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Published Thursday Edition
June 22, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 123
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Fourth of July celebration is on with a new style
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Fourth of July celebration in Costa Rica is on, just with a different face to it.

That is what the American Colony Committee of Costa Rica, the organizers for the official event, confirmed to A.M. Costa Rica Wednesday. Some expats can now mark their calendars and schedule ahead of time to head to Escazú for the annual Independence Day celebration.

Unlike the previous celebrations, however, this one is not going to be the usual picnic, according to Grace Woodman, the president for the American Colony. The event will be modeled after the Boston Pops Festival with a patriotic twist in a Costa Rican location.

The event begins Tuesday July 4 around 4:30 p.m. and will go until about 7 p.m., Ms. Woodman said. Unlike the picnic, this popular expat tradition will be completely free and open to the public. Avenida Escazu, the large shopping center adjacent to Hospital CIMA along the Caldera highway, will be the location for the event.

Ms. Woodman said that some of the restaurants along the avenue promised the American Colony Committee that they would prepare a special, American-style cuisine in anticipation of the event. Expats and their Costa Rican friends who plan on attending should know that the special cuisine does not equal free cuisine.

The event will open with remarks from the U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica S. Fitzgerald Haney, Ms. Woodman confirmed to A.M. Costa Rica. Brief statements will follow his opener from representatives of the American Colony Committee.

The committee was founded back in 1961 as a non-profit organization dedicated to putting on a regular Independence Day celebration, according to the group’s website.

Around 5:15 p.m. the Heroes and Leaders parade will march up Avenida Escazú led by Uncle Sam himself.

Uncle Sam
American Colony Committee photo
Uncle Sam wants you there.

The U.S. Marine Corps veterans group as well as the local American Legion group will present the flag, organizers said. The parade begins and ends at a stage set up near the movie theater located by the avenue.

Following that, there will be the Stars and Stripes Show with a Patriotic Sing-A-Long with performances by: William and Jill Paer, Charlene Stewart, David Tucker, the Kin Rivera Jr. Band and Luciérnaga. 

And don’t worry. The annual fireworks show is also still scheduled for around 6:30 p.m., the group said in a statement.

People are welcome and actively encouraged to bring their friends of different nationalities to come out and experience one of the biggest summer celebrations on the United States calendar.

For those that may not know, Escazú is just outside San José on the southwest side of the capital. Ruta 27 is the closest and one of the more direct routes to access the municipality.

Interested expats or others can contact the American Colony about the event by calling: 2289-9197 or 8369-7992, organizers said.

                            the award
Gustavo Mata Twitter photo
Cmdr. Downs poses for a handshake with Gustavo Mata, head of public security.
U.S. Defense attaché honored by security ministry
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Wednesday afternoon saw the Costa Rican security ministry hand out an award to the U.S. Defense Department’s attaché to the embassy.

His name is Commander Brady Downs, a former Marine Corps officer and current member of the United States Coast Guard. In a ceremony attended by the heads of the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública and the Guardacostas, Cdr. Downs received the highest award that the Guardacostas can offer to a foreign national. The representative’s record is extensive based on material provided by the U.S. Embassy.

Cdr. Downs began his military career with the U.S. 7th Marine Expeditionary Brigade from 1986 to 1989. He later began his life as a career officer in the Coast Guard beginning in 1990. Downs was stationed in New York City at the time of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. He had also served as a member of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Presidential Ceremonial Honor Guard as the officer in charge.

At the time of his service in New York, he spearheaded the development of the first Homeland Security Division for Coast Guard Activities in the state. His work eventually led him to Washington D.C. as a liaison, team leader, program manager and developer in multiple roles in relation to port and maritime security for the country, the embassy statement said.

For these actions, Cdr. Downs received the “the Meritorious Service Medal, USCG Commendations Medals, USCG Achievement Medals, the DOT 9-11 Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medals, & the National Defense Service Medal,” the U.S. Embassy said.

Commander Downs
U.S. Embassy photo
Commander Brady Downs.

Downs began his career in Costa Rica in the embassy’s Office of Defense Representative around three years ago, according to Evelyn Ardon, information specialist attached to the embassy.

A member of the U.S. Coast Guard always occupies this position due to the nature of the Costa Rican security structure including no military forces, she said.

The defense attaché acts as a diplomatic national security advisor to the U.S. Ambassador on all military matters and is the primary military representative to the Southern Combatant Commander with the Dept. of Defense.

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One of the six suspects being arrested by SERT.

Group arrested on multiple homicides

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Agents of the Judicial Investigating Organization arrested six people on suspicion of committing multiple homicides.

Through the investigation, judicial agents believe that the suspects, five men and one woman, were linked in at least nine murders occurring between August 2015 and December 2016. According to a preliminary report, the first murder occurred on Aug. 20, 2015, when three men were found dead in a house known as La Giralda. That incident occurred in Desamparados de Alajuela, agents said.

Another string of homicides suspected of being connected with the group were a further three bodies were found buried in Rancho Redondo de Goicoechea back in October 2015. The bodies were riddled with gunshot wounds. Two more were also found dead in the mountains of San Francisco de Coronado in April 2016. The latest murder victim in relation to this case was another man found shot and killed in El Rodeo in December 2016.

Investigators believe that the group contacted the victims, who sold cocaine and other narcotics, offering to buy the drugs at a good price. When the victims reached San José, they met with the alleged buyers and went to the Coronado sector, agents said. It is there that the dealers had their drugs stolen and were murdered outright.

Suspects were arrested early Wednesday morning by the Judicial Investigating Organization in Alajuela along with the Servicio Especial de Respuesta Táctica who raided six homes across the country at Paso Canoas, Río Claro in Golfito, Playrita Sur de Parrita, Pavas and Guadelupe.

The raid yielded four firearms, bulletproof vest, cell phones and ammunition for an AK-47, officials said. A judicial report did not mention any drugs found on the suspects or during the raids.

Ruta 32 marking
Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes photo        
The marking on Ruta 32 continues.

Ruta 32 marking continues today

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The draining ditch work is done for Ruta 32 near the Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo but the line painting is expected to continue today and Friday, according to the public works ministry.

From 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., the road will be totally closed to both sides of traffic between the crossing at the Río Frío and the toll station in Heredia, the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes said. Officials said that if there is any sign of inclement weather then the road will be opened up to traffic immediately. The investment for this painting is around 140 million colons, public works said in a statement.

Drivers who need to use Ruta 32 should consider using an alternative route.

Over 3,000 refugee apps still pending

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

As of May, 3,519 refugee applications are still pending a resolution, the Defensoría de los Habitantes said Tuesday during the celebration of International Refugees Day.

The Defensoría de los Habitantes is the country's ombudsman office.

The organization said it is urgent to take  the required measures to ensure Costa Rica complies with its own law, which establishes a three months deadline to reach a resolution on each application.

At the same time, the Defensoría call for a timely issuance and renewal of documentation to those granted the refugee status. 

The refugee status study is under the responsibility of the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería. So far, it has temporarily hired a 15 people staff to deal with the requests and the paper work and thus, reduce the delays, according to Andrea Quesada, spokesperson of the Dirección.

The extra staff also assists by studying eligibility of requests and issuing technical recommendations and resolutions.

While Defensoría considered that effort as very important, it called for more substantial changes. One of them is the reform the law and decrease the costs of administrative procedures and fees that refugees must pay when they are granted their status and also when the must renew their documents.

On a statement, the Defensoría also pushed to reform the way the visa and refugee committees did. Also, another reform the Defensoría considers necessary has to do with the way the members of visa and refugee committees are designed.

The public organization considers the group should work in such a way that its resolutions are not solely based in the interests for the state but also take into consideration the international agreements in regards to a person’s human rights and a group’s protection.

“These people have been forced to leave their place of origin and it is their vulnerability that leads them to request their recognition as refugees,” said the Defensoría.  “ The country is obliged to give prompt response to the requests in order to guarantee ttheir life, freedom and personal integrity.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Costa Rica currently hosts 12,500 refugees. About 80 percent of them enter the country by the Paso Canoas border, next to Panamá.

Drug fight funds receive large increases

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Casa Presidencial announced the government will invest $9.7 million in fighting the drug trade and organized crime this year. Most of the money will be used to develop preventive strategies.

The hike in the budget is a result of the Inter-Institutional and Institutional Sectorial Strategy against Drug Trafficking and Organized Crime, led by the Presidents of the Supreme Powers.

From that amount, $2.9 million will be managed by the Instituto Costarricense de Drogas to support the police fight against drugs and organized crime. This figure doubles that of last year.

The remaining $6.8 million will finance drug use prevention programs as well as treatment for  addictions. For that purpose the money will be managed by Ministerio de Educación Pública, Instituto de Control de Drogas and the Instituto de Alcoholismo y Fármacodependencia.

"We remain committed to advance in the defense of national security and provide police officers  with better conditions," said President Luis Guillermo Solís.

Part of the money will be used to purchase eight pick-up trucks for the the Judicial Investigating Organization.

Last year, Costa Rica invested  $4,7 million for the same fight and prevention purposes, according to Casa Presidencial. Part of that money was used to buy 15 vehicles to the OIJ and invest more than $2 million in computing equipment for the Ministerio Público.

Other computing and communication equipment was provided to the  Policía de Control de Drogas along with motorcycles as well as radio devices delivered to the Dirección de Inteligencia y Seguridad Nacional.

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Translated into English

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Published || Thursday Edition, June 22, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 123
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The old man with two signs, the hotel and the train whistle
By Rommel Téllez of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Víctor Ramírez works with two signs in his hands. One of them tell the drivers to move forward because the train is far. The other one demands the train driver to keep quiet. Honking is not required in the absence of cars.

He works as an unofficial transit police officer in Barrio Otoya, San José. This is his job after eight years. At the time he was hired to control the noisy whistle of the train. A whistle that would awake guests as early as 5 a.m.

"We hired him to avoid so many crashes between the train and cars. They were very frequent," said Darren Rutherford, the general manager for the nearby Hotel La Amistad.

"Guests complained all the time because they were awakened really early in the morning and could not go back to sleep," said Marlene Torres, administrative assistant at La Amistad.

"The then-owner came up with this idea of putting them in charge and I can tell you it has worked."

Some train drivers do whistle anyway. These are the younger ones, explained Ramírez. The older ones trust him. They do as he commands.

The former proprietary contacted the health authorities to discuss the noise issue. They got nowhere and Víctor assumed his role.

A little later, another man was hired to help him out in another side of the railways.

He still works there but he will remain unknown. He had left by the time Víctor was interviewed.

"The morning rush is the hardest," said Ramírez."Later cars are less but the temperature is higher. Other times, it rains."

Victor Ramirez
A.M. Costa Rica photo/Rommel Téllez    
Ramírez poses at the railroad crossing with his signs.

He works from 5 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. from Monday to Saturday. Some Sundays and some afternoons he manages a parking lot right behind the rails.

"Víctor Ramírez," he shouts before leaving. The signs, his tools are safely kept stored in there. It is a sunny morning when his shift finishes. He walks home with the vest still on.

Audiotopía celebrates 300 episodes of passionate music coverage
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Friday marks the 300th episode for Audiotopía on Radio Nacional 101.5 FM.

The program is known for hosting and playing some of Costa Rica’s best artists in the country. For the members of the Audiotopía, their reasons for doing what they do each day are varied but are united in a common passion for music.

With Walter Ferguson, it was the music that he grew up with in his house at Cahuita in Limón. With Maul, it was motivated by a desire to create his own production company and for Enrique Castillo, to support the local rap community.

“The daily stories behind the life and music of hundreds of music artists are the raw material of the talk show Audiotopía: Expedición sonora,” a statement from Casa Presidencial said.

“In this daily program of Radio Nacional de Costa Rica, Randall Zúñiga, the station’s programming manager, ventures into the immensity of the creation and sound investigation of the country, with human interviews going in depth beyond the musical genres.”

The program is diverse with different projects like alternative rock 11:11, solo artists in the popp scene, the legendary bands of punk, bolero criollo and electronica.

That diversity has been key to the program’s dissemination of Costa Rican music in all its forms, Casa Presidencial said.
All the episodes of the program are available following the live broadcast on the site’s Facebook page and the podcast is available for listening and downloading.
Audiotopía crew
Casa Presidencial photo
The faces behind the voices for Audiotopía.

The program is broadcasted Monday thru Friday at 10 p.m. on 101.5 FM.

According to the official site for Radio Nacional, the station was founded back in 1978. The radio program is part of the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud. It has three frequencies it broadcasts on: 101.5 FM, 88.1 FM and 590 AM in addition to two online stations.

“Radio Nacional goes on air with national music programs, until it reaches a structured, varied, educational-cultural, very Costa Rican, dynamic programming,” the radio’s website said.

“With live programs, with constant listener participation, programs based on well-documented librettos and of colloquial reading.”

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Published || Thursday Edition, June 22, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 123
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Penn State students conduct environmental research in Costa Rica
By the Pennsylvania State University press staff

A blue Razzle sparked the one and only disagreement between Marla Stoner and Alyssa Hatter, best friends since the age of eight, when Ms. Stoner gave the tasty candy to another third grader. Ms. Hatter said she recovered from the childhood slight within an hour.

Now students at Penn State Schuylkill, Ms. Hatter and Ms. Stoner, along with classmate Casey Gregory, all biology majors and rising juniors in the fall, embarked on a trip to Costa Rica in May through the University’s CHANCE, or Connecting Humans through Nature and Conservation Experiences, program. All the students agreed that the bus ride from San José was a bit bumpy with insane traffic. A trip that took four hours in what should have been an hour and a half drive.

But the trip soon grew more interesting. “We spent four days of our trip exploring the country through extracurricular activities and five days working on a project paired with a scientist,” Ms. Stoner said.

A few students from Penn State Schuylkill joined the Penn State CHANCE team in Costa Rica, conducting research and gathering some incredible images along the way.

The students, housed at La Selva, a Costa Rica research station in a protected rainforest, were encouraged to maintain a life list log to catalog the variety of living species in the tropical rainforest that they observed on a daily basis.

“I finally stopped recording entries in my journal as it seemed never ending, but the diversity of the lifeforms is very impressive,” Ms. Stoner noted.

Ms. Hatter and Ms. Stoner’s research focuses on bees on the Schuylkill campus. “The only bees we saw in Costa Rica were small orange-colored bees that did not sting; we liked that characteristic!" said Ms. Hatter.

“The first day we went on a hike and a boat ride that ran through the Sarapiqui River,” Hatter said. The next day they visited a coffee plantation and a pineapple plantation.

“The coffee plantation is really sustainable with every part of the coffee plant, including the coffee bean, being used,” Stoner said.

“The pineapple plantation was organic and they had tractor rides and offered free pineapple juice, fresh upside-down cake, empanadas and more,” she added.

Gregory‘s research team, under the faculty mentorship of Marcelo Araya, doctoral candidate, hypothesized that smaller birds have shorter unit durations and overall longer songs than larger birds that have larger unit durations and shorter songs.

“We used a big leaf parabola to record the songs of three species of male hummingbirds while courting female hummingbirds,” Gregory said.

He explained that the hummingbirds, tiny and dull in color, were territorial when in a lek, a traditional place where two or more males assemble during the mating season to attract females through competitive displays, including performing songs. The data gathered on the hummingbirds included frequency and wavelength of the sounds.

Suspension bridge crossing
Penn State University photo
Students cross over a suspension bridge in the jungle.

Ms. Stoner and Ms. Hatter’s team had mixed results. With rain boots over their leather boots, their team went deep into the forest to study disturbances to riparian forests near streams, rivers and flowing water. Riparian forests are protected by law and prevent pollution and erosion entering the waterways.

Twelve years ago the team’s faculty mentor, Amanda Wendt, the Organization for Tropical Studies Education and Research liaison at La Selva, conducted research that provided the team with baseline data. “We were charged with counting the seedlings and saplings of small woody plants,” Ms. Hatter explained. She added that the cacao had been cleared and had regenerated over time.

According to Ms. Stoner and Ms. Hatter, there was not a significant difference due to regrowth of the cacao, as the removal itself had resulted in more sunlight and optimal conditions to thrive.

However, when analyzing the data collected on seedlings and saplings based on flood conditions, they noted a significant difference in seedlings and saplings since the last count 12 years ago.

Ms. Stoner said that had her team worn Fitbits, they would have likely found out they walked about 15 miles per day. They felt well-prepared for this project as they similarly work in a physically demanding environment while conducting their bee research on the Schuylkill campus with Brenna Traver.

On the last day of the trip, the student research teams presented their findings and fielded questions from faculty mentors, research scientists and other students at a research symposium. They addressed not only their findings, but also how they might change the scope of their projects if they were to begin anew.

A variety of reptiles, sloths, wild boors, red-eyed frogs, bullet ants, peccaries and more were observed by the students. The students appreciated the opportunity to explore Costa Rica on this eye-opening adventure. Gregory said, “The trip made me realize that we need to conserve the rainforest now as there is so much life at stake.”

The trio agreed that they would return to Costa Rica in a heartbeat. All said they enjoyed learning about the culture, getting to know the students and teachers in the program, the beauty of the rainforest, and contributing to a more sustainable planet.

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Hidden Garden
Visit the Largest Gallery in Costa Rica
Featuring artistic expressions of Costa Rican culture, heritage and traditions, the Hidden Garden Art Gallery has been your source for fine art since 2010.  Here you will find 15 large rooms of art in a beautiful, tranquil setting, with more than 60 artists showcasing traditional and contemporary paintings, sculpture, photography and giclee prints.  Located just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR) towards the beaches. Stop in for a visit to enjoy the view!

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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, and Lifestyle Guide. Email :

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All our handcrafted products are made in Sarchi with pride and quality by artisans who are dedicated to designing, crafting, and delivering our furniture to you. Please visit our website and send us a picture and specifications of what YOU like, or just send us pictures from anywhere you wish. We will quote you right back with a more than competitive price and an on-time delivery date. Delivery and set up available throughout Costa Rica. We have different Costa Rican woods from which you may choose.
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ax Accountant Licensed by the I.R.S.
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Let’s discuss your tax situation.

The IRS has become more aggressive and if you have not filed, you must do so.  However, there are solutions to problems and your situation may be better than you think.

If your filing is not up to date, Streamlined Filing can be used with no penalties.  Including disclosure of foreign corporations to avoid serious problems.

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Spectacular rentals are available for low weekly prices on at resorts such as Bahia Turquesa Residences and Villas Sol Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. We have 
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A.M. Costa Rica's
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Salsa Lizano
Published || Thursday Edition, June 22, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 123
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U.S. takes MS-13 fight
to its home countries

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Justice Department is taking the fight against the Central American street gang known as MS-13 to its home turf: the so-called Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

With roots among war refugees from El Salvador in Los Angeles in the 1980s, MS-13, also known by its Spanish name Mara Salvatrucha, has morphed into one of the largest and most violent gangs in the United States, boasting an estimated 10,000 members.

But much of its leadership remains in El Salvador from where they plan and orchestrate some significant murders in the U.S., cases that local prosecutors are unable to investigate, according to Kenneth Blanco, assistant attorney general in charge of the department’s criminal division.

As part of its fight against the gang, the Justice Department’s criminal division coordinates with the Central American governments to gather leads and evidence for prosecuting gang members in the United States and to target others before they ever reach U.S. ports of entry, Blanco told a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on MS-13 Wednesday.

“The department’s ultimate goal is to dismantle the entire leadership structure of MS-13, including those members who reside overseas,” Blanco said.

The FBI-vetted foreign investigative units in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras probe MS-13 and other gang members as well as locals responsible for criminal activity in the United States, while another Justice Department unit sends attorneys overseas to combat gangs, cartels, financial crimes, public corruption and other transnational criminal activities, he said.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has called the gang one of the gravest threats to American safety, and in April told a television interviewer that it could be designated a terrorist organization.

Sessions later said he wasn’t certain whether the gang, the first street gang to be labeled a transnational criminal organization by the United States, meets the State Department’s standards to be designated as a terrorist organization.

The Justice Department’s focus on MS-13 as part of its new tough on crime approach has drawn criticism that the administration is using it as a pretext to crack down on undocumented immigrants.

Blanco said MS-13 actively recruits members among immigrant communities from the northern triangle, including youngsters and recently arrived unaccompanied minors.

In recent years, only a handful of unaccompanied minors arrested after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border have had gang roots. Of the nearly 250,000 unaccompanied minors from the Central American countries arrested since 2012, the majority of them between the ages of 14 and 17, only 160 were gang members, according to Carla Provost, the acting chief of the U.S. Border Patrol.

The number of Central American minors arrested at the U.S. Southwest border reached nearly 60,000 in fiscal year 2016, but it has plummeted this year as law enforcement has clamped down on illegal immigration. In May, the Border Patrol arrested 1,493 unaccompanied minors from Central America, down 73 percent from 5,594 in May 2016, according to Provost.

Last year, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement made 32,709 criminal arrests, including 4,606 arrests of transnational gang members such as MS-13, according to Derek Benner, acting executive associate director of ICE.

During the current fiscal year, ICE has deported 155,338 to 181 countries. Fifty-five percent of the deportees had criminal convictions, it says.

DIY Blood bank
Voice of America photo       
The DIY portable blood bank.

Walking blood bank could
save lives in remote areas

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A blood network in the Pacific Northwest has developed a kit for transfusions in remote places that it says take the banking out of blood banking.

A blood transfusion can often be the difference between life and death. Hospitals have stored blood on hand for people gravely injured in car accidents, and new mothers suffering from potentially fatal postpartum hemorrhaging. In areas far from hospitals and blood banks like battlefields combat medics have trained to do a procedure sometimes called a buddy transfusion. They rapidly collect and transfuse blood on scene after making a match between donor and patient.

Now the technique is bleeding over into the civilian world where it could save tens of thousands of lives every year.

Linda Barnes, chief operating officer at Bloodworks Northwest in Seattle, says the military was the model for what is, essentially, a walking blood bank. "Blood banking of stored blood certainly is not going away anytime soon. But in low resource settings, having banked blood available and the logistics and the refrigeration required simply isn't feasible in the near term."

Ms. Barnes has done a lot of international consulting about strengthening blood systems in places such as Ivory Coast, Kenya, Ukraine and the Caribbean islands. One thing from those trips that nagged her was how many patients in the developing world died each year for lack of blood, especially women giving birth. According to the World Health Organization, nearly 100,000 new mothers perish from profuse bleeding after childbirth each year.

Ms. Barnes and a colleague challenged themselves to build a simple, self-contained blood transfusion kit in a shoebox. The off-the-shelf components they assembled didn't quite fit into a shoebox, so the Bloodpak expanded to backpack size.

It contains everything caregivers at remote rural clinics need to collect and transfuse blood: from alcohol wipes and bandages to blood typing and disease testing test kits to sterile catheters and needles. There are enough supplies to collect blood from six donors.

No refrigeration is needed for any of this because the blood goes from the donor to the recipient in minutes. The Bloodpak comes with step-by-step guidance on an app that clinic workers can install on their smartphones. That app could also be used to send a mass text to registered villagers to come to their clinic to give blood in an emergency in theory.

Recently, Bloodworks Northwest demonstrated its prototype to a Seattle company called Remote Medical International. The fast-growing company supplies medical personnel and support for isolated work places. Clinical Operations Director Loreen Lock foresees a variety of applications for the BloodPak, in oil and gas exploration for example, or mining, construction and by military contractors.

One thing she brought up was informed consent and the advance legwork that might be needed to deploy this in a civilian setting.

Although it is not their primary market, Ms. Lock says there is undoubtedly great need in sub-Saharan Africa for a portable blood transfusion kit to address postpartum hemorrhaging.

Bloodworks Northwest just learned it is in line for a roughly $500,000 grant from the British foreign aid department. That will launch the next phase of product development: feasibility and acceptability testing at four rural clinics in western Kenya, beginning early next year.

Barnes estimated the Bloodpak would cost around $300 once in mass production. The company has identified clinics and partners for further field-testing in Nepal and Uganda. After the validation phase, she said Bloodworks Northwest would likely partner with a medical supply chain company to commercialize the portable transfusion kit.

Canadian charged in attack
at Michigan airport

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A Canadian national has been charged with stabbing a police officer at an airport in the midwestern state of Michigan Wednesday.

Federal prosecutors announced the charge against Amor Ftouhi of Quebec. He is charged with committing violence at an airport.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation's Detroit field director David Gelios said the agency believes Ftouhi is a lone wolf attacker who entered the country legally and then made his way to Flint, Michigan. He said the FBI is investigating the attack as an act of terrorism.

On Wednesday morning, Ftouhi stabbed Lt. Jeff Neville with a large knife uttering "Allahu Akbar,'' the Arabic phrase for "God is great.'' The FBI, which is leading the investigation, reported that Ftouhi said something along the lines of "You have killed people in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, and we are all going to die.''

Neville was in stable condition after initially being in critical condition following the stabbing at the main terminal of Bishop International Airport, a small regional airport in Flint, Michigan.

Airport officials posted a statement on Facebook saying that all passengers were safe. Flint Mayor Karen Weaver said in a release the situation is under control, but she urged officials to take extra precautions in light of the incident.

Democrats ponder moves
after GOP congress wins

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Donald Trump claimed hard-fought congressional victories Wednesday, intensifying an already difficult day of questions for Capitol Hill Democrats.

Republicans won two seats in the U.S. House late Tuesday, defeating Democrats in South Carolina and also in the most expensive U.S. House race in history, Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. The contests to fill those open seats increased Republican margins in Congress, while disappointing Democrats who saw the special elections as an early test for the Trump presidency.

Republican Karen Handel, a former state official, beat Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff by 3.8 points in the wealthy, educated suburbs of Georgia's 6th district. House Speaker Paul Ryan congratulated her on a hard earned and well-deserved victory, saying in a statement released Tuesday.

Democrats poured millions of dollars into the race, hoping to capitalize on Trump’s low approval ratings nationwide and his weak showing among district voters in the 2016 presidential election.

Since Trump became president, however, his party actually has won four special elections to fill seats vacated by Republicans leaving to serve in his administration or in other posts. A Democrat won the fifth election.

The president was on the mind of Democrats gathering for their weekly conference meeting Wednesday morning – but frustrated members made it clear they would find their own way forward after the disappointing losses.

“We are spending way too much time talking about Donald Trump and we’re being overwhelmed with our own anger toward him,” Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio told reporters. “We’re losing the ability to connect with voters on what the hell they think about every single day.”

Tim Ryan lost a challenge to longtime Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for leadership of House Democrats last fall. Ossoff faced a barrage of ads linking him with Pelosi, who often is criticized by Republicans for representing what they call extreme liberal points of view.

“I think it’s very concerning that that tactic still has some punch," Tim Ryan said of the challenges Ossoff faced, “It’s part of the broader national brand that average people don’t feel connected to the Democratic Party. Walk up the street and ask 10 people what the Democrats stand for, you’ll get 10 different answers. That’s no way to build a national party.”

The losses left many Democrats looking for a new way forward to mount an opposition to President Trump. But for now they said a different approach would rest on the party message: not Pelosi.

Some Democrats saw Ms. Handel’s failure to maintain the 23-point lead won by the district’s previous Republican winner, current Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, as a positive sign for the future. Intense Democratic grassroots efforts on the ground in Georgia likely made up some of that ground. Many Democrats hope to harness that energy during the 2018 midterms, when the entire House will be up for re-election.

Report says deaths, injuries
mounting in Ukraine conflict

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

With the conflict in Ukraine now in its fourth year casualties have mounted substantially in recent months, according to a new report by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Between mid-February and mid-May of this year, the period covered, U.N. investigators documented 193 conflict-related civilian casualties, including 36 deaths.

“This is a 48 percent increase over the last reporting period,” said High Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein in presenting an oral update on the human rights situation. Speaking to the U.N. Human Rights Council Wednesday, Zeid also said, “The majority of these casualties resulted from shelling, explosive devices and remnants of war.”

He noted that so far this year, there were 375 conflict-related civilian casualties, including 67 deaths and 308 injuries, a 74 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

“The number of civilian casualties caused by shelling has doubled,” he said. “These statistics speak to the changing nature of conflict: it is intensifying, with both sides very close to each other and heavy weapons, soldiers and members of armed groups frequently embedded in civilian areas or alongside civilian infrastructure.”

Since April 2014 when war erupted in eastern Ukraine between the government and Russian-backed separatists, the United Nations estimates around 10,000 people have been killed and more than 23,500 injured.

Serhiy Kyslytsya, Ukraine’s deputy minister for foreign affairs, concurred with the high commissioner’s assessment and the findings of the report, which noted continuous inflow of foreign fighters and supply of ammunition and heavy weaponry from the Russian Federation into parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine.

The warring parties' first effort to try to halt the war resulted in the so-called Minsk protocol signed in September 2014 by Ukraine, rebel forces in eastern Ukraine, Russia and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, or OSCE. This agreement and subsequent efforts to end the crisis have ended in failure.

The U.N. reports hospitals and schools in eastern Ukraine have been damaged by shelling. It said the Donetsk Filtration Station and the South Donbas first pumping station also were repeatedly damaged due to shelling, endangering safe water supply to more than one million people on both sides of the contact line.

Earlier this week, the U.N. Children’s Fund warned of serious repercussions for some 750,000 children cut off from safe drinking water.

“Why we are worried is because the children who are cut off from clean drinking water can quickly contract water-borne disease, such as diarrhea,” said Christophe Boulierac, UNICEF spokesman.

“Girls and boys having to fetch water from alternative sources or who are forced to leave their homes due to disruptions to safe water supplies face dangers from ongoing fighting and other forms of abuses,” he said.

Zeid found that both sides of this war were to blame for human rights violations. He noted that his staff has documented cases of unlawful and arbitrary detention on both sides of the contact line, coupled with abuse amounting to torture or ill-treatment.

He said that allegations indicate almost systematic use of torture and ill-treatment by the Security Service of Ukraine against conflict-related detainees for purposes of extracting confessions.

The high commissioner lambasted the human rights situation in Crimea, which Russia annexed in March of 2014. Zeid said the report documents worrisome cases of disregard of fair trial guarantees, notably in court decisions against Crimean Tatars.

“Several cases of grave ill-treatment of persons in detention were also documented, as well as the transfer of persons from Crimea to detention facilities in the Russian Federation.”

He said this was done in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

In response to the report, Russia voiced concerns about new cases of arbitrary and illegal detention, and the use of torture by Ukrainian security forces to obtain confessions in the Donbas region.

Natalia Zolotova, first secretary of the Russian mission, said her country deplored the lack of investigation on the crimes committed by Ukrainian authorities.

She stressed that Kiev was responsible for inhuman acts of discrimination by imposing a blockade on the Donbas region.

Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Kyslytsya said the only way that human rights in the Donbas region and Crimea will improve is through full consolidation of the international community and its constant political pressure on occupying state – the Russian Federation.

Saudi king elevates his son
to be the new crown prince

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Saudi Arabia's King Salman has promoted his 31-year-old son Mohammed bin Salman to crown prince, making him next in line to the throne while also serving as defense minister and overseeing an effort to overhaul the country's economy.

The move was announced Wednesday through decrees issued by the state-run SPA news agency.

The former crown prince and nephew of King Salman, Mohammed bin Nayef, was relieved of all of his positions including the role of interior minister, the decrees said.

Mohammed bin Salman, who had been the deputy crown prince, will also now be Saudi Arabia's deputy prime minister.

The 31-year-old has been in charge of the Saudi-led coalition fighting on behalf of Yemen's government in a war against Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

Saudi state media said Wednesday's changes were approved by 31 of the 34 members of the royal family who make up what is known as the Allegiance Council.

King Salman came to power in 2015 following the death of his half-brother, King Abdullah.

More news of the Americas
From the Voice of America

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Beautiful Home and Land for Sale

Atenas home
Atenas Best climate, best views. Top of the mountain, Nestled on a two acre coffee farm with tropical gardens and fruit trees. 1200 meters. 

This home has 3 bedrooms and 3 baths with outdoor bathtub in master bedroom, Solar hot water, well, pool, indoor courtyard with fountains, living room has a fireplace. All rooms have outside sitting areas.

Private and secluded, cannot be seen from the road.
SANCTUARY OF PEACE!!! Price $750k call for viewing. phone 506-8831-8086  Email

Costa Rica

Costa Rica Penthouse For Sale

 Enjoy the most spectacular views in the valley in this 5 -story Penthouse.  One of a kind property on top of the Corobici / Crowne Plaza 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 plus other businesses.  Large Living Room, Elevator goes directly inside Penthouse.  Private hot tub deck and Dance floor with Spectacular views!!!  All exterior walls are glass or have windows. Commercial license is in place.  Seller will consider owner financing.  Asking $695K U.S.  Also available for monthly rent for $3,500 per month on an annual basis.  This is a private condo residence and is Not associated with the Crowne Plaza Hotel.  

Go to  
U.S. contact: Carl Stratton, cell phone: 813 310-7402  Email
Costa Rica contact:  Dan Wise, phone numbers:  2232-4063 / 2232-8610  Email:

Costa Rica's first Realtor specialized
in eco properties, eco consulting and green living.

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   • Specialized in the Central and South Pacific.
   • Great network of Realtors, to find your dream
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Romantic Country Bungalow Click Here
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Telephone: +506 2637-6285
cell: +506 8825-6556  
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In front of Subway at Plaza Herradura, Jacó Green NAR designee, member of the CCBR, CRGAR

Rich Coast Realty
Rich Coast Realty
Real Estate and Construction in the Central Pacific
Three-bedroom furnished house in gated beach community, walk to the beach, $235k. Ocean View Property, can be subdivided into four view lots, 10 minutes from the beach. Only $40,000! Beachfront Lots from $35,000!Contact us with any questions you have about buying property in Costa Rica, Construction, Residency, etc.
12 years’ experience in Costa Rica Real Estate.

Have a Property For Sale? Contact Us!
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891

San Ramon home
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:  (please link that email)
Check out slide show HERE!

Santiago de Puriscal
A little piece of paradise near Santiago de Puriscal,
Costa Rica.

16 acres (approximately).  Price: $425,000 USD

We are selling our beautiful finca that has been in the family for 37 years. It is located 3 miles (5 km.) 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. Have surveyed plans for possible subdividing.

For more information:  In the U.S.A. call the owners: Pete & Debbie Todd: 970 -221-1457 or 970-581-4826 or email In Costa Rica call Liz Guegan at 506-7187-8577.
CODE: 9216-8/11/17

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

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

COLINAS DEL SOL Fenced Gated Lots for Sale

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

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

For more information Click Here:

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

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

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

Owner Financing in San Ramon
New Construction, and Ocean View 
Brand new home with 4-plus bedrooms and 3 baths all overlooking an incredible 180-degree view of the Pacific Ocean and mountains. Located only 45 minutes from the San Jose airport and about the same to the Pacific Ocean.  The lower level could be used as a separate apartment or mother-in-law setup. Home includes HUGE master  suite, CLOSETS, custom cabinets, granite counter tops, high wood ceilings, and all in an area that is 70-80 degrees year round. Priced at $199,000. Completion date is January.  See the Virtual Tour CLICK HERE or see our site here If you would like to take a look at this amazing house, please give me a call at  Costa Rica # 506-8755-6743 or if from the States call # 509-570-1928 or email 

Business for sale or lease (paid category)

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

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

Century 21

A Name You Trust,
Professionalism You Deserve

Tom Ghormley and the dream team!
in CR since 1979

Buying? Selling? Renting?
We Can Do It!
Let us help you live your dreams!
Beachfront, Views, Mountains,
Beaches, Houses, Condos,
Hotels, Restaurants, Projects,
Commercial, Investments and more

 Century 21 Jacó Beach Realty
Playa Jacó, Puntarenas, Costa Rica
U. S. A. phone numbers:  (213) 283-5168 
or Toll Free: (877) 746-3868
Costa Rica phone number: (506) 2643-3356

Tamarindo The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 20 years experience and the largest networked team of agents in the country.  We can help you learn if investing in Costa Rica is right for you with our low-key, educational approach to sales. Our professional agents can tell you more about Costa Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and & commercial real estate. Twelve (12) agents to serve you, from Playa Marbella to Playa Dante in the Guanacaste, through our Tamarindo and Flamingo offices. For more information, please contact our local phones: 506-2653-0073 Tamarindo / 506-2201-9056 Flamingo ~ Toll Free: 1-866-976-8898 or email:  or click here

Playas del Coco
We are an award-winning Team of Professional Agents working with Costa Rica’s #1 Selling Real Estate Agency RE/MAX Prestige Ocean Properties. Get to KNOW, LIKE & TRUST us and let us help you find YOUR Pura Vida! We have over 30 years of experience to educate our buyers and sellers in all aspects of Real Estate.  For Information on condos, homes, lots, farms, ranches, commercial or development property

Playas del Coco Click Here!

Playa Panama Click Here!

Playa Hermosa Click Here!
Peninsula Papagayo Click Here!

Playa Matapalo Click Here!
Toll Free 1-877-293-1456


Real estate-related services (paid category)

A-1 graphic
SMALL and LARGER jobs welcome !!!. We can build from any plan you bring us all work done by USA codes master electric and plumbing Better quality and lower prices than USA. We do it all Right  + Reasonable.
Call us: Toll Free 877-778-8515   
     Text from US: 804-313-6382 
     CR phone: 506-8307-0164
     For more info also see our sites: 

Costa Rica

Serving Atenas and Surroundings Areas

BUY NOW! Your solar hot water system, so in three months, we can calculate a lower install price for your PV system.  Perfect for homes and hotels. Save up to 40% of your electric bill. More Watts per Panel, Smarter and more Capable Enphase Micro Inverters mean Less Cost and more Flexibility for You.  Fully Guaranteed!

Office: 506-2446-0543
Andre 506-8314-8090
Paul 506-8898-9398



Browse timeshares for sale and rent by owner in Costa Rica at bargain prices. We connect existing timeshare owners with those looking to buy or rent a timeshare on the resale market. Timeshares on the resale market are up to 50% cheaper than those sold through the resort. Already own a timeshare and looking to sell? Stop saying “sell my timeshare” and let help you find a buyer or renter.

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Published || Thursday Edition, June 22, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 123
Real estate
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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

Servicio de Vigalanica Aérea photo        
Cruz Roja emergency worker attends to patient.

17 rescued this month by sky rescuers

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

So far, 17 people ranging from newborns to senior citizens were evacuated via an ambulance flight this month, according to a report from the public security ministry.

These medical evacuations were made from various indigenous communities of the country with the most recent one happening Wednesday morning at Cerro Pico Blanco in Telire de Limón to transfer a child less than two years old. According to the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública, the child apparently fell from a ladder at least six meters tall. It left him with trauma to his hands, legs and head, officials said.

The Servicio de Vigilancia Aérea transferred the child successfully to the Hospital Nacional de Niños. Many other emergency transfers occurred ranging to newborns in an incubator as well as a five-year old suffering from burns on his body. There were also a few adults who received snake bites, the ministry said.

“The medical authorities indicate that the use of aircraft is vital to save the lives of people who are far away and where there are no specialists or medical equipment, which is why in the SVA have collaborated in making, so far this year, 133 ambulance flights,” a statement from the ministry’s air service team said.

Emergency work on pole slows traffic

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The replacement of an electricity pole in La Uruca, caused several nightmarish traffic jams along the road and some of the exits into Barrio México Wednesday.

The works were performed by the Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz around 8 a.m. and continued during the whole day and night, which caused jams of up to 2.5 kilometers long, A.M. Costa Rica confirmed.

The pole detached from its base and ended up hanging in the air because of the tension and the weight of too many cables, Luis Andrés, director of power distribution at the Compañía, explained.

Andrés said that a telecommunications company tried to expand its cable coverage by putting in some more wires and, at a given moment, the pressure on the pole became so strong that it detached from earth.

"This a very risky situation especially during the rainy season, as it may produce important short circuits and blackouts,"said Andrés.

To fix the problem, technicians first needed to install a new pole and then transfer to it all the wires, one by one. When that step was completed, then the old pole is recovered and taken to one of the Compañía's warehouses. The works affected the electricity supply of several businesses and households in the surrounding 200 meter area.

Once the repair works are finished, Andrés will be in charge of filing a report to determine if the telecommunications company should be liable or not for the damage. In case the company is found responsible for negligence during the operation of the pole, it will have to cover up to $3,000 cost, according to Andrés.

This year, the Compañía has had to repair or replace 150 electricity poles in the San José area. This figure is higher than that of June 2016, when 132 poles were replaced, he said.

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From page 7:

Public works issues alert of mediator scam

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The public works ministry issued a warning to the public regarding some scammers posing as mediation officials on social media networks.

According to the Consejo Nacional de Concesiones, there were people on Facebook impersonating as representatives of the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes or the Consejo. The statement from the council said that these people were offering to act as middlemen to reacquire impounded vehicles or opt for housing bonuses for 70,000 colons.

To that end, the Consejo has formally filed a call for investigation with the judiciary on this issue in order to identify who are committing these crimes. The public works entity insists that its role is exclusively one of managing the ministry’s concessions and does not interfere in housing nor intermediate with vehicles.