney, asking $350,000.

Condo montage
Cariari luxury condo for sale
 PRICE REDUCED FROM $235,000 to $195,000
This is not an ordinary condo. Completed one year ago, a $45,000 renovating made it an exquisite dwelling. As soon as you walk in you know it is a special home. No detail has been overlooked, even minuscule ones. The owner has a need to move on, and someone lucky will be the beneficiary of the fine detailed work. The home itself has three bedrooms, two and half bathrooms plus a maid’s quarters with its own bathroom. Also, it has a living room, dining room and a gorgeous kitchen with a kitchenette. There’s also a small outdoor patio. Being the end unit of this four-home condo complex, there’s parking space for three vehicles.  Approximately 240 sq. meters. All this near the Cariari Golf and Country Club and its renowned Tom Facio golf course. The club also has amenities such as a fitness centre, exercise room, Olympic swimming pool, sauna, 12 tennis courts and many other benefits. Tel:  8384-9608 or 2293-9054  Price $195,000.

Atenas home
This developer's prime lot with super house is being offered in Roca Verde, 7,006 M2 of gentle grade, all landscaped for tropical effect, 3 bedrooms 2 baths with tile floors and hardwood kitchen, near the entrance of the neighborhood. Great floor plan on this one! There is a double carport, and a large patio and pool, wheelhouse style living room and many other features. View, large usable lot, close to town, nice, oh yeah. $495,000.

More photos HERE!
Another 'live in the view' home in Puriscal
$179,900 includes:
Lot on river, concrete road, custom kitchen & bath with granite counter tops, PEX plumbing, 2” Styrofoam, sandwiched in steel roof, 4” concrete/recycled Styrofoam & steel walls, laminated, bronzed windows, custom wood doors, appliances and all transfer taxes, and fees.

2, 900 sq feet under roof, 1,250 sq feet inside walls, 2 bedroom, 2 ½ baths, laundry room, three separate patio areas, covered carport, shade trees, in upscale, secure project.  This project has river with protected areas & walkways. It is only 10 minutes on all paved roads to Santiago de Puriscal, 45 minutes to La Plaza Mall/Hospital CIMA and SJO airport, and 1 ½ hours to Pacific Beaches. It has recently upgraded public water supply and dependable ICE electric and high-speed internet.
Please come visit our projects and meet four new homeowners who have recently moved into their new “live in the view” homes to verify how happy they are and that they all came in under budget. CONTACT: George Lundquist  Home phone: 2417-1041 Cell phone: 8888 4543 Skype glundquist.
To see more Photos of this house, click HERE!

Maneul Antonio
Manuel Antonio Estates focuses on building vacation homes for clients within Manuel Antonio Estates and Palmas Pacifica. We take care of the details from permits and design to supervision of construction and management of the rentals, if needed. We provide privacy and security, and our gated community offers shared common recreational facilities, beautiful landscaping and parking areas. Our homes and lots are located just minutes from the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. If you've ever considered buying a second home, just minutes from the beach, do not hesitate, if you have any questions or would like to request more information please take full advantage of our Costa Rica real estate services and contact us today!
Manuel Antonio Estates    1 800 346-9724  (506) 8815-9606.

Ciudad Colon
Great Deal!! Apartment in condo with pool and extensive green areas:
Ciudad Colón, San José $112,000
The apartment has a master bedroom with a large ensuite bathroom with bath tub, and a smaller second bedroom/office with air conditioning. It has a second full bathroom, living/dining room, laundry room with hot water tank and storage area. The kitchen comes with granite countertops, a breakfast bar and new dishwasher. It has 82 m2 of construction. 2 balconies with beautiful views of the river and mountains. Private parking for one car. Elevator and a well presented reception area. Located in a very quiet and private neighborhood just 400 meters from the centre of Ciudad Colón. Within minutes to all major amenities in Santa Ana and Escazú. Easy access to the beach (less than 1.5 hrs).  24-hour security, visitor parking, pool, extensive and lush green areas, BBQ area, children’s playground and its own water treatment plant. Contact (506) 6022-9294 or 6022-9967, for further info or to arrange a viewing.

Suenos montage
Outrageous blowout prices on oceanfront condos in Los Sueños!

Located in the private Bay Residence enclave overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Los Sueños Resort and Marina, there are three gorgeous units available at unbelievable bargain pricing from $589,000.  All of these beautiful units are three bedrooms and two baths, 2,200 square feet, fully furnished and ready to move in.  Development includes a gym, access to 3 pools, jacuzzis, BBQ areas and the Beach Club.  If you’ve always wanted to own in Los Sueños, now is the time!  Contact  or call 8702-0778.  From U.S. call 209-482-1788.

Top floor unit: $649,000   Second floor unit: $675,000  Garden unit: $589,000

Newly available in Roca Verde
Well-built home of 215 m2, 3 bedrooms, two bath on 1,150 m2 of lot, with attractive rock retaining wall, carport, and a pool. Indoors there are high, vaulted hardwood ceiling, bright rooms, a laundry room.  The floor is ceramic tile in pastel shades. $247,000. Photos: 2446-5587.

San Ramon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya.7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 ft. elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 baths, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Direct TV via sling box on Internet. $199,000 Contact   Check out slide show HERE!


Beach Front Home - Central Pacific Coast
Pristine condition, recently renovated. The best surfing and boogie boarding in the country. The most magnificent ocean and sunset view. New 20-year, fully registered concession on one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. Easy access from San José (1 hour 25 minutes) located between Jacó and Manuel Antonio, in Esterillos Oeste.  2 or 3 bedrooms. Center room can be living room. House with 2 1/2 baths. Separated rancho with kitchen and large entertainment patio. Landscaped garden with no water shortage. Has both municipal and well water with automatic watering system. Direct access to the beach as no road is in front of property. Protected land on one side of the property for additional privacy.  Alarm system and complete shutters for security while away. Lot approximately 1,725 square meters, Asking price: $385.000.  Contact to Paul at local phone 506- 2637-8858  Cell phone 506- 8823-8550 .  US Mobile 908-400-9772  Emails:  and


Spectacular view property on a ridge near Alajuela.  Large home and 3 rental homes totaling 7,300 square feet (678 square meters) live-in construction.  Property area is 3,376 square meters (0.83 acres) including a vacant lot for expansion options.  In total there are 10 bedrooms, each with an ensuite bath.  Property has pool, rancho, mirador, courtyard and covered parking.  Homes have romantic fireplaces, built-ins, storage, other luxury features.  Turnkey sale includes all appliances, furniture, fixtures, equipment.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at  See property video here:

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ARenal property
Location: Near Arenal        Price: $2.7 million
Size: 113 acres
Web site:

The farm is at the highest point on a stunning ridge bordered by pristine Costa Rican primary forest on all sides of the property, with active wildlife all throughout the area. On each of its gently rolling terraced lomas you get a glimpse of Volcán Arenal from a distance. This property has four different lagunas, a working organic farm and nursery, mature fruit trees, sheep corral, ideal for grazing horses with stunning views from all the hillsides. The Northern Zone of Costa Rica is the country's best kept secret, providing a perfect home base location to travel the country's many destinations while still maintaining the best climate at 400 meters above sea level.

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Jaco hotel

Beautiful beach hotel for sale.
Located at Jacó Beach, Costa Rica, Pacific Ocean.
Apartotel Costa Arenas is located just 5 minutes from the beach and 10 minutes from Jacó Downtown. The perfect place to rest in a cozy and familiar environment; surrounded by beautiful gardens. We have 11 fully equipped apartments. Also has swimming pool for adults and children and private parking 24 hours.  Retail value US$700,000.00   Contact:   Carlos Díaz  Local CR Phone: (506) 2643-2085   Email:   Web:

Live the dream!
Several profitable businesses, including a regional radio station, are for sale in Costa Rica. Certain purchases can provide the new owner with residency as well as a great lifestyle. So live your dream while making a profit. Contact:

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 18
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Mexican mayor linked to editor's murder

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The Inter American Press Association has expressed outrage at the murder of Mexican journalist Moisés Sánchez Cerezo, who had gone missing at the beginning of this month, and called on Mexico’s authorities to apply justice in an exemplary manner on those who masterminded and carried out the crime.

Sánchez Cerezo, 49, was the editor and publisher of the community weekly La Unión, in the city of Medellín de Bravo, Veracruz state. Jan. 2 a group of armed men in civilian clothes broke into his home and forcefully dragged him out, along with his computer, camera and mobile phone.

Association President Gustavo Mohme, editor of the Lima, Peru, newspaper La República, expressed his sympathy to the journalist’s family and colleagues and urged the authorities to “act promptly in the investigations and application of justice against all those who masterminded and carried out the murder.”

The chairman of the association's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Claudio Paolillo, added, “The violence and risks that journalists face in México have claimed a new victim.” Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, stressed “the need for protection mechanisms created in México to function effectively so that journalists can be sure that they can count on a tool that ensures their safety so they can continue doing their work.”

Concerning the case the Veracruz public prosecutor’s office reported that there was being investigated the apparent responsibility of the Medellín mayor, Omar Cruz Reyes, who was believed to have ordered the murder, according to a confession by a former municipal policeman, the alleged murderer, now under arrest. The public prosecutor’s office asked congress to strip the mayor of his immunity in order to go ahead with his detention.

In his publication Sánchez Cerezo was denouncing an increase in violence and delinquency, lack of safety and of municipal action to deal with these problems and the alleged involvement of the mayor in drug trafficking. Last year he was threatened on several occasions.

Veracruz is one of the most violent places in Mexico with a large number of crimes of journalists in recent years and where most reporters have been ousted due to threats. Last year journalist Gregorio Jiménez de la Cruz was killed, but his case has not been solved yet.

Reporter flees Argentina due to fears

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Argentine journalist Damián Pachter has been forced to leave his country out of fear of being a victim of reprisals and at the same time, echoing local press associations, blasted state agencies for broadcasting the reporter’s itinerary.

Pachter, a reporter with the English-language newspaper Buenos Aires Herald and a stringer for the Israeli paper Haaretz, was the first to give the news of the death of public prosecutor Alberto Nisman on his Twitter account. Pachter, also of Israeli nationality, arrived in Tel Aviv at the weekend shortly before declaring to Argentine media that “my life is in danger.” He felt he had ruined something for them, linking his fears to the Tweets he had written about Nisman’s death.

Gustavo Mohme, editor of the Lima, Peru, newspaper La República, expressed his solidarity with Pachter, who he understood had “sought to protect himself in the face of uncertainty and defenselessness that comes from this case.” Mohme is president the Inter American Press Association. He urged the government of President Cristina Kirchner to act on “its obligation to investigate whether a real risk for the journalist exists and ensure his safety, and that of any other citizen in similar circumstances.”

Outside the rules governing personal information the official news agency Télam published Pachter’s travel itinerary that had been obtained from the state airline Aerolíneas Argentinas. The information was replicated by the federal government on its Twitter account.

The chairman of the press association's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Claudio Paolillo, declared, “To disclose personal data through state agencies is an act of irresponsibility and unlawful that must be investigated and punished urgently.” Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, added, “This case shows serious aggravating circumstances, thus our deep concern, considering that there are complaints about groups said to be acting outside the law and the lack of protection that has been endured by wide sectors of the press in the face of actions in which the government itself has been involved.”

In an article that he wrote for Haaretz Pachter disclosed that before leaving the country he was trailed by an unidentified man who was a security agent according to his news sources.

Nisman, the public prosecutor in charge of investigating the attack on the Argentine Mutual Israeli Association, died in unclear circumstances at his apartment in Buenos Aires the day before he had been due to go before congress to give a report on his denunciation. He had been called to expand on and clarify his complaint against President Kirchner and other officials whom he had accused of covering up employees of the Iran government in having planned and carried out the attack on the Israel association in 1994 in which 85 people were killed and more than 300 injured.

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From Page 7L

Governmental deficit in 2014 was 5.6 percent

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The finance ministry said Monday that the government ended 2014 with a deficit 5.6 percent of the total of all goods and services in the country.

The minister, Helio Fallas, said this was less than had been predicted in the national budget.

However, he noted that tax collection had decreased slightly. He said that with the application of policies that he has been mandating the deficit is now controlled.

He cited austerity in expenses and stronger efforts to collect taxes. And this was done, he said without reducing social spending.