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(506) 2223-1327                         Published Tuesday, April 22, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 78                        Email us
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Jo Stuart
Rock Constructors

Film seeks to shed light on dark adoption histories
By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

When she was 4 years old, Jacqueline Arias was taken from her house in Costa Rica and placed into a foster home. Social workers took her, her brother and her sister while their mother was busy working one of her two jobs, she said. Eventually, Ms. Arias and her brother were handed over to a family from the United States.

For the past five years she has followed the trail of her own story to research forced adoptions across Costa Rica for her film “Imaginary Mothers.” While documenting a system where poor and unsupported mothers are pressured into giving up their children to foreign families, Ms. Arias said she learned she was not alone.

“It was going to be a small thing, but the more research I did about abductions, the more I found out that my experience was not uncommon,” she said Monday.

Her documentary draws upon these tragic stories and firsthand accounts from the mothers to detail a lost generation of Latin American children during the end of last century. She began a Kickstarter campaign to pay for her film, hoping to reach a goal of $20,000 by next month.

Ms. Arias is one of the fortunate orphans who has had the chance to be reunited with biological parents. She was able to get to know her mother, Angela, before the woman's death three years ago and Ms. Arias said she regularly keeps in touch with her siblings.

When talking to her mother and oldest sister Mayela, who remained in Costa Rica, Ms. Arias discovered her adoption was not voluntary. Ms. Arias' mother tried to visit her children as often as possible while they were in the foster home. But one day a judge declared the kids as legally orphaned, even though Angela made a clear effort to regain her children.

“I was told all my life that she was poor and helpless and had to give us up,” Arias said. “What I learned after meeting her was that she was hardworking and strong. She did not give us up willingly.”

Much like the 2013 movie “Philomena,” this story shows some of the corruption and shady practices at play with foreign adoptions.

Ms. Arias went with her new U.S. parents to Panamá where the adoptive father was a serviceman. Later the family settled in Ohio.  Ms. Arias now lives on the East Coast near New York City.

Ms. Arias visited Costa Rica and talked to 12 different mothers who were forced into putting their children up for adoption. She focuses her film on four of these mothers and, in the process, discovered a startling pattern that showed not only were the social workers asking them to let go of their children but that a lot of pressure came within their own families.

“They were coerced into giving up their kids,” Ms. Arias said. “A lot of the times the coercion came from the family. Legally it was OK, but these women weren't given the opportunity and they were taken advantage of.”

Due to controlling issues of faith and tradition, these teenage mothers who gave birth out of wedlock felt heavy pressure from family members, Ms. Arias said.  The four Costa Rican
women interviewed for the film recounted this
Young Ms. Arias
Jacqueline Arias photo
A young Ms. Arias at the time of her adoption with a man identified as a lawyer.

Ms. Arias now
Ms. Arias in a photo from her Kickstarter site.

crushing pressure and the ensuing lifelong pain of always wondering where, or even what, their child might be, she said.

“I chose them because they were all very young
and didn't have anyone supporting them,” she said. “It was either their family or social services coming in without giving them the option to say 'No.'”

Ms. Arias said forced adoptions are not as common in Latin America as they once were and that in her research she never found money was being given to families directly for encouraging adoptions.

“Imaginary Mothers” is expected to be released this fall.

U.S. woman, 24, shot by a bandit in Los Yoses
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A robber shot a U.S. citizen Saturday after she refused to give up any of her possessions, judicial investigators said. The victim, Leah Brinton, 24, was taken to Hospital Calderón Guardia for her injuries but has since been released, according to a hospital representative at the emergencies sector.

While walking back to their hostel at Casa Yoses in Los Yoses, Brinton and two friends were met by a group of four armed men, the Judicial Investigating
Organization reported. The bandits, thought to be between 20 to 30 years old, immediately asked for the women’s valuables, and one showed the women he was carrying a gun, according to the judicial report.

When Ms. Brinton refused, the man with the gun shot her in the chest. After a weekend stay in the hospital she was released Monday afternoon.

Investigators said they believe that the bandits arrived and fled in a gray car.

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Georgia Institute of Technology photo              
Facundo M. Fernández, examines an emergency contraceptive pill with ambient mass spectrometry.

More than a quarter of pills
for contraception found faulty

By the Georgia Institute of Technology news staff

A survey of emergency contraceptive pills in Perú found that 28 percent of the batches studied were either of substandard quality or falsified. Many pills released the active ingredient too slowly. Others had the wrong active ingredient. One batch had no active ingredient at all.

To detect the fake drugs, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology developed a sophisticated approach using mass spectrometry to quickly assess suspected counterfeit drugs and then characterize their chemical composition. The study’s results highlight a growing concern for women’s health in developing nations.

“A woman who does not want to get pregnant and takes these emergency contraceptives will get pregnant,” said Facundo M. Fernández, a professor in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, whose lab investigated the contraceptives.

The study was sponsored by the ACT Consortium through a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Drugs are considered fake or falsified when someone makes a pirate copy of a patented drug, with criminal intent. Recent research has found that falsified drugs are a major problem in developing countries. Falsified emergency contraceptives have been reported in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Angola, South America and even the United States. Fake drug manufacturers will copy everything from the pill to the package.

Just as concerning as counterfeit medications are other poor quality medications, such as degraded or substandard drugs. Degraded drugs were once good quality, but lost their efficacy over time, for example after prolonged exposure to the sun in an open air market.

Substandard drugs are made by an approved factory, but they don’t contain the right active ingredient, contain less active ingredient than they should, or might not dissolve properly. These pills either result from factory error or negligence.

Falsified drugs are the most worrisome, because they may not contain the expected active ingredient, or they may contain the wrong ingredients, including toxic compounds.

In the survey of emergency contraceptives from Perú, the researchers found that seven of the 25 batches analyzed had inadequate release of the active ingredient (levonorgestrel). One batch had no detectable level of the active ingredient.

“We detected that the active ingredient was not there in one batch, instead those samples had a drug called sulfamethoxazole,” Fernandez said. “It’s a very common antibiotic. It can cause serious adverse reactions in some patients.”

For the study, samples of emergency contraceptives were purchased at 15 pharmacies and distributors in Lima, Peru, with 60 tables purchased per sample. Tablets were collected from 25 different product batches encompassing 20 brands labeled as manufactured in nine countries, Argentina, Chile, China, Colombia, Hungary, India, Pakistan, Perú and Uruguay.

Fernandez’s lab used a tool called ambient mass spectrometry. Scientists in the lab grasp a tablet with a pair of tweezers and swing it in front of the instrument to get a real-time signature of the tablet’s chemical composition.

“Very quickly we pick out which ones are the problems,” Fernandez said.

Our reader's opinion
Electrical distributors have
six months to start net metering

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

This is an update to an April 2 article entitled: “Residents to get OK to produce and bank electricity”

The landmark Autoridad Reguladora regulation referred to in this article, which requires all electricity distribution companies to offer their residential and commercial customers grid-interconnection and net-metering privileges, was published in the government’s La Gaceta April 8. This means that the clock is now ticking’ on the 6-month period that the distribution companies were granted by the Autoridad in order to prepare, submit and get approval on the technical requirements, application form, interconnection contract and commercial terms, all of which are required for consumers to apply for and receive net-metering services.

This six-month  period for the electricity distributors to prepare their agreements is very, very generous, especially considering that all the distributors actually need to do is to adopt the exact same application, agreements and technical standards that the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad has used very successfully for four years in their pioneering pilot program for net-metering which began in 2010. This is essentially what the Empresa de Servicios Públicos de Heredia wisely did when it recently introduced its own net-metering program. (ICE and ESPH are the only two electricity distributors in the country with enlightened policies regarding small-scale, private power generation by their customers, i.e. the only two currently offering a net-metering service).

However, given that the Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz and some other distributors have consistently opposed the government’s policies promoting Costa Rican home and business owners being able to generate part or all of their own power, it will be a pleasant and welcome surprise if they don’t use every bit of this liberal time period, and especially welcome if they don’t use this process as an opportunity to introduce complexities that serve as barriers to customers taking advantage of their new right to access and use the national grid. In this respect the Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos was wise to require the distributors to submit their documents and get approval.

The silver lining here is that home and business owners who are interested in investing in their own renewable generation, likely solar generation, can use this time period to prepare themselves. For instance, they can gather their historical monthly consumption history and identify qualified service providers who can design, install and warranty a private generation connected to the grid.

There are many new companies advertising themselves as renewable energy service providers, some very good, and some with questionable levels of experience and equipment knowledge, and some with downright poor quality equipment and poor business practices. Maybe the worst example of these shoddy practices are companies selling obsolete equipment that has no manufacturer’s warranty protection, but concealing this fact from an unsuspecting client. So like any significant purchase or investment, consumers should do their homework, check references, read the small print, and maybe most importantly, visit completed projects by potential vendors  to see the quality of their work.

Also expats should be aware that once a distributor has Authoridad approval to actually launch the net-metering services, they will have to make an application with sufficient technical documentation to get the distributor’s approval.  Due to its complexity and technical requirements, this application process will almost certainly require the professional help of the selected service provider. But once submitted, the distribution company will have a generous 120 days to process the application! And if the application is flawed, it may be that the process is even longer.

So, for someone considering an investment in private, renewable generation at a home or business, I suggest that he or she start now to investigate options for service providers and project financing, assuming the expat wants to have solar panels generating power and reducing your electricity bill in the coming summer. If they use this time wisely, they can be generating clean, economical solar power later this year. Or, if they are located on the ICE or ESPH distribution networks, they are able to begin this process anytime, as both companies offer an excellent service to their customers wishing to generate their own electricity. 
Jim Ryan
ASI Power & Telemetry, S.A.

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, April 22, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 78
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U.S. Tax and
Finance ministry comes out with a grim report on nation's balance sheet
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Generous public employee salaries, legal obligations, mandatory payments and weaknesses in income have resulted in increasing expenses, the Ministerio de Hacienda said Monday.

The ministry said that the country still was on track to have a budget deficit at the end of the year equal to 6 percent of the country's gross national product. That will happen unless there is tax reform, the ministry said.

The report, covering the first three months of the year, said that the deficit already was 1.5 percent of gross national product.

Tax income has increased, the report said, but the biggest increase was in sections of the economy that are either fully or partially exempt from sales tax.

Collection of import duties are up, in part because of the stronger dollar which reflects in the price of imported goods, the report said.

Sales tax within the country and fuel taxes have shown less growth, said the ministry.

The country is obligated to make certain payments, such as the constitutional provision for public education and also for security. The
extra expense of a national election also is reflected in the national expenses, the ministry said.

The estimate was that expenses are outstripping income by about 8.5 percent.

Edgar Ayales, the finance minister who is leaving office in two weeks, said without urgent changes the annual deficit and the public debt will be unsustainable in the medium and long term. He noted that changes in the salary structure of public employees and improvements in tax collection were vital. He called for fiscal consolidation without giving details.

President-elect Luis Guillermo Solís has said that he would not approve new taxes during the first two years of his term in office. However, other members of his team have suggest that there should be changes in the tax structure. Solís supports improving collection.

Efforts at tightening up tax collection have not been successful in the past. And when lawmakers pass a new tax, citizens take every step possible to avoid it.

A tax on corporations led to a wave of responsible parties walking away from the entities and leaving corporations owing sums of money to the government but with no one responsible to pay them.  The luxury tax on upscale homes also has not brought in the amount of money lawmakers predicted when they passed the measure.

Rare new orchid species might only exist in Panamá, experts say
By the University of California at Riverside news staff

One day about eight years ago, Katia Silvera, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Riverside, was on a field trip with her father in a mountainous area in central Panama when they stumbled upon an orchid they had never seen before.

Unable to identify it, they contacted German Carnevali, a world authority on orchids.  The orchid turned out to be an unnamed species. So Carnevali recently named it after the Silveras: Lophiaris silverarum.

Lophiaris is the genus name, comprising about 40 species in the world.  Carnevali, the director of the Natural Resources Department at the Scientific Center of Yucatan, Mexico, announced the new orchid species in a research paper published in the March issue of the journal Phytotaxa.

Naming a species is invariably a long process. It can take many years to officially name a plant species, the time depending on how well the plant group is studied and whether there is funding to do research on that particular group.

“Orchids are a difficult and confusing taxonomic group,” said Ms. Silvera, who joined the lab of Norman Ellstrand, a professor of genetics at Riverside, in 2011.  “People who specialize in the orchid family usually spend years naming different species based on DNA and morphology. Sometimes plants can look alike morphologically, but DNA informs us that they are very different species, which makes naming the species difficult.”

Ms. Silvera explained that because the orchid family is so large, there are many species that have not been found before.  As a result, new orchid species are being named every year and the number is rising.

“The diversity of orchids is best seen in the tropics, where, unfortunately, habitat is being destroyed very fast,” she said. “As a result, we are rapidly losing the diversity of orchid species. Although there are many orchid species unnamed in nature, it is actually quite difficult to determine for sure that an orchid is unnamed.  They are difficult to find and difficult to tell apart.  Orchid species are the raw materials for hybrids, and there is a lot to discover about how these species evolved and became such a successful group. Orchid research will only thrive if efforts to conserve tropical rainforest are put in place.”

The orchid family contains the largest number of plant species in the world.  They are the most collected group of plants by hobbyists. Close to 30,000 known species exist worldwide; many remain undiscovered.  Panamá alone has about 1,100 known orchid species. The United States has about 200 known orchid species.

Orchids are unique in that the flower’s female and male reproductive parts are fused together. An interesting aspect is that orchids can easily
University of California at Riverside/Katia Silvera
Lophiaris silverarum is known to grow only in central Panama.

hybridize or cross.  As a result, some 300,000 orchid hybrids are man-made and commercially available to the public. Not found in nature, they only occur in laboratories and greenhouses for commercial purpose.

Currently, Lophiaris silverarum is known to grow only in central Panamá. It is not known if it grows in other areas of Central America. The plant blooms only in November, the flowers lasting about a month.  It is not sold in the U.S. because it is very rare, and it reproduces very slowly.

“We are in the process of propagating the species in vitro in Panamá for commercial purposes,” Ms. Silvera said. “My father, Gaspar Silvera, is the owner of a small orchid company in Panamá that specializes in propagating native orchid species but because L. silverarum grows slowly, taking about four years to reproduce in vitro, from seed to the first bloom, it will take many years before it is available to the public in Panamá first, and then made commercially available outside of Panamá.”

Ms. Silvera grew up in Panamá, and was always surrounded by plants. As a child she developed a fascination for plants and began learning as much as she could about them. Because her parents own a commercial orchid business, she learned about orchids and their diversity very early on.

She studied plant biology at the University of Panama. After graduating, she worked with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in different aspects of plant biology, even as a tour guide. For her graduate studies she came to the United States.  She received a master´s degree at the University of Florida and a doctorate at the University of Nevada Reno.

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Ginseng shown to prevent influenza and reduce virus activity, study says
By the Georgia State University news service

Ginseng can help treat and prevent influenza and respiratory syncytial virus that infects the lungs and breathing passages, according to research findings by a scientist in Georgia State University’s new Institute for Biomedical Sciences.

In a recent issue of Nutrients and an upcoming publication of the International Journal of Molecular Medicine, Sang-Moo Kang reports the beneficial effects of ginseng, a well-known herbal medicine, on human health.

Kang’s primary research focuses on designing and developing effective vaccines against viral diseases such as influenza virus and respiratory syncytial virus, but he partnered with a university and research institute in South Korea that wanted international collaborative projects to study if ginseng can be used to improve health and protect against disease because of the potential benefit in fighting these viruses. Ginseng has been reported to have anticancer, anti-inflammatory and immune modifying abilities.

Seasonal influenza is a serious respiratory disease that causes annual epidemics in humans worldwide, resulting in about three to five million cases of severe illness and about 250,000 to 500,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization. Influenza can spread quickly, and new, unexpected pandemic influenza viruses may emerge at any time and cross over to different species. The H1N1 influenza virus, a strain known as swine flu that emerged in 2009, spread rapidly to more than 74 countries. There are also challenges with existing influenza vaccines, such as required annual updates and no protection against pandemic strains and bird flu.

In addition, there are no vaccines available for respiratory syncytial virus, which affects millions and is the leading cause of inflammatory
bronchiolitis pneumonia and viral death in infants and in some elderly adults. 

In his study published in Nutrients, Kang investigated whether red ginseng extract has preventive effects on influenza A virus infection. He found that red ginseng extract improves the survival of human lung epithelial cells infected with influenza virus. Also, treatment with red ginseng extract reduced the expression of genes that cause inflammation.

After infection with influenza A virus, mice that were orally administered ginseng over a long time showed multiple immune modifying effects, such as stimulated antiviral production of proteins important in immune response and fewer inflammatory cells in their bronchial walls. The study indicates the beneficial effects of red ginseng extract on preventing influenza A virus infections could result from immune modifying capabilities of ginseng.

In his upcoming publication in the International Journal of Molecular Medicine, Kang investigated whether Korean red ginseng extract has antiviral effects, or the ability to treat respiratory syncytial virus infection. Kang found Korean red ginseng extract improved the survival of human lung epithelial cells against this viral infection and inhibited the virus from replicating, or multiplying, in the body. In addition, treatment with Korean red ginseng extract suppressed the expression of respiratory syncytial virus-induced inflammatory genes and the formation of chemically reactive molecules containing oxygen, which play a role in virus-induced epithelial damage.

Also, mice that were orally administered Korean red ginseng extract had lower viral levels after infection with RSV. The results suggest that Korean red ginseng extract has antiviral activity against respiratory syncytial virus infection.

Kang has further demonstrated ginseng’s beneficial effects on influenza and respiratory syncytial virus in previously published studies.

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Call 1-888.456.3212 or 2479-8811 locally.

Hidden Garden
Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
at the largest gallery in Guanacaste.

The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is a great place to find quality remembrances of Costa Rica to take home or to decorate your home or office in Costa Rica.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever.  With more than 60 artists on exhibit and fine art in 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we are easy to locate just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport. Visit our Web site at
or contact us by email:   
Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tel. 2667-0592 / 8386-6872; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073. International shipping available.

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

 (as reported by the moving companies)
Visit many rental options to actually experience the price/amenity options available in more of the areas chosen by Expats for security, comfort, and quality of life.

Meet many Expats who are willing to share their experiences and how the tour has value long after the “lust” wears off.
See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!

Ask the others what you get for your money, and then compare the quality of accommodations, quality, quantity and variety of food and drink to measure the best value for your money. 

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

Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
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

Payless Car Rental
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at both Juan Santamaría airport in Alajuela
and Daniel Oduber airport
in Liberia.

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$800 plus utilities, 2-bedroom, 2-bath house, fully furnished, Internet included, cable TV available. Inside organic farm, safe and secure. In the country but close to town. Santa Barbara de Heredia, Email for more info and pictures. Long term, NO DOGS.

Rohrmoser/Pavas, 1-bedroom apartment, fully furnished, including kitchen utensils. Washer/dryer. Good security, private.
Tico Cable included, $500. Contact, Wayne Winstead, 8820-1501. Casa 2291-6371. Just need your clothes to move in.

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.
 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:

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

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

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


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

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A.M. Costa Rica's
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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, April 22, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 78
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Foreign anti-bribery act hits
home for some U.S. firms

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Earlier this month, the U.S. technology company Hewlett Packard agreed to plead guilty to bribery charges involving its Russian, Polish, and Mexican subsidiaries.
Hewlett Packard admitted to the U.S. Department of Justice that it bribed Russian officials in hopes of landing a lucrative contract with Moscow’s office of the prosecutor general.  In Poland, Hewlett Packard admitted to bribery connected to contracts with the national police agency, while in Mexico, the illicit cash was tied to deals with Pemex, the state oil company.
What snared Palo Alto, California-based Hewlett Packard is the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a groundbreaking law enacted nearly four decades ago.
Hewlett Packard’s agreement to pay US$108 million in both criminal and civil penalties is the 10th largest settlement ever under the act. Other corporations that have been caught in the Foreign Corrupt Practices net include Walmart, Halliburton, KBR, Siemens, BAE Systems, and Daimler AG.
Julie DiMauro, executive editor of the anti-corruption FCPA Blog, describes the impact upon Hewlett Packard for getting caught.  “The penalty amount,” she says, “might not be the true deterrent here. What could be, to it and other companies, is the ample negative publicity it is getting for its actions in multiple countries.”
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act was signed into law by president Jimmy Carter in December, 1977. It was enacted in the wake of a U.S Securities and Exchange investigation that found more than 400 U.S. corporations had collectively paid more than $300 million in bribes to foreign officials and political parties.
“The passage of the FCPA itself was revolutionary,” says Sarah Pray at the good governance and accountability organization Open Society Foundations. “In an era when you could still deduct bribes from your taxes in some countries, the United States took a stand.”
The act casts a broad shadow covering both corporations and individuals. Under the law’s provisions, anyone  regardless of nationality is in violation of the law if they engage in bribery while in the United States.  That denies legal haven to foreigners engaging in corrupt activities offshore while in the U.S. The act also applies to U.S. citizens’ financial actions overseas.  And, since 1997, it covers foreign corporations that are traded on U.S. stock exchanges and securities markets.
The act also blocks the use of proxies to engage in illegalities.

“The FCPA’s third party liability provisions,” says Washington attorney and FCPA expert Lucinda Low, “makes it a crime to make a payment to any person, knowing that the payment or other value will be passed through in whole or in part of a foreign government official or other covered recipient.”
Interestingly, though, so-called facilitation or grease payments to foreign officials may be legal under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, if done to expedite that official’s performance of duties.  And, payments to foreign officials may also be legal if the host country permits such activity.
Enacting the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act promoted a number of other nations to follow suit.   Britain passed the Bribery Act, while Canada enacted a similar law. Anti-corruption laws have been enacted in China, Thailand, Malaysia, Brazil, and many other countries. The United Nations has responded by enacting the U.N. Convention on Corruption, while the 40 state Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development enacted, in 1997, an Anti-Bribery Convention, though the anti-corruption group Transparency International chides the organization for not insisting its member states more aggressively enforce the provisions of that agreement.
While the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act has a broad reach, a former Justice Department  prosecutor says it has a limitation, time, that needs to be changed.

“I think there are statute of limitations issues,” says Kathleen Hamann. ”A lot of complex economic crimes in the U.S. have a 10-year statute of limitations. But, the FCPA has a five-year statute of limitations.” Ms. Hamann, now in private practice, adds ”I think there are a lot of individuals who end up not being prosecuted because the statute of limitations has run out.” 

“I think we need to treat it as what it is, a complex financial crime,” she siad.
Sarah Pray calls for the act’s expansion in another direction.

“The United States should outlaw all commercial bribery, not just bribery of foreign officials. Secondly,” Ms. Pray adds, “the United States should outlaw facilitation payments. "The line between a bribe and a facilitation payment is a blurred one, and this distinction should be eliminated,” she said.
Along with penalties for misbehaviors, Lucinda Low says the act has compelled the business world to become proactive. “FCPA”, she says, “created expectations that companies will institute internal programs and controls to prevent, detect, and remediate bribery and corruption throughout their organizations. “

New York auto show proves
electric cars market booming

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

At the 2014 New York Auto Show many automakers unveiled electric or hybrid vehicle to address the growing global appetite for environment-friendly cars.

While some technological challenges remain, the market is heating up.

A hydrogen fuel cell vehicle from Toyota converts hydrogen into electricity, has a smooth ride, strong accelertion, and leaves no carbon monoxide behind. 

“We think that hydrogen is the future of electric vehicles because they’re so much more convenient," said Toyota's Wade Hoyt.  "And the way it works is that the hydrogen wants to combine with the oxygen in the air. It forms H2O, which is water vapor, is the only exhaust, so it’s a true zero emissions vehicle.   And you get electricity out of that combination."

Many manufacturers are now producing hybrids and electric vehicles.  Ford has unveiled an all-electric Ford Focus and Chevy is touting its environment-friendly Volt. While electric cars are easy on the environment, they can also offer strong performance.  Tesla's has ferocious acceleration, pushing the car from zero to about 100 kilometers per hour in three-point-seven seconds, with a top speed just over 200 kilometers per hour.  Electric motors deliver strong acceleration because they offer more torque than equivalent gasoline engines. That is why luxury brands, like BMW, are experimenting with this new technology. 

But the switchover from gasoline is an evolutionary process, says James Bell of General Motors.

"I think the mistake that many people in the industry and in the media maybe thought was that -- when the Nissan Leaf came out or the Chevrolet Volt -- was that suddenly people would drop their gasoline cars and rush for them.  No, it’s not that way," he said. "This is going to be a slow evolution, but it’s also a Pandora’s box moment.  It’s not going to go back in.  Electrified vehicles are the way to meet those emissions in the future.”

Alternative fuel vehicles account for just one million of the than 60 million cars produced worldwide annually.  But in 2013 the number of hybrid and electric cars doubled. Automakers still don’t make money on electric cars because of the high cost of battery technology. Tesla's battery, for example, costs $50,000, about half of the vehicle’s total selling price.  But manufacturers pay the costs because they believe electric vehicles are an important part of the industry's future.

Matt Miller, auto industry reporter for Bloomberg News, says a mixture of old and new technology is the winning strategy.

“Really the key for the future, I think, is hybrid technology, so rather than having a car like a Tesla, completely electric-powered, you have a car like the BMW I-3 or I-8, which has a small gasoline motor to help charge the battery when it’s needed and electric motors to drive," he said. "That’s got to be the future.  Then you get something like 90 or 100 miles per gallon,  which is decent and you still get the torque when you need it.”

The challenge is to produce a car with long, inexpensive battery life that allows the driver to travel a long way between charges.   Automakers expect many millions will then decide to switch from gas to alternative fuel.

Pacific partnership elusive
despite emphasis by Obama

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia.  One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations.  But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines, he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact.

America makes cars that it ships around the world, and Japan does the same thing.  U.S. farms sell their beef and pork to customers overseas.  Japan exports its electronic consumer products to faraway countries.

This is all just a small part of the international trade that occurs each day.

Now, 12 countries around the Pacific Rim are negotiating ways to increase that trade, by cutting or ending tariffs and easing regulations.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a pillar of Obama's engagement in Asia, and certain to be a key topic of discussion on his trip.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker says the trade deal is a top priority of the Obama administration.

"Opening markets across the Asia-Pacific region to U.S. exports and investment will help promote growth and jobs here in the United States in many ways," she said.

The 12 countries account for about 40 percent of the world's economy and 26 percent of its trade.  But reaching a broad trade deal has proved so complicated that some nations are negotiating bilateral agreements. 

Australia agreed this month to ease duties on Japanese electronic products, while Tokyo is curbing tariffs on Australian pork and beef exports.

The U.S. and Japan have engaged in tough talks on a deal of their own.  U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman recently described the contentious negotiations.

"Our teams arrived expecting that the talks would be tough, and our expectations have been met," he said. "We understand the challenges."

An overall trade pact could involve much more than tariffs on imported goods.  It could cover banking regulations, drug manufacturing, food safety rules and more.

A critic of the possible trade deal, Lori Wallach of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch, says the complexity is one reason the agreement is taking so long.

"In every country these issues are controversial," she said.  "So it’s not surprising by over-reaching and having so many countries, they’re having a very hard time in doing any one of those issues.”

The U.S.-led trade effort is partly aimed at displaying American interest in Asia at a time when the world's second biggest economy, China, is growing fast and could soon overtake the U.S. as the world's economic leader.

But China is not part of the trade talks.

Analyst Barbara Kotschwar is with the Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics:

“At the beginning was the fear a lot of people talked about, the 'C-word,' containment, of China," she said. "I think that that fear has been diminished somewhat and we see the United States and China speaking about negotiating a bilateral investment treaty.”

But for now, even without China, 12 Pacific Rim countries are already having enough trouble reaching agreement on ways to collectively expand their economies.

Boston Marathon uneventful
under tight security blanket

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Some 36,000 runners from 96 countries took part Monday in the 118th Boston Marathon. Security was tight at the event, following last year’s bombings near the finish line that killed three and wounded more than 260.

An estimated one million people were estimated to line the 42.2-kilometer route, from the town of Hopkinton east to Boston’s Boylston Street.

Meb Keflezighi crossed the finish line first, becoming the first American man to win the Boston Marathon in three decades. Keflezighi was born in Eritrea but is now a U.S. citizen.

He wore the names of the bombing victims on his race bib and said last year's attack made him extra motivated to win this year.

"It was not just about me," said the San Diego resident. "I was going to give everything I could for the people."

On the women's side, Rita Jeptoo of Kenya successfully defended the Boston Marathon title she won a year ago but said she couldn't enjoy at the time because of the fatal bombings. Race organizers allowed about 9,000 more runners this year, including roughly 5,000 athletes who were not able to finish last year when twin pressure-cooker bombs went off near the finish line.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said heightened security at the event included more uniformed and plainclothes police scattered throughout the race’s route, as well as a ban on backpacks and large containers near the finish line. Appearing on the CBS program "Face the Nation" a day before the race, Patrick talked about how safe he expected the race to be.
"We’ve tried to strike a balance between enhanced security and preserving the family feel of this day. One commentator, a friend of ours, Mike Barnicle, described the marathon as a 26.2-mile long block party, and there are no strangers here. So, we want to maintain that spirit, but also have considerably more rigor because of the attention the marathon got last year, and the tragedy that ensued, and the demands that we think are quite reasonable for enhanced preparation for this year," said Patrick.

Patrick said there were no known pre-race threats that would cause concern. Last Tuesday, following a memorial service marking the one-year anniversary of last year’s marathon tragedy, police arrested a man with a backpack near the finish line. It contained a rice cooker and was deemed safe.

On April 15, 2013, two explosive devices allegedly hidden in backpacks by two brothers of Chechen descent, 26-year Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his 20-year old brother, Dzhokhar, detonated, sending metal fragments through a crowd of bystanders near the finish line on Boylston Street. Several people lost limbs.
The blasts set off a multi-day manhunt that ended with Tamerlan Tsarnaev dead from a shootout with police and Dzhokhar being arrested in a Boston suburb. He is due to go on trial in November on 30 federal charges and could face the death penalty. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Scott Kennedy, one of the marathon runners, felt participating in this year’s marathon would send a message.
"Just to show the terrorists that they can’t win. I saw a picture a few weeks ago that said ‘We need to take our finish line back,’ and that’s what I think that 36,000 people are going to do tomorrow, is take the finish line back," said Kennedy.

Canadian runner Mark Rush said the bad guys were not going to take this race away, while British runner Mark Hazelhurst said everyone was aware of what happened last year and people wanted to turn out to run, to celebrate running and celebrate the city of Boston.
Another runner, Lukman Faily, the Iraqi ambassador to Washington, said he was taking part to show solidarity with Americans.

Immigrants in the Big Apple
help city thrive, study says

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

New York has long been a magnet for immigrants looking for a better life. A new independent research study also shows that immigrants help the city thrive as well.

Immigrants like those at a recent New York rally are an increasingly potent economic force. According to the Mayor’s Office, immigrants make up more than 40 percent of the city’s population.
Taken together, those three million people would constitute the third largest city in America, says Immigration Commissioner Nisha Agarwal.   
“So we are an immigrant-rich city, and immigrants are in our schools. They are driving our economy at all levels and in all professions. And we need to support that because it not only benefits the families involved, but it benefits the city as a whole,” said Ms. Agarwal.

An independent research report sponsored by the Americas Society/Council of the Americas contradicts a common perception that links immigrants with poverty and crime. 
The study examined rising immigration statistics and neighborhood police reports between 1990 and 2010. New York City’s economy and quality of life improved greatly during that period, especially in declining neighborhoods, and the report"s author, Jacob Vigdor, found a link. 
“The immigrants go to these neighborhoods because they are the only places they can afford, and they stabilize those neighborhoods. And they reduce vacancy rates. They reduce the state of disrepair, and these are the things that lead to crime dropping,” said Vigdor.
Immigrants who make the leap of faith to come to America are often less likely to commit crimes and more likely to work hard, said Harvard University social policy Professor Robert Thomson. “So why would you come to this country? Well, you want to work. You want to get ahead. You want to raise your family, you want to build, essentially, a community.”  

Immigrant entrepreneurship also helps drive the city’s growth. And immigrants often perform the necessary jobs native-born Americans don’t want, said Americas Society/Council policy manager Kate Brick.     
“… Like in the agricultural sector, the manufacturing sector, the service industry. It runs the gamut. And at the same time, immigrants coming to the U.S. are extremely diverse," said Ms. Brick. "In addition to people who are working in lower paying jobs, you have some of the best minds in the world that are here working in the tech industry, and in engineering, in science, in the medical field.”

Even undocumented immigrants, who work as street vendors and nannies, help pay their way, said Jacob Vigdor, the author of "Immigration and New York City."

“You need to buy things, and, when you buy things, you pay sales taxes. You need to live someplace. Whether you own a place or rent a place, there are property taxes on that dwelling, and property taxes and sales taxes are major sources of revenue for any kind of municipal government,” said Vigdor.

California lad stows away
to Hawaii in jet wheel well

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Officials said a 16-year-old boy from California is lucky to be alive after hiding in an airplane wheel well on a five-hour flight to the Pacific island state of Hawaii.

A Federal Bureau of Investigation spokesman said the boy ran away from home Sunday morning and climbed a fence at the airport in San Jose, California, before stowing away on the Hawaiian Airlines flight.

Marvin Moniz, an airport official at the plane's destination 3,800 kilometers away in Maui, said personnel there spotted the boy on the tarmac.

"He wasn't too cooperative or too communicative at that time, and security was called. Upon arrival of security, questions was asked to this juvenile, and like I said, he wasn't too cooperative" said Moniz.

The FBI said the boy was unconscious for most of the flight, and appeared to be unharmed after enduring the extremely cold temperatures and lack of oxygen at altitudes as high 11,500 meters.

A spokesman for Hawaiian Airlines said the boy is "exceptionally lucky to have survived."

Reusable rocket performs
in weekend test at Texas site

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

American space company SpaceX successfully tested a stage of what the firm hope will eventually become a reusable rocket, the Falcon 9 Reusable.
The launch took place over the weekend at the company’s test facility in Texas.
In the video, the rocket rises to an altitude of 250 meters, hovers and then slows and descends to the launch pad. The video was recorded by a drone.
The Falcon 9 Reusable could become the first stage of the Falcon 9, which is already in use. Friday a Falcon 9 was successfully launched carrying supplies to the International Space Station.
According to SpaceX, the current testing program “is the next step towards reusability.”

A reusable rocket could significantly lower the cost of space launches.

In future tests at the company’s New Mexico facility, the rejusable craft will be launched with the landing legs stowed to higher altitudes and making the landings more flight like.

SpaceX has made two of 12 planned cargo deliveries to the International Space Station as part of a $1.6 billion contract with NASA.

Cyclone Jack slowing efforts
to locate missing jet

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A tropical cyclone in the southern Indian Ocean has forced pilots to suspend the aerial search for the missing Malaysian jetliner.

The Australian agency coordinating the search reports heavy seas and poor visibility Tuesday from Tropical Cyclone Jack.

But officials say 10 ships will be able to continue their search for debris from the missing Boeing 777.

Meanwhile, a robotic submarine has nearly completed scouring its target search area of the ocean floor.

The Australians say the "Bluefin-21" vehicle has covered about two-thirds of the search zone and has not found anything unusual.

Authorities used signals from the plane's flight data recorder to determine the search area. But the batteries on the black box have since run out.

Malaysian authorities believe someone intentionally diverted the plane carrying 239 people as it was heading from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing March 8, but they refuse to rule out the possibility that the Malaysia Airlines jet experienced a major mechanical malfunction.

Holiday deaths put at 45
with many under investigation

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Forty-five violent deaths took place during Semana Santa, the Judicial Investigating Organization said in releasing a full summary of crimes and mishaps.  Though some crimes have been solved, more than half of the fatal incidents remain under investigation.

That includes a pending investigation on the death of a 4-year-old girl who died at her home in Desamparados.

A Judicial Investigating Organization representative said Monday that this total does not include deaths from natural causes. No North American tourists or expats were listed on the organization’s report.

The judicial agency's report is authoritative because summaries released by the Cruz Roja only cover events in which the rescue agency was involved.

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

Rosa Monge
Rosa Monge

Real estate foreclosure specialist

Great deals available every week
Properties like this:

20.5 acres of pasture for as little as $2,400

Rosa Monge Alvarez
Please email for details

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  
 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)
  (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!
  Send us your request to our email:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

Heredia lot
Residencial Del Monte
(San Rafael de Heredia)

1,804 m2 lot  (19,418 sq. ft.)
Price: $135,000
Tel.  8853-0000 or

Beautiful Survival Farm with panoramic Pacific views
In the heartland of one of the world's five blue zones, Nicoya. 12 acres with ample space for planting, natural forest, own perennial waters, public road yet hidden access, electricity. Fire sale 59,000 USD

covered patio
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


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, Tuesday, April 22, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 78
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News from the BBC up to the minute

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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
                      of Africa
University of Tübingen/ Katerina Harvati
This is the out-of-Africa model that best fits both the genetic and cranial shape data, according to the study. A first migration along the Indian Ocean rim occurred as early as 130,000 years ago (green or blue arrow) and was followed by a second, more recent migration wave into Eurasia (red arrow).

Humans left Africa earlier
than thought, study says

University of Tuebingen news service

A team of researchers led by the University of Tübingen’s Katerina Harvati has shown that anatomically modern humans spread from Africa to Asia and Europe in several migratory movements. The first ancestors of today’s non-African peoples probably took a southern route through the Arabian Peninsula as early as 130,000 years ago, the researchers found. The study is published by Professor Harvati and her team from the Institute for Archaeological Sciences at the University of Tübingen and the Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Ferrara, Italy, and the National Museum of Natural History, France. The study appears in the online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The scientists tested different hypothetical dispersal scenarios, taking into account the geography of potential migration routes, genetic data and cranial comparisons. They found that the first wave of migration out of Africa started earlier than previously thought, taking place as early as the late Middle Pleistocene, with a second dispersal to northern Eurasia following about 50,000 years ago.

Most scientists agree that all humans living today are descended from a common ancestor population which existed 100,000 to 200,000 years ago in Africa. The decreasing genetic and phenotypic diversity observed in humans at increasing distances from sub-Saharan Africa has often been interpreted as evidence of a single dispersal 50,000 to 75,000 years ago. However, recent genetic, archaeological and palaeoanthropological studies challenge this scenario.

Professor Harvati’s team tested the competing out-of-Africa models of a single dispersal against multiple dispersals of anatomically modern humans. The scientists compared modern human craniums from different parts of the world, neutral genetic data, and geographical distances associated with different dispersal routes.

The human temporal bone has been shown to reflect modern human population history better than other parts of the cranium. It was used in this study to infer migration patterns, in addition to genetic data.

“Both lines of evidence, anatomical cranial comparisons as well as genetic data, support a multiple dispersal model,” said Professor Harvati. "The first group of our ancestors left Africa about 130,000 years ago and followed a coastal route through the Arabian Peninsula to Australia and the west Pacific region."

“Australian aborigines, Papuans and Melanesians were relatively isolated after the early dispersal along the southern route,” says Hugo Reyes-Centeno, first author of the study and member of the Tübingen team. He adds that other Asian populations appear to be descended from members of a later migratory movement from Africa to northern Eurasia about 50,000 years ago.

The researchers are confident that continued field work and advances in genetics will allow for fine-tuning of models of human expansion out of Africa. So far they can only speculate whether, for example, severe droughts in East Africa occurring between 135,000 and 75,000 years ago prompted migration or had an impact on the local evolution of human populations. The southern route region is a vast geographical space that has been understudied by archaeologists and anthropologists, so future work in this area will help support their findings.

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From Page 7:

Country's exports reported to have increased

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Despite the recent setbacks, Costa Rican authorities are reporting a 2 percent increase in exports over the same period last year.

The Promotora del Comercio Exterior said on Monday that this increase is a result of a continued reliance on export production, along with the exploitation of some new ideas and opportunities.

The promotional organization has made significant efforts to increase and diversify Costa Rican exports, which allowed exporters to place more than 4,400 products abroad last year, said Jorge Sequeira, the general manager of the organization. The most recent data shows growth in products from the industrial and agricultural sectors.

Segueira cited the production of medical devices as a crucial export for Costa Rica, saying that they represented nearly a quarter of all manufacturing exports.

Other particular products that boomed in the past year include frozen fruits, milk, yuca, power cables, and antiserums. The coffee sector experienced a 20 percent dip because of low production numbers, which are mainly due to the la roya epidemic on Latin American coffee farms.

The report showed that the main buyers were from North America at 42 percent of purchases and Europe with 18 percent.

This report comes two weeks after news hit that both Intel and Bank of America would be shutting down production operations within the country, laying a significant blow to Costa Rica’s future export totals.