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Published Thursday, May 5, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 88
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Independence expat celebration to be on a Sunday
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The U.S. Independence Day celebration will be July 3 at the Cervecería picnic grounds west of San José.

The sponsor, the American Colony Committee, said that the beer company, Florida Ice & Farm Co. has permitted the use of the picnic grounds even though the day was Sunday. In the past, the committee had to move the date to avoid a conflict with beer company employees on their day off.

Attendance is expected to be larger that Sunday than if the celebration was put off until the f
ollowing day, July 4. The committee
estimated about 3,000 attendees.

The committee is seeking donations again this year in anticipation of a larger turnout. Most U.S. expat firms and those that do business with expats generally make donations that are used to cover the expenses. Recently there has been a modest admission fee, but the committee continues to provide free beer and hot dogs in the style of a traditional U.S. Independence Day bash.

This is the 56th year for the picnic. The event was started to provide the children of expats a traditional July 4 celebration even though they were living here. More information is available at

Bacterium found to halt bulk of zika transmission
By the Cell Press news staff

Aedes mosquitoes carrying the bacterium Wolbachia, found inside the cells of 60 percent of all insect species, are drastically less able to transmit zika virus, say researchers at Brazil's Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in a study published Wednesday in Cell Host & Microbe.

This is the first report on the effect of Wolbachia bacteria on zika virus. Originally inserted into Aedes eggs as part of an eliminate dengue program, the bacterium is passed on from mother mosquitoes to offspring, so it is a sustainable control agent. The approach is already being piloted to control dengue virus transmission and, with the proper resources and approvals, there's infrastructure in place to increase the scale of current trials to also help tackle the zika epidemic.

Wolbachia bacteria were first identified in 2005 as a way to combat mosquito-borne infections. After four years, researchers were successful in their attempts to isolate the bacterium from fruit flies and get it inside Aedes mosquitoes' eggs, without using any genetic alteration. They expected Wolbachia to shorten mosquitoes' lifespans, but the bacterium provided an added bonus, in that it heavily reduced the dengue virus replication in the mosquito. The bacterium, it seems, has the same effect on zika transmission. The same effect was previously seen on chikungunya virus, also transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes.

"The idea has been to release Aedes mosquitoes with Wolbachia in the field over a period of a few months, so they mate with Aedes mosquitoes without Wolbachia living in the place and, over time, replace the mosquito population," says senior author Luciano
Moreira of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation. He is also actively involved in the Eliminate Dengue Program, a non-profit that is testing the approach in 40 locations around the world.

"Zika and dengue belong in the same family of viruses, so with the outbreak in Brazil, the
logical idea was to test the mosquitoes carrying Wolbachia by challenging them with zika virus and see what would happen" he said.

Moreira's team gave Brazilian field mosquitoes and Wolbachia-infected 
Cell Press/Peter Iliccieve Fiocruz 
A researcher looking at Aedes mosquitoes infected with Wolbachia.

mosquitoes zika virus by feeding them human blood infected by two recent strains of the virus that is circulating in Brazil. After two weeks, the researchers saw that mosquitoes carrying Wolbachia had fewer viral particles in their bodies and saliva.

The tests showed that the virus present in the mosquito saliva was not active, meaning that, after biting, the mosquito would not be able to transmit zika virus. The reason for this drop in viral reproduction is unknown, but one theory is that because Wolbachia lives inside of the mosquito's cells, if the virus goes inside the cell to replicate, then there is an internal competition for resources. Surprisingly, this drop held true no matter how many Wolbachia the mosquito carried.

"Wolbachia showed to be as effective on zika as the most important dengue experiments we did," Moreira says. He cautions that the strategy is not 100 percent effective nor will it eliminate the virus. "We know that there will not be only one solution for zika. We have to do this alongside different approaches, like vaccines or insecticides, besides the public measures to control Aedes breeding sites."

He is currently discussing the Wolbachia approach with the Brazilian ministry of health, hoping to raise the resources and public support to test its effect on zika in the field.

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, May 5, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 88
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A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


Marco Cavallini & Associates
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A Mexican lad is not far from the top of this modern wall at the border in Brownsville, Texas.

The wall is great rhetoric, but . . .

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

As Robert Frost said: Something there is that doesn't love a wall.

That is true with U.S. politics and Donald Trump’s plan for a high wall at the border with México. Those who oppose the plan cite human rights reasons, economics or the desire to reunite families. But many have never been to the border.

An analysis on the news

In fact, Trump is going to need much more than a wall. Everyone knows that the narcos dig elaborate tunnels to bring their merchandise into the United States. There are smugglers who work by sea, and there is no wall so high that it cannot be climbed.

There are stowaways who enter the United States on trucks and trains. Along the Mexican side of the border are shanty towns full of those who would just seek a way into the United States.

A few hours at the border can be a lesson in the creativity of migrants.

In addition, some U.S. border towns, such as Laredo, Texas, rely on shoppers from México to keep the bottom line blue.

Costa Rica has its problems with the southern border now after already guiding about 9,000 Cubans to a better life in the United States. A wall would be helpful but not impenetrable.

Trump, clearly the Republican presidential nominee, is correct in seeking to secure the border from illegal immigration. From a human rights standpoint, the illegals dying of dehydration in the Sonora Desert would be a good argument for more restrictions.

The wall seems to be a good campaign talking point, but unless the United States adopts the policies of the East German police with attack dogs,  machine guns and land mines, Trump is going to have to find a more practical policy.

News from the Spanish-language press
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Legal Notice
The State of Utah To:  Richard Lydenberg you are summoned and required to file an answer in writing to the Petition of Divorce filed in the case number: 164900117 within 30 days after the last day of publication, which is May 26, 2016, you must file your answer with the clerk of the court at: Third Judicial District Court of Salt Lake County, State of Utah, 450 South State Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84114 and serve a copy of your answer to the Petitioner, if you fail to file and serve your answer on time, judgment by default will be taken against you for the relief demanded in the Petition. The Petition is on file with the clerk of the court. You can obtain a copy of the Petition by requesting one from the clerk of the court.

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, May 5, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 88
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A traffic officer tries to clear away some of the dirt that a water company crew left scattered at a key intersection when leaving work Wednesday.

Motorists report that driving in the capital is a hair-pulling affair because the Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados made no provisions for detouring traffic away from the job site.

The site is blocking a key city street that carries thousands of vehicles a day.

traffic mess
A.M. Costa Rica/Rommel Téllez

Police pick up where sewer workers left a mess for motorists
By Rommel Téllez
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Policía de Tránsito officers were forced to go beyond the usual duties Wednesday. They rolled their sleeves and used shovels in order to allow more cars to pass through the site of sewer works taking place in San José.

According to one of the officers, a crew of the Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados stopped work around 2 p.m and left the place messed up, so police had no choice but to remove dirt and debris to clear a path to the already congested traffic.

“When I arrived here, the AyA workers had already left, and now we are trying to control the chaos.” an officer said.

Works in the sewer started Tuesday in order to replace an older and weakened brick retaining wall and to build one made of concrete. This work will take place until Friday. The intersection at Avenida 9 and Calle 3 will continue to be closed, according to a press release by AyA. The water company also promised incorrectly that work would continue 24 hours a day.

“Our officers are trying to help as much as possible to ease the traffic. We've deployed eight in the area. People are already avoiding this route, something we have been encouraging.” said Felipe Venegas, subdirector of police operations. Despite the construction, a single lane of cars has been able to navigate the site.  This is one of the major east-west roads in the city.

Venegas also said that a few minor collisions happened and asked drivers to keep their cool and not become irate.

Sacred music is theme for weekend Orquestra Nacional performances
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The 120 members of the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional and the Coro Sinfónico Nacional take on the challenge this weekend of  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Great Mass in C minor.” There are four soloists, too.

The chorus has been practicing the complex Mozart piece for more than two months. This is the last nearly completed work for of the 18th century musical genius.

He presented it in 1783 with his wife as one of the soloists.

Soloists Friday night and Sunday morning at the Teatro Nacional are Costa Rican soprano María Marta López, tenor
Ernesto Rodríguez and baritone José Arturo Chacón. The fourth soloist Christina Pier of the United States.

Carl St. Clair will direct starting at 8 p.m. Friday and 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

The performance is one of sacred music. The other work on the program is “The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind” by Osvaldo Golijov of Argentina.

New Yorker David Krakauer will be the clarinet soloist for this piece, first presented in 1994. Isaac the Blind was a Medieval rabbi and kabbalist who asserted that Hebrew letters contained the code of the universe. The music comes from the klezmer tradition and is Krakauer’s signature work.

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, May 5, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 88
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Not all shark species ravage aggregations of spawning reef fish
By the PLoS ONE news staff

Three species of shark, tiger, lemon and Caribbean reef, all use deeper coral reefs in the Virgin Islands, but only lemon sharks prey on seasonal grouper spawning aggregations, according to a study published this week in the open-access journal PLOS ONE.

Authors were Alexandria Pickard from Nova Southeastern University, Florida, Bradley Wetherbee of the University of Rhode Island and colleagues.

Groupers and other fish often spawn together in coral reefs at depths between 30 and 150 meters in the Caribbean, and these aggregations may make them easy pickings for predators. However, little is known about coral ecosystems at these depths when compared to shallow coral reefs. To find out patterns of reef use for three species of shark, the authors of this study analyzed data from acoustic transmitters placed on 18 sharks, 6 lemon sharks, 10 tiger sharks, and two Caribbean reef sharks. The sharks were tracked with acoustic receivers covering an area of more than 1,000 square kilometers near the island of St. Thomas.

The authors found that all three species were present year-round in deeper coral reefs, but shark use patterns differed. While only two Caribbean reef sharks were tracked, both had a small range typical of the species that was not associated with the presence of spawning groupers. The range

PLoS ONE/George Schellenger
This is a a grouper spawning aggregation.

of lemon and tiger sharks was about 100 times greater, but
only the lemon sharks showed increased activity in spots where groupers were actively spawning.

The study included only a small number of sharks monitored over varying lengths of time, but Wetherbee, the co-author, notes, "Our study demonstrates that every member of a community has its own unique role or niche. Even though three species of sharks might be found in the same place at the same time on a reef, they are all doing different things and interact with other species in different ways."

Vacation, travel and hospitality

                        Garden 2016
Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
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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.


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Contact us: 
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Real estate-related services (paid category)
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Real estate rentals (paid category)

Beautiful House Inside Gated Farm for Rent
House inside gated farm. Two bedroom, One bath fully-furnished. Close to town in Santa Barbara de Heredia.  $650 includes:  Internet, Wifi, Cable TV, Water, Electric.  Located in Santa Barbara de Heredia. American owner lives onsite, quiet, secure.  More information to my email:

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 
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Real estate for rent (paid category)

Puriscal rental
A peaceful place near Puriscal.
Property is a small house on a 16-acre farm in Desamparaditos, a small village located 5K NW of Santiago de Puriscal. 15 minutes to Puriscal, 1 hour to San José and the airport, all paved roads. House has 2 bedrooms and 1 bath, large  open kitchen/dining/living area and is fully furnished. Nice veranda with great views. Many fruit trees. Private but not isolated with all utilities. Rent $550/month long term, short term negotiable. Tenant pays for electricity and phone. Landlord pays water. No pets, please. In Costa Rica call Liz Guegan at 7187-8577, in the USA call Pete Todd at 970-221-1457 or 720-951-7928.
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                                              Valley view

Boutique quality mountain homes for rent located on a small horse ranch on the slopes of the Barva Volcano, Heredia Province. The homes have stunning views of Costa Rica's Central Valley. Located at 7,300-foot altitude, our ranch borders the Braulio Carrillo National Park and the homes are hiking distance to the Barva Volcano crater lake. We offer various rental options for our 1- and 2-bedroom homes. Contact us at Ajsanch783@AOL.COM for more details.

Fully Furnished American style Apartments for Rent
2-bedroom, 2- bathroom, fully furnished American-style apartments with elevator in a secure building in Barrio Amó. Cable, Internet, water included. Shared laundry. Convenient to Parque Morazán,
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Barrio Amon
the building to see the apartments.   For more information contact:  or call Hilda at 2221-7161.

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Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, May 5, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 88
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Axiom new ad

Federal judge may summon
Mrs. Clinton on her emails

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A U.S. federal judge says he may order Hillary Clinton to testify in a lawsuit concerning her use of a private email server for official business while she was secretary of State.

A conservative group called Judicial Watch is suing the State Department for access to some of the e-mails Mrs. Clinton sent while secretary of State.

It contends the State Department did not release all the details it was seeking under the Freedom of Information Act on former department employees who worked with Mrs. Clinton to set up her email account.

District Judge Emmet Sullivan said Wednesday it may be necessary to summon Mrs. Clinton to testify about the circumstances that led the State Department approval for her using a private email server for official business.

Mrs. Clinton has consistently denied any wrongdoing and says she used one email account for personal and official use for convenience.

Mrs. Clinton’s critics, including Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, have accused her of putting national security at risk.

Republican insiders reacting
to Trump’s nomination win

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The long battle for the Republican presidential nomination has now ended, settling on a new leader of the Republican Party: Donald Trump.

Republicans nationwide reacted with a mix of disbelief, anger and grudging acceptance Wednesday, revealing a party that may have a new leader but whose future will be unclear until after the general election this November.   

The first signs the party would not immediately unite behind Trump as the nominee emerged Tuesday night when Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas dropped out of the race following a resounding loss to Trump in the Indiana primary.

A number of conservative bloggers and party operatives, including former John McCain aide Mark Salter, many of whom had been a part of the unsuccessful Never Trump movement, took to social media to openly declare they would not support Trump, and some even took the unprecedented step of pledging to vote for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton using the hashtag #ImWithHer.

“The idea of mainstream or even fairly conservative Republicans coming out to support a Clinton for the presidency is kind of mind-blowing,” said John Hudak, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution.

Mrs. Clinton, a divisive political figure and a lightning rod for conservative criticism over the past two decades, is a highly unlikely figure to attract any kind of Republican support.

“It really puts into perspective how desperate and how angry and how disgusted many elements of the Republican Party are with Trump,” Hudak said.

With the concession of Cruz and reports Wednesday that Ohio Gov. John Kasich has suspended his campaign, Trump will become the first party leader in more than six decades not to have held political office.

“We want to bring unity to the Republican Party,” Trump said in his victory speech Tuesday.  “We have to bring unity.  It's so much easier if we have it.” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus followed by tweeting a message of support intended to solidify a party splintered by the Trump win. 

The choice between Trump and Clinton could drive away many long-time conservative voters as well as independents, said Hudak.

“What happens when Republicans in those states start voting Democrat?  It tells you that maybe Clinton won’t win those states but Republicans are going to have to spend a lot of money in those states and that’s a fast way to win election,” he said.  

Now the choice for establishment Republicans and party elders may come down to a matter of tone and political finesse.  Hudak said many will hold their nose and vote for Trump to sustain party unity while refraining from the kind of outright campaigning that would show support for Trump’s ideas and his vision for the presidency.

That decision could be a final effort to salvage the party.

“It’s an attempt to bring the party to some level of unity so that people will turn out and vote,” said Norm Ornstein, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. “The last line of defense for Republicans is the House and Senate; they want as few divisions that demoralize people as they possibly can get.”

Out of the 34 Senate seats up for re-election this November, anywhere from seven to 10 are Republican seats in jeopardy.  Ornstein said the decision to support Trump may ultimately come down to saving those seats.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan have dealt with the reality of Trump in their own ways. McConnell has pushed small bills through the Senate while Ryan hopes to push a bold agenda focused on national security, the economy, poverty and health care through the House. That cannot happen within a fractured Republican party.

“The more you distance yourself from your party’s nominee, the more you get a backlash from those populists who have been ardently for Trump saying see, the establishment is defying and betraying us again,” Ornstein said.  “The more you embrace Trump, the more you turn traditional conservatives and Independents away from you.”

Cruz positioned himself as the potential leader of the conservative wing of the Republican Party during his concession speech Tuesday night.  Many analysts saw parallels between his speech and Ronald Reagan’s concession to Gerald Ford in 1976.  Reagan ultimately came back in 1980 to win the Republican nomination and the presidency, ushering in a new era of conservatism in American politics.  At age 45, Cruz is young enough to look toward a presidential run in 2020 but the party may be moving beyond his vision. 

“The reality is Ronald Reagan was successful in 1976 because he was the future of the Republican Party. Ted Cruz is not the future of this party,” said Hudak. 

In 2012, Republicans famously performed an autopsy after the loss of presidential candidate Mitt Romney, calling for the party to adapt its perspective and improve outreach to women and minorities.  Instead, the party moved in a completely different direction that ultimately ended with Trump as the nominee.

After the general election, a new reckoning will occur.  If Trump wins, his anti-establishment, anti-immigration wing of the party will clearly hold sway.  If he loses, the conservative wing of the party represented by Cruz and the older establishment wing will be left to sort out what remains of a party led by a completely unexpected nominee.

“You’re going to see an enormous battle not just for the control of the party apparatus,” said Ornstein, “but for the soul of the Republican Party and it’s not going to be resolved quickly or easily.”

Spanish warrants link Russia
to organized crime chiefs

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Spanish authorities this week issued arrest warrants for several Russians, some of them reputedly close associates of President Vladimir Putin, who are suspected of close ties to organized crime. The Spanish newspaper El Mundo quoted Judge Jose de la Mata of Spain's national court as saying there is very strong evidence against each suspect.

Spanish prosecutors claim that the suspects were involved in a wide range of criminal activities, including murder, illegal arms trafficking, extortion, fraud, abuse of office, bribery, smuggling and drug trafficking.

One of the biggest names on the list of suspects is Vladislav Reznik, a top official of the ruling Yedinaya Rossiya party who previously headed the committee on credit institutions and financial institutions of the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament. According to Spanish court documents, Reznik is associated with Russian crime boss Gennady Petrov and fulfills various tasks on Petrov’s behalf, both legal and illegal.

Petrov was among a group of alleged Russian organized-crime figures who set up shop in Spain in the mid-1990s. He fled to Russia after police raided his villa on the Spanish island of Majorca in 2008.

Another prominent name on the list of suspects is Nikolai Aulov, deputy head of Russia’s federal narcotics control service.  According to the Spanish prosecutors, the mafia used him to gain influence in Russia’s highest administrative circles. A warrant was also issued for Leonid Khristoforov, who allegedly acted as a liaison for Aulov.

Another Spanish arrest warrant was for Igor Sobolevsky, former deputy head of the Investigative Committee, a Russian state agency analogous to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. Spanish prosecutors say Sobolevsky maintained contacts and exchanged services with Petrov, passing secret information to him. In the words of Judge de la Mata, Sobolevsky kept Petrov informed about the actions of the security services against organized crime.

In a petition made to Spain’s central court in May 2015, Spanish prosecutors accused other former top Russian officials of having links to Petrov, including former defense minister Anatoly Serdyukov, former regional development minister Dmitry Kozak and former communications minister Leonid Reiman. 

Asked to comment on the Spanish arrest warrants, Valery Khomyakov, general director of the National Strategy Council, a Moscow think tank, said he was surprised by the universal silence with which Russian officialdom greeted the news.

"We usually have someone to respond at every given opportunity,” he said. “As soon as something is said, Ms. Zakharova is already there. Everybody is probably waiting for the reaction of the chief executive. After all, Reznik is a rather well-known MP who has been in the parliament for a long time. Plus, his connections to Vladimir Putin through the notorious Petrov are discernible,” Khomyakov said, referring to the foreign affairs ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

In March, after Interpol issued an international arrest warrant for Reznik at the request of Spanish authorities, Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika flatly ruled out extraditing him to Spain.

Alexander Gurov is a retired interior ministry general who made his name fighting organized crime in the 1980s and a former State Duma member who headed its security committee from 2000 to 2004. He said there is nothing surprising about official Moscow's silence about the Spanish arrest warrants.

"It is clear that this episode is very unpleasant for the image of the country," he said.

Still, Gurov said the story is hardly new.

"I, personally, would listen to the Spanish police,” he said. “They are not fools. According to available information, Russian envoys of organized crime really were actively operating in Spain. The only question is the degree of guilt of those involved.”

According to Gurov, the Spanish case is evidence of ties between Russia’s state structures and the criminal underworld.

“It may even involve groups of officials from certain agencies,” he said. “It’s not a secret: this process has been going on since the '90s.. . . Organized crime cannot exist without the protection of the authorities, or without an economic base.”

Twenty years ago, Gurov said, Russian organized crime groups decided to earmark one-third of their revenues for bribes to government officials.

“I think this is now paying off,” he said. “They have all coalesced to such a degree that it is difficult for the uninitiated to understand. During all these years, the mafia worked hard to integrate state representatives into their networks.”

At one time, organized crime put a large number of people into the State Duma, Gurov said.

“That’s how it was when I ran for office,” he said. “They caught them by the hundreds, but those guys still managed to infiltrate the Duma.”

However, Gurov believes that today the situation in the Duma has changed significantly.

Valery Khomyakov says that if the accusations of the Spanish prosecutors are confirmed, the merger of Russian state structures with the criminal underworld will have to be recognized as a fact.
The Spanish case will be presented as irrefutable evidence that Russia’s state structures and organized crime have merged "together in a criminal tangle, in which it is impossible to figure out where the government ends and where criminality begins,” he said.

U.S. Justice Department enters
dispute over bathroom bill

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Justice Department says a controversial law in the state of North Carolina limiting legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people violates federal civil-rights law and must not be enforced.

In a written notice to the state's governor, Pat McCrory, U.S. officials directed North Carolina to confirm that the new law will not be enforced or risk being sued by the federal government.

If North Carolina disregards the U.S. government's position, it could put at risk hundreds of millions of dollars the state normally receives to support its schools and universities.

The North Carolina law limits legal protections for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and requires transgender people to use only public bathroom facilities that correspond to the gender listed on their birth certificates.

Transgender is used to describe people who identify with or express a gender identity different from one they were born with, for example, someone born male who chooses to live as a woman.

The Justice Department said North Carolina's law, known there as House Bill 2 or H.B. 2, violates the U.S. Civil Rights Act, the foundation of all civil-rights legislation in the United States.

The act, which dates back to 1964, prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. It has been used to end racial segregation in schools, workplaces and public facilities, also known as "public accommodations, and to overturn local election rules used to discriminate against minorities.

The government's notice to the state and Gov. McCrory set a deadline of Monday for North Carolina to abide by the terms of the federal order. 

Since its passage in March, North Carolina's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender law has stirred strong controversy and aroused demonstrations both for and against its provisions. Rock-music star Bruce Springsteen and other figures from the entertainment world cancelled appearances in North Carolina in protest against H.B. 2. More than 140 businesses have signed a letter protesting the measure, among them Apple, Microsoft and Coca-cola.

A Democratic state lawmaker who opposes the law, Chris Sgro, said the federal government's action "confirms what we've already known, that H.B. 2 is deeply discriminatory . . . and needs to be repealed as soon as possible."

Sgro, who also is executive director of Equality NC, a rights group, estimated the economic impact of the law at $500 million already, not including the potential loss of federal funds for state institutions, such as $861 million allocated for North Carolina during the current school year.

Medical errors are considered
third leading cause of death

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Medical errors now are the third leading cause of death in the United States, according to a new study.

Writing in The BMJ, researchers from the Johns Hopkins University say more than 250,000 deaths are caused by medical errors every year.

This means medical errors have passed respiratory disease as the third most likely cause of death.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention keeps the official statistics about leading causes of death in the U.S., but Hopkins researchers say the Center's way of collecting data fails to classify medical errors separately on the death certificate.

"Incidence rates for deaths directly attributable to medical care gone awry haven't been recognized in any standardized method for collecting national statistics," said Martin Makary, professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and an authority on health reform. "The medical coding system was designed to maximize billing for physician services, not to collect national health statistics, as it is currently being used."

The researchers say the Center’s methods, which were adopted in 1949, need to be changed to account for medical mistakes.

"At that time, it was under-recognized that diagnostic errors, medical mistakes, and the absence of safety nets could result in someone's death," said Makary, "and because of that, medical errors were unintentionally excluded from national health statistics."

The researchers looked at death rate data from 2000 to 2008 as well as hospitalization rates from 2013. Using that data, they determined that out of more than 35.4 million hospitalizations, medical errors caused more than a quarter million deaths.

This, researchers say, represents 9.5 percent of all deaths in the U.S. each year.

In 2013, the Center said heart disease was the leading cause of death in the U.S., with cancer the second, followed by respiratory disease.

"Top-ranked causes of death as reported by the CDC inform our country's research funding and public health priorities," Makary says. "Right now, cancer and heart disease get a ton of attention, but since medical errors don't appear on the list, the problem doesn't get the funding and attention it deserves."

Researchers caution that medical errors should not be synonymous with bad doctors, but “represent systemic problems, including poorly coordinated care, fragmented insurance networks, the absence or underuse of safety nets, and other protocols, in addition to unwarranted variation in physician practice patterns that lack accountability.”

Economy in U.S. appears
to be sluggish but stable

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A mixed-bag of economic reports released on Wednesday points to a sluggish but stable U.S. economy.

U.S. companies added jobs last month at their slowest pace in three years, according to payroll processor ADP.  Business added 150,000 jobs in April, fewer than the 194,000 added in March. The reasons for the decline were the loss of 11,000 manufacturing jobs and weaker hiring at medium and larger companies.

The ADP report precedes Friday's monthly government unemployment update. Last month, the U.S. Department of Labor reported the jobless rate was little changed at 5.0 percent. Some economists expect firm growth in the range of 200,000 jobs.

The Labor Department reported American workers were less productive in the first quarter of this year. Productivity fell at an annual rate of 1 percent, compared to a 1.7 percent drop in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Productivity, the amount of output per hour of work, has been weak for the last five years. It is a key ingredient needed for raising living standards. 

The bright spot was the U.S. trade deficit, which narrowed sharply in March, thanks to a drop in imports. The U.S. Department of Commerce reported the deficit shrank nearly 14 percent from February to $40.4 billion, its lowest level in a year. The report said the trade gap with China, one of America's largest trade partners, narrowed more than 34 percent.

Wells Fargo Global Economist Jay Bryson said the trade deficit news came as little surprise because recent preliminary data on trade in goods signaled a sharp reduction in the overall deficit.

Mother sues school system
over alleged racial bias

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A mother is suing the St. Louis school system claiming that her 9-year-old son is being prohibited from remaining in a city charter school because of the color of his skin.

The mother, La'Shieka White, and her son live in the St. Louis suburbs.

White filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday alleging that her son, Edmund Lee, a third-grader at Gateway Science Academy in the city of St. Louis, would be unable to continue attending the school because of the family's move and because he is black.

"Imagine our shock when we found out Edmund would no longer be allowed to attend Gateway Science Academy due to state laws because he is African-American," White said in an online petition that has gathered more than 134,000 signatures.

St. Louis' decades-old desegregation law allows black students to attend schools in the suburbs, but it does not allow black students living in the surrounding county to attend city charter schools.

"African-American students who live in St. Louis County are ineligible to be enrolled at Gateway, or any charter school located in the city of St. Louis," court documents say.

The lawsuit asks for a permanent injunction prohibiting a transfer program based on race.

Edmund has been studying at Gateway Science Academy since kindergarten. He has a 3.79 grade-point average and above-average testing scores in language arts, math and science, the lawsuit says.

The family moved in March from a city neighborhood to a house in Maryland Heights, Missouri, part of St. Louis County, after the family car was broken into multiple times and regular gunshots were heard by family members.

The defendant in the lawsuit is the Voluntary Interdistrict Choice Corp., a nonprofit governed by a board composed of superintendents of the participating city and county school districts.

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or 506-8314-8090


Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

If you are looking for information on condos, homes, lots, commercial real estate or development properties our award-winning team of professional agents are ready to help you buying property in Costa Rica. We have over 18 years of experience to educate our buyers in all aspects of purchasing property. Call us or email us today for more information on how to purchase that perfect piece of Costa Rica Real Estate.

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Axiom one

Sierra Collection. Meridian House or Chateau Montage.
Near Parque Nacional Marino Ballena,
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The Terraces at San Martin.  Discover the essence of Costa Rica on our Luxury Ocean View Villas . Near Dominicalito Beach and Parque Nacional Marino Ballena.
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Axiom three
Ellan At Ballena Beach.  Welcome to a world of endless adventure on our beachside condominiums at Ballena Beach, Pacific Coast.  For more information click  HERE!
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Rich Coast
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    2.47 acre ocean view property w/ 2 houses & 2 unfinished apartments $249k!!!
    2 houses and pool furnished, great rental potential walk to the beach $327k w/ owner financing
    2-bedroom furnished condo 400 feet from Jacó beach $179,000

and lots of other great properties! Property listings in Escazú, Herradura, Jacó, Manuel Antonio, Dominical and beyond. We offer efficient, personalized service always protecting our client’s interests. Contact us today with your questions about buying property in Costa Rica. With 11 years experience in Costa Rica real estate.

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Real estate for sale (paid category)

Pavo onr
FOR SALE - $270,000
Exceptional 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom, fully furnished luxury apartment for sale at the exclusive Terrazas de Escazú highrise complex in Escazú near La Paco Commerical Center.  Situated on the third floor, this apartment has an exceptional layout with stunning views of the Central Valley. 140 m2 bright and spacious floor plan with open sky terrace with 180-degree unobstructed view of the Escazú mountains and Central Valley.  One covered parking spot with additional guest parking available. HOA fee:  $250/month. Held in Costa Rica corporation for easy property transfer. Building features: 12-meter atrium with controlled access entrance to the building, surrounding landscaping, lower level pool, communal rooftop terrace and small rooftop gym. 24-hour security. Contact: José Granados in Costa Rica, phone 506- 6051-5249  email:
paco two

first image
B&B for sale in Costa Rica $650,000

I believe this is the finest area of Costa Rica in which to live and, with a lock on 80percent of all tourists visiting Costa Rica, to invest. There are birds and flowers of every description, terrific neighbors, incredible views, wonderful weather with a healthy climate, visits by sloth, deer, monkeys, a very good business that can expand and grow, if desired, or simply a beautiful place to live. Please look at my Web site and the guest reviews, the people's reaction to the property, and you'll see just what a wonderful opportunity this is

There is about 7,000 square meters of land included (over 1 3/4 acres) as well as another smaller home and an apartment above the carport, designed as maid's quarters but usually rented out to tourists. The rear of the property is bordered by a small and very clean spring-fed creek/river. Across the river there is jungle, which makes for a great deal of all around privacy and which will never be developed. Restaurants, a supermarket, services, and many natural attractions are just a short distance away. The property was appraised at over $1.7 million (US) a few years ago, which might indicate what an incredible bargain this is.

It can also include a franchise for Best Western Hotel, if interested in growing with the tourism business, and a small hobby farm bordering Arenal National Park with spectacular views of Lake Arenal, is also available. All is available at an excellent price for the right person (people) and a package price can certainly be arranged. Email me at: For more photos and info click HERE!


Dorn Home
Beverly Hills Style House for Sale on Pacific Coast, Guanacaste

Lot of 2,866.33 square meters with three terraces, inside luxury house  property with 326 square meters construction. Two-story house with front porch, entry lobby, living room, dinning room, large kitchen, breakfast room, large cupboard, 3 1⁄2 bathrooms, 3 large bedrooms, the main bedroom includes jacuzzi and balcony. Playground, office, laundry area, garage for two cars, own and municipal potable water supply, electricity service, cable TV system, A/C. Located 700 meters from Las Colinas Golf Course, near the airport, Tamarindo Beach and the best beaches of the country. Excellent construction and great details. Price $349,000.   We have another extra large lot (next to the main property)  priced at $75,000.  For more information, please contact us: Emails:   or    Call Lia or Stanley phones:  (506) 2653-6417 /   (506) 7079-6577.

Negotiable price. Thirty thousand seventy square meters. The house is seven hundred fifty squared meters, built three years ago. Five bedrooms plus servant's room with bathroom. Each bedroom includes private bathroom. Master's room includes Jacuzzi and hidromassage. Two main living rooms plus visitor's parlor and hall, two furnished kitchens, all ceramic. Nineteen rooms total counting three offices, eight-car garage. Has 220-volt current with three distribution panels. First-quality water plus well, decorated stone walls, recreational area, second house eighty squared meters, hot water systems, cable, telephone, light system throughout property, river, part forest..

For health situation, the owner make a INCREDIBLE DISCOUNT!!!!

ORIGINAL PRICE: $1.800.000    OFFER PRICE: $1.200.000
 For more information click HERE!
To see more photos click HERE!  To see house video click HERE!

English language contact:
Christian Arce
Phone: (506) 2494-0016
Cell phone: (506) 8309-0173

Spanish language contact:
Luis Gustavo Jiménez
Phone: (506) 2494-0016
Cell phone: (506) 8707-4016

A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

A beautiful American style suburban home, 2,700 sq. ft. of living space with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, front and rear living rooms, laundry area, kitchen and small attached library nook, arched windows and doors and connected hallways, exotic wood interior ceilings and trim, tile floors thru-out. The lot is 835 m2 with mature landscape and orchid nurseries surrounding the house. There is an enclosed workshop and BBQ area in the backyard with lots of storage under roof, plus a nursery for an herb/vegetable garden. This is a very well-kept property with many upgrades, a private feel but yet only 5 minutes from the center of town. Pérez Zeledón is the commercial hub of the southern zone and considered to be one of the best places to live in all of Costa Rica, the perfect size town, not too big and not too small. The beach is 45 minutes to the west and a short drive to the cool mountains is to the east. In between, this large valley has a moderate climate. Pérez has plenty of modern goods and services, an excellent farmers market, private schools, private doctors and clinics, all you need without having to go to the crazy madness of San José. Just reduced to $199,000. Call Jeff: 8725-8176. Email:


San Rmon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed,  Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: 
Check out slide show HERE!

Ocean View Property for Sale in San Ramón
1.5-acre lot with spectacular ocean views. Ready to build. Mild climate year round with an average temperature a cool 74 degrees. Spectacular panoramic views of
                                for sale
the ocean and port of Puntarenas during the day, breathtaking views of Esparza at night. Fully titled and owned under a Costa Rican corporation. Price reduced to $45,000. Short-term owner financing available. For more info: Contact: Frank

Jacó beach unique home. First time offered
This house has never been listed.  It is a 3-bedroom, 1-bath home approx. 100 feet above sea level on the only hill in Jacó one mile to the beach.  Totally remodeled to a Gringo house.Has great fenced yard for dogs and a huge screened porch with  great views all around, including a small ocean view.  New in the last two years includes: new kitchen with granite counter, cedar cabinets, all new windows, tile, water system, updated electric & plumbing, superb new AC units (low electric bill), This is half of a duplex with a platted yard.  Other side is the chief of police.  Secure & private.  $169.900. Call Glenn at 506-6214-0056 or

La Uruca condo
Situated three miles west of the capital, eight miles from the airport. Quiet, secluded area within walking distance to a commercial center including a hotel, six restaurants,  next to two 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, two bedrooms, maid's room, two bathrooms, four closets  (including walk-in), fully equipped kitchen (refrigerator, washing machine, small appliances, all necessary utensils, work tools).  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:  Mid-January to beginning of April. Contact:  USA :  585 544-4296. Costa Rica : 506 2231-0410

For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú
Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant.
Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning.
Easy to get liquor license. Low interest financing.
Toll free US phone 877-778-8515
In Costa Rica 8307-0164

San Ramon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed,  Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: 
Check out slide show HERE!

Grecia casa
Mountain home for sale
in Grecia.
Less than a year old. Owners are motivated.  All information regarding the home as well as many photos can be found at Mountain view home for sale Grecia, Costa Rica.   Contact email:

puriscal photo
Costa Rica home for sale $163,500 / 2bedroom - 1,984 ft2

Central Valley view home: 10 minutes from Santiago de Puriscal and shopping, hospital services, and soon Maxi Pali. Only one hour to San José or Pacific beaches.
- On .55-acre lot with river on one boundary
- Area under roof, 1,984 sq. ft., Area inside walls, 925 sq. ft. Steel, recycled
      Styrofoam, and concrete construction.
- 2 ½ years old with central living room and kitchen, 2 bedrooms and 2 baths,
       ceramic tile throughout.
- Central Valley volcano and SJO airport views from every room.
- Vaulted ceilings give bright open feeling.
- Entrance from concrete road to large graveled parking area
- VERY energy efficient with VERY low property taxes.
- Covered attached carport with entrance to front door or laundry-guest bath
- 2 carport storage bodegas.
- 12 foot x 14 foot storage bodega
- Security lights, And Amcrest day & night video recorder system.
- Producing banana trees, and mango, bread fruit, and guanabana trees

Includes: Refrigerator, gas stove & oven with electric grill element, microwave, electric washer-gas dryer stacked style, gas on demand whole house water heater. Other furnishings are negotiable. ICE electric service and land line phone. Bajo Burgos Water district. Metro-wireless WiFi is available. Tigo Star Satellite T.V. House is in a Costa Rican corporation, will transfer shares. Contract or call 506 2416-9324.  Additional photos are available on Flickr album

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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:

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, May 5, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 88
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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
Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal photo
 Agricultural officials blame this type of critter for the Golfito death.

Another cow rabies outbreak reported

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The second outbreak of bovine rabies this year has taken place in San Ramón, Guaycará, Golfito.  The Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal said that one cow has died already.

The disease is carried by vampire bats that bite cows to feed on their blood and transfer inadvertently the virus disease.

The animal health agency said that the finca where the cow died has been put under quarantine and that efforts are being made to reduce the bat population. There are 20 cows on the finca, the agency said.

Adjacent properties also are being inspected for sick animals, which may include dogs, said the agency.

Humans can get the disease with contact from infected animals, the agency noted by way of a caution.

Window-breaking suspect nabbed again

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Fuerza Pública officers detained a man Wednesday on the allegation that he was one of those window breakers along the Circunvalación highway.

The police agency said that the same man has been detained for the same crime in the past. Most of the young men who break car windows to steal purses and cell telephones have been detained multiple times, according to news files.

The Fuerza Pública said two different women said they had been victims and lost cell telephones. Crooks can get from $5 to $20 for a cell telephone. That is far less than the cost to replace a window.

The men usually are waiting as a vehicle with a single person, the driver, pulls up to one of the four traffic light-controlled intersections on the highway in Hatillo. They probably had spotters down the road making a selection. The men break the window usually with a rock and take whatever is on the passenger seat.

Hatillo is a hot spot for this type of activity, but motorists are vulnerable at every stop light and places where there are traffic jams. Police maintain stakeouts that sometimes are effective in nabbing a suspect.

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From Page 7:

Credit reported available for biodigesters

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Viogaz S.A. says it has reached an agreement with the Kiva Organization in San Francisco, California, to provide small loans for persons and firms that want to install a biodigester.

Viogaz says it has installed up to 200 biodigesters all over Central America, the United States and Nigeria.

The Heredia firm has a full range of biodigesters from little to large enough to handle the waste from a large pig or dairy farm. The Kiva Organization will make loads of up to $2,500, Viogaz said.

Kiva basically is a crowdsourcing organization that uses money from individual investors to make small loans in the developing world. It encourages investors to make additional loans when one has been paid back.

The biodigesters can convert the organic waste into methane that can be used as fuel.