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A.M. Costa Rica
Your daily English-language news source Monday through Friday

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Published Monday, March 6, 2017, in Vol. 17, No. 46
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Canadian tourist murdered in Puerto Viejo
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Photography is often a harmless and a typical activity that many expats and tourists do in their travels. A Canadian photographer who apparently wanted to catch a snapshot of the sunrise was murdered Sunday morning.

Judicial agents are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of the 58-year old man who was found dead off the side of the road in Puerto Viejo.

According to a report, this man was a part of a group of four Canadian tourists who arrived in Costa Rica back in February.
The Canadian was a photographer, and investigators believe that, when he went out to take photos of the sunrise, he was robbed and murdered.
The body was discovered by a passerby, according to officials.

A report indicates that the deceased sustained a stab wound on the right side of the abdomen.
Judicial agents transferred the body to the Morgue Judicial to carry out an autopsy.

The Judicial Investigating Organization has contacted the Canadian Embassy with news of the murder.

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is located along the Caribbean coastline in the southern part of Costa Rica.

It is a frequent tourist destination in Limón province and close to Costa Rica’s border with Panamá.

Bird causes more problems than tourists thought
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Two Canadian tourists brought their pet cockatoo to Costa Rican for a vacation, and they have ended up in legal trouble.

Costa Rican law does not differentiate between members of the parrot family snatched from the wilds and one that has been raised in a Canadian home for decades.

Government officials confirmed the seizure and said that the caged bird was sent to an animal refuge.

There was no detailed information on the couple who brought the cockatoo, but environmental officials are threatening legal action

The case is under the Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía, which operates the parks and government land through the Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación.

The ministry was instrumental in the recent relocation of the African lion Kivú from the Parque Bolívar zoo to another refuge where the lion died.

The exact species of the confiscated bird
Wikipedia Photo
A cockatoo like this one is stirring trouble.

is not known, but the cockatoo is not a native to Costa Rica. The birds generally come from Asia and Australia, although many are raised in captivity now as affectionate and engaging pets. Some birds can live for seven decades.

The Canadian couple entered the country at Daniel Oduber airport in Liberia.

The government claimed that the transport of such birds can bring a prison sentence. One official characterized the Canadians as naive.

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, March 6, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 46
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A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.

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Judicial Investigating Organization photo     
Judicial agents are investigating allegations of a leak to a drug gang.

Judiciary says one agent was leaking info

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The judiciary said Friday that one of its investigators has been leaking information to a drug gang.

The judiciary said that the agent, who was not identified, has been detained as part of a raid in Pérez Zeledón. He was one of 10 men and a woman detained by the Judicial Investigating Organization and the organized crime prosecutor on drug allegations.

Morning raids also were conducted Friday in San José, Alajuela, Corredores, Quepos, and Jacó.

The suspects are being considered part of an organization that transported cocaine by boat. Six persons already were under arrest after their boat was seized in November. Officials at the time said the boat was carrying more than 700 kilos of cocaine.

Sexual harassment now seen as a crime

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A high IQ is not necessary to know that very few women are attracted to men who hurl obscene comments, make obscene gestures or otherwise behave like fools.

But actions like this can have consequences beyond traditional scorn.

The Fuerza Pública reports that there were two cases last week of men touching the buttocks of women. These were not accidental encounters. In one case, a
33-year-old man followed a woman on his motorcycle and grabbed at her as she was entering an automatic teller booth.

She called police who detained a suspect nearby, and the woman identified him as the assailant. That was in Guatuso de Alajuela. The first case was in San José.

Women are taking steps against what they call acoso callejero or street harassment.

The legislature has a bill, No. 20.283, that would penalize all sorts of ungentlemanly actions on the streets. The bill mainly is designed to protect women, but it appears men also would be covered if they become victims.

The hour of the day is not important because
A.M. Costa Rica graphic
day or night there always are the sexually sick in the streets seeking victims to harass, said the summary of the bill. The sponsor is Silvia Sánchez Venegas, and there has been no major action on the bill yet.

The bill blames the actions of men on a machismo culture and because women are seen as too fearful to defend themselves and that they accept these harassments as normal.

The summary said that the bill was proposed by Paula Vargas Sandoval, Danka Retana Díaz and Katherine Gutiérrez Masís, students at the Colegio Superior de Señoritas in downtown San José during a congress of young Costa Ricans last year.

The penalties in the bill range from a fine to prison, and the punishment seems to be left to the discretion of judges based on the gravity of the offense. The bill would punish even comments on the street, so-called piropos, if they are considered undesirable by the person to whom they are directed.

News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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Constitutional court declares new proposed tax law is legal
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The legislature is poised to enact a rewrite of the corporate tax because the Sala IV ruled that the proposed law is not unconstitutional. The Poder Judicial announced the court decision Friday.

This is the measure that is estimated to take about 45 billion colons or about $84 million from the national economy, mostly for the benefit of the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública.

The bill as posted on the legislative website contains a clause so that expats who hold vehicles and homes in corporations have 12 months after the measure goes into effect to transfer assets to their personal names to avoid paying the tax.

The legislature passed the measure on first reading overwhelmingly, so there is a high probability that the bill will receive a favorable and final second vote.

The bill does nothing directly to ease the nation’s grave financial crisis. The money collected goes to a special account set up by the Ministerio de Hacienda for the benefit of the security ministry.

This is one of those dedicated taxes that are not part of the national budget. The security ministry will get 90 percent of the proceeds, and the Ministerio de Justicia y Paz and the Judicial Investigating Organization will each get 5 percent, according to the bill.

Even though the money does not go into the general budget, the original bill says that “the fiscal crisis that faces the country has sharpened and the fiscal deficit reaches levels that require drastic and urgent measures.” The bill also says that one purpose is to reduce the indiscriminate creation of corporations that can be used for tax evasion or avoidance.

The bill is No. 19.818 that was voted out by the Comisión de Asuntos Hacendarios. Some lawmakers challenged the bill and filed the Sala IV appeal that resulted in the decision announced Friday.

The Sala IV decision says that the money will be used to hire 1,000 new police officers. The security ministry has said it plans to hire 1,500. A final draft of the bill says that the money cannot be used for overtime or trips out of the country.

But that is deceptive because the ministry could use other funds
for these purposes and make up the difference with the tax money.

The original law won approval Dec. 22, 2011, but the Sala IV decided it had not been advertised correctly and voided it Jan. 28, 2015. Curiously, the court said that the taxes for 2015 still had to be paid.

A stipulation in the proposed law says that those who owe back taxes on corporations can pay the money without penalty for three months after the law is published in the La Gaceta official newspaper. That takes place after legislative approval and the signing by President Luis Guillermo Solís.

The law goes into effect three months after the first day of the month following publication. Then a proportional amount of taxes are due within the next 30 days for 2017. One stipulation is that the amount paid in taxes cannot be listed as a deduction for income taxes. In other words, corporations will have to pay taxes on the money they paid in taxes.

The proposed law also provides a way for members of corporation boards of directors and other officers to resign without penalty.

Like many fines and government payments, the proposed tax is determined by the base salary that is in effect. This year the amount is 426,200 colons or about $767. This is the monthly salary listed for a specific job in the Poder Judicial, so the amount will increase each year.

Small businesses listed with the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio and those small agricultural enterprises listed with the Ministerio de Agricultura y Gandería are exempt from the law.

Inactive corporations, that is those that have no economic activity, would pay 15 percent of the base salary for the annual tax. That would be about 68,192 colons or $115.09 due Jan. 1, 2018, for a full year.

The payment this year would be proportional based on the date the law goes into effect.

If the legislature acts quickly this week, the bill could be published in March and would go into effect July 1.

So the first tax payment would be due by Aug. 1 and be 50 percent of the annual levy.

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The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2017 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

San José, Costa Rica, Monday, March 6, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 46
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Cocoa and caffeine make for the best combo, new study proves
By the Clarkson University press staff

Deep down, we always knew it, but science is proving that cocoa and caffeine are indeed the best marriage ever. Clarkson University researcher Ali Boolani recently completed a study that explores the powers of these two dark delights.

Ali Boolani, an assistant professor of physical therapy and physician assistant studies, teamed up with colleagues at the University of Georgia to examine the “acute effects of brewed cocoa consumption on attention, motivation to perform cognitive work and feelings of anxiety, energy and fatigue.”

In a nearly yearlong double-blind study, some lucky test subjects drank brewed cocoa, cocoa with caffeine, caffeine without cocoa, and a placebo with neither caffeine nor cocoa. Then they were asked to do tests to evaluate both cognitive tasks and mood.

“It was a really fun study,” Boolani says. “Cocoa increases cerebral blood flow, which increases cognition and attention. Caffeine alone can increase anxiety.

This particular project found that cocoa lessens caffeine's anxiety-producing effects. A good reason to drink mocha lattes!”

Before one envies the test subjects too much, bear in mind they had to work for the warm drinks.

For example, they were asked to watch as letters flashed across a screen and note when an “X” appeared after an “A.”

They also had to point out when odd numbers appeared sequentially, and they were required to do subtraction.

“The results of the tests are definitely promising and show that
Clarkson University Photo
Ali Boolani studies the powers of cocoa and caffeine firsthand.

 cocoa and caffeine are good choices for students and anyone else who needs to improve sustained attention,” says Boolani.

Here's the best news for the rest of us: The Hershey Company sponsored the research, so customers logically could see some new or enhanced products on the market as a result.

Boolani and his colleagues included: Jacob Lindheimer from the War Related Illness and Injury Study Center at the U.S. Veteran’s Administration New Jersey Health Care System, Bryan Loy of Oregon Health & Science University, Stephen Crozier of The Hershey Co., and Patrick O’Connor of the University of Georgia.  They published their paper about the results of their study in the journal BMC Nutrition.

“I'll be doing some related and follow-up studies at Clarkson to look at differences in natural vs. synthetic caffeine, and other cocoa studies” Boolani adds.

Heads up. He will be looking for more test subjects, he said.

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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.
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Full Furniture.  Laundry in bldg. apartment. Downtown Central San José 2-bedroom with king-sized bed in the master bedroom and large closets and desk. It is fully furnished. It has 2 bathrooms, large kitchen and separate large living room. The apartment is on the top floor of the building with a commanding view of San José. It is a fully furnished American-style apartment with elevator in a very secure building in Barrio Amón. Total eastern wall is windows for commanding view of area. The fully equipped kitchen has all the amenities included. All linen, towels, bedding are included. Three televisions, cable television, high-speed internet, WiFi. It includes plenty of hot water AND all your electricity is also included in the rent. Shared free laundries on four floors of the building. Convenient to Parque Morazán, 100 mts. north of downtown Holiday Inn, Del Rey and other downtown hotels, restaurants, casinos, city government, National Registry. $650 per month which includes everything in this unit. 1/2 mo. security deposit. No lease required. For personal inspection and more information call Hilda or Frank at (506) -7279-0252, 7148-1518, 7256-8378   Not calling for deals not related.

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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 www.tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or contact us at rentals@tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or call at (506) 2654-5442

Spectacular rentals are available for low weekly prices on SellMyTimeshareNow.com at resorts such as Bahia Turquesa Residences and Villas Sol Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. We have 
1- to 3-bedroom ocean and garden view timeshares available and most offer air conditioning, cable TV, fully equipped kitchens, and relaxing hammocks on private balconies. Enjoy the unique combination of seclusion and convenience as all resorts listed on our site are close to popular Costa Rican attractions and downtown 
centers, but are surrounded in lush, tropical forest. Villas are also available for sale in our inventory, so you can enjoy yearly vacations to this mesmerizing rainforest paradise. Please visit our rental inventory HERE!  or call us toll free at 877-815-4227, International: 603-516-0200.  Email: info@sellmytimesharenow.com

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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, March 6, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 46
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bus crash
Servicio Nacional Aeronaval de Panamá photo
Rescue workers survey the wreck of a bus that plunged 40 feet off an elevated highway Sunday in Coclé Province, Panamá.

Panamá bus crash kills 18
after plunge off highway

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

At least 18 people were killed and more than 30 injured in Panama Sunday when a bus went off a highway and flipped into a river southwest of the capital.

All the dead and the injured, many in critical condition, were aboard the bus, which was carrying more than 50 farm workers traveling from the Bocas del Toro province on the Caribbean Sea to a ranch in Chame, a town on the Pacific Ocean.

The crash happened on the Pan-American Highway in Anton, Cocle province, about 170 kilometers from Panama City. Officials gave no information on what caused the accident.

Political satire group seeks
to bridge the ideological gap

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

“I am the most presidential person you will ever see,” says a man in a dark suit and red tie, sounding much like President Donald Trump. He's sporting Trump's characteristic hairdo, but exaggerated, resembling more of the teased bouffant style popular in the 1960s.

The audience at this performance in Washington laughs at this fake Trump, who adds, “Millions of women marched after my inauguration, one day in office, and I have already managed to get more middle aged women off the couch than Michelle’s get up and move campaign did in 8 years!”He looks at his cellphone as two women beside him sing, “tweet, tweet.”

These are the Capitol Steps, a Washington political satire comedy group, which for 35 years has been poking fun at political officials, including five past presidents. And now, with a new chief executive in town, the group has created fresh skits and songs for their performances, which are held mostly in Washington.

“We take an existing song and put new words to it,” explains Elaina Newport, a founding member of the group, who helps write the material.“We’ll try to have a good pun and find something that makes fun of the politician.”

Instead of being offended, Newport says most politicians “think it’s funny, and want to show the public they have a good sense of humor.”

She recalls that George H. W. Bush, president from 1989-1993, was an especially good sport. “We went to the White House to perform, and we were being careful not to do anything that would offend him,” Newport says.“After the show he came up on stage and said ‘I know you have more songs about me. I want to see them.’”Another time, she says, he “got on stage and sang with us.”

But one U.S. senator actually got mad, she says and laughs, “because we didn’t have any songs about him in the show.”

Newport points out that the jokes are not meant to be mean.

“We could do most of the songs “right in front of the person that they’re about,” she says. “We’ve always had a tradition of being bi-partisan, getting everybody.”

That includes Hillary Clinton, whose Capitol Steps portrayal responds to her email scandal by singing, “I’m not indicted, and I’m so excited,” to the catchy music of the 1982 Pointer Sisters hit, “I’m So Excited.” Former president Bill Clinton is depicted wearing a hat and dark sunglasses, and saying he never asked for his wife’s email “because I was too afraid that she’d ask me for mine.”

A confident, bare-chested Russian president, Vladimir Putin, dances across the stage singing “Putin on a Blitz,” instead of “Puttin’ on the Ritz.”

The political humor found a receptive audience.

Besides giving audiences a good laugh, Newport hopes the Capitol Steps can help ease tensions in a very politically divided America. "I think political satire can make us all relax and get along better, and even if you disagree with the person sitting next to you at the show, you can laugh at the same jokes.”

Sessions recuses himself
from Russian 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.

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.

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.

More news of the Americas
From the Voice of America

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Real estate for sale (paid category)

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
       * Custom designed kitchen w/granite countertops
       * Frigidaire Professional appliance package
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       * Eco-friendly Toshiba LED lighting
       * LG Multi-Split air conditioning system
       * House & perimeter security alarm system
       * 2-car closed garage w/large paved driveway
Video Tour: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUEAmahIU9A
Community Web Site: http://www.altigua.com
Photos: HERE!
Costa Rica # 506-8985-6705 or from the States call # 561-740-0651 or email gary_one@msn.com

Colinas del Sol
COLINAS DEL SOL Fenced Gated Lots for Sale

* Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project  in a quiet area.
* There are 88 clear titled lots.
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* All lots have gravel roads to them, water and electricity at each.
* Lots are 5,000 sq. meters or larger, starting at only $40,000 USD
* Located in Libertad, Guanacaste, northwest Pacific area of Costa Rica.
* 20 minutes to the Liberia International Airport
* 15 minutes to the Pacific Beaches
* 10 minutes to Medical Facilities
* 25 minutes to the Liberia Hospital
* 5 minutes to Vista Ridge Golf Club

In Costa Rica, Jeffrey Sandi Murray:  jsandimurray@colinasdelsolcr.com
In the USA and Canada contact Jim Day: jimday50@aol.com or call 517-484-3675

For more information Click Here: www.colinasdelsolcr.com

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

horse ranch
Spectacular Horse Ranch and Spiritual/Yoga
Retreat Center For Sale

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


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: boriskopit@yahoo.com

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  www.whynotcostarica.com. 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 tim@whynotcostarica.com 

San Rmon
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: mmpeace@hotmail.com 
Check out slide show HERE!

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

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

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, March 6, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 46
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A.M. Costa Rica Photo/Victoria Torley          
An arroyo could provide a peace of mind as much as a good walk. 

Arroyos are more than fleeting stream

What perfect weather for a walk here is Aguacate. The tropical sun is beating down from a cloudless sky. The thermometer has hit 87 degrees F (okay, Metric Man, 30 degrees C), and there is not a breath of wind. It is a perfect day for a walk in an arroyo.

An arroyo is just a fancy name for a seasonally flowing stream, although some contain water year round. In Costa Rica, arroyos usually have steep banks and a rocky bed that can be strewn with boulders. Since we live in a geologically folded area, we have a lot of arroyos, most with only a very

Victoria Torley
short period with no running water. So an arroyo equals a perfect day for a walk.

Back to that big question: why take a walk in an arroyo? As we all know from practical experience, it feels cooler in the shade, usually ten to 15 degrees F cooler. It really isn’t cooler, but that is a science thing 
and this is a garden column. An explanation on the temperature difference between shade and full sun can be found HERE!

Also, for some reason, there seems to be a breeze in the arroyo even though there is no breeze in the sun. It’s another science thing.  Plus the running water just seems to make you feel cooler. I have no idea what that’s about, probably a psychology thing. If you like to walk for exercise, then an arroyo is the perfect place. Just take a walking stick and watch out for slippery rocks.

Another reason to walk in the arroyo is, of course, to hunt for broken branches and dead trees with orchids, bromeliads, and assorted new plants hanging from them. Plus other interesting things like new frogs and tadpoles, different ferns, and really pretty things to take pictures of, so take a camera. Naturally, I came back from my walk with a bag full of things that need a new home. These were mostly orchids but also some things I couldn’t identify. Take the plant of the week for example.

There is one drawback to walking the arroyos:  they can be seductive. There are so many fine large rocks to sit on while you dangle your toes in the water. So many places where the only things you hear are water and birdsong that you can be tempted to sit and stay a while. This can lead to serious complications like: rested feelings, lower blood pressure, soothing contemplative thoughts, and the need for a nap. Ah, nature.

The Plant for the Week

At this writing, none of the “big brains” on the net have been able to name it and I can’t find it in any of my books. This is not unusual, given the amount of biodiversity in Costa Rica, but it is frustrating. This lovely little shrub grows in light shade and it will be perfect in my arroyo but I would really like to know its name.

A.M. Costa Rica photo/Victoria Torley
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From Page 7:

U.S. stock markets reach historic high point

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

It was another historic week for U.S. markets as the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 21,000 for the first time, taking only 24 trading sessions to rise from 20,000 to 21,000. That represents the second-fastest 1,000-point move ever by the index.

The S&P 500 closed higher for the week, completing a six-week win streak for the first time since late 2015.

Actually, this was the 14th time the S&P rose for six weeks consecutively since March 2009, according to analysts at LPL Financial.

Even though the major averages closed higher for the week, Thursday’s session saw some weakness.

Other than the key employment report for February next Friday, it will be a relatively quiet week. The employment data give the most comprehensive report of how many people are looking for jobs, how many have them, what they're getting paid and how many hours they are working. These numbers provide the best way to gauge the current state of the economy and its future direction.

The upcoming jobs report is especially notable because it is the last one the Federal Reserve will see into account before its Federal Open Market Committee meeting in March, when the central bank is all but certain to announce an interest-rate increase. A rate hike now appears to be viewed by many investors as a vote of confidence in the economy, as opposed to the past where it was seen as a potential market derailment.

The futures market now prices in an 82 percent chance of a March hike.

The overseas calendar is full of potentially market-moving events, including a European Union summit, a potential House of Lords vote in London on Brexit, the European Central Bank meeting and China's National People's Congress, where Premier Li Keqiang will provide government targets for the Chinese economy in 2017.