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Published Monday Edition
July 10, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 135
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La Reforma
Ministerio de Justicia y Paz photo   
The entrance to La Reforma prison. Officials are still monitoring for meningitis.
Meningitis case discovered in La Reforma prison
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Medical staff at the clinic in La Reforma prison detected a prisoner with symptoms of bacterial meningitis this past Thursday, which was verified by doctors at the Hospital de Alajuela.

Unlike its viral counterpart, bacterial meningitis can be a highly contagious, potentially fatal disease if left unchecked. Many in the United States, Canada and Western Europe are vaccinated against this type of bacteria.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, death from bacterial meningitis can occur in as little as a few hours or can result in permanent disabilities like: hearing loss, brain damage and learning disabilities.

It is also linked to another illness called sepsis, which is the body’s overwhelming response to infection when threatened that can backfire and cause tissue damage, organ failure and death.

The CDC says that meningitis has an increased risk for people in certain “community settings” and that it generally spreads from one person to another. “It is also important to know that people can carry these bacteria in or on their bodies without being sick,” the CDC said.

Some common examples as to how it passes on is through close contact or by coughing or sneezing as well as eating food prepared by people who did not wash their hands well after using the toilet.

Typically symptoms develop within three to seven days after exposure, the CDC said. The institute said that the best way to prevent getting the disease is through vaccinations.
Otherwise, stay out of close contact of people who are sick or infected with the disease.

The Ministerio de Justicia y Paz said in a statement that it was following the health ministry’s protocol established for these diseases by caring for those who were close to the patient as well as the medical and security personnel.

An antibiotic pill was administered to the 30 prisoners who were sharing the same bedroom with the infected prisoner, officials said.

It was then applied to the 106 prisoners who live in A Block and the 11 prison police and seven clinic staff within the past week.

“It is not true to say that, with the first contact, the disease is transmitted automatically, because certain conditions are required and the symptoms evolve,” the justice ministry said in a statement attempting to avoid a panic.

“However, doctors have already reviewed the entire population of the A Block, as well as the medical staff and, for the moment, none have symptoms of meningitis.”
Surveillance in the 154 people treated will be carried out during the next seven days, in order to rule out new cases, the ministry said.

The inmate officially recorded as having the disease has been quarantined and currently being cared for in the Hospital de Alajuela, officials said.

Still, however, the ministry has not quite initiated an official quarantine for the facility and its residents.

Flood at psychiatric hospital turns into blame game
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

On Friday, heavy rains caused a massive flooding at the facilities of the Hospital Nacional Psiquiátrico, whose staff had to internally relocate at least 13 patients.

According to the Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social, the floods effected 70 percent of the facilities, since the hospital sits right next to Quebrada Chapuí brook, which doubled its water volume in less than 3 hours.

Lilia Uribe, director of the hospital, explained that all nursing staff were involved in the the transfer and care of patients. Meanwhile, the rest of the staff at the hospital tried to remove the water.

A group of teenagers were the most affected  and were transferred to other rooms where water did not arrive at all. A detailed evaluation of the possible damages caused by will be carried out as of today, Ms. Uribe said.

During the weekend, the staff continued to relocate patients and remove the water from several sections. The Hospital Nacional Psiquiátrico is one of two psychiatric hospitals belonging to the social security system.

It has 655 beds and about 500 people hospitalized.

This is not the first time that a flood affected the services of the hospital. According to Casa Presidencial, it is becoming more and more common each time it rains heavily.

The central government blames the Municipalidad de San José as being primarily responsible for the floods, since more works are required.

According to Gabriela Murillo, manager of infrastructure and Technology at Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, the hospital has invested in metal gates that close tightly when it rains hard, however the system is unable to keep all the water away.

She also said the problems come directly from the sewers’ reduced capacity to cope with heavy rain. Ms. Murillo said that high tech equipment is also at risk during these events and the asepsis of the hospital is compromised each time.

In May, workers from the hospital and the municipality made a detailed evaluation of the surroundings of the hospital to come up with solutions, however, no new advancements have been reported so far.

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Published || Monday Edition, July 10, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 135
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A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.
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Eight detained near Playa Herredura

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A total of eight men were detained at Playa Herredura in Jacó for varying crimes related to hits, intimidation and drug trafficking.

According to a Sunday morning report from the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública, these individuals were found with drugs, ammunition and weaponry by the Fuerza Pública delegation in Garabito.

The group was apparently traveling in two vehicles and were wanted by police after a report was filed on their presence in the canton, police said. Seven of the eight were wanted by the Policía Control de Drogas.

All of the suspects were referred to judicial authorities for the allegations. It is suspected that some of these men were engaged in sicario activities, a Spanish word roughly translating to a hit-man for a criminal organization or drug cartel.

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Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo       
Officers practice on the new virtual reality set.

U.S. donates new virtual reality sets

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Thanks to a donation from the United States government, the public security ministry received some very expensive virtual reality sets for its officers to practice on.

The Ministerio de Seguridad Pública and the Policía Penitenciaria got six polygons valued at almost $790,000 for practice and training purposes. Polygons are a virtual reality tool that provides a 180-degree panoramic view and a more interactive virtual experience.

“These virtual polygons are not intended to replace gunshot practices but help improve officer training in care and stressful situations in order to improve their response capacity,” according to a statement from the ministry.

The U.S. government’s donation also includes training for 10 officers in each of the police forces who will then serve as trainers for the rest of their fellow officers, police said. Beginning today, the virtual reality sets are being used by the Servicio de Vigilancia Aérea and the Guardacostas for its training.

New canton won't be official until 2020

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Although the new canton of Río Cuarto was officially created by the legislative assembly and signed into law by President Luis Guillermo Solís, it still can not exist as one.

According to a ruling from the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones, the new community may officially exist after the presidential elections of February 2018. Only then, Río Cuarto will have its new status and its only district will be formally assigned.

The current electoral law states the country cannot undergo administrative territorial divisions 14 months prior to presidential elections.

Nevertheless, the residents have already started a cooperation program with the Instituto de Fomento y Asesoría Municipal, the government agency that will provide the logistic support to build the newest canton in the country. The institute will also be in charge of training the future public officials and municipal authorities.

As of now, Río Cuarto continues to be administered by the Municipalidad de Grecia, which will continue to collect taxes and provide services until 2020.

By then, the village should be prepared to elect its first mayor, obtain municipal autonomy and its own budget.
Río Cuarto will be the 12th canton of Alajuela province and its borders will be Sarapiquí to the west, San Carlos to the north, Alajuela and Valverde Vega to the south.

It will have one unique district named also Río Cuarto and it will include the villages of: Ángeles Norte, Bolaños, Caño Negro, Carmen, Carrizal, Colonia del Toro, Crucero, Flor, Laguna; Merced, Palmar, Palmera, Pata de Gallo, Peoresnada, Pinar, Pueblo Nuevo, San Fernando, San Gerardo San Jorge, San Rafael, San Vicente, Santa Isabel, Santa Rita, Tabla, Bosque Alegre, El Hule, La Trinidad, Los Lagos y San José.

New app available for dog information

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The dog owners association of Costa Rica came out with a new app a couple weeks ago that allows owners to have their pet’s registration information on hand.

According to a Facebook post sent out by the group, the app allows for owners and municipalities alike to have accurate data regarding the control and monitoring of Costa Rica’s canine population.

“Together with the municipalities, SENASA and the Federación Canina, we will be able to register and follow up on the dogs of the country as this is of paramount importance for the control of animal and public health,” Bernardo Jaén, the director-general for the Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal, said.

The canine federation said that all the people who have registered their dogs already have this service. The app will supply dog data such as the information off the microchip installed in registered dogs, breed, color, group and each dog will be listed with an assigned owner.

According to Luis Carlos Chaves, the president and co-founder of Avantica, the company contracted to create the app, it will be free and can be downloaded from the App store as: ACAN Costa Rica.

The federation claims that it is the largest canine registry in the entire country and is partnered with SENASA.

Forum on hotel tries to appease public

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The professional working group established by the cultural ministry to further investigate the doings of the Gran Hotel Costa Rica renovation project had their public forum last Friday.

The forum was an attempt by the group’s professionals as well as the hotel developers to assuage the public after reports came out in the media that the Gran Hotel Costa Rica, a site deemed of historic value to the country, was undergoing extensive renovations that would compromise the original design of the place.

These reports were later debunked by both the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud’s patrimonial site monitor and the hotel’s owners but some skepticism lingered.

A.M. Costa Rica reported previously the establishment of a special commission attached to the Centro de Investigación y Conservación del Patrimonio Cultural. The members consist of an architect, structural designer and historian.

This commission presided over Friday’s forum along with cultural ministry officials and the project’s owners, according to a statement by the ministry. The company accepted a proposal to change the intended design of the fifth floor of the hotel. The details of that alternative proposal were not immediately provided.

This is all the pregame to the grand finale when the Grupo Técnico Profesional de Trabajo, as the commission is officially named, presents its final analysis of the Gran Hotel Costa Rica. That analysis will be given directly to Sylvie Durán, the culture minister on July 18.

News from the Spanish-language press
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Third News Page
U.S. Tax
Published || Monday Edition, July 10, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 135
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Costa Rica's arts festival closes with parades, pomp and performance
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The fifteenth Festival Internacional de las Artes closed Sunday with the region’s widest array of handicrafts, music, concerts, performances and theater all packed in along a less than 1.5 kilometer stretch.

“This has been a festival full of joy, in which we have invaded with art and culture, the streets of the heart of San José,” Marianella Protti, the artistic producer for the entire festival, said. The festival stretched from Parque Central all the way to east end of the city at the Antigua Aduana.

“From the first day, the concept was to offer theater and dance to people in public spaces and transform these places into cultural spaces,” the festival’s website said.

Organizers spared no expense and the rainy weather put a damper on some of the events but the show continued on with the music and festivities being heard all the way from the A.M. Costa Rica offices each day.

The festival saw crowds gathered around the stages float between being packed such as on opening night to being pretty spacious for any passerby to get through easily.

Still, the festival had much to offer in terms of arts in abundance for all ages and tastes. It also helped to give San José Centro some life at times after the afternoon rush that usually empties the capital’s streets during the evenings.

The festival closed Sunday with a performance by the German theater group, Antagon TheaterAktion, and its show Gingko. The ensemble is made up of 25 people, organizers said in a statement, and they have traveled around much of the world.

The festival called it a 360-degree outdoor show with poetic and sensitive moments, pyrotechnics and hanging installations. The group closed the festival at the Plaza de la Democracia Sunday night at 8:30.

Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud photo    
300 artists joined the final parade down Avenida Central.

Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud photo    
Sonámbulo Psicotropical brought the house down for the closing of the festival's concerts also attended by President Luis Guillermo Solís.

Bird watching is new strategy for Costa Rica's tourism institute
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Bird watching is the new activity that the Instituto Costarrricense de Turismo will strengthen  in order to increase the amount of visitors per year and the development of small businesses and hotels, according to the organization.
The Instituto has recently created the Ruta Nacional de Pájaros, which seeks to take advantage of the feathered biodiversity of the country.

It is estimated that Costa Rica is home to more than 900 avian species of which more than 220 migrate from the United States on a regular basis.

Although birds migrate to warmer places to escape winter conditions in their native countries, many arrive to the country for reproductive purposes as well.

Currently, the country has 12 observation  points  not far from each other. That allows birdwatchers to live a complete experience without wasting too much time moving from one place to the other.

Some of those points are already protected areas such as: Santa Rosa, Palo Verde, Monteverde, Caño Negro, Puerto Viejo, Tortuguero, Cahuita, Corcovado, San Gerardo de Dota, Tapantí and Carara.

Costa Rica ranks fifth in the world for bird watching due to its infrastructure, accessibility, and biodiversity according to the Bird’s Watcher website. There are about 9.2 million active members of international bird watching organizations, according to the site, which makes this market niche an interesting one to invest upon, according to the Plan Anual Operativo of the Institute.

The plan seeks to attract citizens of the United States, United Kingdom and Sweden through a special market strategy. It will also encourage small rural businesses and entrepreneurs on the importance of taking care of this segment.

The fact that many facilities are located within protected areas, mean that no major investments are needed for their conservation, however, the Instituto monitors these sites regularly.

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

Published || Monday Edition, July 10, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 135
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Removing Costa Rica shrub could help reduce malaria, study says
By the BioMed Central press staff

Removing the flowers of an invasive shrub from mosquito-prone areas might be a simple way to help reduce malaria transmission, according to a new study published in the open access “Malaria Journal.”

Removing the flowers from villages in Mali decreased the local mosquito vector population by nearly 60 percent.

The study, carried out in the Bandiagra District in Mali, is the first of its kind to trial a direct environmental manipulation as a way to control mosquito vector populations in areas at risk of malaria transmission.

Dr. Gunter Muller, lead author of the study from Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School, said: “Mosquitos obtain most of their energy needs from plant sugars taken from the nectar of flowers so we wanted to test the effect removing the flowers of the shrub Prosopis juliflora would have on local mosquito vector populations."

"Our results show that removal of this particular shrub reduces total population levels of mosquitoes and reduces the number of older female mosquitoes in the population, which are known to transmit malaria parasites to humans," he added.

"This suggests that removal of the flowers could be a new way to shift inherently high malaria transmission areas to low transmission areas, making elimination more feasible.”

The study focused on the removal of the flowers of the invasive shrub Prosopis juliflora, which is native to Central and South America but was introduced to new areas in the late 1970s and early 1980s as an attempt to reverse deforestation. Prosopis juliflora is a robust plant that grows rapidly and has become one of the worst invasive plants in many parts of the world.

Light traps to catch mosquitoes were set up across nine villages in the Bandiagra District, six of which were home to flowering Prosopis juliflora and three that had no presence of the shrub.

After a first round of analysis was conducted to assess mosquito populations, the researchers cut all the flowering branches from Prosopis juliflora in three of the six infested villages, before setting up light traps to determine the effect removal of the shrub had on mosquito vector populations.

John Beier, co-author of the research from the University of Miami, said: “The presence or absence of Prosopis juliflora in villages has a significant influence on the size of the mosquito population in general."
shrub Prosopis juliflora
Wikipedia photo   
This invasive shrub found in Costa Rica is a hotbed of mosquito action.

"As well as offering a potentially environmentally reasonable and sustainable strategy in reducing the incidence of malaria, there are also other benefits to be gained from removal of these plants. For example, these plants are known to encroach on crop and pasture lands," he added.

The researchers found that villages where they removed the flowers saw mosquito numbers collected in the traps fall from an average of 11 to 4.5 for females, and 6 to 0.7 for male mosquitoes.

The total number of mosquitoes across these villages decreased by nearly 60 percent after removal of the flowers.

After flower removal, the number of older more dangerous vector females in the population dropped to levels similar to those recorded in the villages that had no presence of the shrub.

Villages infested with Prosopis juliflora also had a higher proportion of mosquitoes with a sugar meal in their gut, which enhances their survival. This proportion was reduced 5-fold following removal of the flowers.

According to the researchers, it may be worthwhile to abstain from the introduction of exotic plants that have the potential to become invasive.

This is not only because of their potential negative impacts on the environment and livelihoods, but because some of them may have negative significant consequences for public health and specifically for malaria.

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Cells:  +506-8380-5919  and +506-8302-5877

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Costa Rica's world class medical specialists are at your command. Get the top care for much less than U.S. prices. It is really a great way to spend a vacation. See our list of recommended professionals HERE!amcr-prom

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Fine Furniture of Sarchi - Sarchi, Costa Rica
All our handcrafted products are made in Sarchi with pride and quality by artisans who are dedicated to designing, crafting, and delivering our furniture to you. Please visit our website and send us a picture and specifications of what YOU like, or just send us pictures from anywhere you wish. We will quote you right back with a more than competitive price and an on-time delivery date. Delivery and set up available throughout Costa Rica. We have different Costa Rican woods from which you may choose.
Contact information:
Adolfo's Cell 506-8831-4306
 Tom in the USA 803-261-6000

U.S. Income Tax Services (paid category)

Tax Time
U.S. Income Tax Services
Marlene B. Summers
ax Accountant Licensed by the I.R.S.
Ms. Summers
Marlene B. Summers
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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Phone 506-2290-3060

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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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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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Side of Pura Vida

A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page

Salsa Lizano
Published || Monday Edition, July 10, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 135
Real Estate
About us
Voice of America photo       
Opposition protest in Caracas.

Venezuela opposition leader
released into house arrest

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Venezuelan jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, transferred from a military prison to house arrest in a surprise move early Saturday, pledged to continue pressuring the country's leftist government to restore democratic norms and urged his supporters to do the same.

"Today, I am a prisoner in my house, but so are the Venezuelan people," he said in a statement read outside his house by National Assembly lawmaker Freddy Guevara, a leader of the Popular Will party that Lopez founded.

"What kept me going in the toughest days was knowing that whatever suffering I endured was nothing compared to our people."

His statement called for Venezuelans to continue street demonstrations against the administration of President Nicolas Maduro and to vote in an unofficial referendum July 16 on whether they support the socialist leader's call to rewrite the country's constitution.

Intense street demonstrations have roiled Venezuela's capital and other cities almost daily since early April, with protesters demanding that Maduro release political prisoners, schedule long-overdue elections and open access to humanitarian aid to offset severe shortages of food, medicine and other basic goods.

At least 90 people have died in clashes among anti-government demonstrators, security forces and Maduro supporters.

More demonstrations were expected Sunday.

Lopez, 46, was released from Ramo Verde military prison before dawn Saturday and transferred to house arrest, Lopez's attorney and Venezuela's Supreme Court said.

A court statement said Lopez was granted the humanitarian measure for health reasons. On its Twitter account, the court said the move was granted Friday by the court's president, Maikel Moreno.

Lopez was detained in February 2014 for allegedly inciting violence during anti-government protests in which three people died and dozens were wounded. A year later, he was sentenced to nearly 14 years in prison.

On Saturday, scores of Lopez's supporters thronged to his house in Caracas, many sporting T-shirts or waving banners with his likeness. They cheered when the opposition leader appeared on the rooftop balcony, waving a Venezuelan flag.

Journalists at the scene also sought information about rumors that the move was part of a larger deal between the Maduro government and his political opposition. The Lopez family released a photo to social media showing Lopez inside the home, embracing his young son and daughter.

Lopez's father, Leopoldo Lopez Gil, told a radio station in Spain that he was able to speak with his son over the phone for over 40 minutes Saturday. The elder Lopez said his son, now wearing an electronic ankle bracelet, had been isolated in recent days and kept in solitary confinement.

The United Nations, various foreign governments and human rights advocates have criticized Lopez's detention as politically motivated.

In February, U.S. President Donald Trump welcomed Lopez's wife, Lilian Tintori, to the White House and then tweeted a photo of their Oval Office meeting, calling for the opposition leader's immediate release.

CNN reported Maduro as saying Saturday that he supported the court's decision to transfer Lopez, despite his absolute and profound differences with the opposition leader.

Medical pardon possible
for Perú’s ex-leader Fujimori

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Perú’s president says a decision about granting a medical pardon to imprisoned former President Alberto Fujimori will likely be made before the end of the year.

President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski told a local radio station Friday that a pardon for the former leader would not be a pardon for his crimes, but would instead be based on the recommendations of Fujimori’s doctors.

The ex-president was taken to a hospital Friday after he displayed signs of hypertension and an irregular heartbeat, according to his doctor.

Fujimori, who is 78 years old, is serving a 25-year sentence for human rights violations, corruption and the sanctioning of death squads during his presidential term.

Demonstrators took to the streets of Lima on Friday in an effort to persuade Kuczynski to withhold a pardon for Fujimori who has been in and out of the hospital several times with a host of illnesses.

Canada’s Desjardins ceases
lending for energy pipelines

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Canadian lender Desjardins is considering no longer funding energy pipelines, a spokesman said Saturday, citing concerns about the impact such projects may have on the environment.

Desjardins, the largest association of credit unions in North America, Friday temporarily suspended lending for such projects and may make the decision permanent, spokesman Jacques Bouchard told Reuters by telephone.

He said the lender would make a final decision in September.

Desjardins, a backer of Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd’s high-profile expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline, has been evaluating its policy for such lending for months, Bouchard said.

If it makes the decision permanent, that would likely mean Desjardins would not help finance other major Canadian pipelines projects, including TransCanada Corp’s Keystone XL and Energy East and Enbridge Inc’s Line 3.

Such a move would follow that of Dutch lender ING Groep NV, which has a long-standing policy of not funding projects directly related to oil sands, and is the latest sign that pipelines could have a harder time getting funding as banks face increasing pressure to back away.

Patrick Bonin, a campaigner with the environmental group Greenpeace, praised Desjardins for temporarily halting pipeline funding, but called on the lender to make it permanent and reconsider its $113 million commitment to Trans Mountain.

Desjardins is among 24 financial institutions that agreed to lend money to a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan Canada, majority owned by Kinder Morgan Inc. of Houston, according to regulatory filings.

A coalition of more than 20 indigenous and environmental groups, including Greenpeace, in June called on 28 major banks to pull funding for Trans Mountain, citing the risk of pipeline spills and their potential contribution to climate change.

ING, which was targeted by the coalition, said it will not fund any of the major Canadian pipelines.

The same month, Sweden’s largest national pension fund, AP7, sold investments in six companies that it says violate the Paris climate agreement, including TransCanada, in a decision environmentalists believe is the first of its kind.

UNESCO adds to list
of World Heritage sites

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A remote Iranian desert city, Ice Age-era caves in Germany and a stone wharf in Brazil built for arriving African slave ships are three new additions to UNESCO's list of World Heritage sites.

The World Heritage Committee spent a week meeting in Kraków, Poland, to consider 34 significant historical and cultural sites to add to the list.

This year's selections include the Iranian city of Yazd, which UNESCO describes as a "living testimony to the use of limited resources for survival in the desert."

The city has managed to avoid so-called modernization that destroyed many similar Iranian towns, and has preserved its traditional homes, bazaars, mosques and synagogues.

Another site UNESCO added to the list is in the Swabian Jura in southern Germany, one of the areas in Europe where humans first arrived more than 40,000 years ago, during the last Ice Age. They settled in caves, first discovered in the 1860s, and where they created some of the oldest known figurative art.

The U.N. cultural organization said the ancient musical instruments and prehistoric carved figures of animals and humans found in the caves help shed light on the origins of human artistic development

UNESCO also placed the Valongo Wharf in central Rio de Janeiro on the World Heritage List. The stone wharves were built in the early 1800s for slave ships sailing from Africa to Brazil. UNESCO called the wharves the most important physical trace of the arrival of African slaves on the American continent.

UNESCO added the World Heritage designation to more than 22 sites during its weeklong meeting in Poland, including choices that were controversial.

They include the Hoh Xil area in the China's Qinghai province, a traditionally Tibetan area. By designating this a World Heritage site, the International Camnpaign for Tibet, an advocacy group critical of China's administration there, said UNESCO endorses the forced relocation of Tibetan nomads by Chinese authorities.

China has promised to preserve the traditions and cultural heritage of the Tibetan region.

UNESCO also designated the Old City and Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron as a Palestinian World Heritage Site, angering Israel.

The city is split between Israeli and Palestinian control with the Old City and tomb in the Israeli sector. The tomb is sacred to Jews, Muslims, and Christians. Israel accuses UNESCO of trying to hide Jewish ties to Hebron, while Palestinians contend Israel is seeking to undermine their history.

Fighting in Mosul
Voice of America photo        
Soldiers say they are still fighting house to house.

Fighting continues in Mosul
as Iraq celebrates victory

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Inch by inch, house by house, Iraqi forces continue to fight remaining Islamic State militants in Mosul even as officials celebrate victory. The battle is now in such tight quarters that coalition airstrikes against IS targets shake Iraqi-held buildings.

Soldiers described the final fights as the most brutal in the battle with Islamic State militants, as they entered houses where militants hide out in suicide vests.

As the sun faded in Mosul on Sunday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi’s convoy departed the liberated city of Mosul. Some excited-looking locals gathered to commemorate his visit, their mobile phone cameras at the ready.

The vast majority of Mosul is controlled by Iraqi forces, with the militants penned inside an area of only about 200 square meters. Iraqi soldiers said the remaining fighters are zealots; most are not Iraqis, and for them every battle is fought is to the death.

Soldiers estimated there are between 100 and 150 IS members still fighting in Mosul, and said they are focusing now on taking as many of the remaining militants alive as possible.

They expect the battle to end completely in the coming days, and then will move on to other cities and towns controlled by IS, in addition to fighting sleeper cells they believe are hidden among Mosul's civilian population.

In a nearby house used as a makeshift base, three men sit against a wall with their hands tied behind their backs. They are rail-thin, and one man looks like he urinated on himself. Another appears to be silently praying.

“These are Daesh,” soldiers said, using the pejorative Arabic expression for the so-called Islamic State group. “They say they are not, but our snipers could see them fighting. They only threw down their weapons and pretended to be refugees when they knew they would die.”

One of the men, Mashan, says he came to Iraqi forces because there was no food or water. He looks confused when asked if he supported IS when they arrived in his area. “They never gave us anything,” he said.

A few kilometers from the battlefront, the city is in ruins and teams of men search for the dead and the wounded.

Thousands of civilians have been killed in this battle and 900,000 people have been forced to flee their homes. Vast swaths of Mosul and the surrounding towns and villages have been abandoned, and many people say they never feel safe going home.

And while no part of Mosul is as thoroughly destroyed as the Old City, neither has any part left untouched by nearly three years of IS rule and almost nine months of all-out war.

In parts of East Mosul, completely recaptured by Iraqi forces in January, recovery is more promising. Shoppers crowd the streets, some of which are newly paved, mostly picking through wreckage left by airstrikes. The government has restored electricity and water supplies in much of the city.

West Mosul is largely destroyed, but soldiers hope rebuilding will begin as soon as the battle ends.

Pakistan seeks other partners
after U.S. exhaustion grows

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Once a key ally in the U.S. war on terrorism, Pakistan finds itself increasingly isolated from Washington amid allegations that it harbors more than a dozen terrorist groups. Instead, it has been steadily cozying up to China and Russia.

Both of America’s primary rivals have been taking advantage of Pakistan’s paranoia about India, and gaps in Washington’s global influence as President Donald Trump continues to form his foreign policy in the strategic region.

Pakistan’s relations with three of its four neighbors, Afghanistan, India and Iran, are at a low point.

And instead of trying to rein in extremism, the government appears to be feeding the growing conservative movement with no sign of backing off a controversial blasphemy law that has led to repeated mob violence.

Experts say 13 of the approximately 60 U.S.-designated global terrorist organizations are based in Pakistan, mostly in the tribal region that borders Afghanistan.

Major militant groups include the Pakistani Taliban and the Haqqani Network, along with Laskar-e-Jhangvi, Jaish-e-Muhammad and Jundullah. And despite denials that Islamic State has a presence in the country, the terror group has claimed responsibility for recent attacks there.

Two U.S. lawmakers introduced legislation last September to designate Pakistan a terror state over its inability to curb homegrown militancy and the threat it poses to its neighbors.

Republicans Ted Poe and Dana Rohrabacher accused Pakistan of harboring global terrorist leaders and supporting terror groups, including the Haqqani Network, which targets Afghan and U.S.-led NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, said Pakistan should be designated as a state that is sponsoring terrorism.

Pakistan also has done little about the thousands of unregistered Islamic schools known as madrassas, which are linked to an increase in militancy in the Afghan-Pakistan region. The schools nurture militant ideology and are known to provide foot soldiers for the Taliban.

Instead, Pakistan has portrayed itself as a victim of terrorism and a staunch ally in the U.S. campaign. The reality on the ground is different. Just three weeks ago, the most recent drone attack in Hangu, a Pakistani district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, eliminated a Haqqani Network commander. Officials confirmed his identity to local media.

At the center of Pakistan’s actions and policies are its fears about India. The two countries have fought three wars, and another is always a threat. Both sides have nuclear arsenals capable of destroying the subcontinent several times over.

Relations with Kabul have taken a downturn this year after terror attacks in Pakistan that it claims were at least planned by extremist groups in Afghanistan. Pakistan has closed border crossings for lengthy periods and has begun construction of a border fence with Afghanistan.

While President Trump has yet to come up with a policy to deal with Pakistan’s worsening quagmire, China has stepped in as part of what appears to be a concerted effort to expand its sphere of influence.

It currently is involved in a major mutually beneficial project to build a network of roads and other infrastructure from its territory to Pakistan’s Gwadar port in order to provide a shorter route to the Persian Gulf.

Russia, too, has been making diplomatic overtures and recently participated in joint naval exercises off Pakistan.

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
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Romantic Country Bungalow Click Here
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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:

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

Century 21

A Name You Trust,
Professionalism You Deserve

Tom Ghormley and the dream team!
in CR since 1979

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

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Toll Free 1-877-293-1456


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  Published || Monday Edition, July 10, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 135
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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

Fences for decoration, for protection and for use in the garden

Fences. Large or small, metal or stone, wood or concrete, barbed wire or decorative, we have a lot of fences in Costa Rica.

A lot of our fences in towns and cities are protective. They keep the neighborhood kids from cutting through gardens and trampling plants. And, yes, some are meant to keep out the rougher element that is found in every society.

Victoria Torley
 I enjoy looking at fences,
 especially the highly decorative
 ones in places like Escazú and

 Today, I saw one that was
 painted a shockingly bright
 pink. Metric Man would have
 shuddered to see it. He doesn’t
 like pink.

But it was so nicely worked in wrought iron that I wondered about the paint job. Since I lived for a long time in the New England area, I have a special fondness for stone fences and used to build small ones around my garden areas.

My neighbor has a lovely tall stone wall at the front of the house with a wooden gate so solid that it could protect a castle. I love it! But let’s talk about real fences, the ones we have in the countryside.

We don’t worry about kids cutting through the yard or trampling plants, no, we have bigger worries. Much bigger. In fact, about the size of a large cow! A delicate tracery of leaves on the wrought iron is not for us. We can’t afford that much iron let alone the workmanship. No, for us there is only one solution and that is barbed wire.

No one I know likes to work with barbed wire. First, it’s…….well, it’s barbed! It catches on clothes and skin and makes tears in both. Second, it comes in coils. Every tried to uncoil wire? With barbs? Finally, it is heavy, ungainly, and has to be tacked to each post separately (a lot of finally). Too much slack and the cows get in (or out) anyway.

And what about the posts you tack the wire to? Wood posts are cheap and can be cut from downed trees, but wood posts, which may last for years in nice dry places like Arizona or the Atacama, don’t stand a chance in Costa Rica. Not against the rains and the termites. And not against determined cows either. They just push on them until they fall over.

For years we have had wooden fence posts but now a friend is tearing out her old fencing and putting in a nice privacy fence. And what is she taking out? Concrete posts, that’s what. And where are they going? I bet you can guess. Thirty-five concrete fence posts. It’s a start.

Plant of the Week
A.M. Costa Rica photo/Victoria Torley       

Plant for the Week

So you have posts and fencing, now what? Fencing, even with barbed wire, is a great place for growing edibles. Watermelon, cucumbers, squash of all kinds, climbing beans, they are all wonderful on fences. Right now, we are putting our hopes on a grape vine. It’s still tiny, but it is a variety that grows well in Costa Rica and we expect wonderful fruit in the future.

If you would like to suggest a topic for this column, simply send a letter to the editor.  And, for more garden tips, visit HERE!

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From page 7:

Banco Central suspends new exchange market

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The board of directors for the Banco Central of Costa Rica suspended the new modality of negotiating the value of the dollar in the currency exchange market, known as Monex-Subasta.

Initially, the service was to begin this Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. in order to improve the exchange market prices by matching bidders and buyers’ values and stabilizing the flow of information in the domestic market.

However, the board decided to suspend that mechanism after monitoring the market in recent weeks and realized that this new type of negotiations could generate uncertainty, according to a statement from the Banco Central.

The new mechanism would work at the same time as the foreign currency market which works from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. However, the bank's management requested the suspension and that the new system should start operating after July, with at least two weeks notice.

Following the suspension of Monex-Subasta, the bank's board of directors also agreed that the new Monex service fees will be postponed. The maximum negotiation amounts in the auctions will also remain the same until further notice.
Since May, the Banco Central has invested in the currency exchange market in order to stabilize dollar prices. To do this, the bank has sold part of its $7 billion reserve to avoid a shortage of dollars.

The low interest rates in colones and an increase in imports are two of the reasons why the dollar price rose in the first half of 2017.