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Published Wednesday Edition
July 5, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 132
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Tárcoles crocodile view at issue in recent lawsuit
By Rommel Téllez
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Municipalidad de Garabito faces a constitutional lawsuit for allowing tourists to stop by and get close to the crocodiles in the Tárcoles river.

Lives are put in danger, according to Walter Brenes, lawyer from Energy Law Firm and plaintiff of the lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed before the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court on Jun 27 and accepted by the Magistrate Fernando Cruz, which gave the municipality three business days to present its arguments.

The constitutional lawsuit, locally known as Recurso de Amparo, also includes the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes and the Dirección General de Tránsito.

It demands for those institutions to take measures in order to prevent accidents on the bridge of Río Tárcoles, where lots of people show up everyday to watch the crocodiles, according to the document.

"There are a lot of people who are exposed to danger, often standing on the edge of the bridge, on the rails or at short distance from the road, where high speed vehicles pass through,” Brenes said.

In the past, this activity has resulted in death and injured people, who usually approach to much to the shore of the river.
A.M. Costa Rica file photo/Kayla Pearson        
Crocodile leaps for a snack at Tárcoles.

Some people throw them food, making them chase visitors. The lawsuit has the file number 17-009928-0007-CO.

“Back in February, I sent a letter over that matter to the Municipality of Garabito and I was blatantly ignored,” said Brenes.

“They ignored me for several months until I filed the Recurso the Amparo and they sent me a letter.”

In the response, the municipality apologized for not getting back to Brenes again. The mayor explains that Brenes did not clarify that he wanted to be informed about the process, according to the copy A.M. Costa Rica received.

The letter from Mayor Tobías Murillo also said that several letters have been sent during these months to other government institutions and coordinate a solution to the problem Brenes exposed.

Interest rates lead some analysts to choose colones
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The interest rate for saving in colones is now above zero, a situation that hasn't repeated in the since January, according to Luis Herrera, financial analyst for Acobo Finance Group.

The prize for investing in colones returned to levels above zero, a situation that had not been observed since January of this year.

At that time, the domestic interest rate reached 0.63 percent, while the external one was 0.67 percent.

The lowest negative level occurred on May 2017 when they were -4.55 percent  and -4.57 percent respectively.

The fall in the savings interests rates observed  since the beginning of the year was caused by an expected devaluation of colones and a downward trend in the Basic Passive Rate, calculated by the Banco Central of Costa Rica, Herrera said.

Thus, the recovery is explained by a lower exceptions of the devaluation of the colon.

People have started to see the local currency as attractive and likely to keep its value.

This could be achieved when Banco Central forced an increase in the Basic Passive Rates in colones and kept his policy of injecting dollars to keep the exchange rate steady, according to Herrera.

Back in May, the Banco Central announced it will intervene in the currency market anytime during the day in order to protect the exchange rate from violent changes.
A.M. Costa Rica photo/Conor Golden   
Going colones over dollars for some.

For that matter the Banco Central is said to have a $7.2 billion reserve. The monetary policy rate was increased from three to four percent as well.

That allowed commercial banks to increase the interest rates for savings in colones, making them more attractive for the general public.

Those measures sought to prevent any pressure on the inflation rates and the consequent hike in the prices of goods and services. The central bank forecasts a maximum inflation of four percent for 2017.

At the time, part of the shortage of dollars were also attributed to the macroeconomic incertitude generated by the  Donald Trump administration in the United States. That led many investors to secure their funds by accumulating dollars.

Another explanation provided by the bank was the increase in imported goods during the first quarter of 2017, which also needed  to be paid in dollars.

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113,000 companies discontinued so far

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A total of 113,315 delinquent companies have been dissolved by the Registro Nacional since December 2012, according to data released by the Ministerio de Justicia y Paz. 

“All the procedures have been carried out lawfully, even when they end up with a company being dissolved,” the ministry said on a statement Tuesday night.

According to Ley del Impuesto a las Sociedad Jurídicas 9024, all companies registered for commercial purposes, even when inactive should pay an annual tax. Those who skip the payment may be deleted from the country's records.

However, a resolution from the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court declared some of the payments as unconstitutional for companies registered after the fiscal period of 2015. Prior to that, all other companies should pay their debts.

Fallen tree
SINAC photo          
Here's a fallen tree that will apparently need
a lot of paperwork to chop up.

Long to-do list for chopping fallen trees

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The environmental authority will now regulate the harvesting and extraction of wood off naturally fallen trees in privately-owned forests with a long list of requirements.

According to the Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación, its regional offices will be responsible for evaluating and processing requests for chopping up fallen timber on private property. There will be two categories of permits, SINAC said. The first will be for cutting less than 10 fallen trees on a property and the second for more than 10.

Interested applicants must submit the application to SINAC offices. It must be signed by a citizen or legal resident or a third person granted special power by notary. There needs to be proof of property ownership and a map copy of the estate certified by the Registro Nacional or a notary public of the Plano Catastrado.

Other requirements are that one need to be up to date on their payments to the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, the Forestal del Estado administration must attach a record of the serial numbers of the saw or chainsaw used in the tree cutting. Likewise, SINAC officials need to visit the property and carry out a pre-inspection of each authorization for cutting each fallen tree. The maximum waiting time for approval or not has been set at 30 days, the environment overseer said.

Once authorized, property owners can cut up those trees within the span of a year prior to the authorization’s expiration.

Aserrí is now a herbicide-free canton

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
Aserrí has joined the group of cantons that are now herbicide-free in public spaces, according to the latest release of Federación Ecologista.

According to the organization, Aserrí is the third case where a municipality has agreed to ban the use of gliphosphate and other chemicals in parks, lots, cemeteries, gardens and sidewalks.

The decision was taken unanimously by the seven council members last Monday night.

The initiative was presented by the Partido Frente Amplio council with the intention of protecting the environmental health of the canton and its working people.

The first municipality to make a similar decision was Pérez Zeledón last April 7. It was followed y the Municipalities of Tibás, Santo Domingo, Montes de Oca and Belén de Heredia.

Environmentalist said they are pushing for similar measures in the communities of Santa Cruz, Desamparados, Esparza, Palmares and Flores.

In a statement released on March 20, 2015, the International Agency for the Research of Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, said that glyphosate is classified as probably carcinogenic to humans. In other words, this means that the chemical is potentially a cause of cancer.

The document also says that glyphosate is the most produced herbicide in the world for agricultural purposes. The chemical is also used in forestry, urban, and home applications. The general population is exposed primarily through residence near sprayed areas, home use, and in diet.

According to data from Promotora de Comercio Exterior, as of December 2016, Costa Rica had imported $35 million in herbicides. This amount equals to three times that of 2006, according to the agency.

This guerrilla-like approach against agrochemicals has also been used in the past by environmentalist seeking to halt the growth of Genetically Modified Organisms. As of today, 75 out of 81 municipalities have banned these products, according to data from the Federación Conservacionista website.

Carrillo is hosting a cultural week

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Concerts, workshops, dance and theater performances as well as national and international concerts. All of it comes to the canton of Carrillo as part of their Semana Cultural y Deportiva de Filadelfia.

The event is supported by the municipality along with several private sponsors takes place from July 2 through July 9.

“For over 10 years, the municipality has been committed to the culture, the sports and the recreation of all the communities belonging to the Carrillo Canton,” said the mayor in a statement.

Gaviota, Los Ajenos, MalPaís and Emilio Regueira from Los Rabanes will be among the artists featured.

Park rangers receiving overtime pay

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Rangers attached with the Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación will be getting their overtime pay after all.

According to a new executive decree enforced by SINAC, economic compensation will cover those officials who work in activities of management, control and protection of wildlife or forest fires outside of their ordinary working day. That will be a 25 percent addition of the basic salary earned, the administrator said.

SINAC did say, however, that those headquarters that consider the functions of their position should be subject to this new availability bonus need to talk to the regional office of human resources or the department of institutional management of human resources to receive compensation. Once approved, officials must sign an availability contract to establish the conditions.

This came after more than 300 park rangers were preparing to strike if the government refused to give them raises in their salary. The Sindicato de Trabajadores del Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía has been involved in a six-year process demanding that the government raise the salaries. The union claimed park rangers sought a raise due to the nature of their activities against drug trafficking and illegal hunting in protected parks and wildlife areas. They are also on call and the workers are required to be available 24 hours a day if needed, according to union representatives.

The raise was wanted, in part, for their work as a quasi-police force in which duties carry with it a police-level risk and availability, representatives said.

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Third News Page
U.S. Tax
Published || Wednesday Edition, July 5, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 132
Real Estate
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Despite earlier rains, the U.S. in Costa Rica comes out for the Fourth
A.M. Costa Rica photo/Conor Golden
Fireworks explode to light up the U.S. flag.
A.M. Costa Rica photo/Conor Golden     
The American Colony's Uncle Sam even did the hosting.
A.M. Costa Rica photo/Conor Golden    
Luciérnaga came out to do some popular musical tunes.
Audience under lights
A.M. Costa Rica photo/Conor Golden    
Crowd starts to thin as the fireworks end.

Storing rainwater for future could cut water usage in half, UCR says
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Each Costa Rican household uses an average of 15,000 liters of water a month, according to data provided by the Universidad de Costa Rica.

Students and staff at the university’s Programa de Residencias Estudiantiles implemented a water harvesting system to contribute toward saving water. The amount of water used in each household could be halved if one uses rainwater for bathing, watering the garden or washing the car, the university said.

The system is being used by 165 students living in student dorms at the Sede Rodrigo Facio. The water used for washing clothes is rainwater. Prior to the system’s experimental run, about 6,000 liters of drinking water were used each day for washing. That represents 170,000 liters month.

The environmental management unit of the university partnered with the students and adopting it to the needs of the residence hall, the university said. Juan Marcos Delgado from the environmental management unit said that the objective is to convert students into environmental promoters throughout the country with this experience in using the system.

The water harvest system works by capturing rainwater on the roofs of buildings and then channeling it by means of downpipes to a storage tank, the university said. Rainwater, due to its low concentration of contaminants, is usable for multiple purposes such as in irrigation, car washing, laundry and cleaning.

Universidad de Costa Rica photo   
Students have simple solution to water usage.

This allows for a significant reduction in the use of drinking water as well as in economic costs, the university said.

The other advantage is that, according to the university, it is cheap and easy to do. A storage collecting tank is not even necessary.

“In the future, residential students hope to move forward with other initiatives that will enable them to become the first eco-sustainable university space,” the university said in a statement.

“From academia, it seeks to promote the conservation of water resources for present and future generations and related natural ecosystems.”

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

Published || Wednesday Edition, July 5, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 132
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Distance between trees is key to tropical diversity, Smithsonian says
By the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
press staff

Visitors to the tropics are amazed by the huge variety of colorful, complex and sometimes ferocious creatures living near the equator.

Smithsonian scientists and colleagues in 24 countries studying more than 2 million trees observed a simple phenomenon that may explain why tropical forests are so much richer than are forests located nearer the poles.

Their explanation, published in the June 30 issue of Science magazine, is a significant step toward answering a question that has been asked by natural historians for centuries: “Why is there so much biodiversity in tropical forests?”

“The 50 authors from 12 countries who contributed to this finding asked an enormously important question that has been on the minds of scientists since Darwin,” said David Skorton, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.

“Until now, there was no satisfying answer to the question of why there are so many species of trees in tropical forests. The Smithsonian Forest Global Earth Observatory network convened experts from around the world and provided the data to address this question at a global scale."

He added that the answer may be simply that voracious predators and pathogens specializing on particular tropical tree species thin them out, making them less vulnerable to more common enemies, resulting in forests with many more species than they have here.

At the 2016 ForestGEO workshop in Hainan, China, ecologists from long-term forest monitoring sites ranging from Gabon to Borneo addressed a question posed by Jonathan Myers, assistant professor, and Joe LaManna, postdoctoral research associate at Washington University, lead authors of the study published today.

“They analyzed data from 3,000 tree species and discovered that a phenomenon called Conspecific Negative Density Dependence, or CNDD, a process where population growth rates decline when individual species are at high local density, is much stronger in the tropics,” said Stuart Davies, director of the Center for Tropical Forest Science-Forest Global Earth Observatory of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

Panama canopy
STRI photo    
Aerial view of tropical forest in Panamá.

“Many studies have observed that there are lots more rare species in tropical than in temperate forests,” Davies said. “The finding that CNDD is stronger for rare species in the tropics is an important contribution to explaining this pattern.”

When a lot of individuals of the same tree species grow in the same area, their numbers decline or increase more slowly than the numbers of rare species because they are both easier for pathogens and predators to find and because they may compete with each other for space and resources.

If it is less likely that tree seedlings will grow near other individuals of the same species in the tropics than in temperate forests, there should be more space for other species to grow in the same areas. Knowing that this phenomenon, CNDD, is stronger in the tropics helps to explain why there are more species in the tropical forests than in temperate forests.

Researchers are not yet sure why this is true. Perhaps the diseases that affect tropical trees and their seedlings are more contagious or severe than seeding and tree diseases in temperate regions.

“The Smithsonian’s ForestGEO network is an international group of scientists and research sites that grew out of a project to understand tropical biodiversity in Panama nearly 40 years ago,” said Matthew Larsen, director of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

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U.S. Income Tax Services (paid category)

Tax Time
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ax Accountant Licensed by the I.R.S.
Ms. Summers
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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.

If tax payment is holding you back, the IRS has options to solve payment problems.

You can file current or past due FBARs without payment to meet IRS requirements.

If you have yet to file, do it now as there is still time.

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

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 
1- to 3-bedroom ocean and garden view timeshares available and most offer air conditioning, cable TV, fully equipped kitchens, and relaxing hammocks on private balconies. Enjoy the unique combination of seclusion and convenience as all resorts listed on our site are close to popular Costa Rican attractions and downtown 
centers, but are surrounded in lush, tropical forest. Villas are also available for sale in our inventory, so you can enjoy yearly vacations to this mesmerizing rainforest paradise. Please visit our rental inventory HERE!  or call us toll free at 877-815-4227, International: 603-516-0200.  Email:

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NOW with the New Power Company Regulations, we're installing photo voltaic systems for solar electricity.
PV systems: we use Enphase micro-inverters. More flexible. Add panels whenever you like. More reliable than any other system and fully guaranteed!

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NOW is the time to install our new super-efficient solar hot water! New model for condos
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Side of Pura Vida

A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page

Salsa Lizano
Published || Wednesday Edition, July 5, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 132
Real Estate
About us
Millions observe Fourth
in the U.S. and worldwide

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Americans observed Independence Day Tuesday, a federal holiday marking the United States' independence from Britain.

As millions of people celebrated America's 241st birthday throughout the U.S. with traditional fireworks displays parades, concerts, cookouts and other activities, law enforcement agencies were taking new and traditional approaches to keep celebrants safe.

In the northeastern city of Boston, Massachusetts, where the American Revolutionary War began, police deployed a tethered drone for the first time to capture aerial views of the people expected to gather for the city's fireworks display.

New York City police placed dozens of sand-filled trucks near popular viewing sites during its fireworks show and other events.

Officials say the trucks are being deployed in response to the Bastille Day massacre last July, when a terrorist used a truck to mow down a crowd during a fireworks show in Nice, France, killed 86 people.

In Washington, authorities prepared for vehicle-related attacks during the National Independence Day Parade, the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival and a fireworks show on the National Mall. The National Park Service placed large fences around the Mall and established security checkpoints for people entering the area.

President Donald Trump celebrated the holiday by hosting a cookout for military families, followed by a viewing of the fireworks show for the families and White House staffers.

Trump wished holiday revelers well with a tweet Tuesday that included a video of a new worship song that was named after his campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again."

The song premiered at a Washington evangelical Christian rally Saturday that was co-sponsored by the First Baptist Church of Dallas, a mega church pastored by Robert Jeffress, a staunch supporter of the president.

Trump praised the church choir that sang the song, saying their music honors our heroes more than words will ever do.

The July 4th celebration takes on new meaning for nearly 15,000 immigrants. They will be sworn in as new citizens in more than 65 naturalization ceremonies across the country, a reminder the country has attracted immigrants since its inception.

The ceremonies come at a difficult time for those who want to immigrate, as the Trump administration institutes a scaled-back partial travel ban that places new restrictions on citizens of six Muslim-majority countries who want to enter the U.S.

A record number of people are traveling to commemorate the holiday this year. More than 44 million Americans are traveling at least 50 miles from their homes between Friday and Tuesday, according to the American Automobile Association.

On July 4, 1776, representatives of the 13 American colonies officially adopted the Declaration of Independence announcing the severing of ties with Britain.

The rebellion began the previous year and would continue until the United States and Britain signed the Treaty of Paris in 1783, which formally recognized the independence of the United States of America.

Although the Declaration of Independence states, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" the document was drafted by Thomas Jefferson, a slave owner who later became the third U.S. president.

Jefferson was not the only slave owner to sign the document. About one-third of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, from the north and the south, owned or had owned slaves.

George Washington, who also signed the decree and later became the country's first president, owned nearly 125 slaves, whom he freed in his will.

John Adams, the second president and Washington's vice president, did not own slaves and supported a gradual process of abolishing slavery.

Slavery in the United States was not outlawed until the Civil War ended nearly 80 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Gambian, Afghan students
refused U.S. visas for contest

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A team of teenage Gambian students are upset and mystified at being denied visas to attend a major global robotics contest in Washington later this month.

This comes days after an Afghan girls team was also turned down by the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. Neither team was given any reason.

“It's very disappointing, knowing that we are the only two countries that aren't going to take part in the competition,” Gambian student Fatoumata Ceesay said.

The two teams will instead enter the competition via Skype. But the video link is no substitute after the youngsters worked for months perfecting their projects and dreamed of the thrill of visiting Washington.

“It would be an experience to see and discover other robots and ask questions and exchange ideas with others. It's more than 160 countries, so we'd have the chance to mingle,” Ceesay said.

The Gambian and Afghan students are especially puzzled because teams from Iran and Sudan, and a group of Syrian refugees were given visas. All three Muslim-majority countries are on President Donald Trump's travel ban. Afghanistan and Gambia are not.

Lida Azizi, a 17-year old from Herat, calls the visa rejection a clear insult for the people of Afghanistan.

The U.S. embassies in Afghanistan and Gambia and the State Department say they cannot discuss visa requests.

A group called FIRST Global Challenge holds the yearly robotics competition to build interest in science, technology, engineering and math around the world.

The group says the focus of the competition is finding solutions to problems in such fields as water, energy, medicine and food production.

Officials seek penalties
against fake drug imports

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Lawyers from around Africa gathered in Cameroon this week to call for tougher legislation against counterfeit medicine.

Sixty tons of counterfeit medicine was burned after being seized by customs officials in Cameroon, who say the stockpile had an estimated value of $80,000.

Customs official Marcel Kamgaing said the imitation medicine was being used to treat everything from diabetes and hypertension to cancer and erectile dysfunction. He said the forged drugs were destined for sale at shops and roadside pharmacies.

He says illicit drugs are very dangerous to the health of consumers and may even kill due to poor packaging and preservation. He says importers should be informed that Cameroon's customs laws give them the authority to destroy all fake drugs.

The burning was scheduled to coincide with an international conference this week in Yaounde on the problem of phony drugs in Africa.

Jackson Ngnie Kamga, president of the Cameroon Bar Association, says the current penalties are not enough of a deterrent. He said traffickers should face jail time.

He says because of its deadly consequences, it is high time for Cameroon to join African states to start considering the transportation and commercialization of bogus drugs as a major crime, not a simple offense punishable by fines and seizure of the illicit goods.

He says the number of people who die because of such drugs makes them consider it another form of homicide, which the international community should help Africa tackle.

The World Health Organization says falsified medical products may contain no active ingredient, the wrong active ingredient or the wrong amount of the correct active ingredient. The WHO says about 100,000 deaths-a-year in Africa are linked to counterfeit drugs.

Issouf Baadhio, an attorney from Burkina Faso, represented the International Association of Lawyers as its vice president.

He said the counterfeit drugs are primarily manufactured in Asia, especially in China, and so African countries need to focus on stopping importation.

He says besides the fact that this trade is illegal, importing fake drugs has disastrous economic consequences and as such civil society organizations and professional groups like the International Association of Lawyers should join states and make sure that markets are protected and custom controls are set up at entrances to all states to detect and stop the sale of all dangerous drugs.

Identifying counterfeit medicines can be difficult. The WHO urges officials and consumers to look for signs like misspelled words on the packaging and to check that the manufacture and expiration dates inside and outside packaging match.

Triumphant Iraqi soldier
Voice of America photo      
Iraqi soldier holds up Islamic State flag.

The day Islamic State
came back to Tenek

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Iraqi forces captured the Tenek neighborhood of Mosul from Islamic State militants in mid-April.

Then the troops moved on, battling their way toward Old Mosul and the militants' ultimate defeat in the city.

In the months that followed, the weather grew hot and security in Tenek weakened, until only local guards remained. A large portion of Tenek lay silent during that time, seemingly abandoned. It once was an industrial zone, but now it's in tatters atop a maze of IS tunnels, caves and bombs.

On an early Sunday evening in late June, just as the Iraqi military was surrounding the last section of the last IS stronghold in Mosul, there was an unexpected parade in Tenek.

"I heard a crowd outside," said Mohammad, a taxi driver with three children. "I thought maybe it was a local militia. But then I saw them."

When the rest of the neighborhood saw the heavily armed militants in traditional clothes and thick beards, pandemonium erupted.

Some homes were snatched away that night, others were voluntarily abandoned with haste, Mohammad added. Families packed their children in cars. Many people just walked away. Workers returning home said they saw what was going on and immediately drove out of Tenek, without considering what they left behind.

Inside Tenek, militants marched down the street berating locals for no longer obeying IS rules, such as long beards for men or fully covered faces for women.

"What is this haircut? You look like an infidel. Beat him," one militant told a friend of Abu Khalid, who sells blocks of ice on the side of the road. Khalid did not give his real name for fear IS will come back yet again. His friend, he said, was beaten.

It was a holiday and two of Mohammad's nieces, 10 and 11 years old, were out playing when the militants marched in. In the chaos, they got left behind.

"We found them the next day hiding in the neighbor's bathroom," he said. "They thought the small space would protect them from the fighting outside."

One neighbor was so stunned when he walked onto the block and saw IS, he turned around and ran away, forgetting to go home to look for his wife and children, Mohammad added.

As families ran, Iraqi Special Forces moved in, followed by the Iraqi Army. And two days after it started, it was over. All the militants were dead.

Some soldiers tied at least one of the militants' bodies to a lamppost, as a warning to other IS members in hiding.

"They wanted to make a show," said 1st Sergeant Jillel Jabar of the Iraqi Army's 9th division, which now guards Tenek a week after the counterattack. "They were trying to rush the city so troops would pull back from the battle to retake Old Mosul."

No one knows exactly what was the point or where the militants came from, but Jabar said the most likely scenario is that IS fighters were hiding in tunnels under the abandoned industrial area.

Some may have been hiding since their April defeat. Others may have moved back when IS was defeated and later fled disguised as refugees, returning to Tenek to retrieve hidden weapons.

The brief re-occupation of Tenek and one other area may have failed to slow the Iraqi offensive, but it succeeded in terrorizing the neighborhood, said Amar, a 31-year-old father of seven who lost his right arm in a car bombing in 2015.

He heard three people were killed the night IS came back, but he doesn't really know. In the house next door, now occupied by the army, sticky bloodstains on the floor and bullet casings indicate two people were killed.

After IS was once again defeated in Tenek, most families that had fled slowly came home.

South Korea-U.S. missile test
U.S. 8th Army courtesy photo       
U.S.-South Korean recent defense missile test.

Tillerson urges global action
to end North Korean threats

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday that global action was needed to stop the global threat posed by North Korea's test launch of what appeared to be an intercontinental ballistic missile.

The latest North Korean action, Tillerson said, represents a new escalation of the threat to the United States, our allies and partners, and the world.

The top U.S. diplomat said any nation that hosts North Korean guest workers, provides the North with economic or military benefits, or fails to carry out U.N. resolutions against Pyongyang is aiding and abetting a dangerous regime.

North Korea said it had successfully test-launched an ICBM and claimed the rocket was capable of carrying a large, heavy nuclear warhead.

Based on analysis of the steeply angled trajectory the rocket followed, U.S. experts said the missile appeared to have a range that would enable it to reach Alaska, even though Tuesday's test splashed into the Sea of Japan.

The U.N. Security Council has set an emergency, closed-door meeting on the North Korean crisis for late Wednesday, and Tillerson said there would be stronger measures taken against the North.

In South Korea, U.S. and South Korean forces said they carried out an offensive missile exercise hours after the North Korean launch, intended to counter North Korea's destabilizing and unlawful actions, in direct response to the North Korean test.

North Korea launched its new missile from an airport near its border with China. The spot where it splashed into the Sea of Japan lay in Japan's special economic zone, angering not only Tokyo but also Beijing, which appears to be failing to keep its ally in check.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Beijing had made relentless efforts to resolve challenges on the Korean Peninsula. He said China's role was indispensable and called on all parties to exercise restraint to quickly ease tensions.

President Donald Trump will most likely pressure China even harder to harness the North's nuclear ambitions. Trump has said while he greatly appreciated the efforts of China's President Xi Jinping to help rein in North Korea, it has not worked out.

China has expressed a reluctance to cut off vital exports to the North, such as oil, since it is feared that such action could lead to the collapse of Kim's regime, with untold consequences, or that Kim, believing he has nothing lose, could take direct military action against Seoul.

Etna becomes test ground
for robotic space travel

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A robot wheels across a rocky, windswept landscape that looks like the surface of some distant planet from a science fiction film. But it is not in outer space, it's on the slopes of Europe's most active volcano.

Mount Etna, in Sicily, is a test bed for the approximately three-foot high, four-wheeled machine ahead of a future mission to the moon. It is being conducted by the German Aerospace Center, the agency which runs Germany's space program.

The program has enlisted experts from Germany, Britain, the United States and Italy to research ROBEX, or the Robotic Exploration of Extreme Environments, with the aim of improving robotic equipment that will be used in space.

"This is aimed at simulating a future, hypothetical landing mission on the moon or Mars and they use a lot of robots which are there to transport and install different instruments," said Boris Behncke, a volcanologist from the National Vulcanology Institute in Catania, near Mount Etna.

Scientists also hope to use the robots to explore the depths of Mount Etna and relay back useful technical data on seismic movement. The techniques learnt on Etna would then be deployed in lunar missions or in the exploration of Mars.

An initial robotic testing phase has nearly been completed on the Piano del Lago area of the volcano, a desolate stretch of terrain buffeted by strong winds.

Next, a network of equipment including rover robots and drones will be mounted to monitor seismic activity that closely simulates that which would be used on the moon.

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
   • Homes, condominium & luxury homes
   • Eco lodges and hotels
   • Green properties and waterfalls
   • Farms and developments
   • Sustainable and green living communities.
   • Property management in the Jacó area

Romantic Country Bungalow Click Here
Dream Property River Click Here
Telephone: +506 2637-6285
cell: +506 8825-6556  
Skype: ecorealtorscr
Facebook: ecorealtorscr
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:

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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
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


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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



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Published || Wednesday Edition, July 5, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 132
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Karate cop
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo       
Carlos Dorich and some members of his dojo.

Karate cop reaches out as youth trainer

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Officer Carlos Dorich is a round-the-clock police officer, youth trainer and karate professional.

Dorich is a member of the Fuerza Pública in Esparza but also a coach in his spare time for the Puntarenas-based karate group currently participating in Costa Rica’s national games. According to a glowing report from the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública, his students have already won four bronze medals.

“I have practiced karate since I was 15 and I have participated in several national and international competitions,” Dorich said. “In these young people today, we have the good and valuable citizens of tomorrow.”

The seven-year veteran of the Fuerza Pública has a black belt, second dan and recently opened his own karate academy in El Roble de Puntarenas. “I have 21 all new students who are excited about getting their first belt, between 7-year old kids and adults.”

United Cigar extending local blends

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

United Cigar Group announced that they are extending two of its most popular cigar blends produced here in Costa Rica.

According to a statement from the company, the Atabey and Byron brands feature upscale blends of high-end tobacco and represent some of the most exclusive offerings in the portfolio. The Atabey line has four different sizes which is set to increase to five new options in the brand. The Byron brand, meanwhile, is getting new packaging .

“This is a complicated time in the cigar industry to introduce a line extension but we are overly excited to showcase these Atabey vitolas that will be ready for the shelves soon,” Oliver Nivaud, the company’s sales director, said. “Retailers and cigar enthusiasts have been overly receptive.”

Atabey gets its name from the supreme goddess of the Taíno tribe in the Caribbean islands. The cigars are produced in limited quantities by the Selected Tobacco factory in Costa Rica. Byron cigars were actually founded in the mid-19th century by two Cubans based in Havana.

It was called Byron to attract a market of U.S. and British clients, according to the United Cigar Group website. The original family sold the brand in 1908 before an ancestor of the family recovered it again in 1998 and moved it to Costa Rica.

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From page 7:

Price at coffee auction reaches $80 per pound

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Three Japanese companies are buying up nine of the 18 boxes for some of the best coffee in Costa Rica during the 2017 International Cup of Excellence Auction.  Their actions broke the record for the highest price auctioned at around $80 a pound.

According to the Instituto del Café, the Geisha coffee cultivated from the Don Antonio farm, which is part of the Grupo Los Grande de Copey S.A. and is valued at $80.60 per pound. Jorge Brenes, of the company, said that the coffee met his expectations yet he did not expect such a high price fetched for it.

“It’s has been the prize to an effort of six years of work in the farms always trying to produce a specialty brand coffee,” he said. “Now that we have it, the idea is to use the money to recover the investment.”

Mario Arroyo, the promotions manager for the coffee institute, said that the auction is a mechanism for positioning the best coffees of Costa Rica and in niche markets of the highest demand. This year’s auction broke several price records with the average price of coffee per pound rounded off at $17.75 a pound.

Meanwhile, the cheapest coffee bought for the top 29 growers was la Cumbre 2017 at $10 per pound by the Nippon Coffee Trading Co., Ltd.

For Francois Castells, the president of the Asociación de Cafés Finos who carries out the logistics of the auction in conjunction with the institute, the quality of the grains continues to grow. Each year there is more competition between small businesses, producers and farms, Castells said. He added that this year the top three places were of the Geisha variety; something new.