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Published Tuesday, April 25, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 81
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Frente Amplio proposes a grandiose tax overhaul
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The legislative faction of the Frente Amplio political party submitted a bill that promises to curtail, what the party sees as a failing taxation system that allows many individuals and corporations to avoid paying their fair share.

Expats may be concerned about the bill, if passed, as it would have an effect on their assets, their finances and property owned in Costa Rica. Moreover, they can say goodbye to tax avoidance.

The bill is essentially an overhaul that, although unlikely to be passed by members of the Asemblea Legislativa, is certain to turn a few heads. For one, the bill would include a two-year salary freeze of all senior officials in government. The bill would also eliminate subsidies to financial institutions and establish a large tax on tobacco, alcohol and vehicle registration if the value is over 10 million colons.

The subsidy elimination would include banks and increase the profit tax on large companies. Frente Amplio also said that the bill would eliminate any tax privileges for investment funds and temporarily raise taxes on dividends, interest and remittances.

This is all used under the flurry of language against neoliberal economic policy, which they claim, has destroyed the financial integrity of Costa Rica as much as other nations.

The big scandal that erupted following the Panamá papers case was over the finance ministry  investigating 120 individuals and business entities for possible instances of tax fraud and other violations as a result of an examination of the documents. The preliminary results of the investigation were released in late March.

With a shining third goal being to reduce the instances of tax fraud and corruption, Frente Amplio said in a statement that its new bill would also make tax avoidance illegal.

Although it is not illegal to establish an offshore corporation by Costa Rican law, the finance ministry pointed out in its investigation that the 69 identified entities had established more than 410 companies in Panamá.

The insistence from the Administración Tributaria is that behind the creation of these societies, there is a clear intention to evade tax responsibilities.

Tax reaper
A.M. Costa Rica graphic
Frente Amplio wants tax avoidance illegal.

This is a statement that the proponents of the legislation may agree with.

Panamá has a well-known association of being a tax haven for many corporations and entities seeking tax avoidance as much as tax sheltering. Tax avoidance is separate from activities like tax fraud or tax evasion, however.

Tax avoidance is legal and merely means someone or a group’s attempts to keep the tax bite on their business as minimal as possible using strategies or means within the law.

Expats may seek methods of tax avoidance at times by moving their tax residence to a tax haven such as Panamá or by moving to a country with lower taxes than their own.

There are many other ways to lower the tax bite such as donations to charities which can be deducted on one’s tax return in the United States. In some cases, being a perpetual traveler is also another way although citizens of the United States cannot hope, at this time, to use that method.

One of the means by which a person or entity can achieve tax avoidance is by establishing a company or a subsidiary of the business in an offshore jurisdiction such as an offshore company or trust.

The Costa Rican government is examining the offshore companies in question for possible fraudulent or evasive activities.

It should be noted, however, that of those 69 entities already identified by Tributación, 35 have filed income tax returns at least once between 2014 and 2015. 20 failed to file during both years.

251 U.S. deaths here, six bodies remain unclaimed
By Rommel Téllez
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

In the last 12 months, six U.S. citizens who died on Costa Rican soil had to be buried by judicial authorities since no one, apparently, could be found to claim the bodies.

According to data provided by the Morgue Judicial, out of 251 deceased U.S. citizens who had to undergo an autopsy, 244 were claimed by someone, six remained unclaimed and one is being kept at the morgue.

In Costa Rica, autopsies are only mandatory in cases of homicides, suicides, car accidents, and prisoners deaths; also when authorities consider the cause of death as suspicious.

In the case of Canadian citizens, the figures show that from April 2016 to April 2017, 50 bodies  underwent an autopsy and 49 of those were claimed by someone. The one unclaimed body was also buried by judicial authorities.

In general terms, 1,612 foreigners have died and gone through autopsy in the country. Of those, 1,576 bodies were claimed while 26 were buried by judicial authorities and 10 remain at the morgue.

According to Xinia Zamora of the Judicial Investigating Organization, the remains of those unclaimed are transferred from Heredia, where the morgue is, to the Cementerio General in San José.

Here, a Catholic priest performs the funerary mass along with the judicial workers.
Each body has it's wooden coffin bought by Poder Judicial. The estimate cost of burying each person is above $2,000, Ms. Zamora explained.

For U.S. citizens, the U.S. Embassy might provide assistance depending upon whether a deceased was accompanied or not and their immigration status.

“The Consular section can provide information on funeral homes that prepare remains for shipment to the U.S. and will issue a Consular Report of Death Abroad, which serves in the United States as a death certificate for probate and other legal purposes,” Evelyn Ardon of the U.S. Embassy said.

“The Embassy does not provide funds to pay for funeral or burial expenses of Americans who die abroad.”

The embassy also said that a U.S. consular officer may serve as a provisional conservator of the deceased's personal estate and can take custody of any portable personal effects.

As provisional conservator, the consular officer's duties include arranging for the effects to be sent to the legal next of kin, subject to local laws.

In general, real property or contested property will be disposed of in accordance with local Costa Rican law.

In cases where a next of kin is not available, the embassy defers the case to Costa Rican authorities.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
Published Tuesday, April 25, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 81
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I.R.S. Criminal and Civil Issues

Consult with a U.S. licensed Tax Attorney in Costa Rica concerning your I.R.S. Issues

Tax Fraud Investigation or Prosecution:
  * Hiding income in secret, offshore accounts
  * Investing in or promoting bogus tax shelters
  * Failing to report or hiding income

I.R.S. Criminal Investigations, including non-filing of tax returns, tax evasion, filing false income tax returns, money laundering, currency reporting requirements, offshore banking reporting requirements, false statements, and false offer in compromise submissions.

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U.S. Income Tax Services
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App aims to connect transport and client

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A new application developed by the Universidad de Costa Rica aims to connect cargo transporters and clients all across Central America in a more efficient way, while decreasing the cost of logistic operations.

The app is called Caravana and it is an initiative of the Escuela de Administración Aduanera y Comercio Exterior.

According to its director Susana Wong, user requiring cargo services should only fill out a form including details of the cargo and it will be automatically sent out to all service providers who fit the request.

“The idea is to help clients find the best price as fast as possible,” said Ms.Wong.

“Caravana also offers estimates in regards how much time border control will take and  how much duties should be paid in each country depending on the cargo,” said Ms. Wong, “This app is of use to governments, companies and research companies.” 

The Caravana project was funded by the United States Agency for International Development, once it was declared the winner of a competition to improve commerce in Central America. The money was managed by the Fundación Universidad de Costa Rica.

The application will be officially inaugurated friday at 8 a.m at the Wyndham Hotel in San José. After that the Secretaría de Integración Económica Centroamericana will be in charge of managing both the application and the website.

Jazz fusion concert happening on May 4

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A fusion of American jazz and traditional Costa Rican music will be on hand for the May 4 concert titled “Jazzeando” at Teatro Espressivo.

The concert will be a performance by the group Swing en 4 along with U.S. singer Bertilla Baker and divided into two parts, according to organizers from the theater. The first half of the show will feature classic jazz tunes sung by Ms. Baker. These include songs off of Ms. Baker’s 2015 album such as “Skylark,” “A Fine Romance,” “After the Morning,” organizers said.

The show starts at 8 p.m. that Thursday.

The last half of the concert brings in the fusion element with songs originally recorded in 2009 by the group.

"Thanks to the jazz improvisation and spontaneity, the public can expect an exciting artistic experience that combines a high level of musical elaboration with the warm and simple beauty of the songs that will be performed, which belong to both the traditional repertoire of American jazz with the typical Costa Rican song, "said Vinicio Meza, a member of the group.

The group formed back in 1998 and the band claims to blend classical, folk, and jazz elements in conglomeration with the richness of African-American heritage. As for Ms. Baker, the statement from the Teatro Espressivo said that has participated in many Broadway productions such as “Titanic,” “Les Miserables,” “Tommy,” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

More information about the show can be found by contacting the theater.

Our readers' opinion
Findings could change views on GMO's

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

It was mentioned in an article regarding science in Monday's edition, " Costa Rica lawmakers still have a bill that would ban genetically modified crops, despite any evidence of harm"

There has been numerous products deemed non-harmful, only to find out years later the scientific studies were wrong. Erring on the side of precaution as Costa Rica is doing regarding GMO crops is a wise decision.  Many times we don't know the outcome of a chemical, medicine or technology that eventually turns out to be very harmful years later.

DDT is one example of not understanding long term effects.  DDT was developed as the first of the modern synthetic insecticides in the 1940s.  It wasn't until almost thirty years later that In 1972, the EPA issued a cancellation order for DDT based on its adverse environmental effects, such as those to wildlife, as well as its human health risks.

Thalidomide first entered the German market in 1957 as an over-the-counter remedy, based on the maker’s safety claims. They advertised their product as “completely safe” for everyone, including mother and child, “even during pregnancy,” as its developers “could not find a dose high enough to kill a rat.”

By 1960, thalidomide was marketed in 46 countries, with sales nearly matching those of aspirin.  We all know the outcome of the use of Thalidomide on babies from pregnant women who used this "safe" medicine.

Henry Kantrowitz
Punta Leona

Blame the installer, not the concept

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Chris Clarke’s letter of April 24 begs a response. As one who has benefitted from three solar water heating installations, the first one installed in 1980 and still functioning, I think my insights are worthwhile.

First, it is wrong to condemn the concept of solar water heating because an inept installer failed to do it correctly which resulted in Mr. Clarke’s damaged roof and ceilings. None of our three installations ever posed such a problem and a two of them were certainly more complicated than Mr. Clarke's.

An old friend observed once that “if it seems cheap, it probably is.” Taking the low-ball bid due to payback computations alone often ends up in disaster. To be sure, ask about references and check them out.

Second, pure financial considerations may call solar water heating into question, but payback time should not be the only consideration. The imposition on the environment made by heating water any other way, while not a concrete financial matter, must still enter the equation.

There is no question that a well designed and well installed solar water heating installation can provide most of the hot water families need. In our own case, our installation in Lansing, Michigan would reliably raise our water from 54 degrees Fahrenheit to over 105 degrees Fahrenheit on a (rare) sunny day in February.

In milder weather like Costa Rica’s, it provided all our water heating. And it continues to do so today. The projected life of these systems may be twenty years, as Mr. Clarke stated, but the practical life can be much longer. Once properly installed, there’s not a whole lot to go wrong.

David C. Murray
Grecia, Alajuela

News from the Spanish-language press
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Costa Rica

Third News Page
U.S. Tax
Published Tuesday, April 25, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 81
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Festival de las Esferas offers ancient culture with modern activities
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Set against the backdrop of stone spheres and a celebration of Pre-Columbian culture, the Festival de las Esferas this weekend will also include more modern elements.

The three day series of events begins this Friday in the communities of Palmar Sur and Osa in Puntarenas. According to the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud, the concert at 8 p.m. Friday in the park of Palmar Sur by Los Ajenos will be the highlight of the entire festivities. The local Banada Chiqui chiqui

There is more than the concert, however, as members of the community and visitors to the festival may also enjoy three days of boat rides, dances, music, workshops, cultural and sport exhibitions as well as food. Aside from the boat trips and the sports activities on the schedule, the rest of the events will be free.

Among the sports that one can participate in is mountain biking with a registration cost of 8,000 colons that includes a free T-shirt to the first 100 participants, water, fruits, prizes and medical assistance, organizers said. The 30-kilometer mountain bike ride will begin at 8 a.m. Sunday, according to the cultural ministry.

The festival begins at 10 a.m. on Friday with the artisan and food fair at the Parque de Palmar Sur. At 5 p.m. the inauguration of the 12th annual Festival de las Esferas will be held formally in the Centro de Estudios y Capacitación Cooperativa building at Palmar Sur.

Organizers are offering guided tours to the elusive stone spheres at the Finca 6 archaeological site every hour from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturday. At 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, a group of Boruca performers called NON CUAN XÁ will have their show in the park.

Boruca performers
Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud photo
Boruca performers are expected to do their show Sunday.

The stone spheres also recently got its own website back in late March. Viewing the site would be good background for expats who are planning to attend the festival of the spheres in the Diquís region.

Most expats know the story. Balls were only discovered toward the end of the 19th century, and their number and significance only became known when banana companies began clearing land there for plantations.

Archaeologist Doris Stone published the first academic paper on the topic in 1943.

The museum has set up a satellite site in Palmar Sur and is safeguarding Batambal, El Silencio, Finca 6 and Grijalba-2 where the balls are found. There also are balls on Isla del Caño offshore.

The balls were designated as international human heritage by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
More information about the event can be obtained at the cultural ministry’s website.

Recommended restaurants and hotels
Los Suenos
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Palermo 900

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

Published Tuesday, April 25, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 81
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New malaria therapy uses dried leaves of plant for cure, study shows
By the Worcester Polytechnic Institute press staff

When the standard malaria medications failed to help 18 critically ill patients, the attending physician in a Congo clinic acted under the compassionate use doctrine and prescribed a not-yet-approved malaria therapy made only from the dried leaves of the Artemisia annua plant.

In just five days, all 18 people fully recovered. This small but stunningly successful trial offers hope to address the growing problem of drug-resistant malaria.

Details of the cases are documented in the paper “Artemisia annua dried leaf tablets treated malaria resistant to ACT and i.v. artesunate: case reports” by an international team lead by Pamela Weathers, professor of biology and biotechnology at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

With malaria still raging as one of the most prevalent and deadly infectious diseases of the developing world, the research offers hope for an effective and low-cost treatment.

The report documents the experiences of 18 patients in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo who showed symptoms of malaria and were originally treated with the recommended medication: artemisinin-based combination therapy, which blends artemisinin, a chemical extract from Artemisia annua, with one or more other drugs that attack the malaria parasite in different ways.

The 18 patients, ranging in age from 14 months to 60 years, did not respond to the standard treatment, and all lapsed into severe malaria, defined by symptoms that can include loss of consciousness, respiratory distress, convulsions, and pulmonary edema.

One patient, a five-year-old child, became comatose. All were then treated with intravenously administered artesunate, the frontline medication for severe malaria, but again they showed no improvement.

As a last resort, doctors turned to dried-leaf Artemisia, a therapy developed and extensively studied by Ms. Weathers and her team at the institute. After five days of treatment with tablets made from only the dried and powered leaves of Artemisia, which has been prepared and analyzed using methods developed by Ms. Weathers and postdoctoral fellow Melissa Towler, all 18 patients fully recovered.

Laboratory tests showed they had no parasites remaining in their blood. Ms. Weathers noted more than 100 other drug-resistant patients also have been successfully treated with DLA tablets.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 212 million people contracted malaria in 2015 and some 429,000 died, with young children and pregnant women being particularly vulnerable.

Caused by a mosquito-borne parasite, the illness is reported in nearly 100 countries and threatens nearly half of the world's population.

The current recommended therapy is expensive to produce and is in short supply in areas hit hardest by the disease.

Artemisia annua
Worcester Polytechnic Institute photo
Tissue culture used to make cultivars of Artemisia annua.

In addition, while the combination therapy is designed to be less prone to the drug resistance that has rendered previous antimalarial agents ineffective, increasingly the malaria parasite is showing signs of resistance to the treatment, particularly in Southeast Asia. Ms. Weathers began her research on artemisinin and Artemesia annua, also known as sweet wormwood, more than 25 years ago.

In recent years, she has turned her attention to the use of the group’s medicine as an alternative to conventional antimalarial drugs.

Noting that Artemisia annua, which is classified as a generally regarded as safe herb, has been consumed by humans and used as an herbal therapy for thousands of years, often in the form of a tea, she became intrigued by the potential for using the dried plant, rather than just a chemical extract, as a malaria treatment.

A study she published in “Photochemistry Reviews” in 2011 was the first to demonstrate that dried leaves of the Artemisia annua plant delivers 40 times more artemisinin to the blood than does the drug based on the chemical extract of the plant.

Ms. Weathers says the superior performance of the dried leaves in comparison to the therapy, as well as its ability to kill drug-resistant parasites and avoid the resistance trap, itself, is likely due to the synergistic effects of a complex array of phyto-chemicals contained in the plant’s leaves.

Several of these chemicals are known to have antimalarial properties and others of which may act both to enhance the absorption of artemisinin into the bloodstream and bolster its effectiveness against malaria.

In effect, the dried leaves constitute a robust natural combination therapy, one whose benefits far surpass those of ACT and other combination drugs.

Another advantage of the dried leaves over conventional malaria treatments is its low cost and the relative simplicity of its manufacture, Ms. Weathers said.

While the processes for manufacturing ACT is costlier and requires a higher degree of expertise, producing the dried-leaf tablets can be accomplished with simpler equipment and a modest amount of training. Growing Artemisia annua and producing and testing the tablets are can provide jobs in impoverished areas and greatly expand access to antimalarial therapy.

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The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is the perfect place to find quality Costa Rican and international art for your home or office.  With over 60 artists and 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we have been your source for fine art since 2010.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever. Located just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport (towards the beaches).

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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.

George Lundquist

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Costa Rica Travel In Paradise Group Tours

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

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solar one

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NOW with the New Power Company Regulations, we're installing photo voltaic systems for solar electricity.
PV systems: we use Enphase micro-inverters. More flexible. Add panels whenever you like. More reliable than any other system and fully guaranteed!

Solar device
NOW is the time to install our new super-efficient solar hot water! New model for condos
Solar collector
BUY NOW! Your solar hot water system, so in three months, we can calculate a lower install price for your PV system.  Perfect for homes and hotels. Save up to 40% of your electric bill.
More Watts per Panel, Smarter and more Capable Enphase Micro Inverters mean Less Cost and more Flexibility for You.

    We aren't Cheap...Neither are our Products. Call to Compare.
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Real estate rentals (paid category)

What a chalet!
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
Published Tuesday, April 25, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 81
Real Estate
About us
Venezuela protests heat up
with streets now blocked

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Anti-government activists in Venezuela blocked thoroughfares in the capital and several other cities Monday, continuing a fourth week of street demonstrations to press leftist President Nicolás Maduro for new national elections.

“We reiterate again: Only through the vote will we get all Venezuelans to decide what future they want for the country,” Julio Borges, president of the opposition-led national assembly, told demonstrators gathered at Plaza Brion de Chacaito in eastern Caracas.

A toppled street light stretched across several lanes of a highway in Caracas' Santa Fe district, with scores of demonstrators sitting or standing nearby. At other intersections, activists some dressed in the yellow, red and blue of Venezuela's flag piled garbage to obstruct traffic.

According to Reuters news service, some passed time by playing cards, occasionally chanting, “This government has fallen!”

Hundreds of police and national guard troops took up positions at several points in the city, riot gear at the ready. Security forces have used tear gas, and sometimes rubber bullets, in previous skirmishes with protesters. Since early April, at least 20 people have been killed and hundreds injured.

Maria Corina Machado, an opposition leader and former national assembly lawmaker, implored demonstrators to keep up the pressure. “All over the democratic world today, their eyes must be on the jails of our country.”

Human rights groups have said more than 1,000 people were detained during recent disturbances and over 700 are still in detention.

Maduro, in his weekly television address Sunday, endorsed voting later in the year for mayoral and gubernatorial posts. He said nothing about moving up elections for the presidency. His term expires in late 2018.

While the president urged his political opponents to join in a political dialogue for peace, he also called upon his followers to support the Bolivarian revolution and the security forces and public order.

The opposition blames the government for the unraveling of Venezuela's once-booming economy which has left the country with shortages of food, medicine and other basic goods.

On Monday, a United Nations commission forecast the country's economy would contract by another 7.2 percent this year. Venezuela's near-daily protests were sparked by the supreme court's attempt in late March to wrest legislative powers from the opposition-dominated Congress. The court reversed that decision following domestic and international outcries demanding separation of powers and a return to democracy.

But tensions ratcheted up when Venezuela's government then barred opposition leader Henrique Capriles, twice a major presidential candidate, from running for office for 15 years.

The 44-year-old Capriles, currently governor of Miranda state, which surrounds Caracas, is one of the most recognizable leaders behind the protest movement that has been roiling the country for weeks.

Comcast survey discovers
wifi important when renting

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

In a sign of just how important internet access is, a new survey suggests rental apartment hunters are more concerned with high-speed internet and wifi than they are with in-home laundry facilities.

The survey commissioned by cable television and internet provider Comcast, found 34 percent of the 205 building managers, building owners and real estate developers of multifamily properties surveyed in the United States ranked wifi as the most important amenity. After that, 25 percent said high-speed internet was, while a mere 13 percent said in-room laundry facilities.

Furthermore, the survey found that 87 percent of those asked said technology plays either an extremely or very important role in renter satisfaction.

Thirty percent of those surveyed said high quality internet service increased property values by 20 percent.

Another 89 percent said technology was an important factor in a renter’s choice to sign or renew a lease.

The importance of technology varied by age, with 88 percent saying younger tenants aged 18 to 34 found technological amenities more important than among those 52 and up.

The survey was conducted by researcher firm Precision Sample and was given online between December 7-10, 2016. Comcast said it provides services to 189,000 properties and 14.7 million units in the United States.

New blood test promises
quick diagnosis of malaria

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

An experimental blood test can quickly and accurately diagnose malaria from other infections, so treatment of the mosquito-borne illness can be started promptly.

The symptoms of malaria, which strikes an estimated 200 million people around the globe every year, are non-specific. That means the fever, aches, pains and chills in the early stages could be mistaken for any number of infections.

Identifying and treating malaria promptly not only increases a patient's chances of survival, but also helps prevent the disease from spreading to more people.

The blood test, developed by researchers at Stanford University in California, looks for patterns of immune system activation to determine whether a person is infected with the malaria parasite, and not a bacterium or virus. It is reportedly 96 percent accurate.

Purvesh Khatri, a professor of medicine at Stanford, helped develop the biomarker test, which looks at which genes are switched on or off, depending on the infection.

A simple blood test measuring these immune markers could be helpful in resource-poor settings, according to Khatri.

Khatri notes the current test is not very accurate because it looks for a molecule, called an antigen, that activates an immune response in a malaria infection.

Khatri and his team drew upon data from 40 studies involving more than 3,000 blood samples from patients with various infections. Some were known to have malaria. But there were also other tropical illnesses observed in the studies, including dengue, typhoid and leishmaniasis.

From those blood studies, investigators analyzed the activation of 2,100 different genes, looking at which genes switched on and off with parasitic, viral and bacterial infections.

They found a group of seven genes that were expressed in malaria compared to healthy people and those with other infectious illnesses.

To confirm their discovery, the researchers whittled the samples down to 900, in which they were able to discern the pattern of gene activation unique to malaria with near 100 percent accuracy.

While the experimental blood test is accurate in diagnosing malaria, Khatri says it might also detect other parasitic diseases that researchers have not yet studied.

But he said the blood test could be reliably used in cases where malaria is strongly suspected and confirmation of the disease is needed.

Trump’s executive orders
highest since FDR days

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. President Donald Trump is to sign at least four executive orders this week. That gave him the distinction of having signed more directives in his first 100 days in office than any president since Franklin Roosevelt.

A check by Politifact shows Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed 76 such orders in the same 100-day period in 1933.

The 28 directives Trump has signed since taking office Jan. 20 are mostly aimed at such things as rolling back regulatory reform, restricting illegal border crossings and creating jobs. Most have had little immediate effect, but have started a review process that could lead to future action.

The four Trump will sign this week bring his total to 32, include one calling for a review of the Antiquities Act of 1906, which allows a president to protect lands of historic or scientific value by declaring them national monuments.

President Barack Obama frequently used the Antiquities Act, notably last December, weeks before he left office, when he prohibited oil drilling on 650,000 hectares of land in Nevada and Utah that is said to be rich in Native American artifacts.

A senior White House official did not mention the Obama administration specifically, saying only that past administrations have overused the law to designate large chunks of land far in excess of what is necessary for protection.

Another Trump order sets in motion an America First Offshore Energy Strategy, including a review of mostly Obama-era energy policies that restrict the number of locations available for offshore oil and gas exploration.

Trump often accused Obama during the presidential campaign of effectively short-circuiting the legislative process by executive fiat, making rules and regulations that could not make it through a Congress dominated by opposition Republicans.

Obama signed 276 executive orders during his presidency, the fewest by any two-term president in the modern era. That is an average of fewer than 35 a year, less than any other president since Grover Cleveland in the 19th century.

Presidential historian Max Skidmore of the University of Missouri-Kansas City says executive orders are a time honored way of accomplishing politically unpopular goals. Skidmore, who has written books about presidential powers, points to President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, signed in 1863 at the height of the Civil War, or President Harry Truman’s 1948 order desegregating the military.

John Hudak, a senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, says it is normal to see a surge in executive orders at the beginning of any presidency, as an administration tries to undo the work of the previous president.

All U.S. senators invited
to North Korea briefing

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

All 100 U.S. senators have been invited to the White House on Wednesday for a classified briefing that will primarily concern North Korea, the administration announced Monday.

The briefing will be conducted by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joe Dunford.

While lawmakers often receive classified briefings on Capitol Hill, it is rare for them to take place at the White House and for the entire Senate to be involved in one event.

During a White House lunch with ambassadors of United Nations Security Council member states on Monday, the U.S. president called unacceptable the status quo in North Korea.

Trump said the Security Council must be prepared to impose additional and stronger sanctions on North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

The comments came after Trump made his latest round of separate telephone calls to the leaders of Japan, China and Germany to discuss concerns about North Korea.

A 30-minute call between Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was meant to increase pressure on Pyongyang not to engage in further provocative actions, but was not prompted by any significant change in the situation, according to officials in Tokyo.

Abe also said he and Trump agreed that a larger role in dealing with Pyongyang should be played by China.

Trump subsequently spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping about North Korea.

The Chinese president said he hopes all sides avoid doing anything to worsen the tense situation on the Korean peninsula, according to the Xinhua news agency..

Trump, in the phone call with Xi, criticized North Korea's continued belligerence and emphasized Pyongyang's actions are destabilizing the Korean Peninsula, according to a White House readout issued Monday.

Trump and U.S. officials have repeatedly said all options remain on the table to deal with further North Korean provocations.

The conversations involving the president about North Korea took place as a U.S. Navy strike force, led by the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, is approaching the Sea of Japan, off the east coast of the Korean peninsula.

The strike force on Monday was wrapping up a routine joint drill to provide combined maritime responses with components of the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force in the Philippines Sea as it continued its northern transit, U.S. Navy Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters at the Pentagon.

Officials in Seoul announced earlier Monday the Vinson is also scheduled to hold a joint training exercise with South Korean naval ships. The approach of the American naval carrier strike group has not gone unnoticed in Pyongyang.

"Our revolutionary forces are combat-ready to sink a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier with a single strike," read a Sunday commentary in the Rodong Sinmun, the Workers' Party newspaper.

Such threats are common from the reclusive state. North Korea on Tuesday celebrates the anniversary of the founding of its military, a key holiday in the country.

There are concerns Pyongyang, in conjunction with the anniversary, will demonstrate a show of force by possibly firing more ballistic missiles or conducting its sixth nuclear test.

Trump has said that Xi is applying pressure on North Korea to not engage in further provocations.

It is speculated by analysts in Washington and Beijing that China is threatening to cut crude oil supplies to its impoverished neighbor should it conduct another nuclear test.

More news of the Americas
From the Voice of America

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Real estate for sale (paid category)

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

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

Puriscal home
REDUCED $40K - $355,000
This is a gorgeous, new, 3-bedroom luxury home on 2.2 flat acres in a secure, gated community, high in the hills of Puriscal, with stunning, 180-degree views of the ocean, city and mountains of the Central Valley in Costa Rica. Centrally located in the heart of Costa Rica, you are never more than an hour from the Pacific beaches while being much less than that to the culture, shopping, services and night life of the San José, Escazú, Santa Ana and the whole Central Valley. The Altos de Antigua gated community sits at an altitude of 2,800 feet with mild temperatures year round. Features wide paved roads and cement culverts throughout, a large community pool & spa with changing rooms & showers. The community association fees are $42 a month ($500 annually).
This property is currently being offered for $355,000.00 U.S.
Purchase adjoining 2.2 acre investment lot with the home sale for $35,000.00 U.S. or separately for $55,000.00 U.S.
    Summary of House Features:

       * Completed 2012 to North American standards
       * 3 large bedrooms, 2 full baths
       * Custom designed kitchen w/granite countertops
       * Frigidaire Professional appliance package
       * 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.
* Gently sloping level areas ideal for hobby farms, gardening, fruit trees.
* Quiet place to get away from the busy city and beach crowds.
* All lots have gravel roads to them, water and electricity at each.
* Lots are 5,000 sq. meters or larger, starting at only $40,000 USD
* Located in Libertad, Guanacaste, northwest Pacific area of Costa Rica.
* 20 minutes to the Liberia International Airport
* 15 minutes to the Pacific Beaches
* 10 minutes to Medical Facilities
* 25 minutes to the Liberia Hospital
* 5 minutes to Vista Ridge Golf Club

In Costa Rica, Jeffrey Sandi Murray:
In the USA and Canada contact Jim Day: or call 517-484-3675

For more information Click Here:

Etlinger Farm
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

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

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

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

Playas del Coco
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

Playas del Coco Click Here!

Playa Panama Click Here!

Playa Hermosa Click Here!
Peninsula Papagayo Click Here!

Playa Matapalo Click Here!
Toll Free 1-877-293-1456


Real estate-related services (paid category)

A-1 graphic
SMALL and LARGER jobs welcome !!!. We can build from any plan you bring us all work done by USA codes master electric and plumbing Better quality and lower prices than USA. We do it all Right  + Reasonable.
Call us: Toll Free 877-778-8515   
     Text from US: 804-313-6382 
     CR phone: 506-8307-0164
     For more info also see our sites: 

Browse timeshares for sale and rent by owner in Costa Rica at bargain prices. We connect existing timeshare owners with those looking to buy or rent a timeshare on the resale market. Timeshares on the resale market are up to 50% cheaper than those sold through the resort. Already own a timeshare and looking to sell? Stop saying “sell my timeshare” and let help you find a buyer or renter.

solar one

solar two
NOW with the New Power Company Regulations, we're installing photo voltaic systems for solar electricity.
PV systems: we use Enphase micro-inverters. More flexible. Add panels whenever you like. More reliable than any other system and fully guaranteed!

Solar device
NOW is the time to install our new super-efficient solar hot water! New model for condos
Solar collector
BUY NOW! Your solar hot water system, so in three months, we can calculate a lower install price for your PV system.  Perfect for homes and hotels. Save up to 40% of your electric bill.
More Watts per Panel, Smarter and more Capable Enphase Micro Inverters mean Less Cost and more Flexibility for You.

    We aren't Cheap...Neither are our Products. Call to Compare.
    More Flexible, Reliable-and Fully Guaranteed!

    Push this BIG RED BUTTON:  (O) and Learn ​details about your deal with ICE     
    SEE our new PACKAGE DEALS.
Solar logo
Office: 506-2446-0543
Andre 506-8314-8090
Paul 506-8898-9398

Real estate services
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A.M. Honduras
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A.M. Nicaragua
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Dominican Republic

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Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2017 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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news page

Published Tuesday, April 25, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 81
Real estate
About us

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Day tree planting
Kids Saving the Rainforest photo   
Some of the 50 participants during the group's tree planting.

300 trees planted with more on the way

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Over 300 trees were planted by the Kids Saving the Rainforest non-profit organization this past Saturday, according to current president Jennifer Rice.

Among the 50 community members who attended the event in Manuel Antonio were people from the: Banco Nacional branch of Quepos, Hotel Gaia, Selina Hostels, and the Blue Banyan Inn. This comes in addition to the group’s volunteers and staff as well as participants from the wider communities of Manuel Antonio and Quepos, Ms. Rice said.

300 trees may not have been the target goal this weekend. The group eventually hopes the site will host around 94,000 trees and the Earth Day event was supposed to begin with the planting of the first 3,000, according to a statement sent by the group for the project.

In spite of that, organizations are continuing to donate trees for the ambitious project. Ms. Rice said that the Titi Conservation Alliance intends to donate 300 trees and the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad said it will donate over 4,000 trees on May 5.

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.

Guardacostas find illegal fish traps

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Thousands on thousands of meters in fishing netting has been seized from fishermen by the Costa Rican coast guard.

A tip came in to the Guardacostas based at Quepos that there was illegal fishing activity happening at the mouth of the Río Parrita, according to a report from the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública. Upon arriving at the site, officers found two of these net structures, known as trasmallos in Spanish, placed to illegally catch fish.

The institution’s biologists noted that this type of fishing is illegal as it disrupts the reproductive cycle of some species of fish. These types of fish usually migrate from the ocean and swim to the rivers to spawn with the arrival of the first rains, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, the Guardacostas at the Flamingo station seized at least 1,500 meters of this netting during operations from the past several days. The trasmallos were delivered to the environmental ministry, officials said.

Lastly, three fishermen were arrested for not having the proper permits to fish out by Punta Mala de Osa. The material was confiscated, including the boat, and the detainees sent on to the judiciary.

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From Page 7:

Puntarenas leads in coastal construction

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The province of Puntarenas leads in the construction industry for coastal areas surpassing Guanacaste and Limón, according to data by Cámara Costarricense de la Construcción. The Cámara keeps track of the amount of square meters that developers say they will construct when requesting permits.

In the case of Puntarenas, those developers requested to build around 660,000 square meters from April 2016 to March 2017. The construction companies request the permits before the respective municipality.

In second place comes Guanacaste, with 519,653 square meters Limón with a total amount of 501,406 square meters.
The construction industry in these coastal areas follows the national trend where most of the permits are requested for housing projects, specifically independent residences not belonging to condominiums, the data shows.

In that sense, Puntarenas is also the coastal leader where people want to live. In the aforementioned period, developers requested to build  at least 328,864 square meters, followed by Guanacaste with 277,192 and Limón with 207,589.

Condominium housing in coastal areas is also at the top in Puntarenas, where companies have started to build 16,442 square meters. This figure is widely different from the Guanacaste, where only 506 square meters will be developed for this purpose. In the case of Limón, there no request at all.

“The lower number in Guanacaste is the consequence of the water distribution problems the province has been facing in the last years that directly affect the development of infraestructure,”said Kattia Madrigal, director of Investigation and Technical Development of the Cámara.

According to Ms. Madrigal, Limón is the coastal area more likely to grow in the next years because of important government investments in the province.
One of them is the Terminal de Contenedores de Moín, a new dock developed by the APM Terminals Group. This new dock is a $1 billion investment and should be fully operational next year according to the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes.

Also, the government has started building a new branch of the Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica for its residents. Both projects could also attract several other investments, according to Ms. Madrigal.

“We got to understand that the figures will rise in Limón not only by the big investments themselves, but also because workers will need housing, students will need housing, new businesses will require a place to operate,”she said.

The data shows that right now, Limón has the highest amount of square meters to develop in the education buildings bracket. It amounts to 91,848, which is more than Guanacaste at 25,130 and Puntarenas at 47,402 combined.