free webpage hit counter
A.M. Costa Rica
Your daily English-language news source Monday through Friday

Cocal for Jan. 20
    Playa Vista
Amigo Realty
(506) 2223-1327                          Published  Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014,  Vol. 14, No. 41                          Email us
Real Estate
About us
Jo Stuart
Rock Constructors

Anti aging

Tourism likely to get a boost from spring break
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Spring break or reading week as it is called in Canada already has begun, and students at various colleges and universities are off for fun and perhaps sun through late April.

The college vacations usually give a little boost to Costa Rican tourism, although Florida and Texas beaches as well as Cancún. Mexico, usually get the lion's share.

The week is not all drinking and dancing. Students from some schools are here for a week of academics. Other students are here to help the poor or even the sloths.

Perhaps the best promotion for the country comes from Costa Rica Exotic Travel. The firm says on its Web site: "Everyone’s been to Cancun. Cabo and Panama City are overplayed. We’ve been there, we know. That’s why we decided to reinvent Spring Break and Reading Week: Costa Rica Style. No other destination comes close to what Costa Rica offers for Spring Break Travelers."

"Go where there’s more to do than just sit on the beach and drink till you pass out," the firm advises.

The promotion is true in that the country offers volcanos, zip lines, kayaking and a host of other recreational possibilities.

Spring Break has come a long way since the 1960 movie "Where the Boys Are." That movie was a depiction of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, flooded by students. Today students appear to have more money. They will have to because some of the Costa Rican trips approach $2,000 a person, travel included.

Today the destinations are frequently more distant. There are spring break activities in Spain for U.S. students. Bermuda also promotes itself as a destination.

Tamarindo, Manuel Antonio, Jacó and the southern Caribbean coast always have been big draws. The visit sometimes was tragic. An Australian exchange student from a Florida 
Spring break
A.M. Costa Rica archives
Many more like these will be here.

school went missing in March 2005. No one knows what happened, but bones identified as his turned up several months later just off the Tamarindo beach.

Then, too, there have been the usual run of police encounters, crimes, vehicle mishaps and alcoholic excesses.

Recognizing this, the U.S. State Department put out a cautionary message Wednesday. Basically the summary says students should learn about where they are going, obey the local laws, go easy on the alcohol and keep in touch with parents.

"We receive many calls from parents who fear the worst when they have not heard from their children. In most cases, their child is fine, but has been too busy to check in," said the State Department.

Among the visitors will be students from Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts who will be studying  non-profit management and intercultural communications from March 6 to 16.

Duke University Chapel in Durham, North Carolina, has a mission trip from March 9 to 16.

And students from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, will be helping out at a sloth sanctuary.

Projects Abroad, Inc. in Toronto, Canada, has a program where students work in a child care center in Heredia from either March 9 to 15 or March 16 to 22.

Political threats issued over Ruta 32 widening deal
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Lawmakers are coming under intense pressure to approve a $465.6 million no-bid deal to finance the widening of Ruta 32 from Limón to a point about 107 kilometers west at Río Frio.

A group calling itself the Fuerza Caribe issued a threatening statement Wednesday, and demanded that the two presidential candidates say if they are for or against the project.

The organization under the names of Johnny Vargas Arrieta and José Francisco Delgado Orozco, called on Limón and Sarapiquí voters to reject any political party that obstructs the project.

The measure, which is approval for two loans, has been reported out of committee and now is in the hands of the full legislature.

The principal opponent is Manrique Oviedo Guzmán, a legislator of the Partido Acción Ciudadana. He has said that the price the country was ready to pay for the highway job was $165 million too high. He based his comments on a Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo estimate provided by a private firm. The lawmaker has raised the issue repeatedly.

The deal is unusual because there has been no engineering work. The job consists of making the two-lane highway four lanes and also building a number of overpasses.

The Laura Chinchilla administration does not have a great track record on highway construction. 
However, Casa Presidencial quickly issued a press release validating the Fuerza Caribe as the voice for organizations and civic groups in the area to be served by the road.

Nearly everyone supports the idea of a wider road. This stretch received heavy traffic from all over the country because it leads to the docks at Moín and Limón Centro. However, the Chinese government, which is putting up most of the money, wants quick action on the loans. It has designated state construction companies to do the work.

The Export–Import Bank of China would make two loans, one for $100 million and one for $296 million. Costa Rica is putting up $90 million, including an extra $20 million for expropriating property and relocating public services.

The larger loan would be at 4 percent interest, and the smaller one at 2 percent.

Because there are no engineering or design studies, the actual cost of the project is hard to determine. Some have said that the amount allocated for expropriating property is insufficient.

The Fuerza Caribe wants the president to keep the legislature in session until the twin measures are passed. The lawmakers' terms will expire May 1. Individuals identified as residents of the Limón area have been at the legislature carrying signs supporting the highway.

The award would be direct to the China Harbour Engineering Co. Group and China Road and Bridge Corp. under terms of the Chinese loans.

Costa Rica Real Estate Experts
Re/Max Ocean Surf: The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 17 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 now at
011 (506) 2653-0073.
Costa Rica vacations

Costa Rica Real Estate

CRREC specializes in Costa Rica real estate for sale including properties, homes, commercial, agricultural and vacation rentals. As Google's top preferred real estate agency, we pride ourselves in our commitment to providing the highest customer service rating in the business. Call today! - 1-888-414-1836 - or visit us online at...

Find more about Weather in San Jose, CS
Today's colon
exchange rate
to our  daily digest

Search  our site
Real estate ads
Classified  ads
Tourism and services
Display ad info
Classified ad info
Contact us
Airline flights

Amistad dinner invitation

                REy rplcement


Laguan Azul

Residency in Costa Rica
nursing home

rss graphic
Twitter link
facebook logo

Have you seen our crossword puzzle?


Clinica Visuliza


Costa Rica vacations

association of residents

What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
Real Estate
About us
Jo Stuart
The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by A.M. Costa Ltda. 2014 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission.
Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for more details

A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 41

Real Estate
About us

Professional Directory
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.

Legal services
Arcelio logo
Serving the English-speaking community for over a

decade with offices in San Jose, Alajuela and Jaco
You deserve to communicate fluently with your lawyer.
Visit our Web site:
Notice: The registration with Sugef is not an authorization to operate. It is solely to prevent money laundering as ordered by law 8204. People who contract with the company do so at their own risk.


Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants and Crowns

Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini has placed and restored
DR. Cavallini
Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini
over 17,000 dental implants since 1980. The Dr. Marco Muñoz Cavallini Dental Clinic, is recognized as one of the best practices in Dental Reconstruction, Dental Implant placement and Cosmetic Dentistry in Costa Rica and the World. For more information, visit us today at:


Lucinda Gray, Ph.D.
California Licensed Psychologist
International Practice via the Web
Dr. KLycinda
Lucinda Gray, Ph.D.
   •  Transformational  

   • Depression

   • Anxiety

   • Relationship Issues

   • New World Meditation
        Training & Support
U.S. Phone: 310-827-4241
Costa Rica: (506) 2228-2041


Architecture-Real Estate-Development

At Architect Orange we are inspired by the visions of each of our clients, and have worked diligently to embody those visions in our work.

We have locations in Atenas (servicing Central Valley/Beach areas)
Arenal (servicing Guanacaste/Nicoya Peninsula)

Contact Information:
 (506) 2694-4712
Arenal office located at Agua Inn Spa


Quickbooks consulting

Kathy Rothschild
QuickBooks Consultant
Santo Domingo de Heredia
*Cloud hosting *Set-up  *Training  *Trouble-shooting *Customization bookkeeping services *Financial reports *Intuit product discounts
Phones: 8572-2984  or 2244-2247

Fine art restoration and conservation

Gilbert Carmichael
Master Art Restorer, A.I.C. Certified
European and U.S. standards. USPAP.
For more information please contact Claudia Villegas at 8996-5581 or email HERE!
• Paintings

• Sculptures
• Murals
• Porcelain and ceramic
• Works on paper restoration
• Conservation curatorial

• Art expert services
• Other restoration services
* Analysis for condition
• Art related insurance and
        damage evaluations
• Art collection consultation
Experts in fine art restoration and conservation for the tropics. We clean mildew, mold, etc; repair, restore and offer art expert and curatorial services.

Real estate agents and services

Jim Day, representing Colinas del Sol
del Pacifico, S.A.

Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project  in a quiet area. There are 88 clear titled lots, some in mountain areas with great views and the rest on gently sloping level areas ideal for hobby farms, gardening, fruit tree orchards, or just a quiet place to get away from the busy city and beach crowds.  All lots have gravel roads to them, water and electricity at each lot, and all lots are 5,000 sq. meters or larger, starting at only $35,000, and many can be combined for those wanting a larger area for their chosen passion be it a hobby horse farm or retirement haven.
You can see more on our Web site:
 Libertad, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, 15 minutes to Playa del Coco or Playa Hermosa
and 20 minutes to Liberia airport.
Please contact Jim Day at   or    Phone:  001 517 484-3675.

CR Beach

Jaco Real Estate
CR Beach Investment Real Estate reminds you that Costa Rica’s #1 beachtown,“the new Jacó,” invites you to see the recent changes:  clean paved roads; more bilingual police; more trendy & tipico restaurants; new a/c movie 4plex & new theatrical-conference center; new central park with activities; more bargain priced properties for sale, and lower priced rentals…
Our agents have been here a minimum of 10 years:
 Colin Miller, Frances,  Junior and Owner-Broker Jeff Fisher enjoy helping clients like you find their dream properties.
Let CR Beach show you why we know this is the best area for you to  invest-retire-enjoy!
Check out our 3 new videos:
Best Beach to Live in Costa Rica
Best Beachfront Deal in Costa Rica
Member of the N.A.R., the Costa Rican Real Estate Board CRGAR and the Central Pacific Chamber of Commerce.
Toll Free: 1-888-782-1119 OR  2643-4334, 2643-3672
Office: IL Galeone Center, Jacó Beach, Costa Rica

Residency experts

Residency in Costa Rica
A full service immigration agency
U.S. and San José offices
Getting and authenticating documents can be a chore —

we know how to do it. Experienced with many nationalities. Up-to-date on
Costa Rica's evolving immigration law.
Pensionado and rentista. Your first stop for smooth, professional service and a positive experience. Javier Zavaleta
Tel: (323) 255-6116


Jorge Desanti
Jorge Desanti
Instant Interpreter/Translator
for Expats.

Jorge Desanti is fluent in English and Spanish. 3-way phone conversation. You call him first. He does the rest. Or he will translate English text for you.
Letters or even a book
$20 minimum.
Jorge (George) Desanti
Phone 8682-2725
All calls will be
strictly confidential.

Translations and legal Services
Ms. Monge
Rosa Monge Alvarez
Simultaneous translator
Interpreter in court.

Legal problems?
Tired of getting the
Tired of excuses?
Tired of being kept in the
Afraid of signing documents in Spanish?

 Contact us today to find out how we can help you.
Cell: (506) 8919-4545


U.S. Tax International
U.S. Tax rollover
Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal services
Over 15 years in Costa Rica
(English Spoken)

C.R. 2288-2201
  U.S 786-206-9473
FAX: 2231-3300


James Brohl, C.P.A. & M.B.A.
US Income Tax,  US GAAP Accounting
& Business Consulting

Uncle Sam's
• US Tax return preparation  for
individuals and businesses
• eFile returns: secure with faster refunds
• Assist with back reporting and other filing issues
• Take advantage of the Foreign
Income Tax Exclusion (up to $
95,100 in 2012}
• Business Consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica
• Accounting for US and International Financial Reporting
• Associate of David Housman

Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620

Women's Club begins new year
March 12 with lunch and sale

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The Women’s Club of Costa Rica begins a new year March 12 at 11 a.m. with a special luncheon at the Aurola Holiday Inn’s Salon Augusto el Grande. A special feature will be a stylish selection of accessories of every variety at bargain prices.

The organization invited others to join a vibrant group of women actively furthering educational development in Costa Rica for the luncheon. 

Those who attend can select from a great collection of almost new costume jewelry, scarves, pashaminas and belts. Proceeds supporting the Women's Club's scholarship program and supply public school textbooks to students in need.

“WCCR is one of the oldest, continuously operating service organizations in Costa Rica,” said in-coming president Jeannine Hurd. “2014 marks our 74rd anniversary, and we would especially like to invite new members and guests to this, our annual year-opening event.”

The Aurola Holiday Inn is located in San José just north of Parque Morazán.  Luncheon tickets are 12,000 colons including vouchers for free parking. They  are available at .

The Women’s Club of Costa Rica’s membership numbers over 300 women of all ages from Costa Rica and many countries of the world, drawn together by the motto of Friendship Through Service.

University for Peace offers
'Vagina Monologues' March 8

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

A special presentation of "The Vagina Monologues" will be presented by the V-Team, students from the University for Peace, March 8, which is United Nations International Women’s Day.   The performance takes place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Teatro de la Palestra in Ciudad Colón.

University for Peace students from all over the world, studying for their masters degrees in peace and conflict resolutions, are expressing their creativity and solidarity with the V-Day moment, a global activist campaign to end violence against women and girls. 

V-Day is a catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations and generate attention to the on-going fight to stop rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation and sex slavery throughout the world, the university said. 

"The Vagina Monologues," written by Tony Award-winning playwright Eve Ensler, has been translated into over 48 languages and performed in over 140 countries.  Ms. Ensler has devoted her life to stopping violence, envisioning a planet in which women and girls will be free to thrive, rather than merely survive, the university said. 

Fourteen monologues will be performed, two in Spanish, three written by University of Peace students themselves, on issues of sexuality, giving birth and understanding what it means to be a woman.  Also featured will be speakers from the University for Peace U.N. Gender Program.

Tickets for The Vagina Monologues are pre-sold online at for 2,000 colons ($4) or available at the door for 3,000 colons ($6).  Some 90 percent of proceeds will be donated to a local woman’s activist group and 10 percent to the V-Day organization.  "The Vagina Monologues" has sexual context and is not recommended for children under the age of 18, the university said.

The Teatro de la Palestra is located next to Our Lady of Assumption Church on Avenida Central in Ciudad Colón, 22 kilometers west of San José off Ruta 2, the Caldera highway.

U.S. citizen detained at airport
in three-year-old rape case

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial agents detained a 30-year-old U.S. citizen Tuesday as he was about to leave the country at Juan Santamaría airport.

The man, identifid as Jeremy Scott Hunt, is a suspect in a rape case, said the Judicial Investigating Organization. The rape is supposed to have happened in 2011 in San José, and the victim was  a 20-year-old woman, the judicial agency said.

The agency said that the man was about to leave for the United States. There was no indication if the man knew about the warrant or that he was wanted before he was detained.

Police in Limón receive
32 pickups for patrol work

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The central government Wednesday turned over 32 patrol pickups to police in the province of Limón. The vehicles represent an investment of 766 million colons or about $1.4 million.

President Laura Chinchilla was there at the Parque de Limón for a presentation.  Mario Zamora, the security minister, noted that the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas has a new base at Limón and that a base is being constructed at Sixaola.

Our reader's opinion
Germany building plants
that use coal for power

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

In reading this article [about green energy in Germany] I am reminded of several articles during the past year which went into considerable detail outlining the lack of success in wind and solar and that Germany was (is) in the midst of building 23 coal fired plants because their industry required an affordable and reliable source of energy.

In fact Germany has dramatically increased the use of coal to satisfy their needs.

As an aside, it's interesting to note that people turn on the lights without checking to see if the sun is shining or the wind is blowing.
J. H  Penner
Richmond, British Columbia

No news is good news
for resident of Caribbean

Dear A.M Costa Rica:
Re: 3 people murdered on the Caribbean coast,

I am frustrated about the publicity of crime on the Caribbean coast. The Tico Times made the same mistake some 2+ years ago when two drug dealers shot themselves at the then-Stanford disco I Puerto Viejo. It made the front page of the Tico Times. Several months earlier, The Tico Times reported that two individuals were killing truck drivers in the Manuel Antonio area. The article was a small writeup.

Are we to believe there is no crime on the Pacific coast?

If you have nothing good to say about the Caribbean coast, well just leave it alone and focus on the Central and Pacific coast. You may find some interesting stories to publish.

I lived on both coasts, and I can tell you, crime is a national problem, so please leave us alone. We are doing the best we can to improve the security in the province of Limón.
We can do without your negative reports. It is time to re-visit the integrity in journalism.
Michel St-Amend
Playa Negra, Puerto Viejo

Have you seen these stories?
From A.M. Costa Rica

Top story news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

From our retirement guide

Retirement tips news feeds are disabled on
archvied pages.

ready to retire
DelRey replacement

Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by A.M. Costa Ltda. 2014 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 41
Real Estate
About us
                  Tax and
Firebombing of Dresden still fresh after 69 years for Grecia man
By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Martin Börner was working as a 14-year-old apprentice in a hotel kitchen when the alarms went off.  It was nearly 10 a.m. when the first bombs dropped. Börner was instructed to hastily take shelter underground with everyone else. Hours later, when he popped his head back into the daytime, his city of Dresden was in flames.

Before the second wave of bombers flung more fire upon Saxony’s capital, Börner fled on foot to a nearby town to survive. “For three months we could smell that sweet smell of human bodies,” he said. “It was awful.”

Sixty-nine years after the Feb. 13, 1945, air attacks by the U.S. Army Air Force and British Royal Air Force squadrons, Börner tells the story of the nightmarish day from his home in Grecía. There his wife Tessa and he had owned the long-running Posada Mimosa bed and breakfast until its close last October. 

In 2005, Börner and his wife wrote “English Girl, German Boy”, a book that recounts their experiences in World War II until they met and married in Canada. Mrs. Börner lived in the United Kingdom during the war and lost her soldier father during the Battle of the Atlantic.

Before writing down their contrasting accounts within the 273-page book, the Börners said they had noticed how a person’s perception about the war directly related to what country they were raised in.

Because Germany has always been reluctant to release much information since the war, the couple said they thought they should tell Martin’s story.

“There was no other point of view from the Germans,” Mrs. Börner said. “I said to Martin that we need to get out and write this story.”

When they first settled in Canada, Martin’s nationality caused him to be victim to recurring xenophobic attitudes. Years later in their children’s schools the history lessons about the war were often one-sided and scarred with obvious omissions.

The Börner’s raised their five children to be fluent in both English and German, always reminding them of their deep-running cultural roots.

“I was determined that our children would be proud of both cultures,” Mrs. Börner said.

In a strange twist of fate, which is not divulged in the book, one of

The cover of the Börners' book shows a statue on the city hall looking down on the destroyed city.

Borner book

their daughters would marry the son of a pilot who bombed Dresden.

Though it has never been legally stated as a war crime, the attacks targeted and killed many innocent civilians. One remaining question is how many? Börner said that 200,000 of his countrymen and refugees were killed amid the bombings, though the tolls vary drastically between sources and their place of origin. 

Costa Rica harbored a great wave of German immigrants in the mid-19th century. Some stumbled upon the beautiful coast on their way to find gold in California, while others started business in San José and lucrative coastal towns.

There were 3,000 published copies of “English Girl, German Boy” when it first debuted, and the Börners said about 1,000 remain. The book is available on Amazon and by mail from their daughter who was the publisher.

The Börners can be contacted via email at for more information. Mrs. Börner also authored the 2001 book about Costa Rica, “Potholes to Paradise.”

Campus rape sparks demonstration today at Universidad Nacional
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A group of Universidad Nacional students plans to march from the Heredia campus through the community today to demand the elimination of all forms of gender violence, particularly with regard to women.

The action stems from the rape of a woman on campus Feb. 5. The group said they were unhappy that the university did not address the
case publicly until Feb. 18.

And now they are unhappy with the university response. The administration seeks to close the campus to outsiders, which the group said, would allow administrators to keep knowledge of such crimes inside the campus.

The group of students also seeks psychological counseling for the rape victim.

DelRey nightlife

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by A.M. Costa Ltda. 2014 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 41
Real Estate
About us

New research at the molecular level may lead to dengue protection
By the University of North Carolina news staff

Creating a vaccine that protects people from all four types of dengue virus has frustrated scientists for decades. But researchers at the University of North Carolina have discovered a new target for human antibodies that could hold the key to a vaccine for the world’s most widespread mosquito-borne disease.

Using an experimental technique new to the dengue field, the labs of Ralph Baric and Aravinda de Silva showed that a molecular hinge where two regions of a protein connect is where natural human antibodies attach to dengue 3 to disable it. The finding, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that after primary infection most human antibodies that neutralize the virus bind to the hinge region.

It’s the first study to demonstrate how these binding sites, composed of just 25 amino acids, can be genetically swapped out for amino acids from another dengue type without disrupting the integrity of the virus.

By re-engineering a tiny chain of amino acids in one type of dengue virus, Baric and de Silva discovered a new path that has the potential to transform vaccine development for other diseases, including SARS and HIV.

“This gives us a lot of insight into how human antibodies work,” said de Silva, a professor of microbiology and immunology in the university's School of Medicine. “And there could be a lot of translational aspects to this. It could lead to a new way to create vaccines for other diseases.”

De Silva and Baric, also a professor, are now working with vaccine
 developers at two pharmaceutical companies to test the effectiveness of potential dengue vaccines now in clinical trials. If these vaccines don’t bind to their molecular hinge, then the vaccines will likely prove less effective than researchers would like, especially over time.

Dengue, which infects approximately 390 million people each year, is common in tropical and subtropical regions around the world.

Making a truly effective dengue vaccine has proven difficult because of a phenomenon called antibody dependent enhancement. People infected with one type of dengue usually develop a natural immune response that rids the body of the virus and prevents a repeat infection of that same virus type. But if those people are infected with a second type of dengue, the virus is enhanced because of that first immune response. The result can be severe dengue hemorrhagic fever, which can be deadly.

Consequently, a vaccine that offers immunity for only one type of dengue would make other types of dengue more virulent and dangerous. The first large clinical trial of a dengue vaccine, conducted in Thailand in 2011, contained a cocktail of all four types of dengue. But for reasons that remain unclear, the vaccine was just partially protective. There was no evidence that the vaccine protected people during a dengue 2 outbreak that same year.

To study dengue, de Silva and colleagues have collected samples from infected Sri Lankans and from Americans who had acquired the disease while abroad. Such samples allowed de Silva’s team to find that human antibodies are not the same as mouse antibodies, which had served as the basis for vaccine development.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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.

Costa Rica’s #1 Time –Tested Relocation/Retirement Tours
Christopher Howard's Award-winning Combination Relocation/Retirement Tour. NO other retirement tour offers MORE options...MORE areas visited, MORE information, MORE people just like you who have made the move and a LONGER
fact-filled tour for your money. Winner of the 2010 Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the most UNIQUE and OUTSTANDING tour in Latin America. This  is the ONLY relocation/retirement tour really APPROVED with a LEGAL tour guide to operate in Costa Rica by the government’s Institute of Tourism ICT (license number DL-658-2004) in 2004. ALL tours are personally led by Christopher Howard, the
Christ Howard with Max
author of the perennial best-selling ”New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica,” the MOST read authority on living and retiring in Costa Rica,  and who has personally helped over 10,000 people with ALL BUDGETS relocate SUCCESSFULLY over the last 35 years. CUSTOM TAILOR-MADE TOURS are also available for people with special needs or who can’t take one of our fixed-date tours. ALL tours include EXTENSIVE touring and a highly informative SEMINAR by the country’s most renowned EXPERTS in their respective fields. Also visit: Live in Costa Rica to check out our NEW tour prices and specials.  Customer satisfaction 100% guaranteed! MY REFERENCES.

* Recommended by the Association of Residents of Costa Rica ARCR as part of the new Costa Rica Alliance (made up of the most renowned experts in their respective fields).

* DISCOUNT on the first year's MEMBERSHIP for the Association of Residents of Costa Rica ARCR with these tours
*FREE BONUS all people who sign up for the tour receive a FREE copy of the 16th edition of  the bestseller “New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica. At the conclusion of the tour they also receive FREE eBook copies of Christopher Howard’s other one-of-a-kind  bestsellers “Official Guide to Costa Rican Spanish,” “The Official Guide to Real Estate In Costa Rica” and “The Official Guide to Costa Rica’s Legal System for Tontos (dumbbells).” Almost 2,000 pages of INVALUABLE material in all!

Insurance firm graphic
Experience You Can Trust is an authorized representative of IMG insurance. For more than 20 years, IMG has dedicated its efforts to providing international medical insurance, travel insurance and impeccable service to the international community. It's our specialty. We realize that traveling abroad can be an exciting experience. We also know that anything can happen while you're away from home - whether visiting short-term or living abroad indefinitely. It's important to be prepared for any unexpected illness, injury or medical emergency. Many traditional medical plans simply are not designed for international travel. We offer: Indivudual/Family, Group, Students/Faculty Trip Interruption, Mission Medical, Specialty Coverage. Contact us at and get a FREE quote today:
U.S Phone: 317-489-0189 or in Costa Rica 8718-1794.
Our policies are accepted at Clinica Biblica and Hospital CIMA.   Visit our web page for more info:

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

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

Payless Car Rental
Excellent prices

at both Juan Santamaría airport in Alajuela
and Daniel Oduber airport
in Liberia.

 Click the logo to check availability.

Need a book about Costa Rica?

Check out our special selections available at Amazon logo


A.M. Costa Rica
Real estate rentals
Real estate rental agents
Real estate for rent
Real estate wanted

Real estate rental services (paid category)

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

Real estate for rent (paid category)
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.

Lovely cottage on private coffee farm. One spacious bedroom, one bath, office room/spare room with high speed WiFi internet, fully
coffee retreat
equipped kitchen, phone line, balcony with beautiful view, especially at night with the far off lights of San José. Farm is gated and guarded, private and peaceful. Owner on-site. Sarchi is a quiet and safe small town about 30-40 min from the airport, a perfect base to explore from and also get a feel for normal, day-to-day Tico life. Rental is $575 per 
month, (Longer term rent is negotiable) All utilities included. Sorry, NO PETS. Contact

Beautiful single studio apartment for rent in Guacima, Alajuela. 20 minutes from airport, San José or Alajuela and 30 minutes from Heredia. near Caldera highway, Route 27.  $500 a month. All services included (Internet, water, electricity, security). very private, very quiet, green areas. High resolution photos in Flickr HERE! Email: or

prime properties
We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
Santa Ana

                                                in Heredia
Surrounded by nature in large property. Chalet for rent located in Monte de la Cruz, Heredia. Two bedrooms, two bathrooms,  laundry room, fully furnished, security, electric gate. $500 monthly. Phone  2267-6306

100 houses

CARIARI AND LINDORA areas, nice garden apartments, furnished or not, ideal for small family, couple/singles. US $1,000 and up. Email   Tel. 8383-6388.

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.

Los Arcos gated community 2 bedroom 2 bath apartment $500 monthly. aAso efficiency apartment $300 month. 8841-1606

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:

Lovely cottage on private coffee farm. One spacious bedroom, one bath, office room/spare room with high speed WiFi internet, fully equipped kitchen, phone  line, balcony with beautiful view, especially 
coffee retreat
at  night with the far off lights of San José. Farm is gated and guarded, private and peaceful. Owner on-site. Sarchi is a quiet and safe small town about 30-40 min from the airport, a perfect base to explore from and also get a feel for normal, day-to-day Tico life. Rental is $575 per month, (Longer term rent is negotiable) All utilities included. Sorry, NO PETS. Contact

Test Drive Costa Rica
Asuncion de Belen. Home in exclusive Residencial La Jolla.  Gated community with controlled access,  security 24/7. Resort swimming pool and gym. Spacious and elegant finishes, private jacuzzi and social areas. 3 bedrooms. 2.5 baths.  Private gardens. Conveniently located close to airport, shopping, bilingual schools, Intel and Duty Free Zones. 322m2 on 249m2 corner lot. Lease with purchase option  $3,400/ $428,000 USD Contact owner for details:

Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by A.M. Costa Ltda. 2014 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 41
Real Estate
About us


Appeals court tells Google
to trash anti-Muslim video

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A U.S. appeals court has ordered Google to remove an anti-Muslim film from its video-sharing Web site YouTube.

The film, "Innocence of Muslims," has incited international outrage and sparked protests around the world because of its negative portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad. Its appearance online coincided with the September 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador.

The ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court in San Francisco reinstates a lawsuit filed against YouTube by an actress who sought its removal. She claimed she was tricked into appearing in the film without knowing of its anti-Muslim slant and has received death threats because of her work.

The court said a trial judge erred when he refused to grant an injunction ordering the removal of the film.

YouTube had resisted calls by President Barack Obama and other world leaders to take down the video, arguing that to do so amounted to unwarranted government censorship.

The company argued that the filmmakers and not the actors of "Innocence of Muslims" owned the copyright and only they could remove it from YouTube.

But the appeals court said in this case the actress retained a copyright claim that YouTube must respect because she believed she was acting in a different production from the one that ultimately appeared online.

Arizona's governor vetoes
measure targeting gays

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The governor of the U.S. western state of Arizona, Jan Brewer, has vetoed a controversial bill that would have protected businesses from lawsuits for refusing to serve gay customers.

Brewer, a Republican, said the law could have hurt the state's economy by driving away businesses. Phoenix is set to host the 2015 Super Bowl.

She said it would have had unintended and negative consequences and could have divided the state in ways no one wants.

Arizona's Republican-led legislature passed the bill last week. Supporters say it gave business owners the right to express their religious freedom by refusing service to gay and transgender customers.

Opponents say the law would have opened the door to discrimination.

Several major businesses and the state's two Republican senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, were among those who urged Brewer not to sign the bill.

Several Arizona legislators who voted in favor of the law later said they were sorry they did and also urged the governor to veto it.

Student school suspensions
seem to be losing supporters

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

There is a growing trend in U.S. schools to re-think the way students are disciplined for bad behavior, including finding alternatives to punishments such as out-of-school suspensions.  In Los Angeles, a city with one of the largest school districts in the country, changes in discipline policies are already affecting students.

In a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood known for its poverty and gangs, growing up can be tough.  That’s especially true for Garfield High School student Marco Antonio Aguilar.

“My freshman year, everything went bad. I hated the school,” he said.

Aguilar says he had the wrong friends, often skipped school and even got into fights. The school suspended him and he almost had to go to a school for problem students.  But a talk with his mom woke him up.

“She was always there for me. She cooked for me. So for me to waste my time at school, that wasn’t fair for her, and being a single mom that’s even more sad for her for me to be messing around like that. What also sparked the fire more was with the help of the teachers I received, and knowing that they did care about me, the school did really help me,” Aguilar recalls.

Garfield High School Principal Jose Huerta does not believe in suspensions.

“You don’t have to suspend kids. It doesn’t get you anywhere.  It’s not even expensive, it’s very simple, connect with students,” he said.

When he first arrived at Garfield High more than four years ago, the dropout rate was more than 50 percent, with close to 700 suspensions a year.  He says most of the suspensions were for minor behavioral problems known as willful defiance.

“It could be from chewing gum in class to sticking gum under the things,” he said.

Huerta, a new principal at the time, changed the discipline policy.  Instead of facing suspension, those with willful defiance issues will first talk to a teacher, then a parent may get involved and eventually, a support group if needed.

Garfield High now has an 85 percent graduation rate, and the school has changed.

"The reason we don't see vandalism or anything is because now there's a connection with our students.  They respect us dearly, and we respect them, and I tell them I love them. Every time we have an assembly: 'remember guys I love you and we love you' and they all respond with an applause because they don't always get that," he said. 

Punishments for behavioral problems used to be decided by each school in this urban district. But last year, the Los Angeles Unified School District banned out-of-school suspension as a form of punishment for students with willful defiance issues.

Superintendent John Deasy says he started working on finding solutions to the problematic discipline policy when he first came to Los Angeles Unified in 2011.

“Far too many suspensions, and far far too many suspensions for black and brown youth,” he said.

The U.S. Departments of Justice and Education recently called on schools to find alternatives to suspensions for non-violent behavior.

Dan Losen of The Civil Rights Project at UCLA says while 60 percent of secondary schools in the U.S. do not have high suspension rates, those that do often are in poor black or Latino neighborhoods.

“The schools that suspend high numbers of kids, they don’t have better achievement.  They don’t have better graduation rates,” he said.

United Teachers Los Angeles President Warren Fletcher says that while suspending a student should never be a first option, taking the option away completely is not the solution either.

“If you take it off the table; if you make it so that a school essentially doesn’t have that option at all in an environment of ballooning class sizes and deep, deep cuts to student mental health, it creates a pressure cooker environment in a school, and that’s not good for anyone,” said Fletcher.

While the number of suspensions nationwide seems to be slowly decreasing, many educators say a more permanent solution is to pair changes in discipline with more funding to provide support for the students so they can succeed like Aguilar, who plans on going to college when he graduates this year.

Positive growth forecast
is good news for eurozone

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The European Union has revised upward its forecasts for economic growth. The news comes as Greece aims to secure another slice of its bailout money after posting a budget surplus. And in Italy, the new government has pledged to turn around the stagnant economy.

So is this the beginning of the end of the euro crisis? Many analysts think not.

The welcome was hostile in Athens as bailout inspectors from the so-called troika of international lenders, the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank, arrived for talks at Greece’s finance ministry.

Greece desperately needs its next amount of bailout money to pay debts in May that will total $12.8 billion. Talks have stalled for months over claims that Greece is dragging its feet over labor reforms.

Protesters shouted at the inspectors: “We are talking about human lives, you are talking about profits and losses.”

Since 2008, Greece’s economy has shrunk by nearly a quarter. Unemployment is at 28 percent.

The country has just posted a budget surplus of 1.5 percent of gross domestic product, good news after years of brutal austerity.  But there’s a long way to go, says analyst Simon Tilford with the London-based Center for European Reform.

“Certainly no developed or even second-world country has ever pulled off a fiscal adjustment of the scale that the Greeks have managed.  But they don’t just need a surplus. They need a huge surplus in order to service their debt burden," said Tilford.

The EU issued revised growth forecasts this week suggesting the eurozone will grow by 1.2 percent this year and 1.8 percent in 2015.

Olli Rehn is EU commissioner for economic and monetary affairs.

“Recovery in the European Union is gaining ground and spreading across countries, although it remains still modest. It is good news that economic activity has also started to strengthen in the vulnerable countries," said Rehn.

Italy is seen as one such vulnerable eurozone member. The former mayor of Florence, 39-year-old Matteo Renzi, became the country’s youngest-ever prime minister this week after ousting his party rival. In a speech to the lower house, he pledged to slash spending and taxes and revolutionize Italy’s economy.

“Outside of this parliament, nobody believes any longer that politicians can get things done,” Renzi said. “Therefore, at great risk, we have pledged to accelerate a process to implement reforms within precise deadlines.”

With political change in Italy and green shoots of recovery in the eurozone some EU politicians believe this is the beginning of the end of the euro crisis, says Tilford.

 “I think there is a risk of complacency that a return to growth and relative calm on the financial markets is encouraging."

Japan begins investigations
of failed bitcoin exchange

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Japanese officials are studying ways to regulate the virtual currency bitcoin after a prominent Tokyo-based trading house shut down suddenly Tuesday. The unexpected closure of the Mt. Gox exchange is the latest setback in the currency’s attempts to gain worldwide acceptance.
In a packed news conference, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said authorities, including the Japanese Financial Services Agency, Finance Ministry and the police, are looking into bitcoin trading in Japan.
“Regarding the concerned issue, I am aware that the related ministries, such as the Financial Services Agency, the Economic Ministry and the Finance Ministry, are gathering information. If necessary, I believe they will act on this once they have the grasp of the situation. But at this point, they are still gathering more facts and information,” said Suga.
The sudden disappearance of Mt. Gox, once one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges, has dealt a blow to the credibility of the virtual currency.  Earlier this month, Mt. Gox imposed a ban on withdrawals. On Sunday, CEO Mark Karpeles resigned from the board of the Bitcoin Foundation, which seeks wider acceptance of the currency.  Tuesday, the Mt. Gox Web site was blank, with only a brief statement to investors.
Reports emerged that the company had lost more than 750,000 bitcoins due to what was called transaction malleability. Hackers were able to discover that they could track Mt. Gox’s software by creating a bitcoin transaction and then changing its identifying codes. Funds were taken from Mt. Gox, but because its computers were looking for the old identifying code, the losses went unnoticed.
Several other bitcoin exchanges issued statements Tuesday that said they are working to reestablish the currency’s credibility.
Nonetheless, bitcoin’s future remains questionable.  Emily Spaven, the managing editor of Coin Desk, said that Mt. Gox’s failure will probably lead to more government oversight of the virtual currency.
“I think what we’ll see from this is that governments will try and enforce some kind of regulation because, as we’ve discovered, there’s around $350 million worth of bitcoins that have been stolen.  So that’s a lot of money to go missing, so I’m pretty sure that governments will try and step in to protect their citizens from suffering something like this again,” said Spaven.
Moshe Cohen, an assistant professor of finance and economics at the Columbia Business School, said that this incident could have one of two results for bitcoin.
“One of two things will happen: either the bitcoin community will convince us that it is a one off, and a new form of maybe partially regulated exchange can solve these problems and take the good and get rid of the bad, or people will start losing faith,” said Cohen.
Several large firms, including, Zynga, the online retailer TigerDirect and the National Basketball Association’s Sacramento King’s team, have announced they will accept bitcoins. Billionaire Richard Branson has announced his Virgin Galactic will accept bitcoin for space flights.
As of this writing, bitcoin’s value was nearly back to where it was when the Mt. Gox crisis began. It may be that Mt. Gox’s will help bitcoin in the long run by eliminating an unsound player from the virtual currency game.

Private surveillance firms
face misuse of their software

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

While the National Security Agency has been getting a lot of attention for its global surveillance endeavors, a small army of private and often secretive companies is quietly peddling spyware with NSA-like capabilities to governments around the world.  Among their clients, the NSA.

Many of these products go beyond simple monitoring of huge amounts of traffic or stealing files. These new programs can target individuals, infect their computers, phones, Web cameras or other devices to watch and record the every move of people targeted.

The software does have legitimate uses such as gathering data about criminal activities, but critics say it too often is used by authoritarian regimes to spy on their own people.

The most recent public case involves an American citizen who goes by the alias Mr. Kidane.

According to the Electronic Frontiers Foundation, which is representing Mr. Kidane, he is suing the Ethiopian government “for infecting his computer with secret spyware, wiretapping his private Skype calls, and monitoring his entire family's every use of the computer for a period of months.”

"We have clear evidence of a foreign government secretly infiltrating an American's computer in America, listening to his calls, and obtaining access to a wide swath of his private life," foundation attorney Nate Cardozo said in a statement.

"The current Ethiopian government has a well-documented history of human rights violations against anyone it sees as political opponents,” he said. “Here, it wiretapped a United States citizen on United States soil in an apparent attempt to obtain information about members of the Ethiopian diaspora who have been critical of their former government. U.S. laws protect Americans from this type of unauthorized electronic spying, regardless of who is responsible."

The Ethiopian Embassy in Washington did not respond to calls seeking comment on the case.

The spyware allegedly used against Mr. Kidane is something called FinSpy, the foundation said. FinSpy is a suite of programs marketed to governments by the Gamma Group of Companies, a U.K.-based software company.

Gamma is one of a growing number of companies offering sophisticated surveillance software and support to governments and law enforcement around the world.

Infection is as easy as luring a target to click a mouse, analysts say. The most common way computers and other devices are infected with the spyware is through bogus email attachments which contain the hidden spyware. Once infected, the software is capable of a wide variety of surveillance and is very hard to detect.

Many of the companies boast about how off-the-shelf security software can’t detect their products.

Bill Marczak, a researcher for Citizen Lab, which conducts research on the intersection of communication technologies and human rights, called these kinds of software a new trend in repression. He added that the $5 billion industry is large and secretive and until recently, it was in the shadows.

He’s not the only one concerned. Reporters Without Borders, a press freedom watchdog group, went so far as to call Gamma among 2013’s enemies of the Internet. It named other companies including Hacking Team.

Eric Rabe, a spokesman for Hacking Team, called the accusation absurd in an email, adding that the company’s products are significant tools to prevent Internet users from becoming Internet victims.

“The products that Hacking Team offers serve to protect users from the abuses that can be extremely serious,” he said. “For example, there have been many examples of economic crime — fraud, holding computer operating systems for ransom, stealing financial data and so forth.”

Hacking Team is alleged to have provided offensive legal intercept surveillance software to 21 countries, according to a recent report by Citizen Lab.

Among the countries Citizen Lab said Hacking Team software was found are several with questionable human rights records such as Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan and Sudan. The report also alleges that Hacking Team software was used to spy on Ethiopian journalists based in the Washington area.

The Gamma Group also has broad international reach. It was trying to sell one of its products, FinFisher, to the government of deposed Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, according to documents uncovered by protesters. The company was trying to sell its FinFisher spyware to Egypt’s security forces for over $300,000 and even offered a free trial.

Gamma told the Guardian newspaper it had not sold products or provided any training to the Egyptian government and that it complies with relevant import and export regulations when selling to governments. Like Hacking Team, the company keeps its client list confidential.

According to Citizen Lab, spyware has been used against activists in Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates and against an Ethiopian journalist in the United Kingdom. There have also been reports of spyware being used against citizen journalists in Morocco and against an American who appears to have been targeted by someone in Turkey connected to the powerful Gülen Movement.

Attempts to regulate the industry have fallen short. Reporters Without Borders says spyware like that sold by Hacking Team and Gamma have been included in the Wassenaar Arrangement, which promotes “transparency and greater responsibility in transfers of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies.”

However, the press advocacy group says governments have not yet put these negotiations into force.

Researcher Marczak is skeptical about the ability to regulate.

“We’re just relying on the company’s word,” he said.  With regard to Hacking Team, Marczak adds that “what we’ve seen so far when we uncover their products, the first thing we hear is that they didn’t sell it.”

“The confidentiality of their clients is a primary goal,” he said. “I’m not optimistic that compliance can be verified.”

Rabe said Hacking Team is aware of the recent change in the Wassenaar Arrangement and is studying it.

Similar to the NSA surveillance programs, there are legitimate uses for software made by companies like Gamma and Hacking Team, such as infiltrating cyber criminal rings or finding underground pedophile networks.

“We work to keep our products out of the hands of government agencies that would abuse them,” Rabe said. “We have refused to deal with clients we believe might abuse our products. We have suspended support for our software  in the past when we have discovered misuse of our software, however, we do not disclose details of such actions.”

The company said it reviews potential customers to make sure their technology will not be used to facilitate human rights violations by establishing outside panel of technical experts and legal advisors, unique in our industry, that reviews potential sales.”

More than 700 exoplanets
added to NASA's registry

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Scientists are calling it a planet bonanza.

The U.S. space agency, NASA, announced Wednesday the discovery of 715 new planets outside the solar system.

Using the planet-hunting Kepler telescope, the scientists say this doubles the number of known planets to about 1,700.

They say all the new planets are in systems just like the earth solar system, where they orbit around one large star.

The scientists say at least four of the newly found planets may be within what they call the habitable zone of their stars, meaning it is not too hot or too cold for water.

But the scientists say they know little about the new planets and cannot say whether they can support life.

Sunday is the big night
for silver screen fanatics

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, are the most highly anticipated annual awards of the film industry. About a billion people worldwide will watch the televised star-studded event Sunday. Of the 24 nomination categories, the top four are:  best director, best picture, best actor, and best actress.

Director Alfonso Cuaron sets a new bar in 3D technology with "Gravity," which fully immerses the audience in the terror of two astronauts lost in the void of space. His long sequences and camera fluidity don’t allow the viewer a moment’s respite. Breathless, they are stranded with astronaut Ryan Stone in her endless fall.

"Gravity," co-starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, garnered 10 Oscar nominations. With the help of CGI technology, the film resembles an IMAX documentary.  Ms. Bullock, who plays astronaut Ryan Stone, says thanks to technology, she amazingly floated into space without ever leaving Earth.

“Everything  physically that you saw we either did in the cube, locked into the system, we did on the 12-wire rig, so I can fly and can do the body work,” the Oscar-winning actress explained.

"So, pretty much it was hell for actors," joked director Alfonso Cuaron.

Cuaron spent four-and-a-half years painstakingly making the film. He is a leading candidate for best director, but may lose the award for best picture because according to critics the film’s dialogue is rather poor and dwarfed by its superb cinematography.

Another top contender for that best picture Oscar is Steve McQueen’s epic drama "12 Years a Slave," based on the true story of the abduction of free man Solomon Northup, in the 19th-century U.S. South. This film offers grand cinematography, a stellar cast and, as the title suggests, a story that spans 12 years. Despite its scope, the story is told in an intimate way, humanizing Northup, allowing the audience to experience his ordeal.

Critics praised best actor nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor's performance as Northup, who believes if he endures all the trials and tribulations he may actually have a chance at freedom. But  Ejiofor faces formidable opponents for the best actor Oscar, notably Matthew McConaughey, lauded for his role as a homophobic Texas electrician and hustler who contracts AIDS in 1985 in "Dallas Buyers Club."
McConaughey lost 18 kilograms for the role and, stick thin, began losing his eyesight. Along with the physical transformation, he says it was emotionally challenging to show the range of Woodroof's emotions.

“Showing variations of rage," McConaughey said during a press tour to promote the movie. "Because the guy has a lot of rage in him. And rage propels the most activity in us."

In the best actress category, Cate Blanchett is one of the frontrunners. Critics praised her performance in Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine," as riveting.  The movie tells the story of destitue Jasmine, forced to move in with her working-class sister in San Francisco after her wealthy investment banker husband is arrested for fraud.

If Ms. Blanchett wins, it will be her second Oscar.  Critics say she would be a shoe-in, if it weren't for Amy Adams stellar performance in "American Hustle," also nominated in the major categories.

Real estate-related services (paid category)

Project completion specialists
Casa del pacifico logo
Pacifica living
A turnkey home and project completion agency devoted to creative vision and flawless execution. We provide a single, solid and dedicated point of contact for the duration of your real estate project, specializing in:

                      • Building completion services
                      • Interior design & decoration
                      • Custom furniture design & manufacturing.

Our primary goal is to assist our clients with a smooth transition to occupancy while providing highly personalized and distinctive services. We have refined the process to be a hassle free experience, especially valuable for clients who live abroad. We customize to suit each client’s personal taste, lifestyle and budget.
Serving region for 10 years.
We regularly exceed client expectations. We guarantee it.
Cell phone: (506) - 8707-8008
Office phone: (506) - 2288-5644

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

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 2228-5961 or 8339-2112.

Re/Max, the Pacific coast expert
Re/Max offers comprehensive Costa Rica Real Estate, vacation rental and relocation services. Our award-winning team is the largest in the country, and can show you the best lifestyle and financial investment properties in the most desirable locations including prime real estate in Tamarindo, Langosta, Conchal, Flamingo, Pinilla, Coco, Hermosa and Playa Panama.  Give us a call in Costa Rica at 506-2653-0073, or toll free from the U.S. and Canada 1-800-385-5930. Re/Max, the name you trust for the finest real estate services in Costa Rica.

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: (Cristian Arce)
(506) 8309-0173  
English:  (Luis Arce)
(506) 7100-8489  
 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)
  (506) 8707-4016  
Grecia 794
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $850.000: HERE!
30,000 square meters of land and 750 square-meters of construction.
Grecia home
1,000 square meters of land, 350 square meters of construction.  CLICK HERE
Grecia 807
  18,000 square meters of land and 300 square meters of construction. HERE!
  Send us your request to our email:

Real estate for sale (paid category)


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.  Price asking $385.000.  Contact to Paul at local phone 506- 2637-8858  Cell phone 506- 8823-8550 .  US Mobile 908-400-9772  Emails: and

Five bedrooms
Puntarenas City, Puntarenas
Beach home central Pacific Ocean
Five bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths plus guest house
Features include out door BBQ, swimming pool, plus on the beach.  The home is completely furnished including all linens, kitchen cook ware, pots, pans, all dishes and much much more. Each room is individually air conditioned.  Office with all connections for WiFi,  Hot water in bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.  Fully furnished. Includes all linens, TV’s, refrigerator/freezer, dish washer, microwave, electric stove/oven, washer & dryer and many “as seen on TV” appliances   Will consider trade for U.S. Property.  Asking  $250,000. 
Call Gary 8784-2945  English only, or email

Tiliran property
Turnkey commercial/apartment building for sale in San Luis, Tilaran, Guanacaste. In a corporation. 100 percent occupancy and all permits in place. Great opportunity to gain investor status residency. New construction - 2012. Consists of three studio apartments upstairs with lake view and 4 storefronts on ground level, including laundry service, soda, consigment store. Comes with purchase or start your own business while you live in one of the apartments. $308,000. Please email

Spectacular 79-acre view property in Guanacaste overlooking tens of miles of pristine coastline with sunset over the Pacific. Own water, electricity, hi-speed internet, property roads, huge building view sites, terraced landscape perfect for growing trees, fruits and vegetables or run horses or cattle, hidden access and high-level security. 169,000 USD. Contact:   or text messages to  8916-5550.

Excazu montage
Trejos  Montealegre, Escazú.
Two bedrooms and two baths.  220 m2 construction on  289 m2 of land. Beautiful contemporary house across from a small park, easy walk to Avenida Escazú.
Great views. Only 7 years old. Two patios and a balcony. In a quiet and secure neighborhood with guard shack across the street. Nice landscaped garden. Sale includes all furniture.  Price: $275,000. Owner will work with real estate sales people.   Phone  Ron Eaton  at 8997-1799. Email:

Balcony view
This is a great opportunity
Get your home in one of the best locations. Four-bedroom condo near Universidad de Costa Rica, ULatina & UFidelitas   $170,000. USD.  24/7 gate security with in-home alarm, three levels, parking for two cars and play area for children. First Level: Living room/dining room, kitchen with breakfast bar, laundry room, patio/garden with roof, storage area, & guest bathroom. Second Level: Large master bedroom with full bathroom and walk-in closet, two additonal bedrooms, linen closet, full bathroom. Third Level: Large fourth bedroom or TV room, full bath, large storage attic, spacious roofed balcony   and breathtaking views of mountains to the east, south, west. Call Bill   (English) C.R. Phone: (506) 6011-6987 / U.S. Phone:  (630) 886-4458 . C.R. Spanish  phone number: (506) 8799-4041  or  (506) 8363-9898.  Email:

Los Reyes home
House for sale in La Guacima, Alajuela
Located on 9th tee of Los Reyes Country Club. Club offers golf, tennis (6 courts), swimming pool, gym and restaurant. Easy access to schools, shopping, hospitals & Caldera highway. One hour to Pacific beaches. House price: US $450,000.00. Contact Bill, Phone 506 -8878-9221  Email: Click on the link below for photos and additional details:

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:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

Land near Monte de La Cruz, 27 hectors+, Must sell for best offer due to cancer, 8841-1606

beachfront home
Beautiful Palo Seco Beach home priced to sell!
Gorgeous beachfront two-story home, of roughly 2,000 square feet, set on a half acre oceanfront lot that is full of beautiful fruit and shade trees in Playa Palo Seco. This home features two bedrooms, three full baths, high quality A/C units in all rooms, huge front and backyard, and of course, a fantastic view of the Pacific Ocean just feet away from the front door! Playa Palo Seco is perfectly situated between Jacó and Quepos and is only minutes away from five-star dining such as El Clandestino.  We have reduced the price from $150,000 to $125,000 firm for a fast sale in the new year! This is a must see property! Owner financing is available. This truly is a once in a lifetime offer and it will go fast! Please call 8816-2478 or email for more information!

St. Michael
Ocean View estates inside a gated community from $5.94 M2.  Properties start at 39K. NO HOA FEES.  Community salt water modern waterfall swimming pools, organic vegetable gardens, exotic flower gardens, food forest, mature orchards, fresh fish from aquaponics, stables, community center, and much more.  Each lot comes with an edible landscaping including pineapples, plantains, papayas, guanabanas, bananas, and more.  Most lots already have mature mango, lemon, orange, or caimito trees.  This is the most secure community in CR with multiple sources of water, electric, and high \[speed internet.

Cahuita estate
Beach house in Cahuita for sale
2,000-sq. ft. house, 2 bedrooms. 2 baths. With incredible view of sea.  House has beautiful hardwood open upstairs deck. Teakwood floor upstairs. CB and ceramic downstairs, Very well built with beautiful hardwoods upstairs.  Oval bathtub, hand painted ceramic sinks  The view is through 240 meters of jungle and coconut trees to the beach. The beach in front is perfect and quiet. Very secure area. Property located adjacent to our wildlife sanctuary and botanical gardens. Great group of neighbors from U.S.A.,  Italy, Holland, Sweden, etc. This very private property is owned by Todd Scottland for more then  35 years. Taxes are paid up to date. This is a gem of a house. Must see!  Price  $205,000.00.  Email to: Email for more photos.
Phone 2755-0014 or cell phone 8610-0490.

Ojochal montage
Ojochal Paradise
Tropical paradise of 6.5 acres in Ojochal.  Cabin with one sleeping loft, all services, mountain and distant ocean views.  Several building sites available for main house or rental units. Close to surfing, fishing, golfing. Sale for $129.000  Contact:  for more photos/information or go here:

Located in Jacó at Barrio Ricos y Famosos
in Calle Europa, Casa Shangri La.
Main house: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 270 square meters, 2 condominiums 2 bedrooms, one bath, 110 square meters, plus one small apartment: One bedroom, one bath. Huge pool, carport for five cars. plus double garage, rancho with pool bathroom, gymnasium, laundry room, pool plumbing room, huge dog house in separate 500-square-meter garden with aviary for guacamayas (we have three birds) 60 meters of river front of Río Copey with a 4-meter-high protective and retention stone wall. Eight surveillance camera CCTV system with Internet access from anywhere. Over 2-meter-high brick wall all around the property with two layers of razor wires on top, the safest place to be! Electronic entrance gate, door phone, five telephone lines, high-speed Internet wireless access everywhere. Beautiful gardens with many fruit trees. Built to highest standard by German owner in 2005,  room for two more apartments, plans approved. Less then a 10 minutes walk to the beach and or center of Jaco. Price $ 1,350.000 negotiable. All fittings and furniture. German-built, excellent quality and well maintained. 70% owner financing available. More photos on request HERE!  Email:  cell 8838-2081 or home 2643-2979.

Rich Coast montage
Real Estate, Central Pacific Region

Central Pacific between Jacó and Quepos-Manuel Antonio
Lots in gated community near the beach  from $17,999! Only 3 left
2-bedroom house in gated community was $120k now $99,900
3-bedroom house with 2 additional residential lots, walk to the beach $160k
Turnkey coffee shop/ bakery, corner location, great ROI! $65k
2-bedroom panoramic oceanview house, guesthouse on 2.5 acres $269k
Panoramic oceanview  property, 3 houses, on-ground pool $375k
And much more!!!
   USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
   CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891

Samara church and lot
Commercial lot with great visibility in heart of Playa Sámara commercial district. Located alongside town's largest church, bank, hardware store/lumber yard, mini shopping plaza, and Pali (Sámara's largest supermarket). This lot has a large elevated building platform shaded with mature treees. All this makes for many commercial options.  One block from stunning "blue flag" beach. This is a perfect location for a eco/boutique hotel, restaurant/catering, apartments, or condominium. All utilities to this property. Lot size 1,414m2. Price 325K. Email:

Gulf road

Beachfront pristine five-hectare (13-acre) property

includes a common open air lodge with kitchen, three cabins, a caretaker's house, a garage and a secure storeroom. The property is maritime and has a current and valid maritime user's permit, all up to date and clear. In addition to the immaculately landscaped portion of the property that is already developed with bungalows, there are an additional three hectares that are ready for expansion and are cleared and planted in grass. The sales offer includes furnishings, appliances, catamaran, kayaks, and a whole series of extras. This property has about 300 meters of beach front in a docile portion of the gulf about 15 minutes north of Puerto Jimeenez, ideal for mooring boats just off the property shoreline. Has municipal water and power. Offered at $970,000. All reasonable offers will be considered. See photos and maps and more at Contact us at: or +1-866-514-7435.

For Sale By Owner
1 lot (1.5 acres)  at SIBU (8 lots total) amongst 50 acres of protected jungle gardens with sunset ocean views of Playa Nosara. Underground electric and water.13 minutes from Playa Guiones. Gated. In house financing available. Home of SIBU Sanctuary.

Becker montage
Beach property on the Pacific Ocean in Guanacaste.

House and guest house on adjacent half acre lots. Each with separate electric,  private septic and well. Each can be sold stand alone or packaged. Modern kitchen, granite counters, Viking stove, large separate frig and freezer. Private commercial grade septic and well. No water shortages even in dry season. High speed internet and U.S. standard electric. Center of the beach -- NEVER floods. Estuary at each end of the beach with excellent kayaking and bird watching through the mangroves. Excellent fishing right off the shore. Great surfing, horseback riding, bicycling or Turtle watching. Groceries three miles away. Mentioned in "The Lonely Planet" Page 301. "Two of the most beautiful and least visited beaches in Costa Rica. Wilderness beaches of fine silver-grey sand." Despite opportunities for great surfing, kayaking and just about anything else you want to do on a sandy strip of paradise, the beaches are nearly always abandoned. $500K Will finance.  More pictures available at:  Contact information:,  US: 001-612-599-0205 or Costa Rica 011-506-2655-1202.

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:

beach scenes
Established Hotel/Resort -Great Business Opportunity:
The owner/manager of a successful hotel on the Gold Coast of Costa Rica has listed their property with us. It is a successful and ongoing concern. The property and buildings are well built and maintained. The property has a history of repeat clients. To protect the business for the current and future owners, detailed information of the listing will only be shared after an expression of interest and a non-disclosure confidentiality agreement is executed. It is located about one hour of Liberia airport and less than 500 meters to beach. The land is over 1 hectare allowing room for expansion. There are 18 bedrooms in a variety of apartments, cabinas and houses, A/C, bar restaurant and shop. Near golf, horses, tennis, world class surf and more. Listing Price of $US2.4 million. Mary or Jerre West,, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603

For sale is a beautiful 50-acre property located in Los Alpes, just 15 minutes outside of San Ramon. At about 4,000 feet above sea level, this finca provides gorgeous views of the Central Valley as well as the Pacific Ocean in the distance while also offering a wonderful climate year around. The main house is two stories with three bedrooms and two full baths. High quality construction using exotic hardwoods such as almond, which covers the ceilings throughout the entire house. There are also two corrals and a small casita on the property. This location is perfect for a farm-style home or for beginning an agricultural business. This truly is a rare piece of property and is available for $399,999. Price is somewhat negotiable and we will be happy to work with the buyer to make it work! Please call 8816-2478 or e-mail for more information ¡y se habla español!

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Business for sale or lease (paid category)
Gingerbread Boutique Hotel and Fine Restaurant For Sale
botique hotel
A very  famous, highly regarded unique lake view themed boutique hotel consisting of three air conditioned suites with satellite TV and high speed Internet, two themed cottages with garden showers, one large super suite with kitchen and garden shower, managers apartment, restaurant rated one of the best restaurants in Costa Rica {see reviews} and the premier real estate office at Lake Arenal,which puts all its clients in to the hotel, plus room for additional lake view rooms and a pool, all less than a mile from Nuevo Arenal and the public park on the lake.  Go to the Web site for photos and complete information  at  This is the finest boutique hotel in Costa Rica in one of the fastest growing areas of all of Central America.  Sale opportunity $750,000.   Contact to :
Terry Moran, Owner Email: 
Office phone: 506 2694-0088  Cell phone: 506 8880-8888 
USA # rings in Costa Rica:  305 307-0088

Tanning montage
This is your chance to acquire a totally equipped tanning salon with five machines.  Fantasia Tropical has been open 14 years but the founder needs to retire and return to the U.S. for medical reasons.  You can assume the lease in Sabana West buying the S.A. or buy the assets and move them to a location you prefer. Taxes, permits, bank accounts all in order. Excellent opportunity for an energetic, creative hands-on owner or couple. Long-time manager available to stay on if desired. With an asking price of $30,000 this won't
last long.  Some owner financing may be available.  Contact for an appointment. For a preview

A successful, local, long-running business for sale.
In the nine years of operation, this company has grown to cover the entire Southern Pacific Zone, and opened the door to further penetration in San José, Manuel Antonio and Osa Peninsula areas. And it is the only one of its kind with no comparable competition. With the extensive groundwork that has already been achieved, the business is now poised to expand into a new level of success. Operating since 2005, the owner is retiring to another Latin American country. It is now time to turn the business over to a new owner who could expand it to even greater success. Details on the business, its history, a strategic analysis of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, as well as a pro-forma income statement from 2008 through to 2013 are available upon request to

Jaco station
Gas Station/Auto Plaza
Located on the Pan American Highway, Jacó Beach, Costa Rica, Central America. This property is  45,000  square feet or  18,000  meters.  Liquor and convenience store is operational. Room to add an automotive service, car wash, restaurant, pharmacy, lotto sales, tour sales, ATM's,  etc, for a real money maker. Also future plans for a 80-unit  auto motel and casino. See on Youtube at: Asking price  $3.9 million. Email or call: 8899-9870.

beach scenes
Established Hotel/Resort -Great Business Opportunity:
The owner/manager of a successful hotel on the Gold Coast of Costa Rica has listed their property with us. It is a successful and ongoing concern. The property and buildings are well built and maintained. The property has a history of repeat clients. To protect the business for the current and future owners, detailed information of the listing will only be shared after an expression of interest and a non-disclosure confidentiality agreement is executed. It is located about one hour of Liberia airport and less than 500 meters to beach. The land is over 1 hectare allowing room for expansion. There are 18 bedrooms in a variety of apartments, cabinas and houses, A/C, bar restaurant and shop. Near golf, horses, tennis, world class surf and more. Listing Price of $US2.4 million. Mary or Jerre West,, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603

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:

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Some of our other titles:
A.M. Panama
A.M. Colombia
A.M. Guatemala
A.M. Honduras
A.M. Cuba
A.M. Nicaragua
A.M. Venezuela
A.M. Central America
Dominican Republic

A.M. Ecuador A.M. San Salvador
A.M. Bolivia

Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by A.M. Costa Ltda. 2014 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 41
Real Estate
About us

News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Venezuelan protests go on,
and peace confab is failure

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Venezuela's largest protests since the death of longtime leader Hugo Chavez nearly one year ago are sweeping the country. Rampant inflation, violent crime and chronic shortages of basic goods are fueling the outrage that is dividing the South American nation.
The country's main political opposition coalition on Wednesday refused to attend crisis talks called by the government in an attempt to halt the nearly three weeks of protests that have left 14 people dead.
President Nicolás Maduro had called a national peace conference, but the main political opposition coalition denounced the planned talks as an insult to the slain protesters.
The most prominent opposition leader, Henrique Capriles, had earlier said he would not attend, dismissing the talks as a government photo op.
Venezuela today is a divided country, with so-called Chavista supporters of President Maduro on one side and an increasingly broad anti-government movement on the other.
Anti-government protesters hurled rocks in the northern city of Valencia Wednesday as police fired back with rubber bullets. In the capital, Caracas, Venezuelan women took to the streets to rally against Maduro while pro-government farmers protested in largely peaceful rival rallies.
"As we all know, young people here have an uncertain future, and we are simply protesting against that uncertainty that Venezuelans live with every day, like we did yesterday, and like we will do tomorrow and the day after, demonstrating in the streets," said Juan Quintana, a student demonstrator.
Polling data going back to 2012 reveal that Venezuelans have experienced a considerable drop in their quality of life, according to Gerver Torres, a Latin America specialist with Gallup.
"If you see the numbers, the economic indicators, the social indicators, the state of infrastructure in Venezuela, it's very easy to come to the conclusion that people have many different reasons to be on the street. You would be surprised if they were not there," Torres said.
Largely fueling the anger is a litany of problems in a country with the world's largest oil reserves. Basic goods like milk and toilet paper run chronically short. Violent crime is an ever-present menace.
The oil industry, which accounts for 95 percent of Venezuela's exports, is a shadow of its former self, Torres said.
Nonetheless, Mark Weisbrot, who co-directs the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, contends that Venezuela's opposition can't win at the ballot box so they are driving up support with protests.
He acknowledged the demonstrators have some legitimacy based on the country's myriad of problems.

Pope calls for dialogue
among Venezuelan factions

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Pope Francis is calling for sincere dialogue in his first public comments on the ongoing crisis in Venezuela. He asked people to pray for the country.

Dozens of non-profit organizations also condemned the violence Wednesday.

"I am following with particular apprehension the events that are unfolding these days in Venezuela,'' Pope Francis said during the weekly audience Wednesday in St. Peter's square at the Vatican.

"I hope the violence and hostility comes to an end and all the Venezuelan people, starting from those in politics and the institutions, strive for national reconciliation through reciprocal forgiveness and dialogue, respecting truth and justice and ready to confront issues for the good of the whole community'' he said.

Pope Francis said he hoped the country quickly returns to peace and calm.

Costa Rican News
Retire NOW in Costa Rica
Fine Dining in Costa Rica
The CAFTA Report
Fish fabulous Costa Rica

Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by A.M. Costa Ltda. 2014 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

From Page 7:

Insurance customers get a bundle of rights

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Insurance customers have received a list of rights, the Superintendencia de Seguros has announced.

The rules now state that an insurance customer must receive a response to a question from an insurance firm within 30 days.

The regulations also create a right of privacy for the customer's personal information and empowers the  Superintendencia to field complaints from unhappy customers. The complaint service will be free.

Legislation opening the insurance market to private firms created the Superintendencia as a regulatory agency.

The regulations also say that insurance terminology should be in simple, everyday language.

Those with complaints can email the agency at this address, or telephone 2243‐5108. Also available is a Web page

The list of consumer rights also is available on the Web page.