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Published Friday, May 5, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 89
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Trafficking busts showcase a multinational effort
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Two years of multinational investigations and corroboration between the security forces of Costa Rica and Colombia, in consultation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has led to the capture of over 38 individuals involved in an international drug ring.

Out of 12 cases developed during those years, nearly 10 were in Costa Rica with the other two conducted in Colombia. The 38 people arrested include 15 Costa Ricans and 23 foreigners, according to a statement from the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública.

The arrests also came with over five tons of cocaine captured including the most recent arrests made Thursday during a raid by the Policía de Control Drogas.

The Thursday raid yielded the arrests of two Colombian males and a Costa Rica female. One of the Colombian suspects is alleged to be the right-hand of the leader of the trafficking group, police said. The Costa Rican suspect is thought to have a role in legitimizing the capital.

The case began back in April 2015 when a tip came in to Costa Rican security forces from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s surveillance aircraft that a suspicious vessel was moving 50 nautical miles off the coast near Golfito.

Guardacostas stopped the boat and found that the three-crew members were attempting to dump some of the 525 kilograms of cocaine into the ocean. These crewmen were all Costa Rican, officials said.

The investigation into the ring continued into the summer of 2016 when the U.S. Coast Guard or Costa Rican authorities captured more vehicles and vessels loaded down with more cocaine. Some of the suspects captured were Nicaraguans, Ecuadorians, a Mexican, a Dominican and Colombians as well.

Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo
Thursday's raid yielded arrests and drugs.

The latest case before Thursday’s raid occurred last month when 495 kilograms of cocaine were seized and three Colombian nationals arrested including the suspected leader of this trafficking group. The Policía Nacional de Colombia conducted these.

These events coincide with the wider strategy for the region by the United States military’s southern command. On April 24, the Central American Security Conference was held at Cozumel in México.

This conference included the heads of security forces from within Central America as well as observers from Canada, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Great Britain, according to a statement from the U.S. military.

Participants met to discuss ways to best address the regional challenges of extremism and transnational criminal networks.

“An expanding new series of threats such as criminal and extremist networks have joined the traditional challenges such as natural disasters and humanitarian crises,” U.S. Navy Adm. Kurt Tidd said.

“What once were public safety nuisances have evolved into serious security threats from violent non-state actors that challenge the sovereignty of nations, the integrity of institutions and the safety of the citizens.”

Adm. Tidd is the overall commander for U.S. Southern Command.

Solís bill would give journalists greater freedom
By Conor Golden
News Editor for A.M. Costa Rica

The administration of Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís recently introduced a bill on May Day to expand and aid freedom of the press laws in the country.

The bill was first presented to the legislative assembly back in Apr. 28 but was formally put into the legislature as part of the executive branch’s right in Costa Rica to introduce its own bills in the legislature. So far, however, it does not seem that the bill is being moved for consideration despite the impact that it could have in helping freedom of the press in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica’s laws on libel and defamation have been well-reported on by A.M. Costa Rica in the past. They are criminal, rather than civil, cases that can sometimes mean huge indemnities for media outlets that do not have the political or financial clout or the will to pursue such actions in the courts. It could also mean some prison time for the unfortunate ones found guilty.

This bill, numbered 20.362, is actually a reform of existing laws and it is aptly titled “Ley de Libertad de Expresión y Prensa.”

Within the confines of these amendments, the bill proposes to eliminate punishments of journalist’s reporting on something if it is determined that the facts are within the public interest and if the circumstances in question give true information. The caveat in this is that these things were not made solely for malicious purposes.

The bill would also seek to not make punishable any unfavorable judgments deemed of literary, artistic, historical, scientific or professional criticism.

In other words, an offended individual could not punish a reporter for writing something critical of one’s artistic work or book. Again, this is under the auspices that the reporting was done without any proof of malicious or defamatory attempt.

As far as criticisms of those within the spotlight of the public interest, the bill would also not hold punishable the media outlet for publishing potentially offensive or defamatory statements made by persons or groups if they prove the attribution to those persons or entities. At the same time, there is also an article amended that would include, what is called in English, a duty of abstention.

Basically, a person cannot declare secret any events that have come to their attention by virtue of one’s profession with exception of religious ministers.

This also would include public officials on state secrets as well. Such statements by individuals must be testified to when the concerned person releases them, the bill says.

If those persons are mentioned, then they must appear and testify before a court and explain their reasons for abstention.

If a court is not satisfied with the argument then they could compel the person to speak or else face charges of contempt.

Another interesting aspect of the bill is something called a conscience clause.

It states that any employment contract of journalists would include this.

It basically gives a journalist the right to refuse any work that they deem contrary to their conscience or ethical norms generally accepted in the profession.

The bill would also guarantee that those journalists who exercise that clause would be shielded from any sanction or consequences from their bosses.

If a situation like that were to occur, however, the bill does provide the right of employee to break the contract using the clause as justification and to receive full compensation and legal benefits from the former employer.

As stated previously, the law is sitting on the floor of the legislature without much action.

Few political parties have issued statements on the bill, which could be interpreted by some as an attempt to effectively bury it within the chambers of the legislature.

Costa Rica is thought of by many international organizations to be the exception to the violence, media blackouts, corruption and intimidation facing journalists in the region.

Reporters without Borders recently gave favorable marks to the state of the free press in Costa Rica. So too, did the prominent non-government organization Freedom House.

With World Press Freedom Day come and gone this week, it is unclear as to what this bill may become as it meets the long, tough grind of many pieces of legislation in any democracy.

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Sewage work in San José on Monday

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

As of next Monday, the Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados will be closing some streets in San José in order to continue the replacement of the sewage pipes.

The streets closing will be at Calle 0, between Avenida Segunda y Avenida Primera. That's 200 meters north from the main entrance of the Catedral Metropolitana, the institute said in a statement.

The organization sought to assure commuters and pedestrians that traffic police will be on site helping drivers and passersby find alternative routes.

The works are expected to improve the sewage treatment and avoid wastewater flooding that has occurred in the past.

The institute also advises that the surrounding businesses take proper measures to prepare for this closing.

Paddle surfing
International Surf Association photo   
Both groups seek to increase exposure and recognition for sport.

Paddlesurfers seek recognition in sports

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The International Surfing Association announced Thursday that it would be formally teaming up with its sister Association of Paddlesurf Professionals to develop the latter’s StandUp paddle sport.

According to a statement by the surf group, the association is acquiring minority ownership in the paddlesurf professionals’ World Tour and providing an official sanction of all its events. This agreement also makes the International Surfing Association the sole governing body for surfing including paddlesurf.

In terms of advertising and promotions, this represents a potential boon for the surf group as the World Tour will officially sanctioned and trademarked by it.

The two surf groups also see an opportunity to add paddlesurfing into the mix of the Olympic games under the head organization’s leadership and authority.

“Stand Up Paddling has seen exponential growth over the past decade as surfing’s most accessible format,” said Tristan Boxford, the CEO for the Association of Paddlesurf Professionals World Tour.

“With no geographic limitations or barrier to entry, anywhere there is water, Stand Up Paddling has become one of the most diverse water sports in the world. We are excited to align with the ISA and to combine efforts and resources to creatively promote this sport that we love and are committed to.”

Boxford also hoped that the new agreement would bolster the push to include the unique style of surfing into the next Olympic games to be held in Tokyo, Japan in 2020. 

Our reader's opinion
In defense of a realtor-run MLS

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Gary Keenan of San Jos​e​ has a point about making real estate more efficient with an MLS, but who is going to run it if not a recognized and regulated board of realtors?

Surely we do not want the government involved. But more than that, the issues raised about problems with agents here are exactly why there is a need for organizing and regulating the profession.  Doctors have their "Colegio" as do lawyers and I am sure few would want those structures eliminated. 

Under the new plan, there is to be an educational requirement and an ethics standard that must be adhered to. I have been living here for more than 33 years most of that time working in Real Estate under the Century 21 banner. We do need to professionalize the real estate industry to help protect and serve our clients.

By law, lawyers will still be involved in the due diligence and closings and anyone can sell or buy on their own, but some regulations will help eliminate the problems caused by uneducated and unethical "agents" who prey on the unsuspecting client who put their trust in them.

This law has been a long time coming and has been refined and improved each time it has been brought up for consideration. The vast majority of professionals in real estate here support it as do many property buyers and sellers who have been negatively affected by not having such regulation.

Thomas Ghormley H.
Playa Jacó

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Costa Rica

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Published Friday, May 5, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 89
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Viability of Costa Rican wine is possible if done tropical-style
By Rommel Téllez
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

“It is time for Costa Rica to enter the wine industry, not by emulating what already exists but creating our own variety, our own identity,” said Virgilio Vidor, a tropical wine researcher working at Universidad de Costa Rica.

By modifiying seeds in his lab, Vidor has spent 45 years coming up with new types of grapes better adjusted to the Costa Rican weather. His ideal is to obtain a wine whose added value is the particular taste that only the tropics can provide.

According to data provided by the Promotora del Comercio Exterior, the government agency in charge of supporting Costa Rican exporters, Costa Rica doesn't really sell it's own wine to other countries other than for marketing or personal purposes.

Figures show that 2013 was the year with the most amount of wine exports registered. At the time, the total value of product sold accounted for $13,547.

The main destination was Panamá. In 2015 no sales were registered and in 2016 the sales decreased to $1,162. Vidor said this happens because local producers focus on creating versions of American, Chilean or European wines.

“Even though we can create our own version of a Pinot, it is a world innovation to sell wine out of seeds adapted to our conditions,” he said.

Competing in the traditional market can be hard, as in the case of Víctor Vargas, one of those entrepreneurs trying to forge a path in the taste of Costa Ricans. He is an agronomist who sells fruit wines to the local market under the name of Vinos Don Julián.

In his case, he believes the added value of any Costa Rican wine should be the local ingredients and an organic process.

“Producing traditional wine is not profitable and there's a lot of competition in that area. It's not nice to say it but Ticos prefer to buy foreign brands than supporting local companies,” he said.

“I'm sure there is a better forecast in international markets by offering fruit wines,” Vargas said. “Once, at a fair in Slovakia, some European importers approached me and purchased my product. They found the blackberry wine to be of a very good quality.”

According to Promotora del Comercio Exterior, in 2015 Costa Rica imported 10,957 tons of wine, meaning a value of  $24.2 million.

wine grape
Virgilio Vidor photo
One of many types of grapes that hopefully become wine.

In the case of Bodegas de Vinos Saprissa, a family business located in Moravia, San José, it also develops wine out of tropical fruits including blackberries and cashews.

The main difference is they do produce wine out of grapes and sell it into the Costa Rican market at an affordable price. This is possible because they import the mosto from Chile.

is the Spanish name of the grape juice that will be fermented, according to Maribel Mora, spokesperson of the company.

She also said that any grape produced in the country would not have the required quality.
“It's like growing bananas in Europe,” Ms. Mora said. “All you are going to get is a sorry sample of what the real fruit is.”
“We know the Costa Rican consumers will turn to wine only if there is no beer, rum or vodka. Anyways, our market is growing and more Costa Ricans now include wine as a regular drink,” she said.

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Mosquito diseases also favor certain temperature range, study says
By the Stanford University press staff

As temperatures rise with climate change, mosquito season extends past the summer months in many parts of the world.

The question has been how this lengthened season influences the risk of being infected with mosquito-born diseases such as dengue, chikungunya and zika.

Now, in a paper published on April 27 in “PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases,” Stanford researchers modeled how rising temperatures might influence mosquito behavior and disease risk around the world. The researchers also calibrated their model with field data on human infections of mosquito-borne diseases.

“Dengue epidemics have been on the rise in the past couple decades so there’s been a growing effort trying to understand why we’re seeing more dengue, and what the relationship is between dengue transmission and climate,” said study lead author Erin Mordecai, an assistant professor of biology.

Temperature controls several factors that underlie the time it takes for a virus to be transmittable to humans. These include how long it takes for a mosquito to ingest a virus during one feeding and then be ready to inject it in a later feeding; the length of the mosquito’s life cycle; and how often mosquitoes bite.

“All these traits rely on temperature, but they tend to be nonlinear,” Ms. Mordecai said. “They increase to a point and then drop off.”

The group found that mosquito traits favorable to spreading disease peaked when temperatures reached 29 degrees Celsius, or 84 degrees Fahrenheit, but were lower when temperatures were cooler or warmer.

When Ms. Mordecai looked at transmission of dengue, chikungunya and zika in people, those results matched what her models predicted.

She said that if you graph how transmission rates change with temperature, you get a bell-shaped curve peaking at 29 degrees Celsius.

Knowing the optimal temperature for disease transmission is critical for predicting future disease rates, Ms. Mordecai said. Before this study, she said, there was a wide range of temperature predictions from other researchers.

Fumigating for mosquitoes
Stanford University photo
Workers in Ecuador spray insecticide to kill mosquitoes.

“If we’re predicting a 29 degree optimum and another model is predicting a 35 degree optimum, the other model will say that climate change will increase transmission,” she said, pointing out that if local temperatures are already close to the optimal level, infection may go down as temperatures rise.

The information can also help predict how and where disease might spread with climate change. “We really want to build more predictive models that take climate information and make predictions about when and where we can invest in vector control to try to prevent epidemics,” Ms. Mordecai said.

This kind of planning is especially important in countries that have lower socioeconomic levels. “Concentrated urban poverty is really where you see a lot of vector-borne disease transmission,” Ms. Mordecai said.

She explained that the mosquito that carries dengue, chikungunya and zika is an opportunist. It will breed in any water container it can find, from bottle caps to water storage basins.

“You tend to see a lot of people exposed to a lot of mosquitoes in places where access to piped water is not reliable, because storage basins are where people are storing water.”

Mordecai knows there is more work to be done with mosquito-borne illnesses. “There’s lots of discussion about what’s going to be the next thing. What’s the next zika?”

She said this model will help researchers predict when and where transmission of the next zika might happen and allow enough time to prepare for the event.

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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.
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Office: 506-2446-0543
Andre 506-8314-8090
Paul 506-8898-9398

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 Friday, May 5, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 89
Real Estate
About us
Trump and GOP celebrate
House revoking Obamacare

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Donald Trump and House Republicans marked the hard-fought passage of their health care bill with a White House victory party Thursday, stopping to savor the first step toward the administration's first major legislative win.

The victory gave the White House and Capitol Hill Republicans a vital exercise in working together just weeks after they failed at a first attempt to replace the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence intensified their negotiations the second time around, crafting a bill that passed by just enough votes to move on to debate in the Senate.

The White House now faces the tough prospect of getting the health care bill past the Senate's much tighter vote margins. But with elated House Republicans gathered around him in the White House Rose Garden, Trump promised a win.

Trump marked the 100-day milestone of his presidency last week with numerous executive orders signed but no major policies passed through the Republican-controlled Congress.

"I've never, ever seen any kind of engagement like this," House Speaker Paul Ryan said of the level of involvement Trump and Pence brought to the health care negotiations.

In a final morning meeting before the health care vote, Republican leadership played inspirational music from the movie Rocky, read quotes from U.S. World War II Gen. George S. Patton and talked about the president's leadership.

"There was a lot of talk about them engaging more than they'd ever seen a president and vice president engage," said Representative Daniel Webster, a Republican from Florida, who said he had received multiple calls from Trump over the past few days.

He changed his vote to a yes after receiving reassurances from the White House about his state's Medicaid program.

Many Republicans said Trump's deal-making skills would help get the bill passed in the Senate. The stakes for the Trump White House intensified an already-emotional vote that fulfilled seven years of Republican promises to replace Obamacare.

As House members anxiously watched the vote totals inch toward the 216 votes required for passage, victory beers arrived in Republican offices and buses bound for the White House idled outside the U.S. Capitol.

Furious House Democrats waved and sang "hey, hey goodbye,” from the 1969 song "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye,” on the House floor to remind their Republican colleagues the so-called Trumpcare vote would ruin their re-election chances in the 2018 mid-terms.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Republicans were tattooing themselves with a bill that will forever be held against them, even though it has little chance of passage in the Senate.

Senate Democrats voiced concerns about the last-minute changes needed to pass the bill.

"Republicans are trying to sneak through their second, even worse version of Trumpcare without debate or any analysis of what it would mean for our country," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor Thursday morning. "Trumpcare is a breathtakingly irresponsible piece of legislation."

In a move that could foretell a much tougher Senate fight, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham tweeted his concerns about the bill just before it passed the House on Tuesday.

"I'm concerned with the process," Graham tweeted. "A bill, finalized yesterday, has not been scored, amendments not allowed, and 3 hours final debate, should be viewed with caution."

Trump and Turnbull unite
following rumors of conflict

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull have pledged long-term friendship between the two countries, despite rumors of strife between them stemming from a phone call earlier this year.

Trump met with Turnbull late Thursday ahead of a dinner honoring U.S. and Australian veterans of a pivotal World War II battle. He called stories that he had once hung up the phone on the prime minister fake news.

In remarks at the dinner, Trump said he and Turnbull had discussed crucial issues ranging from international security to trade.

He said the two leaders had reaffirmed the tremendous friendship between the two countries and the vital importance of a continued alliance with one another.

This is the first face-to-face meeting between the two men since Trump abruptly ended an introductory phone call with Turnbull in February.

Trump objected to a pre-existing agreement between Washington and Canberra that the U.S. would accept some refugees currently in Australian custody.

The deal also precluded gaining some refugees from the Central American region, some of whom are being held in Costa Rica, under a promise of transfer in exchange.

Trump reportedly called the deal dumb and the worst deal ever before ending the call.

He also is reported to have told Turnbull that he had spoken to four other world leaders that day, but that his phone call with Turnbull was the worst call by far.

Fort Davis
Voice of America photo   
View of Fort Davis from up high.

Fort Davis historic site gives
a window into the Old West

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

As national parks traveler Mikah Meyer continued his journey across western Texas, he got a chance to immerse himself further in American history.

At Fort Davis National Historic Site, he learned what an important role the military outpost played in the 1800s, helping to defend American interests in the West Texas Chihuahuan Desert.

Established by Brevet Major Gen. Persifor F. Smith on Oct. 23, 1854, and named for then-Secretary of War Jefferson Davis, Fort Davis was a key post in the defense system of west Texas for almost half a century.

From 1854 until 1891, troops stationed here protected wagon trains, mail coaches and travelers on the San Antonio-El Paso Road.

High up on the nearby bluffs, Mikah had a bird’s eye view of the entire site, considered one of the best surviving examples of a military post in the American Southwest.

The site also honors the Buffalo Soldiers, freed African American slaves who joined the U.S. Army following the Civil War.

They were called Buffalo Soldiers because Plains Indians thought the soldiers' hair resembled that of buffalo, an animal the Indians greatly revered.

The Buffalo Soldiers stationed at Fort Davis served from 1867 to 1885, where they played a major role in the settlement and development of the American West.

Their mission was to protect travelers and the mail on the San Antonio-El Paso Road, and to support military operations to control hostile American Indians.

Indeed, today, the National Park Service is proud to preserve this historic site as a lasting memorial to all U.S. soldiers who faithfully served their country for almost half a century.

Fort Davis was officially abandoned on June 30, 1891. Congress authorized Fort Davis National Historic Site as a unit of the National Park Service in 1961.

Russian opposition leader
granted passport he can’t use

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said early Thursday he had been granted a passport, but later posted on social media that government officials wouldn't let him use the documents to travel outside the country.

Navalny said after denying him the travel document for five years, authorities unexpectedly issued him a passport so he could travel abroad to receive treatment for his eye.

Navalny suffered a severe chemical burn on his face last week when an attacker dumped a green dye on him and, as a result, has lost 85 percent of the sight in his right eye.

He was under the impression he could use his passport to travel abroad for treatment, but he said a prison official phoned his lawyer Thursday to inform him that Navalny would not be permitted to leave the country.

Navalny had previously been denied the document over an embezzlement conviction many observers believe to be politically motivated.

Navalny has said he thinks he may be able to regain full use of the eye. In an earlier post on his blog, Navalny said his doctors suggested he go abroad for treatment, as he may need to receive a cornea transplant.

On Wednesday, a Russian court denied Navalny's appeal of the embezzlement charges that were lodged against him over a timber deal he was involved with in 2009.

The court's decision to uphold the charges could mean Navalny is ineligible to run for president in 2018.

Navalny has said he believes he is eligible to run because he is not imprisoned. However, some Russian legal experts have questioned this.

SpaceX says it will launch
Internet-providing satellites

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Elon Musk’s SpaceX says it will begin launching Internet-providing satellites in 2019.

The move was announced Wednesday by SpaceX vice president of satellite and government affairs, Patricia Cooper, in testimony before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

She said the company eventually plans to field 4,425 small satellites into low Earth orbit by 2024 using the company’s partially reusable Falcon 9 rockets.

Internet access via satellites can be slow, but Ms. Cooper said technological advances will make SpaceX able to offer speeds comparable to terrestrial providers.

The company says Internet speed in the U.S. lags behind other developed countries. Furthermore, standard broadband providers do not serve rural areas. The company’s “constellation” of satellites could deliver high speeds without cables.

Cooper added that space-based Internet avoids some of the pitfalls for terrestrial providers.

"In other words, the common challenges associated with sitting, digging trenches, laying fiber and dealing with property rights are materially alleviated through a space-based broadband network," Cooper said.

Scientists tracking beetles
in effort to stop plant plague

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Rob Dunn is trying to prevent squash heart attacks.

Carried by the spotted cucumber beetle, a bacterial disease is giving squash, pumpkins, cucumbers and melons the botanical equivalent of clogged arteries. Wilting leaves are the first sign as the bacteria multiply in the plant's circulatory system. The disease can nearly wipe out a farmer's field.

"It's a bad way to die," Dunn said. "All your veins have been filled up with some bacteria."

Dunn, an ecologist at North Carolina State University, said the way we farm today makes it easy for this and other plant plagues to spread.

Modern farms raise just a few crops over wide areas. While they feed more people more affordably than ever, there are risks in this way of feeding the world.

For a hungry pathogen, a giant monoculture is “the holy land, right? It's unbelievable. You can eat from one end to the other," Dunn said.

The Irish potato famine of the 1840s is the worst-case scenario. About a million people died when a fungus wiped out the one crop on which most of the population subsisted.

That kind of catastrophe is rare. But Dunn says devastating disease outbreaks are an inevitable byproduct of modern agriculture. Dunn tells several of those stories in his new book, Never Out of Season.

One example: Henry Ford's rubber plantations. The auto pioneer planted millions of rubber trees on land carved out of the Brazilian Amazon in the 1930s.

But pests and disease ravaged them again and again. Ford gave up in 1945. Fordlandia, as the first plantation was known, is now an abandoned ruin.

Then there's the fungus that nearly wiped out cocoa production in Brazil, a suspected bioterrorist attack that wrecked the economy and transformed the ecosystem; and the cassava mealybug that threatened Africa in the 1980s.

Still, Dunn says he doesn't expect agriculture to change anytime soon.

"People like cheap food," he said. "We feed more people than we ever have."

But, he added, we should be doing much more to prepare for the next inevitable plague.

That means collecting and preserving as many crop varieties as possible, plus their wild relatives. In addition, we need to know much more about the complex microbial ecosystem living in, on and around our crops.

Dunn is working to fill in some of those gaps and he wants the public to help.

Scientists don't know how far squash heart attack disease has spread, and they don't know where the beetles that carry the disease are from year to year.

So, scientists want anyone growing squash, or pumpkins, melons, cucumbers or any of the other members of the family, to watch out for them.

Dunn hopes to collect millions of images from around the world, which would help scientists get a better sense of which of these beetles is living in which places and eating what.

And, hopefully, stay one step ahead of the next plant plague.

More news of the Americas
From the Voice of America

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale
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
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

  Page One is HERE!     Page 2 is HERE! 
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Plus useful links

Some of our other titles:
A.M. Panama
A.M. Colombia
A.M. Guatemala
A.M. Honduras
A.M. Cuba
A.M. Nicaragua
A.M. Venezuela
A.M. Central America
Dominican Republic

A.M. Ecuador A.M. El Salvador
A.M. Bolivia

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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 Friday, May 5, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 89
Real estate
About us

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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

Embassy Website
United States Embassy photo

The United States Embassy to Costa Rica has a new and improved website for expats to use and critique. The website has seven sections taken down in a more user-friendly platform than the older model. It also added a scrolling, horizontal newsfeed with updates from the embassy as much as security warnings. Expats can check out for themselves the website HERE.

Government gives ok to cut down trees

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía has granted permission to cut down trees and trade wood with the purpose of helping small producers in the Huetar Norte Region of Costa Rica.

Under the surveillance of the ministry's sub-agencies, property owners that include some of those forested areas within their lines will be encouraged to create jobs in lumber work, transportation, managing and other areas derived from forestry or lumber activity.

This would also allow increase in the use of wood instead of more polluting materials such as aluminum and plastics, officials from the environmental ministry said.

“The small producers will be linked in a collaboration and support scheme,” said Edgar Gutiérrez, Ministry of Ambiente y Energía, after signing the decree that creates the special cluster.

The ministry said in a press release that public and private actors are taking part in this project, which seeks to promote wood production as a development activity for the this and other areas in the near future.

Costa Rican News
Retire NOW in Costa Rica
Fine Dining in Costa Rica
The CAFTA Report
Fish fabulous Costa Rica

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Real Estate
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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.
Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

Caja collects more than 85 million colons

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Costa Rica social security fund just added more coins to its purse, if almost 85 million colons count as coins.

The money is part of the collection efforts that the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social has been doing over the first three months of the year on indebted employers.

Luis Diego Calderón, the director of collections, said these results were achieved thanks to a policy of tough love that the Caja is imposing on delinquent payers. That included drawing over 1,083 procedures to shut the business down for failure to pay. It included entering over 1,256 payment plans with the Caja and report a total of 13,148 collection notices, Calderón said.

Over 26,000 phone calls later to those delinquent payers, the indicator showing the percentage of billing accumulated over the past three months, reached almost 3 percent. The Caja said this reached higher than its target goal when taken with the enormous turnover that the organization made to the Ministerio de Educación Pública back in December.

The institution hopes to collect more than 21 million colons and maintain the indicator at normal levels. Interest rates were reduced for conventions and payment arrangements.

To aid in those collections of delinquent payments, Caja said in a statement that the deadlines were increased for the formalization of payment agreements from three to four years at an incremental rate.

Among other changes, the conditions for the formalization of payment agreements with independent workers were improved, specifically in the payment of the initial payment, the group said. The possibility of making two adjustments to the payment agreement was equally expanded and conditions were improved in the readjustment of payment arrangements. It included the possibility of using as collateral trust contracts.