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Published Tuesday, April 18, 2017, in Vol. 17, No. 76
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Alert issued to nearby cantons for Poás eruptions
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The national emergency commission issued a green alert Monday evening due to increased activity coming from the Poás volcano.

This comes after a Sunday report from the Red Sismológico Nacional, that a major eruption from the volcano occurred around 1:55 p.m. This followed two more outbursts again at 4:42 and 8:26 p.m., respectively.

The latest one spewed extremely hot rocks that could be seen from the surveillance camera at the volcano’s summit. Despite these recent rumblings from the volcano, the emergency group was still urging everyone to remain calm over the weekend.

Now, however, the Comité Asesor Técnico de Vulcanología y Sismología announced Monday evening that there has been an increase in the number of low-power earthquakes, a huge temperature jump by about 30 degrees, an increase in the amount of gas concentrate and the possibility of mud flows.

These characteristics have been monitored since the volcano first began rumbling last Wednesday.

To that end, a green alert has been issued for the cantons of: Poás, Valverde Vega, Alajuela, Zarcero and Grecia, according to the Comités Municipales de Emergencias.

Volcan poas
A.M. Costa Rica photo/Carl Miller
Friday photo taken by a reader shows Poás emitting a huge cloud of smoke Friday.

The alert’s tenets include a general notice sent out to residents living near river channels that start in the upper reaches of the volcano of the possibility of mudflows due to ash or whatever else the volcano spews out.

It also places a restriction around the river banks in case of flash flooding. Besides that, the green alert encourages the affected areas to continue monitoring emergency services for further announcements about the volcano, the emergency commission said.

The Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica said that guards in the Parque Nacional Volcán Poás reported seeing volcanic ash in the area around the visitor overlook. The volcano has been producing a phreatic eruption this past week, that is steam mixed with solid materials.

To see Wednesday's updated story on
the Discovery Costa Rica project, go
Lack of permits and water crisis mar planned park

By Rommel Téllez
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The lack of environmental and municipal permits along with the water distribution crisis in Guanacaste could be major roadblocks for the development of the Discovery Costa Rica theme park, announced Sunday.

The tourism attraction will cost around $1 billion and it is planned to start operations in 2020, according to a video statement released by President Luis Guillermo Solís.

However, Javier Viales, the mayor of Liberia, confirmed to A.M. Costa Rica that no permits have been granted or requested before the municipality to build the multimillion complex to the company Discovery Costa Rica, which he claims is in charge of developing the project.

He explained that two weeks ago he received the visit of two men from that company acting as its official representatives.

“They came here to explain the details of the project, and they said they had all the permits, including a concession to extract water from a well,” Viales said.

The mayor explained that the theme park is to be built in the same property allegedly owned by another company called Sun Ranch. This one apparently does have the concession to use a well but it is not the same one whose representatives visited the mayor.

“I believe Sun Ranch sold the property to these new people at Discovery Costa Rica, but I am not sure.” he added.

The mayor also claimed he could not provide names of the visitors or any other contact information because he lost their cards and could not find them among the 5,000 people registered on his cellphone.

According to Viales, a U.S. citizen called John Scheman is the owner of the Sun Ranch project. It was reported back in July 2012 that a huge entertainment park project was being developed by Sun Ranch.

In a story then by, the group reported as responsible is associated with the Do It Center in the area. According to its website, Grupo Do It is a Guanacaste development corporation in charge of a chain of retail hardware stores in addition to having a non-profit foundation, founded in 2005 by Scheman.

There is also Do It Development, which is the development arm for the conglomerate. The organization’s website includes, on its list of developments, the Discovery Costa Rica project.

A.M. Costa Rica tried to contact Scheman for further clarification of his involvement in the Discovery Costa Rica project, but after several calls to Grupo Do It based in Papagayo, an employee said he was out of reach. Attempts to contact Discovery Communications Inc., which is licensing its name to the park, have also gone unanswered.

“I really don't know much about this,” said Yamileth Astorga, head of the Instituto Nacional de Acueductos y Alcantarillados, the state's agency in charge of water supply.

“I can tell you I had a meeting a few weeks ago with other government officials about this. They showed us a video and they said the water issues were solved by using a well. I know so little that I prefer not to say much.”

Stephanie Gonzáles from the communications department at Casa Presidencial said officials won't talk about the project until a press conference being held today at 3 p.m. in Teatro Nacional.

The exploitation of water will likely delay the inauguration of the park and may stir up social unrest by residents and activists, especially in a province where locals and residents have accused government of providing the water supply to businesses rather than people.

“We will fight this development if it doesn't comply with the proper regulations,” said Mauricio Álvarez from Federación Ecologista Nacional, “We don't have much information yet, but I'm almost sure they have not gone through the process to guarantee that it will not affect water supply for people.”

“For a project like that to become a reality, there should be a social discussion and technical studies to be carried out.

However, the news broke all of a sudden and it doesn't seem it is realistic, it seems more like a propaganda tool,” Álvarez added.

Álvarez also said that a project like this will compete against older ones that have been in line because of the same water issues.

“Some developments take at least five years to comply with all the regulations, so I see their deadline unattainable. It would not be fair for those who have been waiting longer,” he said.

Back in 2009, a grassroots movement called Agua para Sardinal sparked national debate over water access right.

At the time, residents of the Sardinal community in Carrillo de Guanacaste strongly opposed the Coco-Ocotal-Carrillo water line that sought to divert water from the community into a luxury condominium project in Playas del Coco.

As of today, the project is still on hold due to opposition from some residents and environmentalists.

According to data from Estado de la Nación, water related conflicts had been on the rise since year 2000 until 2010. During that period 134 conflicts were identified, whereas 60 percent of them had the purpose of protecting water sources, 35 percent access to clean water and 5 percent were conflicts related to the betterment of the quality.

More than half of the conflicts were against the government at 58 percent and the rest against private companies at 26 percent.

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, April 18, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 76
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May Day file photo
A.M. Costa Rica photo/Rommel Téllez       
Photo taken of May Day parade back in 2015.

Workers of Costa Rica unite, unions say

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The labor unions issued a call Monday for everyone in the private and public sectors to come out in support of the International Workers Day parade.

Patria Justa, as the event is being hailed by many of the most prominent Costa Rican labor unions, is meeting at the Correos building in San José on Monday May 1 at 8 in the morning. The official commencement for the march will be at 9 a.m., organizers said. The march will continue to Parque Central and join other unions participating.

Some of those labor groups intending to participate are : the Asociación Nacional de Empleados Públicos y Privados, Frente Interno de Trabajadores y de Trabajadoras del Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, Sindicato Nacional de Enfermería, Sindicato Pro Trabajadores del Consejo Nacional de Producción y de la Fábrica Nacional de Licores and the Unión del Personal del Instituto Nacional de Seguros, among others.

These groups signed a proclamation that not only announced the march but also called for ongoing demands that labor unions have been arguing for in Costa Rica. Some of those were an increase to the minimum wage, opposition to the privatization of the Refinadora Costarricense de Petroleo S.A., and general statements against free trade agreements.

May 1 is an internationally celebrated holiday sometimes referred colloquially as May Day. The Second International, a pan-socialist organization comprised of delegates from varying Communist and socialist political parties around the world, sanctioned the day as International Workers’ Day back in 1889. This came in response to the notorious Haymarket Affair that happened in Chicago just three years earlier.

The incident occurred following the bombing of a labor demonstration that was urging for the support of the eight-hour working day. Seven police officers and four civilians were killed with many others wounded as a result of this bombing. Although eight people alleged to be anarchists were put on trial for the crime, none of the convicted persons were charged with actually throwing the bomb.

An ironic feature of this holiday is the fact that the country where the incident occurred, the United States, does not have a holiday on May 1. It may be observed but Labor Day in the first days of September is the frequently cited substitute. 

New book out on Costa Rica nightmare

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Modern communications and publishing allow anyone who feels he or she has been aggrieved to vent their complaints.

Sometimes they are revealing important information. Other times they just do not understand the situation in which they find themselves.

A case in point is expat Alan Seaman, who recounts terrifying encounters with officialdom in a new book he has published via

The subtitle says it all:  “Pura vida to the roach motel in 11 short years. CR Captive is quite literally a captive in Costa Rica. Skip the propaganda & tourist traps, you could be risking your life (or those of your family) by coming to Costa Rica without first reading this.”   Seaman writes under the pen name CR
The book cover.
Captive and credits a family friend, Tereza Pina Ramos, as the second author.

This is another story of an elderly expat wrapped up in a domestic violence and paternity case.  Seaman said that he has been detained several times by police and alleged that he or associates had to pay bribes so he could be released.

His troubles stem from an unrecorded marriage to a Costa Rican woman who now claims she had lived with him for five years and bore a child, he said. She is seeking money, and witnesses who could dispute the woman’s
account were not allowed to testify in court, he said.

Meanwhile, he could not leave the country to assist his 92-year-old mother who was about to leave a U.S. hospital after treatment. He said he ended up paying thousands so he could leave jail, never mind leaving the country.

At best, Seaman's tale is fantastic and would be easy to dismiss except that there are many more cases of domestic violence and paternity cases sending expats and even Costa Ricans into Kafkalandia.

His tale is so complicated that summarizing it into a news story is impossible. But there is no doubt that the book will turn up on Costa Rican searches on Amazon and perhaps give the country a black eye.

That seems to be his plan. At the very least, the book, however slanted, should be required reading for any expat, male or female, who is considering a love match while living in Costa Rica.

The laws are set up so that a simple statement from a partner can have the other half ejected from the home to await what in many times is a one-sided hearing in domestic violence court. And those who have youngsters here can be required to post years of child support before being allowed to leave the country.

Seaman’s account is replete with claims of bribe demands and mistreatment by authorities. The book is certainly something that should be investigated by high-ranking court officials if only to report that it is an exaggeration. But it probably will not be.

News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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Third News Page
U.S. Tax
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, April 18, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 76
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Tree Planting Challenge seeks some needed relief for rainforests
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Kids Saving the Rainforest is looking to raise its goals to include a reforestation project that will include at least 94,000 trees, according to a statement issued by the group. This will all come together during its Earth Day Tree Planting Challenge Saturday.

The goal is being led to fruition thanks to a donation of around 117 hectares, or about 289 acres, of land that the donor owned as a teak farm before it was harvested back in April 2016, according to the group’s co-founder Janine Licare. The property will be used not only for reforestation, but also to release some rescued wildlife on it, according to the organization.

To help the wildlife, consisting of some squirrel and white-faced monkeys as well as three-toed sloths, the group plans to plant a mix of native as well as fruit trees, said Jennifer Rice, the group president. Some of these native trees are also in danger of extinction, Ms. Licare noted.

The organization is hosting an event in recognition of Earth Day but also will include the beginnings of the tree planting. The event will divide attendees into three separate groups. The first group will start at 8 a.m. with the second at 9 and the last one at 10:30, according to the organization.

Each group session will begin with a half-hour history of how the non-profit and its idea of aiding the rainforest began. From there, there will be the planting of the trees. Around 90 people total are expected, Ms. Rice said.

In a statement released by the organization, its “Sponsor a Tree” chart said that it takes simply $10 to sponsor a single tree. Interested donors can go to the organization’s website HERE.

“The money will be used for this project, which was taken on the knowledge that it had to be financially sustainable,” Ms. Rice said. “We will plant as many trees that we get donations for. The rest of the reforestation will be natural growth.”

“Once we finish this part of the project we will build a biologist station and eco-cabins for researchers, biologists, students, and anyone interested,” Ms. Licare said when

Kids Saving the Rainforest photo
Tree planting challenge seeks hope through growth.

discussing the project’s development goals.

“The first few hectares of the property are being saved for this as there is electric, water, and cell phone coverage there, not to mention an ocean view. It is not on the ocean. It is in the mountains, but it does have a view!"

Ms. Licare began this project back in 1999 when she was 9 years old for the purpose of educating people around the world about the ecological importance of the rainforest, the organization’s website declares.

Ms. Rice believes that this next goal for the commencement of planting 3,000 trees beginning this Saturday is more than possible. “We always reach our goals,” she said.

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, April 18, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 76
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Disgraced former governor of Veracruz captured in Guatemala raid
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
with wire service reports

After a six-month manhunt, Javier Duarte de Ochoa was captured Saturday evening at a hotel in Panajachel, Guatemala.

The 43-year old is the former governor of the Mexican state of Veracruz, which runs along the country’s east coast, and had come to symbolize official corruption to many in México where he is wanted for money laundering and an alleged association with organized crime as well as narco-trafficking. He is accused of running a corruption ring that allegedly pilfered millions of dollars from Veracruz's coffers, and stripped its schools and hospitals of resources.

His tenure as governor between 2010 until his resignation on Oct. 12 this year was equally notorious for the disappearances and killings of journalists in the state. The situation of violence had become so bad that the international association Reporters Without Borders named Veracruz as one of the 10 most dangerous places to practice journalism in the world. Veracruz has retained that title through all the years Duarte was governor and remains so today.

Costa Rica was among several nations in the region that were organizing an effort to capture Duarte who vanished on Oct. 13 just days after his resignation. Raúl Cervantes, the attorney general in México, offered a reward of 15 million Mexican pesos, or $735,000, for information leading to the man’s arrest back in December.

In the past, Duarte has denied the allegations against him,
Javier Duarte
                    wanted ad
The official reward offer about the Mexican politician.

saying he had not stolen a single peso of state money or diverted government funds overseas. México said it has found millions of dollars purportedly linked to Duarte, frozen more than 100 bank accounts and seized property and businesses tied to the former governor.

México immediately made the formal request to Guatemala to extradite the fugitive following his capture by local police and members of the International Police, or Interpol. Sunday, Duarte was taken to a military prison in the capital city of Ciudad de Guatemala.

The Partido Revolucionario Institucional, the political party of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto that also expelled Duarte from its ranks last Oct. 25 issued a statement applauding his arrest in Guatemala.

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We offer for rent a boutique quality 2-bedroom (BR)/1-bath mountain chalet, and a 2-BR/2-bath mountain home located on the slopes of the Barva Volcano, Heredia Province. The homes are situated at 7,300 feet altitude within the limits of a small horse ranch.  Located just three kilometers from the Braulio Carrillo National Park entrance, our homes sit on the strategic high ground of Costa Rica’s Central Valley, and are contiguous with the park’s 47,000 hectares of primary cloud rainforest. The chalet and mountain home include a spacious living room, kitchen, fireplace, and covered parking.  All utilities and wifi internet included. Please contact Allan or Cristina at for photos, pricing and contract details.

Tropical Homes logo
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

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

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The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2016 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, April 18, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 76
Real Estate
About us
Paraguay's president says
he won’t run for second term

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Paraguay's President Horacio Cartes says he will not run for a second term next year, after signs that he would try to hang onto power sparked deadly riots.

Cartes made his intentions known in a letter Monday to the Archbishop of Asunción, saying he always puts Paraguay first.

Pope Francis earlier this month urged all parties in Paraguay to seek a peaceful settlement to their political differences.

Paraguayan presidents have been limited to a single five-year term since 1992, following the brutal 30-year military rule of dictator Alfredo Stroessner.

With little fanfare, the senate passed a bill last month to change the constitution to allow Cartes to run again.

Opposition activists stormed the congress, setting fires and wrecking lawmakers' offices. One protester was killed. The lower house has yet to pass the bill.

But the Stroessner dictatorship left a bad taste in the mouths of many Paraguayans for anyone who desires to remain in power.

OAS is going to observe
Ecuador presidential recount

By the Organization of American States’
press staff

The Electoral Observation Mission of the Organization of American States in Ecuador will observe the recount of more than 1.2 million votes cast in the second round of the presidential elections. The National Electoral Council will conduct the recount at the Coliseo Rumiñahui in Quito.

Following its observation of the presidential runoff on April 2, the OAS Mission remained in place and was present for the publication of the official results, as well as the presentation of appeals by political organizations.

In strict compliance with Ecuadorian law, the council determined that it would recount the 3,865 poll statements that had been challenged through official channels and which had a legal basis. These represent around 11.2 percent of the total vote. The Mission considers a vote recount of this magnitude and under these norms to be an exercise in transparency.

The mission calls on all political organizations to be present during the recount so that they can obtain first-hand data and provide accurate and reliable information to their supporters.

Supreme Court refuses to hear illegal immigration case

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Supreme Court sidestepped a turbulent debate over illegal immigration on Monday, turning away an appeal by a group of asylum-seeking Central American women and their children who aimed to clarify the constitutional rights of people who the government has prioritized for deportation.

The families, 28 women and 33 children ages 2 to 17 from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, had hoped the justices would overturn a lower court's ruling preventing them from having their expedited removal orders reviewed by a federal judge.

That Philadelphia-based court said the status of the families, all apprehended in Texas and later held in Pennsylvania, was akin to non-citizens who are denied entry at the border and they were not entitled to a court hearing to challenge that decision.

Judge orders doctor detained
in alleged genital mutilation

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A federal judge in Detroit has ordered a doctor to stay in jail pending trial for alleged female genital mutilation of two 7-year-old girls.

The judge ruled Monday that Dr. Jumana Nagarwala is a danger and a flight risk.

Authorities arrested Ms. Nagarwala last week on charges of carrying out the illegal procedure on two young girls whose families brought them to Detroit after allegedly failing to find anyone in Minnesota to do it.

Ms. Nagarwala denies cutting the girls. She says all she did was remove mucus membranes from their genitals in a religious ceremony for a ritualistic burial.

Ms. Nagarwala belongs to an exclusive Muslim sect called Dawoodi Bohra, which is primarily concentrated in India.

Female genital mutilation involves cutting some of the most sensitive parts of a young girl's private parts to initiate them into adulthood, control their sexual desire, and the belief it will make them more desirable as marriage partners.

The World Health Organization says the practice is primarily carried out in about 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. It has no benefits and can cause severe short- and long-term health problems.

Contrary to what many people believe, female circumcision is not exclusive to Muslims, and many followers of Islam condemn it.

“In general, this is simply something that is not done and is found to be extremely repugnant,” the Michigan head of the Council of American-Islamic Relations Dawud Walid said. "This is something that is overwhelmingly not acceptable amongst the mainstream Muslim community in America."

HIV virus discovered hidden
in another cell of the body

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The challenge of finding a cure for AIDS may have gotten harder. Scientists have discovered another cell in the body where HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, hides from therapy designed to suppress it to undetectable levels in the blood.

The cells, called macrophages, are part of the immune system and are found throughout the body, including in the liver, lungs, bone marrow and brain. After other immune cells have done their job of destroying foreign invaders, these large white blood cells act as the cleanup crew. They surround and clean up cellular debris, foreign substances, cancer cells and anything else that is not essential to the functioning of healthy cells. In addition, they apparently can harbor HIV.

While antiretroviral drugs can drive the AIDS virus down to virtually undetectable levels, scientists know if therapy is interrupted, an HIV infection can come roaring back. That's because of a viral reservoir that until now has been thought only to inhabit immune system T-cells, the cells that are attacked and destroyed by the AIDS virus. Much research is dedicated to trying to find ways to eradicate the T-cell reservoir.

This may mean researchers must find ways to eliminate HIV from macrophages, as well.

The finding was published in “Nature Medicine” by researchers in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

Investigators demonstrated in a mouse model that in the absence of humanized T-cells, antiretroviral drugs could strongly suppress HIV in macrophages. However, when the therapy was interrupted, the virus rebounded in one-third of the mice. This, say researchers, is consistent with persistent infection in the face of drug therapy.

Researchers say their work demonstrates that any possible therapies must address macrophages in addition to T-cells to eradicate viral reservoirs. Investigators say they now have more information pointing to the complexity of the virus, and that targeting the viral reservoir in T-cells in the blood will not necessarily work with tackling HIV persistence in macrophages, which reside in tissues and are harder to observe.

Senior author Victor Garcia said it is possible there are other HIV reservoirs still to be discovered.

The lead author of the study, Jenna Honeycutt, called the discovery paradigm changing in the way scientists must now try to eliminate persistent infection in HIV-positive individuals.

Investigators say their next step is to figure out what regulates HIV persistence in infected macrophages. They are also interested in finding HIV interventions that completely eradicate the AIDS virus from the body.

Erdogan rejects criticism
from referendum monitors

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Turkey's president has rejected international monitors' criticism of the referendum that approved expanded presidential powers Sunday, saying the vote was the most democratic election seen in any Western country.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told supporters Monday outside his palace in Ankara that international election monitors should know their place.

He said Turkey will ignore findings by monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, calling the reports politically motivated.

The monitors have questioned the fairness of Sunday's referendum, saying it was contested on an uneven playing field. At a news conference in Ankara, monitors from the organization said the “No” campaign faced numerous obstacles, including a lack of freedom of expression, intimidation and access to the media.

They also questioned the controversial decision by Turkey's Supreme Court to allow the use of ballots that did not have an official stamp on them. The main opposition CHP alleges that as many as one-and-a-half million unstamped ballots could have been used, more than the winning margin in the referendum.

Bulent Tezcan, deputy head of the CHP demanded the referendum be reheld, saying that would be the only decision that will end the debate about the legitimacy and ease people's concerns.

Unofficial election results from Turkey's electoral board said the yes vote took more than 51 percent while the no vote took just under 49 percent. Official tallies were expected to be released within 12 days of the vote.

The approval means the Turkish parliament will be largely sidelined, the prime minister and Cabinet posts will be abolished, and ministers will be directly appointed by the president and accountable to him. The president also will set the budget.

The constitutional amendments also end the official neutrality of the president, allowing him to lead a political party. The president will have the power to dissolve parliament and declare a state of emergency, while enjoying enhanced powers to appoint judges to the high court and constitutional court.

The referendum has divided the nation, with both supporters and opponents arguing that the future of the country is at stake.

Erdogan insists the reforms will create a fast and efficient system of governance that will allow Turkey to face the challenges of fighting terror and the slowing economy. Critics argue the constitutional reforms will usher in an elected dictatorship.

Erdogan spoke by telephone Monday with U.S. President Donald Trump, who according to a White House statement congratulated the Turkish leader on the referendum win.

South African congress delays vote on president

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The showdown South Africans have been demanding for weeks is not likely to happen soon, as a no-confidence vote for the increasingly unpopular president has been postponed from Tuesday pending a ruling from the nation’s top court.

The postponement is yet another twist in South Africa’s increasingly complicated political drama.

The main opposition Democratic Alliance asked for the no-confidence vote, which was set for April 18, in response to President Jacob Zuma’s widely unpopular decision last month to fire a well-respected finance minister and reshuffle his Cabinet. That political upheaval prompted a major ratings agency to downgrade the nation’s sovereign credit rating, which has negatively impacted the economy.

But after the DA tabled the motion, the smaller United Democratic Movement opposition party asked for the vote to be held by secret ballot in what is widely seen as a bid to encourage members of Zuma’s African National Congress to turn on their leader. That request for a secret ballot has to go through the Constitutional Court.

However, that left the original petitioners in a sticky position, whether to push for a quick, but public, vote in which the African National Congress majority in parliament is likely to stand behind Zuma, or to wait for a chance to have a secret vote that might actually succeed.

The opposition chose the latter and pulled the motion. Parliamentary spokesman Moloto Mothapo said that now puts the original motion for a no-confidence vote in an interesting limbo while the court decides.

The court, he says, could rule quickly, or they could take up to six months to reach a decision. Regardless, while the court is deliberating the matter, Zuma is safe from no-confidence votes in parliament.

Mothapo, a longtime member of the African National Congress, was quick to note that the speaker of parliament did not hesitate to schedule the no-confidence vote in the first place, and that the opposition withdrew the motion.

Political analyst Ralph Mathekga said that this takes the wind out of the sails of the latest, boisterous movement to force Zuma out.

“The reality is that the immediate factor upon which that motion was called upon, which was Jacob Zuma’s latest reshuffle, would have settled down to a point where by the time the court decides whether it’s secret or not, it might not be so beneficial for the opposition parties, because the dust will have settled down,” he said.

Now, he says, the opposition needs to get to work whipping the vote and trying to convince the party to turn on Zuma -- a tough task, as the African National Congress is proud of its party discipline and unity.

Zuma’s recent actions, coupled with longstanding anger over simmering corruption scandals, prompted tens of thousands of South Africans to recently take to the streets, and to the lawn of the president’s official home, to demand his resignation. At mass protests last week, opposition party leaders said they would keep the pressure on Zuma as long as it took. His term ends in 2019.

Kenyans sweep both races
of the Boston Marathon

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Geoffrey Kirui of Kenya won the 121st Boston Marathon on Monday, leading a sweep for his nation of the men's and women's divisions.

Kirui pulled away from three-time U.S. Olympian Galen Rupp with 2 miles to go in the 26.2-mile run to take the title in 2 hours, 9 minutes, 37 seconds. Rupp was 21 seconds back, and Suguru Osako of Japan placed third, 51 seconds behind the winner.

"In my mind, I was sure that one day I would win this race,'' said the 25-year-old Kirui, competing in his third marathon. "To come here to Boston, I knew I was going to face my colleagues who have run many times here.”

Edna Kiplagat won the women's race in 2 hours, 21 minutes, 52 seconds for the Kenyan sweep. Rose Chelimo of Bahrain was runner-up, 59 seconds back, and American Jordan Hasay was another 9 seconds behind to take third place.

Ethiopians swept the titles last year. Kenyans had won either the men's or women's race every year since 1991 before being shut out in 2014 and again last year.

Temperatures were much warmer than normal this year, with the thermometer hitting 79 degrees at the 20-kilometer mark.

Americans dominated the men's division with six runners placing in the top 10.

More news of the Americas
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Plantation Acres
This exiting new project offers spectacular home sites with breathtaking ocean and forest views stated on 100 acres of tropical forest.

* On-site Welcome Center
* Located between Punta Leona and Playa Agujas
* At just an hour from San José, the capital city.
* 5 minutes from Los Sueños Marina and 18 Hole Ted Robinson Golf Course
* 10 minutes from Jacó Beach, Costa Rica’s lives beach town

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Phone: (506) 8945-5820 / (506) 2643-3356

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

       * Completed 2012 to North American standards
       * 3 large bedrooms, 2 full baths
       * Custom designed kitchen w/granite countertops
       * Frigidaire Professional appliance package
       * State-of-the-art solar hot water
       * Eco-friendly Toshiba LED lighting
       * LG Multi-Split air conditioning system
       * House & perimeter security alarm system
       * 2-car closed garage w/large paved driveway
Video Tour:
Community Web Site:
Photos: HERE!
Costa Rica # 506-8985-6705 or from the States call # 561-740-0651 or email

COLINAS DEL SOL Fenced Gated Lots for Sale

* Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project  in a quiet area.
* There are 88 clear titled lots.
* Mountain areas with great views.
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* Lots are 5,000 sq. meters or larger, starting at only $40,000 USD
* Located in Libertad, Guanacaste, northwest Pacific area of Costa Rica.
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* 25 minutes to the Liberia Hospital
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In Costa Rica, Jeffrey Sandi Murray:
In the USA and Canada contact Jim Day: or call 517-484-3675

For more information Click Here:

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

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

We invite you to a horseback tour of 187 acres of pristine farm land with breathtaking vistas, including the islands of the Gulf of Nicoya. There are multiple springs and streams, wooded areas, hard-wood and fruit trees, rolling hills with a geat variety of birds and wildlife. This property boasts the privilege of being bordered by thousands of acres of forest preserve down a steep canyon, offering its own spectacular views, which will never be developed. The many hills provide a builder an endless array of possibilities for nestling buildings in where they will have both views and privacy. The elevation of the property at 1,200 to1600 feet above sea level ensures fresh breezes and ideal year-round temperatures with a day-time average in the low 80's for open-air living. There is a ranch-style house with guest house with 8 total bedrooms, 5 modern baths, huge eat-in kitchen, landmark palm-thatched giant rancho, stable, and storage buildings. The home will come partially furnished, including beds, ample dishware for large groups, housewares, linens, washer/dryer, and fine hard-wood hand-built cabinetry. The remaining horses, 4 to 6 of them, will also convey if one wishes. We are also including a LARGE BEACH LOT in nearby Playa Bejuco. San Rafael de Nandayure is a tiny rural village nestled into the mountainside above Carmona with all the charms of the simple good life of a BLUE ZONE. Carmona is a thriving town with a clinic, restaurfants, shopping, and everything else one may need. The price of our listing Rancho Ricco is $799,000. More information
go to  Call Darin Ricco, phone +619-846-8249 or email:


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

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

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

Business for sale or lease (paid category)

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 brokers and agents (paid category)

                                        Tamarindo The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 20 years experience and the largest networked team of agents in the country.  We can help you learn if investing in Costa Rica is right for you with our low-key, educational approach to sales. Our professional agents can tell you more about Costa Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and & commercial real estate. Twelve (12) agents to serve you, from Playa Marbella to Playa Dante in the Guanacaste, through our Tamarindo and Flamingo offices. For more information, please contact our local phones: 506-2653-0073 Tamarindo / 506-2201-9056 Flamingo ~ Toll Free: 1-866-976-8898 or email:  or click here

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We are an award-winning Team of Professional Agents working with Costa Rica’s #1 Selling Real Estate Agency RE/MAX Prestige Ocean Properties. Get to KNOW, LIKE & TRUST us and let us help you find YOUR Pura Vida! We have over 30 years of experience to educate our buyers and sellers in all aspects of Real Estate.  For Information on condos, homes, lots, farms, ranches, commercial or development property

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news page

San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, April 18, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 76
Real estate
About us

News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disbled on archived pages.
Latin news from the BBC up to the minute

toro hydroelectric plant
Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad photo

Toro I hydroelectric power plant, pictured on the left, experienced some problems attributed to sediment accumulation this past weekend. These problems are believed to have a direct correlation of the recent Poás volcano updates.
Toro hydroelectric plant removes dirt

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Staff at one of the electricity institute’s hydroelectric plants managed to remove sediment that was blocking some of the water intake at the Toro I plant last Saturday.

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad shut down operations at the Toro hydroelectric power plants Thursday to avoid damage from the sediment resulting from the recent eruptions by Volcán Poás.

According to the institute, the water intake at Toro I is around eight kilometers north of Bajos de Toro Amarillo. The waters from the nearby Rio Toro allow the generation of electricity to be produced at these plants.

"After allowing the accumulated waste to flow naturally for some time, and to verify its decrease in the course of the Río Toro, the electricity generation with these plants resumed," said Luis Alfredo Mora, the plant manager.

Mora also said that the staff are continuing to monitor the concentration of sediment coming down from the river’s tributaries such as the Rio Desagüe. The institute said that there was no other damage to the other plants caused by activity from the volcano.

Prison police
A.M. Costa Rica photo/Rommel Téllez

Despite a comparatively low turnout for Monday’s protest by Unión Nacional de Trabajadores y Trabajadoras, some members from the Policía Penitenciario did show up to protest the Ministerio de Justicia y Paz’s actions in not providing the increase in salary. José Naranjo, member of the union and prison guard, confirmed that both sides reached an agreement around 2 p.m. to correct all the problems with their payments. He said they should see their salaries up to date in the next payment at the end of this month. He also said if it doesn’t happen the union may consider further protest or even a strike.

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From Page 7:

Dutch airlines to offer direct flights to capital

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A European airline company, in conjunction with Casa Presidencial, announced Monday that it will begin direct flights twice a week from Amsterdam to Juan Santamaría airport near San José.

Most expats would not recognize the name Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij N.V on first glance and much less what it actually implies. It is a popular airline company based in the Netherlands commonly known by its acronym: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

The direct flights will occur twice a week on Tuesday and Fridays, according to a statement issued by Casa Presidencial. Operations for these flights are said to begin on Oct. 31, 2017, in anticipation of the upcoming winter.

"This new flight will not only facilitate the visit to our country, but thanks to the global network of KLM, this route will serve as a link for Costa Rica to open the door for tourists from all over Europe, which will certainly boost tourism in our country generating benefits for the more than 600,000 people who work in this activity directly and indirectly and for the communities that rely on tourism, an opportunity for growth,” said Costa Rican president Luis Guillermo Solís.

The president also mentioned the benefits these flights would give in strengthening relations with Holland, a country that, he said, is one of the main countries that Costa Rica exports goods.

"Currently KLM brings a large number of passengers to Costa Rica through Panamá. The growing interest of the European market in this beautiful country convinced us to start a direct flight to San Jose," said Pieter Elbers, the head of the airline group.

The tourism ministry hoped that these new flight patterns would lead to shortening distances for travelers coming to and from Europe. During the days when direct flights are not available from KLM, the airline said that travelers could still use the flight to Panamá and catch a connecting flight with Copa Airlines.

According to Casa Presidencial, the flights will leave Amsterdam at 3:25 p.m. and arrive in San José at 8:05 p.m. Before one gets too excited, Amsterdam is nearly eight hours ahead in time of San José and the announcement was quick to note that it was 8:05 Costa Rican time.

The return flight would apparently leave Juan Santamaría at 10:05 p.m. and arrive in Amsterdam the next day at 3:10 p.m. Interested fliers should note that flying with KLM also means one can combine with flights from Air France. Both are owned by the same company, according to Casa Presidencial.