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(506) 2223-1327       Published Monday, March 23, 2009,  in Vol. 9, No. 57      E-mail us
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another rider
High-stepping champions
rider of two horses
Two-horsepower rig
scarecrows
Very tall participants
Aserri dancers
 Folklorica Aserriceña
Clysdale looks at crowd
A.M. Costa Rica photos
A 2-year-old Clydesdale, the same breed as the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Co. team known to most expats, checks out the spectators at the horse and folklore parade Sunday.
other dance group Diquis
Grupo Diquís

Horses had their day Sunday in Paseo Colón
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The municipality's first horse parade did not do much for beer companies, but horse lovers had a treat Sunday.

Municipal officials prohibited alcohol of any kind to differentiate the event from the Dec. 26 party on hooves, which is the Tope National, sponsored by the beer brands.

Moderators also gave a running account of each of the breeds of horses from pasos to pintos. The closest thing to a beer company ad was a 2-year-old Clydesdale of the type used to pull the promotional wagon for Budweiser beer.

Many of the estimated 300 horses were recognized champions of their breed.
The day was made for sunburns with a strong east wind and nearly cloudless sky.

The horse parade also featured a number of folkloric groups who danced and gave demonstrations. They included the Folklorica Aserriceña, the Grupo Nuestra Tierra and the Grupo Diquís. Some dance groups had to forgo the hats they usually wear due to the steady, strong wind.

The Policía Municipal closed off a section of Paseo Colón, and participants completed a circuit that brought them back to their starting point. Wisely organizers put dancers in advance of the horses.

Also participating with the folklore groups were cimarronas, those brass bands so typical of Costa Rica. The mascaradas, the traditional papier maché heads, also were in evidence.


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Costa Rica
Second newspage
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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, March 23, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 57

Costa Rica Expertise
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Puriscal Properties
sportsmens update
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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.


Residency experts

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Physicians and surgeons

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Hearing consultant

English-speaking hearing consultant 
We can professionally evaluate your hearing problem at Clinica Dinamarca off Paseo Colón or at Hospital CIMA. We are affiliated with Widex hearing instruments because of their quality, natural sound and intelligibility over background noise. That means  no more echoing, feedback or interference. Please contact me, Allan, at allan9000@gmail.com or at 8891-8989.
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Accountants

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US Income Tax,  US GAAP Accounting
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• US Tax return preparation  for
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• eFile returns: secure with faster refunds
• Assist with back reporting and other filing issues
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Real estate agents and services

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with Great Estates of Costa Rica and Ocean Realty - Jacó

15 years Costa Rican
real estate experience

Member of the Costa Rican Real Estate Association, Lic. #1000

Member of
Costa Rican-American Chamber of Commerce

samargo@racsa.co.cr
info@realtorcostarica.com
www.realtorcostarica.com
(506)  2220-3729 &  (506) 8382-7399 cell
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7Legal services

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 Tel.  2280-9692 / 2225-9322      
e-mail: info@conjuridica.com  Web:  www.conjuridica.com
       We offer the highest professional standards with very competitive rates. All our official documentation and Notary deeds are always translated in English for better comprehension, client satisfaction and safety.
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• Immigration Law.
• Real Estate Law.
• Corporations, Foundations
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• Notary public services
• Criminal Law
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4827-5/31/09

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BUFETE HERNANDEZ MUSSIO Y ASOCIADOS

CRTitle.com - ForeverCostaRica.com
Member: Cenpac, AmCham
Jaco: Tel. 2643-3058 - Fax. 2643-0358
US & Canada: 1-305-280-6860
San José: Tel. 2519-4647 - Fax: 2520-0831
Skype: hernandez.mussio
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• Real Estate Transactions
•  Legal Due Diligence
• Purchase and Sale   Agreements/Options
• Trademarks 
• Costa Rican Corporations.
• Title Guaranty • Fraud
     protection * Litigation 
• Constitution of condominiums
• Notary public services in
   general • Offshore Incorporation • Offshore Banking  • Business Law 
• Escrow Services (registered
     with SUGEF) • Estate Planning 
• Family Law 
• Bilingual Accounting Services 

Visit our Office in Jacó Beach (GEM Building, 
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KEARNEY-LAWSON & Asoc.

Lic.Gregory Kearney Lawson.
Attorneys at Law and real estate brokers
Relocation services, Wedding Planning
Greg Kearney
*Investments  *Corporations
*Tax Shelters *Immigration
*Real Estate Sales in Costa Rica
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*Business procedures 
*Family and Labor Law
*Locate People   *Private Investigations

Ph/Fax: 2221-9462, 8841-0007
detained woman
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía 
y Seguridad Pública photo 
Woman robbery suspect hides her head in Hatillo.

Two women face allegation
of robbery with knife

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Two women, one of them five months pregnant, are suspects in the stabbing of a shopper in Hatillo 3 Friday in what appears to have been a robbery.

The shopper who was stabbed has been hospitalized, said police.

The two suspects, who have the last names of Espinoza Mesén and Bonilla Padilla, were detained after the robbers fled. Police said the attack took place in a commercial center.

Fuerza Pública officers said they recovered the purse and other items that had been taken.

Punta Leona fights back
against demolition order


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Hotel y Club Punta Leona has fired back at the Tribunal Ambiental Administrativo and says its representative, Mario Pacheco, has filed a criminal complaint against the environmental panel.

The tribunal has ordered the Municipalidad de Garabito to demolish a restaurant and other structures that are in the 50-meter public maritime zone in two beaches at the membership club on the central Pacific near Jacó. Punta Leona has been fighting this case for years.

César Vargas of Imagen y Comunicación Creativa sent out a press release Friday saying that Pacheco had alleged that the tribunal has disobeyed authority and lied. The release said that there are injunctions against demolition of any property at Punta Leona. One was established in 2005, according to the release, and that decision by the Juzgado Penal de Garabito was upheld by the Tribunal Penal de Puntarenas.

The disputed structures are on Playa Blanca and Playa  Mantas.

Punta Leona has been in the news before when residents complained that the membership club blocked access to beaches. The location also is where a lot of construction is talking place, for new condos and homes.

constitutional court cases

Sala IV constitutional court
gets its 200,000th case

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Poder Judicial reports that the 200,000th case has been submitted to the Sala IV constitutional court. This is the sum of the cases that have been filed during the 20-year life of the court. Unlike similar national courts, the Sala IV handles cases that range from the mundane to the earthshaking.

It was the Sala IV that decided the legislature had made a mistake when it added a clause to the Costa Rican Constitution that prohibited anyone from serving more than one term as president. Consequently Óscar Arias Sánchez was able to run successfully a second time in 2006.

This also is the court that decided that most of the enabling legislation for the free trade treaty with the United States was constitutional.

But every day the court decides cases that affect only one or a few people in their battles with bureaucracy.  This newspaper has reported recently on cases in which foreigners successfully challenged the long delays for residency appointments at the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería.

Most Sala IV decisions never make the newspapers. Citizens frequently challenge their medical treatment and insist on certain medications. Sometimes they win and other times the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social wins.

The court also has been aggressive in finding constitutional rights at private businesses and schools. For example, the parents of a student ejected from a private school might successfully claim that he did not have an adequate hearing and that the action lacked due process.

The 200,000th case came in Friday and involved an appeal against the Ministerio de Educación Pública and its hiring practices.

Theft from tourist vehicle
leads to four arrests


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Four foreigners, three Colombians and a Mexican, are being investigated for burglarizing the automobile of two Canadian tourists in Jacó Thursday night. The men are suspected of participating in many similar activities, said police.

The crime happened in the center of Jacó, and the thieves fled. The four suspects were picked up at a police roadblock. Witnesses were able to provide descriptions. Police said they recovered stolen items, including Canadian passports, a portable computer, a digital camera and cash and traveler's checks. The frequency of such crimes against tourists in the area has been high, said police.

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Costa Rica
third newspage


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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, March 23, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 57


Speedy immigration service was a scam, police say
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Police said a Costa Rican took advantage of the long delays in the immigration department to offer speedy service to foreigners. the problem was that the paperwork did not exist.

The Grupo de Apoyo Operacional of the Fuerza Pública detained a suspect Friday morning. Police caught up with him when, they said, he was accepting more money from a Nicaraguan.

Police blamed the man, identified by the last names of  Baltodano Martínez of having scammed at least nine persons. They deduced that from a list of nine persons and personal documents of some foreigners that they found on his person.

The arrest was made at the Coca Cola bus terminal.

Police said that the man would collect an initial payment of 10,000 colons and then return for a second payment of about 28,000 colons. Then he would vanish, they said.

The amount from each victim would be about $62 at the current rate of exchange.
documents from foreigners
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía
y Seguridad Pública photo
Documents and money confiscated from arrested man

The Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería has been scheduling residency appoints as late as early 2010. The cédulas that the foreigners were promised are vital for finding a job or doing nearly any other type of official business in Costa Rica.

The man arrested Friday is one of many who promise to expedite the process for foreigners.


Only two weeks left to do business before Semana Santa
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Easter is less than three weeks away, and that means expats will have just this week and next to conduct official business with the government.

The executive branch and the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones have announced that their employees will be going on Semana Santa vacation Friday, April 3. The courts are likely to follow this lead.

The Policía de Tránsito already has announced a major effort to start that same day.

Karla González, the minister of Obras Pública y Transportes, said that police will be working 24 hours a day to control speed and to crack down on drunk drivers. She said that some motorists like to leave the Central Valley for vacation spots at an early hour so they can take advantage of light traffic. These motorists also have a tendency to speed, she said.

Officials also will be setting up a checkpoint at the former Naranjo toll station, the same place that is staffed during the Fiestas de Palmares. This is on a major route to the Pacific beaches.
There will be other checkpoints, too, she said.

German Marín, head of the transit police, said that officers will be setting up 350 different checkpoints, mainly to catch drunk drivers. 

There will be 730 transit policemen involved in the Semana Santa effort, and 160 of these will be on motorcycles.

Some 100 devices to check for alcohol consumption will be in use.

Marín said that plainclothes officers would ride in the various buses to keep an eye on drivers. They will be looking for the driver exceeding the speed limit or talking on the cell phone while the vehicle is in motion. They also will be looking for drinking, officials said.

As many as 15 persons have died on the nation's road during Semana Santa. With public employees and others having additional time this year, there are more days to count.  Normally employees only get off Thursday and Friday of Semana Santa, which are legal holidays.

But this year, the executive branch led the way by scheduling vacations for the entire week.


Refinery monopoly overcharged, price-setting agency says
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The nation's price-setting agency said Friday that the petroleum monopoly ought to pay back some 79 billion colons to consumers. That's about $140 million.

The agency, the Authoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos has proposed new prices for gasoline and other petroleum-based products that would save consumers that amount over the remainder of the year.

For example, the agency wants to cut super gasoline by 35 colons, about 6.3 U.S. cents, per liter and plus gasoline by
38 colons (about 6.8 cents). Diesel would be reduced 59 colons (about 10.5 cents).

The agency said that it studied the finances of the Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo as part of the plan by President Óscar Arias Sánchez to shield the country from world economic problems.

Before any rebates are worked into the price, the idea will have to go to public hearings, said the Authoridad Reguladora. The government refinery is likely to oppose the plan and challenge the methodology by which the authority determined there was such a surplus.


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fourth news page

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, March 23, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 57


Our readers give their opinions on several topics
Three steps to improve
Latin American economies

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Thanks again for a morning hoot. Today's irony: Fitch, the slapstick economist with the usual dance routine placed directly above the story of the drug lord bust. Was that irony accidental??? From the layman's view, it is easy to see three different variables effecting Latin American economic improvement and relations.

1. That many drugs are stupidly illegal, particularly when so many people especially Gringos will buy and ingest them anyway. Remedy: Legalize the drugs, deal with the user problems on a country-by-country basis eliminating vast swaths of criminality, corruption, and Tico cops confiscating bags of coke and going on joy ride party runs.

2. The elimination of all protectionism, particularly American agricultural protection that buys primaries every four years in Iowa.

3. The advocacy in the name of liberty, decency and common sense the right for anyone to work in any country as long as they can provide a clean police record from country of origin, a clean INTERPOL record and post a small bond insuring they will not use social tax supported services of the host country.

Now there is some change. Continuing with the monetary policy emanating from the Fed, White House and World Bank will just buy more poverty, debt and devaluation that will spread equally from Kansas through the Bolivarian fantasy and back again. The time for the usual tap dances from theoretical economists and politicians advocating what they know nothing about is long over due for an abrupt end.

George Chapogas
Rivas, Nicaragua


Stick with those you know
to get better Caja service


Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

I'll offer some comments on Dick Burgoon's letter [who complained about service at the Hospital de Alajuela and at a state bank]

If you have a workable relationship with one doctor or hospital or clinic, it is better not to change it. Moving files is an awful procedure lasting up to a year. It is often better to travel back to the original place. Maybe you can "lose" your carnet and apply for a new one meanwhile using the old one until the new one begins to work. But this seems more critical. I would suggest going back to the original doctor and hang around and find a way to see him and ask how to solve it temporarily until the new system works.

Writing your own amparo to the Sala IV may get you relief, but that may get you only one visit. Be sure to ask for the monthly tests as long as needed. But keep doing it. They oil the wheel that squeaks.

If the bank is not charging you to clear a check, they are getting paid by using your money. I avoid BNCR for clearing checks for that reason. I have found that Scotia Bank and HSBC give better service and speak English. However, BNCR has free ATM and same bank transfers and since they have so many customers, it is very convenient when the system is not overloaded. You can get the best service by having two accounts. Now transfers between banks have improved a lot. Bring $ into your private bank account and transfer them to BNCR as needed. Or make your transfers a month ahead of needing them.

Joseph Lassiter
Playa Hermosa.

More stories about fairs
would encourage readership


Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

I have a idea that would cause me to read your publication more.

Costa Rica has many fairs and expos that we hear about only after the fact. I am a shop owner and have interest in buying from other small producers, crafts and artists, but don't have the time or ability to separately find these potential suppliers.

Also your readers obtain certain pleasure in buying craft and arts from the people themselves. The Idea is that you could have a section announcing these events, in advance, in some detail. A central place for this valuable information in advance would be useful and draw more regular readers and help everyones economy.

By planing in advance, my attending, I could add to the success of many events. There was a art show in Santa Cruz and I knew about it, only after it was over. Another, Womens Small business Expo was in the old train station. I spotted it only by driving by. Unable to plan my purchases I had to wait until next time. My loss, as I look for their products, for my business.
Theron Lyda
San Pedro and Key West, Florida


He laments changes
in Costa Rican society

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

I have been reading your paper on occasion and find it very interesting.

I am an American who has a Costa Rican parent and family down there. To me it is disheartening to see how the country is so corrupt and crime ridden now.

I have visited on several occasions as an adult and cannot believe how the situation has deteriorated so much. I also read the Costa Rican papers in Spanish and cannot believe the amount of armed robberies, homicides, and other crimes in such a small country.

While one can point fingers easily, I believe there are many factors. Our values have changed dramatically throughout the years. There is more poverty, broken families, drugs and easy access to media, such as Internet, tv, etc. Materialism, is also somewhat of a factor I believe, since we are bombarded with ads and information about material wealth, and some people will go to any extreme to attain it.

The Costa Rica I read about in books when I was younger and that my father told me about was not perfect, but seemed so much more secure. It is amazing that people who are not even wealthy have to worry about their own safety while walking in the street to buy something at the pulperia, on their way to work, or visiting family. 

I do think this paper has great coverage of the happenings down there, and I have faith that things will get better. I just believe as a society we have to look inward and see what we can do to make this world a better place. After all we want to leave  a more promising future for our children and the next generation.

Alexander Marín
San José, California

Join the conversation

Reader letters generate interest, ideas,
controversy and solutions

You can send yours to:


editor@amcostarica.com



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Costa Rica
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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, March 23, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 57



A.M. Costa Rica

users guide

This is a brief users guide to A.M. Costa Rica.

Old pages

Each day someone complains via e-mail that the newspages are from yesterday or the day before. A.M. Costa Rica staffers check every page and every link when the newspaper is made available at 2 a.m. each week day.

So the problem is with the browser in each reader's computer. Particularly when the connection with the  server is slow, a computer will look to the latest page in its internal memory and serve up that page.

Readers should refresh the page and, if necessary, dump the cache of their computer, if this problem persists. Readers in Costa Rica have this problem frequently because the local Internet provider has continual problems.

Searching

The A.M. Costa Rica search page has a list of all previous editions by date and a space to search for specific words and phrases. The search will return links to archived pages.

Newspages

A typical edition will consist of a front page and four other newspages. Each of these pages can be reached by links near the top and bottom of the pages.

Classifieds

Five classified pages are updated daily. Employment listings are free, as are listings for accommodations wanted, articles for sale and articles wanted. The tourism page and the real estate sales and real estate rentals are updated daily.

Advertising information

A summary of advertising rates and sizes are available for display and classifieds.

Statistics

A.M. Costa Rica makes its monthly statistics available to advertisers and readers. It is HERE! 

Contacting us

Both the main telephone number and the editor's e-mail address are listed on the front page near the date.

Visiting us

Directions to our office and other data, like bank account numbers are on the about us page.



Chávez sends military
to control major ports


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Venezuela's military has taken control of a number of major airports and maritime ports, following a recently-enacted law that hands control of the facilities to the central government.

Soldiers Saturday occupied terminals in three Venezuelan states. Individual state givernments previously controlled the transportation hubs.

Critics say the move is designed to expand President Hugo Chavez's power and weaken his opponents.

Opposition gubernatorial and mayoral candidates made gains in November elections, taking a number of key seats including leadership of the capital city, Caracas.

Chavez was quoted as saying he was reunifying the motherland, which he said was in pieces. The Venezuelan president has warned that state governors who challenge the new law might be arrested.

Chavez recently won a referendum that removed term limits for politicians, allowing him to run for a third term.

Chávez supporter in baseball
is heckled by countrymen

By the A.M. Costa Rica wires services

Organizers of the World Baseball Classic, which ends today, say competition is aimed at showcasing international talent and bringing the game to new fans. For the Venezuelan team, the contest has drawn unwanted attention to the country's political divide. Some Venezuelan fans in the U.S. are venting their frustration at one top player.

"We call him a sell-out, a traitor, a Chavista, and a lot of people whistle when he comes up to bat," said Carlos Fenice, a Miami car salesman.

The target of those calls is Magglio Ordonez, who plays professionally in Detroit. Fans object because Ordonez is a vocal supporter of President Hugo Chávez and recently recorded a campaign ad in support of him.

Miami is home to a large Venezuelan immigrant community, where many reject the Socialist-inspired policies of Chávez. At home in Venezuela, the Chávez government claims broad support, but recent elections show opposition is growing.

Fenice says ball player Ordonez has widened the political divide even further. "Public figures should be very careful with what they say, because they can hurt a lot of people's feelings," he said. "And that is what Ordonez has done."

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, March 23, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 57


Latin American news digest
Two held in robbery-murder
of taxi driver in Atenas


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An unlicensed taxi driver suffered a fatal knife wound to the neck about 8 p.m. Thursday in La Garita de Alajuela. He fell from his taxi on the Río Grande bridge on the Atenas-Alajuela route. He was identified as Adolfo Gutiérrez González by the Fuerza Pública. The Judicial Investigating Organization said he was 54 years old.

Within a kilometer of the scene Fuerza Pública officers detained a 23-year-old man with the last names of Sánchez Mora and a 22-year-old woman with the last names of Torres Hernández. Both live in Atenas. There were said to be passengers that  Gutiérrez picked up in Atenas for a trip to Alajuela. The woman's clothes were covered in blood, said police.

Mexico's central bank cuts
benchmark interest rate


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Mexico's central bank has cut its benchmark interest rate in an effort to counter an economic downturn. The bank announced Friday that it has lowered the key interest rate by three quarters of a point to 6.75 percent.  The decision surprised analysts who had not expected the bank to cut the rate by more than half a point.

Mexico's peso strengthened on news of the rate cut and was trading at 14.1 to the U.S. dollar.  The peso has lost about 30 percent of its value against the dollar since August.

Off to a great start

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Thursday the U.S. Department of Justice plans an hour-long government wide training program to discuss the Freedom of Information Act and its applications in government.  On the agenda is President Barack Obama's desire to establish a new era of open government.

The session is closed to the press and public.



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What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007  and 2008 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details