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Published Wednesday, May 10, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 92
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Deportations of Costa Ricans have not increased but apparent concern has.
Costa Rica informs citizens in U.S. of legal rights
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

With recent immigration policies being enacted by the U.S. government in recent months, the Costa Rican foreign ministry said there has been no increase in the number of deportations of Costa Ricans.

According to a statement by the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Cultos, the number of Costa Ricans deported from the United States averages between 200 and 300 people each year.

Some expats may consider that number to be relatively high but take into consideration that for every 10 to 12 Costa Ricans deported, there have been 7,500 Hondurans deported within the same year.

The foreign ministry claims that the number is minuscule by comparison to the rest of Central America.

The country is a close and strong ally of the United States. Costa Rica exports a substantial amount of its agricultural products to the United States and receives billions of dollars in goods back.

On security, it is no secret that the U.S. government is bankrolling a significant chunk of the country’s efforts in the fight against drug trafficking.

Huge donations in money and equipment as much as direct partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard, Navy and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms are integral in the two countries' relationship.

Still, the foreign ministry, through the Costa Rican consulate based in Atlanta, Georgia, has joined efforts with eight other Latin American countries to obtain accurate information as to the scope of U.S. executive actions taken under the current administration of President Donald Trump.

Flora Leah Venegas, the consul-general for Costa Rica, noted that those in the U.S. must be aware of their rights regardless of their status.

In a statement issued Tuesday, the consulate reaffirmed that it is there as an ally and source of information.

“This does not mean that we can intercede in some way on judicial cases,” Ms. Leah Venegas said. “But we are here to serve and to ensure respect for their rights.”

To that end, the Costa Rican consulate recommended that those citizens living abroad should register with the embassy and that all Costa Rican citizens have an action plan in case of an emergency particularly so that no minors are left unattended, the ministry said.

The consuls are supposed to follow-up on any detentions by the United States and other governments made upon Costa Rican citizens, said Óscar Camacho, the head of all the consuls.

The moment the particular consular office obtains the information, that office is supposed to contact the corresponding police authority to find out about the situation.

From the moment the consul has the information that a Costa Rican is detained, they contact the police authority that stopped him to find out the process to be followed.

“It is normal for the person to be detained under the command of the immigration authorities, while initiating the process of deportation, which can extend from 15 days to a month,” a statement from the foreign ministry said.

“Once a judge determines whether the deportation is valid, the Costa Rican citizen will remain in detention until the date of their return to Costa Rica is fixed. The return can vary between two to four months.”

Despite the recent immigration policy ordered by Trump, most arrests of Costa Rican citizens in the United States are related to traffic stops and incidents, the foreign ministry said.

The arrests are made when the Costa Rican did not have their proper documentation at the time of the police officer intervening.

Ambitious internet access program set to begin
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Superintendencia General de Telecomunicaciones announced Tuesday morning one of its most ambitious projects yet: to provide free wireless internet in all public spaces across the country in the next five years.

To achieve this goal, the government’s telecom manager will use the money assigned to the Fondo Nacional de Telecomunicaciones. The Fondo is a program funded by a fee all telecom operators licensed in the country should pay.

The purpose is to develop socially oriented projects that imply access to communications in hard to reach towns and villages where, most of the time, big companies don’t invest in infrastructure because it is not profitable.

In this case, the project would cost around $45 million and would connect citizens who frequent parks, public libraries, train stations and civic centers.

“We are sure this will be an opportunity of social and economic growth for more than 4  million people across the country,” said Gilbert Camacho, president of the Superintendencia council, during a press conference.

Right now the program is open for public bidding so the companies interested in developing the project may send its offers as of now. The requirements may be consulted through a search on the Superintendencia website.

Once concluded, the government expects to reach 360 of the 481 districts of the country. It would have 985 different access points to the internet.

“The speed will be of 100 megabytes per second the first year and it will increase at a rate of 50 megabytes per second each year until finally reaching a maximum speed of 300 megabytes per second in the fifth year,” explained Humberto Pineda, director of Fonatel.

He also explained that fiber optic lines would be the technology of choice and people would have daily access for at least one hour free. After that, the service might be charged but that’s not been defined yet.

Some websites will also be censored to protect kids from inappropriate content, Pineda explained. The first phase of the project should be up and running at the end of 2018.

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Perez Zeledon
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Supporters of the action gather in Pérez Zeledón.

Herbicide halt gaining some ground

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Environmentalists across Costa Rica are quietly but steadily seeking to halt the use of pesticides and herbicides in public spaces with the help of local governments.

Ecologists are pushing municipalities to forbid the purchase and use of those agro-chemicals in parks, gardens, sidewalk trees, playgrounds, cemeteries and any other space where citizens and kids may spent time. They’ve already succeeded.

On April 6, Pérez Zeledón became the first Costa Rica canton to forbid the substances in public spaces and encourage the use of organic alternatives, according to Mauricio Álvarez, president of the Federación Conservacionista de Costa Rica.

He said that’s a big success for the ecological agenda carried out by different organizations in the country, such as Asociación Montaña Verde, Asociación Vida Auténtica and the Coalición Nacional contra la Fumigación.

“This means we won't have kids playing in sites that have been sprayed with toxic herbicides such as the well known Glyphosate,” Álvarez said. “It also means that there is an interested of the population to move towards more sustainable ways of living.”

In a statement released on March 20, 2015, the International Agency for the Research of Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, said that glyphosate is classified as probably carcinogenic to humans. In other words, this means that the chemical is potentially a cause of cancer.

The document also says that glyphosate is the most produced herbicide worldwide for agricultural purposes. The chemical is also used in forestry, urban, and home applications. The general population is exposed primarily through residence near sprayed areas, home use, and in diet.

Today at 6 p.m., the municipal council of San Rafael de Heredia could also declare the canton agrochemical free if the proposal is voted positively, according to Fabián Pachecho, spokesperson for Bloque Verde, another well known green organization. 

“This is a popular initiative inspired on what Pérez Zeledón already achieved,” said Pachecho. “This is part of national movement that seeks to forbid these substances at a national level in the same way we did with the genetically modified plantations.”

In the last few years, several ecological organizations have also moved towards the municipalities to achieve their goal of making Costa Rica a country free of Genetically Modified Organisms. As of today, 75 out of 81 municipalities have banned these products, according to data from the Federación Conservacionista website.

Tuesday night, the same proposal was presented to the Santa Ana municipal council, however the results of the discussions did not arrive on time.

According to data from Promotora de Comercio Exterior, as of december 2016, Costa Rica had imported $35 million in herbicides. This amount equals to three times that of 2006, said Henry Picado, one of the activists who was present during the event at Municipalidad de Pérez Zeledón.

Hospital in desperate need of blood

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The blood bank of Hospital México issued an urgent call Tuesday for more donors to step forward to prevent a potential disaster.

According to Jacqueline Duque, the head of the Banco de Sangre, the lack of blood is so significant that it could potentially mean suspension of surgeries in the coming days if it is not reversed. The blood bank officials said that it will accept donors of any type of blood but they particularly seek those with O+ as it is the type that can be used for any patient of any blood type.

Those who are interested in donating must go to the Banco de Sangre of Hospital México. Hours of operation include: Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on weekends from 7 a.m. To 11:30 a.m.

According to a statement by the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, donating blood is easy. All that is needed is for the donor to be in generally good health, be between 18 and 65 years old, weigh more than 110 pounds and did not drink liquor at least 48 hours before donating.

At the same time, unfortunately, the blood bank does require that a donor present their identification as a Costa Rican citizen or permanent resident leaving many expats out. Still, officials are encouraging for people who are able to donate as one donation can save up to four lives.

Recharging station opens in Alajuela

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Another recharging center for electric-powered vehicles opened in Alajuela Tuesday morning by the Costa Rican electricity institute.

This is part of the wider national initiative to have Costa Rica achieve complete carbon neutrality by 2021. The center is a partnership between a private business and the local government, according to the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad.

The charging station represents a pilot program testing three stations promoted both by the institute and the government of South Korea under the Programa de Cooperación para la Energía Inteligente. This charging station represents the second one constructed and is located at Plaza Real in the middle of Alajuela.

The first one is at Sabana Norte in San José in front of edificio Jorge Manuel Dengo and the third charging station is expected to be built in Jacó later this month. Using the stations are free, the institute said.

Currently, Costa Rica has 13 recharging stations with the electricity group administering four of those. The group announced that it would be getting 100 electric vehicles in an effort at encouraging electromobility as a means of sustainability.

According to data from the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, 1.4 million cars are registered in the country but only 300 of those are electric-powered. With those statistics in mind, the country has a long way to go before it can claim carbon neutrality in the realm of vehicles.

Moreover, electrical cars have a tendency to be more expensive than their gas-powered counterparts. Some people may complain of increasing traffic and pollution out on the roads but high costs and lack of charging stations is not likely to change Costa Rica’s situation with motor vehicles anytime soon.

News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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Six selected to represent Costa Rica in surfing's World Cup at France
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Six athletes will represent Costa Rica in the upcoming World Cup for member-nations of the International Surfing Association.

The competition will be held May 20 through to May 28, according to an announcement by the Federación Surf. Jim Hogan will be the new coach for the Costa Rican team and the six surfers include four men and two women.

Among the athletes are: Jason Torres, Jair Pérez, Leonardo Calvo, Anthony Fillingim, Emily Gussoni and Leilani McGonagle.

Half of the group is originally from Jacó while Calvo is from Puntarenas and Fillingim is from Santa Teresa. Ms. McGonagle is from Pavones.

According to the surf federation, five of the six are veterans of prior surf competitions excluding the new guy Calvo who, at 19-years old, is making his debut with the national team, the federation said. 

The team was created following the accumulation of their impressive performances at the Circuito Nacional Kölbi surf series, in international tournaments and during their training, Coach Hogan said.

National surf team
Federación de Surf photo
Members of the national surf team gather for group shot.

The men’s team is expected to train for the first time together at Playa Guiones near Nosara in Guanacaste beginning this Friday.

Meanwhile, the women will be competing in the women’s category for the second time together in the world Open.

According to the Costa Rican surf federation, the national team has remained among the top five nations in the world winning eight medals in both the individual and team competitions.

They are expected to leave for France on May 16.

Art City Tour promises museums, galleries, history and design
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Museums, art galleries, design shops and historical buildings are all going to be woven together beginning today for the third edition of the Art City Tour in San José.

Some of the neighborhoods participants can expect to visit include Barrio Amón, Barrio Otoya, Barrio Escalante, Los Yoses and Sabana, according to a statement from the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud. The tour will last from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Where participants will have free access to art exhibits and more.

The effort is an initiative by GAM Cultural as well as the cultural ministry and its institutions.

Locations involved in the event include the: Museo Nacional, Biblioteca Nacional, Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo, the Museo Calderón Guardia and the Museo de Arte Costarricense.

Within the context of the Art City Tour, participants can enjoy the Salón Nacional de Artes Visuales at the Costa Rican art museum.

The exhibition features varying works from over 27 artists in equally differing techniques of painting, sculpture, photography and video designs.

More information about the tour can be obtained at the GAM Cultural website.

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Large deforestation most pronounced in South America, study says
By the Duke University press staff

Larger patches of tropical forest are being lost worldwide as governments and corporations clear more land to make way for industrial-scale agriculture, a Duke University study shows.

The newly published analysis reveals that clearings for large-scale agricultural expansion were responsible for an increasing proportion, in some places more than half, of all observed forest loss across the tropics between 2000 and 2012. 

The trend was most pronounced in Southeast Asia and South America. 

“In South America, more than 60 percent of the increase in deforestation was due to a growing number of medium- and large-sized forest clearings typical of what you see with industrial-scale commercial agricultural activities,” said Jennifer Swenson, associate professor of the practice of geospatial analysis at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment.

“Brazil, which had stricter policies limiting agricultural expansion until 2012, was the only country showing a reverse trend. Its average forest clearing size actually got smaller,” she said.

“This unique trend may be short-lived, however, given Brazil’s relaxed forest policies of the last few years.” 
The new findings underscore the growing need for policy interventions that target industrial-scale agricultural commodity producers in the tropics, the researchers say. 

A small family farm that produces sustenance crops or food for local consumption typically causes less than 10 hectares, or just under 25 acres, of land to be cleared per year, said Kemen Austin, who co-authored the report.

European Space Agency photo
Deforestation caused by livestock agriculture in Paraguay.

These small clearings can have relatively modest impacts on biodiversity, habitat connectivity, carbon storage, water quality, erosion control and other vital ecosystem services the forest provides. 

By comparison, an industrial-scale plantation, such as one that grows and processes palm oil or soybeans for the global market, can cause nearly 2,500 acres of land to be cleared annually.

“As the size of the cleared land increases, so do the scale and scope of the potential ecological impacts,” explained Danica Schaffer-Smith.

The Duke team conducted their analysis using high-resolution, satellite-derived maps of forest cover produced by researchers at the University of Maryland. 

Their peer-reviewed analysis appears May 9 in the journal “Environmental Research Letters.”

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The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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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.
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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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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
Published Wednesday, May 10, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 92
Real Estate
About us
Explosion in Mexican house
kills 11 children, three others

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

An explosion in a house where fireworks were stored killed 14 people and injured more than 20 in central México's Puebla state, authorities said Tuesday.

Eleven of those killed were children.Pictures from the scene showed smoldering remains of the home, with weeping relatives holding each other.

Officials say one of the fireworks set off during a religious procession Monday night flew into the house, setting off a stash of fireworks stored there for another upcoming celebration next week.

A senior Puebla state official says authorities do their best to regulate where and how dangerous fireworks are stored, but said they cannot be everywhere at once, especially in rural towns.

Fireworks are a big part of Mexican celebrations, and deadly accidents are not uncommon.

A blast in December at a fireworks market outside México City killed at least 35 people and destroyed the entire market.

México receives second rank
in new armed conflict report

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Just 10 armed conflicts account for 80 percent of fatalities across the world, according to a new report released Tuesday.

In its Armed Conflict Survey 2017, the International Institute for Strategic Studies says civilians caught in conflicts across the world continue to suffer.

The total death toll from armed conflicts was 157,000 last year, down from 167,000 in 2015.

The war in Syria was the world's most lethal conflict for the fifth year in a row, according to the report. But it claims an unlikely second place for México, whose battle with criminal cartels claimed 23,000 lives last year.

"The death toll in Mexico's conflict surpasses those for Afghanistan and Somalia," said John Chipman, who heads the institute.

"This is all the more surprising, considering that the conflict deaths are nearly all attributable to small arms. Mexico is a conflict marked by the absence of artillery, tanks or combat aviation," Chipman added.

Besides Syria and México, the most lethal conflicts were in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Turkey, South Sudan and Nigeria.

FBI Director James Comey fired by President Trump

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The director of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, James Comey, has been fired.

President Donald Trump, in a blunt letter to Comey Tuesday, told him: “You are hereby terminated and removed from office, effective immediately.” The president added that Comey is not able to effectively lead the bureau.

FBI directors are appointed for a single 10-year term. Comey was appointed four years ago.

Comey was speaking to a group of FBI employees in California when he learned he had been fired. Media reports say he saw mention of his dismissal on TV screens but initially thought it was a prank. So far, he has not made any public statement.

The reasons for Comey’s dismissal were outlined in two separate letters written by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein. They essentially accused Comey of taking the law into his own hands.

Comey made serious mistakes handling the conclusion of the investigation of emails of Trump’s general election opponent Hillary Clinton, wrote Rosenstein, accusing the FBI director of usurping the attorney general’s authority when Comey concluded there should be no prosecution of the former secretary of state.

It is not clear why President Trump took the action now concerning events that occurred months before he won last November’s presidential election.

A Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Lindsey Graham, said given the recent controversies surrounding the director, I believe a fresh start will serve the FBI and the nation well.

But for some other Republican members of Congress the president’s action caused a breach.

Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said he is troubled by the timing and reasoning of the Comey firing. He called the dismissal a loss for the bureau and the nation.

Congressman Justin Amash, a Republican member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said on Twitter he is reviewing legislation to establish an independent commission on Russia and termed bizarre Trump’s reference in the termination letter to Comey noting the FBI director had assured the president repeatedly he was not under investigation.

Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee called Trump’s action Nixonian in reference to President Richard Nixon’s firing of officials investigating him during the Watergate scandal in the early 1970s.

Democratic Party senators are calling for appointment of a special prosecutor to continue the Justice Department’s investigation into alleged ties between Trump’s presidential campaign last year and Russia.

On the Senate floor, Dick Durbin, a Democrat who is a member of the Judiciary Committee, said any attempt to halt or undermine the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the presidential campaign would raise grave constitutional issues.

House Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he told Trump that he was making a very big mistake by firing Comey, amid various investigations connected to the president’s 2016 campaign.

Hours after Comey’s firing CNN reported that grand jury subpoenas were recently issued in Alexandria, Virginia relating to the FBI’s Russia probe seeking business records from associates of Michael Flynn, who Trump fired as national security advisor.

The subpoenas would be the first known significant escalation of activity in the government investigation into possible connections between the associates of the Trump presidential campaign and Russia.

Earlier Tuesday, the FBI notified Congress that Comey overstated a key finding in the investigation of Democrat Hillary Clinton's emails during his congressional testimony last week. It said Comey erred when he told a congressional investigative panel that a Clinton aide, Huma Abedin, had sent hundreds and thousands of Clinton's emails from the 2009 to 2013 period when she was the U.S. Secretary of State to Abedin's estranged husband, disgraced congressman Anthony Weiner. The actual number was far fewer, officials said.

FCC website receives
overflow of comments

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The website for the Federal Communications Commission has come under attack.

Initially, the problems were believed to have been caused by comedian John Oliver, who on Sunday urged his viewers to leave comments on the site about the FCC’s plans to revisit net neutrality rules.

Net neutrality rules were implemented in 2015 and required internet service providers to treat all traffic equally. New FCC chairman Ajit Pai has said he will review the rules, arguing they are holding back investment, innovation and job creation.

The FCC, which regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable,” says the website attacks were coordinated, distributed denial of service attacks, not a surge in traffic.

"These actors were not attempting to file comments themselves, rather they made it difficult for legitimate commenters to access and file with the FCC," chief information officer David Bray said. "While the comment system remained up and running the entire time, these distributed denial of service events tied up the servers and prevented them from responding to people attempting to submit comments."

The FCC will vote on net neutrality rules on May 18.

Drug-resistant tuberculosis
is increasing, CDC says

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis is an increasing threat, according to investigators with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In a study that focused on Russia, India, South Africa and the Philippines, four countries with a so-called high burden of multidrug-resistant TB, researchers estimated that within the next 25 years, the proportion of TB cases that don't respond to one or more antibiotics will increase significantly in those areas.

Russia leads the pack, researchers reported. Their mathematical model predicts that one-third of TB cases in Russia will be multidrug or extensively-drug resistant by 2040.

India is next, with more than 12.4 percent of the cases expected to be resistant to treatment, followed by almost 9 percent in the Philippines and 5.7 percent of cases in South Africa.

These four nations accounted for more than 230,000 new cases of difficult-to-treat tuberculosis in 2015 with nearly 40 percent of drug-resistant cases worldwide, according to the CDC investigators.

The latest findings were published in the journal “The Lancet Infectious Diseases.”

Peter Cegielski, team leader for Prevention, Care and Treatment of Tuberculosis at the CDC's Global Tuberculosis Branch, said infected individuals can develop drug-resistant strains by not taking their medications properly. This is known as acquired TB. However, Cegielski said the primary driver now is person-to-person transmission, with drug-resistant bacteria spreading through the air.

Cegielski said airborne transmission of TB is not regularly targeted as part of prevention efforts, but it should be. He said tuberculosis was brought under control in the West in large part by infected people covering their nose and mouth when they sneezed or coughed.

In addition to encouraging people to follow that example, Cegielski said public health officials need to step up containment efforts to keep drug-resistant cases of TB from getting out of control.

Worldwide, there are 10.4 million new cases of TB each year, resulting in nearly 2 million deaths. The bacteria, says Cegielski, kills more people than any other germ on the planet.

Cegielski warns that drug-resistant TB is going to become increasingly more common, resulting in many more deaths, unless more money is spent on prevention and treatment efforts.

U.N. Refugee agency says
245 migrants believed dead

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.N. Refugee Agency says up to 245 migrants are missing and feared dead following shipwrecks in the Mediterranean over weekend.

UNHCR said its partner agency the International Medical Corps reported a shipwreck Sunday off the coast of Libya in which 163 people are missing and feared dead. One woman and six men from the ship were rescued by the Libyan Coast Guard, it said.

Eighty-two people were reported missing and feared dead Friday when a rubber dinghy sank in the Mediterranean several hours after leaving Libya.

The International Organization for Migration reported 190 people had died in the two shipwrecks.

UNHCR said Tuesday more than 1,300 people have lost their lives this year trying to cross the Mediterranean.

Agencies and experts fear this number will continue to rise rapidly as conditions for sailing are better in summer months, encouraging more boats to make the dangerous trip.

U.S. prepares to arm
Kurdish forces in Syria

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Donald Trump has authorized the Pentagon to equip the Kurdish elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces, a move that places the United States at odds with North Atlantic Treaty Organization ally Turkey.

Chief Pentagon Spokesperson Dana White said Tuesday the Kurdish component, which makes up more than half of the defense force fighters, would be armed as necessary to ensure a clear victory over Islamic State in Raqqa, Syria.

Ankara opposes Washington's alliance with Syrian Kurdish forces fighting Islamic State. Turkey contends the Syrian Kurdish militia, known as the YPG, is a terrorist group affiliated with the outlawed PKK or the Kurdistan Workers' Party, a terror group that has been battling the Turkish state for many years.

White said the Pentagon is keenly aware of Turkey's security concerns and the U.S. is committed to preventing additional security risks and protecting our NATO ally.

The move provides U.S. support for the entire Syrian Democratic Force, Syrian Kurds and the Syrian Arab Coalition, which American forces have openly supported for months.

The Pentagon says Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis spoke via phone Tuesday with Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik, with both leaders affirming their support for peace and stability in Iraq and Syria.

More news of the Americas
From the Voice of America

Real estate services
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Real estate for sale (paid category)

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

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

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

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

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

COLINAS DEL SOL Fenced Gated Lots for Sale

* Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project  in a quiet area.
* There are 88 clear titled lots.
* Mountain areas with great views.
* Gently sloping level areas ideal for hobby farms, gardening, fruit trees.
* Quiet place to get away from the busy city and beach crowds.
* All lots have gravel roads to them, water and electricity at each.
* Lots are 5,000 sq. meters or larger, starting at only $40,000 USD
* Located in Libertad, Guanacaste, northwest Pacific area of Costa Rica.
* 20 minutes to the Liberia International Airport
* 15 minutes to the Pacific Beaches
* 10 minutes to Medical Facilities
* 25 minutes to the Liberia Hospital
* 5 minutes to Vista Ridge Golf Club

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

For more information Click Here:

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

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

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

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)

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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.

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

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

    We aren't Cheap...Neither are our Products. Call to Compare.
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Published Wednesday, May 10, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 92
Real estate
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Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo  
Some of the 4,472 pharmaceutical stock seized Tuesday.

Border police seize pharmaceuticals

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Another large stash of pharmaceutical and prescription drugs was discovered by border police at the crossing in Peñas Blancas Tuesday.

According to a report from the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública, officers of the border police apparently surprised a group of people attempting to illegally enter the country from Nicaragua. That group noticed police coming and fled across the border to the Nicaraguan side leaving behind two backpacks and five sacks, Policía de Fronteras said.

The police confiscated the materials and found at least 4,472 tablets of drugs worth an estimated two million colons, or around $3,600. These included pregnancy tests, dermatology cream and all manner of pills.

The border police also happened to capture 450 kilograms worth of perishables like corn, donuts, and dairy products as well.

Tecnológico de Costa Rica photo  
Example of wave-powered renewable energy project.

Wave power being explored in project

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

With the aim of expanding renewable energy alternatives, student engineers at the Tecnológico de Costa Rica seek to harness the power of ocean waves using what is called an olamotor system.

The project, entitled eWave, already has a prototype in the works for further test and experimentation at the institute’s school of electromagnetic engineering.

"Originally the project was conceived with the idea of ​​developing an olamotor system for electric generation with the purpose of expanding the range of renewable energy alternatives and promoting the diversification of the national energy matrix,” the group of researchers said. “However, eWave is projected as a bigger umbrella, which covers all types of projects related to ocean energy.”

At this stage, the project is focusing on creating, what the group calls, an Artificial Surfing Experimental Platform to equip a marine energy research lab where controlled tests on the prototype can be made. The platform is expected to be installed and completed this year, according to a statement from the institute.

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From page 7:

Banks continue giving minimum passive rates

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Some public and private banks continue to apply what is called the “minimum passive rate” in loans granted in both colons and dollars, even though this practice has been declared as abusive in the past, according to Ricardo Fernández, president of the Asociación de Consumidores Libres.

The minimum passive rate is a measure applied by some banks to protect themselves from sudden decreases in the international economic references used to establish interests rates. Those references are usually the Libor, Prime Rate and Eurolibor and are determined at an international level.

“When you get a loan, you will pay it by adding some percentage points to those international standards,” Fernández said. “If those rates increase, then you monthly payment will increase but when they decrease you end up paying a fixed minimum,.”

A person may agree to pay the Libor rate plus three percent. If the Libor rate is five percent, then the person will pay eight percent that month. If a customer signed a contract that states the minimum passive rate is six percent, he or she will never pay less than that, explained Fernández.

If, on the contrary, the Libor rate increases to 10 percent, that months the customer will be facing a monthly payment equal to 13 percent interest rate. “The sky is the limit for the bank and that’s unfair and abusive,” added Fernández.

In 2013, Banco Nacional was the first bank fined for this practice. The sentence came from an arbitration led by the Cámara de Comercio de Costa Rica and it forced the bank to pay back about $300,000 to the owner of a restaurant in Quepos.

“There are many cases that still on hold because the judicial system is slower than arbitration, however, it is the customers right to defend his interest in the same way the banks do,” Fernández added. “Every loan having a minimum rate should have a maximum rate”