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(506) 2223-1327                         Published Thursday, April 3, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 66                         Email us
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Lack of interest causes fishing tourney cancellation
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Presidential Challenge sports fishing tournament planned for later this month in Golfito has been canceled.

That was announced Wednesday by the Presidential Challenge Charitable Foundation, Inc. Joan Vernon, in her role as tournament coordinator said that a lack of interest in participation has made it economically impossible to continue with this year's event. She also is secretary of The Billfish Foundation, which promotes sports fishing.

This would have been the first time that the tournament boats would sail from Golfito, the former banana port. The tournament was not for the weekend angler. 

The entry fee was $5,000 a team, but there are dedicated fishing participants who follow the string of tournaments throughout the year.

Ms. Vernon in her email message promoted the next Costa Rica fishing event, the Presidential Papagayo Cup June 5 to 8 in Marina Papagayo in northwest Costa Rica.

Proceeds from the Presidential Challenge events
benefit The Billfish Foundation's Central American and Caribbean conservation projects as well as the Adopt-A-Billfish Satellite Tagging Program and the International Game Fish Association, the foundation has said.

What could not be determined immediately is if the location, the U.S. economy or lack of promotion caused the cancelation of the Golfito tournament. Two marinas there were going to participate as well as local hotels. Each tournament can bring in several hundred tourists who either fish or support those who do, so the benefit to Golfito would have been significant.

A tournament in Quepos Feb, 19 to 22 attracted 11 boats.  All the tournaments are catch-and-release.   Presidential Challenge said that 399 sailfish and two blue marlin were caught and released. It said that the average fish count per boat was comparable to other record breaking tournaments this year in Costa Rica.

Some Pacific coast sports fishing boat captains have complained about the impact of commercial operations on the ocean population.

These are primarily long-line operators who spread hooks out for miles and indiscriminately catch all sorts of marine creatures.

Even Bulgarians have made it to Festival de Artes
By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Lining the path that introduces patrons to the 2014 Festival Internacional de las Artes in Parque la Sabana are tents that represent different countries. Each of them contains artwork and accessories. There are tents for Ecuador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Argentina, and even Bulgaria.

Six artists from the Eastern European country will have their work represented in the collection that will be available today until April 13. Their work includes biblical design pieces used for protection in Bulgarian homes, handmade flasks, and intricate ceramics.

Though five of the artists couldn't make the nearly 7,000-mile trip from Bulgaria, artist Zornitza Gurova did. Her representative and translator, Ana Petrova, said it's the first time the festival has hosted the Bulgarians.

“This is our first time here but hopefully not our last,” she said.

The other shops and stands from predominantly Latin American countries include marble and stone statues from Nicaragua, hemp-fabric purses and accessories from Guatemala, and shirts from Ecuador.

In the field to the left the Spanish art group Ingenio Catalán has set up nature-inspired sculptures made from industrial materials and scrap metal called Katakrac. Falling under Spain's bulevar category of art, pieces that look like they were made out of old gym equipment are turned into a giant crab or an ornate flamingo. The common theme for bulevar pieces is that the playful and interactive exhibits are created from recycled materials. The group has three other displays that will also be featured throughout the park for the festival's entirety.

Even the Ministerio de Economia, Industria y Comercio de Costa Rica is sponsoring a tent of
A.M. Costa Rica/Michael Krumholtz
Recycled bulevar pieces are dominated by a flamingo.

woodwork and other crafts. They are associated with a group of 31 entrepreneurs who are part of the ministry's initiative to sponsor businesses that create and improve on Costa Rican products. These pieces are supposed to concentrate on the country's identity, while promoting the works to demanding markets that value such innovative creations.

A group of French language students from Tecnológico de Costa Rica that will represent the region at the Solar Decathlon 2014 in France will be at the festival's opening day representing the Casa de la Francofonía that they helped build.

The display will be officially inaugurated by ambassadors from Canada, Switzerland, and France behind the skating rink at 2 p.m.

Debate planned on U.S. tax policy for expats
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An expat advocate organization plans a debate May 2 on the U.S. policy of taxing citizen income no matter where they live or work.

The organization is the American Citizens Abroad  Global Foundation, and the debate will be in Toronto, Canada. The organization said that Canada hosts about a million of the estimated 7.5 million Americans living overseas.

The debate is designed to educate Americans and also bring congressional attention to the income tax situation.

American Citizens Abroad supports residence-based taxation, which is the standard for most countries in the world. What the United States has now is  citizenship-based taxation, which is why Internal Revenue Service agents are getting banking information on Americans from Switzerland, Asia and even Costa Rica.

The organization says that residency-based taxation puts U.S. workers at a disadvantage overseas. The debate will be at  St. Michael’s
College of the University of Toronto. Keynote speakers are two academics who have recently published ground-breaking papers on the issue of taxation of Americans abroad, said American Citizens. Professor Michael S. Kirsch of the Notre Dame School of Law will outline his defense of citizenship-based taxation, and Bernard Schneider, teaching fellow at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies of the Queen Mary University of London School of Law, will outline his proposal for residence-based taxation, the organization said.

“We are very excited about the launch of our new educational program,” said Charles Bruce, a foundation board member, in a release. “There is a major need to have an informed debate on U.S. taxation of Americans living and working overseas.  Congress needs to learn about the community of Americans abroad, their contribution to the United States and the very unique situations they face within the framework of American tax law.”

Other speakers include tax lawyers, investment advisors and businessmen who will discuss the impact of current U.S. tax law on Americans abroad, U.S. exports and the American economy, said the announcement. Details and information for registering are available HERE!

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, April 3, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 66

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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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Bureaucratic slowness upsets
the nation's food producers

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica's food industry is asking President Laura Chinchilla to intervene and fix the bureaucratic delay that hampers their ability to register products for sale. The Cámara Costarricense de la Industria Alimentaria sent a letter to Ms. Chinchilla to alert her to these common dilemmas faced by food companies every day.

The chamber's president, José Manuel Hernando, said that business owners have been awaiting more efficient systems that can reduce costs and time. He noted that the owners told the organization that Costa Rica has the available technologies to speed up these simple processes, yet they are being withheld from the small businesses.

“They told us results of the current system tend to deteriorate with consequential damage to production and commercial activity,” said Hernando in the letter. “They have to wait numerous months to conduct a simple renovation.”

For the past few years, the Cámara has begged the government to take action in regard to modernizing the food industry's infrastructure. Group leaders said they had expected there would have been more progress made by now, but instead say that registration procedures that should take mere minutes continue to get bogged down for more than two months at a time. Business practitioners complain that mounting disadvantages are piled against them as the elongated process freezes their ability to trade and cripples export opportunities.

Hernando echoed these concerns over competition. He said that food companies from other nations will continue to enjoy more international trade success than the domestic businesses because they are not subjected to these same launch delays. 

“Given the situation and the deterioration of this service industry, we are asking for a strategy to analyze why this problem hasn't been resolved,” Hernando said. “At the same time we can evaluate alternative solutions, which the food industry can use for its benefit.”

Registration is required for all new products and for existing products that have been changed in some way. Also imported products also must be registered before they can be sold.

Election Sunday will provide
some advantages to expats

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The runoff presidential election is Sunday and there are a few benefits for expats.

The toll booths will not be operating on highways managed by the government. These include the Bernardo Soto, General Cañas, Florencio del Castillo and Braulio Carrillo.

The idea is to make traveling to the voting locations easier. Although many voters live near the polls, some who may have moved or never changed their location have to travel some distances.

At least in San José there will be no prohibition on buying and consuming alcohol. Under the new alcohol law, each canton can make a decision of how these traditional rules are enforced. Other cantons will prohibit sales and consumption.

The tourism industry has long called for flexibility in the rule during election day and also Semana Santa. The usually general election day in Costa Rica, the first Sunday in February, also happens to be the date for the annual U.S. football Super Bowl. That has caused trouble in the past.

However, expats will find few activities Sunday.  The Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones forbids organized activities like professional soccer games and similar because they may distract voters. In addition, the valley rail line will not be running its tourism service to Cartago and Heredia Sunday.

Many Costa Ricans owe
their soul to credit card firms

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Just like the central government, average Costa Ricans continue to spend more than they bring in.

The economics ministry computed that the country's credit card debt increased 21 percent in the last 19 months. That is a bit more than 1 percent a month.

The Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio said that the increase was about 4 billion colons a month. The credit card debt for the country was estimated to be 787.5 trillion colons as of Jan. 31. That is about $1.5 trillion.

In addition to the debt, Costa Rica does not have anti-usury laws, so some banks are charging more than 50 percent interest a year. The ministry said that the credit card debt went up 4.8 percent just since October.

There are about 1.7 million individual credit cards in use. In the last four years it has been doing the study, the ministry said that the number of credit cards has increased 30.8 percent.

First group of certifications
ready for Esencial Costa Rica

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Not just any firm can use the new trademark, Esencial Costa Rica. The firms that seek this designation must first be vetted by the  Instituto de Normas Técnicas de Costa Rica.

The institute, a private firm, conducts the evaluation on behalf of the Promotora de Comercio Exterior, which holds the trademark.

The promotions firm is trying to develop the trademark as something that will make Costa Rica recognizable to foreigners. The idea is to have exporters place the trademark on boxes of their product and for others to use it in their advertising and handout material. Tourism operations that seek the designation must already have obtained a certificate of sustainability, according to the rules set down by the promotions agency.

The first 23 firms that have been approved to use this trademark will be awarded their certification in a ceremony Friday at 8:30 a.m. Although the institute does the study, the certification comes from the Ente Costarricense de Acreditación, another public agency.

Boat inspections planned
for craft using Lake Arenal

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Boat owners at Lake Arenal will be able to obtain a navigability certificate starting Tuesday.

Representatives of the Dirección de Navegación y Seguridad del Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes will be in the area through Thursday.

Boats must be well painted, and bear the registration number and the national flag on the hull, the ministry said.

There is a fee for inspection depending on the length of the vessel. The ministry also says that appropriate safety devices need to be installed and that last year's certificate needs to be presented. More information is available at the Capitanía de Puerto de Los Chiles at 2471-1791 or from the Dirección de Navegación y Seguridad in San José, at 2233-5022.

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Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, April 3, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 66
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                  Tax and
Golfito fishing boat captain caught with a sack of illegal shark fins
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Members of the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas have detained a fishing boat captain in Golfito after they said they found a 36-kilo sack of 153 shark fins on his boat, the "Emily G."  Shark finning has been declared illegal by President Laura Chinchilla.

The coast guard said the boat was boarded when it docked in the southern Costa Rica port. An inspection turned up the shark fins among fish that had been taken legally, the agency said.

Félix Villalobos of the Golfito coast guard station estimated that the number of fins required the capture and killing of about 40 sharks, said the Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública.

The Sunday night action was one of three against illegal fishing, said the agency.  Another patrol boat discovered about 700 meters of illegal nets in the Pacific off  Punta Burica. And Monday the coast guards located a commercial fishing boat near Golfito that was using live bait, another illegal practice, the agency said.

shark fins
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo
These are the shark fins discovered on the Golfito fishing boat.

Gasoline prices will follow the U.S. dollar and go higher shortly
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The U.S. dollar has gotten stronger, so now the gasoline prices will follow.

The Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos said Wednesday that super gasoline will increase 45 colons, plus will go up 36 colons and diesel will increase 25 colons.

In terms of the U.S. dollar, the increases mean that a gallon of super will cost $5.30, some 32 U.S. cents higher than the previous price.

Plus will be $5.07 a gallon, up 25 U.S. cents, and diesel will be $4.73 a gallon.
The new prices in colons will be 756 colons for a liter of super, 723 for plus and 675 colons for diesel.

The U.S. dollar has increased about 50 colons since Feb. 1.  Since petroleum is an imported product, the price must be settled in dollars. Another increase is coming because the Autoridad used an exchange rate of about 530 colons to the dollar, but the rate continues to favor the U.S. currency more.

These rates will go into effect when they are published in the La Gaceta official newspaper.

The new prices mean that a 20-gallon fill up will cost the equivalent of $106.

Study predicts massive generational change in public sector jobs
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An unusual study by the agronomy professional organization shows that 45 percent of the persons involved in the public sector of that field will be eligible for retirement within four years. The agencies include the agricultural ministry, the fishing institute and a host of others known mostly by their initials.

The Colegio de Ingenieros Agrónomos said that the number was
about 1,500 persons. Nearly 500 of these persons are highly specialized, said the study.

Leaders of the professional organization said they were alarmed and wanted to make sure that the government posts are filled.

The impact of the generational change will be significant and might help reduce the 20 percent unemployment among younger individuals in the field now, they said.

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, April 3, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 66
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Extreme Amazon weather events studied as clues to warmer future
By the Virginia Polytechnic Institute
and State University news service

Three extreme weather events in the Amazon Basin in the last decade are giving scientists an opportunity to make observations that will allow them to predict the impacts of climate change and deforestation on some of the most important ecological processes and ecosystem services of the Amazon River wetlands.

Scientists from Virginia Tech, the Woods Hole Research Center, and the University of California Santa Barbara are collaborating with Brazilian scientists to explore the ecosystem consequences of the extreme droughts of 2005 and 2010 and the extreme flood of 2009.

“The research fills an important gap in our understanding of the vulnerability of tropical river-forest systems to changes in climate and land cover,” said the project’s leader, Leandro Castello, assistant professor of fish and wildlife conservation in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment.

The huge study area encompasses 1.7 million square miles, the equivalent of half of the continental United States.

In addition to historical records and ground observations, the researchers will use newly available Earth System Data Records from NASA, satellite images of the Amazon and its tributaries over the complete high- and low-water cycles.

NASA is funding the study with a $1.53 million grant shared among the three agencies.

“Amazon floodplains and river channels — maintained by seasonal floods — promote nutrient cycling and high biological production, and support diverse biological communities as well as human populations with one of the highest per capita rates of fish consumption,” said Castello.

The researchers will look at how the natural seasonality of river levels influences aquatic and terrestrial grasses, fisheries, and forest productivity in the flood plains, and how extreme events such as floods and droughts may disturb this cycle.

“We are confident that deforestation and climate change will, in the future, lead to more frequent and severe floods and droughts,” said Michael Coe, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center. “It is important that we understand how the Amazon River and ecosystem services such as fisheries are affected so that we can devise mitigation strategies.”

Amazonian grasses, sometimes called macrophytes, convert atmospheric carbon to plant biomass, which is then processed by aquatic microorganisms upon decomposition.

“Terrestrial grasses grow during the short window when water levels are low, sequestering some carbon, and then die when the floods arrive, releasing the carbon into the aquatic system,” said Thiago Silva, an assistant professor of geography at São Paulo State University in Rio Claro, Brazil. “They are followed by aquatic grasses that need to grow extremely fast to surpass the rising floods and then die off during the receding-water period.”

“Although most of the macrophyte carbon is released back to the atmosphere in the same form that it is assimilated, carbon dioxide, some of it is actually exported to the ocean as dissolved carbon or released to the atmosphere as methane, a gas that has a warming potential 20 times larger than carbon dioxide,” said John Melack, a professor at the University of California Santa Barbara.
Father and sons
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University photo
Father and son return after a successful day fishing on an Amazon tributary. The local diet is heavy with fish.

Researchers will measure plant growth and gas exchange, and use photographs from the field and satellites. Two other Amazon resources, fisheries and forests, are important to the livelihood of the people of the region.

“We will combine water level, fishing effort, and fish life-history traits to understand the impact of droughts and floods on fishery yields,” said Castello, whose specialty is Amazon fisheries. “Floods in the Amazon are almost a blessing because in some years they can almost double the amount of fish in the river that is available for fishermen and society.”

The fishery yields data include approximately 90,000 annual interview records of fisheries activities on the number of fishermen, time spent fishing, characteristics of fishing boats and gear used, and weight of the catch for 40 species. The hydrological data include daily water level measurements recorded in the Madeira, Purus, and Amazonas-Solimões rivers.

There are actually three types of forests in the Amazon, upland forests and two types of floodplain forests — those enriched by rising waters, called whitewater river forests, and nutrient-poor blackwater river forests. The researchers will examine the potential impact of future climate scenarios on the extent and productivity of floodplain forests.

For example, extreme droughts may reduce productivity due to water stress and increases in the frequency and severity of forest fires. Prolonged periods of inundation, on the other hand, may decrease productivity or increase mortality due to water logging stress.

“We will evaluate these responses for the first time at a regional scale using remotely sensed indicators of vegetation condition and fire-induced tree mortality to measure the response of floodplain forests to inter-annual flood variability and extreme climate events,” said Marcia Macedo, a research associate at the Woods Hole Research Center.

Researchers will measure tree litter dry weight, depth of flooding, tree height and diameter, and stand density. They will also use photographs and satellite images.

Previous research has focused on Amazon upland forests and the potential impacts of deforestation, fire, and drought. The research team will compare new greenhouse gas simulations to previous simulations.

“Our research informs large river ecology globally because natural flowing rivers like the Amazon are rare these days, and most research to date, being done in North America and Europe, has focused on degraded systems,” Castello said.

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Learn how others “talk the talk” and learn who really can “walk the walk”

Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
George Lundquist, retirement, relocation columnist, Guide & Developer/Builder.


Here's reasonable medical care
Costa Rica's world class medical specialists are at your command. Get the top care for much less than U.S. prices. It is really a great way to spend a vacation. See our list of recommended professionals HERE!amcr-prom

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Gorgeous views, safe and peaceful, above Alajuela
bedroom, three-bath house for rent, near Pura Vida Yoga Center. Perfect weather, great views, nice neighbors. Two phone lines. Internet access through Cable Tica. Long-term rental only. $900 plus utilities. Click HERE for more information. Contact

Guanacaste rental
Long Term Rental. Villa Jardin
Gated Community in desirable North Playas Del Coco, Guanacaste.
Hear the waves, walk to the beach. Only 100 meters from the ocean. Two-bedrooms, two-bath home, large terrace with ocean view.  Hear the waves.   A/C, satellite TV, high-speed Internet available, fully furnished.  Carport, washer/dryer,  barbeque grill. Surrounded by gardens, palm trees and tropical trees frequented by monkeys.   Possible to include a one-bedroom apartment. with separate entrance, below villa. Long term:  main house — $1,250 per month and with the separate apartment. $1,600/month.  Owner Linda Gray; 8347-4705,

Apartments Lemur
Apartment Lemur for rent
San Francisco de Dos Rios, El Bosque, furnished, 2-bedroom, 1-bath apartment, quiet area, free cable TV, WiFi. large patio area, swimming pool, parking, security. Close to San José. $440/month. Retired persons preferred. Call 8375-6838.

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for your stay in this beautiful part of Costa Rica.
We are offering homes for every budget and every need.
Please visit our Web page at or contact us at
or call at (506) 2654-5442.

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

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

100 houses

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

MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

Villas Casa Loma has everything you are looking for.  Best vistas, climate, value.  Four unique homes in a secure private compound on a ridge near Alajuela overlooking the entire Central Valley.  Two are available fully furnished and equipped, each a complete home accommodating 4 persons in two bedrooms with ensuite baths.  Pool, rancho, mirador, other features.  Ask about part-month rates.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.

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

Beautiful 2-bedroom 2-bathroom American-style apartments with an elevator to your front door in a secure building located in Gringo Gulch the American Section of downtown San José. Costa Rica. Located between the Hotel Del Rey, the Hotel Mona Lisa and the Sportsman's Lodge and The Zona Blue (AKA) Little Habana across the street from Harry's Poas Bar, and next to the Holiday Inn.
apartment view
 There are 15 restaurants and American- style bars on this block and four supermarkets within a few blocks. There are 5 casinos within 2 blocks and dozens of hotels around this apartment. Included in your rental price, fast Internet, the best they have in Costa Rica, cable TV with 80 stations, water, washer
 and dryer. All you pay extra for is electricity. You have your own meter and receive a bill from the electric company every month.  This apartment has a American-style hot water system, hot water in both bathrooms and the kitchen. There is a 25-foot balcony to sit on and watch the people in San José walk by. The neighborhood Barrio Amón is the safest in San José For photos and more information contact:

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Chile small
U.S. Geological Survey graphic   
This is the coast of Chile with past epicenters marked.
Click HERE for larger image

Subduction reported as cause
for Tuesday's quake in Chile

By the U.S. Geological Survey news staff

The Tuesday 8.2 magnitude earthquake in northern Chile occurred as the result of thrust faulting at shallow depths near the Chilean coast. The location and mechanism of the earthquake are consistent with slip on the primary plate boundary interface, or megathrust, between the Nazca and South America plates.

At the latitude of the earthquake, the Nazca plate subducts eastward beneath the South America plate at a rate of 65 millimeters a year. Subduction along the Peru-Chile Trench to the west of Chile has led to uplift of the Andes mountain range and has produced some of the largest earthquakes in the world, including the 2010 8.8 magnitude earthquake in central Chile, and the largest earthquake on record, the 1960  9.5 magnitude earthquake in southern Chile.

The Tuesday earthquake occurred in a region of historic seismic inactivity, termed the northern Chile or Iquique seismic gap. Historical records indicate a magnitude 8.8 earthquake occurred within the Iquique gap in 1877, which was preceded immediately to the north by a magnitude 8.8 earthquake in 1868.

A recent increase in seismicity rates has occurred in this vicinity. A magnitude 6.7 earthquake with similar faulting mechanism occurred March 16 and was followed by 60-plus earthquakes of  magnitude 4.0 or more and 26 earthquakes of 5.0 or more. The March 16 earthquake was also followed by three 6.2 magnitude events on March 17, March 22, and March 23.

The spatial distribution of seismicity following the March 16 event migrated spatially to the north through time, starting near 20 degrees south and moving to about 19.5 degrees south. The initial location of the Tuesday earthquake places the event near the northern end of this seismic sequence.

The South American arc extends over 7,000 kms, from the Chilean margin triple junction offshore of southern Chile to its intersection with the Panamá fracture zone, offshore of the southern coast of Panama in Central America. It marks the plate boundary between the subducting Nazca plate and the South America plate, where the oceanic crust and lithosphere of the Nazca plate begin their descent into the mantle beneath South America. The convergence associated with this subduction process is responsible for the uplift of the Andes Mountains, and for the active volcanic chain present along much of this deformation front.

Relative to a fixed South America plate, the Nazca plate moves slightly north of eastwards at a rate varying from approximately 80 millimeters a year in the south to approximately 65 millimeters a year in the north. Although the rate of subduction varies little along the entire arc, there are complex changes in the geologic processes along the subduction zone that dramatically influence volcanic activity, crustal deformation, earthquake generation and occurrence all along the western edge of South America.

Most of the large earthquakes in South America are constrained to shallow depths of 0 to 70 kms resulting from both crustal and interplate deformation. Crustal earthquakes result from deformation and mountain building in the overriding South America plate and generate earthquakes as deep as approximately 50 kms. Interplate earthquakes occur due to slip along the dipping interface between the Nazca and the South American plates. Interplate earthquakes in this region are frequent and often large, and occur between the depths of approximately 10 and 60 kms. Since 1900, numerous magnitude 8 or larger earthquakes have occurred on this subduction zone interface that were followed by devastating tsunamis, including the 1960 9.5 magnitude earthquake in southern Chile, the largest instrumentally recorded earthquake in the world.

Large intermediate-depth earthquakes (those occurring between depths of approximately 70 and 300 kms.) are relatively limited in size and spatial extent in South America, and occur within the Nazca plate as a result of internal deformation within the subducting plate. These earthquakes generally cluster beneath northern Chile and southwestern Bolivia, and to a lesser extent beneath northern Peru and southern Ecuador, with depths between 110 and 130 kms. Most of these earthquakes occur adjacent to the bend in the coastline between Peru and Chile. The most recent large intermediate-depth earthquake in this region was the 2005 magnitude 7.8 Tarapaca, Chile, event.

Earthquakes can also be generated to depths greater than 600 kms. as a result of continued internal deformation of the subducting Nazca plate. Deep-focus earthquakes in South America are not observed from a depth range of approximately 300 to 500 kms. Instead, deep earthquakes in this region occur at depths of 500 to 650 kms. and are concentrated into two zones: one that runs beneath the Peru-Brazil border and another that extends from central Bolivia to central Argentina. These earthquakes generally do not exhibit large magnitudes. An exception to this was the 1994 Bolivian earthquake in northwestern Bolivia. This magnitude 8.2 earthquake occurred at a depth of 631 kms., which was until recently the largest deep-focus earthquake instrumentally recorded and was felt widely throughout South and North America.

Subduction of the Nazca plate is geometrically complex and impacts the geology and seismicity of the western edge of South America. The intermediate-depth regions of the subducting Nazca plate can be segmented into five sections based on their angle of subduction beneath the South America plate. Three segments are characterized by steeply dipping subduction, the other two by near-horizontal subduction.

The Nazca plate beneath northern Ecuador, southern Peru to northern Chile, and southern Chile descend into the mantle at angles of 25 to 30 degrees. In contrast, the slab beneath southern Ecuador to central Peru, and under central Chile, is subducting at a shallow angle of approximately 10 degrees or less. In these regions of flat-slab subduction, the Nazca plate moves horizontally for several hundred kilometers before continuing its descent into the mantle, and is shadowed by an extended zone of crustal seismicity in the overlying South America plate.

Although the South America plate exhibits a chain of active volcanism resulting from the subduction and partial melting of the Nazca oceanic lithosphere along most of the arc, these regions of inferred shallow subduction correlate with an absence of volcanic activity.

Three persons, gunman die
in new Fort Hood shooting

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. law enforcement officials say a gunman opened fire at the Fort Hood military base in central Texas Wednesday, killing at least three people before taking his own life.  As many as 14 others were wounded.

President Barack Obama, speaking from Chicago, offered condolences, saying "we're heartbroken that this might have happened again." He referred to the wounded and their families as those who have sacrificed so much for freedom, and said the situation at the base is fluid.

Officials at the huge base confirmed Wednesday's mayhem after gunfire was first reported on social media.

Shortly after the first reports of gunfire, television footage showed helicopters overhead as military police searched the base.  Nearby civilian police agencies searched vehicles and helped seal the perimeter of the base, located south of the city of Waco.

The base remained on lockdown hours later, as military police and other law enforcement combed the heavily guarded facility.

Fort Hood was the scene of a mass shooting spree in 2009.  Thirteen people were killed and more than 30 others wounded when a Muslim Army psychiatrist opened fire on troops headed to Afghanistan.

After that shooting, the Pentagon ordered tightened security at all U.S. bases.

U.S. High Court ruling gives
wealthy bigger role in politics

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday issued a ruling that further loosens restrictions on campaign contribution limits, possibly opening the way for even greater influence by wealthy donors. 

By a vote of 5-4, the conservative majority on the Supreme Court struck down overall limits on campaign contributions for individual donors who wish to support federal candidates, political parties and political action committees.

The previous overall limit for any one donor during a two-year election cycle was $123,200.  The high court decision opens the way for wealthy donors to contribute millions of dollars to various campaigns and political parties, an influence that has grown since another sweeping campaign finance decision by the Supreme Court in 2010.

Wednesday’s ruling does not do away with current restrictions on contributions to individual candidates, which remain set at $2,600 per candidate per election cycle.

The ruling got a favorable reaction from Republicans, including National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, who spoke to reporters in a conference call.

“The First Amendment applies to all of us.  People should have the right to give their money and exercise their free speech to as many candidates and as many political committees and PACs as they want to," said Priebus. referring to political action committees.

Democrats blasted the narrow decision as a defeat for the average voter and a victory for wealthy donors looking to have undue influence on U.S. elections.

Sen. Charles Schumer, a Democrat of New York, was critical of the conservative majority on the Supreme Court.

“They wish to dismantle all limits on giving, piece by piece, until we are back to the days of the robber barons when anyone or anything could give unlimited money, undisclosed, and make our political system seem so rigged that everyone will lose interest in our democracy," said Schumer.

The decision also drew negative reviews from various groups that support strengthening campaign finance laws to guard against political corruption.

Marge Baker is with People For the American Way in Washington.  She says this latest high court ruling could fire up grass roots support for tougher laws and restrictions to guard against buying influence with political candidates. 

“There is a movement building around the country calling for addressing the huge money in politics problem that we have and that movement is growing every day," said Ms. Baker.

But conservative Republicans in Congress are likely to block any attempt in the near future to tighten campaign finance laws.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is a longtime critic of campaign finance reform.  He equates giving political contributions to the free speech guarantee in the U.S. Constitution.

“There are many wealthy Americans who feel deeply about the country, who are committed to one side or the other, who are trying to have an impact on the country, as many on the left as on the right," said McConnell.

McConnell was a supporter of the controversial Supreme Court decision four years ago known as Citizens United that removed a number of restrictions on corporations and labor unions that wish to spend money on campaign advocacy as long as it is independent of specific candidates.

Outside political groups and individual wealthy donors have played a bigger role in recent national elections, and in some cases have become as influential as the two main political parties in terms of fundraising.

Polls show Americans are concerned about the growing influence of wealthy campaign donors, but the issue ranks low on the list of priorities for most voters.

This latest high court ruling continues to reverse a trend that began in the 1970s when Congress enacted stricter campaign finance laws in the wake of the Watergate political scandal that drove then-president Richard Nixon from office.

Senate advances jobless bill,
but House unlikely to do so

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Senate has advanced a bill to restart federal jobless benefits that expired late last year for the long-term unemployed.  Final approval is expected by week’s end in the Democrat-controlled chamber, but the bill may not get a vote in the Republican-led House of Representatives.

Normally, unemployed Americans are entitled to six months of modest, government-provided income to help them and their families cover basic needs until a job is secured.  But economic conditions are far from normal, according to Sen. Jeff Merkley, a Democrat who said millions of Americans need more time to find work and extended unemployment benefits in the meantime.

“They are hoping to make their payment on their light bill.  They are hoping to make their rent payment or their mortgage payment.  And savings run thin.  And that is why, during periods of high unemployment, we have created a longer unemployment insurance bridge to get them to that next job,” Merkley said.

Jobless benefits have been extended repeatedly since the 2008 financial crisis.  But Congress allowed the extension to expire in December, causing millions to lose compensation.  Many would get retroactive benefits if the Senate bill became law.

Wednesday, the legislation cleared a procedural hurdle when six Republicans voted with a unified Democratic caucus to end debate and proceed to a final vote.

But most Republicans voted no.  Sen. John Cornyn said government benefits must be limited in duration.

“When the government continues to pay unemployment benefits for people who are out of work, human nature is such that people are disincentivized to go back to work and look for work,” he said.

Other Republicans objected to majority Democrats’ refusal to consider amendments to the bill.  Sen. John Barrasso cast a no vote after his proposal to liberalize U.S. natural gas exports was blocked.

“What we are proposing is to be able to export liquefied natural gas to our European allies, our NATO allies, and to Ukraine.  Russia is using natural gas as a political weapon.  And it is up to us, not just to get Americans back to work, but to help undercut the ability of Russia to hold the people of Ukraine hostage,” Barrasso stated.

But final Senate passage of the bill is all but assured.  Not so in the House of Representatives, where Speaker John Boehner said Democrats are misguidedly focused on extending jobless benefits rather than boosting slow-growth economy that is not generating enough employment.

America’s economic performance will be a top issue in midterm elections in November, when one-third of the Senate and all House seats will be contested.

Turkey's high court vetoes
prime minister's censorship

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Rebuffing his government's efforts to censor parts of the Internet, Turkey's highest court Wednesday rejected Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's block of Twitter, saying it violates freedom of expression and individual rights.

The ruling comes in one of two legal challenges to the government's ban on certain social media sites. In a binding decision, the constitutional court ordered the government to do what's necessary to lift the ban.

It's not yet clear how, or if, the Erdogan government will respond.

With his broad, some say authoritarian, attempts to block social media,  Erdogan has embarked on a bold but difficult strategy that is causing alarm worldwide among Internet freedom activists.

"Erdogan’s strategy is to demonize social media," says cyber law scholar Zeynep Tufekci. "It is a strategy of placing social media outside the sacred sphere, as a disruption of family, as a threat to unity, as an outside blade tearing at the fabric of society."

Added Doug Madory of the web security firm Renesys: "They are quite serious about censoring the Internet and are willing to go to lengths to do so."

Both Twitter and Google, which owns YouTube, have protested Istanbul's actions.

State Department spokesperson Marie Harf called Turkey's actions an encroachment on free speech, saying the U.S. will "continue to urge the Turkish government to unblock its citizens' access now to YouTube, but also still to Twitter."

Erdogan's antipathy to the Internet has been brewing for years.

"There is now a scourge that is called Twitter," he told a 2013 rally. "To me, social media is the worst menace to society!"

He has called Facebook "immoral," YouTube "a devouring force," and has promised to eradicate Twitter.

And last month, in the lead-up to local elections, Erdogan attempted to make good on that promise by banning Twitter.

Promising to wipe out the micro-blogging site, Turkish telecom officials - at  Erdogan's orders - tried to simply block access to the site.

However, within hours Twitter users fought back, breaking through the ban by sending SMS messages, and later using Google's free Domain Name System, or DNS for short.

DNS is the system that converts recognizable Web site domains, or names like, into the specific Internet address. Twitter activists quickly spread the word that by using Google's free DNS database of, users could easily workaround Turkey's block.

Nearly one week after the clumsy Twitter block, the Erdogan government announced a ban on YouTube, and strengthened the blocks for both sites.

Then the Erdogan government took it one step further.

In what analysts see as an unprecedented step for a government, it redirected web site searches accessed through Google to its own  sites.

"We have received several credible reports and confirmed with our own research that Google’s Domain Name System service has been intercepted by most Turkish ISPs," Google software engineer Steve Carstensen posted on the company's blog, referring to  internet service providers.

Earl Zmijewky with Renesys liken that to hijacking Google's Internet address book.

"Now when Turkish users seemingly ask a Google DNS server for YouTube’s address," Zmijewsky wrote on the Renesys blog, "they get the IP address of a Turkish government site ("

What that means, in short, is that Turkish Internet users presently cannot necessarily trust that any Web site they are accessing, either via domain name or DNS, is in fact the actual Web site.

That's because Turkey's telecommunications providers have apparently intentionally scrambled the Internet's phone book of domain listings, routing traffic around sites unpopular with the government.

"DNS tampering is done in a number of places, but this particular technique has not been used before on a national scale," said Renesys' Madory.

"China, for example, also does DNS tampering, but they do it by listening for DNS queries and then sending a forged bogus response to the client before the legitimate response arrives," Madory said. "They aren't hijacking IP address space to do it."

For the moment, it doesn't appear that Turkey has implemented any tougher blocks than what's already in place.

Still, Internet free-speech activists continue sounding the alarm.

And while those blocks are likely to hold for a while, Jillian York, the Electronic Frontier Foundation's director of international freedom of expression, said there are still plenty of ways to evade Turkey's censorship.

"Existing Turkish Twitter users can send Tweets using SMS," she says. "Avea and Vodafone users should text START to 2444. Turkcell users can text START to 2555. Tor can also be used to bypass censorship."

Analyst Madory also recommends using the anonymizing program Tor, or something called a Virtual Private Network, or VPN.

Internet legal scholar Ms. Tufekci said its likely both the government will keep trying to vilify and block social media, and that Turkish Internet activists will continue busting holes through the blocks.

"Erdogan likely still has enough supporters to win elections, but to continue to win, he needs to keep them off social media," she said. "His game is to scare them about all that comes from social media. He knows they’ll hear of the corruption tapes.

"But they are now associated with the same source that maligns housewives as porn-stars," she said.

Search results still zero
after effort of three weeks

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The search continued Wednesday over a vast expanse of the Indian Ocean for any debris from a Malaysia Airlines jetliner which has been missing for more than three weeks. Each day becomes more critical because the missing plane’s black box, which might contain the key to understanding what happened, has an expected battery life of about 30 days.

The ongoing search in remote waters, 1,800 kilometers west of Australia, has yet to yield any trace of the Malaysia Airlines plane.
Distraught relatives of the Chinese passengers of Flight 370 met with Malaysian officials at a hotel near Kuala Lumpur. The event was simulcast to relatives in Beijing. 

Government authorities in Kuala Lumpur have faced criticism, especially from Chinese relatives, about the lack of transparency in releasing information about the flight, missing since March 8. 
The director general of the Malaysian Civil Aviation Department, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, says authorities answered all of the questions from the relatives who did not express any hostility.
"No, they are not hostile. Everybody, they conducted themselves very well in the meeting and we had a very good question and answer time," he said.
In Beijing, relatives also met with Malaysian officials and watched the briefing in Kuala Lumpur on a private simulcast. Steve Wang, whose mother was on board, said the meeting with Malaysian officials provided little clarity about what happened.
"We're still confused about why they could give such a conclusion...we'll still wait for the truth," Wang said.
Malaysia Airlines flight 370 was carrying 239 passengers, bound for Beijing. Two thirds of them were Chinese.

A multinational search for any traces of the plane continues in the southern Indian Ocean, far off Australia's west coast, encompassing about 220,000 square kilometers. 
Malaysia's top police official tells reporters the real cause of the airliner's disappearance may never be known, but more time is needed for the investigation.
Khalid Abu Bakar, the police inspector general, says nothing has been ruled out, including mechanical error. He says all of the passengers have been cleared of suspicion but the investigation of the pilots and crew members continues amid the open question of whether the plane was hijacked or there was sabotage.
However, authorities stress no evidence has emerged suggesting a motive by either of the pilots who were well-regarded by their peers.
The investigator adds that every piece of cargo that was loaded onto the flight is also being investigated. Even the several tons of mangosteens were traced from the orchard they were grown, to who plucked, packed and shipped the fruits and then loaded them on the plane.

Modern television series seen
as rival to Hollywood films

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

American television series have evolved to a point where their original stories, well-crafted dialogue and talented casts often trump formulaic Hollywood films.

And there is a wide selection to satisfy every taste.

Consider the new series "Turn," the latest from AMC Studios. Based on historical facts about American revolutionaries during the War of Independence, the drama flows like a modern-day espionage film in this character-driven TV series.

Today, most of the young actors in the series are largely unknown. Tomorrow, they could be household names. Heather Lind plays Anna Strong, a historical figure from the late 18th century, who spies on the British.

“It surprised me and amazed me how specific and hardworking people in TV are right now,” Ms. Lind said, “and with material that every episode is like doing a movie."

Seth Numrich, who plays Ben Tallmadge, another revolutionary, says the plethora of quality series has created many opportunities for actors like him.

“All the actors that I know are really excited about the types of characters and story lines that are happening on television,” Numrich said.

It all started with "The Sopranos."

The 1990s gangster drama about the life of New Jersey Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano took risks by creating a gritty, violent show with complex anti-heroes. The Sopranos paved the way for unconventional storytelling and many still hail the show as the greatest TV series ever.

Others root for current favorites such as Frank Darabond’s "The Walking Dead."

The Oscar-nominated filmmaker says, gore and zombies aside, the show became popular because of its depth and unique perspective about the struggle to stay human in a zombie-infested world. Darabond says the walking dead are not really the dead but the living.
Darabond also credits the studio for developing the series. Once AMC came on board, the pilot and script were revamped and the director was asked to run the series like one of his acclaimed films.

"Breaking Bad" is another powerful character drama that many consider one of television’s finest. The award-winning show features Walter White, a chemistry teacher with stage-three cancer who becomes a crystal meth kingpin to fund his treatment. Walter is a complex figure that viewers fall in love with.

These are just a few of the layered stories about the human condition on the small screen. Many series run for years, allowing viewers to bond with the characters, something a film cannot effectively do in 90 minutes.

After such huge TV hits, it is not surprising that the cast and crew of the historical series "Turn" are ebullient that AMC studios added them to its fold.

Executive Producer Barry Josephson, a fan of "The Walking Dead" and "Breaking Bad," is hopeful "Turn" can be added to AMC’s successful mix.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

Interior Design & Custom Furniture Manufacturing
“We regularly exceed client expectations.
We guarantee it.”
Customizing for your vision, lifestyle and budget.
A turnkey home and project completion agency devoted to creative vision and flawless execution. We provide a single, solid and dedicated point of contact for the duration of your real estate project, specializing in:

• Interior Design
• Custom Furniture Manufacturing
• Building Completion Services
Our primary goal is to assist our clients with a smooth transition to occupancy while providing highly personalized and distinctive services. We have refined the process to be a hassle free experience, especially valuable for clients who live abroad.
Our custom furniture designs & manufacturing can be contracted independently.
“Serving the Region for 11 years”

Cell phone: (506) - 8707-8008
Office phone: (506) - 2288-5644

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

Swimming pool at night
A Buyer’s Broker offering the best
of Costa Rica Real Estate.

For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 2228-5961 or 8339-2112.

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

Moran Arenal
Lake Arenal, Costa Rica
The undiscovered jewel of Central America, 35 square miles of blue, pristine, clear water ideal for fishing, swimming, boating, Real estate values still low.
Great lake front, river front land, farms, homes, condos and commercial property. Some with owner financing
This is far and away the most beautiful place in all Central America — cool climate. Try our two-day, all-inclusive discovery tour for $299.

Check with our Web site at
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
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Costa Rica,

Central America
Houses, lots and farms in Grecia,
western Central Valley.
Great climate
and safe communities.

Visit our Web Site:

English: (Cristian Arce)
(506) 8309-0173  
English:  (Luis Arce)
(506) 7100-8489  
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  (506) 8707-4016  
Grecia 794
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $850.000: HERE!
30,000 square meters of land and 750 square-meters of construction.
Grecia home
1,000 square meters of land, 350 square meters of construction.  CLICK HERE
Grecia 807
  18,000 square meters of land and 300 square meters of construction. HERE!
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Real estate for sale (paid category)

Pursical home
Another 'live in the view' home in Puriscal
$173,900 includes:
Lot on river, concrete road, custom kitchen & bath with granite counter tops, PEX plumbing, 2” Styrofoam, sandwiched in steel roof, 4” concrete/recycled Styrofoam & steel walls, laminated, bronzed windows, custom wood doors, appliances and all transfer taxes, and fees.

2, 900 sq feet under roof, 1,250 sq feet inside walls, 2 bedroom, 2 ½ baths, laundry room, three separate patio areas, covered carport, shade trees, in upscale, secure project.  This project has river with protected areas & walkways. It is only 10 minutes on all paved roads to Santiago de Puriscal, 45 minutes to La Plaza Mall/Hospital CIMA and SJO airport, and 1 ½ hours to Pacific Beaches. It has recently upgraded public water supply and dependable ICE electric and high-speed internet.
Please come visit our projects and meet four new homeowners who have recently moved into their new “live in the view” homes to verify how happy they are and that they all came in under budget. CONTACT: George Lundquist  Home phone: 2417-1041 Cell phone: 8888 4543 Skype glundquist.

Beautiful fully renovated house in Bello Horizonte, Escazu, 446 sq. meters. Four bedrooms; four baths. Price includes all furniture and fixtures - ready to move in! Light, bright and airy....$499,500 USD. Telephone 2288.6451. More details HERE!

Atenas mansion
In 2006, the developer of a popular subdivision in Atenas chose a large 7,000 m2 corner view lot for his first spec home. Now, eight years later that home is once again for sale with first class tropical landscaping that much more mature. With 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2-car carport, laundry room, and more than 300 m2 under roof next to a pristine pool, this home is located in a gated community with its own water sources. And the location, just 1 1/4 km from town, is convenient to shopping and services, too. The views are of  Candelaria and the central valley. No wonder this community is so popular! $495,000. More photos HERE. And then contact

Med house
Mediterranean inspired home overlooking the Bay of Nicoya and Pacific Ocean.  This design allows for barrier-free living, yet maximizes views from every room in the house . Vaulted ceiling over the living area and kitchen give the great room its spacious, open feeling with a natural stone fireplace and imported Spanish tile floors.  $365,000.00 or rent for $900 per month including WIFI and PLUS utilities.  Long term rentals only please.  Property: 22,000 m2 or 5.5 acres. Construction: 4,500 sq. ft. including porches and garage.  3 bedrooms/ 2 baths.  Fully furnished   Automatic entry gate.   Custom exotic wood cabinets   High end stainless steel appliances   Granite counter tops  Slide show at   
For more information contact:

Belen home
Comfortable in Costa Rica
Asuncion de Belen. Home in exclusive Residencial La Jolla.  Gated community with controlled access,  security 24/7. Resort swimming pool and gym. Spacious and elegant finishes, private jacuzzi and social areas. 3 bedrooms. 2.5 baths.  Private gardens. Conveniently located close to airport, shopping, bilingual schools, Intel and Duty Free Zones. 322m2 on 249m2 corner lot. Lease with purchase option  $3,400/ $428,000 USD. Contact owner at 8309-2000 for details or email

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

We are also currently looking for an English-speaking, full-time housekeeper. The housekeeper will be required to pay utilities but not rent. We are offering the chance to live rent free in this beautiful beach home at the small cost of keeping the property in good shape and keeping it safe while we are looking for a new owner! If you are interested, please e-mail for more information!!


Beach Front Home - Central Pacific Coast
Pristine condition, recently renovated. The best surfing and boogie boarding in the country. The most magnificent ocean and sunset view. New 20-year, fully registered concession on one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. Easy access from San José (1 hour 25 minutes) located between Jacó and Manuel Antonio, in Esterillos Oeste.  2 or 3 bedrooms. Center room can be living room. House with 2 1/2 baths. Separated rancho with kitchen and large entertainment patio. Landscaped garden with no water shortage. Has both municipal and well water with automatic watering system. Direct access to the beach as no road is in front of property. Protected land on one side of the property for additional privacy.  Alarm system and complete shutters for security while away.  Lot approximately 1,725 square meters, Asking price: $385.000.  Contact to Paul at local phone 506- 2637-8858  Cell phone 506- 8823-8550 .  US Mobile 908-400-9772  Emails: and

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

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

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

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

Spectacular view property on a ridge near Alajuela.  Large home and 3 rental homes totaling 7,300 square feet (678 square meters) live-in construction.  Property area is 3,376 square meters (0.83 acres) including a vacant lot for expansion options.  In total there are 10 bedrooms, each with an ensuite bath.  Property has pool, rancho, mirador, courtyard and covered parking.  Homes have romantic fireplaces, built-ins, storage, other luxury features.  Turnkey sale includes all appliances, furniture, fixtures, equipment.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

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

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

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

Rich Coast montage
Real Estate, Central Pacific Region

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

Gulf road

Beachfront pristine five-hectare (13-acre) property

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

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

Becker montage
Beach property on the Pacific Ocean in Guanacaste.

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

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

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

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

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

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

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

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

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

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, April 3, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 66
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News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Rights Foundation deplores
repression in Venezuela

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The Human Rights Foundation said Wednesday that it  strongly condemns the ongoing crackdown on elected public officials in Venezuela. Following the arbitrary detention and prosecution of opposition leader Leopoldo López in February, opposition mayors Daniel Ceballos and Vicenzo Scarano were removed from office and sentenced to prison, while opposition assemblywoman Maria Corina Machado was dismissed from the National Assembly, the foundation noted.

The Venezuelan regime, which has been using police, military, and paramilitary forces to repress massive student protests, is cracking down on these three officials with charges of incitement and other vague, politically-motivated allegations related to the protests, it added.

“The 49.12 percent of Venezuelans who voted against Maduro in the last presidential election are now effectively disenfranchised because the government rules by decree, deprives their elected representatives of any meaningful participation in the country’s legislative body and local governments, and stigmatizes opposition leaders as fascists, nazis, and terrorists for standing against the authoritarian status quo,” said Garry Kasparov, foundation chairman.

“Not only is half of the country prevented from participating in their own political institutions, but their voices have been silenced following the shutdown of all independent TV networks in the country. Meanwhile, the long list of individuals who have been killed, detained, and tortured continues to grow. Judges are arresting innocent people to keep their jobs, armed paramilitary colectivos are murdering protestors under presidential orders broadcast on mandatory national television, and authorities like the attorney general and the ombudswoman are bending over backward to defend the government against documented accusations of torture,” said Kasparov.

March 13, Maduro threatened Venezuela’s mayors, saying that they would face serious consequences if they did not clear the barricades set up by protestors on roads in their municipalities. March 19, the mayor of the municipality of San Diego in Carabobo state, Enzo Scarano, who was elected in December with 75.24 percent of the vote, was removed from office and sentenced to 10 months and 15 days in jail for allegedly committing the crime of libel (desacato) for disobeying a ruling by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice that instructed him to “prevent the placing of obstacles on public roads that block, hinder, or alter the free passage of people and vehicles,” said the foundation.

March 25, Mayor Daniel Ceballos, who won 67.67 percent of the vote in the municipal elections Dec. 8, was removed from office and sentenced to 12 months in prison for the same crime, the foundation added. Ceballos is also facing charges of civil rebellion and unlawful assembly. Ceballos was the mayor of San Cristobal in the state of  Táchira, a municipality at the epicenter of the protests.

Maria Corina Machado, who was brutally beaten by members of the ruling party during a session of congress last year, was dismissed by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice from her post at the National Assembly. The dismissal came days after the president of the National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, stated that Machado was no longer a member of the assembly. Cabello also accused her of treason after Machado was granted time by Panamá at the Organizaton of American States to speak about the Venezuelan crisis. Cabello previously accused Mr. Machado of being an “accomplice, an instigator of murder in this country,” and stated: “Here in Venezuela she will be tried as a murderer, she will be tried as a terrorist, she will be tried for crimes against humanity, for conspiracy, she will be tried for destabilizing this country,” the foundation said.

“The kangaroo courts that summarily convicted Ceballos, Scarano, and Machado are just part of the mounting proof that Venezuela ceased to be a democracy long ago. Maduro has followed in the footsteps of his predecessor and for months has legislated via the same decretos ley that Pinochet and Videla used in the seventies,” said Kasparov.

“All democratic countries in the world should emulate the European Parliament and be firm in expressing solidarity with the Venezuelan people and emphatically condemning the dictatorial measures of the regime. The world must denounce the regime’s ongoing crackdown on the legitimate representatives of 49.12 percent of Venezuelans who refuse to stand idly by as they are dragged toward a Stalinist dictatorship like the one that has ruled Cuba for the past 55 years,” said Kasparov.


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From Page 7:

Dispute with U.S. involves dehydrated ethanol

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rican leaders are trying to work with the United States government on an import duty issue. The nation has submitted a request to the U.S. to discuss a change in the current system of assessing duty on dehydrated ethanol.

This request comes just before the elimination of a quota for 31 million gallons of the ethanol that was previously granted to Costa Rica per the Central American Free Trade Treaty.

In 2013 the U.S. imposed a controversial duty of 2.5 percent on imports of dehydrated ethanol. Member countries of the free trade pact claimed the arbitrary tax was unfair and violated the free trade agreement. From 2000 to 2013 exports of dehydrated ethanol to the U.S. Accounted for 70 percent of the product's worldwide exports, according to the Ministerio de Comercio Exterior.

The parties have until June 1 to solve the dispute. If it is not resolved by then, they will move on to a next step in the trade treaty guidelines.

Dehydrated ethanol, which is basically 200-proof alcohol is a solvent and has many medical uses.