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Published Friday, March 3, 2017, in Vol. 17, No. 45
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This marimba performance features three musicians instead of the usual two.

Ancient marimba instrument gets new recognition
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

One of the most basic musical instruments comes from hitting one piece of wood against another.

This ancient technique probably predates modern humans, and the simplest methods probably can be found today among the Basque with the also ancient txalaparta.

This very simple xylophone of wood may have developed independently in several places.

African slaves had a similar device when they arrived in the New World. So did the Maya.

One variation of the instrument can be found today in the marimba, which has become identified with Central America.

Early Spanish accounts tell of a marimba-type instrument being used in Guatemala back in the 16th century. The ones manufactured today have similar attributes.

Rows of hardwood of various sizes are laid out over resonators that enrich the tone.

In Costa Rica, the instrument is identified with the province of Guanacaste, although there are some very early photos showing musicians using the instrument in San José.

Not everyone loves the marimba. The music produced by the instrument can be annoying to some. Still there is hardly a Costa Rican folkloric event that does not feature two men playing a marimba.

Now the instrument has its own day. President Luis Guillermo Solís has designated Nov. 30 as the national day of the marimba. He stopped short of calling it the national instrument, although Guatemala has done so.

The president took the action Thursday in the  Liceo de Nicoya, which is known for its student group of marimba players.  The school celebrated its 65th anniversary Thursday.

Telecom directorate places cap on internet usage
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Turmoil has erupted after the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, also known as ICE, decided to put a cap on internet usage for customers who have fixed term contracts.

The decision seeks to preserve the fair use of the internet quota and avoid an excessive use of its networks.  Its cheapest contract offers a three gigabyte limit.

This is the last of the three biggest providers to do so. The other two, Claro and Movistar have been applying the same measure since 2014, when the caps were authorized as a temporary measure by Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones, the government agency in charge of regulating the competition among the telecommunications providers.

After the move, 21 members of the Assemblea Legislativa, who are also of several political parties, sent a letter asking the Superintendencia to halt the decision, arguing that it may limit the internet access as a human right.

In the letter, the lawmakers consider that the government is taking biased decisions for the benefit of the providers. They also demand transparency, as the studies used to make the decisions have been declared confidential.

On Feb. 17, the Defensoría de los Habitantes, which is the ombudsman for Costa Rica, published a report containing a lot of questions of what it means fair and intensive use and implying that maybe the providers might be offering customers contracts that they are technically unable to provide.

As of December 2015, 89 percent of internet subscribers used a mobil device to surf the web, according to the Defensoría.

The Costa Rican telecommunications market only just opened to private competitors back in 2011, when Claro started operating in the country.

This was possible after the approval of the Central American Free Trade Agreement by popular referendum in 2007.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, March 3, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 45
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A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.

Dental Services
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One Billion Rising Graphic   
One Billion Rising is a social justice movement.

One Billion Rising event next Wednesday

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A call to end all forms of violence and discrimination of women is rising in Grecia next Wednesday.  The One Billion Rising social justice movement is hosting the event at Grecia’s Parque Central in front of the Catedral Mercedes at 11 a.m. next Wednesday. Participants and observers can expect some members of the movement to conduct the signature dance of the campaign.

This dance, called “Break the Chain,” has been performed worldwide to support One Billion Rising since 2013, said Joan Dewar, one of the local representatives for the movement. Ms. Dewar said that the dancers have been rehearsing for this event for at least a month.

The Municipalidad de Grecia and the wider community have been participating in One Billion Rising since 2013, Ms. Dewar said, and each time the numbers have grown from 17 women in 2013 to around a hundred last year.

Anyone interested does not need to bring their dance shoes, however. Ms. Dewar said that all can come out in support of the dancers and the movement. The dancers will be accompanied by a local group of drummers called Thunder Drums.

One Billion Rising is a global movement founded in 2012 by playwright Eve Ensler, according to organizers. Ms. Ensler is also famous for her successful 1996 play series “The Vagina Monologues,” which discusses issues related to feminism, women’s rights, reproduction, and sex. The movement’s goals is to raise awareness and ensure a commitment toward ending violence and discrimination against women.

Decrease in Haitian/African immigration

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Immigration authorities report a sharp decrease in the amount of Haitians and Africans entering the country illegally since the beginning of this year.

According to the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería, only 633 undocumented people from those areas have gotten into the country. Most of them are coming from Panamá with their desired final destination being the United States.

They are being granted a temporary permit for 50 days so they can apply for another migratory status while living in shelters where their basic needs are met, immigration authorities said.

Authorities consider that this could be the remainder of the 18,000-strong immigration wave that entered Costa Rican soil during the second half of 2016 and created a humanitarian crisis at Peñas Blancas, along the northern border with neighbor Nicaragua. This crisis has been reported extensively in the past.
They also believe that many of them were temporary workers of the Olympic Games that took place in Brazil in 2016.

From those in the latest group, only a few have accepted the refugee status in Costa Rica. The vast majority prefer to request that status once in the United States.

According to the 2016 data, Salvadorans and Venezuelans are the top two nationals who seek refugee status in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is defined by the United Nations’ refugee agency as a refugee status determination country, which means the government of Costa Rica is primarily responsible for determining the status of asylum seekers.

Our reader's opinion
The establishment wants to see Trump fail

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

It is very perplexing to say the least, that for the last hundred years and more, the American citizenry listened to the rhetoric of  professional politicians' running for office on both sides of the aisle. After these politicians were elected, they did not do one thing they said they would do except continue the same business as usual. Meanwhile, voters were dreaming about someone who would be different.

Now we have a president who is actually a ''non-politician'' doing what he said he would do. Why are these idiots all up in arms about it? Rest assured that the entire establishment does not want this man to be successful. If so then, around the world, the citizens would see that electing professional lying corrupt politicians is not the thing to do if you want to really make your country better.

Ray Charles can see what is going on now. The crooked politicians cannot and will not allow their good old boys club to be destroyed. They have virtually insulated themselves from the American people. The old game of  'good cop-bad cop has allowed them all to become millionaires. All this while not doing one thing for the citizens. Go figure!
 Dan Gibson 

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Russian-born violinist opens 2017 season with Russian concerto
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Russian-born Philippe Quint is the invited violin soloist as the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional opens the 2017 season Friday night with an identical concert Sunday morning.

Quint, who came to the United States in 1991, has a master’s degree from The Juilliard School and counts Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman and similar distinguished musicians and teachers for mentors.

Quint will play “Violin Concerto in D major,” Op. 35, the 1878 masterpiece by Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

The program also includes two Russian classics, the overture from Mikhail Glinka’s opera, “Ruslan and Ludmila” and Modest Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.”

The director will be Carl St. Clair.

Quint has received two Grammy nominations for two albums and has appeared in performances worldwide. He plays the famed Ruby Violin made by Antonio Stradivari in 1708.
An orchestra spokesman said that a feature of the concerts will be the debut of uniforms that have been designed for the musicians by Costa Rican Eric Mora, who won a competition to do so.  The goal of the contest and the uniforms is to renew the orchestra's image, said the spokesman.

The Friday performance is at 8 p.m., and the one Sunday is at 10:30 a.m., both in the Teatro Nacional.
Ministerio de Cultural y Juventud photo 
Philippe Quint will open the 2017 orchestral season tonight.

The orchestra has a variety of admission prices from 4,000 colons to 16,000 colons with half off in some cases for students and seniors.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, March 3, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 45
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Weekend will have artistic performances in venues and the streets
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Theaters, concert halls as well as the streets are awaiting the entertainers and performers of the arts to provide a show for the public this weekend.

The street performances by the Compañia Nacional de Danza are continuing this weekend for this year’s “Chepe Danza.” The program, according to organizers, seeks to bring contemporary dance outside to the streets and garner new audiences. Saturday, two shows will be performed called “Divina Resiliencia” and “Insomnio” at 6 p.m. in the Parque Okayama at San Francisco de Dos Ríos.

According to the dance company, the first show is an interpretation in the life of a woman who habitually hides her problems and rises above her losses in a form of self-strength. That performance will be conducted again on Sunday at noon along Paseo Colón. This is also done in conjuction with the Municipalidad de San José’s wider event of “Domingos familiares sin humo.”

The municipality established this event to promote smoke-free spaces in the capital and has developed it into a general time of recreation for families to live a healthy, tobacco-free lifestyle. The smokeless Sundays will continue until April 9, organizers said.

The classic theater performance of “Los árboles mueren de pie,” or “Trees die standing,” will return to the stage today at the Teatro La Aduana Alberto Cañas Escalante. This performance first premiered back in 1949 with themes of almost fantastic realism, the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud said.

The play is by a Spaniard named Alejandro Casona and will be held every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from March 3 to March 19, organizers said. Those shows will begin at 7:30 p.m. and on Sundays at 5 p.m.

General admission is 5000 colons and reservations can be made by calling the theater.

In cinema, the Preámbulo is continuing its free showing of international films this weekend at the Centro Costarricense de Producción Cinematográfica in front of the north side of the Instituto Nacional de Seguros building in Barrio Amón.

Capacity is limited so organizers suggest arriving at least a half hour before the film starts. The first movie will be shown tonight at 7. On Saturday and Sunday, there will be shows at 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Information on the film titles and country of origin can be found on the website of the Costa Rican film institute.

Recent refurbishments to Parque Morazán can be viewed to the sound of music on Sunday. At 11 a.m., the Banda de Conciertos in San José will be performing at the park’s Templo de la Música.

Other free shows are happening in Heredia and Liberia as well. Information can be gathered at the cultural ministry’s website.

San José’s Barrio Amón will be offering over 14 hours of recreational, artistic and cultural activities beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, organizers said.

The Festival Amón Cultural in the historic neighborhood is being sponsored by the Unidad de Cultura y Deporte del Centro Académico de San José of the Tecnológico de Costa Rica.

Meanwhile in Escazú, the celebration of the Día Nacional del Boyero will be held at the Plaza de San Antonio beginning this Saturday. The crafts and food fair will start today at 9 a.m. The celebrations will continue into next Sunday with feasting, parading, partying, and lots of oxen with their famously and extensively decorated ox carts.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, March 3, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 45
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Sessions recuses himself
Russia investigations

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from any federal investigation of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Sessions met with reporters Thursday after The Washington Post reported that as a U.S. senator and member of the Trump campaign, Sessions held two pre-election meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak but withheld that information during his confirmation hearing.

Questions have hovered whether Sessions talked about the campaign with the ambassador. Some lawmakers from both parties demanded Sessions recuse himself, while some Democrats said he should resign, accusing him of lying under oath.

President Donald Trump, who earlier said he does not think Sessions should recuse himself, called his attorney general an honest man who could have stated his response at the hearing more accurately.

"The Democrats are overplaying their hand. They lost the election and now they have lost their grip on reality. It is a total witch hunt," the president's statement said.

At Sessions’ Jan. 10 confirmation hearing, Sen. Al Franken, a Democrat, asked Sessions what he would do if there were any evidence that anyone in the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government.

"I'm not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate a time or two in that campaign, and I didn't have, did not have, communications with the Russians, and I'm unable to comment on it," Sessions replied.

He told reporters Thursday that he never had any intention to mislead anyone and that his answers were honest and correct as he understood the question at that time.

But he said that in retrospect, he should have slowed down and admitted to meeting one Russian official a couple of times. That would be the ambassador, he added.

Sessions said Thursday his meetings with Kislyak, first at the Republican National Convention in July, and then in his Capitol Hill office in September were part of his job as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and that so many other ambassadors also wanted a meeting.

Sessions said he and Kislyak talked about terrorism and Ukraine, describing the meeting as testy at one point when the matter of Russian involvement in Ukraine came up.

Sessions said Thursday that he decided to recuse himself in any investigation into alleged Russian interference in the election upon the recommendation of his staff at the Justice Department. He said no one should see his decision as confirmation that any probe is currently under way.

The attorney general is the top law enforcement officer in the United States. The White House and Republicans accused Democrats of playing politics with the issue.

Meanwhile, the White House confirmed to The New York Times on Thursday that Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, had met with Kislyak and former national security adviser Michael Flynn at Trump Tower in New York in December.

White House spokeswoman Hope Hicks said the purpose of the meeting was to establish a line of communication. She said Kushner had also met with representatives of as many as two dozen other countries, which is common with an incoming administration.

The USA Today newspaper also reported Thursday that two Trump campaign national security experts met with Kislyak at the Republican convention in Cleveland.

There is nothing untoward about foreign governments meeting with members of an incoming U.S. administration.

But for months, the Trump administration denied that there had been any contacts between anyone in the campaign and Russian officials. Out of all the countries whose representatives met with Trump officials, only Russia is accused of hacking into Democratic Party emails in an effort to help Trump beat Hillary Clinton in the November election.

Trump fired Flynn after just 24 days on the job after information emerged that Flynn had lied to top officials about the nature of his own conversations with the Russian ambassador.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is part of the Justice Department that Sessions heads, is probing alleged Russian activities aimed at disrupting the U.S. election and any possible links between the Trump campaign and the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Senate Intelligence Committee is carrying out its own probe, and the House Intelligence Committee announced guidelines for its investigation on Wednesday.

Amazon rainforest cultivated
by early indigenous peoples

By the Science Daily press staff

We often think of the Amazon rainforest as a vast expanse of nature untouched by humans. But a new study in Science suggests that's not true. In fact, today's rainforest is shaped by trees that were cultivated by indigenous peoples thousands of years ago.

"Some of the tree species that are abundant in Amazonian forests today, like cacao, açaí, and Brazil nut, are probably common because they were planted by people who lived there long before the arrival of European colonists," says Nigel Pitman, the Mellon Senior Conservation Ecologist at Chicago's Field Museum and a co-author of the study.

The team made the discovery by overlaying data from more than 1,000 forest surveys on a map of more than 3,000 archaeological sites across the Amazon. By comparing forest composition at varying distances from archaeological sites, the analysis generated the first Amazon-wide picture of how pre-Columbian peoples influenced Amazonian biodiversity.

The study focused on 85 tree species known to have been domesticated by Amazonian peoples for food, shelter, or other uses over the last several thousand years. The researchers found that throughout the Amazon basin, these species were five times more likely to be common in mature upland forests than non-domesticated species. In some parts of the basin, domesticated species were found to be both more common and more diverse in forests closer to archaeological sites.

The finding promises to heat up a long-simmering debate among scientists about how thousands of years of human settlement in the Amazon basin have influenced modern-day patterns of Amazonian biodiversity. The immense size of Amazonian forests has historically hampered archaeological research and given the impression of an untouched landscape, but a large number of new archaeological sites have been discovered in recent years.

The team, made up by hundreds of ecologists and social scientists worldwide, was led by Carolina Levis, a PhD student at Brazil's National Institute for Amazonian Research and Wagenigen University and Research in the Netherlands.

"For many years, ecological studies ignored the influence of pre-Columbian peoples on the forests we see today. We found that a quarter of these domesticated tree species are widely distributed in the basin and dominate large expanses of forest,” Ms. Levis said.

The study also pinpointed regions of the Amazon that today concentrate especially high diversities and large populations of domesticated species. Southwestern Amazonia, where large stands of Brazil nut trees remain a foundation of local residents' livelihoods, is one such example.

Other regions showed fewer domesticated species, or a weaker relationship between domesticated species and archeological sites, highlighting the need for more research on the history of Amazonian settlement. The degree to which the recent history of Amazonian settlement has affected the distribution and abundance of domesticated species in the Amazon also remains to be studied.

While the small number of domesticated species used in the study was sufficient to reveal a strong human signal in modern forests, the authors point out that the signal may be even stronger than they documented, since hundreds of other Amazonian tree species were used by pre-Colombian peoples and also deserve study. Untangling the complex interplay of historical, environmental, and ecological factors structuring the 16,000-species Amazonian tree flora remains a focus of the team's work.

50 governments discuss
gap in global health funding

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A threatened gap in global health funding because of a new ban on some U.S. aid prompted a hastily called international meeting of about 50 governments in Brussels Thursday. The major concern is continuing to support family planning services for poor countries.

At an estimated $10 billion a year, the U.S. provides the lion’s share of funding for global health services. But, as one of his first acts, President Donald Trump signed a decree prohibiting foreign non-government organizations that provide abortions or abortion counseling from receiving U.S. money, even if the groups use separate money for those purposes.

The move has raised alarm among international leaders, who see family planning, one of many services provided by the organizations, as a necessary and effective means of helping lift developing countries out of poverty. Leaders are also worried that a lack of U.S. funding will result in a rise in unsafe abortion practices.

Countries that gathered at a hastily called meeting said they hope to raise $600 million for family planning programs if the Trump administration revokes U.S. aid.

The first $100 million in pledges toward that goal has been made, the attendees said.

Jen Kates is the vice president and director of Global Health and HIV Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, a U.S. public health think tank and advocacy organization.

She said the proposed ban on U.S. funding is broad and would affect much more than family planning services. She said funding for other services that a non-government organization provides also is in jeopardy.

“It couldn’t receive U.S. HIV support, for example, or maternal and child health support, if it did services with non-U.S. money,” she said. “So that just opens up the reach of this policy to a much wider range of organizations, which I think has led to some greater concern and urgency and more reaction from a wide range of groups about the implications.”

Previous U.S. bans have been enacted under Republican administrations dating back to President Ronald Reagan. They have involved withholding U.S. support for family planning services to NGOs that provide abortions or abortion counseling.

U.S. faces worst crisis
with opioids in 60 years

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The United States has its worst heroin and opioid crisis in more than 60 years. In 2015, mostly due to the heroin and opioid painkiller epidemic, more than 52,000 deaths in the U.S. were related to drug overdoses, the highest number in U.S. history, according to the State Department's International Narcotics Control Strategy Report released Thursday.

William Brownfield, the Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, said that the incredible demand is domestic, but that 100 percent of all heroin, and the great majority of all synthetic drugs that are used and abused in the United States, come from other countries.

He estimates that between 90 and 94 percent of all heroin consumed in the U.S. comes from México and that as little as 2 to 4 percent of it comes from Colombia. The remainder, around 4-6 percent, comes from Asia, mainly from Afghanistan.

The U.S. has more communities, more families, more regions and towns confronting an explosive drug addiction problem related to heroin, opioids and to fentanyl and other synthetic drugs now than in the immediate post World War II era.

Brownfield said the potent and wildly addictive drug fentanyl is mostly coming in its raw form from China. He said it processes through México, where it enters into that trafficking stream and moves north into the United States and Canada.

"And it then becomes an exceptionally dangerous product in the United States," said Brownfield, "because fentanyl is 10 to 50 times as potent as heroin, and when the user does not realize that he or she is consuming fentanyl and not consuming heroin, the likelihood of overdose and death is extremely increased.”

Brownfield had high praise for China for working with the United States to control fentanyl and 130 new synthetic drugs, saying this is saving lives in the U.S. He said cooperation between the U.S. and China has improved “astronomically” during the past four years.

He was asked about whether President Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall along the U.S. southern border with México would help stop the flow of heroin and other drugs.

Brownfield said the U.S. and México have developed a law enforcement “cooperative wall” at this point without having the physical construction of a wall. But he said since the president has been clear on his intentions to build a wall, the State Department will integrate any new realities into their efforts to curb drug trafficking across the U.S.-México border.

Brownfield said the State Department has determined for more than 20 years that the U.S. and México share responsibility for the drug problem, and that it requires shared solutions.

He added that though the U.S. drug epidemic is unprecedented, the United States is also much better positioned with the mechanisms and international cooperation it has in place today to confront the crisis than it would have been 20 years ago.

Vice President Pence caught
using his private email, too

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence often used a private email account to discuss official business while he was the governor of Indiana.

Emails released to The Indianapolis Star in response to a public records request showed Pence used his personal AOL account to discuss potentially sensitive issues with his top advisers. The Star reports that while Indiana law does not forbid public officials from using personal email accounts, Pence used his to discuss security issues such as the state's response to terror attacks.

The Star reports that Pence's personal account was hacked last summer.

Pence's office said in a written statement Thursday: "Similar to previous governors, during his time as the Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence maintained a state email account and a personal email account. As Governor, Mr. Pence fully complied with Indiana law regarding email use and retention."

Concerns regarding the use of private email accounts and servers plagued former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton throughout her bid for the presidency of the United States. In fact, Pence fiercely criticized Clinton during the campaign, accusing her of exposing classified information to potential hackers.

Pakistan moves to merge
tribal areas with province

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Pakistan is moving to merge its troubled tribal areas with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, in part to crack down on extremist groups that have sought refuge there, allegedly plotting and launching terror attacks elsewhere in the country and across the border in Afghanistan.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's Cabinet on Thursday approved the recommendations of a consultative committee that was formed in November 2015 to examine how to carve out a better future for the poverty-wracked Federally Administered Tribal Areas, depriving groups like the Taliban of support and recruitment grounds.

The plan still must be approved by Parliament. If enacted, it would set up a five-year merger process, a 10-year development plan and a major upgrade of the legal system, including an additional 20,000 police officers in the sprawling region where lawlessness has been rife under direct federal control.

“Time has come that the tribal people will be brought into [the] mainstream to end their sense of deprivation,” Radio Pakistan quoted Sharif as saying.

While the merger is touted as critical to bring the area into the political mainstream and tackle the underlying causes of extremism by creating jobs and improving the local economy, some also see it as a political move by Sharif's government to win support of tribal people in next year's elections.

The recommendations were the result of discussions with 3,500 tribal leaders and elders, representatives of all political parties, traders, lawyers, youth and tribal parliamentarians, then input from the National Security Committee. A media campaign resulted in 30,000 comments from the public.

Pakistan and Afghanistan have long accused each other of failing to crack down on extremist groups that have claimed responsibility for deadly attacks in both countries, particularly from strongholds near their border.

The attacks have intensified mistrust between the two neighbors, preventing them from cooperating effectively to fight Islamic State and other groups that seem intent on destabilizing both governments.

After a rash of recent terrorist bombings that killed more than 150 people in Pakistan over several days, the government ordered the border closed two weeks ago and gave Afghanistan a list of alleged terrorists that it wanted arrested and handed over immediately.

More news of the Americas
From the Voice of America

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Puriscal home
REDUCED $40K - $355,000
This is a gorgeous, new, 3-bedroom luxury home on 2.2 flat acres in a secure, gated community, high in the hills of Puriscal, with stunning, 180-degree views of the ocean, city and mountains of the Central Valley in Costa Rica. Centrally located in the heart of Costa Rica, you are never more than an hour from the Pacific beaches while being much less than that to the culture, shopping, services and night life of the San José, Escazú, Santa Ana and the whole Central Valley. The Altos de Antigua gated community sits at an altitude of 2,800 feet with mild temperatures year round. Features wide paved roads and cement culverts throughout, a large community pool & spa with changing rooms & showers. The community association fees are $42 a month ($500 annually).
This property is currently being offered for $355,000.00 U.S.
Purchase adjoining 2.2 acre investment lot with the home sale for $35,000.00 U.S. or separately for $55,000.00 U.S.
    Summary of House Features:

       * Completed 2012 to North American standards
       * 3 large bedrooms, 2 full baths
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       * Eco-friendly Toshiba LED lighting
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Community Web Site:
Photos: HERE!
Costa Rica # 506-8985-6705 or from the States call # 561-740-0651 or email

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Etlinger Farm rollover
Beautiful farm in excellent location
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Spectacular Horse Ranch and Spiritual/Yoga
Retreat Center For Sale

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go to  Call Darin Ricco, phone +619-846-8249 or email:


Situated 3 miles west of the capital, 8 miles from the airport. Quiet, secluded area within walking distance to a commercial center including a hotel, 6 restaurants,  next to 2 bus line stops. Car ownership is not needed. January-March air temperatures are 72 to 80 degrees F.  Apartment 1,200 sq. ft (100 sq. meters), on ground floor, indoor  patio. Large windows without bars, parquet floors.  Spacious living room-dining area, 2 bedrooms, maid's room, 2 bathrooms, 4 closets  (including walk in), fully equipped kitchen (refrigerator, washing machine,small appliances, all necessary utensils, work tools). Close covered parking space in guarded area.  Many amenities, (pictures, indoor plants, sewing machine, books, keyboard, dishes, glassware,silverware). Annual cost of maintenance about $1,350 includes water, landscaping service, garbage disposal, 24-7 security and property taxes.
PRICE $120,000
 Available for viewing:   CONTACT:  USA :  (585) 969-3413 or (585) 266-7418 or in COSTA RICA : (506) 2231-0410.   email:

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

                                        Rmon rollover
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed,  Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: 
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Penthouse rollover
Costa Rica penthouse for sale
 5 -story penthouse for sale.  One of a kind penthouse on top of the Corobici Hotel in Sabana overlooking the Central Park and new Soccer Stadium in San José.  Excellent location provides you easy access to everywhere.  Other benefits include 24-hour security, 2 restaurants inside the hotel providing 1st class room service plus shared common areas in the hotel. Commercial license is in place. Seller will consider owner financing.  Asking $795K U.S.  Also available for monthly rent for $3,400 per month on an annual basis. Go to  Owners U.S. cell phone: 813 310-7402  Email

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, March 3, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 45
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Asphalt laying to close Heredia road

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Night work for the improvements to the road between Jardines del Recuerdo and La Pozuelo will shut down the road beginning at 10 p.m. tonight.

Asphalt is being laid as part of the final installment for the road project for the colloquially named “Y Griega,” to allow a U-turn to Heredia. The road is located near the border between Heredia and San José provinces where Ruta 3 splits from Heredia's 106 road.

The split will be closed tonight until 5 in the morning the next day, officials at the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes announced Thursday. This schedule will be repeated until 5 a.m. Sunday.

The public works ministry also said that those commuters trying to get to Heredia should continue past the roundabout to the Juan Pablo II bridge. The road will open up again completely at 4 a.m. on Monday, officials said.

The ministry emphasized to drivers that between dawn on Saturday and dawn on Monday, both directions of traffic will be normal. The difference is that the U-turn cannot be used, officials said.

Harassment stopped by off-duty cop

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A man was arrested Thursday after sexually assaulting a woman who was apparently waiting for the train at the station.

The incident occurred at La Estación del Pacífico in San José close to the Biblioteca Nacional.

The man who touched the woman inappropriately did not expect that an off-duty police officer would be walking by and witness the aggression. The police officer called some of his colleagues who took the suspect immediately to a judge. The case remains ongoing, police said.

"We should acknowledge that this police officer was on his day off and, nonetheless, he complied with his duty", the Fuerza Publica said in a press release.

Correos honors hospice with stamp

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The national orphans hospice celebrated 130 years of existence Thursday and Correos de Costa Rica is issuing a commemorative postage stamp to honor the work of this organization.

"This is a way to demonstrate our gratitude to your invaluable work in favor of this vulnerable people. We know the task is hard and many difficulties may arise, but to us all the effort is worthy,"said Mauricio Rojas, general manager of Correos de Costa Rica.

According to Rojas, Correos de Costa Rica will be also organizing workshops and cultural activities to bring joy to those kids. The Fundación Hospicio de huérfanos was founded in 1887 and provides comprehensive care to children considered at risk, its website said.

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Federal agents search Caterpillar's facilities

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Federal law enforcement agents have searched three facilities of the American heavy-equipment manufacturer Caterpillar Inc. in the U.S. Midwest.

Caterpillar spokeswoman Corrie Heck Scott said in an email that the company, the world’s largest manufacturer of mining and construction equipment, was cooperating with law enforcement, but gave no further details about the searches Thursday.

Later in the day, Caterpillar said in a statement, “We believe the execution of this search warrant is regarding, among other things, export filings that relate to the CSARL matter."

Two years ago, the Securities and Exchange Commission launched an informal investigation relating to CSARL, Catepillar's Swiss subsidiary founded by the company back in 1999, and asked the company to preserve relevant documents.

The SEC spokesman in Washington declined to comment on the raids Thursday.

Federal agents with search warrants entered three Caterpillar offices in Peoria, Illinois, and the surrounding area.

News of the searches sent Caterpillar shares tumbling more than four percent on U.S. stock exchanges within hours. Caterpillar reported $38.5 billion in sales last year, but that was an 18 percent decline from 2015.

Sharon Paul, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Illinois, said the searchers were agents from the Internal Revenue Service’s criminal investigation unit, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s office of export enforcement and inspectors from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which investigates banks.

The Commerce Department said its office of export enforcement focuses on sensitive exports to hostile entities and prohibited foreign boycotts, among other things.

Caterpillar has faced a number of investigations in recent years focusing on its business practices, according to filings with the SEC.

Most recently, in 2015, a federal court in Illinois subpoenaed the company for documents and information relating to the distribution of profits and movement of cash among its subsidiaries. The Internal Revenue Service has charged Caterpillar $2 billion in unpaid taxes and penalties in that case, but the corporation said it is vigorously contesting the tax demand.