A.M. Costa Rica
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Published Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 133
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Casa Canada

More steel

With any luck, these girders will be in place by the start of the weekend. They are for the bridge-widening job over the Río Virilla between Heredia and La Uruca. Crews are closing the road at night from 10 p.m. to 4 a,m. to do the job.

Consejo Nacional de Vialidad photo

Coffee pickers are forgotten workers, lawmakers told
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A supreme court magistrate brought up one of Costa Rica’s dirty little secrets when she visited lawmakers Wednesday.

The magistrate is Julia Varela Araya, who is a member of the Sala Segunda of the Corte Suprema de Justicia. This is the chamber that handles labor appeals.

Everyone knows that Costa Rican labor law is strict. There are mandatory payments for social charges and medical fees, and every employee is entitle to a Christmas bonus, the aguinaldo.

That is unless you are a migrant coffee picker from Panamá. An estimated 70 percent of the seasonal workers who come to Costa Rica are from that country. They are the  Ngöbe, a native group whose members live in much the same way that their ancestors did when Christopher Columbus visited in 1502.

They are a proud people, but they keep their distance. They can be seen on weekends in the central parks of the southern Costa Rican communities at coffee harvest time. The women wear long, colorful dresses.

The magistrate said the Costa Rica has positioned itself as a country of human rights, adding that the country should address the situation of the migrant workers whose rights often are overlooked.

She estimated to the Comisión Permanente Especial de Derechos Humanos that thousands of cases involving the native coffee picketers never reach the Sala Segunda because the migrants have no rights.

And when the migrants push for payment of Christmas  aguinaldos or other benefits they are due, they are told that their labor relationship is voluntary, said the magistrate.

Coffee pickers are paid by the basket, so it is easy for farmers to say that they are independent workers instead of employees.

About 30,000 people work in the collection of coffee each year. Frequently whole families are in the cafetales, including tots.

Only about 2,000  Ngöbe live in Costa Rica. The rest are from northern Panamá, and they cross the border effortlessly.

Less that half the individuals are literate, and most live in extreme poverty on their reserves in the neighboring country.

The defensora de los habitantes also has made a push for better working conditions for the coffee harvesters. The defensora, Monserrat Solano, told the same legislative commission in March that the Ngöbe people on the coffee farms in the Los Santos zone do not have adequate health services, and sometimes not even adequate water.

The migrant workers have no health insurance or insurance for job-related injuries. She said that the health workers at the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social only care for the migrants’ children and pregnant women.

She cited a case where 40 workers claimed their salaries had been withheld, but by the time the legal process moved ahead, the workers had gone home.  The temporary living conditions sometimes also are grim, she said.

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, July 7, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 133
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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants and Crowns

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Licensed by the I.R.S.
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Luis Diego

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Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo
Police officers found this boat abandoned at Playa Cabuyal in Guanacaste Wednesday, and they eventually ran down four persons presumed to have been in the craft. Three were Guatemalans and one was a Mexican. Officials suspect a link with the drug trade, and they are continuing to investigate.

Country at 44th place in tech index

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services
with staff reports

A report by the World Economic Forum finds technologically savvy countries are coming out ahead economically and in societal development.   This year’s Global Information Technology Report says Singapore tops the list of 139 ranked countries, followed by Finland, Sweden, Norway, and the United States. Burundi and Chad rank at the bottom.
Costa Rica was ranked 44th between Uruguay and Italy. But the country was put in 124th place for the effectiveness of its law-making bodies and 117th place for the number of days to enforce a contract. The country also received low rankings on the top corporate tax rate, the number of procedures to start a business and venture capital availability. The study uses several dozen indexes.

The report found seven countries, Finland, Switzerland, Sweden, Israel, Singapore, the Netherlands and the United States, are leading the world in getting the most economic impact from investments in information and communications technologies. 
It says this group of high-achieving economies is doing 33 percent better than other advanced economies and 100 percent better than emerging and developing economies.  It says a supportive, enabling environment is critical for success.
The report finds countries that are benefiting most from the digital technologies have quality infrastructure, good business regulations and a ready skills supply.

The study that led to the report assesses the factors, policies and institutions that enable a country to fully leverage information and communication technologies for increased competitiveness and well-being, said the Forum.

World Economic Forum Spokesman Oliver Cann says consumers, rather than businesses and governments are driving the digital revolution.
“We are finding a very laggard contribution, especially from government, which has stagnated over the past few years.  I am taking a global view here, there are obviously exceptions.  And also business as well.  We all think global business is driving ahead, but actually they could be doing a lot more.  On the other hand . . . I think the consumer and consumer uptake of the Internet is really far exceeding the contributions and the efforts of governments and business,” Cann says.

The report finds Europe remains at the technology frontier, with seven of the top-ranked countries coming from that region. 
The report says the digital divide is widening between rich and poor countries due in large part to a yawning gap in infrastructure, such as high-speed internet. It said that innovation is almost negligible in Latin America and the Caribbean, where regulatory reforms seem to have come to a standstill in many countries.
The authors say infrastructure is not the only factor leading to economic growth, but it is a major factor in holding back less developed economies in the digital age.

Zika cases increase slightly during the last week

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Ministerio de Salud Wednesday reported 159 cases of zika infection in the country, with the bulk continuing to be on the central Pacific coast. That’s 19 new cases than reported the week before. The canton of Garabito where Jacó is located, showed  an increases of just two new cases, said the weekly report. Medical experts are continuing to follow the condition of six pregnant women who have contracted the virus. So far no anomalies have been detected, they said.

News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, July 7, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 133
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Central Bank says it is ready to maintain a list of company shareholders
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Banco Central is ready to maintain a list of corporation shareholders if lawmakers ask the institution to do so, according to Olivier Castro Pérez, central bank president.

Castro told lawmakers Wednesday that the bank would have to assess a fee for users of the service, however. He praised the bank’s technology and noted that it now operates the  Sistema de Pagos Públicos, the interbank payment system that includes 90 institutions.

The Comisión Permanente de Asuntos Hacendarios was hearing the bank president in regards to bill No. 19.245, which addresses tax fraud. Lawmakers already have agreed to put the measure on a fast track for approval.

The  Instituto Costarricense contra las Drogas and the Dirección General de Tributación, the tax collector, are anxious to see the bill passed.

The tax agency has said it plans to use the list of shareholders to embargo assets of people behind on their taxes. Of course, the agency also would be aware of dividends.

The matter of listing the names of all shareholders, even in a supposedly secret system, is a hot-button issue. Right now corporation papers lists officers, but someone could own most of the stock and not be listed.

However, firms that do business with the government have to provide a list of shareholders to avoid conflicts of interest.

Guillermo Araya Camacho of the Instituto Costarricense contra las Drogas told lawmakers that the measure was a necessity for the country.

Various international organizations, including the Grupo de Acción Financiera Internacional, are seeking to have the country make public the final beneficiaries of corporations.

In response to concerns that the private information will become public and be used  against the shareholders, lawmakers are specifying that a judge be appointed to handle claims that privacy has been breached.

However, a lot of business operators are more concerned with crooks getting ahold of the shareholder data to find out who has money.

Fire takes 11 structures overnight in Alajuela and leaves 45 homeless
By the A.M. Costs Rica staff

Fire, fanned by seasonable winds, ripped through 11 homes late Tuesday and early Wednesday in the settlement of  El Futurito in San Rafael de Alajuela.

The Cuerpo de Bomberos said that 27 adults and 18 youngsters were left homeless.

The cause was reported to be ignition of combustible materials from a candle in an upstairs bedroom.

Fire fighters from a number of stations spent more than 40 minutes trying to control the blaze. The homes were mostly wood frame covered with sheets of metal. Flames soared high in the air, and sparks rained on nearby homes.

Firefighters said they were able to save about two-thirds of the settlement of  low-income homes.

Candles have been the sixth most frequent cause of fires so far this year, said the fire agency.

By far the most frequent cause is a failure in an electrical system, followed closely by leakage of petroleum gas. Other frequently causes are shorts in electrical devices, sparks from outdoor burning and sparks from a welding torch.

Of the six persons who died in fires this year, five deaths were attributed to the use of candles.

Using candles is not unusual in areas where electrical service might be spotty.

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, July 7, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 133
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Legal medical marijuana reported to have cut prescription drug use
By the  University of Georgia news staff

Medical marijuana is having a positive impact on the bottom line of Medicare's prescription drug benefit program in states that have legalized its use for medicinal purposes, according to University of Georgia researchers in a study published in the July issue of Health Affairs.

The savings, due to lower prescription drug use, were estimated to be $165.2 million in 2013, a year when 17 states and the District of Columbia had implemented medical marijuana laws. The results suggest that if all states had implemented medical marijuana the overall savings to Medicare would have been around $468 million.

Compared to Medicare Part D's 2013 budget of $103 billion, those savings would have been 0.5 percent. But it's enough of a difference to show that, in states where it's legal, some people are turning to the drug as an alternative to prescription medications for ailments that range from pain to sleep disorders.

Because medical marijuana is such a hot-button issue, explained study co-author W. David Bradford, their findings can give policymakers and others another tool to evaluate the pros and cons of medical marijuana legalization.

"We realized this question was an important one that nobody had yet attacked," he said.

"The results suggest people are really using marijuana as medicine and not just using it for recreational purposes," said the study's lead author Ashley Bradford, a May graduate.

To obtain the results, the researchers combed through data on all prescriptions filled by Medicare Part D enrollees from 2010 to 2013, a total of over 87 million physician-drug-year observations.

They then narrowed down the results to only include conditions

for which marijuana might serve as an alternative treatment,
selecting nine categories in which the Food and Drug Administration had already approved at least one medication. These were anxiety, depression, glaucoma, nausea, pain, psychosis, seizures, sleep disorders and spasticity.

They chose glaucoma in particular because while marijuana does decrease eye pressure caused by the disease by about 25 percent, its effects only last an hour. With this disorder, they expected marijuana laws, as a result of demand stimulation, to send more people to the doctor looking for relief. And because taking marijuana once an hour is unrealistic, they expected to see the number of daily doses prescribed for glaucoma medication increase.

They were not disappointed. While fewer prescriptions were written for the rest of categories, dropping by 1,826 daily doses in the pain category and 265 in the depression category, for instance, the number of daily doses for glaucoma medication increased.

"It turns out that glaucoma is one of the most Googled searches linked to marijuana, right after pain," David Bradford said. "Glaucoma is an extremely serious condition" that can lead quickly to blindness. "The patient then goes into the doctor, the doctor diagnoses the patient with glaucoma, and no doctor is going to let the patient walk out without being treated."

In 1996, California became the first to legalize it for medical purposes, followed by Alaska, Oregon and Washington in 1998. As recently as June of this year, Pennsylvania and Ohio passed laws allowing its medical use.

Each of the 25 states plus the District of Columbia with a medical marijuana law has different guidelines for its use and possession limits. Also, physicians in these states may only recommend its use.

It remains illegal for them to prescribe the medication.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

HIdden Garden graphic
Put Costa Rica on your walls
The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is the perfect place to find quality Costa Rican and international art for your home or office.  With over 60 artists and 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we have been your source for fine art since 2010.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever. Located just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport (towards the beaches).

Visit our Web site at:
Contact us by email:
Find us on Trip Advisor, Facebook, Twitter,
Moon Travel Guides & Frommer's

Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tel.  8386-6872 / 2667-0592; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073
International shipping available.

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

 (as reported by the moving companies)
Visit many rental options to actually experience the price/amenity options available in more of the areas chosen by Expats for security, comfort, and quality of life.

Meet many Expats who are willing to share their experiences and how the tour has value long after the “lust” wears off.
See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!

Ask the others what you get for your money, and then compare the quality of accommodations, quality, quantity and variety of food and drink to measure the best value for your money. 

Learn how others “talk the talk” and learn who really can “walk the walk”

Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
George Lundquist, retirement, relocation columnist, Guide & Developer/Builder.


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Real estate-related services (paid category)
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Real estate rentals (paid category)

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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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
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Real estate for rent (paid category)

Fully Furnished American style Apartments for Rent
2-bedroom, 2- bathroom, fully furnished American-style apartments with elevator in a secure building in Barrio Amó. Cable, Internet, water included. Shared laundry. Convenient to Parque Morazán,
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The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2016 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, July 7, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 133
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Axiom new ad

Terror suspect now faces
claim he wanted judge dead

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A terrorism suspect already behind bars for allegedly helping al-Qaida has been charged with ordering a hit on the federal judge overseeing his case.

The suspect,Yahya Farooq Mohammad of the United Arab Emirates, was indicted Wednesday in the central state of Ohio for soliciting the killing of U.S. District Judge Jack Zouhary.

"Conspiring to have a judge killed is not the way to avoid being prosecuted. Now Mohammad will be held accountable for additional serious federal charges," said Stephen Anthony, special agent in charge of the FBI's office in Cleveland.

Mohammad told another inmate in April that he wanted to pay to have Zouhary kidnapped and killed, according to the indictment. That inmate then introduced Mohammad to an undercover FBI employee. The indictment alleges that Mohammad told the inmate he was willing to pay $15,000 to have Zouhary killed.

Mohammad was indicted last year for conspiring with three other men to donate thousands of dollars to Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born al-Qaida preacher killed in a U.S. Air strike in 2011. He has pleaded not guilty.

Noah's Ark
 This is the traditional view of Noah and his family
 building the art. Graphic taken from a Web site
 associated with Answers in Genesis.

Creationists in Kentucky
ready Noah’s Ark theme park

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A replica of the ark that the biblical Book of Genesis says saved Noah and his menagerie of animals from floods is set to open in the central U.S. state of Kentucky, and thousands are expected to visit the attraction, though not necessarily two-by-two.

The ark, said to be built to the proportions specified in the Bible, is 155 meters long and seven stories high, and cost an estimated $100 million.

"I believe this is going to be one of the greatest Christian outreaches of this era in history,'' said Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis, the ministry that built the ark. But critics say the attraction will be detrimental to science education and shouldn't have won Kentucky state tax incentives.

Ham said the massive ark was entirely based on the tale of Noah, the man who the Bible says received a warning from God about a massive flood. Inside are museum-style exhibits: displays of Noah's family along with rows of cages containing animal replicas, including dinosaurs.

The group believes that God created everything about 6,000 years ago, man, dinosaur and everything else, so dinosaurs still would have been around at the time of Noah's flood. Scientists say dinosaurs died out about 65 million years before man appeared.

An ark opponent who leads an atheist group called the Tri-State Freethinkers said the religious theme park will be unlike any other in the nation because of its rejection of science.

"Basically, this boat is a church raising scientifically illiterate children and lying to them about science,'' said Jim Helton, the opponent.

Critics also have slammed the state and local governments for giving the project tax incentives worth $80 million over the next 20 years.

Ham's group anticipates the ark will draw more than 2 million visitors a year. It is situated close to the Creation Museum, which was opened by the same group nine years ago.

According to a 2012 Gallup poll that surveyed 1,012 adults, 46 percent of Americans can be described as creationists for believing that God created humans in their present form at some point within the last 10,000 years.

The flood story in Genesis is believed to have come from a handful of Middle Eastern flood myths that date back to about 2,900 B.C. In most cases these are river floods, but the flood of  Noah covered the entire earth, according to Genesis, the first book of the  Old Testament.

British report on Iraq war
fails to sway those involved

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Western reaction to Britain's 6,000-page report on the Iraq war reflects the remorse of hindsight, but leaders who played a part in going to war are standing by their decisions.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Wednesday that the president and his staff have not yet read all the way through the lengthy document, but he said President Barack Obama "has been dealing with the consequences of that fateful decision for the entirety of his presidency." He also said it is important that the United States "learn the lessons of those past mistakes."

The decision to go to war was fueled by the belief that former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had a store of weapons of mass destruction that could have been used on the United States and its allies. That intelligence assessment was later proved to be mistaken.

A spokesman for former U.S. president George W. Bush, who ordered the invasion of Iraq in 2003, released a statement Wednesday saying, "Despite the intelligence failures and other mistakes he has acknowledged previously, President Bush continues to believe the whole world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power."

Public policy expert William Galston of the Brookings Institution said Wednesday that he agrees with the report that the international community had not yet exhausted all other options to eliminate the Iraqi threat.

He noted that U.N. arms inspector Hans Blix has maintained that the U.N. sanctions regime "was not as weak as was represented, and was not in eminent danger of crumbling, that the inspections regime was very robust, and that Saddam couldn't have done anything major without being detected or without expelling the international inspectors."

Galston says one of the big questions the report raises is "whether the status quo was as untenable as the international community said it was."

Paul Bremer, who led the occupational authority in Iraq after the invasion in 2003, wrote in Britain's The Guardian that the risks incurred by invasion were far less than those of leaving Saddam in power. He said the 9/11 attacks on the United States intensified pressure to confront international threats.

"After 9/11," he writes, "no American president could dismiss the possibility that a state sponsor would provide devastating weapons to terrorist groups, or use them itself." He notes that Saddam's government had used biological weapons against Iraqi Kurds in 1988.

Bremer concluded his piece with the assertion that "it was the correct, if difficult, decision to remove Saddam Hussein. Had we not done so, today we would likely confront a nuclear armed Iraq facing off against a nuclear armed Iran. Bad as the unrest in the region is today, that would be worse."

Former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton, now a senior fellow at the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute, wrote in London's The Telegraph Wednesday that the decision to invade was defensible. He said, "Intelligence can underestimate as well as overestimate a threat. … Saddam lied about his capabilities and about trashing them. Had he stayed in power, he would today have even larger chemical stockpiles."

But those opposing the decision to go to war at the beginning are also sticking to their positions. U.S. foreign policy analyst David Rothkopf of the journal Foreign Affairs tweeted his response to the report Wednesday, saying, "Somehow 'sorry' doesn't seem like enough, does it? OK after a small traffic accident maybe. A catastrophic war, no."

Gerard Araud, the French ambassador to the United States, tweeted, "May I remind everybody how France was abused and denigrated for opposing the war? France was right!" He continued, "Not only a geopolitical disaster, not only distortion and manipulation, but also a human tragedy."

And the Russian Embassy in London uncharacteristically made a joke. Playing on a British slogan from World War II, the embassy posted an image saying, "Keep calm, but I told you so."

And in Washington, the U.S. State Department renewed its travel warning on Iraq. The new warning tells U.S. citizens that travel in Iraq remains very dangerous.

Politicos deadlocked on bills
restricting firearm purchases

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. debate over gun control is on center stage in Washington again this week, but the political battle lines appear hardened against passage of any new restrictions.

Last month's mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, that left 49 people dead pushed gun control to the forefront in the contentious 2016 political election season, even as fractious Republican and Democratic lawmakers remain as divided as ever.

Leaders of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives said Wednesday they would vote later this week on a measure to try to prevent terrorists from buying guns. But Democrats are opposed to the details of the legislation, with a similar proposal already defeated in the Senate.

Rep. Lee Zeldin, a Republican of New York, said the proposal would "prevent terrorists from purchasing firearms or explosives while protecting the due process rights of Americans." It would require the Justice Department to prove that there is probable cause that someone is involved in terrorism before blocking a gun sale, a process that would have to be completed within three days.

But conservative Republicans said that would go too far, imperiling the rights of people to buy guns, and leaving the fate of the legislation in doubt.

Meanwhile, House Democrats, about 100 of whom staged a sit-in on the House floor last month to demand action on gun control legislation, say the Republican proposal is too limited and are calling for votes on their proposals to bar anyone on the U.S. no-fly list from buying a gun. Republicans say that idea, also defeated by the Senate, will not even be put to a vote.

Zeldin accused Democrats of opposing the Republican legislation "for no good reason because they only want the political fight."

House Speaker Paul Ryan rejected Democratic calls for votes on their proposals, saying, "We are not going to pass legislation that infringes on anyone's constitutional rights."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi staged a rally on the Capitol steps calling for passage of new restrictions on gun sales. She has described the Republicans' measure as "toothless . . . that will do nothing to keep our communities safe." She told supporters Democrats want "real action, not a bill written by the gun lobby."

Larry Pratt, executive director emeritus of the Gun Owners of America, contended in an interview that Democratic lawmakers are "making a play for our guns right after we celebrated our independence," the country's annual July 4 holiday. But he also said it was "very disappointing" that Ryan is proceeding to go ahead with a gun control vote.

Pratt said the Orlando massacre occurred in a so-called gun-free zone, where guns are supposedly prohibited. He said such zones should be eliminated and that if people had firearms there someone with a gun inside the club might have stopped the carnage sooner. He complained that Republicans, among the staunchest gun rights supporters in the United States, have declined to advance a proposal to prohibit gun-free zones across the country.

With national lawmakers stalemated over new gun legislation, some states have acted on their own, either loosening restrictions on gun ownership, such as permitting gun owners to openly display their weapons in holsters on their hips, or adding new regulations.

In the western state of California, Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed a package of laws that added to the list of some of the tightest laws in the country. Among other measures, one new law would require ammunition purchasers to undergo background checks.

Gun control rights are one of many issues that sharply divide the two leading 2016 U.S. presidential contenders, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump.

Mrs. Clinton, seeking to become the first female U.S. president, says she supports an individual's right to own a gun, but has called for new gun sale restrictions to curb mass shootings. She supports ending gun manufacturers' immunity from lawsuits from family members whose relatives have been killed by gun violence.

Trump has been much more vocal in saying he supports the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that upholds individual gun owner rights.

Three more astronauts head
to International Space Station

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Three new crew members, an American, a Russian, and a Japanese national, are on their way to the International Space Station aboard a newly redesigned Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

Kathleen Rubins, Anatoly Ivanishin and Takuya Onishi blasted off from Russia's Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan early today for the start of a two-day trip to the space station, where they will join American commander Jeff Williams and Russian crewmates Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka.

The new crew will spend four months aboard the orbital outpost, where Astronaut Rubins, a molecular biologist, will become the first person to sequence DNA in space.  They will also conduct hundreds of other scientific experiments, and install a new docking port that will allow privately owned spacecraft to dock at the station.

French drug firm joins effort
to develop a vaccine for zika

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

French pharmaceutical company Sanofi will team up with the U.S. military to develop a vaccine against the zika virus, the company announced Wednesday.

The army's Walter Reed Institute will share technology and data with the French company, following the military's new research showing zika vaccines which have provided total immunity to mice.

"We're looking at this from both a short- and long-term perspective, collaborating to get into the clinic quicker to provide a vaccine in response to the current emergency, and adapting our own technology to ensure production capacity of a vaccine for years to come," David Loew, Sanofi's executive vice president said in a statement.

Sanofi Pasteur developed last year a vaccine against dengue, another disease carried by the same mosquito which carries zika.

Zika has hit Brazil in particular, where about 1.5 million people have been infected since the outbreak began last year. Many pregnant women who are infected with the virus give birth to babies with a congenital defect called microcephaly, which causes an abnormally small head. 1,600 such cases have been reported in Brazil.

Republicans ready to grill
man who absolved Hillary

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Angry Republicans in the House of Representatives are set to grill FBI Director James Comey today over his decision not to recommend criminal charges against presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server for government business while she served as secretary of State.

Comey has been called to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, while Attorney General Loretta Lynch is scheduled to go before the House Judiciary Committee next week.

Ms. Lynch and Comey met Wednesday, ahead of his testimony. Ms. Lynch said she would abide by the FBI's recommendations.

"I received and accepted their unanimous recommendation that the thorough, year-long investigation be closed and that no charges be brought against any individuals within the scope of the investigation," Ms. Lynch said in a statement released after she met with the FBI director.

Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan Wednesday said Mrs. Clinton may have received preferential treatment from the FBI in its investigation of the former top U.S. diplomat. "It looks it to me," he told reporters when asked. 

After Comey announced his decision Tuesday, Ryan said the public should know how and why Comey reached that conclusion. "What bothers me about this is the Clintons really are living above the law. They're being held by a different set of standards." Ryan added, "And this is why we're going to have hearings, and this is why I think that Comey should give us all the publicly available information."

Ryan has also questioned whether Mrs. Clinton should receive classified briefings as a presidential candidate, given Comey's rebuke of the way she handled sensitive material. 

Jason Chaffetz, the Republican chairman of the oversight and reform committee, also has questioned the FBI's decision. 

"The FBI's recommendation is surprising and confusing," said Chaffetz. "The fact pattern presented by Director Comey makes clear Secretary Clinton violated the law. Individuals who intentionally skirt the law must be held accountable."

The FBI's recommendation Tuesday lifts a major political and legal hurdle for Clinton's candidacy.

In announcing his decision, Comey sharply reprimanded Clinton, who served as the country's top diplomat from 2009 to 2013, and her colleagues at the State Department for what he said was their extremely careless handling of classified material they sent to each other via a private email server she established at her home in New York.

Comey, however, said FBI investigators, in an extensive probe of thousands of Mrs. Clinton's emails, could not find evidence that she clearly, willfully sought to violate U.S. laws and that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case against her based on the evidence uncovered in the weeks-long investigation.

The FBI's probe of her use of the private server, instead of a government server with tight security controls, culminated last Saturday with investigators and government prosecutors questioning her for three and a half hours at FBI headquarters in Washington.

Comey's statement came a week after a political uproar over an encounter Mrs. Clinton's husband, former president Bill Clinton, had with the country's top law enforcement official, Attorney General Lynch, on an airport tarmac in Phoenix, Arizona. Both Bill Clinton and Ms. Lynch said they chatted for half an hour, although not about the email case, but subsequently regretted doing so while Ms. Lynch was overseeing the email investigation.

Republicans and Democrats alike criticized Ms. Lynch's airport get together with Bill Clinton.

Following Comey's announcement, Mrs. Clinton's spokesman said the campaign is pleased the FBI will recommend no charges; but during a rally in North Carolina, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump called the FBI's conclusion "disgraceful."

When she first acknowledged use of the private email server more than a year ago, Clinton said she did so for convenience, so that she would not have to carry two phones, one to handle government business and one to use for personal matters. She quickly acknowledged that mixing official State Department business with personal emails was a mistake.

Long after she left office in early 2013, Ms. Clinton deleted about 30,000 emails she and her lawyers deemed personal and turned over another 30,000 official government-related emails to the State Department, as she was required to do in any event because of government record-keeping regulations. Comey said many more emails were discovered, as well.

Mrs. Clinton said she never sent or received emails that were marked as classified documents, but Comey said FBI investigators found that 110 emails in 52 email chains contained classified information at the time they were sent, with eight of the chains having top secret information.

Real estate-related services (paid category)
Container homes
New shipping containers for sale:
20 ft. (model year 2015) Containers:  $3,500
40 ft. HQ (model year 2015) Containers: $5,000
We also have a 40-ft. HQ Shipping Container Home
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And a 40-ft HQ Reefer basic home model: $12,000.
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SOON with the coming of new power company regulations, we'll be installing PV (photo voltaic) for solar electricity. Yes, at last!
* PV systems: we use Enphase micro-inverters. More flexible. Add panels whenever you like. More reliable than any other system and fully guaranteed!
Solar device
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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.
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Take advantage of our great prices call us know!

We also have the best hot water heaters in town!
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Office phone: 506-2446-0543
Cell phone: 506-8898-9398
or 506-8314-8090



Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

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

Playas del Coco Click Here!

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

Axiom one

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

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

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

Costa Rica Office: +506.4001-2343
Mobile: +506.8367-2466
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Rich Coast
Costa Rica Real Estate
    2.47 acre ocean view property w/ 2 houses & 2 unfinished apartments $249k!!!
    2 houses and pool furnished, great rental potential walk to the beach $327k w/ owner financing
    2-bedroom furnished condo 400 feet from Jacó beach $179,000

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

Have a Property For Sale? Contact Us!
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
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Real estate for sale (paid category)

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

A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

A beautiful American style suburban home, 2,700 sq. ft. of living space with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, front and rear living rooms, laundry area, kitchen and small attached library nook, arched windows and doors and connected hallways, exotic wood interior ceilings and trim, tile floors thru-out. The lot is 835 m2 with mature landscape and orchid nurseries surrounding the house. There is an enclosed workshop and BBQ area in the backyard with lots of storage under roof, plus a nursery for an herb/vegetable garden. This is a very well-kept property with many upgrades, a private feel but yet only 5 minutes from the center of town. Pérez Zeledón is the commercial hub of the southern zone and considered to be one of the best places to live in all of Costa Rica, the perfect size town, not too big and not too small. The beach is 45 minutes to the west and a short drive to the cool mountains is to the east. In between, this large valley has a moderate climate. Pérez has plenty of modern goods and services, an excellent farmers market, private schools, private doctors and clinics, all you need without having to go to the crazy madness of San José. Just reduced to $199,000. Call Jeff: 8725-8176. Email:


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú
Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant.
Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning.
Easy to get liquor license. Low interest financing.
Toll free US phone 877-778-8515
In Costa Rica 8307-0164

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Business for sale or lease (paid category)

Great opportunity for investor
Amount  $250,000, 100% ROI. Trucking company parts manufacturing and sales in Florida, proof of funds required. Call Jack Budd at La Habra, Calif., U.S.A. Phones 714-871-5821, 714-930-5265. Email:

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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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, July 7, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 133
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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
Democrats defeat plans on alien criminals

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

America’s long-simmering debate on immigration collided with election year politics Wednesday as the Senate blocked bills pertaining to undocumented aliens who commit crimes in the United States.

Democrats banded together to defeat two Republican proposals as lawmakers looked ahead to their national party conventions later this month.

One bill would compel local jurisdictions to cooperate with federal authorities in identifying and handing over undocumented immigrants who are taken into custody. Another bill would set mandatory penalties for aliens who repeatedly return to the United States after being deported.

“We should come together and protect the American people,” said Sen. Ted Cruz, a former Republican presidential candidate. “It is time to confront the sobering issue of illegal aliens.”

“Republicans are legislating Donald Trump’s vision that immigrants and Latinos are criminals and threats to the public,” said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat.

Near-unified Democratic opposition caused both bills to fall short of the three-fifths' backing required to advance. The measures already had been blocked in the Senate last year, but majority Republicans revived them at the one-year anniversary of a grisly murder that focused national attention on violent crimes committed by some undocumented aliens.

In July 2015, Kathryn Steinle was shot and killed in San Francisco by an illegal immigrant who had several felony convictions and had been deported five times from the United States.

Weeks before the crime, the man was released from custody by San Francisco’s sheriff’s department, which ignored a request by federal immigration agents that the man be held for deportation.

Like many municipalities and counties across America, San Francisco is a so-called sanctuary city that does not flag undocumented immigrants to federal authorities.

“This is madness,” said Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican of Pennsylvania, whose bill would cut federal funds to sanctuary cities. “It’s unbelievable that we have municipalities that are willfully releasing dangerous people into our communities.”

Cruz, meanwhile, proposed mandatory prison sentences for repeated illegal border-crossers. “The sad truth is that Kate should be alive today,” the Texas Republican said, referring to Ms. Steinle. “But she isn’t because the federal government failed her.”

Democrats see election year politics at play with Toomey waging a tough reelection campaign.

Immigration has long been a polarizing issue in American politics, but rarely with the intensity of the current presidential election cycle.

Donald Trump has described Mexicans as rapists, promised to build a wall between the United States and Mexico and questioned the impartiality of a federal judge of Mexican descent.

Many Republican lawmakers have distanced themselves from Trump’s statements and bristle at any suggestion they are pushing an anti-immigrant agenda on Capitol Hill.

“We’re a nation of immigrants,” said Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. “We all appreciate the many contributions that immigrants have made to our country over the years.”

He added that the legislation blocked Wednesday “is really aimed at those who come to this country illegally and have criminal convictions . . . Extreme sanctuary city policies can inflict incredible pain on innocent victims and their families.”

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From Page 7:

Milk firms and producers in three-way deal

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Two milk marking companies and a dairy cooperative have announced a collaboration that will include the sale of a Costa Rica processing plant to a Mexican firm.

Florida Ice and Farm Co.’s Florida Bebidas is selling a plant in San Ramón de Alajuela to Grupo LaLa, a large Mexican dairy firm.

Both Florida Bebidas and Grupo LaLa sell milk under the MU! Brand. A release said they each would continue to do so independently, although Florida Bebidas will be distributing  Grupo LaLa products within Costa Rica.

Grupo La La has expanded into the United States where it acquired the Borden brand among others.

The Coopeleche  cooperative will increase its milk production, the release said. The firm is based in  San Ramón and has producers in Zarcero, San Carlos, Guatuso, Miramar, Esparza, Guayabo de Bagaces and Tilarán, said the announcement.