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(506) 2223-1327                                   Published Wednesday, June 10, 2015, in Vol. 15, No. 113                                 Email us
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Government defends its response to drought victims
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The central government says that its response to the drought in Guanacaste began with a presidential decree in September.

The emergency commission received some bad press when hay for hungry livestock only began to be delivered five days ago.

Ana Helena Chacón, the acting president while Luis Guillermo Solís is in Europe, said that many resources have been delivered.

She included in the list seven treatment plants that are being installed to remove arsenic from the ground water for drinking purposes. The government's investment will be 1.35 billion colons or about $2.6 million. However, this was a long-standing project because the ground water in many places in Guanacaste contains naturally occurring arsenic. The project is by the Instituto Nacional de Acueductos y Alcantarillados, the national water company, and in some cases is in response to a Sala IV court decree.

The government also said it invested 100 million colons or about $190,000 in the construction and rehabilitation of wells and in repairing water delivery systems and renting tanker trucks to delivery water.

The response from Casa Presidencial came after farmers and ranchers appeared at the legislature earlier in the month to seek the aid that was promised in September.

Vice President Chacón said that since the emergency was decreed in September the central government last year
hay delivery
Emergency commission photo
The national emergency commission released this folksy photo of hay being delivered in Guanacaste.

designated 15 billion colons or about $28 million. 

In addition the Instituto Mixta de Ayuda Social designated 800 million colons or about $1.5 million for subsidies for fishermen and some 330 million or about $622,000 for livestock producers.

She also cited expenditures by the road agency in fixing highways and mitigating dust.

The vice president said that there are other sums from the national emergency commission that are in the process of being approved.

What got the attention of most residents was the delivery by the  Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería of hay bales last week. Eventually the hay will be delivered to 4,000 livestock producers.

Still, reports from Guanacaste say that livestock is suffering and many cattle producers are selling off their herds at emergency prices.

Policía de Control de Drogas photo           
This is a load of 900 kilos of cocaine brought ashore this week in Golfito
An A.M. Costa Rica editorial
The time has come to legalize marijuana and cocaine
Regretfully and reluctantly, A.M. Costa Rica today calls for the legalization of marijuana and cocaine.

This newspaper has opposed drug use for the last 14 years, but society, public opinion and public actions have pretty well legalized these drugs even if the government has not.

This is a newspaper that has consistently endorsed the Republican U.S. presidential candidates. But enough is enough.

Costa Rica is on the frontlines of the war on drugs. The futility is obvious.

The Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas intercepted two tons of marijuana at sea Monday. Obviously, the demand for this drug exists in the country.

Young people can be seen smoking marijuana on the street, and some of the vagrants and even some pre-teens can be seen sucking on a crack pipe.

Over the years the prohibition against drugs has developed extensive criminality throughout the hemisphere.

Costa Rica is well situated to become a major marijuana-producing country. Now police units spend sweaty weeks chopping crops of the weed in various rural areas. Each plant is

carefully catalogued before it is burned. These law enforcement officers should be put to better use.

Certainly there is an entrenched bureaucracy that thrives on prohibition, U.S. grants and confiscations. These entities are self-serving impediments to legalization.

A push toward legal medical marijuana is nothing more than a facade. Let's be honest.

Some may say that marijuana is OK but cocaine is not. Use of that drug is widespread, too, and many on the coasts earn their bread by moving tons northward for the cartels.

We think that the United States should legalize these drugs, too, and provide a way so that users can obtain marijuana and cocaine with guaranteed purity instead of the junk that now is available.

People are responsible for their own lives. If marijuana or cocaine is the recreational escape people seek, Big Brother should not interfere. There are pitfalls that enlightened health legislation should minimize.

And if Costa Rica becomes a leader in legalization, tourism and the public treasury both would receive great benefits.

Reader opinions are invited.

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, June 10, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 113

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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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New commission will study tax fraud

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Although the administration's tax fraud legislation is in trouble in the Asamblea Legislativa, the  Corte Suprema de Justicia is stepping into the picture.

The president of the court,  Zarela Villanueva Monge, is expected to sign an agreement today that creates an inter-institutional commission to reinforce the policies relating to tax cheats.

The advanced description suggests that the commission will not actually go after tax cheats but will coordinate, formulate strategy and analyze tactics, according to an announcement.

Once a violation is suspected, an investigation will be launched, said the announcement.

Part of the job of the commission will be to formulate new laws, the announcement said.

The commission will be made up of prosecutors, the Judicial Investigating Organization and the Ministerio de Hacienda, which includes the tax collectors within its ranks..

The court president is expected to clarify today at the legislature exactly how this commission differs from what the tax agency already is supposed to do.

The Ministerio de Hacienda proposed legislation that, among other things, would allow its investigators to enter private land and seize property without judicial approval. That generated opposition among members of the public and in the legislature.

Members of the majority coalition are rewriting the proposed law for submission within a week.

Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo           
Caught in the act in Cóbano.

The safe was the least of their worries

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The drama was amateur hour at the Megasuper in Cóbano early Tuesday.

Two men, dressed appropriately for the occasion, broke into the store through the roof. Just like in the movies, they were dressed in black with black ski masks and even black gloves.

The idea was to cut open the safe with an acetylene torch just like in the movies.

But before they got cooking, Fuerza Pública officers arrived. It seems that they tripped a silent alarm when they entered the store.

Meanwhile in Escazú, officers there grabbed two men who are suspected in shoplifting some 250,000 colons worth of items from a local hardware store. That's about $470.

Police said the goods were taken while the clerks were distracted. Among the items were an electric drill and a sander.

Both the Escazú suspects and the ones in Cóbano were scheduled to appear in the flagrancy courts.

Plan converts U.S. to renewable energy

By the Stanford University news service

Stanford University engineers have developed a state-by-state plan to convert the United States to 100 percent clean, renewable energy by 2050.

Mark Z. Jacobson, professor, and colleagues show that it's technically possible for each state to replace fossil fuel energy with entirely clean, renewable energy.

Jacobson and other researchers have calculated how to meet each state's new power demands using only the renewable energies – wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, and tiny amounts of tidal and wave – available to each state.

One potential way to combat ongoing climate change, eliminate air pollution mortality, create jobs and stabilize energy prices involves converting the world's entire energy infrastructure to run on clean, renewable energy, they said.

Jacobson is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford

The 50 individual state plans call for aggressive changes to both infrastructure and the ways energy currently is consumed. The conversion is technically and economically possible through the wide-scale implementation of existing technologies, the research team said.

"The main barriers are social, political and getting industries to change. One way to overcome the barriers is to inform people about what is possible," said Jacobson. "By showing that it's technologically and economically possible, this study could reduce the barriers to a large scale transformation."

The study is published in the online edition of Energy and Environmental Sciences. An interactive map summarizing the plans for each state is available at

Jacobson and his colleagues started by taking a close look at the current energy demands of each state, and how those demands would change under business-as-usual conditions by the year 2050. To create a full picture of energy use in each state, they examined energy usage in four sectors: residential, commercial, industrial and transportation.

For each sector, they then analyzed the current amount and source of the fuel consumed – coal, oil, gas, nuclear, renewables – and calculated the fuel demands if all fuel usage were replaced with electricity. This assumes that all the cars on the road become electric, and that homes and industry convert to fully electrified heating and cooling systems. But Jacobson said that their calculations were based on integrating existing technology, and the energy savings would be significant.

"When we did this across all 50 states, we saw a 39 percent reduction in total end-use power demand by the year 2050," Jacobson said. "About 6 percentage points of that is gained through efficiency improvements to infrastructure, but the bulk is the result of replacing current sources and uses of combustion energy with electricity."

They analyzed each state's sun exposure, and how many south-facing, non-shaded rooftops could accommodate solar panels. They developed and consulted wind maps and determined whether local offshore wind turbines were an option. Geothermal energy was available at a reasonable cost for only 13 states. The plan calls for virtually no new hydroelectric dams, but does account for energy gains from improving the efficiency of existing dams.

Animal adoptions planned in Escazú

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Unconditional love is available Saturday at  Walmart Escazú when the Asociación Animales de Asís offer puppies and dogs for adoption.

Those who are more interested in cats and kittens can present themselves humbly for adoption, too, although there are no guarantees.

Each of the animals has been castrated and vaccinated. The time is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. A donation is sought.

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From A.M. Costa Rica

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From our retirement guide

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In the Spanish-language press

Today, June 10

Police stop taxi drivers from entering the regulator's office

Prensa Libre: Taxi drivers unhappy with new and lower rates per kilometers tried to enter the building today, but police stopped them.

Tree Festival celebrates environment in Parque La Libertad

Prensa Libre: Deforestation, training in crafts with organic waste, clean energy and environmental education programs will bring together more than 400 elementary students around the Park La Libertad to celebrate the Festival of the Tree IV.

Government receives money  to reduce deaths from HIV

Prensa Libre: The Global Fund has provided  $4.9 million to be used to reduce deaths from HIV

Lawmaker wants to block the sale of war toys

La Nación: Gonzalo Ramírez of Renovación Costarricense has proposed a bill to prohibit the sale of video games and toys that promote warfare.

Two airlines expected to begin service

Two new airlines are expected to begin service during the second half of the year. They are Air Panamá and Air Costa Rica.
— Compiled by Sylvia Quesada Hidalgo
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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page

San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, June 10, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 113
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    Check out our Restaurant Showcase HERE!

After midnight the game is traffic light roulette in the metro area
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Those who sweat to travel bumper to bumper through the metro area during the day might not know that the rules change at night.

This is the time when traffic signals are even less than a suggestion.

The metro streets then are dominated by taxis and police cars. Taxi drivers are well known for disregarding traffic lights. Police? Well, they are special, so they are not bound by the laws governing mere mortals.

In any event, the downtown is far more dangerous after midnight.

There are some good reasons not to honor traffic lights. Those who stop at a corner might have a pistol stuck in their ear by the car's new owner.

Then there are the aggressive transvestites who populate the street corners. The motorist who pulls up for a traffic light might be mistaken for a customer, and the working individual might jump in the passenger seat.

The general rule is to beep the horn while plunging through the intersection.

Still each weekend there are horrific accidents blamed on motorist failing to respect a signal.

The best policy is for a motorist to crawl through traffic

A.M. Costa Rica graphic

lights even if the signal is green.  Who knows what is coming from the other direction?

Curiously there is no traffic enforcement from midnight until about 6 a.m. And that seems to extend throughout the metro area. The reason might be because the traffic police are all attending the latest accident caused by someone who plunged through the stop light.

Company says its concrete additive will improve nation's roads
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

That concrete roadways outlast asphalt is well known. But concrete costs a lot more.

Now comes the firm EcoConcretos de Centroamérica that says its concrete additive is cheaper because it makes the batch last much longer and cure in one day.

The product, AltaCrete, can serve as a base under high-traffic roads or as a top coat for roads that take less of a beating, according to the firm.

The additive was developed in Germany 20 years ago, the firm said.

The company estimates that Costa Rica will invest $44 billion in roads by 2035. The company also notes that the deficiencies of the Costa Rican road network are well known, particularly in secondary and local roads. An estimated 27,000 kilometers are just gravel, according to the firm.

The company said that even for high-traffic roads, using the concrete as a base can eliminate the need for a deeper gravel fill.

The product has a long history in the United States, Canada and Asia, the firm said.

Right now the product is being used for an access road to a wind generating site in Tilarán.

road additive
EcoConcretos de Centroamérica photo
This is the road project at Tilarán.

The company hired an advertising and public relations agency to present its case to the media. It said it wanted municipalities and other government agencies to know about the product.

The Web site contains technical information.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, June 10, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 113
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Qatar hopes soccer investigation will not cause it to lose 2022 games
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

As investigations into the international soccer scandal deepen, Qatar may have much to lose, its host status for the 2022 World Cup.

In recent days, a soccer federation official said that the oil-rich Gulf kingdom as well as Russia, host to the 2018 Cup could lose the right to stage games if investigations demonstrate that the two countries bought votes.

"If evidence should emerge that the awards to Qatar and Russia only came about thanks to bought votes, then the awards could be invalidated," said Domenico Scala, independent chairman of the federation’s audit and compliance committee, in an interview published Sunday in the Swiss newspaper Sonntags Zeitung.

U.S. Justice Department investigators, who announced their probe June 2, say they have uncovered evidence of bribery and corruption in the bidding process for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and the 2011 federation presidential election. A separate Swiss investigation is looking into how hosting rights were awarded in 2010 to Russia and Qatar.

Both Qatar and Russia have denied any wrongdoing. Neither was named in the recent 47-count Justice Department indictment of federation officials on charges of racketeering, wire fraud and money-laundering conspiracies over the past 24 years.

Qatar says it won the bid on merit alone.

"We are confident we have entered the competition in accordance with the conditions set.… Unfortunately, some parties can’t see a Muslim Arab state succeed in attracting such championships," said Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah, according to The Peninsula, a Qatar English-language news organization.

But Britain’s Sunday Times released a report a year ago, “Plot to buy the World Cup,” saying it had proof that Qatar paid $5 million in bribes to secure the 2022 tournament.

Last November, the federation ended its own investigation into irregularities in bidding, saying that any violations were very limited in scope.

Monday, the federation stood firm on keeping Russia and Qatar as hosts. It released a statement saying that, because the sites were chosen “by democratic vote of the Executive Committee … FIFA has no legal grounds” for stripping either of their games, CNN reported.

Analysts say the federation is not likely to revisit the bidding process until it holds elections to replace the organization’s president, Sepp Blatter, who announced his resignation last Tuesday after his re-election days earlier to a fifth term. He’s expected to continue serving until his successor is chosen, probably sometime between December and March, Scala had said.

The Qatar bid was controversial from the start. The tiny desert state has no history of international football. With summer temperatures as high as 49 degrees C or 120 degrees F, it is arguably too hot for players and spectators.

Because Qatar does not recognize the state of Israel, Jewish players worried they might be banned or that, if they were permitted to play, their flag and anthem would not be allowed, Jewish media reported.

And fans worried they would not have access to alcoholic beverages. Islamic law outlaws homosexuality, and it’s unclear what that would mean for gay visitors.

Human rights groups have long condemned Qatar’s treatment of migrant laborers from South Asia, who account for as much as 90 percent of the country’s population and are vulnerable to a host of employer abuses. The International Trade Union Confederation charged, in a March 2014 report, that at least 1,200 workers already had died while working on Qatar’s World Cup projects. But that number could not be independently verified.

Last week, Qatari’s government communications office said that “not a single worker’s life has been lost.” It already had promised last year to correct labor laws that allow a form of indentured servitude.

Qatar also addressed many of the other concerns: Initially, it said it could control the climate in its stadiums. Then it rescheduled the games for winter, clashing with American and European football seasons.

“All nations participating in the FIFA World Cup are welcome,” said Hassan Abdulla al Thawadi, chief executive of Qatar 2022’s Supreme Committee, promising Qatar would also allow alcohol consumption during the games.

As for the issue of homosexuality, Qatar’s sports minister said last November that, as with alcohol, he believes his country could find creative solutions to respect visiting gay football fans.

It isn’t clear how much of its estimated $200 billion budget Qatar has so far spent in preparing for the World Cup.

Qatar has planned to build eight new stadiums and renovate three in preparation for the World Cup games. This week, its 2022 planning committee said the federation’s troubles would not impact its preparations, which it called ahead of schedule.

Also included in the budget are a new city, Lusail, a new railroad and metro system, and an improved highway system, 140 new hotels, a new deep water seaport and airport.

The financial organization Bank of America Merrill Lynch estimated direct World Cup spending, stadiums and hotels, at $16 billion, which Qatar would lose with the bid.  It also estimates that Qatar's GDP growth would slow down by at least 0.5 percent annually.  And all this could spell substantial delays for a planned $100 billion pipeline project.

By May 2014 Qatar had already spent about $500 million on projects since winning the bid, as well as another $26 billion on transportation infrastructure, Qatar’s World Cup organizers verified.

“It’s tricky,” said Colin Foreman, a news editor at Middle East Economic Digest. “If you speak to people in Qatar about, for example, the metro, they will adamantly tell you that it’s nothing to do with the World Cup, that they are building a metro to make Doha a better city for the people of Qatar and incidentally help get people around during the games.

Fédération Internationale de Football Association photo
This is Al Rayyan Stadium one of the venues Qatar is building for the 2022 World Cup.

“So, do you say that everything that they have spent on the metro is being spent for the World Cup?” he asked. “Or would it be spent anyway?”

As for the stadiums, Foreman said there has been some movement, “but frankly not that much.”

This construction spree would not be possible without the 1.5 million migrant workers who account for about 94 percent of Qatar’s population.

The largest group of these, about 400,000, come from Nepal, and Doha has approved taking in 180,000 more ahead of the World Cup.

In late 2013, Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported that Nepali workers were dying at the rate of one a day, more than half of them from heart attacks, heart failure or accidents on the job in conditions that amount to modern-day slavery.

“But it’s not just about deaths,” said Mustafa Qadri, Gulf migrant rights researcher at Amnesty International.

“There's a bigger point here, too. Hundreds of thousands of workers face a range of abuses, from forced labor to exploitation and trafficking. Domestic workers aren't even recognized by Qatar's labor law yet are particularly vulnerable to abuse,” said Qadri, whose organization outlined labor abuses in a report issued in May.

Rights groups have documented widespread abuses of migrant workers, many of whom are forced to work long hours in grueling heat for salaries well beneath minimum wage.

“Amnesty International, the United Nations special rapporteur and an independent review commissioned by the Qatari authorities themselves have all called on Qatar to carry out a thorough, independent investigation into the leading causes of migrant worker deaths and identify key measures to address these,” Qadri said. “But as far as we are aware, that has not been adequately carried out yet.”

Qatar’s construction boom has attracted some of the biggest multinational companies in the world, Qadri said. He views the World Cup as an important vehicle for pressuring Qatar to improve its record on migrant labor rights.

“But unless Qatar urgently begins the process of fundamental reforms … the World Cup won't be celebrated for the football but remembered as a tournament built on the back of migrant labor abuse,” he said.

Qadri also worries that if the games are pulled from Qatar, it could remove the impetus for Qatar to improve the treatment of migrants.

It could also have an impact on South Asian economies, he said.

World Bank data show a steady increase in remittances from Qatar to Nepal: In 2010, guest workers in Qatar sent $1.36 million home to Nepal.  By 2014, that number had risen $1.68 million.

These remittances account for about a quarter of Nepal’s gross domestic product. The government estimates that if these remittances stopped, poverty would jump from around 19 percent to more than 35 percent.

This would not just be Qatar’s first World Cup but the first in the Middle East, said Editor Foreman.

“There are an awful lot of people in the Middle East and they are very keen, passionate, about football,” he said. “There’s a feeling in the region that they deserve to have a World Cup, and Qatar is the country that can do it.”

Having the games taken away would send a powerful message to the region, analysts said.

“Qatar would be devastated,” said Simon Henderson, a fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “And if Qatar is upset about it, some of the blame that Qatar will distribute in response to its being upset will be directed at the United States, who it regards as being a competitor for the slot in the first place  and the instigator of the criminal charges which have been made against FIFA officials.”

But other analysts see little reason for concern.

“The U.S. and Qatar are allies in very practical and substantive ways,” said Charles Untermeyer, who served as U.S. ambassador to Qatar for three years under president George W. Bush.

“No. 1, U.S. energy companies such as ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and also some subsidiary firms have very strong contacts with Qatar,” Untermeyer said. “Second is the fact that there are six U.S. universities in Doha in Education City; and the third is the presence of a very important military base, Al Udaid, which is a Qatari base but used by the United States since the mid-1990s.”

But Washington and Doha have not always seen eye to eye.

Sticking points have included Qatar’s political and humanitarian support of Hamas and tacit support of Islamist groups, including the Nusra Front in Syria and the Muslim Brotherhood.

“But I do not believe at this juncture that Qatar will lose the World Cup,” Untermeyer said.

That said, he expressed confidence that Qatar's economy is strong enough and its infrastructure needs great enough to any absorb any change in plans.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

                        in osa

Adventures in Costa Rica are awaiting you.
The Villas De Oros is a jungle paradise with the whole of the Osa within your reach, plus many local activities. Our five villas and suites are unique, sleeping between  two or four guests. They were built to reflect a love and respect for nature. We are happy to serve a wide variety of travelers, families, couples on romantic escapes and adventures seekers. We are near beautiful beaches, many national parks, fine dining and local fare. We are a small hotel, but we will do all we can to help make arrangements for you to insure your adventure of a lifetime!  Please let us know if you will need help with transportation arrangements and what tours you are interested in. Our moderately priced accommodations give you the opportunity to take in the sights and sounds of the surrounding jungle. With river and ocean views as well as an abundance of wildlife, you are sure to enjoy your stay. All four villas have kitchen facilities, two with full inside kitchens and three with mini-kitchens on the balconies overlooking the jungle. We are frequented almost daily by monkeys, macaws, toucans, iguanas, and many other fascinating creatures of Costa Rica. See more at  
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Mar de
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Designed for families to provide peaceful & ecologically balanced environment, where all can enjoy healthy & pollution free stay. Built in harmony with nature & were used to reflect a subtropical atmosphere. Main source of energy is sunlight, converted by solar panels on the roofs. High quality services at a reasonable cost allowing guests to enjoy dream holiday at an attractive rate. Come and enjoy a great vacation. Comfortable accommodation, personalized services and quality amenities. Cosy rooms, breakfast, pools, architectural design, surrounded by lush vegetation in beautiful tropical gardens with coconut, almond, etc. Address : Jacó  beach, next to Subway Restaurant, Avenida Pastor Díaz, Costa Rica. Local phone (506) 2643-3000. Email:  Web page:

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Cozy, opened in 2007 just 90 minutes from the capital, with good access. Go shopping or enjoy the evening entertainment. Hosting services, friendly, quality and comfortable, discreet under the concept of 100 percent family hotel, the reason we do not allow or endorse any activity related to prostitution or drugs. Natural beauty, recommended for tourists for a relaxing holiday. Nearby is Manuel Antonio National Park. Tours, canopy, fishing, rainforest, horseback riding, ATV, rafting, etc. 20 deluxe rooms equipped with 3 for disabled. All with air conditioning, cable TV, telephone, refrigerator, private bathroom, hot water, free wireless Internet, etc. Maximum 5 people. Main restaurant, pools (adults & children), jacuzzi, private parking, 24 hours security, pool bar, playground equipped. At front desk currency conversions, confirm your flight or coordinate tours. Address : Playa Bejuco, Esterillos, Costa Rica. Local phone (506) : 2779-2000. Email:   Web page

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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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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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The vacation homes at Manuel Antonio Estates offers luxury, comfort and peace of mind. We have numerous homes from 2 bedrooms to 8 bedrooms ocean view with private pool,  all within walking distance of the town’s shops and restaurants and just a few minutes to the best beaches and the famous Manuel Antonio national park. While the homes are secluded and hidden among the rainforest, the surrounding area offers adventures like zip lines, whitewater rafting, mangrove kayaking and many more. All of the homes are available for short-term rentals, Fully equipped, Pool, concierge,  parking, cable TV, and Internet. We are happy to assist with all your need for the perfect Costa Rican vacation, Call us for your family vacation package.
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Condo in Jacó for rent
Two-bedroom, 1-bath condominium available for rent starting June 1st in Corteza del Sol in the Quebrada Seca, just across the Costanera from Jacó. 24-hour security, wifi/cable, AC, luxurious amenities, kitchen includes everything you need to cook, gorgeous pools just steps from your front door. 15 minute walk to town or quick bike ride. ¢2,000 taxi to center of town. Short-term renter is fine. Long-term would be great! Looking for someone low-key who will fit in well with the complex. $950/month including cable & internet, NOT INCLUDING ELECTRIC! Call 8725-0344 or email

Palmares graphic

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See our web page:

Condo for rent.
Conveniently located just a 200-meter walk to the beach. In the favorite community of Las Palmas, this condo is a perfect vacation home and/or great for vacation rental income.  The condo is located on the 2nd level offering beautiful vaulted ceilings, front and back balcony, pool and mountain view. Screens in every window/door, Air condition in both bedrooms and at living room. The condo is in perfect condition. It has been recently painted and super well-kept, new appliances, fully furnished. Wired to have own washer dryer. It has been the residence of the owners since they built it. Never rented out to third parties. The owners are selling as they are moving to the Central Valley.  The community has a great-size pool and beautiful landscaping and large parking. Just step out your condo and in less than 5-minute walk be swimming in the ocean! A must see! Rate $795 per month. Contact Bob Mobile C.R. ( 506 ) 8392-7520. E-mail:

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.
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Please visit our Web page at or contact us at
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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, June 10, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 113
Real Estate
About us

Airport security flawed,
Inspector general says

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The top inspector for the agency that protects America’s flying public says he is deeply concerned about its ability to execute its important mission.
Homeland Security Inspector General John Roth said Tuesday his team has uncovered significant vulnerabilities in the Transportation Security Administration’s conduct of airport screenings, among other shortcomings.
Roth’s testimony before the Senate Homeland Security Committee followed inspector general reports that the agency failed to identify 73 workers with links to terrorism and failed to detect simulated weapons and other dangerous items in 96 percent of tests conducted at airport screening checkpoints.
“We have deep concerns about the manner in which TSA manages this risk,” said Roth.

The Transportation Security Administration was established after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, in which hijackers slammed jetliners into New York’s World Trade Center as well as the Pentagon.
Revelations that aviation vulnerabilities remain have alarmed the public and U.S. lawmakers.
“TSA screens nearly two million passengers each day, nearly 660 million every year,” said Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson. “That is an enormous task.”
Whistle-blowers within Transportation Security Administration and other related agencies also testified before the committee and pinpointed problems they have witnessed, including inattention to a large list of passengers approved for rapid screening at U.S. airports.
“TSA is handing out pre-checked status like Halloween candy in an effort to expedite passengers as quickly as possible despite self-admitted security gaps that are being created by the process,” said Rebecca Roering, a Transportation Security Administration supervisor at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Airplanes are also vulnerable to easily-concealed explosive devices in luggage or meals and supplies delivered on board, according to Robert McLean, a federal air marshal.
“If a terrorist group puts thought into it, it is relatively easy to sneak small bombs into jets in order to blow up at high altitude,” said McLean.
Aside from the sheer volume of air traffic, the inspector general noted that Transportation Security Administration agents suffer from the boredom of a screening task performed over and over again, day after day.
“TSA cannot afford to miss a single genuine threat without potentially catastrophic consequences,” said Roth. “A terrorist only needs to get it right once.”
Since 9/11, terrorists have attempted attacks in the skies by placing explosives in passengers’ shoes and underwear. Although those plots were foiled, lawmakers worry it is only a matter of time before one succeeds.
“We should be focused on perfection,” said the committee’s top Democrat, Sen. Tom Carper. “We will never get there, but that should be our goal.”
Those testifying suggested multiple improvements to the system, from better training of Transportation Security Administration agents to boosting the agency’s ability to weed out employees with suspected links to terrorism.

Pentagon puts being gay
in protected category

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Defense Secretary Ash Carter Tuesday unveiled an updated equal opportunity policy to bar discrimination based on sexual orientation in the armed forces, putting it in the same category as discrimination based on race, religion, color, age and sex.

The watershed moment came as Carter delivered a keynote speech at the Pentagon marking a gay and lesbian pride celebration.

“Four years after the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ following years and years of gay and lesbian service members having to hide who they are, today we take pride in how they’re free to serve their country openly,” he said.

The change in policy gives U.S. military troops a broader range of choices in pursuing complaints if they believe they have been discriminated against based on sexual orientation.

The change brought the rules into conformity with the 2011 decision to end the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy — adopted by the Clinton Administration in 1994 — which allowed gays and lesbians to serve in the military only if they did not openly acknowledge their sexual orientation.

“Here at the Pentagon, we have been — and remain — strongly committed to making sure all our military families and spouses can fully and equally receive the benefits their loved ones have earned,” Carter said in announcing the decision.

The move comes on the heels of an announcement Monday by the American Medical Association that there is no medically valid reason to exclude transgendered personnel from military service. While some branches of the military can still remove transgendered service members, the Army and Air Force have already made it more difficult to do so, which is ultimately more in line with the ever-changing climate of tolerance in the United States.

“Young Americans today are more diverse, open and tolerant than past generations, and if we’re going to attract the best and brightest among them to contribute to our mission of national defense, we have to ourselves be more open, diverse and tolerant, too," Carter said. "It’s the only way to compete in the 21st century.

"We have to focus relentlessly on our mission, which means the thing that matters most about a person is what they can contribute to national defense," he added. "This is a commitment we must continually renew."

Civilian employees of the Defense Department were already protected against discrimination based on sexual orientation under equal opportunity laws. But uniformed personnel were covered under separate rules affected by the department's long-time ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military.

A 2013 Supreme Court ruling provided some federal benefits to same-sex couples married in states where gay marriage is legal. The Pentagon has been working to bring its policies into line with the changes.

"With this policy revision, we are now ensuring that service members are afforded protection against discrimination in the department's military equal opportunity program," said Navy Lt. Cdr. Nate Christensen, a Pentagon spokesman.

Christensen said the military equal opportunity program gives troops greater access to a broader range of options for resolving discrimination complaints and gives commanders access to equal opportunity advisers during the complaint process.

Groups advocating lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered rights groups have long called for equal protection from discrimination.

Islamic State has its eyes
on Saudi Arabian holy sites

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

From the battlefields of Iraq and Syria, the terror group known as the Islamic State is preparing yet another front in its quest to reestablish an Islamic caliphate, this time hoping to wrest Saudi Arabia from a royal family that has long maintained its grip on power.

Saudi Arabia might seem to be an unlikely target for the Islamic State. Unlike countries such as Iraq, Syria and Libya, it is not a failed state. Also, just like the Islamic State’s leadership, Saudi Arabia's rulers are adherents of Sunni Islam. 

Still, counterterrorism officials, former diplomats and analysts say the threat to Saudi Arabia from the Islamic State is one that cannot be dismissed.

“Their ambitions don’t stop at Ramadi,” former U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker said, referring to the Islamic State’s conquest of the contested capital of Iraq's Anbar province.

“What they would really like to be able to do is penetrate into Saudi Arabia and take the holy cities of Mecca and Medina as the capital of their caliphate,” he added.

The latest barrage in the terror group’s opening salvo came just weeks ago with the Islamic State claiming credit for two suicide bombings targeting Shi’ite mosques in eastern Saudi Arabia.

More than 20 people died in the attacks on May 22 and May 29, and a recording issued by the Islamic State’s Saudi branch at about the same time called for more bloodshed.

“You must all come to burn the thrones of the tyrants," it said, according to the U.S.-based SITE monitoring center.

U.S. counterterrorism officials say such threats are in line with other Islamic State propaganda, which has often tried to incite attacks against Saudi authorities and which has claimed responsibility for shootings targeting Saudi police and Westerners.

“The group’s apparent attempts to establish cells inside Saudi Arabia would be consistent with their strategy,” a counterterrorism official said.

Whether the Islamic State has the wherewithal to follow through, however, remains a question. By most accounts, the group's presence in Saudi Arabia is small. Its sympathizers have also come under heavy pressure from Saudi authorities, who in April announced the arrests of 93 suspects, 65 of them Saudi citizens.

“ISIS, though it has a small presence in Saudi Arabia, is doing what it can to launch spectacular, explosive attacks that can incite sectarian tension and lead to internal strife,” said Harleen Gambhir, a counterterrorism analyst at the Institute for the Study of War. 

Gambhir and others warn the presence may be even bigger due to Islamic State sleeper cells in Saudi Arabia and nearby Yemen.

Saudi Arabia has also been fertile ground for extremist groups, including the Islamic State, looking for jihadist recruits.

A study earlier this year by the International Center for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence found that of the more than 20,000 foreign fighters thought to have gone to Syria and Iraq, 1,500-2,500 had come from Saudi Arabia. At the time, researchers said only Tunisia had been thought to have sent more fighters to the front.

Other analysts say the numbers may be even higher.

"We’re talking thousands of people, probably two- to three-thousand people from Saudi Arabia who have gone to fight for the Islamic State,” said Patrick Skinner, director of special projects at the Soufan Group.

If some of those foreign fighters decide to return, or if would-be foreign fighters decide to stay, Skinner said it will put the Islamic State in position to give the Saudi government a fight.

“They won’t be able to topple anything but that’s not probably even what they want,” Skinner said. “They just want to keep picking at it until it’s a thousand cuts and the government overreacts and then they can kind of feed into some popular resentment.”

Unlike in Syria, Iraq and Libya, the Islamic State group will not be able to take advantage of a weak or non-existent central government. Current and former U.S. officials say Saudi police, intelligence and counterterror units are more than capable of cracking down. 

“The Saudis really cleaned house for a while,” Skinner said. “The problem is, it’s such a dirty house that it’s near impossible to clean.”

Another part of the problem is the longstanding undercurrent of support for extremist thinking, especially among youth, combined with what had been a constant flow of funding for radical religious leaders who straddled the fine line between ultra-conservative teachings and extremist ideology.

“I think the Saudis have done a lot better,” said former U.S. ambassador Mark Wallace, now the chief executive officer at the Counter Extremism Project. "Certainly there are always individual power brokers that we have to be vigilant about and that the Saudis have to be vigilant about as well.”

Still, the temptation or pressure to restore that funding may be growing as Riyadh’s proxy war with rival Tehran becomes more intense, with some analysts warning the conflict is already causing many Saudi officials to view events in the Middle East through a Sunni-Shi’ite lens.

“As this clash between Iran and Saudi Arabia intensifies, I think it’s going to be pretty unavoidable that the Saudis are going to support the Islamic State or support militant groups that are under the Islamic State's umbrella,” said Reuel Marc Gerecht with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Another excessive force case
investigated in Texas city

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Police in the southern U.S. state of Texas are investigating the actions of an officer who threw an unarmed teenage girl to the ground after being called to break up a pool party. The officer resigned from the force  Tuesday. But with increased national scrutiny on how race and force are handled by law enforcement, activists are again crying foul over the latest case of what they see as excessive use of force.

What started as a pool party in a town north of Dallas ended with handcuffs and drawn weapons.

Community residents tried to shut down the party Friday, claiming the teens were not allowed at the pool. Then, the police arrived.

One teen recorded video as Officer Eric Casebolt of the McKinney Police Department tackled 15-year-old Dejerria Becton.

"He told me to keep walking, and I kept walking, and I guess he thought we were saying rude stuff to him. He grabbed me, twisted my arm on my back and shoved me in the grass and started pulling the back of my braids. I was telling him to get off me because my back was hurting bad," said Miss Becton.

As with other allegations of excessive use of force caught on camera, different witnesses tell different stories. One woman who saw the incident defended the police.

"He grabbed her arm, she started resisting, they were just doing the right thing when these kids were fleeing and using profanity and threatening security guards," she said.

Activists are calling for transparency and swift action in the investigation. Among them, the Texas branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, whose Satinder Singh said:

"Here, allegedly, what the police have said so far is the kids were trespassing," said Singh. "Which is a crime, yes.  But the question becomes - and this is part of what smart policing, community policing is - is this the best response at this time?  Am I going to escalate the situation to the point where someone dies?  Or I'm throwing a girl in a bikini on the ground and putting my weight on her?  Where I felt the need to draw my gun on kids in swim trunks?"

Several teenagers were detained at the scene but only one man was charged with interfering with police.

Washington, D.C., locations
are target of bomb threats

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Agents from the United States Secret Service cleared reporters from the White House briefing room Tuesday afternoon following a bomb threat.

A "telephonic bomb threat concerning the White House Briefing Room was called into the Metropolitan Police Department shortly before 2:00 p.m.," Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary said in a statement.

The room was evacuated during a briefing with White House spokesman Josh Earnest.  

The evacuation was limited to the White House Press Briefing Room and did not affect any other sections of the White House.

A Secret Service sniffer dog was deployed to check out the area.

After being evacuated, reporters headed to what is known as Pebble Beach where the television networks have their live positions, then were moved to the South Court Auditorium in the nearby Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Press members were held there for about 25 minutes before given the all clear to return to the briefing.

The briefing with Earnest resumed around 2:45 p.m.  He attempted to get back to the cybersecurity question he was in the middle of answering prior to the evacuation but instead was greeted by a volley of questions.

The president and the first family were not evacuated, Earnest told reporters, adding Obama was on the White House grounds at the time.

This was the first evacuation during a televised press briefing, although the White House has seen various security breaches including a man who jumped the fence last year.
Earlier, a hearing of the Transportation Security Agency on Capitol Hill was evacuated over a bomb threat.

Capitol police cleared several floors at the Dirksen Senate office building but found no hazardous materials.

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Great opportunity !!!

If you know about house for sale prices,  you will realize that this is a real deal.  Original price of  $400,000 now is $320,000.
Due to its characteristics and location, it can also be used for commercial purposes (boutique hotel, offices, medical center).  Large house, 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, one office, just 250 meters from Grecia downtown. High quality construction, built in 2009, high ceilings, balcony with beautiful views over central Grecia valley, elegant luxury furnitures included, network cabling 6 gigabits throughout the house, Giant TV flat projection system of 120 inches in the main room, sound system 7.1 channel. Air conditioning system, security system, and cameras, lighting system in open areas. 4-car parking space plus large garage, Recommended for large families.

Property Location: Central Grecia, Alajuela
Total area construction (two floors):
252 square meters
Total area: 250 square meters
Construction Type: Concrete
See more photos click HERE!

Grecias two
  Send us your request to our email:


CoopeAgri Real Estate

The best option in real estate services in southern Costa Rica and the South Pacific coast. We are professionals promoting properties such as farms, lots, ranches, commercial premises, homes and apartments, through our advertising and marketing services.
Are you buying a property? Our experienced team is ready to help you to find the right place. Are you selling? We are experts selling properties.  Keep it simple. Don't waste your time. We are  the best local and international listing.  Contact us, and we will be glad to assist you!
Local CR Phones: (506) 2785-0282 or  (506) 2785-0278

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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 Ocean Surf and Sun:

The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 20 years experience and the largest networked team of agents in the country.  We can help you learn if investing in Costa Rica is right for you with our low-key, educational approach to sales. Our professional agents can tell you more about Costa Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and commercial real estate.  Call us: Ocean Surf and Sun Int. Realty Ldta at 011 (506) 2653-0073 or send us an email at:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú
Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant.
Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning.
Easy to get liquor license. Low interest financing.
Call: 877-778-8515
(506) 8307-0164
(410) 975-6703

ranch view
Small private ranch for sale
This exceptional private ranch sits on a 9+ hectare lot and supports 15-20 horses. Only 2 hours south of San José, on the road to Puriscal. Roomy stalls all with drains, water hookup, lights and fans, grooming and shoeing área. Two-story house all furnished and cowboy house. Don't miss your chance on that turnkey operation.  Offered at $949,000.
E-mail:  or call (506) 8707-1037 
(506) 2778-8408 Web:

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

A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

A beautiful American style suburban home, 2,700 sq ft of living space with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, front and rear living rooms, laundry area, kitchen and small attached library nook, arched windows and doors and connected hallways, exotic wood interior ceilings and trim, tile floors thru-out.  The lot is 835 m2 with mature landscape and orchid nurseries surrounding the house. There is an enclosed workshop and BBQ area in the back yard with lots of storage under roof, plus a nursery for an herb/vegetable garden.  This is a very well-kept property with many upgrades, a private feel but yet only 5 minutes from the center of town.  Pérez Zeledón is the commercial hub of the southern zone and considered to be one of the best places to live in all of Costa Rica, the perfect size town, not too big and not too small.  The beach is 45 minutes to the west and a short drive to the cool mountains is to the east. In between, this large valley has a moderate climate.  Pérez has plenty of modern goods and services, an excellent farmers market, private schools, private doctors and clinics, all you need without having to go to the crazy madness of San José.    Just reduced to $239,000.  Call  Jeff: 8824-8113 or 8725-8176.  Email:

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 it’s spacious, open feeling with a natural stone fireplace and imported Spanish tile floors. $365,000.   Property: 22,000 m2 or 5.5 acres. Construction: 4,500 sq. ft. including porches and garage. 3 nedrooms, 2 baths, full dining room, separate office. Custom wrought iron gates, custom exotic wood cabinets, high-end stainless steel appliances, Granite countertops.    Slide show at   
For more information contact:

Costa Rica Villas For Sale
*In 2009 this property appraisal for $240,000  (two hundred forty thousand).
*Located in Paraiso, Cartago, Costa Rica.
*We spent over $70,000 in renovating the villa.
*The first floor has renters with a year lease. They pay $200 a month.
*Health reasons need to return to the U.S.A.
*One of Costa Rica famous waterfalls, 100 yards in front of the villa.
*I'll sell this property for $189,000.
*Visit my Web site
Contact in Costa Rica:  Cray phone (506) 8977-2777
Contact in USA: Billy phone  001 (678) 576-5107

For sale: Titled beachfront lot 1/2 acre (1,750m2) near Jacó $89,000. Just one hour drive from San José.
Panoramic ocean view lot 1.25 acres (5,000m2) 25 minutes from Tamarindo  $25,000.
Panoramic ocean view lot  5,400 sq. ft. (500m2)  $6,500. Financing available.
For rent two-bedroom house  five minute walk to water $350 a month.
Call 6261-7932 Or email See this Web site:

Shangra la
Located in Jacó in the best and safest location possible, 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 birds and other animals. 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, Beautiful gardens with many fruit trees. Built in year 2005 to highest standard by German owner now 69 years old, who wants to downgrade. Room for two more apartments, plans approved. Only 6 minutes walk to the beach and or center of Jacó.  Price reduced for quick sale to $1,150.000 and still negotiable. All fittings and furniture included. Excellent quality and well maintained. Just upgraded and remodeled for $ 30,000. Owner financing available.  More photos on request HERE! Email:  Cell 8838-2081 or home 2643-2979.

Ringle resort
on one big lot in Esterillos Oeste, (Central Pacific)
Located on a breezy hill just 4 minutes walk to the beach, surf and tide-pools, only 20 minutes drive north to Jacó nightlife and shopping or south to the rural town of Parrita.

First, a 2-storey, 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1½-bathroom house with big kitchen and living room.  Full-width verandah with eating and sitting areas, overlooking lawn, pool and gazebo. Sitting balcony at upper, bedroom level.  Carport. and laundry. 

Second, a completely private single-storey. 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1-bathroom home with big back yard at a lower level on the same, big fully titled 1,100M2 lot.. Full security bars at all doors and windows, plus locking vehicle access and pedestrian gates at the street. In a very safe neighborhood, with private and natural surroundings

Well maintained, fully and tastefully furnished and equipped, hot water, local phone, cable TV/DVD and high speed wireless internet   The houses have been rented for both long-term and vacation for $100/$80 per day and $1,500/$1,200 per month respectively. See this place, you will love it! Then make an offer. E-mail or call (506) 8386-8825.  Rodney, asking $350,000.

Finca home
 Little piece of paradise near Santiago de Puriscal, Costa Rica.       

16 acres (approximately.)   Price: $599,000USD
We are selling our beautiful finca that has been in the family for 37 years. It is located 3 miles (5 k) northwest of Santiago de Puriscal in the village of Desamparaditos.  We are looking for a discriminating buyer who would appreciate the location, views, flora and fauna. Excellent for artists, writers and nature lovers. Fantastic birding. Very private but not isolated. For more  information: In the U.S.A. call the owners: Pete & Debbie Todd: 970 -221-1457 or 720-951-7928 or email In Costa Rica call: Ivo Henfling at Godutch Realty: 2289-5125/8834-4515

Jaco hotel

Beautiful beach hotel for sale.
Located at Jacó Beach, Costa Rica, Pacific Ocean.
Apartotel Costa Arenas is located just 5 minutes from the beach and 10 minutes from Jacó Downtown. The perfect place to rest in a cozy and familiar environment; surrounded by beautiful gardens. We have 11 fully equipped apartments. Also has swimming pool for adults and children and private parking 24 hours.  Retail value US$700,000.00   Contact:  
Carlos Díaz  Local CR Phone: (506) 2643-2085  
Email:   Web:

ARenal property
Location: Near Arenal        Price: $2.7 million
Size: 113 acres
Web site:

The farm is at the highest point on a stunning ridge bordered by pristine Costa Rican primary forest on all sides of the property, with active wildlife all throughout the area. On each of its gently rolling terraced lomas you get a glimpse of Volcán Arenal from a distance. This property has four different lagunas, a working organic farm and nursery, mature fruit trees, sheep corral, ideal for grazing horses with stunning views from all the hillsides. The Northern Zone of Costa Rica is the country's best kept secret, providing a perfect home base location to travel the country's many destinations while still maintaining the best climate at 400 meters above sea level.

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

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Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, June 10, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 113
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News from the BBC up to the minute

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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Chinese economic fugitive seeks asylum

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

China’s most wanted economic fugitive, Yang Xiuzhu, received her first deportation hearing Tuesday in U.S. immigration court in New York. Ms. Yang’s lawyer indirectly confirmed she is seeking asylum, while her court documents also indicated her case has turned from a deportation case into an asylum case.

The 30-minute hearing was conducted behind closed doors in response to Ms. Yang’s privacy waiver request, but she could be seen sitting in the courtroom in an orange prison jumpsuit next to her lawyer, Vlad Kuzming.

Ms. Yang entered the courtroom for detained illegal immigrants on Varick Street in downtown Manhattan. When Kuzming arrived, he was asked by a reporter if Ms. Yang was seeking relief from removal to China or asylum from deportation. He answered, “I think so.”

Ms. Yang was taken back after the hearing to the correctional facility in Hudson County, New Jersey, where she has been held since last year.

According to court records, Judge Thomas Mulligan heard 10 cases Tuesday, including Ms. Yang’s case, which was noted with signs for “Expedite” and “Asylum Only.”

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a Department of Homeland Security agency, last month accused Ms. Yang of violating the terms of the Visa Waiver Program and asked the immigration court to deport her to China.

Ms. Yang is wanted for alleged embezzlement of more than $40 million while she was the former deputy mayor and construction bureau official of Wenzhou City in Zhejiang province.

Chinese state media reported that Chinese authorities got hold of and provided U.S. customs officials with details of Ms. Yang’s travel plans last year. Ms. Yang was detained last June as she was entering the U.S. from Canada using a fake Dutch passport. However, U.S. authorities have not released the exact circumstances of her detention.

China and the U.S. do not have a formal extradition treaty, but The Wall Street Journal saw Ms. Yang’s case as the latest sign of cooperation between law enforcement authorities in the two countries.

The Chinese government placed Ms. Yang at the top of a list of 100 economic fugitives in April as part of a recent anti-corruption campaign by President Xi Jinping's administration. Over a third of the people on the list were said to be suspected of being in or transiting through the U.S.

Major bank will cut 50,000 jobs

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

One of the world's largest banks, HSBC, is planning to cut up to 50,000 employees, place more focus on Asia, overhaul its global operations, and perhaps move its headquarters out of London.

The job cuts affect about 19 percent of the staff over the next two years.  Half of those cuts will come from selling operations in Turkey and Brazil, though the bank will maintain a presence in Brazil to service business customers.  HSBC's staff in the U.K. also faces thousands of jobs cuts. 

The firm sold its holdings in Costa Rica several years ago.

The overhaul will also reduce the global banking and markets division.  HSBC operates in more than 70 nations with over 6,000 branches, has tens of millions of customers, and assets of more than $2.6 trillion.

HSBC Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver says the current return on investment is unacceptable.  In a briefing for investors, he said the changes are intended to make the business more profitable by cutting costs by billions of dollars and expanding operations in China and other parts of Asia to take advantage of relatively strong economic growth in those areas. 

Gulliver also says HSBC is expanding its asset management and insurance operations in China and is well positioned to benefit from growing global trade. 

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From Page 7:

Rating agency to consider cyber attack risks

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Cyber attacks are a fast-emerging risk for companies around the world, according to a report from the Standard & Poor’s rating agency.  The report, published Tuesday, says global losses may run as high as $400 billion per year, while other researchers say the problem is quickly worsening. 

S&P experts say criminals target all kinds of companies, such as retailer Home Depot, banks like JPMorgan Chase and health insurers including Anthem.  Some hackers are trying to steal money or trade secrets. Others seek sensitive personal information that they might be able to sell to other thieves.

S&P says it evaluates how management handles all risks, including this complex and growing one as it determines credit ratings.

The report says cyber attacks can disrupt business operations, hurt a company's reputation or prompt lawsuits from customers who have had their personal information stolen.

The rating agency says some insurance companies offer protection for financial losses due to cyber attacks, but that the field is so fluid and unpredictable that insurers are having difficulty judging how to evaluate risk and price their products.