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(506) 2223-1327                        Published Tuesday, May 20, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 98                        Email us
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The tax man cometh with lots of new rules and fines
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Tax collectors have new rules, and individuals who pay taxes or manage corporations face penalties that the public accountant association says have increased drastically.

The new rules, issued in April, also allow tax collectors to go back 10 years to check for errors or irregularities if they consider the tax filings to be inconsistent or fraudulent.

In case tax investigators allege a fraud of 199,900,000 colons ($357,000) or more, the case goes directly to prosecutors, and the taxpayer faces from five to 10 years in prison, if convicted, the association said.

The Colegio de Contadores Públicos de Costa Rica outlined the changes in announcing a free, public seminar for business executives and independent workers. The seminar is in the campus of the Colegio de Abogados in Zapote Wednesday at 9 a.m. The organization noted that for many the tax year ends on the last day of September.

There is at least one change that Guillermo Smith, president of the Colegio de Contadores Públicos, considers to be abusive. Under the new regulations, when auditors of the Dirección General de Tributación find that income was understated or disallow some expenses, the individual or company has just 30 days to pay the new tax assessment. If not, the tax agency can embargo assets. The abusive part, according to Smith, is that the taxpayer has to pay the disputed amount before filing an appeal, according to a summary by the accountancy organization.

Smith was quoted saying he considers this abusive because the demand for a substantial sum by the tax agency could make the individual or firm involved financially insolvent.

That would be true even if the individual  or company later wins its appeal with the tax agency.

Penalties have increased, the organization noted. In the past, a taxpayer was assessed 25 percent of the underpayment as a fine if there were no deceit and 75 percent if deceit or fraud were found.  That was in addition to paying the taxes owed. The current fine is 50 percent of the understated amount if the case is considered levy or light. The fine is 100 percent if the case is considered grave or serious, and 150 percent if it is very serious or muy grave.
tax cheat

And then of course, is the possibility of prison for the most serious violations.

The summary also noted that tax investigators have the right to ask a judge to get access to bank accounts if they have a solid argument. That way investigators will obtain a list of income to verify against what the taxpayer has reported.

The current interest stipulated on unpaid amounts is 12.74 percent a year, the summary said.

The new regulations increase the tax years into which investigators may look. In the past, investigators could only go back five years, even in serious cases. Now the maximum is 10 years. That would seem to mean taxpayers should keep their files that long.

The regulations were authorized by Ley 9069, which went into effect in September 2012.

The tax agency is under pressure to reduce what many believe is rampant fraud in tax filings. This is a critical aspect of the new government's effort to reduce the country's deficit.

More complaints sought on supernatural fixer
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A Colombian man who claimed supernatural powers is serving three months of preventative detention while prosecutors seek others who may have fallen for his pitch.

This is the man who was detained May 13 in the Plaza de la Cultura upon separate complaints from two young women.

Prosecutors Monday identified him by the last names of Londoño Rodríguez., although they said he used other names in his business. They said he was in the country illegally.

The allegations are fraud. He is accused of taking 400,000 colons for supernatural intervention.
The man has a technique of approaching young women as they walked through the Plaza de la Cultura and telling them that their mental state was at risk and that others were trying to do them harm, according to the complaints.

In one case, a woman was told that something bad was to happen to her boyfriend, prosecutors said.

The man employed various rituals, including some that took place in nearby coffee shops, said prosecutors. Others took place in a motel, prosecutors said. In addition to the rituals, the man sold a cross for protection, they added.

A Judicial Investigating Organization summary said that agents suspect that there are more victims and they are asking them to come forward.


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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, May 20, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 98

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A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.

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Agents grab six persons
in hijacking investigation

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Agents arrested six persons who are suspected of impersonating police officers and robbing truck drivers and delivery men along Ruta 27. Monday, officers from the Judicial Investigating Organization in Alajuela responded to an anonymous tip that reported seeing two cars full of men who then robbed a truck.

According to a report from the judicial organization, when agents arrived they said they found a car had crossed before a truck transporting kitchen appliances. There two men dressed in official police uniforms held guns up to the driver to force him out of the driver's seat as another man got into the truck.

Investigators detained the two men dressed as cops before following the truck. The driver of the truck kept driving, the report said, once he saw police in pursuit. He then got out of the truck to run, leaving the other individuals abandoned, before he too was detained.

Investigators said they seized four guns, the police uniforms, and two cars in all.

Similar complaints have been made across the country in places like Quepos, Jacó, and San José, so investigators are not ruling out possible connections. The report said that officers had been in pursuit of the subjects for approximately one month.

Scamsters targeting users
of mobile banking system

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Authorities are warning Banco Nacional customers to not give out their pin number over the phone to possible scammers. A release issued by the bank said to be on the look out for fraudsters who are calling people and telling them they've won awards from well-known television shows.

Customers are then told to give the caller their mobile banking pin number, as the callers say they will immediately transfer the winnings into their account. A group of suspects have already been apprehended, according to police.

Banco Nacional officials say that the bank's security system functions for mobile banking and reiterated the advice for customers to not hand out security information to third parties. The bank's security director, Roberto Méndez, gave a list of recommendations for anyone who receives a suspicious call.

He said to not trust those calling over the phone who are promising economic rewards in exchange for banking information. He also advised that customers consult a registered number with the bank when they want to verify information or feel they received a scam call.

Operator of downtown bar
dies of apparent heart attack

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Bob Dempsey, owner of Papi's Sports Bar, died early Monday morning of an apparent heart attack.

A New Jersey native, Dempsey worked for the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. During the Sept. 11, 2001, tragedy he was instrumental in helping those directly affected by the attacks. He came down to live in Costa Rica soon after and owned a tourism business downtown before opening up Papi's, said friends.

The sports bar is on the corner of Avenida Primera and Calle 7 in San Jose.

He was an avid golfer who hit the courses every week and often played poker with his local group of expat friends.

Those hoping to pay their respects to Dempsey can do so at Bar Poás Thursday night, when owner Larry Wharton said a toast will be given to honor Dempsey, who is survived by his daughter and granddaughter who live in the United States.

Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública             
Police officer checks over the confiscated crack cocaine.

Large haul of crack cocaine
made at Cartago checkpoint

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Fuerza Pública officers at a checkpoint set up on a secondary road into Cartago Centro nabbed a driver Monday who was accused of transporting 10,000 individual doses of crack cocaine.

The crack, wrapped in aluminum foil, were in sealed, individual bags that appears to be destined to retail outlets in the central canton.

The arrest was made after a brief vehicle chase at El Alto de Coris. Police officials said they set up checkpoints in this location because they believed the route was being used by those who wanted to avoid the major highways.

The arrest suggests that crack is being manufactured locally and that the appetite for the drug in a community like Cartago is ample.

Liberación lawmaker gives
list of legislative priorities

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Partido Liberación Nacional, which now is in the minority in the legislature, has identified 14 bills that its lawmaker, Silvia Sánchez Venegas, said should be approved.

Top spot goes to a change in the Costa Rica Constitution that would characterize drinking water as a human right. The second priority is a bill to create a Ministerio del Deporte y la Recreación. Although there is now and has been in the Laura Chinchilla administration, such a ministry, it was not official.

The ministry would take on the role that has been vested in the culture ministry.

No. 3 is a law against labor and educational harassment, and No. 4 is a bill to prevent sexual violence against children and adolescents.

Agent detained in bribe case

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Judicial Investigating Organization detained one of its own Monday and said the agent was suspected of offering money to a sexual abuse victim in 2009 on the condition that she drop her complaint.

The man works out of the Turrialba office where he was detained.

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, May 20, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 98
Real Estate
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                  Tax and
Filmmaker with Coco credits sees virtual reality as Tico teaching tool
By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Filmmaker DJ Roller says that when people first see virtual reality productions up close their consensus review is always contained to one word: Wow. And though the futuristic industry gets typecast as an expensive and cool video game accessory, Roller said virtual reality has promising educational value in a place like Costa Rica.

Specializing in 3D and IMAX films, Roller and his team at Next3D have begun working on filming projects for the virtual reality company Oculus Rift. The company's headset in which people are meant to feel as if they're in a chosen setting holds obvious entertainment value, especially for the gaming and sports industries.

Whether it be filming the country's many ecological beauties or transporting users to faraway lands and events, Roller said Costa Rican students could easily benefit from the technology.

“You've got kids in Costa Rica who could go to Yellowstone or Yosemite on a trip that they maybe never could have gone on because its just not practical,” Roller said. “On the same note, kids from the U.S. could see underwater or rainforest films from Costa Rica.”

Roller is familiar with the country since his father lives here and he has visited multiple times for film work. As a cinematographer and producer, Roller works primarily underwater. One of his first major productions was shot at Isla del Coco when he filmed a program about hammerhead sharks for the Discovery Channel. Costa Rica's photogenic island that supports hundreds of marine animal and fauna species is a national park that remains protected and preserved by the government, drawing respect from the artist.

“I think the work that is being done by the Costa Rican government and private industries – even the park rangers that work out there – its pretty amazing what they do to regulate this gem they have,” he said.

No plans to film have been set out, but Roller mentioned the island as a place where virtual reality camera crews could find a wealth of footage.

film crew
Undersea Hunter Group photo
DJ Roller is flanked by crew member Avi Klapfer and filmmaker Shaun MacGillivray on the DeepSee sub on the way to Isla del Coco.

Virtual reality combines the ability to wow the senses with an unprecedented way of accessing and experiencing a setting that he said makes the U.N. World Heritage site a perfect place to film.

“Although people can go out there and do a dive, not everyone is ever going to be able to do that,” he said. “If we took these virtual reality camera systems down, it would allow any number of people to be there.”

Roller also expressed interest in coordinating with an IMAX theater in the country to screen some nature-themed movies intended for students.

Roller lives in Laguna Beach, California, and has filmed and produced numerous IMAX and 3D movies, including recent big picture productions "Great White Shark" and "The Last Reef." He has garnered two Emmy nominations over his career, including one for his work with James Cameron called "Expedition: Bismarck."

An A.M. Costa Rica guest editorial
New Costa Rican father makes a plea for road safety and enforcement

By José Ruiz*
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Dear President Luis Guillermo Solís,

I'm a Costa Rican, but I spent most of my teenage and early adult years living in Canada. I returned a few years ago because I missed my home country and family. Now, I'm a father of my own young son. It is with great sadness and concern that I have to watch the nightly news and see the horrifying loss of life by children on our roads.

I always read about foreigners complaining about some aspect of life in Costa Rica. Some of the complaints are reality, but most are mere inconveniences.

This complaint is as important as your fight against corruption, the escalating national debt, the assault on nature or the impending bankruptcy of the Caja. It is the dangerous crisis on Costa Rican roads (no lines, reflectors, potholes or a lack of traffic lights), terrible drivers (motorcyclists, buses, taxis, trucks and regular cars), near non-existent enforcement of traffic laws and a general lack of courtesy and respect for other drivers and pedestrians.

I've been fortunate to be able to travel to many countries, and I've driven in North America, Central America, Europe and Asia. I've encountered fast, crazy driving in many places but never have I seen the dangerous conditions like on the roads of Costa Rica. I'm always embarrassed when family or friends from other countries visit and
observe the conditions on the roads. One of the hallmarks of a modern, civilized society is the safety of the streets. Using this measure, Costa Rica would be seen as the lowest of Third World countries. I was reading the annual list produced by The Economist magazine a couple of years back to see if Costa Rica ranked near the top at anything. Only in one category did it rank: 2nd highest rate of traffic deaths per capita in the world (the Ivory Coast in Africa was #1) .

Tourists that I talk to are afraid to drive here. Almost every Costa Rican driver that I've met has been in some kind of a traffic collision. Most Costa Rican families that I know have been devastated by the loss of a loved one on our roads. Drivers talk on cell phones, they constantly text, parents drive without car seats, drunk drivers, motorcyclists weave with abandon, youthful drivers speed at such high rates of velocity it would be considered criminal in another country. It's a national embarrassment and stain. I've been aware of the lousy drivers and bad roads in Costa Rica for years. But now that I'm a father, I can see the urgency of the situation. Everyday that I drive in Costa Rica, I feel lucky to make it to my destination in one piece.

I never see a cop handing out tickets for dangerous driving practices. Mostly, I have witnessed the police themselves driving in a haphazard fashion. You could solve some of the debt, Caja and infrastructure problems if the police started handing out fines for traffic violations. You could train and employ many more traffic police and pay for the program by issuing tickets. More importantly, you might save some children's lives.

* Mr. Ruiz is from Heredia

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, May 20, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 98
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Researchers try to find out what really happens when someone meditates
By the Norwegian University of Science
and Technology news service

Mindfulness. Zen. Acem.  Meditation drumming. Chakra. Buddhist and transcendental meditation. There are countless ways of meditating, but the purpose behind them all remains basically the same: more peace, less stress, better concentration, greater self-awareness and better processing of thoughts and feelings.

But which of these techniques should a poor, stressed-out wretch choose? What does the research say? Very little – at least until now.

A team of researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, the University of Oslo and the University of Sydney is now trying to determine how the brain works during different kinds of meditation.

Different meditation techniques can actually be divided into two main groups. One type is concentrative meditation, where the meditating person focuses attention on his or her breathing or on specific thoughts, and in doing so, suppresses other thoughts. The other type may be called nondirective meditation, where the person who is meditating effortlessly focuses on his or her breathing or on a meditation sound, but beyond that the mind is allowed to wander as it pleases. Some modern meditation methods are of this nondirective kind.

“No one knows how the brain works when you meditate. That is why I’d like to study it,” says Jian Xu, who is a physician at St. Olavs Hospital and a researcher at the Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging at the university.

Fourteen people who had extensive experience with the Norwegian technique Acem meditation were tested in an MRI machine. In addition to simple resting, they undertook two different mental meditation activities, nondirective meditation and a more concentrative meditation task. The research team wanted to test people who were used to meditation because it meant fewer misunderstandings about what the subjects should actually be doing while they lay in the MRI machine.

The results were recently published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

Nondirective meditation led to higher activity than during rest in the part of the brain dedicated to processing self-related thoughts and feelings. When test subjects performed concentrative meditation, the activity in this part of the brain was almost the same as when they were just resting.
Norwegian University of Science and Technology photo
The left images show the brain during concentrative meditation, while images to the right show the brain during nondirective meditation.

“I was surprised that the activity of the brain was greatest when the person’s thoughts wandered freely on their own, rather than when the brain worked to be more strongly focused,” said Xu. “When the subjects stopped doing a specific task and were not really doing anything special, there was an increase in activity in the area of the brain where we process thoughts and feelings. It is described as a kind of resting network.  And it was this area that was most active during nondirective meditation.”

“The study indicates that nondirective meditation allows for more room to process memories and emotions than during concentrated meditation,” says Svend Davanger, a neuroscientist at the University of Oslo, and co-author of the study.

“This area of the brain has its highest activity when we rest. It represents a kind of basic operating system, a resting network that takes over when external tasks do not require our attention. It is remarkable that a mental task like nondirective meditation results in even higher activity in this network than regular rest,” says Davanger.

Acem meditation is a technique that falls under the category of nondirective meditation. Davanger believes that good research depends on having a team that can combine personal experience with meditation with a critical attitude towards results.

“Meditation is an activity that is practiced by millions of people. It is important that we find out how this really works. In recent years there has been a sharp increase in international research on meditation. Several prestigious universities in the U.S. spend a great deal of money to research in the field. So I think it is important that we are also active,” says Davanger.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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When you visit Costa Rica, you'll want to discover what you need to know to  make the right choice about moving to this tropical paradise.  Our familiarization tours have won hard-earned credentials that prove general excellence and the right focus.  These are the only retirement tours that are licensed and approved by the Costa Rican government and tourism institute  (ICT). In 2006 we were featured on the NBC Today Show and World News.  In 2010, we won the  prestigious Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the Best and Most Unique Tour in Latin America.

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

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

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
George Lundquist, retirement, relocation columnist, Guide & Developer/Builder.


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We are looking for a person with good manners, medical student, exchange program student or a foreigner, to share my house. We offer you: Two bedrooms, breakfast and dinner. You will have Internet and TV cable. We have laundering service and cleaning service. All of this only for $35 per night per person!!. Please call: (+506) 8313-3472 or 6116-3218. Or email: Thanks you!!!

apartmetn building
Apartment is on second floor

Apartment for rent

2 bedrooms 2 full baths

Full furniture, AC, security, rooftop swimming pool, 2 parking space, good location: Escazú near district 4. Close to mall, hotels, restaurants and business centers (Grupo Roble). 8336-7762 or email

Tropical Paradise in downtown San José
$485 per month.

The apartments are located in the heart of San Pedro, just a few minutes from the capital, San José. We are close to everything: banks, food, supermarkets, transportation, many language schools, Humans’ Rights Court, United Nations, Oscar Arias Foundations, the Defense
of Children, the University of Costa Rica, VERITAS, U. Latina and other private universities. We provide a positive friendly and quiet atmosphere which includes gardens, parking, security, laundry/cleaning services, high speed (2 mega bytes) Wireless DSL Internet/active cable T.V. connections 
with 90 channels (TV not included). The apartments include the following: one bedroom, kitchen/dining/living room area, bathroom (with hot shower), refrigerator, coffee maker, toaster, stove top, basic kitchen supplies, basic furnishings and all linens. We also offer 100 percent free, unlimited phone calls to U.S.A., Canada,  and Puerto Rico. 3 MONTH MINIMUM CONTRACT.    Contact us at 506-8818-2004    or  506-8302-1499  Check our Web site,, for more info.

Apartments Lemur
Apartment Lemur for rent
San Francisco de Dos Rios, El Bosque, furnished, 2-bedroom, 1-bath apartment, quiet area, free cable TV, WiFi. large patio area, swimming pool, parking, security. Close to San José. $440/month. Retired persons preferred. Call 8375-6838.

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

Beautiful 2-bedroom 2-bathroom American-style apartments with an elevator to your front door in a secure building located in Gringo Gulch the American Section of downtown San José. Costa Rica. Located between the Hotel Del Rey, the Hotel Mona Lisa and the Sportsman's Lodge and The Zona Blue (AKA) Little Habana across the street from Harry's Poas Bar, and next to the Holiday Inn.
apartment view
 There are 15 restaurants and American- style bars on this block and four supermarkets within a few blocks. There are 5 casinos within 2 blocks and dozens of hotels around this apartment. Included in your rental price, fast Internet, the best they have in Costa Rica, cable TV with 80 stations, water, washer
 and dryer. All you pay extra for is electricity. You have your own meter and receive a bill from the electric company every month.  This apartment has a American-style hot water system, hot water in both bathrooms and the kitchen. There is a 25-foot balcony to sit on and watch the people in San José walk by. The neighborhood Barrio Amón is the safest in San José For photos and more information contact:

Gorgeous views, safe and peaceful, above Alajuela
bedroom, three-bath house for rent, near Pura Vida Yoga Center. Perfect weather, great views, nice neighbors. Two phone lines. Internet access through Cable Tica. Long-term rental only. $900 plus utilities. Click HERE for more information. Contact

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for your stay in this beautiful part of Costa Rica.
We are offering homes for every budget and every need.
Please visit our Web page at or contact us at
or call at (506) 2654-5442.

Beautiful single studio apartment for rent in Guacima, Alajuela. 20 minutes from airport, San José or Alajuela and 30 minutes from Heredia. near Caldera highway, Route 27.  $500 a month. All services included (Internet, water, electricity, security). very private, very quiet, green areas. High resolution photos in Flickr HERE! Email: or

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

100 houses

CARIARI AND LINDORA areas, nice garden apartments, furnished or not, ideal for small family, couple/singles. US $1,000 and up. Email   Tel. 8383-6388.

MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

Villas Casa Loma has everything you are looking for.  Best vistas, climate, value.  Four unique homes in a secure private compound on a ridge near Alajuela overlooking the entire Central Valley.  Two are available fully furnished and equipped, each a complete home accommodating 4 persons in two bedrooms with ensuite baths.  Pool, rancho, mirador, other features.  Ask about part-month rates.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.

Los Arcos gated community 2 bedroom 2 bath apartment $500 monthly. aAso efficiency apartment $300 month. 8841-1606

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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, May 20, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 98
Real Estate
About us


World forced labor generates
$150 billion, study says

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A new report finds traffickers, employers and organized crime rake in $150 billion a year from commercial sexual exploitation and forced economic exploitation.

State-sanctioned forced labor still occurs, but the International Labor Organization said its report focuses on the private sector.

The data for the first report on the economics of forced labor has been collected during a 10-year period. It includes more than 7,000 cases of forced labor and testimony from victims.

The report said commercial sexual exploitation accounts for two-thirds of the estimated $150 billion in illegal profits. It said the other one-third results from forced economic exploitation, including domestic work, agriculture, manufacturing, construction, mining and utilities.

Annual profits from this illegal trade are highest in the Asian-Pacific region, because of the high number of victims from there, according to Beate Andrees, who heads the International Labor Organization's Special Action Program to Combat Forced Labor.

“The second highest estimates are in the developed economies. This includes EU member states, and this can be explained by the value-added per labor in those countries. The annual profits per victim . . . are highest in the developed economies, followed by the Middle East and lowest in the Asia-Pacific region and in Africa,” Ms. Andrees said.

The report estimated that 21 million men, women and children are involved in forced labor, most in the private sector. It said 5.5 million are children and 2.2 million are victims of state-authorized forced labor.

The study found more than half the people in forced labor are women and girls, primarily in commercial sexual exploitation and domestic work, while men and boys are mainly forced to work in agriculture, construction, and mining.

"The findings are that households that are extremely poor and that find it very difficult to deal with sudden income shocks and therefore need to borrow money to smooth consumption, are at a higher risk of forced labor than others. And, it is very often the case that then the entire family is bonded," Ms. Andrees said.

The report said other factors pushing individuals into forced labor include lack of education, illiteracy, gender, and migration.

The International Labor Organization, which carried out pilot surveys in eight countries, found traditional forms of forced labor, including bonded labor, slavery-like practices and debt bondage are common in Nepal, Niger, and Guatemala. The group also surveyed Bolivia, Ivory Coast, Armenia, Moldova and Georgia, where the more modern forms of slavery prevail.

The International Labor Organization annual conference later this month is to begin drawing up new standards to tackle forced labor.

The organization is calling for the extension of social protection measures to poor people, investing in education and skills training, and promoting the rights of migrant workers.

China brands as fabricated
military cyberspying cases

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

China has summoned the U.S. ambassador after Washington charged five Chinese military officers with conducting economic espionage against American companies.
The official Xinhua news agency said Tuesday that China's foreign ministry lodged a solemn representation to Ambassador Max Baucus.
China has rejected the criminal allegations, the first ever leveled by the U.S. against a foreign power for cybercrimes targeting American businesses.
U.S. officials have accused a unit of China's People's Liberation Army of hacking into the computers of U.S. companies working in nuclear technology, solar power and the steel industry.
The top U.S. prosecutor, Attorney General Eric Holder, said Monday that all nations engage in intelligence gathering. But he said the United States categorically denounces the military espionage that provided significant information for Chinese companies, including state-owned enterprises.
"When a foreign nation uses military or intelligence resources and tools against an American executive or corporation to obtain trade secrets or sensitive business information for the benefit of state-owned companies, we must say, enough is enough," said Holder.
China's foreign ministry denounced the charges as fabricated and said they would undermine trust between the two governments. In protest, Beijing said it is suspending the activities of a Sino-U.S. Internet working group.
Jen Psaki, a U.S. State Department spokeswoman, said the United States regrets the action taken.
"We regret China’s decision on the suspension of activities of the working group. We continue to believe that dialogue is an essential part of resolving these and other cyber security concerns," said Psaki.
Whether the five Chinese military officers ever stand trial in the U.S. is an open question.
Holder said the U.S. is hopeful that Beijing "will respect our criminal justice system" and allow the accused military officers to be brought to trial.
"It is our hope to have these people stand before an American jury and face justice," said Holder.
Holder said the spying targeted five U.S. companies, including such well-known businesses as Alcoa World Alumina, U.S. Steel and Westinghouse Electric, as well as Allegheny Technologies and SolarWorld, along with the country's key steel workers' union.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said the indictments reflect U.S. concern that China continues to engage in cybercrimes despite protests by the United States.
"We have consistently and candidly raised these concerns with the Chinese government, and today's announcement reflects our growing concerns that this Chinese behavior has continued,” said Carney.
The U.S. identified the five military officers as Wang Dong, Sun Kailiang, Wen Xinyu, Huang Zhenyu and Gu Chunhui, all of whom face 31 charges, each of which carries a 15-year prison term.
Wen Yunchao, a China Internet expert based in New York, said that he thinks the indictments are part of a bigger picture.
“I think the criminal charges against Chinese officials can be considered as part of U.S. pivot to Asia policy. And of course, it could have something to do with the upcoming U.S. congressional midterm elections as well. It’s not an isolated case,” said Yunchao.
The charges pit the world's two biggest economies against each other.
The United States has an overall economic output that is twice the size of China's, about $16 trillion to $8 trillion annually.  But some analysts say that by other measures, China could within the year surpass the United States as the world's biggest economy.

Computer extortion scheme
results in one hundred arrests

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Police in 16 countries have arrested nearly 100 people in a massive computer hacking scheme that allowed the suspects to take control of victims' computers and demand ransom.

Arrests were made in the United States and Europe.

U.S. attorneys say a company called BlackShades sold software that let users hack into private computers, steal passwords, credit card information and private photographs.

It could also give some users access to webcams to spy into homes.

Suspects extorted money and bank information from their victims when software sent out notes saying the computers had been hacked, demanding a ransom to get it back.

Authorities arrested BlackShades' owner Alex Yucel last year in Moldova. The United States is seeking his extradition.

FBI agent in Pakistan
freed of weapons charge

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A Pakistani court has dismissed the case against an FBI agent accused of trying to carry ammunition onto a flight.

The American, identified as Joel Cox, was arrested May 5 after airport authorities in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi found during routine checks that he was carrying 15 rounds of 9 millimeter ammunition and three knives. He was bound for the capital Islamabad.

A judge in Karachi on Monday quashed the case saying police failed to present any evidence against the agent.

Police Superintendent Rao Anwar said the case was dismissed after a letter from the U.S. Embassy said the FBI agent was carrying the ammunition unintentionally and that he was authorized to carry a weapon while in Pakistan.

The FBI agent was released on bail a few days after his arrest. 

The State Department had confirmed that the American was on a temporary duty assignment to provide routine assistance to the legal attache at the U.S. mission.

The incident occurred at a time of relative calm in the sometimes strained relationship between the United States and Pakistan, which have conducted joint efforts against terrorism.

The 2011 fatal shooting of two Pakistani men by CIA contractor Raymond Davis in the eastern city of Lahore sparked a diplomatic crisis between the countries.

A Pakistani court eventually freed Davis following a payment of $2 million to the families of those killed.

Credit Suisse reported
ready to pay massive fine

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse has agreed to plead guilty and pay a massive fine for helping U.S. citizens evade taxes.

Holder on Monday said an extensive investigation shows the bank and its subsidiaries engaged in a wide-ranging conspiracy as far back as 100 years ago. He said hundreds of Credit Suisse bank employees and managers deceived the U.S. government and American taxpayers by hiding assets in undeclared illegal bank accounts.

Holder said the bank went to elaborate lengths to shield itself and its clients.

Credit Suisse will pay $1.8 billion in fines and reimburse the Internal Revenue Service $670 million.

Holder said this case shows that no company can use its profitability as a shield against prosecution.

Pope's visit to Holy Land
to begin at the River Jordan

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Pope Francis visits the Holy Land beginning this Saturday on his second trip since becoming the head of the Roman Catholic Church last year. His first stop is in Jordan where he will visit the place at the Jordan River many Catholics believe Jesus was baptized and began his ministry. Pilgrims come from both sides of the river to renew their vows of faith.
This is an important stop during the pope’s upcoming visit to Jordan, according to local guide Baker al-Ziadat. “This is holy land. And the people come here to be baptized in the river and to visit the churches,” said al-Ziadat.

Lew and Leanne Kenah, from New Zealand, are on a week-long trip to Jordan. “It’s something very special for us, very special. It’s a lot of historical and religious history. And we’re very surprised. I couldn’t believe that it was so small, the river.”

Archeologists have uncovered 1,500-year-old foundations of ancient churches. They believe this to be the actual site of Jesus’ baptism before time changed the river’s course.

The pope also is to meet with refugees from the conflicts in neighboring Syria and Iraq. Jordan has accepted hundreds of thousands of people displaced by war, notes the counselor at the Vatican Embassy in Amman, Monsignor Mauricio Rueda.

“I think with this visit, his Holiness wishes to say, ‘Thank you, Jordan.’ Because this country has been very open for this humanitarian crisis," said Rueda. "Jordan has opened its doors to receive all our brothers. It’s a sign of peace because the pope will meet all these refugees.”

Pope Francis also will say Mass at Amman’s main stadium.
Simon Shomali, who runs a souvenir shop near the baptism site, said he hopes the pontiff will bring inspiration to the region. "We are Christians who are praying for the peace. We think people should respect the footsteps of Jesus, where he was living. Wherever he went, we can watch his footsteps,” he said.

The Vatican said Francis will carry his message of peace across the river when he visits the West Bank and Israel, Bethlehem and Jerusalem, later in this trip.

Voice of America photo
B. J. Winslow prepares to select a fake cadaver.

Hollywood firm makes mark
in providing fake body parts

 By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Skulls, skeletons and severed body parts - they are staples of horror movies. A Los Angeles company has found success making and marketing ghastly props for Hollywood studios and lovers of ghost stories.

Workers pour liquid foam rubber into molds to create the grisly products, including hands, heads and bloodied legs, says B. J. Winslow of the Hollywood business called Dapper Cadaver.

“You can come right in and grab body parts right off the shelf.  Or we can do custom projects, custom fabrication for you," said Winslow.

Major movies, including the sequel to the adventure film "X-Men," used these props. So did the original and the sequel of the fantasy film "300." 

Dapper Cadaver also works with TV shows about crime, medicine and forensic science. It rents skulls and skeletons and scientific specimens in jars. But it specializes in rubber body parts.

“We work with pretty much anybody who needs a dead body.  It doesn't really matter.  We do a lot of stuff for film and television shows, stunt bodies, victims, stuff like that.  We also work with Halloween parties and events, haunted houses," said Winslow.

It takes about three days to produce a full body, after the cast is made.

“A lot of times, we'll be working with a crime show where they'll send us very specific causes of death and we've got to do our gruesome research.  And some stuff is more just for fun," he said.

A rough - cut arm or leg, hacked off by a chain saw. That could cost $40 or $50.  A more realistic head with a grimacing mouth will cost $100.  One popular version is cast from the face of a real-life customer.  Rubber hatchets and hammers provide a grisly arsenal for Hollywood's on-screen perpetrators, and police crime tape to cordon off the scene of an imaginary murder. 

Headstones and caskets are also for rent or sale, and orders are sent around the United States, Europe and Asia. 

It's all Hollywood illusion, and Winslow says it fills a narrow but bloody important niche in the entertainment business.

andy's work
Carnegie Museum of Art/Hillman Photography Initiative
Modified digital art by Andy Warhol recovered from a 1985 computer.

Forgotten Warhol images
resurrected from old Amiga

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Long-lost modified digital images by pop culture artist Andy Warhol have been rediscovered, thanks to a collaboration among Carnegie Mellon University, the Carnegie Museum of Art, and The Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The images are being retrieved from a 1985 Commodore Amiga computer.

Stepping into Pittsburgh software engineer Keith Bare’s basement is like stepping into a computing time machine. His bulky screen and noisy disk drives have spent the last several decades on most other people’s shelves collecting dust.
“They had a level of simplicity often times that we don’t see in modern computers anymore,” Bare said.

His fellow members of the Carnegie Mellon University Computer Club call Bare the “Amiga Guru.” 

Back to 1985, the Commodore Amiga was the newest and greatest computer.

To create buzz at the Amiga launch party, Commodore enlisted Warhol ‒ best known for his paintings of a Campbell’s Soup Can and actress Marilyn Monroe ‒ to demonstrate its capabilities, which incorporated a drawing tablet and another revolutionary device: a digital camera.
“He took some digital pictures and modified them before most people had been thinking about digital photography at all,” Bare said.

And that’s about all the public got to see of Warhol’s digital artwork. 

After his death in 1987, the computer and floppy discs were stored in the archives at The Warhol Museum, and the story about Warhol’s experimentation with the Amiga almost ended there.
“Those drawings would have been lost,” said Divya Heffley, of the Carnegie Museum of Art’s Hillman Photography Initiative, who is producing the documentary series "The Invisible Photograph." 

Stumbling across the YouTube video of the 1985 Amiga launch sparked an idea that brought the Carnegie Museum of Art together with the Warhol Museum and Bare’s CMU computer club in an attempt to recover the contents of Warhol’s Amiga computer. As cameras rolled, they logged in to the unknown.
“Nobody knew what we were going to find on those disks,” Bare said, adding that it took time for the team to understand the software used to create the images. “Not only is it relying on the digital media surviving, another thing that we don’t really think about is you also need to be able to have software that's able to understand that digital data.”
After some reverse software engineering, they hit pay dirt: the Warhol digital art few had seen before.

The iconic images of a digital Campbell’s soup can and Warhol’s self-portrait are just a few of some 20 images recovered from floppy disks.
Heffley says the search for Warhol’s art is both a history lesson and a cautionary tale.

“If we’re not careful technology will become obsolete," she said, "and we will no longer have the ability to see the photographs, to see the images we hold so dear and so precious.”
The Warhol images, now restored and archived, can be viewed by watching the Carnegie Museum of Art’s latest installment of "The Invisible Photograph" online documentary series, entitled “Trapped.”

Former top U.S. officials
seek loosening Cuba ban

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A group of 44 former high-ranking U.S. officials, business executives and academics is asking President Barack Obama to loosen the five-decade embargo on Cuba.

In an open letter released Monday, the signatories ask Obama to take several actions, including legalizing travel to Cuba by experts who can train Cuban entrepreneurs in law, real estate and financial services and easing currency sanctions to support independent economic activity.

The letter said reducing restrictions would help give "greater freedom to private organizations and individuals to directly and indirectly serve as catalysts for meaningful change in Cuba." 

It said there is a window of opportunity created by reforms underway in Cuba to reduce state control in some economic areas.

Supporters of tough sanctions against Cuba quickly rejected the proposals.

The director of the influential U.S.-Cuba Democracy group, Mauricio Claver-Carone, said history has proven Cuban leaders only ease economic measures when they are forced to, not as a good-will measure.

The letter follows a February public opinion poll in which a majority of Americans said they favor loosening the five-decade punitive policy of Cuba sanctions.

The letter was signed by former National Intelligence director John Negroponte, retired Admiral James Stavridis, and several former senior State Department officials and prominent Cuban Americans. It urges the White House to hold serious discussions with Cuban counterparts on issues such as national security, migration, drugs and the environment.

Any talks with Cuba, the letter said, should be used as leverage to help secure the release of jailed U.S. government contractor Alan Gross, who is serving a 15-year jail sentence in Cuba for trying to set up illegal Internet connections there.

In 2009, Obama allowed Cuban-Americans unlimited travel to Cuba to visit relatives. In 2011, he allowed U.S. citizens to participate in tourism dedicated to contact with ordinary Cubans.

Egidio Feruglio Museum of Palaeontology photo
Pablo Puerta of Argentina's Egidio Feruglio Museum of Palaeontology lies next to the femur bone of the newly discovered titanosaur.

New Argentine dino species
might be the world's biggest

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The new species of dinosaur doesn’t have a name yet, but scientists think it was the largest dinosaur that ever lived.

The fossilized remains belong to a type of titanosaur that roamed what is now southern Argentina some 95 million years ago.

The giant reptile was 40 meters long and weighed up to 80 tons, scientists said.

“It’s like two semi trucks, one after another, and the equivalent of more than 14 African elephants together in weight,” said José Luis Carballido, who led a team of researchers from Argentina’s Egidio Freuglio Museum of Palaeontology in a statement. “It’s a real paleontological treasure. There were many and they were intact, which does not happen often.”

Since the site contains the remains of seven adults titanosaurs, scientists think they may have congregated at a watering hole during a period of drought, dying, perhaps, of dehydration.

So far, researchers have found part of the neck and much of the back, most of the vertebrae of the tail and fore and hind legs, among other bones. Moreover, there were 60 large teeth of large carnivorous dinosaurs mixed in.

Carballido said it might have been a feast for scavengers like the Tyrannotitan

But the feast came at a high price, he said, adding that the carnivores would have probably lost teeth biting through the hard skin and flesh of the giants. The lost teeth would have grown back.

As with any newly discovered species of dinosaur, there could be revisions about the giant’s size. For example, the previous largest dinosaur, the Argentinosaurus, was estimated to weigh 100 tons, but that was later reduced to 70 upon further study.

‘‘Based on what is known of the animal, it was certainly very, very large,’’ paleontologist John Whitlock of Mount Aloysius College in Pennsylvania said.

‘‘Just how large may have to wait for more fossils and will probably depend on the method used to estimate its total size — we've seen how much estimates of mass can change for fragmentary animals like Argentinosaurus — but right now it would certainly seem to be a strong contender for largest known sauropod,’’ Whitlock said.

More discoveries could be in the offing as researchers said they’ve only uncovered about 20 percent of the site.

Reports from both poles
show faster sea level rise

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

There were two worrying new reports about sea level rise.
First, scientists in Europe said that Antarctica is losing up to 176 billion tons of ice every year, based on data collected by the Cryosat spacecraft.
The rate of loss during 2010 to 2013 was double that from the last time a survey was done from 2005 to 2010.
The resulting water, scientists said, could raise sea levels up to .43 millimeter every year.
The findings were published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
In another development, NASA and scientists at the University of California, Irvine said canyons buried under Greenland’s ice are deeper and longer than previously thought, which could mean more sea level rise as the ice in them melts.
"The glaciers of Greenland are likely to retreat faster and farther inland than anticipated, and for much longer, according to this very different topography we have discovered,” said Mathieu Morlighem, a university associate project scientist who is lead author of the new research paper in a statement.
While ice melt in Greenland has accelerated in recent decades, older models predicted that the ice would retreat to higher, more stable ground, slowing the melt.
Morlighem's discovery shows that because of the unexpected depth and length of the canyons, it will be longer before the ice melt slows.
Using radar penetrating radar, Morlighem and his team showed that Greenland’s southern coastline is serrated with more than 100 canyons beneath glaciers that empty into the ocean.
Some of the canyons are below sea level up to 100 kilometers inland.
Co-author Eric Rignot of the university and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in a statement that studies like this “illustrate clearly the globe’s ice sheets will contribute far more to sea level rise than current projections show.”
Rignot and his team also released a study last week that said ice melt in western Antarctica was unstoppable.
The results were published Sunday in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Real estate-related services (paid category)

Interior Design & Custom Furniture Manufacturing
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We guarantee it.”
Customizing for your vision, lifestyle and budget.
A turnkey home and project completion agency devoted to creative vision and flawless execution. We provide a single, solid and dedicated point of contact for the duration of your real estate project, specializing in:

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Our primary goal is to assist our clients with a smooth transition to occupancy while providing highly personalized and distinctive services. We have refined the process to be a hassle free experience, especially valuable for clients who live abroad.
Our custom furniture designs & manufacturing can be contracted independently.
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Real estate foreclosure specialist

Great deals available every week
Properties like this:

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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

Swimming pool at night
A Buyer’s Broker offering the best
of Costa Rica Real Estate.

For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 4030-5480 or 8339-2112.

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Re/Max offers comprehensive Costa Rica Real Estate, vacation rental and relocation services. Our award-winning team is the largest in the country, and can show you the best lifestyle and financial investment properties in the most desirable locations including prime real estate in Tamarindo, Langosta, Conchal, Flamingo, Pinilla, Coco, Hermosa and Playa Panama.  Give us a call in Costa Rica at 506-2653-0073, or toll free from the U.S. and Canada 1-800-385-5930. Re/Max, the name you trust for the finest real estate services in Costa Rica.

Moran Arenal
Lake Arenal, Costa Rica
The undiscovered jewel of Central America, 35 square miles of blue, pristine, clear water ideal for fishing, swimming, boating, Real estate values still low.
Great lake front, river front land, farms, homes, condos and commercial property. Some with owner financing
This is far and away the most beautiful place in all Central America — cool climate. Try our two-day, all-inclusive discovery tour for $299.

Check with our Web site at
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
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Costa Rica,

Central America
Houses, lots and farms in Grecia,
western Central Valley.
Great climate
and safe communities.

Visit our Web Site:

English: (Cristian Arce)
(506) 8309-0173  
English:  (Luis Arce)
(506) 7100-8489  
 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)
  (506) 8707-4016  
Grecia 794
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $850.000: HERE!
30,000 square meters of land and 750 square-meters of construction.
Grecia home
1,000 square meters of land, 350 square meters of construction.  CLICK HERE
Grecia 807
  18,000 square meters of land and 300 square meters of construction. HERE!
  Send us your request to our email:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

Residential Del Monte (San Rafael de Heredia)
Close to Hotel Tirol and El Castillo Country Club. 1,804 m2 lot  (19,418 sq. ft.) 
It has two fronts to different roads in the neighborhood  Front 36 meters, back 33 meters. 95 percent flat All utilities available. Paved roads. Price: $135,000.  More information please call:  506 8853-0000 or email:
Video here:

Large estate on island with sea view !!!
Located on the Big Island and five minutes from the center of Golfito on road or boat.  The large land has three hills with forest in which there are many trees and animals such as parrots, parakeets and monkeys.!!   It has a beautiful view
island one
of downtown Golfito , mountains and sea. It has three entry beach options. Your own beach,  large land with fruit trees, livestock grazing.Mangrove front with lots of fish, snapper, etc. Also access to your own part of sea with full of  seafood: pianguas, cambutes, chuchecas, clams, etc. .  Natural beauty is a paradise to live, walking, diving, fishing, horse riding, climbing to the mountains, swimming in the creek or the sea, exploring
the land, animals and trees, etc.  Your paradise is here for you, your family or develop your own rain forest country club. This is  the place of your dreams !  The full land measures 119,284 m2. All legal papers and blueprints are ready to get a new owner.   Property has its own water and  ready to instal solar panel or electric  power plant.   The island gets an artificial canal.  It is Isla Grande - Segura, grazing
     diagonal to Puntarenitas Beach in Golfito for sale at $1.500.000 U.S. Further information contact : Raquel or Maria Ester at, Local phone numbers: +506 8690-2325   or  +506  8673-0112.

Casa Fiesta
Caribbean Beachfront Home and Apartment  Puerto Viejo
 Right on the Beach!

Ranch style home with detached garage and apartment Air-conditioned home sleeps 4, apartment sleeps 2 ,  3 baths, hot water showers  Fenced-in property with pool, screened in patio  Turnkey....Everything is included with the sale!   Washer/dryer, furniture, appliances, tools, household items and linens, bicycles, and even a vehicle! Great income potential also  259,000 US Please visit our Web site for many more photos go to:  Email inquires to:

Balcony view
This is a great opportunity
Get your home in one of the best locations. Four-bedroom condo near Universidad de Costa Rica, ULatina & UFidelitas   $$165.000 USD.  24/7 gate security with in-home alarm, three levels, parking for two cars and play area for children. First Level: Living room/dining room, kitchen with breakfast bar, laundry room, patio/garden with roof, storage area, & guest bathroom. Second Level: Large master bedroom with full bathroom and walk-in closet, two additional bedrooms, linen closet, full bathroom. Third Level: Large fourth bedroom or TV room, full bath, large storage attic, spacious roofed balcony and breathtaking views of mountains to the east, south, west. Call Bill   (English) C.R. Phone: (506) 6011-6987 / U.S. Phone:  (630) 886-4458 . C.R. Spanish  phone number: (506) 8799-4041  or  (506) 8363-9898.  Email:

Dragon montage
New amazing, modern, eco-friendly three-bedroom, three-bath executive modern home perched on your own small mountain.  270-degree ocean view with unbelievable teak-look concrete deck, to the RED 48-foot fiberglass infinity lap pool. Separate covered deck with pool table. Guest house with kitchen, Jacuzzi, outdoor shower. Exquisite entryway of 20-foot rock wall and electric gate, with video feed. Large work garage separated from house. Guardhouse. Hidden metal shutters to secure the property for weeks. Private registered well. Inside/outside kitchen. Propane fire pits. Several water features including a waterfall and a water bubble wall. Property can be purchased stand-alone with the house at $550K, or the whole mountain for further development at $950K.  Contact

Selva Rio
SELVA RIO ESTATES (SRE) is a 10-lot  development with lots starting at $65,000US. You know what they say "Location, Location, Location." Well SRE is  located only 10 kms. from Atenas (best climate in the entire world!),  only 3 kms. from Highway 27 access, only 3 kms. from grocery stores and restaurants, only 35 kms. (30 min) from SJO airport, only 50 kms. from  Pacific Ocean, only 42 kms. from Escazu, 0  kms. from gorgeous country living with nature!  Contact the developer at or call 8704-6106. We can help you build your dream home now!

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

another house shot
Another 'live in the view' home in Puriscal
$179,900 includes:
Lot on river, concrete road, custom kitchen & bath with granite counter tops, PEX plumbing, 2” Styrofoam, sandwiched in steel roof, 4” concrete/recycled Styrofoam & steel walls, laminated, bronzed windows, custom wood doors, appliances and all transfer taxes, and fees.

2, 900 sq feet under roof, 1,250 sq feet inside walls, 2 bedroom, 2 ½ baths, laundry room, three separate patio areas, covered carport, shade trees, in upscale, secure project.  This project has river with protected areas & walkways. It is only 10 minutes on all paved roads to Santiago de Puriscal, 45 minutes to La Plaza Mall/Hospital CIMA and SJO airport, and 1 ½ hours to Pacific Beaches. It has recently upgraded public water supply and dependable ICE electric and high-speed internet.
Please come visit our projects and meet four new homeowners who have recently moved into their new “live in the view” homes to verify how happy they are and that they all came in under budget. CONTACT: George Lundquist  Home phone: 2417-1041 Cell phone: 8888 4543 Skype glundquist.
To see more Photos of this house, click HERE!

Beautiful fully renovated house in Bello Horizonte, Escazu, 446 sq. meters. Four bedrooms; four baths. Price includes all furniture and fixtures - ready to move in! Light, bright and airy....$499,500 USD. Telephone 2288.6451. More details HERE!

Atenas mansion
In 2006, the developer of a popular subdivision in Atenas chose a large 7,000 m2 corner view lot for his first spec home. Now, eight years later that home is once again for sale with first class tropical landscaping that much more mature. With 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2-car carport, laundry room, and more than 300 m2 under roof next to a pristine pool, this home is located in a gated community with its own water sources. And the location, just 1 1/4 km from town, is convenient to shopping and services, too. The views are of  Candelaria and the central valley. No wonder this community is so popular! $495,000. More photos HERE. And then contact

Med house
Mediterranean inspired home overlooking the Bay of Nicoya and Pacific Ocean.  This design allows for barrier-free living, yet maximizes views from every room in the house . Vaulted ceiling over the living area and kitchen give the great room its spacious, open feeling with a natural stone fireplace and imported Spanish tile floors.  $365,000.00 or rent for $900 per month including WIFI and PLUS utilities.  Long term rentals only please.  Property: 22,000 m2 or 5.5 acres. Construction: 4,500 sq. ft. including porches and garage.  3 bedrooms/ 2 baths.  Fully furnished   Automatic entry gate.   Custom exotic wood cabinets   High end stainless steel appliances   Granite counter tops  Slide show at   
For more information contact:

Belen home
Comfortable in Costa Rica
Asuncion de Belen. Home in exclusive Residencial La Jolla.  Gated community with controlled access,  security 24/7. Resort swimming pool and gym. Spacious and elegant finishes, private jacuzzi and social areas. 3 bedrooms. 2.5 baths.  Private gardens. Conveniently located close to airport, shopping, bilingual schools, Intel and Duty Free Zones. 322m2 on 249m2 corner lot. Lease with purchase option  $3,400/ $428,000 USD. Contact owner at 8309-2000 for details or email


Beach Front Home - Central Pacific Coast
Pristine condition, recently renovated. The best surfing and boogie boarding in the country. The most magnificent ocean and sunset view. New 20-year, fully registered concession on one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. Easy access from San José (1 hour 25 minutes) located between Jacó and Manuel Antonio, in Esterillos Oeste.  2 or 3 bedrooms. Center room can be living room. House with 2 1/2 baths. Separated rancho with kitchen and large entertainment patio. Landscaped garden with no water shortage. Has both municipal and well water with automatic watering system. Direct access to the beach as no road is in front of property. Protected land on one side of the property for additional privacy.  Alarm system and complete shutters for security while away.  Lot approximately 1,725 square meters, Asking price: $385.000.  Contact to Paul at local phone 506- 2637-8858  Cell phone 506- 8823-8550 .  US Mobile 908-400-9772  Emails: and

Five bedrooms
Puntarenas City, Puntarenas
Beach home central Pacific Ocean
Five bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths plus guest house
Features include out door BBQ, swimming pool, plus on the beach.  The home is completely furnished including all linens, kitchen cook ware, pots, pans, all dishes and much much more. Each room is individually air conditioned.  Office with all connections for WiFi,  Hot water in bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.  Fully furnished. Includes all linens, TV’s, refrigerator/freezer, dish washer, microwave, electric stove/oven, washer & dryer and many “as seen on TV” appliances   Will consider trade for U.S. Property.  Asking  $250,000. 
Call Gary 8784-2945  English only, or email

Tiliran property
Turnkey commercial/apartment building for sale in San Luis, Tilaran, Guanacaste. In a corporation. 100 percent occupancy and all permits in place. Great opportunity to gain investor status residency. New construction - 2012. Consists of three studio apartments upstairs with lake view and 4 storefronts on ground level, including laundry service, soda, consigment store. Comes with purchase or start your own business while you live in one of the apartments. $308,000. Please email

Los Reyes home
House for sale in La Guacima, Alajuela
Located on 9th tee of Los Reyes Country Club. Club offers golf, tennis (6 courts), swimming pool, gym and restaurant. Easy access to schools, shopping, hospitals & Caldera highway. One hour to Pacific beaches. House price: US $450,000.00. Contact Bill, Phone 506 -8878-9221  Email: Click on the link below for photos and additional details:

Spectacular view property on a ridge near Alajuela.  Large home and 3 rental homes totaling 7,300 square feet (678 square meters) live-in construction.  Property area is 3,376 square meters (0.83 acres) including a vacant lot for expansion options.  In total there are 10 bedrooms, each with an ensuite bath.  Property has pool, rancho, mirador, courtyard and covered parking.  Homes have romantic fireplaces, built-ins, storage, other luxury features.  Turnkey sale includes all appliances, furniture, fixtures, equipment.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

Land near Monte de La Cruz, 27 hectors+, Must sell for best offer due to cancer, 8841-1606

St. Michael
Ocean View estates inside a gated community from $5.94 M2.  Properties start at 39K. NO HOA FEES.  Community salt water modern waterfall swimming pools, organic vegetable gardens, exotic flower gardens, food forest, mature orchards, fresh fish from aquaponics, stables, community center, and much more.  Each lot comes with an edible landscaping including pineapples, plantains, papayas, guanabanas, bananas, and more.  Most lots already have mature mango, lemon, orange, or caimito trees.  This is the most secure community in CR with multiple sources of water, electric, and high speed internet.

Located in Jacó at Barrio Ricos y Famosos
in Calle Europa, Casa Shangri La.
Main house: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 270 square meters, 2 condominiums 2 bedrooms, one bath, 110 square meters, plus one small apartment: One bedroom, one bath. Huge pool, carport for five cars. plus double garage, rancho with pool bathroom, gymnasium, laundry room, pool plumbing room, huge dog house in separate 500-square-meter garden with aviary for guacamayas (we have three birds) 60 meters of river front of Río Copey with a 4-meter-high protective and retention stone wall. Eight surveillance camera CCTV system with Internet access from anywhere. Over 2-meter-high brick wall all around the property with two layers of razor wires on top, the safest place to be! Electronic entrance gate, door phone, five telephone lines, high-speed Internet wireless access everywhere. Beautiful gardens with many fruit trees. Built to highest standard by German owner in 2005,  room for two more apartments, plans approved. Less then a 10 minutes walk to the beach and or center of Jaco. Price $ 1,350.000 negotiable. All fittings and furniture. German-built, excellent quality and well maintained. 70% owner financing available. More photos on request HERE!  Email:  cell 8838-2081 or home 2643-2979.

Rich Coast montage
Real Estate, Central Pacific Region

Central Pacific between Jacó and Quepos-Manuel Antonio
Lots in gated community near the beach  from $17,999! Only 3 left
2-bedroom house in gated community was $120k now $99,900
3-bedroom house with 2 additional residential lots, walk to the beach $160k
Turnkey coffee shop/ bakery, corner location, great ROI! $65k
2-bedroom panoramic oceanview house, guesthouse on 2.5 acres $269k
Panoramic oceanview  property, 3 houses, on-ground pool $375k
And much more!!!
   USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
   CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891

Gulf road

Beachfront pristine five-hectare (13-acre) property

includes a common open air lodge with kitchen, three cabins, a caretaker's house, a garage and a secure storeroom. The property is maritime and has a current and valid maritime user's permit, all up to date and clear. In addition to the immaculately landscaped portion of the property that is already developed with bungalows, there are an additional three hectares that are ready for expansion and are cleared and planted in grass. The sales offer includes furnishings, appliances, catamaran, kayaks, and a whole series of extras. This property has about 300 meters of beach front in a docile portion of the gulf about 15 minutes north of Puerto Jimeenez, ideal for mooring boats just off the property shoreline. Has municipal water and power. Offered at $970,000. All reasonable offers will be considered. See photos and maps and more at Contact us at: or +1-866-514-7435.

For Sale By Owner
1 lot (1.5 acres)  at SIBU (8 lots total) amongst 50 acres of protected jungle gardens with sunset ocean views of Playa Nosara. Underground electric and water.13 minutes from Playa Guiones. Gated. In house financing available. Home of SIBU Sanctuary.

Becker montage
Beach property on the Pacific Ocean in Guanacaste.

House and guest house on adjacent half acre lots. Each with separate electric,  private septic and well. Each can be sold stand alone or packaged. Modern kitchen, granite counters, Viking stove, large separate frig and freezer. Private commercial grade septic and well. No water shortages even in dry season. High speed internet and U.S. standard electric. Center of the beach -- NEVER floods. Estuary at each end of the beach with excellent kayaking and bird watching through the mangroves. Excellent fishing right off the shore. Great surfing, horseback riding, bicycling or Turtle watching. Groceries three miles away. Mentioned in "The Lonely Planet" Page 301. "Two of the most beautiful and least visited beaches in Costa Rica. Wilderness beaches of fine silver-grey sand." Despite opportunities for great surfing, kayaking and just about anything else you want to do on a sandy strip of paradise, the beaches are nearly always abandoned. $500K Will finance.  More pictures available at:  Contact information:,  US: 001-612-599-0205 or Costa Rica 011-506-2655-1202.

beach scenes
Established Hotel/Resort -Great Business Opportunity:
The owner/manager of a successful hotel on the Gold Coast of Costa Rica has listed their property with us. It is a successful and ongoing concern. The property and buildings are well built and maintained. The property has a history of repeat clients. To protect the business for the current and future owners, detailed information of the listing will only be shared after an expression of interest and a non-disclosure confidentiality agreement is executed. It is located about one hour of Liberia airport and less than 500 meters to beach. The land is over 1 hectare allowing room for expansion. There are 18 bedrooms in a variety of apartments, cabinas and houses, A/C, bar restaurant and shop. Near golf, horses, tennis, world class surf and more. Listing Price of $US2.4 million. Mary or Jerre West,, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603

For sale is a beautiful 50-acre property located in Los Alpes, just 15 minutes outside of San Ramon. At about 4,000 feet above sea level, this finca provides gorgeous views of the Central Valley as well as the Pacific Ocean in the distance while also offering a wonderful climate year around. The main house is two stories with three bedrooms and two full baths. High quality construction using exotic hardwoods such as almond, which covers the ceilings throughout the entire house. There are also two corrals and a small casita on the property. This location is perfect for a farm-style home or for beginning an agricultural business. This truly is a rare piece of property and is available for $399,999. Price is somewhat negotiable and we will be happy to work with the buyer to make it work! Please call 8816-2478 or e-mail for more information ¡y se habla español!

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Business for sale or lease (paid category)
Award  winning unique mini golf on the main road of La Fortuna. approximately 8,000 square foot structure permits you to do business 365 days a year. Seven years left on lease at $500 a month or $1,000 a month if you use the 9,000 square feet behind it. Space to build cabin, house or additional tourist attractions. Price includes all permits and patents. Property is offered for sale through local owner. Photos available at the following Web site: Email:  or call 506 6021 4569. In English! Great Price $25,000.

Gingerbread Boutique Hotel and Fine Restaurant For Sale
botique hotel
A very  famous, highly regarded unique lake view themed boutique hotel consisting of three air conditioned suites with satellite TV and high speed Internet, two themed cottages with garden showers, one large super suite with kitchen and garden shower, managers apartment, restaurant rated one of the best restaurants in Costa Rica {see reviews} and the premier real estate office at Lake Arenal,which puts all its clients in to the hotel, plus room for additional lake view rooms and a pool, all less than a mile from Nuevo Arenal and the public park on the lake.  Go to the Web site for photos and complete information  at  This is the finest boutique hotel in Costa Rica in one of the fastest growing areas of all of Central America.  Sale opportunity $750,000.   Contact to :
Terry Moran, Owner Email: 
Office phone: 506 2694-0088  Cell phone: 506 8880-8888 
USA # rings in Costa Rica:  305 307-0088

Tanning montage
This is your chance to acquire a totally equipped tanning salon with five machines.  Fantasia Tropical has been open 14 years but the founder needs to retire and return to the U.S. for medical reasons.  You can assume the lease in Sabana West buying the S.A. or buy the assets and move them to a location you prefer. Taxes, permits, bank accounts all in order. Excellent opportunity for an energetic, creative hands-on owner or couple. Long-time manager available to stay on if desired. With an asking price of $30,000 this won't
last long.  Some owner financing may be available.  Contact for an appointment. For a preview

A successful, local, long-running business for sale.
In the nine years of operation, this company has grown to cover the entire Southern Pacific Zone, and opened the door to further penetration in San José, Manuel Antonio and Osa Peninsula areas. And it is the only one of its kind with no comparable competition. With the extensive groundwork that has already been achieved, the business is now poised to expand into a new level of success. Operating since 2005, the owner is retiring to another Latin American country. It is now time to turn the business over to a new owner who could expand it to even greater success. Details on the business, its history, a strategic analysis of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, as well as a pro-forma income statement from 2008 through to 2013 are available upon request to

Live the dream!
Several profitable businesses, including a regional radio station, are for sale in Costa Rica. Certain purchases can provide the new owner with residency as well as a great lifestyle. So live your dream while making a profit. Contact:

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, May 20, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 98
Real Estate
About us

News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo
One suspect is handcuffed in the heavy brush in which he tried to hide himself

Suspects doffed clothing
in effort to hide from police

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Two robbers held up a bank customers in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí Monday and sparked a police chase by more than 20 officers, the Fuerza Pública reported.

The loot was about six million colons, a bit less than $12,000.

Police quickly caught up with two suspects, and both began throwing off their clothes so they could hide in the mountainous terrain. They got rid of the motorcycle helmets and eventually got down to their boxer shorts.

Police located one in heavy bush, and the second threw himself into the Río Sarapiquí in an effort to evade officers. More were waiting on the other side of the river.

More illegal cigarettes
located in San José stores

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

More illegal cigarettes are turning up. Police confiscated 539 packs from two stores on calles 6 and 8 in western San José Monday.

Police officers seem to have been directed to the two locations by workers from the Ministerio de Salud. The cigarettes had been imported without taxes being paid. The cigarettes will be destroyed, police said.

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

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The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by A.M. Costa Ltda. 2014 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

From Page 7:

Worker's insurance has no limit, INS says

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Instituto Nacional de Seguros said Monday that the worker's compensation policy that it issues does not have a limit.

It made the comment as it announced the placement of two modern wheelchairs for two patients who had been injured in labor accidents. The cost of the two chairs totaled $44,000, the state insurance firm, known as INS, said.

The policy is called  riesgos del trabajo in Spanish. Employers are charged based on the size of the payroll and the type of business.

A.M. Costa Rica has pointed out the need for expats who even have just a part time domestic employee to obtain a form of this policy. The coverage sometimes can be found in a comprehensive homeowner policy. Absent the policy, the expat is liable for the medical bills of workers. These can be substantial.

The two recipients of the wheelchairs are at least 67 percent disabled. The wheelchairs were adapted and adjusted for each patient, the insurance firm said. The company characterized them as rentistas, meaning they will be compensated for their injuries for life.