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(506) 2223-1327                             Published Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 19                                 Email us
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Fowlie is back, and he's quickly controversial again
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Dan Fowlie is back in Pavones, where he again says unscrupulous persons have stripped him of the land he owns there. And he seems a bit irked that La Nación quoted the immigration director as saying he had entered the country illegally.

Fowlie is one of those larger than life characters who has been called the king of Pavones.

He dashed off an email Wednesday to a La Nación reporter denying that he is here illegally. He said he arrived by airplane Jan. 13 at Juan Santamaría airport and went through all the immigration and customs procedures. He said he was here to see his land and old friends.

That may be the reason some residents in the Pavones area became nervous and called attention to his presence. That his land has been invaded while he was in U.S. federal prison is no secret, and there are plenty of people who do not want to see him reclaim an estimated 1,000 hectares.

In fact, in 2005 when he showed up in the area, some residents told officials that he was being threatening, something Fowlie denies.

Marco Badilla, who was immigration director then, stepped into the dispute and ordered Fowlie out of the country and imposed a ban on his return. That pleased Pavones land grabbers.

Kathya Rodríguez, the current immigration director, told a La Nación reporter that there was no record in the agency's computers of Fowlie's arrival. That probably says more about the computers than Fowlie.

In any event La Nación posted an unflattering print and online article saying the Fuerza Pública had been seeking him since Tuesday.

That prompted his email, which he copied to A.M. Costa Rica.

Fowlie, then 41, arrived in Pavones in 1974

Fowlie as seen in the 2008 film 'The King of Pavones.'
La Nacion
Headline says Fowlie is being sought for illegal entry.

  and began purchasing beach concessions until he had accumulated a 15-mile stretch of oceanfront. The locals got jobs, and he helped teach them construction, heavy machinery operation and even gardening.

He built schools, churches and other infrastructure.

Pavones is in southwestern Costa Rica on the Pacific. And it is true that the wave there, described as being almost mechanical, is one of the best in the world for surfing.

Fowlie had plenty of money when he arrived with his family. Some was inherited. The rest he said he made as a real estate speculator and from a leather goods business that supplied high-end department stores.

He even had enough money to purchase the San José mansion of U.S. fugitive Robert Vesco of Watergate fame. That may have been why he came to the attention of U.S. anti-drug agents, perhaps with justification.

When he was detained in México in 1985, California investigators found there the evidence, an ounce of marijuana, that eventually resulted in a federal conspiracy trial. Fowlie spent 18 years in federal prison. And his land holdings began to deteriorate under pressure from locals who doubted that he would come back. He called them sharks.

The Los Angeles Times said Fowlie was convicted of operating a continuing criminal enterprise, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, conspiracy to possess marijuana with the intent to distribute, and other related charges. His sentence was 30 years.

The newspaper called him a drug kingpin, and his conviction came from testimony of his associates, who got deals from the federal government.

He noted in his Wednesday email that he has protested his innocence for 30 years.

Fowlie legally purchased the land he holds in southwestern Costa Rica, and none was ever involved in the marijuana allegations. Fowlie has said that he continues to pay taxes on the concessions.

La Nación has since removed the Fowlie article from the online edition, although it still can be found in the newspaper archives. Early today a new story said that Fowlie had entered Costa Rica legally.

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 19
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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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zona sur
Consejo Nacional de Vilaidad photo
A workman is involved in installing a concrete structure to collect and hold water along Ruta 14 in Río Claro. The failure of these structures could mean the road will collapse. The work was said to be 45 percent finished.

Zika virus results in stiffer controls

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The health ministry said Wednesday that it is beefing up controls at the entry points for the country to spot sick travelers. The effort is to avoid the spread of the zika virus.

The agency, the Minsistrio de Saluid, said that each traveler will be asked to fill out a form stating the condition of health. Ministry workers will be looking for symptoms of zika.

The ministry also said that aircraft will be fumigated to kill any lurking mosquitoes. The controls will be at ports, airports and border crossings, an announcement said.

This is a place for expats to avoid

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Expats who do not have their papers in order could end up in the immigration lockup in Hatillo. That would not be a good development. The Defensoría de los Habitantes said Wednesday that the place is a mess.

Technically the lockup is called the Centro de Aprehensión para Extranjeros en Condición Migratoria Irregular.

The toilets and sinks were found to be in bad shape and the cells were deteriorated and lacked ventilation, said the report. There were insufficient beds in the lockup, said the Defensoría. In the male section there were 63 persons with 12 beds, it added. In all, the inspection found 105 persons in the lockup, and 52 were Cubans, said the Defensoría.

Ministry prepared for more students

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Colegio Santa Cecilia in Heredia may be closing and leaving some 200 students seeking public school classes or another private institution.

The Ministerio de Educación Pública said that it is prepared to handle relocating the students if the need develops. However, so far only one parent has contacted the educational ministry regional office, said officials.

Sunday is a time to be poetic

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Sunday is the national day of poetry, and there are celebrations in Cartago, Limón, Alajuela and San Ramón. This is an annual event that also honors Jorge Debravo, the late Costa Rican poet.

Our reader's opinion
He's no fan of political correctness

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Lawmaker are promoting a bill to put more women at the head of political tickets

More lame political correctness? In the U.S., it’s the Oscars that have no black nominees. In Costa Rica, it’s the politics that don’t have enough women. What next? Are whites going to complain that there are not enough white NBA players on basketball teams? It’s absurd.

The woman card, the race card. The gay card – all of these are a result of political correctness out of control. This is why many of us love Donald Trump. Not that we would want to be stuck on a deserted island with him, but because he speaks the truth frankly.

What happened to earning your way by being better at what you do. Political correctness is nothing but reverse racism and reverse sexism. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

And shame on the press for being an agent of out of control political correctness.
Phil Baker
San José

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 19
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Research here shows value of forest corridors for pollination
By the Oregon State University news staff

As tropical forests become increasingly broken up by roads, farm fields, pastures and other developments, corridors of trees provide vital pathways for pollinators and contribute to a rich diversity of plant species, scientists have confirmed.

A study at the Las Cruces Biological Station in Costa Rica shows that when forests are linked by continuous corridors of trees, pollination has a greater likelihood of success. In contrast, when patches of forest are isolated from each other, pollinators are less abundant and plants frequently fail to reproduce.

More than 94 percent of flowering tropical plants and 75 percent of the world's leading food crops require pollination by animals such as bees, bats and hummingbirds.

Researchers have found that forest corridors enable specialized hummingbirds that prefer such landscapes to travel longer distances from one patch of trees to another, increasing pollen exchange between forest patches.

Such patches not only harbor more hummingbirds but also display greater rates of pollination than plants in areas that are isolated from each other.

These are among the results published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, a technical journal, by scientists from the College of Forestry at Oregon State University and the Georg-August University Gottingen in Germany.

"This work presents tropical forest landowners with a simple, relatively inexpensive solution to enhancing biodiversity and pollination of native forest plants: Connect forest patches with hedgerows and wooded corridors," said Urs Kormann, the lead author of the study and a postdoctoral researcher at Oregon State. "This may complement national parks."

"Wooded corridors remain abundant in many tropical landscapes," said Matthew Betts, co-author and assistant
Oregon State University/Matt Betts
The curved bill of the green hermit (Phaetornis guy), which is restricted to forested habitats, effectively extracts nectar from a Heliconia tortuosa flower.

professor at Oregon State. "But as agricultural land use is expanding rapidly, quick action will be required to avert the disappearance of corridor elements between fragments. Otherwise, there may be substantial losses of connectivity between forest remnants, leading to accelerated biodiversity loss."

The researchers performed field experiments and conducted observations to arrive at their findings. They measured rates of hummingbird visits to feeders and to live plants (Heliconia tortuosa) placed in forest patches. They tracked the flow of pollen from one patch to another and evaluated the presence of two groups of hummingbird species, one that prefers forested habitats and one that does not.

"Simple wooded corridors can boost landscape connectivity for pollinators and animal-pollinated plants," the researchers wrote. "Our findings may also apply to other organism groups that move along corridors, potentially providing other ecosystem services."

Parents, just wait until they hit the university!
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Once again parents are finding out that a free public education is not exactly free.

They are facing expenses ranging from 73,799 to 120,635 colons ($139.24 to $227.61) to get each child ready for the Feb. 2 opening of the 2016 school year.

The amounts are significantly higher in some cases than the 78,331 to 97,445 colons computed by the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio for 2015. The colon amounts then were $148 to $184.

The ministry does a survey each year, and the costs of required school supplies and uniforms differ based on the grade level of the child.

Each school produces a list of required items, and students are supposed to have them all on the first day even if some might not be used for months. Some students are required to have a plastic flute, for example.

The survey obtained prices from 47 establishments between Jan. 11 and 19 in San José, Alajuela, Cartago and Heredia.

Like similar surveys, the ministry said it pays to shop around. Prices varied as much as 227 percent for identical items and up to 3,800 percent for similar ones, said the ministry.

The school estimate did not include the price of calculators, texts or the matriculation fee, said the ministry. The estimate of expenses for each child was based on the average price of each item, the ministry said. So some parents could end up paying much, much more.

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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, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 19
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Facebook will expand the types of emotions that users can express
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Facebook will soon roll out a wider range of reactions to posted items than like.

Soon its users will be able to be angry and sad, or shout yay or wow or simply love a comment, photo or video posted on the social media site.

"We want people to be able to share all of the things that are meaningful to them, not just the things that are happy and that people are going to like when they see it," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Wednesday. He said the rollout will come soon.

Facebook began testing the new expressions, which it calls reactions, last October in Chile, the Philippines, Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Japan and Colombia.

The social media giant is hoping the additional choices will encourage people to share their thoughts more frequently and spend even longer periods on the social network than they already do.

Also Wednesday, Facebook said its quarterly profit more than doubled to $5.84 billion from $3.85 billion in the same period a year earlier.

The company also reported a profit of $1.56 billion in the final three months of 2015, compared with $701 million in the same period a year earlier.

Facebook's growth was fueled by its online advertising growth, which targeted its hefty number of mobile users.
Facebook said it has nearly 1.6 billion users, and of those, 1.4 billion use the service on mobile devices.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

HIdden Garden 2016
Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
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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
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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.


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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 19
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Axiom 890 pixels

Anti-Semitism remains alive
on Auschwitz anniversary

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Soviet troops entered the notorious Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi extermination camp near Krakow, Poland, 71 years ago and liberated the remaining 7,000 prisoners, most of them sick and dying Jews. Days earlier, as the Red Army approached, the Nazis evacuated 60,000 other inmates, forcing them on a death march.

Dozens of elderly Holocaust survivors lit candles at Auschwitz Wednesday, the U.N.-designated International Remembrance Day, to commemorate the dead and to pay homage to their own suffering and the ordeals their families endured.

Wednesday's remembrance comes against a backdrop of growing anti-Semitic threats, attacks and murders in Europe.

Approximately 1 million of the more than 6 million Jews who died in massacres and a network of death camps across Central Europe died at the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex, poisoned in gas chambers or killed by starvation, crushingly brutal labor and torture, or disease.

Ivan Martynushkin, a Red Army officer who turned 21 when his unit liberated the death camp, said last year: "We saw emaciated people, very thin, tired, with blackened skin. You could see happiness in their eyes. They understood that their liberation had come, that they were free."

This year's anniversary, a year since Jewish shoppers were gunned down in Paris by an adherent of the Islamic State terror group, coincides with a shadow cast over a new generation of Jews, driving record numbers to leave the continent for Israel or America.

“We must be honest enough to admit that more than 70 years after the Shoah, anti-Semitism is still alive in our civilized European Union," said Federica Mogherini, the European Union's top foreign affairs official.

In an interview, Poland's chief rabbi, Michael Schudrich, a native New Yorker and a dual U.S.-Polish citizen, echoed the warning.

Asked whether Jews still have a future in Europe, he said: "This is a very tense time for Jews in Europe. And it is not as simple a question to answer as it might have been five years ago. But at the end of the day, I can't imagine that all the Jews are going to leave Europe and so, therefore, there has to be a future."

France, which has the largest Jewish population of any European country, has seen a sharp rise in anti-Semitism.

A recent report by Human Rights First suggested that more than half of all reported hate crimes last year in France were anti-Semitic, despite the fact that Jews make up only 1 percent of the French population.

The consequence has been a dramatic exodus, with a record 8,000 French Jews leaving for Israel in 2015, according to Israel's Immigration Ministry.

Tuesday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Europeans of not doing enough to combat anti-Semitism. He said anti-Semitism is not merely growing among new immigrant communities on the continent, but is gaining traction across Europe.

Schudrich, who was attacked in 2006 in central Warsaw by a 33-year-old man with ties to Nazi organizations, doesn't entirely agree with the Israeli prime minister on the efforts of European governments.

"European leaders have not been effective in their attempts to fight anti-Semitism," he said. "European leaders, Jewish leaders, we really have not found the effective method yet. But what is equally important is that many European leaders still really want to try."

Schudrich welcomed remarks by German Chancellor Angela Merkel this week, when she stressed the importance of dealing with anti-Semitic attitudes among some migrants arriving from countries where "hatred toward Israel and Jews is commonplace."

She cited the fears of German Jewish leaders and argued that the need to teach the history of anti-Semitism in Europe has grown more urgent with the influx of a record 1.1 million asylum seekers to Germany last year, many from the Middle East.

"With many migrants, though, it is not only important to impart the lessons of the Holocaust, but the concepts of democracy, of multiculturalism and pluralism," Schudrich said. "These are not concepts they have encountered in their life experiences. It is not a criticism of them. It is a reality. And if they are going to succeed in Europe, then something is going to have to change. Learning about the Holocaust is one element in a much larger picture."

Berlin's social welfare system
said to be on verge of collapse

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Local volunteers say Berlin’s social welfare system for refugees is being overwhelmed by the all the migrants applying for asylum.  The volunteers are urging local authorities to address what they describe as inhuman conditions at the central office for registration. 

Tensions rise as hundreds of refugees cram into long lines outside Berlin’s Social Services office, where the migrants’ dreams of a new life in Germany are often first confronted with reality.
Huge tents have been erected to process the applications for state aid like welfare payments and health vouchers.

Afghan refugee Khaudnazar has been waiting since 8 o’clock in the morning. Each time he gets to the front of the line, he says he is told to come back tomorrow.
“Morning I come to here, go to the office, and here is take the turn at the counter and come back tomorrow. I come here tomorrow, all they speak, next time come tomorrow," said Khaudnazar.

The chaos at the center, known by its German acronym LaGeSo, has been going on for months.
"I have been here 24 days with no help, and no money," said Mohamed, a teenager from Afghanistan.
Teams of helpers distribute warm drinks and food. Public donations of clothing arrive by the hour to be sorted by volunteer refugees and locals. Kurt Kettler runs the volunteer organization known as Moabit Hilft.
“It’s winter time in Germany now, and we still have people arriving without shoes, babies without shoes and jackets or gloves," said Kettler.
Kettler says the German government is failing in its duty of care to the refugees.
“Germany cannot take all of the people, obviously, but we have the financial power, I mean the European Union has it. They should be a little bit more flexible and in these crises they have to be a lot quicker," he said.
Germany’s bureaucracy is straining under the weight of the numbers of refugees, who are threatening to cripple the systems designed to provide the most basic care.

Cell phone ownership adding
political poll problems

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

As the U.S. presidential election cycle goes into high gear, and polls become a constant staple of media coverage, experts say it has become harder to gauge who will win the race. They point to past pre-election surveys that did not accurately predict the outcome. 

They note that Mitt Romney beat Barack Obama in several polls just before the November 2012 election. Once the votes were counted, Obama emerged the winner by a substantial margin. Several surveys also missed the strength of the Republican wave that swept the House of Representatives in 2014.

“There are probably going to be more errors,” said a Rutgers University political science professor, Cliff Zukin.

Telephone surveys have been the mainstay of public opinion research for decades, but now that many people use cellphones and can see who’s calling, response rates have plummeted. Pew saw a decline from 36 percent in 1997 to 9 percent in 2012.

That may raise the risk that pollsters are not hearing from important sets of voters. It also makes polling more expensive, because researchers have to place more calls to get an accurate picture of what the public thinks.

So pollsters increasingly are turning to online surveys, "which is a new frontier for us," Zukin said.

Major media outlets including NBC News and The New York Times are using online polls.

These polls are not to be confused with the haphazard surveys found on many Web sites, including post-debate polls on news Web sites. As Slate magazine puts it, these polls are "completely unscientific and unserious."

The key to an accurate election poll is having respondents who look like the people who will vote. Telephone polls aim to get there by contacting people at random from a target area.

Internet polls can’t do that. “There’s not a complete list of email addresses for everyone online,” said Mark Blumenthal, head of election polling for SurveyMonkey, one of the largest online polling companies. “We couldn’t randomly email people even if we had it,” he added. Spam filters make that option impractical.

Online polls take a different approach. They start with data about the age, race, education level and other demographics of people in a given area from sources like the U.S. Census Bureau. Then they use this information to sort through groups of respondents.

Some polling companies create representative samples by recruiting panels of thousands of people to take their surveys. SurveyMonkey selects from the millions who are already using its services to create its own surveys.

“They’re not a random sample, per se, but they’re very close,” Blumenthal said.

While online polling may be the way of the future, it’s a future that many experts say is still a long way off.

“Frankly, no one has the silver bullet,” said Courtney Kennedy, director of survey research at the Pew Research Center. “No one can say this type of Internet polling is good, this type is bad.  It’s very much an active area of research.”

It’s an awkward time for experimentation, Zukin noted. “The 2016 election arrived before the pollsters’ ability to figure out how to do a good Internet poll,” he said.

Democratic pollster David Mermin of Lake Research Partners said his firm still mostly conducts telephone polls. “It’s more difficult than it used to be, but it’s not impossible,” he said.  And the polls are “still pretty accurate, certainly on U.S. elections, a couple of visible failures notwithstanding.”

Not everyone agrees the process has become more difficult.

“Certainly we’re in a challenging period,” said Mollyann Brodie, president of the American Association of Public Opinion Research.

“When you think about the history of polling, we’ve always been in a challenging period of polling. And polling has managed to adapt to the ways people communicate,” said Ms. Brodie, who also heads survey research at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Ms. Brodie and others say a big reason for recent poll failures is that it is difficult to predict who will actually show up on Election Day. 

While those failures are concerning, she said, polling isn't dead.

“Quite frankly, there isn’t a better way in a democracy to find out what people think and what they want,” she said.

International survey suggests
more stress on female talent

By the Mercer/When Women Thrive news staff

Women are under-represented in the workforce globally, and if organizations maintain the current rate of progress, female representation will reach only 40 percent globally in the professional and managerial ranks in 2025, according to Mercer’s second annual When Women Thrive global report.

Among the key trends revealed in the report is that women’s representation within organizations declines as career levels rise from support staff through the executive level.

“The traditional methods of advancing women aren’t moving the needle, and under-representation of women around the world has become an economic and social travesty,” said Pat Milligan, Mercer’s global leader of When Women Thrive. “While leaders have been focusing on women at the top, they’re largely ignoring the female talent pipelines so critical to maintaining progress.

“This is a call-to-action. Every organization has a choice to stay with the status quo or drive their growth, communities and economies through the power of women,” the report said

Mercer’s report finds that although women are 1.5 times more likely than men to be hired at the executive level, they are also leaving organizations from the highest rank at 1.3 times the rate of men, undermining gains at the top.

According to the When Women Thrive report, women make up 40 percent of the average company’s workforce. Globally, they represent 33 percent of managers, 26 percent of senior managers, and 20 percent of executives.

In terms of regional rankings, Latin America is projected to increase women’s representation from 36 percent in 2015 to 49 percent in 2025, followed by Australia/New Zealand moving from 35 percent to 40 percent. The US and Canada are estimated improving by just 1 percent from 39 to 40 percent. Europe is seen remaining flat at 37 percent in 2015 and 2025. Asia ranks last at 28 percent, up from just 25 percent in 2015.

“In 10 years, organizations won’t even be close to gender equality in most regions of the world,” said Ms. Milligan. “If CEOs want to drive their growth tomorrow through diversity, they need to take action today.”

The research, the most comprehensive of its kind featuring input from nearly 600 organizations around the world, employing 3.2 million people, including 1.3 million women, identifies a host of key drivers known to improve diversity and inclusion efforts.

“It’s not enough to create a band-aid program,” said Brian Levine, Mercer’s innovation leader, global workforce analytics. “Most companies aren’t focused on the complete talent pipeline nor are they focused on the supporting practices and cultural change critical to ensure that women will be successful in their organizations.”

Only 9 percent of organizations surveyed globally offer women-focused retirement and savings programs with the U.S. and Canada ranking first, despite Mercer’s research proving that such efforts lead to greater representation of women.

Federal agents are surrounding
wildlife refuge HQ in Oregon

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Law enforcement officials had surrounded the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Wednesday after a violent confrontation the day before with protesters who had been occupying the wildlife refuge in the northwestern state of Oregon for nearly a month.

U.S. authorities Tuesday killed one protester and arrested eight others who had been demanding that control of the federal land be turned over to local officials.

Harney County Sheriff David Ward told reporters he was disappointed that the confrontation ended badly with the shooting, saying, "It didn't have to happen."

Ward and other authorities vowed to end the siege peacefully at the refuge, where one demonstration leader said another five or six people remain.

Protest leader Ammon Bundy and several of his followers were headed to a community event away from the refuge headquarters Tuesday when the shooting occurred as police stopped their vehicle at a checkpoint. Bundy was among those arrested, with a  rancher from the southwestern state of Arizona, Robert Finicum, killed during the confrontation.

Authorities said those arrested will face charges they conspired to impede U.S. authorities from carrying out their official duties through the use of force, intimidation or threats.

For much of the time since the standoff started in early January, law enforcement officials have kept a low profile near the refuge, mindful of protests in years past that sometimes ended in large-scale violence.

The protesters originally took over the Malheur refuge to protest the jailing of two local ranchers who were convicted of arson. But the Malheur protest continued even after the ranchers were imprisoned peacefully.

Some residents near the refuge had called for authorities to end the protest. They said that they, too, oppose federal control of the remote lands, but also objected to the refuge takeover. Some of the protesters who seized the site came from other states.

Bundy and his brother Ryan, who also was arrested, are the sons of anti-government Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy. The elder Bundy was involved in a high-profile 2014 standoff with the government over grazing rights.

The refuge standoff began Jan. 2 when Ammon Bundy led a group of supporters in seizing the site.  They complained about the way the federal government manages the land it owns and called for transferring it to local control.

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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

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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 sCosta 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:

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Real estate for sale (paid category)

Lee Lot
Panoramic Home Site.
Panoramic, rural mountain lot in Rosario, outside of Grecia in Central Valley. 25 minutes from San José and international airport. One hour from coast. Includes paved roads, electrical and water. In a development of 28 hectares, most planted in coffee. Lot is 7,300 square meters. Located adjacent to High Dreams Club, Hotel & Spa (Adults/couples Excellent climate. Lot size large enough for home, garage & guesthouse/casita. Home site cleared & includes 10 maturing palm trees, with coffee trees at the base of the lot. Views to San José and include canyons. $24,900 USD. Contact: 506 8311-5336 or U.S. 719-821-2210.

La Uruca condo
Situated three miles west of the capital, eight miles from the airport. Quiet, secluded area within walking distance to a commercial center including a hotel, six restaurants,  next to two bus line stops. Car ownership is not needed. January-March air temperatures are 72 to 80 degrees F. Apartment 1,200 sq. ft (100 sq. meters), on ground floor, indoor  patio. Large windows without bars, parquet floors. Spacious living room-dining area, two bedrooms, maid's room, two bathrooms, four closets  (including walk-in), fully equipped kitchen (refrigerator, washing machine, small appliances, all necessary utensils, work tools).  Many amenities, (pictures, indoor plants, sewing machine, books, keyboard, dishes, glassware, silverware). Annual cost of maintenance about $1,350 includes water, landscaping service, garbage disposal, 24-7 security and property taxes. Price $120,000. Available for viewing:  Mid-January to beginning of April. Contact:  USA :  585 544-4296. Costa Rica : 506 2231-0410

ocean-view home
Property size: 3,405.14 sq. mts. or 37,000 sq. ft.   Gorgeous house built 5 years ago to U.S. standards on 37,000 sq. ft. titled property. This home (240 sq. mtrs or 2,600 sq. ft) has 360-degree ocean and mountain views and electric gated private road access. The large open style home has soaring teak ceillings, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, custom cabinetry and ceramic tiles throughout and a double-car electric garage door. Their is also a beautiful, large swimming pool surrounded by exotic garden, laundry room and bodega. This is a very special and rare property because of the incredible view and excellent location. This one of a kind home and property is truly a must to see. all custom built furnitures included. Photo gallery:  CLICK HERE!  Please contact Jack, Cell phone number  (506) 8812-1789.  Contact email:

For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú
Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant.
Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning.
Easy to get liquor license. Low interest financing.
Toll free US phone 877-778-8515
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Goetl in Palo Seco

Charming small oceanfront hotel for sale in Playa Palo Seco
Ideal oceanfront location with back up to a mangrove estuary. The
charming small hotel has a fully equipped kitchen, bar and restaurant and is exceptionnally well maintained. Located on a very private beach of the central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica 35 minutes north of Quepos-Manuel Antonio and 45 minutes south of  Playa Jacó. The main building is a two-storey house with 12 bedrooms. The lot measures 3,054 M2. Beautiful gardens around the large pool and exceptional flora and fauna. Well mentioned in tourist guides like Lonely Planet and Guide Ulysse. Offered at $999,000. USD
or call (506) 8707-1037  (506) 2778-8408

Blakesmore one

Blakemoret  two

Costa Rica tropical paradise beach house for sale

Tropical five-acre forested beachfront property with custom house and guest casita on the Osa Península, south Pacific Coast. Abundant wildlife, exotic plants and fruits, secluded beach.  Located 8 kms. south of Puerto Jiménez on the way to Matapalo and Corcovado National Park. Great Price $750,000. Contact Roger. Phone number  (506) 6142-7228   Email: Watch this video for full details.

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 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed,  Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: 
Check out slide show HERE!

A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

A beautiful American style suburban home, 2,700 sq ft of living space with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, front and rear living rooms, laundry area, kitchen and small attached library nook, arched windows and doors and connected hallways, exotic wood interior ceilings and trim, tile floors thru-out.  The lot is 835 m2 with mature landscape and orchid nurseries surrounding the house. There is an enclosed workshop and BBQ area in the back yard with lots of storage under roof, plus a nursery for an herb/vegetable garden.  This is a very well-kept property with many upgrades, a private feel but yet only 5 minutes from the center of town.  Pérez Zeledón is the commercial hub of the southern zone and considered to be one of the best places to live in all of Costa Rica, the perfect size town, not too big and not too small.  The beach is 45 minutes to the west and a short drive to the cool mountains is to the east. In between, this large valley has a moderate climate.  Pérez has plenty of modern goods and services, an excellent farmers market, private schools, private doctors and clinics, all you need without having to go to the crazy madness of San José.    Just reduced to $199,000.  Call  Jeff:  8725-8176.  Email:

Grecia casa
Mountain home for sale
in Grecia.
Less than a year old. Owners are motivated.  All information regarding the home as well as many photos can be found at Mountain view home for sale Grecia, Costa Rica.   Contact email:

puriscal photo
Costa Rica home for sale $163,500 / 2bedroom - 1,984 ft2

Central Valley view home: 10 minutes from Santiago de Puriscal and shopping, hospital services, and soon Maxi Pali. Only one hour to San José or Pacific beaches.
- On .55-acre lot with river on one boundary
- Area under roof, 1,984 sq. ft., Area inside walls, 925 sq. ft. Steel, recycled
      Styrofoam, and concrete construction.
- 2 ½ years old with central living room and kitchen, 2 bedrooms and 2 baths,
       ceramic tile throughout.
- Central Valley volcano and SJO airport views from every room.
- Vaulted ceilings give bright open feeling.
- Entrance from concrete road to large graveled parking area
- VERY energy efficient with VERY low property taxes.
- Covered attached carport with entrance to front door or laundry-guest bath
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- 12 foot x 14 foot storage bodega
- Security lights, And Amcrest day & night video recorder system.
- Producing banana trees, and mango, bread fruit, and guanabana trees

Includes: Refrigerator, gas stove & oven with electric grill element, microwave, electric washer-gas dryer stacked style, gas on demand whole house water heater. Other furnishings are negotiable. ICE electric service and land line phone. Bajo Burgos Water district. Metro-wireless WiFi is available. Tigo Star Satellite T.V. House is in a Costa Rican corporation, will transfer shares. Contract or call 506 2416-9324.  Additional photos are available on Flickr album

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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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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 19
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News from the BBC up to the minute

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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Officials praise corruption index ranking

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Casa Presidencial said Wednesday that the country had progressed in the latest Transparency International corruption index ranking, but a check of the data shows that Costa Rica remains about the same while the perception of corruption in other countries increased.

Costa Rica ranked 40th among 168 countries in the latest valuation for 2015. Casa Presidencial noted that this is an improvement from the 49th place in 2013 and 47th place in 2014.

However, the ranking was based on a score computed by Transparency of 55. The score for 2013 was 53 points and for 2014 54 points.

In Latin America only Chile and Uruguay scored better.

Transparency said that the Corruption Perceptions Index ranks countries and territories based on how corrupt a country’s public sector is perceived to be. It is a composite index, drawing on corruption-related data from expert and business surveys carried out by a variety of independent and reputable institutions, it added.

Some leader accused of a politics of fear

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

World governments have been using the politics of fear to crush dissent, according to Human Rights Watch.
In its 2016 World Report on human rights in 90 countries and regions around the world, the organization says authoritarian governments that fear peaceful dissent did everything they could to hold their peoples in a tight fist last year.
“What we've noticed over the last year in particular is that the autocrats of the world, the authoritarian governments are running scared in the face of civil society,” said Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watch executive director. He spoke at a press conference in Istanbul.
Human Rights Watch said societies have been empowered by social media on their mobile phones. This technological tool has allowed civic groups to mobilize large groups of people to protest in countries where organizing individuals would otherwise be impossible due to human rights violations like censorship in media.
The organization warns that the Russian and Chinese governments are imposing the biggest crackdown in recent history.
“Both Putin and Xi Jinping have made an implicit pact with their people. They say we will give you increasing prosperity; you let us govern without any real accountability. And that deal has worked for leaders while the economy improved. But now that the economy is in trouble those leaders are terrified that their people will begin to protest,” said Roth, speaking of the Russian and Chinese leaders.
The Chinese government is accused of using anti-terror law to crush the creation of rights groups in the country. Russia has made it harder for civic groups to exist when they receive foreign funding. Both nations deny the claims. Beijing argues it is running a lawful country. Moscow says it won’t allow foreign interference in internal affairs.

With peace talks to end the conflict in Syria set to start this Friday in Geneva, Roth said Human Rights Watch worries the diplomatic process won’t tackle the atrocities in a country where hundreds of thousands have been killed during almost five years of conflict.
In the United States, Human Rights Watch notes that the terrorism threat is being used by lawmakers in the United States to try to reverse restrictions on intelligence agencies' mass surveillance capabilities. Something that, according to the organization, undermines privacy rights.
In the United Kingdom and France, authorities are also seeking broader monitoring powers. Human Rights Watch argues these measures haven’t decreased the risk of terrorist acts.

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Fed delay on rate causes stocks to decline

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire service

The U.S. stock markets fell Wednesday after the Federal Reserve announced it would not raise its key interest rate.

By market close, the blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average was down about 220 points, or 1.49 percent. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was down 1.1 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq had plunged more than 2 percent.

The Fed statement said the stock markets have been turbulent across the world since it decided to raise the rates in December from a record low, oil prices have skidded and China has struggled to manage a slowdown in the world’s second biggest economy.

The U.S. central bank is closely monitoring global economic and financial developments and is assessing their implications for the labor market and inflation, and for the balance of risks to the outlook, the statement said.

Fed policymakers left their benchmark rate unchanged in a range of 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent. And the Fed did not signal whether it would raise rates at its next meeting in March.