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Pubished Monday, Feb. 6, 2017, in Vol. 17, No. 26
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Ministerio de Salud photo
These motorcycles will be used by health ministry inspectors as they make rounds all over the country, said the Ministerio de Salud. The money for the 100 machines
comes from an additional tax on cigarettes. The ministry said it expected to save money by using motorcycles instead of larger vehicles.

Sala IV decides to protect child support deadbeats
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Sala IV constitutional court has given the judiciary 30 days to hide the identification of individuals who are barred from leaving the country.

The Poder Judicial had set up a Web site where individuals could find out if they faced an impedimento de salida before they showed up at the airport and were barred from taking a flight out of the country.

Someone did not like the public using a cédula number to find out if others have been barred from traveling.

The Sala IV appeal said that this knowledge would humiliate those listed on the site and violate their right to intimacy.

Without saying how, the court ordered the  Consejo Superior del Poder Judicial and its technology department to fix the problem to protect the intimacy of those who are listed.

Typically those on the list have failed to pay child support, although others facing serious charges can be ordered not to leave the country.

There have been repeated problems at airports and land crossings where residents have been denied exit because they were on the list, sometimes incorrectly.

The Sala IV decision adds another item to the records that are hidden in the judiciary. Unlike in other countries, case records, both criminal and civil, are not open to the public.

And the Corte Suprema de Justicia also has taken steps to remove the names of individuals involved in cases from the public data bases.

The reason is to spare individual embarrassment. Critics said that this protects crooks and encourages bribery of judicial employees by those who seek information.

Background information is vital to business operators and lenders.

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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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Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo
Crew members of the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas confiscated these lobsters, among others, off  Paquera in the Gulf of Nicoya because the fishermen who had them did not have licenses and some of the critters were too small, officials said.

PriceSmart will open in Santa Ana

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

PriceSmart, Inc., said Friday that it would open a new store in Santa Ana to join the six that already are operating here.

PriceSmart, Inc., styles its stores as warehouse clubs where shoppers have to pay a membership to make purchases. The company said that the new store would open later this year on 22,500 square meters of land, some  242,000 square feet, it has purchased.

Nosara cocaine case going to trial

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A Nosara man goes on trial Wednesday on the allegation that he sold cocaine and crack cocaine from his home in Barrio Hollywood. The case is in the  Tribunal Penal de Nicoya. The Poder Judicial identified the suspect by the last name of  Gutiérrez.

The man was arrested in 2015 by judicial agents, the Poder Judicial said.

Patriots stage historic Bowl comeback

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The New England Patriots have won the first overtime Super Bowl game in U.S. National Football League history, coming back from a 25-point deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in Super Bowl 51, played in Houston, Texas.

This was New England's record-setting fifth Super Bowl win since the old NFL and the American Football League merged in the late 1960s.

The Patriots, down 28-3 late in the third quarter after a first half dominated by the Falcons, launched a furious comeback, capped by a one-yard touchdown run by running back James White and a two-point conversion on a pass from quarterback Tom Brady to Danny Amendola that tied the game at 28-28 in the final minute of regulation.

The score capped a 91-yard drive that included a miraculous catch by Julian Edelman who nabbed the ball off the leg of one of three Falcons defenders as they were falling to the turf.

In the overtime period, New England received the ball and methodically marched down the field before White scored his third touchdown that capped the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history. No team had ever come back from more than 10 points down to win. White also had a Super Bowl record 14 receptions for 110 yards, the most ever by a running back in the title game.

The 39-year-old Brady, who finished with a title game record 466 passing yards and two touchdowns, was named the game's most valuable player, the fourth such award of his Hall of Fame worthy career. His five Super Bowl wins, all of them with New England and head coach Bill Belichick, makes him the most decorated quarterback in NFL history.

Brady connected on 43 of 62 passes, the most completions in Super Bowl history.

Fans in Boston poured into the streets after the stunning victory, turning parts of the city into a big post-game party. The mayor has announced a victory parade for Tuesday.

News from the Spanish-language press
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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Feb. 6, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 26
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Multiple shootings punctuate the weekend in Central Valley
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Escazú residents and visitors got a glimpse of the gunplay that has been plaguing the nation Sunday. Fuerza Pública officers stopped a taxi in San Rafael de Escazú early Sunday and blocked a main street for hours while investigators sought clues.

The taxi, which did not have any license plates, was linked to a shootout in Hatillo 8. One man suffered bullet wounds in the shootout.

Police found four men and four firearms in the taxi after they stopped it. The case prompted emails to A.M. Cost Rica seeking information, in part, because of the traffic jam.

This was hardly the only shooting over the weekend.

One man from Colombia died and another suffered bullet wounds in Siquiares de Alajuela Saturday night. They were found in separate vehicles about 100 meters apart.

A 17 year old suffered a bullet wound to the leg Saturday after what appears to have been a shootout between two gangs in Tejar de Cartago.

A 19-year old died of bullet wounds in Alajuelita Saturday afternoon after he entered a supermarket and was followed by three gunmen who opened fire. They hit him six times.

Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo
Two detained men are prone next to the suspect taxi.

A 27-year old man died of bullet wounds in San Rafael de Heredia Friday night and a man surrendered to police in the case.

The victim was sitting near the roadway when the assailant arrived on a motorcycle and shot him, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

Man who created famous film about sharks dies in Florida waters
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The cameraman and producer who created the documentary “Sharkwater” has died in the ocean off Florida while working on a sequel.

He was Robert Stewart, a Canadian, whose body was found Friday.

He was eulogized immediately by Paul Watson, the founder of the aggressive environmental organization Sea Shepherd. Said Watson:

“With his award winning film ‘Sharkwater’ he actually did change the world. He transformed fearsome monsters into beautifully awesome creatures, deserving of both respect and empathy.”

Stewart also provided strong evidence when Watson’s Ocean Warrior became involved with a Costa Rican fishing boat in

Guatemalan water in 2002. Watson remains a wanted man in Costa Rica due to allegations by the crew of the fishing boat, which said they had been rammed.

The video by Stewart shows otherwise. Still, perhaps at the behest of commercial fishermen, Costa Rican judicial authorities continued to pursue Watson.   The confrontation was included in the 2006 documentary film.

Stewart was diving on a wreck off Florida in search of swordfish for his new movie.

Capt. Jeffrey A. Janszen, head of the U.S. Coast Guard's Key West region, said that Stewart, 37, surfaced from his dive but vanished as a crewman on the boat Pisces worked to help another diver. The coast guard called off the search after 72 hours Friday just as friends of Stewart found his body. He had been using a rebreathing device so as not to scare the marine creatures with bubbles and noise generated by convention underwater gear.

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Judiciary reports that surviving victim identified murder suspect
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Poder Judicial has reported that the surviving victim of the Liberia mass murders has identified the man agents detained Friday morning.

The man has been identified as Gerardo Ríos Mairena, 33, who had been living temporarily in Barrio la Victoria, Liberia, where the killings took place Jan. 19.

In addition, the Poder Judicial reported that agents had recovered evidence. That included a knife and bloody clothing that investigations will try to link to the attack.

Meanwhile, government agencies are playing the blame game after revelations that the killing suspect had been awarded conditional release on a prior drug charge.

The arrest Friday was a long time in coming because reporters learned that investigators had their sights on Ríos almost immediately. He was known to some officers because of his permanent residence in Alajuelita in the Central Valley. He also was known as someone who carried and delivered cocaine and other drugs to the Pacific coast. The attack and murders might be attributed to his consumption of crack cocaine.

The man has a distinctive tattoo on his right shoulder, and the tattoo is well known to some of his former neighbors in Alajuelita.

The place where he stayed with a grandparent is in the same area as the rented home where the killing took place.

Investigators have attributed the killings to a fixation he had on one of the three young women who died there. Two men also died. Four of the victims were university students, and the survivor was a 14-year-old female visitor from Upala. It was she who made the identification.

The maximum prison penalty under Costa Rican law is 50 years. Typically inmates serve less than half their sentence.

Ríos benefited from the judicial policies. In July 21, 2015, the man was allowed to participate in what is known as a semi-institutional program. In his case, he worked on a farm and had weekends free.

The Instituto Nacional de Criminología had opposed his release a year earlier because he had gotten into a fight with another prison inmate and was facing disciplinary action.

A judge made the final decision on his release. As a part of the conditions, he was required to do public service at the Barrio la Victoria development organization, said the Poder Judicial. That may have been where he first saw the woman who became the object of his fixation.

The 14-year-old girl left the Liberia hospital earlier this week after treatment for a knife wound to the throat.  All five of the murder victims had their throats cut. They seem to have been herded into the same room by the assailant.  All of the three women and one man who were killed attended the local branch of the Universidad de Costa Rica. They were from the Upala area. One man who died worked in Liberia and was described as a friend of one of the women.

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Vote on education secretary
might come in Senate today

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Senate could vote as early as today on President Donald Trump's choice to be secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, with the looming prospect of a standoff requiring Vice President Mike Pence to act as the tiebreaker.

Friday, Ms. DeVos cleared a major hurdle when the Senate voted 52-48 to cut off debate on her nomination, setting the stage for a final vote.

Ms. DeVos, a billionaire Republican donor, has faced strong opposition for a cabinet post that usually receives little congressional debate or even public notice. Two Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, have said they will vote against her nomination, and other Republicans are being bombarded by phone calls and letters from parents and teachers across the country.

If all Senate Democrats vote against her and no other Republicans dissent, Vice President Mike Pence would have to break a 50-50 tie in order for DeVos to be confirmed. Only nine cabinet nominees in U.S. history have failed to win confirmation.

Opponents of Ms. DeVos have accused her of seeking to dismantle public education and divert taxpayer money to charter schools and private school vouchers. Voters have flooded Capitol Hill with calls and emails trying to block her nomination.

Ms. DeVos, 59, is the wife of Dick DeVos, heir to the Amway Co. marketing fortune. She has spent more than two decades advocating for charter schools in her home state of Michigan and elsewhere around the country. Her support of anti-gay organizations and her advocacy for conservative religious values also have caused concern.

No matter how the Senate vote proceeds, Ms. DeVos is off to an uneasy start.

"It's definitely been contentious in an unprecedented way,'' Elizabeth Mann, an education policy fellow at the Brookings Institution, said. "Not having a majority vote when her party controls the Senate and when a member of her party is in the White House does not send a signal of bipartisan support of her agenda.''

But Patrick McGuinn, a professor of political science and education at Drew University, believes Ms. DeVos will be confirmed.

"The fact remains that Democrats will have a very difficult time blocking her agenda and actions as education secretary.''

Trump tells citizens to blame
judge who halted travel ban

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Donald Trump is telling the American people that if something happens, blame the judge who blocked his ban on immigration from seven Muslim majority countries.

In one of his trademark tweets Sunday, the president said he "just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril."

Late last week, U.S. District Court Judge James Robart of Washington state temporarily blocked Trump's executive order halting travel to the U.S. by refugees and others from seven Muslim majority countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Then on Sunday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco rejected the Trump administration's demand to reinstate the travel ban.

In his Sunday tweets, Trump said he has ordered the Department of Homeland Security to check people entering the U.S. very carefully, adding that the courts have made the job very difficult. He also singled out Judge Robart again, saying, "The judge opens our country to potential terrorists and others that do not have our best interests at heart. Bad people are very happy!"

The appeals court has given federal officials and states until Monday to file more arguments on whether the ban should be declared unconstitutional or reinstated. The case likely will wind up in the Supreme Court.

The Justice Department's appeal said the judge's decision second guesses the president's national security judgment and harms the public by thwarting enforcement of Trump's executive order.

Vice President Mike Pence defended Trump’s criticism of Judge Robart, saying the president expresses himself in a unique way and the American people find it refreshing.

“The judge’s action in this case about making a decision about American foreign policy and national security, it’s just very frustrating to the president,” Pence told NBC's “Meet the Press” Sunday.

But Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on CNN he thought it was best not to single out judges for criticism.

“We all want to keep terrorists out of the United States, but we can’t shut down travel. We certainly don’t want our Muslim allies who fought with us in countries overseas not to be able to travel to the United States. We need to be careful about this," McConnell said.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, told “NBC Sunday” she would be willing to work on legislation to allow for a temporary suspension “as long as we are honoring the Constitution.”

“We always have to subject our vetting to scrutiny to see if it’s working, but doesn't mean we institute an unconstitutional, immoral ban on Muslims coming into the country,” she said.

After the judge's decision, the Customs and Border Protection Service started to allow travelers with valid visas to come to the U.S.

Several major airlines, including Air France and British Airways, began allowing passengers from the seven countries banned by the executive order to board planes headed for U.S. Territory.

But a Somali refugee said about 140 refugees whose resettlement in the United States was blocked by Trump's executive order were sent back to their refugee camp and it was unclear if or when they could travel.

The group had been expected to settle in the U.S. this week, but was sent back to the Dadaab camp in eastern Kenya on Saturday from the International Organization for Migration transit center in Nairobi where they had been staying.

French nationalist beginning
her drive for the presidency

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

French Nationalist Marine Le Pen vowed to put France First as she launched her presidential bid Sunday, speaking out against globalization.

"The primaries have shown that the debates on secularism or on immigration, as well as on globalization or generalized deregulation do constitute now a fundamental and cross-cutting division," she told crowds in the central city of Lyon.

"The division is not between right and left anymore, but between patriots and pro-globalization."

Ms. Le Pen has been a vocal representative of the National Front party for years, and continues to gain popularity as France falls victim to more terrorist attacks, prompting voters to shift toward nationalist and populist policies. Ms. Le Pen in recent months has called to ban the Muslim veil and Jewish kippah on streets.

She has spoken out against immigration for economic reasons as well, echoing claims from U.S. President Donald Trump across the ocean that immigrants claim welfare, taking an unfair share of American tax dollars.

"Do you really think this is normal?" she asked her supporters Sunday. "Tell me, do you think this is normal that a French family who has been working for all their life, can't not even pay for food to eat, while we are giving millions of euros to foreigners?"

Recent polls show that Ms.Le Pen has enough support to make it past the first round of French presidential elections, but not enough to win the run-off scheduled for May 7.

"Well, you know, according to polls, Trump should have lost. According to polls, the Brexit should have been rejected, and in Italy according to polls Matteo Renzi's policy should have been adopted," she countered. "I don't believe in polls. . . I really believe in victory, and we will win."

signups continue despite likely changes by GOP

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. federal officials say more than 9.2 million people signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act during open enrollment from November to January, despite Republican efforts to repeal the program then replace it with an alternative health care plan.

The total number of enrollees was down a half-million from the open enrollment period for last year. Yet, in the turmoil over the future of the program widely known as Obamacare, the decline was smaller than predicted.

Of the 9.2 million enrollees this year, about 3 million were new clients while the rest were continuing their coverage from last year, according to government figures.

The open enrollment is seen as a test of the popularity of the federal health care program, which offers programs in 39 states. The remaining states run their own health care exchanges.

One of the major critiques of Obamacare is its cost. Average premiums for one of the lowest-cost plans rose 25 percent compared with the previous year.

November’s presidential election placing Republican Donald Trump in the White House further threw the future of Obamacare into jeopardy. Republicans, including Trump, have vowed to make a repeal of Obamacare a top priority.

World Health renews push
for early cancer detection

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The World Health Organization reports the lives of millions of the 8.8 million people who die every year from cancer could be saved if the disease was diagnosed early.

The agency has issued new cancer guidelines for World Cancer Day Saturday, which it said could improve the chances of survival for people living with cancer.

Cancer has reached epidemic proportions globally. It is the second-leading cause of death after cardiovascular disease, killing nearly one in six people around the world every year.

World Health reports more than 14 million people develop cancer annually, a figure that is expected to rise to over 21 million by 2030.

Once considered a disease of people in rich countries, data show that is no longer the case. World Health finds two-thirds of all cancer deaths now occur in low- and middle-income countries.

The agency estimates cancer deaths in the poorer countries will rise to more than 9 million by 2030, if action is not taken to better diagnose, detect and treat the disease at an early stage.

Etienne Krug, director of World Health's Department for the Management of Noncommunicable Diseases, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention, noted that while the cost in lives lost was huge, the financial cost associated with cancer also was huge.

“It has been estimated that $1.6 trillion is lost due to cancer, which is, of course, an enormous amount. These are costs to the health care system. Treating cancer is very expensive, but also the lost productivity, et cetera,” he said.

Krug said cancer for a long time was considered a death sentence, but that this was changing. Cancer, he said, can be prevented by tackling risk factors such as smoking, unhealthy diets, air pollution and alcohol intake, and that much can be done to help people who already are diagnosed with cancer.

“It does not have to be a death sentence,” he said. “There is a lot that we can do in terms of early diagnosis and screening, in terms of improving treatment, surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and, when needed, palliative care.”

For this year's World Cancer Day, World Health is focusing on the importance of early diagnosis, calling it key to survival.

In its new “Guide to Cancer Early Diagnosis,” the agency has a three-step recommendation. The steps are improving awareness of cancer symptoms so people can get checked out for cancer; strengthening health services to conduct “accurate and timely diagnostics,” and ensuring that “people living with cancer can access safe and effective treatment.”

Surgical oncologist Andre Ilbawi acknowledged that awareness or health literacy was a problem in low-income countries. He said many places in the world do not even know that cancer exists, let alone what symptoms may represent cancer.

He said that there also was a lot of stigma that goes with a cancer diagnosis.

“A woman, for example, may know that this breast mass may be a cancer, but may fear the consequences of treatment, removal of the breast, for example, or the financial cost of treatment, which maybe can cause significant strain on the family.

“And, that fear can contribute to someone coming to the hospital late or not at all,” he said.

Ilbawi agreed that the poor are more disadvantaged than the rich when it comes to health care, especially if they have no access to health coverage.

“There are studies that show that people from lower socioeconomic groups present at a later stage. … Poverty is a risk factor for cancer.”

Nevertheless, World Health's Krug said there were many things that can be done to improve cancer diagnosis and care that are not costly.

“Some things are not expensive,” he said, such as raising awareness of symptoms, stressing the need to consult and training staff.

“We cannot put an amount exactly on this because it depends on what countries have and what is needed,” Krug said.

He added, “What we do know is that the health system will gain a lot if people present earlier with their symptoms and treatment can happen much earlier and less expensively.”

Mosquito resistance building
to insecticide on bed nets

 By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Malaria-carrying mosquitoes are becoming resistant to the insecticide used in bed nets to prevent the disease. Researchers say it is important to stay ahead of the resistance to avoid what they are calling a public health catastrophe.

Bed nets treated with inexpensive pyrethroid insecticides are the main defense against biting, malaria-carrying mosquitoes, and they have significantly cut down on the number of cases. The World Health Organization reports malaria infected an estimated 212 million people in 2015, killing some 429,000 of them.

That reflects a 21 percent drop in the incidence of between 2010 and 2015.

But a new study, published in the journal PLoS Genetics, found that the primary mosquito that harbors the parasite in southern Africa, Anopheles funestus, is rapidly becoming resistant to the insecticide. In at least one country, Mozambique, researchers discovered that 100 percent of A. funestus remained alive after direct exposure to the chemical.

Charles Wondji, a mosquito geneticist at the School of Tropical Medicine in Liverpool, England, notes that resistance to pyrethroid insecticides occurred rapidly, in about eight years.

Wondji said scientists were able to identify the resistance gene in the mosquito. Speaking from Cameroon, he said that will give scientists an important tool to monitor the spread of insect resistance throughout the continent.

“That form of the gene is now very prevalent in southern Africa with the risk that if we do nothing there's a chance that those control measures won't work against those type of mosquitoes,” he said.

By having identified the responsible gene, Wondji said it will be possible to stay ahead of what he calls the resistance curve in places where insecticides are starting to fail to kill the mosquitoes. He added other more expensive insecticides can then be deployed to treat the bed nets. He mentioned a compound called PDO that targets the gene, killing the mosquitoes.

Wondji said control efforts, such as eliminating mosquito larvae that inhabit standing pools of water, can also be redoubled.

Wondji noted other species of malaria-carrying mosquitoes, like Anopheles gambiae, are starting to become resistant to pyrethriods, although that is occurring through a different biological mechanism.

Therefore, Wondji, said it's important to study all species of malaria-carrying mosquitoes in order to implement appropriate and successful malaria management strategies.

In another just-released study in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases, scientists in Thailand have found widespread malaria parasite resistance to artemisinin and combination therapies using artemisinin, considered the gold standard treatment.

They say the development threatens global malaria control and eradication efforts.

Asian entrepreneurs prefer
Silicon Valley for startups

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Some entrepreneurs who have put their money into technology and startups in California's Silicon Valley are hoping their investments reap big dividends.
Ed Ow is one of those trying to succeed at entrepreneurship through tech.

Ow, who has worked for tech startups in China, is now at a virtual reality startup called Fulldive in Silicon Valley. He says trying to start a business in Asia is much tougher than in Silicon Valley, an area stretching from San Francisco to San Jose in northern California, and home to companies like Apple, Google and Facebook.

"It's a lot harder getting investors, and they are a lot more real in terms of, 'Hey, you have to generate a business model early on and make money early on in order to support yourself,'" said Ow, who described Silicon Valley investors as being more comfortable with risk.

"You have a great idea, great! Go and push it out. We'll invest money into it and figure out the business model along the way," Ow said.

Silicon Valley entrepreneur, angel investor and Vietnamese immigrant Tuoc Luong once worked for a Chinese Internet company. He said risk and failure are viewed differently in Asia, and as a result, influence the ability to secure funding.

"There is more of a stigma related to failure in Asia. Asia puts too much weight on how other people view the perception of you. When you fail, there's a perception that you didn't succeed; but it's worse than that. It affects the parents that say, 'Oh my son didn't succeed.'"

Luong said that in Silicon Valley, failure is not viewed negatively among the investors.

"They don't avoid people who have failed because they see, okay, they've learned something from that," Luong added.

Many of the entrepreneurs from abroad come with a strong technical knowledge but may not have the interpersonal skills necessary to make a startup successful, said Luong.

"It's your ability to recruit top talent, your ability to get top talent to work together well, your ability to communicate your vision in a way that inspires them, your ability to build a team where the weakest link isn't so weak," said Luong.

On the flip side, investors from China are looking eastward.

"They come to the States, and they invest a lot around this area and they bring it back to China, and they encourage people in China to actually innovate also," said Ow.

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                                  Tamarindo 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. Twelve (12) agents to serve you, from Playa Marbella to Playa Dante in the Guanacaste, through our Tamarindo and Flamingo offices. For more information, please contact our local phones: 506-2653-0073 Tamarindo / 506-2201-9056 Flamingo ~ Toll Free: 1-866-976-8898 or email:  or click here

If you are looking for information on condos, homes, lots, commercial real estate or development properties our award-winning team of professional agents are ready to help you buying property in Costa Rica. We have over 18 years of experience to educate our buyers in all aspects of purchasing property. Call us or email us today for more information on how to purchase that perfect piece of Costa Rica Real Estate.

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* Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project  in a quiet area.
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Beautiful farm in excellent location
At only an hour's drive from San José, minutes from Guápiles, and boardering Braulio Carrillo National Park, Etlingera Farms is one heck of an amazing farm. We purchased this 77-acre farm 10 years ago after many trips, and an exhaustive search. It has a little bit of everything we were looking for and a whole lot of beauty. Our average elevation of 600 meters helps to keep Bella Vista cool year round. This farm is nearly level with a semi-modern 2-bedroom house. A fairly rustic 2-bedroom caretaker's home. And, a comfortable, 1-bedroom cabin where we stay. We have 2 large barns, a chicken coop, and a 3-stall pig pen. There are two tilapia ponds and 2 hectarias, (approximately 5 acres) of different species of bananas. The property boarders Rio Blanco in the rear and has 300 meters of public road frontage. Water, electricity, and telephone are all serviced by public utility. Etlingera Farms was reforested with several thousand wood trees of different tropical varieties. We truly believe this farm is spectacular. Our neighbors are selling for as much as $20 per meter. We are negotiable, motivated and open to offers. Our location can be found by searching Etlingera Farms on Google Maps. Our webpage is and photo album can be found at

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Spectacular Horse Ranch and Spiritual/Yoga
Retreat Center For Sale

We invite you to a horseback tour of 187 acres of pristine farm land with breathtaking vistas, including the islands of the Gulf of Nicoya. There are multiple springs and streams, wooded areas, hard-wood and fruit trees, rolling hills with a geat variety of birds and wildlife. This property boasts the privilege of being bordered by thousands of acres of forest preserve down a steep canyon, offering its own spectacular views, which will never be developed. The many hills provide a builder an endless array of possibilities for nestling buildings in where they will have both views and privacy. The elevation of the property at 1,200 to1600 feet above sea level ensures fresh breezes and ideal year-round temperatures with a day-time average in the low 80's for open-air living. There is a ranch-style house with guest house with 8 total bedrooms, 5 modern baths, huge eat-in kitchen, landmark palm-thatched giant rancho, stable, and storage buildings. The home will come partially furnished, including beds, ample dishware for large groups, housewares, linens, washer/dryer, and fine hard-wood hand-built cabinetry. The remaining horses, 4 to 6 of them, will also convey if one wishes. We are also including a LARGE BEACH LOT in nearby Playa Bejuco. San Rafael de Nandayure is a tiny rural village nestled into the mountainside above Carmona with all the charms of the simple good life of a BLUE ZONE. Carmona is a thriving town with a clinic, restaurfants, shopping, and everything else one may need.  More information
go to  Call Darin Ricco, phone +619-846-8249 or email:


Situated 3 miles west of the capital, 8 miles from the airport. Quiet, secluded area within walking distance to a commercial center including a hotel, 6 restaurants,  next to 2 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, 2 bedrooms, maid's room, 2 bathrooms, 4 closets  (including walk in), fully equipped kitchen (refrigerator, washing machine,small appliances, all necessary utensils, work tools). Close covered parking space in guarded area.  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:   CONTACT:  USA :  (585) 969-3413 or (585) 266-7418 or in COSTA RICA : (506) 2231-0410.   email:

Sámara titled land for sale by owner
5.7 acres. Only 150 meters to beach: $275,000
Less than $12 a meter

Fully titled, held by corporation. 150 meters to beach! Paved road frontage. Electric, phone and broadband internet at the road. Year-round water on property for well. 3 -minute drive to Sámara center and a 3-minute walk to Playa Sámara. 23,561 square meters / 5.7 acres. Property was purchased on 2005 with plans to develop 21 villas on the property. Project was halted due to real estate market collapse in 2007.  We are no longer interested in developing due to age, health and motivation!  Priced well below market value for quick sale.  More info click HERE! Email:    Phone: 506-4033-6695.

Owner Financing in San Ramon
New Construction, and Ocean View 
Brand new home with 4-plus bedrooms and 3 baths all overlooking an incredible 180-degree view of the Pacific Ocean and mountains. Located only 45 minutes from the San Jose airport and about the same to the Pacific Ocean.  The lower level could be used as a separate apartment or mother-in-law setup. Home includes HUGE master  suite, CLOSETS, custom cabinets, granite counter tops, high wood ceilings, and all in an area that is 70-80 degrees year round. Priced at $199,000. Completion date is January.  See the Virtual Tour CLICK HERE or see our site here If you would like to take a look at this amazing house, please give me a call at  Costa Rica # 506-8755-6743 or if from the States call # 509-570-1928 or email 

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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!

Costa Rica penthouse for sale
 5 -story penthouse for sale.  One of a kind penthouse on top of the Corobici Hotel in Sabana overlooking the Central Park and new Soccer Stadium in San José.  Excellent location provides you easy access to everywhere.  Other benefits include 24-hour security, 2 restaurants inside the hotel providing 1st class room service plus shared common areas in the hotel. Commercial license is in place. Seller will consider owner financing.  Asking $795K U.S.  Also available for monthly rent for $3,400 per month on an annual basis. Go to  Owners U.S. cell phone: 813 310-7402  Email

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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, Monday, Feb. 6, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 26
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A gardener can find seed on the menu

Costa Rica is a wonderful place to go out to eat. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, it doesn’t matter, it’s always a good experience especially for a gardener. Back in the States, we would go out to a restaurant and be seated by the

Victoria Torley
hostess and then stay seated until it was time to go (buffets, of course required getting up now and then). Not so Costa Rica.

This morning we met a group of friends for breakfast. We didn’t wait for a hostess, we just strolled into the covered patio and grabbed a table. When the table filled up, we just pulled another table over.
Conversations started and rambled through the diners. Wonderful. But the best part? During a lull at my end of the table, I scooted away for a stroll in the gardens. And there is the best part for a gardener of dining out here, you really are out.

Just slightly down the hill from the table was a large tree of the mimosa genus. This one, I recalled, flowered with pink puff balls, but today the ground was littered with seed pods. Seed pods! A treasure trove just for me! Except all the pods on the ground were empty (darn rodents) so I had to leap for a branch to grab a full pod (Fortunately, I know the restaurant manager, and he is very tolerant of my addiction to new plants). When I had a couple of what I thought were ripe pods, I went back for more coffee and chat, and then off to wander again.

Restaurants are a great place for seed gathering as long as you: a) know the manager or b) ask first, or c) both. As I wandered, I found some palm seeds on the ground that immediately went into my pocket. They will join the palm seedlings that I started after collecting seeds in a hotel’s plaza. The seeds germinated nicely and the seedlings are about 6 inches tall (that’s about 15 cm for Metric Man).

But back to this morning. A cosmos in the yard had gone to seed so some of those went into my pocket, then there was nothing else to gather. I wandered up the drive and spotted any number of things to take home, but I didn’t yield to temptation. Yes, you can get tempted as you wander but remember the rules. Take nothing from a living tree! Nothing includes those tempting orchids and bromeliads, which I saw everywhere.

So, go out to eat and take a baggie with you. Seeds are everywhere and there is no harm in asking.

A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torley

Plant of the Week

Well, the plant for the week doesn’t look like much of a plant yet, but there is potential there. These are the mimosa seeds I pried from the mostly-intact pods and place in a nice warm water bath to prove. If you try this water bath method, change the water twice a day and don’t let the seeds dry out. See the light brown seed just left of center? I could be wrong but I think it’s sprouting. Time will tell.

If you would like to suggest a topic for this column, simply send a letter to the editor.  And, for more garden tips, visit HERE!
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From Page 7:

Fake products confiscated in San José, Cartago

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial agents raided 12 stores Thursday in Cartago and San José and confiscated more than 2,500 items with fake trademarks, they said.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said the items were lunch buckets, bags, cosmetics and backpacks, among others.

Agents were working on a complaint, the agency said.

Many of the items were of the type that parents have to purchase to prepare children for public school, which starts today. The items are being held as evidence, the agency said.