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(506) 2223-1327                        Published Wednesday, May 21, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 99                        Email us
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High court seeks probe of penetration by narcos
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Supreme court magistrates Tuesday created a committee to investigate the penetration of
organized crime and drug traffickers into the judiciary.

The decision came in a special session called by  Zarela Villanueva Monge, president of the Corte Suprema de Justicia.  The special session came just five days after  investigators took into custody a judge in Limón on an allegation of rigging court cases in favor of drug traffickers.

A summary of the supreme court session
Magistrate Villanueva
Tuesday suggests an effort toward a conspiracy, even though investigators said the main charge against the judge was one of influence peddling.

The summary said that the accused judge is suspected of exercising undue influence with other members of the judicial tribunal to resolve cases.

Among other actions, the supreme court ratified beefing up the resources and the number of judges in Limón. Some of the proposals will require legislative action.

The investigatory panel will include Magistrate Villanueva;  José Manuel Arroyo Gutiérrez, vice president of the court;  Luis Guillermo Rivas Loáciga, president of the Sala Primera;  Orlando Aguirre Gómez, president of the Sala Secunda;  Carlos Chinchilla Sandí; president of the Sala Tecera;  Gilbert Armijo Sancho, president of the Sala Constitutional;  Jorge Chavarría Guzmán, the fiscal general, and Francisco Segura Montero, the director of the Judicial Investigating Organization.

The committee will have 30 days to submit a report containing a complete vision of the areas of the country that are vulnerable to narcotraffickers and organized crime, the supreme court decided.

The proposal has been presented by Ernesto Jinesta Lobo of the Sala Constitucional or Sala IV.

Our opinion HERE!

Magistrate Villanueva said Friday that she was satisfied with the way the judiciary is combating drug trafficking but she suggested creating courts centralized in San José to handle drug and organized crime cases. Ms. Villanueva said then that this case of the judge is being treated as an isolated incident and it should not cast doubt on other judges in Limón or throughout the country.

The judge who was arrested is Rosa Elena Gamboa, 62, who worked in the Primer Circuito Judicial of the Zona Atlántica. She has been freed but with restrictions.

The supreme court in its summary said that institutional controls functioned adequately to detect irregularities in the current case, and it also noted that other judges in the same office were the ones who made the first complaint and also asked the court president to help handle the caseload in Limón.

The supreme court magistrates also decided to:

• Reorganize the Ministerio Público so the prosecutors there can more effectively fight drug violations and organized crime.

• Reduce jurisdictional barriers to improve the application of anti-drug legislation.

• Expand the tracking of cases and work in the various offices of prosecutors involved in drug crimes, anti-corruption investigations and money laundering.

• Acquire software and licensing for servers and a data base to keep track of investigations and cases.

• Special training to make more efficient and effective the fight against narcotrafficking and corruption in the function of the judiciary.

The supreme court heard that Magistrate Villanueva was having trouble finding judges for beefing up the ranks in Limón. She was reported to be working to do so as quickly as possible and  noted that there already was agreement for certain salary incentives for work in various regions.

Solís will continue his tradition of sign language use
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

President Luis Guillermo Solís, said Tuesday afternoon that his sign language interpreter from his campaign will be a regular at all his public appearances.

The woman, Estefanía Carvajal, translated the president's speeches into the linguaje de señas de Costa Rica or  LESCO.

The president also said that he soon was opening a video channel for the deaf community.  Casa Presidential estimated that there are about 70,000
Costa Ricans who rely on sign language.

The Costa Rican sign language is close to that used in the United States, according to academic sources.

Although there is an earlier form, most persons under 60 use LESCO, according to the sources.

The parents of Ms. Carvajal are deaf and she has studied the sign language formally.

Casa Presidencial noted that Solís was following several laws related to disabled rights including Ley 7600, which mandates equal opportunity.


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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, May 21, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 99

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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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Lino Chaves
Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía photo               
José Lino Chaves promises a strong offensive

José Lino Chaves is back
to head environment court

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

This news will not be good for polluters, those who build on public land or for destroyers of mangroves.

José Lino Chaves has again assumed the position of president of the Tribunal Ambiental Administrativo, the independent environmental court in the Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía.

Chaves served since October 2012 in the Laura Chinchilla administration as vice minister for Agua y Mares.

In the announcement of his selection to again head the tribunal, Chaves was quoted saying that he was particularly concerned with the deterioration of the mangroves, the contamination by sewage in the metro area where controls have been lax, the large expanses of agricultural land and real estate projects that are causing environmental damage.

Under his leadership, the tribunal conducted sweeps on both the Pacific and Caribbean coast and haled many landowners and developers into environment court.

He said in the announcement of his selection that he would conduct a strong offensive against environmental crimes.

It's hurricane season again
with new forecast awaited

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The country is just 11 days from the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season. The season already is six days old in the Pacific.

June 1 is the traditional date for the Atlantic. The season runs until Nov. 30, although hurricanes and tropical storms can develop at any time. The official start in the Pacific is May 15, and already the U.S. National Hurricane Center has activated its reports, The center shows a broad area of low pressure located several hundred miles south southwest of Acapulco, Mexico, with the probability of developing into anything serious of about 10 percent.

Most Pacific hurricanes veer to the west and are less troubling to Costa Rica and the Atlantic variety. Although hurricanes seldom make landfall in Costa Rica, the lengthy arms of the storm can cause serious damage.

Much awaited is the latest prediction by Philip J. Klotzbach and William M. Gray at Colorado State University. So far they have said that they anticipate that the 2014 Atlantic basin hurricane season will have below-average activity compared with the 1981-2010 average. They said they also anticipate a below-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean. The new forecast is due June 2.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also is expected to produce a forecast in the next few days.

Suspect held in robberies
of Guadalupe school kids

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial investigators detained a man Monday in Cartago to face allegations he was the school kid bandit who stuck up youngsters in Guadalupe.

The detention was in part due to the media publication of a photo of the robbery suspect.

The man is 22 and accused of aggravated robbery. Agents said that there are at least nine victims who were confronted by a robber in February and March. The robber threatened the youngsters with a firearm in order to steal their possessions, said agents. The crimes took place between noon and 2 p.m.

Enforcement cuts rustling,
Fuerza Pública reports

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Fuerza Pública says that it had reduced the rustling of cattle by 18 percent with emphasis on the control of the highways and pleas to the public to turn in crooks.

The agency also said that the arrests of some rustlers also has reduced the crimes. In one case they detained several men in a car on the way to Nicaragua with three calves also in the vehicle.

The reduction in rustling only includes live cows. Animals that are killed in the field and dismembered for meat were not counted. These crimes, too, are causing great economic loss to cattle operators.

Truckers carrying cattle now are obligated to stop at police checkpoints, the Fuerza Pública noted. The truckers must show extensive paperwork.

Permanent markings or tags on animals also help, officers said.

Respose to news stories
New York reader remembers
bar owner Bobby Dempsey

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

I was saddened to hear of the death of my friend Bobby.  I was a  resident of San José for many years and the owner of Nashville South Bar on Calle 5 for about 5 years. 

All of those years up until the last year of our operation, Bobby was a regular of mine, (always occupying the seat to the
left of the window), and we developed a close friendship.  The last year in the life of Nashville Bar, Bobby took over what was  the old Dos Gringos, and changed the name to Papi's.  He did a great job turning the place around and (at least for me) made it the best destination for all of the expats in the area.  He will be missed by all who knew him, especially by me.  Gringo Gulch will not be the same without Bobby Dempsey, Goodbye my friend!
Chris Wood
New York

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, May 21, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 99
Real Estate
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                  Tax and
Bankers say they will give a hand to help striking teachers
By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

In an effort to get striking teachers off the streets and back into classrooms, Costa Rica's government and the association of banks have mapped out an initial payment plan. Tuesday afternoon President Luis Guillermo Solís announced a program to reimburse the unpaid salaries for the portion of teachers who have received no wages in the last few weeks.

“Our authorities and the Asociación Bancaria Costarricense have devised a special payment mechanism for teachers that have not received their salaries,” announced the president through his Twitter account.

Rallying behind the Asociación Nacional de Educadores, teachers throughout Costa Rica are striking and refusing to work until they receive the salaries they are due. There is currently a problem with the pay system, known as Integra2, which was installed under Laura Chinchilla's administration.

More than 13,000 teachers throughout the country have been affected by the failure, said Ana Magaly Mora Rodríguez of the teachers association, and only those who have not been paid at all will be helped by the banks. She added that association leaders would meet with government officials in response to Solis' announcement. Demonstrations are scheduled for the rest of the week, including a grand march along Paseo Colón and Avenida Segunda Friday morning.

Sonia Marta Mora, the minister of Educación Pública, has warned 
 teachers to not expect an overnight fix. She said the database has suffered from technical hiccups on multiple occasions but that no one under the previous administration had created a backup method to pay salaries. 

During an address to citizens Sunday, Solís also faulted the previous administration for not taking more precautionary steps when creating Integra2.

“The lack of technical planning and erroneous political decisions have led teachers to the streets today demanding, rightfully, that they receive their pay on time,” he said.

The Asociación Bancaria Costarricense, which propelled the plan to compensate some of the teachers, is made up of most of the major private banks and financing firms in Costa Rica. Those teachers who have received no pay were told Tuesday to make their way to the banks with proper documentation and teaching certification to receive their salaries.

Still, thousands more are left waiting for their paychecks.

Government officials said they are working around the clock to fix the program errors. Tuesday a representative from the Ministerio de Educación Pública said the group is working with the necessary people to conduct studies on Integra2 to minimize future failures. 

And through Twitter, Solís also offered reassurance that his administration is doing all it can to help the teachers. “I reiterate the government's proactive will,” he said. “We are making every effort possible to build the solutions that the country needs.”

Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguirdad Pública photos
Many tabs laced with LSD and the unexpected discovery of a marijuana-growing operation in Jacó.
Anti-drug police detain 12 as they take down an LSD marketing ring
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Drug control police came away with the largest confiscation of LSD in Costa Rican history Tuesday. According to a security ministry report, the record bust resulted from a series of raids on a major international trafficking group.

The illegal operation was broken up by a chain of police raids that happened throughout the country. Officers from the Policía de Control de Drogas found the large supply of LSD at a home in Jacó.

They reported the discovery of more than 15,600 tabs in a makeshift laboratory there.

The drug trade syndicate was made up of 12 persons, officers said. The suspects include seven Costa Ricans, two Colombians, two Dominicans, and one Israeli. A 47-year-old Colombian with the last
name Higuita was the organization's leader, according to the report.

Police simultaneously raided a bar, a farm, a building, and seven homes. In one of the other homes they found a hydroponic marijuana grow-operation.

Police said they have previously arrested other members of this same group and confiscated nearly 800 kilograms of cocaine and $600,000 in cash.

Jorge Chavarría Guzmán, the fiscal general, said after the raids Tuesday that this group had been transporting cocaine through a fake business that was supposed to be delivering food products like yucca and pineapple.

In the two decades before this seizure, Costa Rican drug police had only confiscated around 1,000 tabs of LSD total, agents said.

DelRey nightlife

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, May 21, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 99
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DNA studies show that humpbacks are really three separate subspecies
By the British Antarctic Survey Press Office

A new genetic study has revealed that populations of humpback whales in the oceans of the North Pacific, North Atlantic and Southern Hemisphere are much more distinct from each other than previously thought, and should be recognized as separate subspecies. Understanding how connected these populations are has important implications for the recovery of these charismatic animals that were once devastated by hunting.

The team, led by scientists from the British Antarctic Survey and Oregon State University, analyzed the largest and most comprehensive genetic data set so far compiled for this iconic species. The findings, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B this week, show that humpback whales of the North Pacific, North Atlantic and Southern Hemisphere are on independent evolutionary trajectories.

Known for their amazing acrobatics, humpback whales annually undertake the longest migration of any mammal between their winter breeding grounds and summer feeding grounds. Although they travel vast distances, it appears their populations do not cross paths.

Lead author, Dr Jennifer Jackson of the British Antarctic Survey explains:

“Despite seasonal migrations of more than 16,000 km return, humpback whale populations are actually more isolated from one another than we thought. Their populations appear separated by warm equatorial waters that they rarely cross.
“The color of the bodies and undersides of the tail, the flukes, of humpback whales in the northern oceans tend to be much darker than those in the Southern Hemisphere. Until this study we didn’t realize that these kinds of subtle differences are actually a sign of long-term isolation between humpback populations in the three global ocean basins.

“Using genetic samples, collected from free-swimming whales with a small biopsy dart, we’ve been able to look at two types of humpback DNA: the ‘mitochondrial’ DNA which is inherited from the mother, and the nuclear DNA which is inherited from both parents. The mitochondrial DNA allows us to build up a picture of how female humpbacks have moved across the globe over the last million years. The nuclear DNA, which evolves more slowly, provides us with a general pattern of species movements as a whole.
whale's tail
British Antarctic Survey/D W H Walton
Individual humpbacks are identified by the unique pattern on the underside of their tails.

“We found that although female whales have crossed from one hemisphere to another at certain times in the last few thousand years, they generally stay in their ocean of birth. This isolation means they have been evolving semi-independently for a long time, so the humpbacks in the three global ocean basins should be classified as separate subspecies. This has implications for how we think about their conservation and recovery on a regional scale.

“Further genetic sequencing and analysis should also help us to understand more about the pattern of humpback migrations in the past. Big changes in the ocean can leave signatures in the genetic code of marine species. For example, the last glacial maximum caused many to shift southwards until the ice retreated or to find ice-free areas in the north. Humpbacks are excellent oceanographers. They go where the food is and can travel long distances to get it, so their patterns of past migration can tell us a lot about the ocean thousands of years ago.”

This research brought together researchers from the British Antarctic Survey, Oregon State University, Florida State University, James Cook University, University of Auckland, Fundacion CEQUA, Wildlife Conservation Society, the American Museum of Natural History and the South Pacific Whale Research Consortium, with funding from the New Zealand Royal Society Marsden Fund and the Lenfest Ocean Program.

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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
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The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is a great place to find quality remembrances of Costa Rica to take home or to decorate your home or office in Costa Rica.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever.  With more than 60 artists on exhibit and fine art in 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we are easy to locate just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport. Visit our Web site at
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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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Real estate rental services (paid category)

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Real estate for rent (paid category)
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!!!

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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

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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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, May 21, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 99
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U.S. House is considering
five trafficking measures

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Many Americans think of human trafficking as a problem that exists far away from U.S. shores, such as the case of the almost 300 Nigerian girls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram and are still missing.

But the U.S. government says as many as 17,500 people, mostly girls, are trafficked into the United States annually, and that does not include those who are kidnapped and forced into sex slavery within U.S. borders.

The U.S. House of Representatives has taken action to help the victims and to crack down on perpetrators.

A survivor of human trafficking, Shandra Woworuntu, was on Capitol Hill Tuesday to advocate for restitution and other government services to help victims.  Ms. Woworuntu is originally from Indonesia.   She is college-educated and worked as a financial analyst in her country until she lost her job due to political instability.

Ms. Woworuntu came to the United States in 2001 under the false impression that she had been offered a job in the hospitality industry, but she was kidnapped at the airport in New York and forced into sex slavery, she said.
“During my arrival someone picked me up, and took me into the van.  They took my passport, they took my hidden ticket, and the same day I was trafficked into underground sex business,” she said.
Ms. Woworuntu escaped and her trafficker is now in prison.  She received help from a non-profit organization and now advocates to raise awareness about human trafficking.
Democratic and Republican lawmakers joined forces on five bills to help state and local governments develop victim-centered programs and to train law enforcement officers to rescue victims and not to treat them as prostitutes.  House Majority Leader Eric Cantor called for bipartisan efforts to address the problem.
“And we must confront this issue head on, not just as Republicans, not just as Democrats, but as dads, as moms, as sisters and brothers.  We must protect our children,” said Cantor.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney has worked to combat human trafficking internationally for more than a decade.
“There is no crime on earth more appalling, no offense as terrible, no act of depravity as harmful to the community of a nation and certainly to the individuals affected,” said Ms. Maloney.
The five bills, which must be approved by the Senate, also seek to reduce the demand for human trafficking by encouraging police and judges to treat those who solicit sexual activities from minors as human traffickers, rather than petty criminals.  The average age for girls forced into sex slavery is 13, and the average age for boys is 12.

FBI suspicious of Russians
with interest in tech funding

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

During the heady days of the U.S. reset policy with Russia, the high-tech sector emerged as a potential centerpiece for bilateral commercial and scientific cooperation, underscored by Internet-savvy Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s 2010 visit to Silicon Valley.

But a surge of Russian cash into the U.S. tech sector in recent years has prompted federal authorities to alert start-ups in a key American innovation cradle about potential espionage via Russian venture capital firms financing their operations.

The Boston division of the FBI is taking this warning to U.S. tech firms with Russian funding, and to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a partner of Russia’s Skolkovo initiative, which was launched in 2010 to create a Russian version of Silicon Valley.

Lucia Ziobro, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston office, specifically cited Skolkovo’s relationship with Russian truck maker KamAZ, which supplies armored vehicles to the Russian military, as possibly worrying.

"As far as the Skolkovo institute is concerned, you have foreign defense contractors in the same sort of area of business that could potentially result in U.S. technology being acquired by that Russian defense firm, and then being given to the government," Agent Ziobro said.

Russian government-backed investors in the United States have dismissed the FBI’s warnings as baseless, and the agency has not presented evidence of Russia using venture capital fund to steal technology.

Agent Ziobro said her office’s discussions with start-ups and research hubs with Russian partners was part of a broader outreach program to inform the tech sector of the possible dangers of working with foreign investors.

"Our outreach talks about the general foreign intelligence threat, be it from China, be it from Russia, be it from, you know, any other country," she said.

The FBI's Boston office began calling attention to Russian tech investment in the United States following a white paper it produced on the subject late last year, Agent Ziobro said.

The office then issued a notice to Boston-area technology companies, colleges and universities identifying partnerships with Russian entities and venture capital companies as potential vehicles for Russian espionage.

Then, in an op-ed published in the Boston Business Journal last month, Agent Ziobro urged U.S. companies to remain vigilant when deciding whether to partner with Russian investors, specifically citing the Skolkovo Foundation, which oversees the development of the high-tech center currently under construction outside Moscow.

"The foundation may be a means for the Russian government to access our nation’s sensitive or classified research, development facilities and dual-use technologies with military and commercial applications," she wrote in the op-ed.

Aside from Skolkovo, Agent Ziobro did not identify any other Russian entities specializing in the high-tech sector in her op-ed. But two investment vehicles funded by the Russian government have a presence in Massachusetts, home to thriving technology and biotech industries.

In 2011, state-funded Rusnano, a $10 billion fund focusing on nanotechnology, invested a total of $50 million in Boston-area nanomedicine firms, BIND Biosciences and Selecta Biosciences.

The same year it invested $35 million in the Boston renewable fuels firm Joule Unlimited.

BIND declined to comment on the FBI warnings, while Selecta and Joule did not respond to inquiries.

Rusnano currently has $1.2 billion invested in U.S. companies, including biotech, energy, coating and hardware firms, Evgeny Druzyaka, vice president of Rusnano USA said.

Druzyaka declined to comment on the FBI’s statements. But Dmitry Akhanov, chief executive of Rusnano USA, told The Boston Globe that he thought Ziobro’s op-ed was an April Fool’s joke.

Boston is also home to the U.S. headquarters of the state-funded Russian Venture Co., which has around $65 million invested in U.S. companies and venture funds, according to RVC-USA chief executive Axel Tillmann.

RVC has also sponsored the Massachusetts start-up initiative MassChallenge.

Tillmann said he was perplexed by the FBI’s comments about Russian venture capital.

"We are helping bilateral collaboration on business-to-business levels, and that is our main mission," he  said. "I don’t know a single evidence that ever came across my desk, or information I ever heard, that is an iota of suspicion that would give any credence to the FBI assertions."

The Skolkovo Foundation declined to comment on the Boston FBI office’s suggestion that the tech initiative presents a potential espionage threat to U.S. partners.

The foundation teamed up with MIT last year to create a graduate university called the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, or Skoltech, that will be located at the Skolkovo research hub outside Moscow.

Four years after Medvedev announced the innovation project and made it the centerpiece of his drive to modernize and diversify Russia’s oil-and-gas-dominated economy, the sprawling 400-hectare territory is still years from completion.

The seven-story Hypercube building is the nerve center of the hub, largely by virtue of the fact that it is the only functioning building to have been built. It is home to a study space and gadget workshops for the joint initiative with MIT.

In the building’s airy ground-floor lobby, a man in a suit this week looked on as a technician tested a remote-controlled four-wheel robot, which used pincers to lift a miniature bottle of whiskey and pour the amber spirit -- unsuccessfully -- into a plastic cup.

Next month, the Hypercube is slated to host an annual start-up fair featuring dozens of nearby pavilions.

So far the Skolkovo Foundation has used substantial tax breaks to lure 37 major industry players into what it calls its innovation center.

MIT spokesman Nathaniel Nickerson said that the university’s collaboration with Skolkovo is intended to help create a new institutional paradigm, bringing together education, research and innovation.

"Programs such as Skoltech are intended to build intellectual relationships in a transparent environment, centering on open, fundamental, publishable research," Nickerson said in emailed comments.

Nickerson added that in all of MIT’s international collaborations, the university "is very careful to comply with all U.S. export-control regulations."

"We also have and continue to participate in various outreach programs conducted by various federal agencies, including the FBI and Department of Commerce," he said.

U.S. bans 12 Russians
involved in lawyer's death

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The United States has slapped sanctions on 12 Russians, including those suspected of involvement in the 2009 prison death of a Russian lawyer who had leveled accusations of a massive Russian tax fraud.
The U.S. State Department, in a statement Tuesday, linked the sanctions to the detention, prison abuse and death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in 2009 in a notorious Moscow prison.

The State Department says the designees are banned from entering the United States and that their U.S. assets had been frozen.
Magnitsky worked as an auditor for the London-based firm Hermitage Capital Investment, when he uncovered an alleged scam by Russian police, gangsters and bankers to take over three Hermitage companies and then illegally collect $230 million in tax refunds.
After making his allegations public, Magnitsky was himself arrested on tax evasion charges.  In poor health from his ordeal, he died in prison at age 37, after 11 months in detention without trial.
The widely publicized case came to embody long-standing Western allegations of widespread prison abuse in Russia, and led to a fresh dispute between Washington and Moscow.  In 2012, the U.S. Congress enacted legislation known as the Magnitsky Act, which aims to penalize those connected to the lawyer's death.
In response to the U.S. legislation, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a ban on U.S. adoptions of Russian children.

U.S. Supreme Court is key
to funding of campaigns

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The numbers are astounding.  According to the Federal Election Commission, nearly $7 billion was spent on the 2012 U.S. presidential election, and that includes spending by candidates, parties and outside groups.  During this year’s congressional campaign cycle, monitoring groups estimate about $2.6 billion will be spent on television advertising alone.
Recent Supreme Court decisions have also helped to open the money spigots even more.  The 2010 case known as Citizens United loosened restrictions on donations from corporations, labor unions and outside groups.  This year’s decision in McCutcheon v. FEC struck down many of the overall limits on campaign donations from individuals, opening up fresh avenues of contributions to even more members of Congress, challengers and political committees.

Both Supreme Court rulings came on five-to-four decisions, so the court remains sharply divided on issues of money and politics.  But for now, the more conservative view of Chief Justice John Roberts is carrying the day on the high court, suggesting that more stringent campaign finance laws are not likely to pass muster with the five-member conservative majority on the high court.  Of course, before that could happen, Congress would have to act to retighten campaign finance laws and there is no sign of that happening anytime soon.

Political watchdog groups are watching the expansion of campaign donations with growing concern.  Sheila Krumholz is the executive director of The Center for Responsive Politics in Washington, a nonpartisan research group that tracks campaign spending and the influence of money in politics.  “The central tension is between freedom of speech and fear of corruption, or the appearance of corruption”, she says.   “We don’t want to censor anyone from being able to speak their mind and use their money in some ways.  On the other hand, if you use a lot of money and depending on its source, it could have a corrupting influence.”
Ms. Krumholz says it is clear that the current Supreme Court values speech in the form of campaign contributions more than concerns about corruption.  She says the court decisions in recent years have strengthened the hand of wealthy political contributors and outside groups that wish to donate money, feeding the notion that those with the most money speak loudest.

Supporters of the recent Supreme Court rulings expanding the rights of political contributors have a far different take.  Conservatives have long equated the right to freely give campaign contributions with free speech.  They chafed for years as a steady stream of campaign finance laws went on the books, which in their view restricted the right of individuals to make themselves heard in the political marketplace.
“Basically money helps people speak.  So yes, money isn’t speech, but money helps buy speech,” says David Keating, president of The Center for Competitive Politics, a group that seeks to expand First Amendment rights to free expression.  “People ought to be able to spend whatever they want saying what they want to other people in the United States and then let the voters decide.”  Keating believes the government should get out of the business of trying to regulate campaign contributions altogether.  “The bigger danger is letting the people who are in the government decide what people are allowed to say about the government.”
The debate has played out at times in the halls of Congress.  Not long ago in an exchange on the Senate floor, Senator Democratic leader Harry Reid went toe-to-toe with his Republican counterpart, Sen. Mitch McConnell.  Reid has spent a lot of time thundering against conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch, major players in funding of conservative candidates and causes.   “The founders believed in a democracy where every American had a voice and a vote,” Reid argued recently, trying to get voters to focus on campaign finance as an issue in this year’s elections.
But McConnell fired back that all Americans regardless of their economic status should have the right to express themselves in election spending, no matter which side of the political aisle they happen to sit on.  “There are many wealthy Americans who feel deeply about the country, who are committed to one side or the other, who are trying to have an impact on the country, as many on the left as on the right.”  Republicans often counter attacks aimed at the Koch brothers by citing wealthy liberal activists like George Soros and Tom Steyer.

Reform advocates acknowledge that the exploding money chase is bipartisan in nature.  “Money ultimately speaks and in many cases money speaks loudest and it doesn’t matter what side of the aisle you are on both parties are complicit in this process,” says Sheila Krumholz.  But she argues that doesn’t make it any less of a threat in terms of the potential for abuse and corruption.  She fears a return to the kinds of campaign abuses that came to light during the Watergate scandal of the 1970’s when bags of money were secretly handed over to political campaigns with an understanding that the contributors would be taken care of down the line.
Ms. Krumholz also worries that with Congress deadlocked on the issue and the Supreme Court not open to further reform, voters will be left with the impression that government is simply unwilling or unable to address the problem.  “I think until we have that kind of open, honest dialogue it is going to take a scandal to make us confront this problem.”  She also says the voters are ultimately responsible for pushing the issue.  “We own them.  They work for us.  So we need to be better managers of our government.  It’s our government and if it’s broken, who’s responsible?  We are.”

U.S. Navy Pacific emphasis
said to be showing results

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The United States' top naval officer said the Navy’s growing presence in the Asia-Pacific region is beginning to show results and shape events, but acknowledges it will be a long-term effort. Admiral Jonathan Greenert, the chief of naval operations, said he hopes the U.S. Navy will be able to expand cooperation with India once its new government takes its place.
Speaking Monday at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, Greenert said the growing military-to-military dialogue with China is beginning to show results, especially in the South China Sea, where maritime tensions between China and its neighbors are on the rise.
He said China was among the Asia-Pacific powers that joined the United States last month in adopting a Code of Unplanned Encounters at Sea during a meeting in Qingdao.
The Philippines and Vietnam are among the nations that have territorial disputes with China. During President Barack Obama’s Asia trip last month, the United States signed a 10-year security agreement with Manila.

NASA facility vulnerable
to rise waters from ocean

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. scientists say a rising ocean is forcing NASA to build seawalls near major flight and research centers along the U.S. coasts.
A report by the Union of Concerned Scientists says rising sea levels are the greatest threat to the historic Kennedy Space Center, along the Atlantic Ocean in Florida. It says other NASA facilities already have faced costly damage from erosion and hurricanes.
NASA says it is essential that launching pads be located near water if a test flight has to be aborted in mid-air or a technical problem forces astronauts to make an emergency return to Earth.
Other key NASA facilities are located along the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific.
The report says rising seas threaten other historic sites, including colonial Boston, Hawaiian state parks, and Liberty Island in New York Harbor.

Federal judge throws out
gay marriage ban in East

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A U.S. federal judge has overturned the state of Pennsylvania's ban on gay marriage.

Tuesday's decision makes same-sex marriage legal throughout the U.S. northeast, a region that tends to lean liberal.

Pennsylvania is now the 19th U.S. state to allow gay marriage, along with the District of Columbia. The northwestern state of Oregon became number 18 Monday when a federal judge struck down its voter-approved gay marriage ban.

Judges have been toppling these state bans across the United States since a landmark ruling last year when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act — a law that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. It had barred same-sex couples from receiving federal tax, health and pension benefits.

And it is not just the laws that are changing. Recent public opinion polling shows Americans' support for gay marriage has more than doubled over the past 20 years.

Super soybeans put forth
as food shortage answer

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

According to the United Nations, the world’s population will increase by 34 percent by the middle of the century. Global food production needs to meet this increase. A recent study of soybeans, one of the major food crops and sources of protein, may be one step in helping solve the global food crisis though the power of computers.

The U.N. predicts food production must increase by 70 percent to meet the needs of a wealthier and more urban world population. The World Food Prize Foundation president and former U.S. ambassador to Cambodia, Kenneth Quinn, calls it the greatest challenge in history.

“There’s going to be another 2 billion people on our planet between now and 2050 and how are we going to produce enough food for them to eat?” asked Quinn.

One solution is science. The study led by Darren Drewry of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is looking for a super soybean. A computer model can create a plant that can be more productive and reflects more light back into space to reduce global warming's effects, while using less water.

One plant with all these traits may be hard to find, but, with data from real soybean plants, a computer can redesign a plant with the traits through the arrangement of the leaves, their density and angle to the sun.

“That’s the real critical thing that we found here that some of these goals that we might have intuitively thought were mutually exclusive that we can’t increase productivity without increasing water use," said Drewry. "We find that there are changes to the architecture of modern soybean cultivars that can be made to help us improve on many of these goals.”

The next step is to take the computer’s model plant and test it in the field by artificial manipulation, says University of Illinois Professor Stephen Long.

“One of the things the modeling predicted is that there’s too much leaf area so we’re actually removing leaves as the plant's growing to get a lower leaf area," said Long. "We’re also artificially modifying the angle of the leaves as well to reflect what the model predicted.”

If the plants in the field behave as predicted, scientists will look for soybean lines with specific traits and crossbreed them into the computer’s super soybean. Long said it is important to find solutions to the predicted global food shortage before it happens, because even if the super soybean can become reality, it will be another 20 years before the crop can appear in a farmer's field.

World Health director
says gains are threatened

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The director-general of the World Health Organization warns conflict, social inequality and economic exclusion are threatening important gains made in health. 

Director-General Margaret Chan lost no time in saying achievements in the global campaign to wipe out polio are in danger of unraveling.

She says armed conflict, weak border controls, poor routine immunization coverage and the targeted killing of polio workers are standing in the way of eradicating this crippling disease. 

“Two years ago, the international spread of polio virus had nearly ceased.  Not anymore. Two years ago, polio was on its knees, thanks to committed political leadership, better strategies and tools, and the dedication of millions of polio workers.  The factors responsible for this setback are largely beyond the control of the health sector," said Ms. Chan.

She cites what she calls ominous trends threatening the health sector.  She says rising inequality and economic exclusion are affecting social cohesion and stability.  She warns damage to the environment is putting at risk the planet’s ability to sustain human life in good health.

The World Health chief says the rise of antimicrobial resistance, which is rendering many antibiotics ineffective, now affects every region of the world. 

Also on the rise are non-communicable diseases, including new cancer cases and increases in heart disease, diabetes, and chronic lung diseases.  She says the prevalence of obesity and diet-related diseases are growing

“Parts of the world are quite literally eating themselves to death.  I am deeply concerned by the increasing prevalence of childhood obesity in every region of the world, with the increase fastest in low-and middle-income countries," she said.

But while some children are getting fatter, Ms. Chan says others are going hungry and suffering from malnutrition. 

Despite this gloomy assessment, she points to a number of health successes.  She notes the pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals has saved many millions of lives.  These include cuts in maternal and child mortality, and advances made in reducing deaths from TB and malaria. 

She says more than 12 million people with AIDS are living longer because they receive antiretroviral therapy, and India’s eradication of polio shows anything is possible.

World economic report
shows a repeat slowdown

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A new report shows that economic growth slowed in some of the world's biggest economies in early 2014 for the second straight three-month period.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said Tuesday that the collective economies of its 34 member nations increased just four-tenths of a percent in the January-to-March period. That was down from a half percentage point gain in the last quarter of 2013, and from an advance of seven-tenths of a point in the July-to-September quarter last year.

The Paris-based group said early 2014 growth varied widely by country. The organization said Japan advanced 1.5 percent in the first quarter and Germany by eight-tenths of one percent. But it said the economies in the United States and France were almost flat, while Italy's economy dropped a tenth of a point.

Europe's 18-nation eurozone gained two-tenths of a point, but the European Central Bank could soon cut a key benchmark interest rate in an effort to boost growth and cut unemployment. In the U.S., however, the central bank, the Federal Reserve, has been steadily trimming its direct economic stimulus as the country recovers from sluggish first quarter growth that was impacted by an unusually cold and snowy winter.

GM issues another recall
on pickups and some SUVs

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The biggest U.S. automaker, General Motors, has recalled another 2.4 million vehicles, this time for seat belt and transmission repairs on cars, sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks.

Tuesday's recall brings GM's worldwide recall total for the year to more than 15 million vehicles.

The latest recall covers 1.3 million late-model sport utility vehicles because of possible seat belt failures and more than a million cars with automatic transmission defects.

In all, GM has committed to making $1.7 billion in repairs.

U.S. safety regulators fined General Motors $35 million last week for its slow efforts to report problems with automobile ignition switches that are linked to 13 deaths. It was the largest fine possible under current law.

GM is the world's second biggest auto manufacturer, behind Japan's Toyota Motor Corporation.

Public attention to media
shown to lack staying power

By the Princeton University news staff

The good news for any passionate supporter of climate-change science is that negative media reports seem to have only a passing effect on public opinion, according to Princeton University and University of Oxford researchers. The bad news is that positive stories don't appear to possess much staying power, either. This dynamic suggests that climate scientists should reexamine how to effectively and more regularly engage the public, the researchers write.

Measured by how often people worldwide scour the Internet for information related to climate change, overall public interest in the topic has steadily waned since 2007, according to a report in the journal Environmental Research Letters. Yet, the downturn in public interest does not seem tied to any particular negative publicity regarding climate-change science, which is what the researchers primarily wanted to gauge.

First author William Anderegg, a postdoctoral research associate in the Princeton Environmental Institute who studies communication and climate change, and Gregory Goldsmith, a postdoctoral researcher at Oxford's Environmental Change Institute, specifically looked into the effect on public interest and opinion of two widely reported, almost simultaneous events.

The first involved the November 2009 hacking of emails from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom, which has been a preeminent source of data confirming human-driven climate change. Known as climategate, this event was initially trumpeted as proving that dissenting scientific views related to climate change have been maliciously quashed. Thorough investigations later declared that no misconduct took place.

The second event was the revelation in late 2009 that an error in the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change  — an organization under the auspices of the United Nations that periodically evaluates the science and impacts of climate change — overestimated how quickly glaciers in the Himalayas would melt.

To first get a general sense of public interest in climate change, Anderegg and Goldsmith combed the freely available database Google Trends for global warming, climate change and all related terms that people around the world searched for between 2004 and 2013. The researchers documented search trends in English, Chinese and Spanish, which are the top three languages on the Internet. Google Trends receives more than 80 percent of the world's Internet search-engine activity, and it is increasingly called upon for research in economics, political science and public health.

Internet searches related to climate change began to climb following the 2006 release of the documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" starring former vice president Al Gore, and continued its ascent with the release of the climate panel's fourth report, the researchers found.

Anderegg and Goldsmith specifically viewed searches for "climategate" between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31, 2009. They found that the search trend had a six-day half-life, meaning that search frequency dropped by 50 percent every six days. After 22 days, the number of searches for climategate was a mere 10 percent of its peak. Information about climategate was most sought in the United States, Canada and Australia, while the cities with the most searchers were Toronto, London and Washington, D.C.

The researchers tracked the popularity of the term global warming hoax to gauge the overall negative effect of climategate and the IPCC error on how the public perceives climate change. They found that searches for the term were actually higher the year before the events than during the year afterward.

"The search volume quickly returns to the same level as before the incident," Goldsmith said. "This suggests no long-term change in the level of climate-change skepticism.

We found that intense media coverage of an event such as climategate was followed by bursts of public interest, but these bursts were short-lived."

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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
Moran logo

Costa Rica,

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

Visit our Web Site:

English calls: (Cristian Arce) Phone: 
(506) 2494-0016  
English calls :  (Luis David) Phone: 
(506) 8331-5228

Español calls: (Luis G. Jiménez)  Phone:   
(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 home
  1,900 square meters of land, 253 square meters of construction. Price $350.000. CLICK 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

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

A.M. Ecuador A.M. San Salvador
A.M. Bolivia

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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

A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, May 21, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 99
Real Estate
About us

News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC neews feeds are disabled on rchived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Press advocate files brief
backing Radio Caracas TV

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The Inter American Press Association has asked the Inter-American Human Rights Court to rule against the Venezuelan government for the unlawful shutdown of Radio Caracas Televisión broadcasting company in 2007. The request came after the submission of the amicus curiae brief, on which the court is due to hold a hearing at the end of the month.

In the name of the organization, Elizabeth Ballantine, president, in coordination with the Press Freedom and Legal Affairs Committees, invited the Inter-American Human Rights Court to rule against the Venezuelan government’s decision to halt RCTV’s license and retaliate against it for its editorial stance — a flagrant violation of the principles of freedom of expression established in the American Convention.”

The case before the court concerns Marcel Granier and other shareholders, members of the board of directors and/or journalists of Radio Caracas Televisión, an outlet that began broadcasting in 1953, “whose license, according to report No. 112/12 of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights was not renewed by the government in 2007 in reprisal for their critical editorial stance and reports against the government,” the Inter American Press Association declared in its opinion.

The Inter American Press Association also said that “through precautionary measures presented by social organizations … the Constitutional Tribunal of the Supreme Court ordered the impoundment, without indemnity, of all RCTV platforms, with the aim of securing the immediate operation of a television signal.”

The government, under direct orders from former president, Hugo Chávez Frías, shut down Radio Caracas Television’s open signal and confiscated its 48 repeater stations and broadcast equipment. A new public TV channel began operating after the station’s equipments were disconnected. Televisora Venezolana Social, sponsored principally by the Venezuelan government, is using the frequencies that Radio Caracas Televisión previously had and is operating throughout the country using the broadcast equipment belonging to it.

The Inter American Press Association has a long history of submitting opinions and creating initiatives at the Inter-American Court and Commission.

The IAPA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 print publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida. For more information please go to

The parent company of A.M. Costa Rica is a member of the association.


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

Citi will inaugurate new location today

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Citi, the financial services firm, plans to inaugurate its $35 million Campus Citi in Ribera de Belén today. Public officials are expected to participate.

The site is the Oficentro El Cafetal, which also is shared by the firm Deloitte.

The Citi operation is called a shared services center and basically a call center, and the firm is expected to have about 800 workers there. At the same time the Citi presence in retail banking is decreasing as the local entity closes branches in the Pacific coast.

The project had been announced last year.