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Published  Friday, June 17, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 119
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Proposal would dedicate legislative seats for natives
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Lawmakers will be asked to expand their number to include two seats reserved for members of the country’s native communities.

That proposal came from Patricia Mora of Frente Amplio, who noted that other countries have similar reserved legislative seats.

The proposal comes at time when Costa Rica is marking the approval of a declaration of the rights of native peoples in the Americas. Foreign Minister Manuel A. González Sanz was at the Organization of American States session this week in Santo Domingo when the General Assembly approved by acclamation the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Héctor Huertas of the Guna people in Panamá stressed at the meeting that the declaration introduces a new framework for relations between states and native peoples, including greater respect for their human rights and their consideration on topics such as sustainable development. The lawyer has been promoting the pact for nearly 20 years.

The declaration includes a statement of prior consent, which compels states to inform native peoples about infrastructure and development projects before they start.

That has been an issue in Costa Rica where the government already is required to consult with native groups on such developments as hydro projects. But this requirement is not always met.

Since the 1970s, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has maintained that for historical reasons and moral and humanitarian principles, states have a sacred commitment to provide indigenous peoples with special protection.

In 1990, the commission created the Office of the Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to assist those peoples who are particularly exposed to human rights violations on account of their vulnerable situations and to strengthen the commission's
work in that area, said the hemispheric organization.
Colored spots show where the nation’s native reserves are located.

The declaration asserts that native people have the right of self-determination and that women have collective rights that are indispensable for their existence, well being, and comprehensive development as peoples.

The native groups have the right to autonomy or self-government in matters relating to their internal affairs, says the declaration, adding that they have the right to the lands, territories and resources that they have traditionally owned, occupied, used or acquired.

This is also an issue in Costa Rica where non-native individuals have acquired properties within established reserves.

The declaration said that native groups have the right to isolation, if that is their wish.

The declaration is based on a similar United Nations document.

Lawmaker Mora is seeking a constitutional change to provide two seats for members of the eight native groups in the Asamblea Legislativa.

That would bring the membership up to 59. She said election would come from votes cast in the 24 native reserves.

In a release she called the native peoples the población originaria, but who was first in the Americas still is an open question.

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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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Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo
Fuerza Pública had no trouble figuring out that this car was carrying a load in the rear seat despite tinted windows. The time was 2:30 a.m. in Limón. The load happened to be 244 kilos of marijuana, police said.  Curiously, there was no driver, police said.

Enamorate de tu Ciudad at four sites

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The culture ministry is bringing its Enamorate de tu Ciudad again this weekend to areas outside San José.

Events will be in Marcos de Tarrazú, Santa María de Dota, San Pablo de León Cortés and Paraíso de Cartago.

The two-day event will include games, dancing, theater, music, circus acts and exposition and sale of products and art works. The time is from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

The event has been popular in the capital, but the central government and the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud is working to bring more such activities to areas outside the Central Valley.

The ministry also is not forgetting that Sunday is Father’s Day. There are band concerts in Puntarenas and Guanacaste.

In Puntarenas the concert by the Banda de Conciertos de Puntarenas is at 4 p.m. today in Miramar.

The Banda de Conciertos de Guanacaste plans concerts today through Sunday at 6 p.m. In Liberia.

Lawmakers seek action for anti-gay signs

 By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A group of lawmakers is asking the nation’s chief prosecutor to investigate signs and demonstrations against the office of sexual diversity in Goicoechea.

The lawmakers, all members of the Partido Acción Ciudadana also said they would like the chief prosecutor, Jorge Chavarría, to advise them of any lapses in the nation’s laws that they could fill with new legislation to prosecute hate crimes.

The statement from the political party said that there were signs with threatening messages that were discriminatory against the gay and lesbian populations as well as the work done by the local government office.

The lawmakers are Marco Vinicio Redondo, Franklin Corella, Marcela Guerrero, Emilia Molina, Laura Garro and Epsy Campbell.

Adoption gone sour leads to arrests

 By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An effort at informal adoption has degenerated into a flurry of allegations and the detention of an Alajuela couple.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that the case started when a pregnant woman from Panamá advertised via the internet that she would give up her baby.

The couple detained Thursday responded and invited the woman to their home in Costa Rica where she stayed for about a month. The baby was born here, and then the new mother had reservations about surrendering her child.

Investigators say that the Alajuela couple took the child and bought the new mother a bus ticket back to Panamá where she decided to return to Costa Rica and seek official intervention to get back her child.

Agents said they encountered the baby when they entered the home of the couple in Barrio La Trinidad de Alajuela to make the arrests Thursday.

Dr. Biden to promote educational project

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Jill Biden, the wife of the U.S. vice president, will be visiting Costa Rica and the Universidad Técnico Nacional in Alajuela Sunday at 9:15 a.m.

Dr. Biden will be promoting the U.N. educational initiative to help young women bridge the gender gap in education, focusing on science and technology, engineering and the arts, as well as mathematics. She helped launch the program Tuesday at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization headquarters.

Mercedes Peñas Domingo, the wife of President Luis Guillermo Solís, also was there. She will be Central America’s coordinator for the TeachHer initiative.

News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, June 17, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 119
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Government officials say they are pleased with advance of five bills
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The central government is expressing pleasure because five bills have advanced in the legislature. But they are not the tax bills Casa Presidencial so desperately seeks.

Three of the bills address technical changes in pensions.

There also is a revision of anti-drug legislation that touches on
money laundering and financing of terrorism. This is No. 19.909. Another bill would reform certain sections of the
criminal code against illicit enrichment by public officials and public employees. This is No. 19.904.

Lawmakers have voted to bring these measures out of committee for discussion and possible action on the assembly floor.

Among the pension measures is one that eliminates the automatic annual increase in pensions for lawmakers who served before 1990. The law now gives them automatic annual raises of 30 percent.

Proposal would impose ethical restrictions on members of the legislature
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Most voters would frown on a lawmaker hiring a brother-in-law to serve on the personal staff. But there really is no legislative rule against this now.

So Marcela Guerrero Campos of the Partido Acción Ciudadana has presented revisions to the regulations of the Asamblea Legislativa that would prohibit hiring persons within four degrees of kinship.

And that is just the beginning.  The measure also would create an ethics committee for oversight.

Also required would be more access and publication of proposed laws and the agenda. The legislature does a good job of this now by posting minutes of the daily session on its Web site the same evening. But there sometimes is a delay in posting new legislative proposals.

The measure also would require reporting on legislative trips

inside and outside the country and well as keeping a list of staff members.

Lawmakers would face personal restrictions for which fines would be assessed for violations.

For example, they would be prohibited from using legislative automobiles for personal use and to transport persons unrelated to their job.

They also would not be permitted to use their position and title for personal benefit.

A lot of these seem obvious, but there are frequent news articles about violations, including the lawmaker who used her office to get a speedy renewal of her passport and sidestep a crowded immigration office. That became known because persons in line waiting for the same service recognized her and protested.

The new rules stem from a 2010 constitutional court ruling and a U.N. agreement against corruption.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, June 17, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 119
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Ancient African technique considered a major agricultural advance
By the University of Sussex news staff

A farming technique practiced for centuries by villagers in West Africa converts nutrient-poor rainforest soil into fertile farmland. The concept could be the answer to mitigating climate change and revolutionizing tropical farming.

A global study, led by the University of Sussex, which included anthropologists and soil scientists from Cornell, Accra, and Aarhus Universities and the Institute of Development Studies has for the first-time identified and analyzed rich fertile soils found in Liberia and Ghana.

They discovered that the ancient West African method of adding charcoal and kitchen waste to highly weathered, nutrient poor, tropical soils can transform the land into enduringly fertile, carbon-rich black soils that the researchers dub African dark earths.

From analyzing 150 sites in northwest Liberia and 27 sites in Ghana researchers found that these highly fertile soils contain 200 to 300 percent more organic carbon than other soils and are capable of supporting far more intensive farming.

James Fairhead from the University of Sussex, who initiated the study, said: “Mimicking this ancient method has the potential to transform the lives of thousands of people living in some of the most poverty and hunger stricken regions in Africa.

“More work needs to be done but this simple, effective farming practice could be an answer to major global challenges such as developing climate smart agricultural systems which can feed growing populations and adapt to climate change.”

Similar soils created by Amazonian people in pre-Columbian eras have recently been discovered in South America. But the techniques people used to create these soils are unknown. Moreover, the activities which led to the creation of these soils were largely disrupted after the European conquest.

Encouragingly researchers in the West Africa study were able
University of Sussex/Victoria Frauisn
African dark earth and poor rain forest soil

to live within communities as they created their fertile soils. This enabled them to learn the techniques used by the women from the communities who disposed of ash, bones and other organic waste to create the African dark earths.

Dawit Solomon, the lead author from Cornell University, said: “What is most surprising is that in both Africa and in Amazonia, these two isolated indigenous communities living far apart in distance and time were able to achieve something that the modern-day agricultural management practices could not achieve until now.

“The discovery of this indigenous climate smart soil-management practice is extremely timely. This valuable strategy to improve soil fertility while also contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation in Africa could become an important component of the global climate smart agricultural management strategy to achieve food security.”

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See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, June 17, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 119
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British exit campaigns halted
after lawmaker is murdered

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The shooting death of a British member of Parliament a week before Britain votes on a hotly debated referendum on whether to quit the European Union stunned a country where gun attacks are rare and political violence is almost unheard of.

Some witnesses say the alleged killer yelled "Britain first" as he shot, stabbed and kicked Jo Cox, a junior Labour member of Parliament. The 41-year-old mother of two and former aid worker was known for her advocacy for Syrian refugees, her pro-immigrant stance and, most notably, her opposition to a British exit from the European Union.

She died after paramedics came to her rescue in her West Yorkshire district Thursday.

Police are investigating, and government officials were cautious not to qualify the killing Thursday as being politically motivated.

Police say they arrested one suspect and have not established a motive. They are not looking for any other suspects.

Britain's home secretary, Theresa May, said she would not comment on the case until the facts are fully established. She called the decision to suspend campaigning on the referendum "entirely appropriate."

Such violence involving a politician is very rare in Britain.

Both opponents and supporters of Britain leaving the EU suspended their campaigns Thursday. Analysts say the decision was necessary, especially given the heated nature of the debate in the final days.

The debate has been bitter, pitting British voters against one another on issues of immigration, sovereignty and trade.

"This debate on EU membership shouldn't be embroiled in a situation like this. This has no place in any civilized society, and for it to be misplaced, maybe, into the debate would distort the fabric of the debate and do the debate injustice," said Rory Broomfield, director of The Freedom Association, a London pressure group that favors leaving.

British Prime Minister David Cameron suspended campaigning in Gibraltar following the news of the attack on Cox. He called her death a tragedy, and described her as a committed and caring member of Parliament. Cameron said it was absolutely tragic and dreadful news.

Ms. Cox had been vocal in her support for remaining in the European Union, posting many articles online, many of them in favor of continued immigration, one of the biggest and most contentious issues in the debate. In a recent appeal on Twitter, she invited readers to see a video on "why our great, proud nation should lead Europe — not leave Europe."

Honk Kong bookseller says
Chinese agents snatched him

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

One of five Hong Kong booksellers who went missing under mysterious circumstances last year spoke out Thursday, saying he had been detained for more than eight months by Beijing officials and that another of the five had been abducted from Hong Kong.

Lam Wing-kee, whose bookstore sold gossipy books about China's political leadership, told a news conference that his colleague, Lee Bo, who went missing from Hong Kong, had been abducted in cross-border enforcement actions by mainland Chinese police, who were out of their jurisdiction when they conducted the raid.

Lam, who was detained by Chinese police for more than eight months and returned to Hong Kong early Tuesday, discussed his ordeal at the Hong Kong Legislative Council, where he was accompanied by councilor Albert Ho, chairman of the China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group.

Lam said he was detained at customs Oct. 24 while on his way to visit friends in mainland China, when about 10 Chinese security officials took him to a scrap yard in Shenzhen, where they confiscated his ID and other documents.

He was later taken to a police station and held overnight. The abductors gave him food, but refused to answer his question as to why he was detained.

The next morning he was taken by train to Ningbo, a city to the north in China's Zhejiang Province. During the 13-hour train ride, he was forced to wear dark goggles and a cap, presumably to obscure both his eyesight and identity.

Shortly after arriving in Ningbo, the goggles finally removed, he found himself in a dingy padded room on the second floor of a large building, where he was physically examined, asked to change clothes, and forced to sign a document promising to forfeit contact with family and waive the right to hire an attorney. After that, Lam said, he was watched day and night by six rotating pairs of guards.

Lam said he was interrogated at least 30 times in that building, during which he told his captors that he ran a decent bookstore that abided Hong Kong law. The Chinese police, however, accused him of violating domestic law by sending or delivering the banned books to customers on the mainland.

According to Lam, he was released in March this year but was not allowed to leave a specified area. Chinese officials finally allowed him to go home on the condition that he return to the bookstore to secure a hard drive containing buyer information and hand it over.

While detained, Lam said Chinese authorities asked him to identify buyers, but he refused, saying he didn’t want to betray them. Lam also said Chinese police claimed to have information on about five to six hundred readers and buyers, most of whom live in mainland China.”

Five other booksellers linked to Causeway Bay Books went missing late last year before surfacing in Chinese police custody. Lam was the fourth of the five to return to Hong Kong, and did so early Tuesday.

Intelligence expert predicts
more U.S. soft target attacks

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

In the wake of the Orlando mass shooting, the second deadliest act of terrorism in U.S. history, soft target attacks on places like the Florida nightclub where 49 people lost their lives Sunday may be a new normal, according to an expert with a private strategic intelligence firm.

Omar Mateen, the 29-year-old who opened fire at the gay nightclub Pulse, appeared to have had limited ties to Islamic State, said Scott Stewart, a counterterrorism expert at Austin, Texas-based Stratfor, in an interview.

The shooting, he added, seemed to fit into the terrorist group's larger strategy of encouraging lone wolf attacks for which it can claim responsibility after the fact. According to Stewart, the Orlando attack that also left 53 people wounded is a classic example of remote radicalization that has turned the face of terrorism into the new so-called leaderless resistance with reduced risk.

There are few, if any, warning signs: no command structure, no communication system, no secret plan or formal organization. Symbolic figures can encourage attacks without ordering them, protecting themselves from prosecution and making surveillance useless, said Stewart.

He said "we've seen several of these before" in Chattanooga, New York; Little Rock, Arkansas; Fort Hood,Texas; San Bernardino, California.

"And this is really our new normal in the United States," he added. "We are going to have these sorts of attacks against soft targets because most of these grassroots jihadists, whether they are individuals or operating in small cells, just don't have the professional trade craft to attack hard targets like before."

Remote radicalization exploits the growing global interconnectivity, its ability to move money, share information, and manipulate modern technology.

That, said Stewart, creates surveillance hurdles for security agencies forced to track ever-larger groups of possible plotters. 

The FBI is equally impeded by time constraints, Stewart pointed out.

Stratfor's analyst echoes many other anti-terrorism experts who say the solution perhaps lies in a cooperative effort between security agencies and the public, where citizens, if they see signs of terrorism, report it to local and state law enforcement.

Vote on terror watch list
and gun sales is promised

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Tina Meins talked to her father about terrorism and gun violence the weekend before he died.

"It sounds weird, but we really did that,” Ms. Meins said, smiling through tears as she recalled talking to her father about ways of preventing mass shootings, just days before he was one of 14 people killed in the San Bernardino, California, shooting last December.

The gunman who killed Meins’ father reportedly pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group shortly before the attack, just as the shooter did in the Orlando attack Sunday.

“I know exactly what those families were going through,” said Ms. Meins of the moment she heard the news. “The pain of knowing this was happening again in our country to so many families was too much to bear."

She thanked Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, and several other senators who participated in an almost 15-hour filibuster on the Senate floor, demanding legislative action on gun control at a press conference Thursday.

The 40 Democratic senators who participated in the filibuster ended up winning a promise that legislation would come up for a vote, following a week of partisan congressional battles over ways to prevent future attacks like Orlando.

House Republicans countered that their vote Thursday on the Countering Terrorist Radicalization Act would do far more to address the threat of homegrown terrorism. That act consisted of three bills that had already passed the House and were packaged together to be passed along to the Senate in the wake of the Orlando shooting.

Senate Democrats’ legislation seeks to enhance background checks on gun sales and prevent individuals on the terror watch list from purchasing firearms.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who sponsored one of those amendments, said she thinks the legislation can pass when it likely comes up for a vote next Tuesday. She said the Justice Department and the White House had called her to confirm their support for the bills.

White House spokesperson Eric Schultz said Thursday that Sen. Feinstein’s legislation “would make a substantive difference” but the president was “acutely aware of the political realities” involved in passing it.

Any legislation will first have to survive the partisan battles of the U.S. Congress, where the Orlando shooting has been framed in two very different ways: as a national security issue by Republicans and a gun control issue by Democrats.

Senator John McCain, a Republican from Arizona, initially told reporters Thursday that Obama was directly responsible for the shooting in Orlando because he allowed the growth of the Islamic State during his presidency. In a later tweet, he clarified his statements to say the president’s national security decisions led to the rise of the Islamic State.

A former Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas argued on the Senate floor Thursday afternoon that “this is not a gun control issue. This is a terrorism issue.”

"We saw a political show on the Senate floor. Democrat after Democrat standing on the floor, not incensed at ISIS, not incensed at radical terror, incensed that Americans have the right to keep and bear arms," Cruz said, using an acronym for the terror group. "This is a political distraction. This is political gamesmanship.”

Senate Democrats countered Republican framing of the issue as terrorism, arguing gun control legislation would be the best way to prevent future lone-wolf attacks.

“I think we’ve reached a tipping point,” Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts said at the news conference Thursday. “I think everyone realizes the terrorists that we need to fear are not on the streets of Mosul or Aleppo or Fallujah. They’re on the streets of the United States and they will have guns unless we pass tough laws.”

On the House side, where members battled over a similar legislative proposal for gun control after a moment of silence Monday night, the conversation ran along the same lines.

Many Second Amendment supporters have expressed concern that the legislation would ignore the due process of the law and limit the rights of law-abiding gun owners.

“Seizing firearms from individuals and their God-given right to defend themselves is not going to prevent horrific acts of terror,” Rep. Steve Russell, a Republican from Oklahoma, said in an interview Wednesday. He owns a small rifle-manufacturing business.

Russell said the Democratic effort to enact gun control in the wake of the Orlando shootings was “a knee-jerk reaction where people are wanting to get solutions that are not going to address the problems.”

U.S. Navy photo
The USS Boxer in a file photo

Simultaneous air strikes hit
targets in Syria and Iraq

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The United States on Thursday launched simultaneous strikes against Islamic State extremists from the Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf, marking the first time the U.S. military had bombed terrorist targets in Syria and Iraq from both bodies of water.

The USS Boxer amphibious assault carrier began conducting strikes from its location in the Gulf in concert with the strikes flown from the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman in the eastern Mediterranean, Navy Capt. Keith Moore, commodore of the USS Boxer Amphibious Ready Group, said from aboard the ship shortly after the strikes' completion.

"We're demonstrating the capability to launch at a time and a location of our choosing," Moore said.

Marine Col. Anthony Henderson, commanding officer of the ship's 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, said two of the ship's Marine AV-8B Harrier jump jets conducted strikes on Islamic State targets in northern Iraq. He said he was not yet authorized to release the results from those strikes.

The officers said they expect similar strike orders to come soon.

Two other amphibious carrier ships, the USS Essex and USS Kearsarge, carried out 90 strikes against the militant group before the Truman moved into the Mediterranean, according to a Navy official.

CIA director is pessimistic
on demise of the Islamic State

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Despite losing critical ground in Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State terror group has no intention of slowly fading away, and instead it has been shifting its focus to ensure it remains the world's top terror organization, according to a top U.S. intelligence official.

CIA Director John Brennan painted a bleak picture for lawmakers Thursday on the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, warning that even a considerably degraded Islamic State has the resilience, the manpower and the financial resources to strike at enemies both in the Middle East and in the West.

"Our efforts have not reduced the group's terrorism capability and global reach," Brennan said. "As the pressure mounts on ISIL, we judge that it will intensify its global terror campaign to maintain its dominance of the global terrorism agenda."

A key part of that effort will be additional attempts to strike at Western targets in the hopes of replicating the deadly plots that stung Paris and Brussels, as well as inspiring attacks like the shooting in Orlando, Florida, earlier this week.

"ISIL is training and attempting to deploy operatives," Brennan said, using an acronym for the group, and warning that its leadership in Iraq and Syria has a large cadre of Western fighters at its disposal for such infiltrations.

The CIA director underscored that even as the U.S. and its allies have managed to crack down on the travel of foreign fighters to join the Islamic State in places like Iraq and Syria, there are still plenty of avenues for fighters to return. He said likely options include joining the flow of refugees, taking advantage of smuggling routes and even sending terrorists back to the West using legitimate methods of travel.

Brennan's stark warning comes even as other U.S. officials have been touting progress against the Islamic State, saying the terror group is at its weakest point since rapidly advancing across Syria and Iraqi in 2014.

Military officials have also pointed to an Islamic State fighting force visibly on its heels in its self-declared caliphate, having lost 50 percent of the terrain it once held in Iraq and upwards of 20 percent of what it once controlled in Syria.

“There is no way you can look at ISIL today and look at the geographic territory they control, look at their leadership, look at their ability to communicate and judge they are in a better position today then they were a year ago,” Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook told reporters Thursday.

Trump says that terrorism
is central campaign issue

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A month ago, Democrats were fretting about the party unity challenges facing their presumptive nominee, Hillary Clinton.  Now Republicans are wringing their hands over their expected standard bearer, Donald Trump.

Trump complicated his own unity efforts this week with divisive comments in the wake of the mass shooting in Orlando, doubling down on his proposed Muslim ban and suggesting that President Barack Obama’s priorities were more with the terrorists than the American people.

Trump told a rally in Greensboro, North Carolina, that the Orlando tragedy has made the threat of terrorism a central issue in the campaign.  “We are not going to let people take advantage of us.  We are going to go to the movie theater.  We are going to go on airplanes.  We are going to lead our lives like we are supposed to lead our lives,” Trump told enthusiastic followers.

But Trump’s divisive rhetoric on Muslims and his attacks on Obama and Hillary Clinton have made some Republicans nervous, something Trump chose to address at a rally in Atlanta, Georgia.  “The Republicans, honestly folks, our leaders have to get tougher.  This is tough to do alone, but you know what?  I think I’m going to be forced to.”  Trump added his own message for Republican leaders seeking to put distance between themselves and the presumptive nominee:  “Don’t talk. Please be quiet.”

Trump’s comments in the wake of Orlando and previous controversial allegations of bias involving a federal judge of Mexican heritage have put Republican leaders in an awkward spot, including Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.  “We have plenty of issues, and my advice to our nominee would be to start talking about the issues that the American people care about and to start doing it now,” McConnell told reporters a few days ago. 

But when pressed to comment on Trump on Tuesday, McConnell curtly replied that he wouldn’t be commenting on the party’s presidential nominee this week.

Other Republicans have chosen to keep quiet, worried that any public defiance of Trump will anger his supporters and could spell political trouble for them. 

“If you repudiate Trump, you are going to alienate some specific portion of your Republican voting base, and you need them all in an election where you are going to have a headwind regardless,” said analyst Norman Ornstein with the American Enterprise Institute.  “If you support Trump, then you are stuck with his policy positions.” Ornstein spoke at an event hosted by the New America Foundation.

Trump’s continuing troubles have made his Republican opponents hopeful that they can block him at the party nominating convention in July.  “It’s sort of reignited this notion that we have to get somebody to step in at the convention and stop him from being president,” said conservative commentator Fred Barnes on a news show. He is editor of the Weekly Standard. 

Most analysts said that was still a long shot and that many Republicans would be loath to try to take the nomination away from Trump, fearing a grass roots backlash.

The controversy over Trump and his comments has also given an opening to his expected Democratic opponent in the general election, Hillary Clinton.

“A ban on Muslims would not have stopped this attack.  Neither would a wall.  So not one of Donald Trump’s reckless ideas would have saved a single life in Orlando,” Mrs. Clinton said at a campaign stop in Virginia Wednesday.  She added that “we need leadership, common sense and concrete plans because we are facing a brutal enemy.”

Obama lent his voice to the anti-Trump effort with a verbal broadside blasting Trump’s proposed Muslim ban earlier this week.  The president said Trump’s comments in the wake of Orlando were dangerous and that the Muslim ban would undermine U.S. efforts to secure the support of moderate Muslims around the world.
Real estate-related services (paid category)
Container homes
New shipping containers for sale:
20 ft. (model year 2015) Containers:  $3,500
40 ft. HQ (model year 2015) Containers: $5,000
We also have a 40-ft. HQ Shipping Container Home
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And a 40-ft HQ Reefer basic home model: $12,000.
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Our Web site is
Browse timeshares for sale and rent by owner in Costa Rica at bargain prices. We connect existing timeshare owners with those looking to buy or rent a timeshare on the resale market. Timeshares on the resale market are up to 50% cheaper than those sold through the resort. Buy, sell or rent a timeshare at 

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or 506-8314-8090


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If you are looking for information on condos, homes, lots, commercial real estate or development properties our award-winning team of professional agents are ready to help you buying property in Costa Rica. We have over 18 years of experience to educate our buyers in all aspects of purchasing property. Call us or email us today for more information on how to purchase that perfect piece of Costa Rica Real Estate.

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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 sCosta 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:

Axiom one

Sierra Collection. Meridian House or Chateau Montage.
Near Parque Nacional Marino Ballena,
Pacific Coast. 
For more i

Axiom two
The Terraces at San Martin.  Discover the essence of Costa Rica on our Luxury Ocean View Villas . Near Dominicalito Beach and Parque Nacional Marino Ballena.
For more information
Click HERE!

Axiom three
Ellan At Ballena Beach.  Welcome to a world of endless adventure on our beachside condominiums at Ballena Beach, Pacific Coast.  For more information click  HERE!
We will be happy to give all the information you need. Contact:

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Rich Coast
Costa Rica Real Estate
    2.47 acre ocean view property w/ 2 houses & 2 unfinished apartments $249k!!!
    2 houses and pool furnished, great rental potential walk to the beach $327k w/ owner financing
    2-bedroom furnished condo 400 feet from Jacó beach $179,000

and lots of other great properties! Property listings in Escazú, Herradura, Jacó, Manuel Antonio, Dominical and beyond. We offer efficient, personalized service always protecting our client’s interests. Contact us today with your questions about buying property in Costa Rica. With 11 years experience in Costa Rica real estate.

Have a Property For Sale? Contact Us!
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Real estate for sale (paid category)

San Rmon
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 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed,  Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: 
Check out slide show HERE!

Jacó Beach - Super Views - Priced Right
This is a 3-bedroom, 1-bath home located at about 100-foot elevation one mile from the beach.  Remodeled 2 years ago. Everything is new including total new kitchen, windows, floors, AC units, electric, plumbing, etc.  Super fenced yard for dogs.  Very low electric bill even with the AC.  This is a zero lot line property but with room to expand up and out.  Very secure & private.  Police chief next door. $149,900.  Call Glenn at 506 6214-0056.

Costa Rica penthouse for sale
 5 -story penthouse for sale.  One of a kind penthouse on top of the Corobici Hotel in Sabana overlooking the Central Park and new Soccer Stadium in San José.  Excellent location provides you easy access to everywhere.  Other benefits include 24-hour security, 2 restaurants inside the hotel providing 1st class room service plus shared common areas in the hotel. Commercial license is in place. Seller will consider owner financing.  Asking $895K U.S.  Go to  Owners U.S. cell phone: 813 310-7402  Email

House for Sale in Escazu Downtown
Condo near downtown Escazú Centro, Country Day School and Paco Shopping Center. 2 floors, 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. Maid's quarters, patio, 24-hour guard,   clubhouse and pool  Price $170,000 or best offer Call Lewis at 506 2288-2250 or 506 8828-6749.
Email: or

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

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


Luxury condominium apartments for sale in Escazú
The property located in Trejos Montealegre, has three apartments for sale. Excellent location, 400 meters east of Avenida Escazú, next to Village (new commercial and office project), Plaza Tempo, Wal-Mart, CIMA Hospital. To enter and exit Trejos Montealegre no need to pay toll. The condominium is few minutes from San José

♦ Apartment No. 1: 180 square meters, 3 bedrooms, cement walls, two floors, 1 utility room, 3 bathrooms, TV room, living room, kitchen with breakfast bar and island kitchen furniture, garage, electric gate.
♦ Apartment No. 2: 180. square meters,  3 bedrooms, cement walls, two floors, 1 utility room, 3 bathrooms, TV room, living room, kitchen with breakfast bar and island kitchen furniture, garage, electric gate.
♦ Apartment No. 3: This is the largest one. 250. square meters,  3 bedrooms, cement walls, two floors, 1 utility room, 3 bathrooms, living room, kitchen with breakfast bar  island kitchen furniture, 2 garages, electric gate. Total property measures 529 square meters.  Unique opportunity to buy it for $ 750,000 (Seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars).  For more information contact Adrian, cell phone  506-8598-9898  Email:

Pavo onr
FOR SALE - $270,000
Exceptional 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom, fully furnished luxury apartment for sale at the exclusive Terrazas de Escazú highrise complex in Escazú near La Paco Commerical Center.  Situated on the third floor, this apartment has an exceptional layout with stunning views of the Central Valley. 140 m2 bright and spacious floor plan with open sky terrace with 180-degree unobstructed view of the Escazú mountains and Central Valley.  One covered parking spot with additional guest parking available. HOA fee:  $250/month. Held in Costa Rica corporation for easy property transfer. Building features: 12-meter atrium with controlled access entrance to the building, surrounding landscaping, lower level pool, communal rooftop terrace and small rooftop gym. 24-hour security. Contact: José Granados in Costa Rica, phone 506- 6051-5249  email:
paco two

first image
B&B for sale in Costa Rica $650,000

I believe this is the finest area of Costa Rica in which to live and, with a lock on 80percent of all tourists visiting Costa Rica, to invest. There are birds and flowers of every description, terrific neighbors, incredible views, wonderful weather with a healthy climate, visits by sloth, deer, monkeys, a very good business that can expand and grow, if desired, or simply a beautiful place to live. Please look at my Web site and the guest reviews, the people's reaction to the property, and you'll see just what a wonderful opportunity this is

There is about 7,000 square meters of land included (over 1 3/4 acres) as well as another smaller home and an apartment above the carport, designed as maid's quarters but usually rented out to tourists. The rear of the property is bordered by a small and very clean spring-fed creek/river. Across the river there is jungle, which makes for a great deal of all around privacy and which will never be developed. Restaurants, a supermarket, services, and many natural attractions are just a short distance away. The property was appraised at over $1.7 million (US) a few years ago, which might indicate what an incredible bargain this is.

It can also include a franchise for Best Western Hotel, if interested in growing with the tourism business, and a small hobby farm bordering Arenal National Park with spectacular views of Lake Arenal, is also available. All is available at an excellent price for the right person (people) and a package price can certainly be arranged. Email me at: For more photos and info click HERE!


Negotiable price. Thirty thousand seventy square meters. The house is seven hundred fifty squared meters, built three years ago. Five bedrooms plus servant's room with bathroom. Each bedroom includes private bathroom. Master's room includes Jacuzzi and hidromassage. Two main living rooms plus visitor's parlor and hall, two furnished kitchens, all ceramic. Nineteen rooms total counting three offices, eight-car garage. Has 220-volt current with three distribution panels. First-quality water plus well, decorated stone walls, recreational area, second house eighty squared meters, hot water systems, cable, telephone, light system throughout property, river, part forest..

For health situation, the owner make a INCREDIBLE DISCOUNT!!!!

ORIGINAL PRICE: $1.800.000    OFFER PRICE: $1.200.000
 For more information click HERE!
To see more photos click HERE!  To see house video click HERE!

English language contact:
Christian Arce
Phone: (506) 2494-0016
Cell phone: (506) 8309-0173

Spanish language contact:
Luis Gustavo Jiménez
Phone: (506) 2494-0016
Cell phone: (506) 8707-4016

Ocean View Property for Sale in San Ramón
1.5-acre lot with spectacular ocean views. Ready to build. Mild climate year round with an average temperature a cool 74 degrees. Spectacular panoramic views of
                                for sale
the ocean and port of Puntarenas during the day, breathtaking views of Esparza at night. Fully titled and owned under a Costa Rican corporation. Price reduced to $45,000. Short-term owner financing available. For more info: Contact: Frank

Jacó beach unique home. First time offered
This house has never been listed.  It is a 3-bedroom, 1-bath home approx. 100 feet above sea level on the only hill in Jacó one mile to the beach.  Totally remodeled to a Gringo house.Has great fenced yard for dogs and a huge screened porch with  great views all around, including a small ocean view.  New in the last two years includes: new kitchen with granite counter, cedar cabinets, all new windows, tile, water system, updated electric & plumbing, superb new AC units (low electric bill), This is half of a duplex with a platted yard.  Other side is the chief of police.  Secure & private.  $169.900. Call Glenn at 506-6214-0056 or

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.
Toll free US phone 877-778-8515
In Costa Rica 8307-0164

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, June 17, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 119
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Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute photo
Mangroves are flooded twice a day by the tides.

Mangrove study provides a baseline

By the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute news staff

As deforestation erases the thin, green line of mangrove forests along tropical shores, a new study looks to the past to provide conservation lessons for this essential ecosystem. Scientists from Colombia’s Talking Oceans Foundation, the University of York, and the Smithsonian in Panamá document mangrove use and decline through the ages along the Pacific coastline of Costa Rica, Panamá, Colombia and Ecuador.

Since the colonial era, particularly in the 20th century, deforestation for timber, shrimp aquaculture or beachfront development has vastly reduced mangrove forest cover in the region. The new study, published in Forest Ecology and Management, creates a baseline for remaining forest area in the region, which can provide data for regional initiatives to protect this vital, shared ecosystem.

“Mangroves are nurseries for important food fish species, including six species of snook, seven species of snappers, over twenty species of corvinas, and numerous catfish,” says coauthor Richard Cooke, senior staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

Archeological and ethnological evidence suggests that there was an ancient and robust pre-Colombian trade in Pacific estuarine fishes, which were likely mass-captured, salted, dried in the sun and transported as far as 13 to 60 kilometers inland. Archeologists can infer this by comparing fish species composition and other cultural data in ancient kitchen trash heaps with data on modern fish trapping and preparation methods, Cooke explained.

“Mangroves also form important barriers against storm surges and floods, and huge drainage channels that prevent silting, flooding and malodorous waters when the sewage system fails,” he adds. These ecosystem services have long been overlooked.

Lead author Juliana López-Angarita, a doctoral student at University of York, says that attitudes toward mangrove forests changed since the 1990s as people learned more about their importance. “We were able to highlight important successes and failures of national policies and protection schemes in the four countries, to guide future policy that strengthens mangrove conservation and associated livelihoods,” she says.

The study suggests that since monitoring began, Panamá has lost the greatest amount of its mangroves (about 68 percent), followed by Ecuador and Colombia. Costa Rica, despite having the smallest mangrove area (39,000 hectares), still has the largest area of intact mangroves under protection, around 59 percent. Panamá protects about 43 percent of roughly 154,000 hectares of mangrove forest. Colombia protects less than 24 percent of its 214,000 hectares.

The researchers found that although mangrove management plans vary regionally from absolute no-take policies to mixed-use and limited take arrangements, policy does not always translate to on-the-ground oversight and protection. Challenges to protection include limited personnel or financial resources, political will, as well as illegal harvesting or wetland buyout by private entities.
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From Page 7:

Caja cites enormous independent workers debt

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Talk about a collection problem. The national health service reported this week that independent workers owe the institution 138 billion colons, about $260 million.

The Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social has a special category for the self-employed that includes real estate brokers, small business people, door-to-door salespeople, crafts people and similar. These are the self-employed, who still are required to affiliate with the Caja. They are called trabajadores independientes.

The Caja said there are 144,309 persons in this category who are behind in their payments. That represents 45 percent of independent workers, it said.
The Caja also said that the percentage has spiked recently. Luis Diego Calderón, director of collections, was quoted in a release saying that those individuals who are behind in payments face fines and interest charges but that the Caja is willing to work with them to eliminate the debt.