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(506) 2223-1327                                  Published Tuesday, July 14, 2015, in Vol. 15, No. 137                             Email us
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Judiciary issues invitation to report narco infiltration
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Poder Judicial unveiled another aspect of its plan to attack the possible infiltration of drug gangs into the judiciary.

The plan is to maintain a free hotline or email account.  Actually the phone number,  800-8000-645, and the email,, already exist.
They are for what is called the  Centro de Información Confidencial of the Judicial Investigating Organization.

That is where the citizens are invited to report the whereabouts of missing persons and similar routine complaints.

All the complaints that come in will be transferred to the Comisión de Transparencia y la Inspección Judicial, said the Poder Judicial.

The contact information appears to be part of a proposed law being put forward by Zarela Villanueva Monge, president of the Corte
Suprema de Justicia. The bill is designed to
fight organized crime and drug cartels. Still unclear is why a new law is needed.

The telephone proposal comes from a  Comisión Contra el Crimen Organizado y el Narcotráfico that has been working in the judiciary to impede the infiltration of criminals, said the magistrate.

She also said that more money will be sought for the judicial inspection office and that campaigns will be organized to stress ethical values and principles for judicial workers. In addition, workers may be asked to provide an accounting of their income and assets each year as others in the government do.

The judiciary was responding, in part, to a case involving a judge in Limón who allowed a cocaine smuggler to post bail in 2011. He quickly vanished.

A year ago the court magistrates set up a committee to consider infiltration by drug gangs. The proposals only became known last month.

A small matter of some $4 trillion
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A coalition of United Nations food agencies asked Monday for $4 trillion to solve hunger.

The request came from a meeting taking place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. of the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization and two others.

The organizations warned that without eliminating hunger there will be 650 million persons who are hungry by 2030.

The organizations are seeking $257 billion a year for 15 years to provide access to food for the hungry and to develop infrastructure.   A summary said that this is a relatively small price to pay to end chronic hunger. By comparison, the U.S. national debt is $18 trillion.

The money amounts to $160 a year or $1.25 a day for each hungry person, said the organizations. In addition to the Food and Agricultural Organization, they are the U.N. World Food Program and the U.N. International Fund for Agricultural Development.

The U.N. organizations said that public investments would be needed to obtain this much money. The investments would go to rural infrastructure, transportation, health and education, the announcement said. Also proposed are lines of credit and methods to reduce loss and waste of harvests and labor legislations.
The first amounts of money would go to that was called social protection, money transfers to eliminate hunger and improve nutrition as well as to attack what the organizations called hidden hunger, diets that lack vitamins, iron and other minerals.


Here comes the international tax man
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Doctors Without Borders is a well-known organization whose members treat illness where

they find it. There even is an organization called Reporters Without Borders that works worldwide for a free press.

Now comes Tax Inspectors Without Borders, an initiative by the U.N.  Development Programme and the organization Costa Rica seeks to join, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The idea was announced Monday even though the program has been tested in Colombia and several African countries.

“The new partnership between the OECD and UNDP on Tax Inspectors Without Borders will significantly extend the global reach of existing efforts to build audit capacity while sending a strong message of international support to developing countries,” said  Angel Gurría, secretary general of the  Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Tax audit experts will work alongside local officials of developing country tax administrations to help strengthen tax audit capacities, including issues concerning international tax matters, an announcement said.

The organization is known for its promotion of a European type tax system and its blacklist of tax havens. Costa Rica is working hard to meet the requirements of membership.
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However, tax officials here have received extensive help from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

The traveling tax inspector plan increased tax revenue in Colombia, from $3.3 million in 2011 to $33.2 million in 2014 thanks to tax audit advice and guidance, the announcement said.

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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.

Hearing Services

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Lawyers offered civil responsibility policy

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The state insurance company has set up a group policy to cover lawyers for breaches of their professional obligations.

The insurance is voluntary, and the coverage can range up to 100 million colons, about $190,000, depending on the premium.

The group policy was announced Monday by Elian Villegas Valverde, executive president of the Instituto Nacional de Seguros, and Eduardo Calderón Odio, president of the  Colegio de Abogados y Abogadas.

A spokesman for the insurance firm was unable to say Monday if the policies would cover fraud on the part of the lawyers.

The premiums are minimal. Coverage of 100 million colons is available for a monthly premium of  23,629 colons, about $45. Lawyers can opt for coverage a low as 5 million colons, about $9,500.

More than 25,000 lawyers are eligible, said the state insurance firm.

Sunday's lottery honors value of topsoil
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Expats could hit pay dirt if they play the lottery for this Sunday.

Even if they don't, the lottery is in honor of dirt or at least the International Year of Soil. The  Junta de Protección Social frequently honors organizations and events with the face of the Sunday lottery ticket.

This week the Asociación Costarricense de la Ciencia del Suelo, an organization of agronomists, got the nod.

The association is quick to point out the value of soil and that erosion is a continual process that damages land.

A lottery ticket for Sunday

Genetics Society of America/John Doebley                  
Teosinte, a first generation hybrid and modern corn

Tiny genetic change gave world ear corn

By the Genetics Society of America news staff

If not for a single genetic mutation, each kernel on a juicy corn cob would be trapped inside a inedible casing as tough as a walnut shell. The mutation switched one amino acid for another at a specific position in a protein regulating formation of these shells in modern corn’s wild ancestor, according to a study published in the July issue of GENETICS, a publication of the Genetics Society of America.

“Humans completely reshaped the ancestor of corn, effectively turning the cob inside out. Our results show that a small genetic change has had a big effect on this remarkable transformation,” says study leader John Doebley of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The domestication of corn has long fascinated biologists studying evolution. Corn can provide clues to how organisms change under selection, whether it’s natural selection or selection by humans choosing the most delicious and productive plants to grow in next year’s crop.

Corn was domesticated in Mexico around 9,000 years ago from the wild grass teosinte. Teosinte seeds are protected by a hard casing that makes them impractical to eat, but ancient plant breeders developed varieties with naked kernels. In these plants, the structures that form the seed case instead turn into the cob in the center of the ear, leaving the seed exposed for humans to eat.

Besides having lost the inconvenient seed case, corn kernels today remain firmly attached to the cob, rather than scattering easily as they do in teosinte. The cobs are also much larger, and the corn plant has fewer leaf branches than its ancestor. Gene changes for these traits were discovered by Doebley and his colleagues over the past few decades.

All these changes evolved relatively quickly, within a few thousand years at most. Previous studies have shown that many of the dramatic differences between corn and teosinte were built on a foundation of genetic changes at perhaps as few as six genes.

One of those genes, tga1, controls formation of the seed case. The TGA1 protein encoded by the gene acts as a master regulator of a suite of other genes involved in this complex developmental process.

“TGA1 acts a bit like an orchestra conductor coordinating the actions of many different musicians,” says Doebley. “The same orchestra can play in different ways, depending on the conductor’s signals.”

In teosinte, TGA1 regulates genes in a way that helps seed cases form. But in corn, TGA1 action disrupts this process, resulting in cases that are smaller and don’t close over the kernel properly. But what exactly is different about the two versions of the tga1 gene?

To find out, the team compared the tga1 DNA sequence in 16 different varieties of corn and 20 varieties of teosinte. They discovered only one change present in all the corn samples but in none of the teosinte: at one particular position in the tga1 sequence, the corn version carried a “C” DNA base instead of the “G” found in teosinte.

The study provide an example of how selection by ancient plant breeders triggered profound structural change in an organism through relatively minor genetic alterations, allowing new traits to evolve rapidly. “Twenty years ago, it was much harder to study evolution in such detail. It’s exciting that we can now understand complex examples like maize domestication at their most fundamental level,” says Doebley.

Less rain is predicted for today

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The atmosphere still is unstable even though another one of those tropical waves has passed over and left the country.

The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional said it expects cloudy skies this morning with downpours and electrical storms in the central and south Pacific in the afternoon. Some rain is predicted for the Central Valley, the Nicoya peninsula and the mountains of the Caribbean and the northern zone, the institute said.

As the tropical wave, a trough of low pressure, passed over the country Monday, there were heavy afternoon rains. The institute said that its sensors counted 150 lighting strikes in the metro area.

Rainfall ranged from a little over an inch to nearly twice that in the Central Valley and Limón. In San José the rains stopped about 4 p.m.

Nuclear deal reached with Iran

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Iranian and Western diplomats said today that international negotiators have reached a historic, long-sought agreement limiting Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

Teams from Iran and the so-called P5+1 group of nations that includes Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany were due to hold one final meeting this morning in Vienna, followed by a news conference.

Exact details of the agreement were not publicly available ahead of an official announcement.

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In the Spanish-language press

Today, July 14

The election tribunal has kept alive a possible referendum

La Prensa Libre: The proposal is to hold a nationwide referendum to amend an environmental law to mandate  consultations with farmers located in Sarapiqui.

Government spending grew by 80 percent over revenues

La República: The shortfall increases the deficit to a record. The bulk of the increase is in spending was for salaries and debt service.

Lawmaker for Guanacaste to ask for a  solutions to water shortage

CR Hoy: Johnny Leiva, asked the government for more actions to resolve the shortage of water in Guanacaste.

A new case of officials posting comments

La Prensa Libre: During the Solis administration, two ambassadors were removed from office by publications made on their social networks.

 Increase in the water level detected in the lagoon of the Poas volcano

CR Hoy: Abundant rains in June and July have contributed to this change.

— Compiled by Sylvia Quesada Hidalgo

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Solís fires aides because they may have suggested doing wrong
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

President Luis Guillermo Solís sacrificed six staffers Monday because they may have been thinking about doing something wrong.

The six are members of  Juventud Progresista of the Partido Acción Ciudadana, which equate to something like Young Democrats or Young Republicans.

Minutes from one of their meetings said that someone suggested using government resources for political purposes.

That is a big no no in government, and even though no one did that, they were fired by the president.

They were staffers at Casa Presidencial and at other ministries. The staffers are of the same political party as the president. A seventh individual is in a civil service job, and Casa Presidencial said that an action has been started against him.

The issue was raised by Ottón Solís, a legislator, who also is from the same party.

The fired individuals told reporters that the minutes did not reflect what actually transpired at the June meeting of the group. And even if the suggestion was made, it could have been in jest. The minutes did not reflect a context. And the comment itself was vague, suggesting just using public resources for the benefit of the party without giving specifics.

Trio held in murder of clerk
at popular La Bomba pharmacy

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The murder was unnecessary. The 24-year-old female manager at the popular La Bomba pharmacy in Guayabo de Curridabat had gotten the job just six days before.

The bandits might have been upset because she could not or would not open the cash draw when they stuck up the place.

One of them shot her in the ear, and she died a short time later in Hospital Calderón Guardia. She left a 3 year old.

Judicial agents responded by detaining three persons in  Desamparados early Monday. They are accused of being the persons who arrived at the store on two motorcycles. That was Dec. 17

Judicial agents said that a 26-year-old suspect already was in custody on another charge.

The dead woman was Rosberly Córdoba Murillo. Agents said they confiscated a pistol.

Judicial Investigating Organization photo
One of the suspects heads for a ride downtown

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Millennials seem to have a different take on the world situation
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Move over, baby boomers: Millennials now outnumber them as America’s largest living generation.

And their very different views of themselves and their place in the world will likely reshape U.S. foreign policy for decades to come.

Baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1965, came of age during a period of unprecedented American prosperity and peril: The omnipresent nuclear threat created in boomers a sense of unease and uncertainty that made the world seem a very threatening place, experts say.

Millennials, roughly defined as those born between the early 1980s and early 2000s, came of age after the Cold War and, therefore, see the world as less menacing despite 9/11 and the rise of global terrorism.

“It’s not to say that they don’t appreciate danger,” said Trevor Thrall, an associate professor at George Mason University and co-author of a recent CATO Institute white paper on Millennials and foreign policy. “It’s just that compared to the danger that older people feel, it’s just markedly less.”

Thrall said he wasn’t surprised to learn that Millennials were not more affected by 9/11 than they appear to have been. Most were too young to understand events at the time, and their understanding of the attacks is based on how the discussion on terror has evolved since that time.

​“Older people think, ‘We’re a great people, we got attacked by these crazy people, and now we are dealing with it and we have to be careful,’ ” Thrall said. “Millennials are the only generation the majority of which think the U.S. must have done something to provoke 9/11.”

His finding is based in part on a 2011 Pew Research poll that found 52 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds in the U.S. believed U.S. actions might have motivated the 9/11 attacks.

Indeed, millennials take a dim view of American exceptionalism.

A Pew poll in 2011 found that only a 32 percent of them perceive the United States as superior to other countries, as compared to 64 percent of boomers.

The study also found that although most millennials say they are patriotic, they express that patriotism far less fervently than older Americans.

Millennials also showed that being patriotic does not mean they are uncomfortable criticizing government policies nor do they believe in an aggressive foreign policy.

“But they are very strong on human rights, and although they are more resistant to using military force around the world to solve problems, one way in which they are the most likely to be moved by arguments to use force is humanitarian intervention," Thrall said.

"They are actually a little bit more supportive in most polls of humanitarian military intervention than older folks," he added.

His study also shows that millennials view Asia, not Europe,

as the most important region of the world, and China will figure strongly in U.S. foreign policy and perhaps push it in a less adversarial direction.

This, he said, could work out well, if the Chinese are similarly inclined.

It could fail, however, if millennials are misreading Beijing’s intentions.

In general, Thrall predicts millennials will steer the U.S toward a more restrained grand strategy that relies less on unilateral force than on cooperative ventures.

Back in 2002, a researcher at Britain’s Warwick University noted that youngsters’ thumbs had evolved to become more dexterous than their other fingers due to their constant use of hand-held electronics. 

Today, technology may be the single greatest factor shaping the thumbers'  – now millennials’ – world view.

They are less likely to read newspapers because they find all the information they want online – even if they aren’t consciously looking for it.

“Even if they are playing online, the amount of information that they are consuming and are exposed to, it’s probably difficult for them to have a large online presence and not be exposed to some perspective on key foreign policy issues,” said Jarrel “J.P.” Price, president of Young Professionals in Foreign Policy, a nonpartisan group looking to groom the next generation of foreign-policy leaders and promote international relationships.

“Technology also makes it easier for a millennial sitting at home in the United States to reach out and build a personal relationship with someone overseas,” Price said.

"And to the extent that is used well by our generation, then I think the global partnerships that we could see could be transformative," he said.

Census data show another important factor contributing to millennials’ global view: More than 44 percent of them belong to a minority race or ethnic group.

Price and Thrall both pointed out that millennials are not just the largest generation in the United States, but the largest in many regions of strategic interest to the U.S.

Telecommunications giant Viacom estimates the global millennial population to be 2.5 billion, though this figure is higher than other estimates.

Millennials account for about a quarter of the European Union’s population, according to Pew findings.

And in the Middle East, they account for 40 percent of the population and are powering dramatic change from Tunisia to the Gulf States.

Thrall points out that Arab youths’ view of the U.S. is so horrible right now that American millennials are going to be dealing with the fallout for the rest of their lives.

“How American millennials respond to that is going to be one of the defining features of American foreign policy for the next fifty years,” Thrall said.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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


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Adventures in Costa Rica are awaiting you.
Each of the five individual Villas  boasts its own unique charm with pleasant, moderately priced accommodations and all gives you the opportunity of taking in the sights and sounds of the jungle from your own private balcony which has views of the river bed and the ocean. If you’re up for an adventure  we can help you arrange it and choose from the many tour options available in our region. Ojochal has some of the most secluded and pristine beaches in all of Costa Rica, as well as some outstanding surfing opportunities. Enjoy our local attractions such as white water rafting, whale and dolphins tour, Corcovado national park tours, Osa canopy tour, San Buenas golf course, horseback ride to the beach and waterfalls,
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Designed for families to provide peaceful & ecologically balanced environment, where all can enjoy healthy & pollution free stay. Built in harmony with nature & were used to reflect a subtropical atmosphere. Main source of energy is sunlight, converted by solar panels on the roofs. High quality services at a reasonable cost allowing guests to enjoy dream holiday at an attractive rate. Come and enjoy a great vacation. Comfortable accommodation, personalized services and quality amenities. Cosy rooms, breakfast, pools, architectural design, surrounded by lush vegetation in beautiful tropical gardens with coconut, almond, etc. Address : Jacó  beach, next to Subway Restaurant, Avenida Pastor Díaz, Costa Rica. Local phone (506) 2643-3000. Email:  Web page:

                        Playa Bejuco
Hotel Boutique Playa Bejuco
Cozy, opened in 2007 just 90 minutes from the capital, with good access. Go shopping or enjoy the evening entertainment. Hosting services, friendly, quality and comfortable, discreet under the concept of 100 percent family hotel, the reason we do not allow or endorse any activity related to prostitution or drugs. Natural beauty, recommended for tourists for a relaxing holiday. Nearby is Manuel Antonio National Park. Tours, canopy, fishing, rainforest, horseback riding, ATV, rafting, etc. 20 deluxe rooms equipped with 3 for disabled. All with air conditioning, cable TV, telephone, refrigerator, private bathroom, hot water, free wireless Internet, etc. Maximum 5 people. Main restaurant, pools (adults & children), jacuzzi, private parking, 24 hours security, pool bar, playground equipped. At front desk currency conversions, confirm your flight or coordinate tours. Address : Playa Bejuco, Esterillos, Costa Rica. Local phone (506) : 2779-2000. Email:   Web page

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CR Local Phone: 011-506 -2274-3231

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When you visit Costa Rica, you'll want to discover what you need to know to  make the right choice about moving to this tropical paradise.  Our familiarization tours have won hard-earned credentials that prove general excellence and the right focus.  These are the only retirement tours that are licensed and approved by the Costa Rican government and tourism institute  (ICT). In 2006 we were featured on the NBC Today Show and World News.  In 2010, we won the  prestigious Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the Best and Most Unique Tour in Latin America.

   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
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Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
at the largest gallery in Guanacaste.

The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is a great place to find quality remembrances of Costa Rica to take home or to decorate your home or office in Costa Rica.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever.  With more than 60 artists on exhibit and fine art in 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we are easy to locate just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport. Visit our Web site at
or contact us by email:   
Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tel. 2667-0592 / 8386-6872; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073. International shipping available.

Here's reasonable medical care
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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A.M. Costa Rica
Real estate rentals
Real estate rental agents
Real estate for rent
Real estate wanted

Real estate rental services (paid category)

The vacation homes at Manuel Antonio Estates offers luxury, comfort and peace of mind. We have numerous homes from 2 bedrooms to 8 bedrooms ocean view with private pool,  all within walking distance of the town’s shops and restaurants and just a few minutes to the best beaches and the famous Manuel Antonio national park. While the homes are secluded and hidden among the rainforest, the surrounding area offers adventures like zip lines, whitewater rafting, mangrove kayaking and many more. All of the homes are available for short-term rentals, Fully equipped, Pool, concierge,  parking, cable TV, and Internet. We are happy to assist with all your need for the perfect Costa Rican vacation, Call us for your family vacation package.
TOLL FREE: 1800 346=9724 or (506) 2777-3339

Real estate for rent (paid category)

montage of thre homes
Beautiful Cottages for rent
Cottages located in the mountains of Los Angeles, San Rafael, Heredia. Surrounded by trees and nature, beautiful gardens. 45 minutes from San José. Bus line service, security. Pets allowed.
    - 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 balcony, 1 ranch. $900 monthly
          + utilities.
    - 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom. $450 monthly + utilities.
    - 1 bedroom, 1 and 1/2 bathroom, 1 balcony. $500 monthly
         + utilities.
Phone: (506) 8739-0638, (506) 7019-9457, (506) 8993-5801


Apartment for Rent $1,575
2 bedrooms, 2 full baths

Full furniture, AC, security, rooftop swimming pool, 2 parking space, good location: Escazú near district 4. Close to mall, hotels, restaurants and business centers (Grupo Roble). 8336-7762 or email

Beautiful 2-bedroom 2-bathroom American-style apartments with an elevator to your front door in a secure building located in Gringo Gulch, the American section of downtown San José. Costa Rica.
apartment view
Located between the Hotel Del Rey, the Hotel Mona Lisa and the Sportsman's Lodge and The Zona Blue (AKA) Little Habana across the street from Harry's Poas Bar, and next to the Holiday Inn. There are 15 restaurants and American- style bars on this block and four supermarkets within a few
blocks. There are 5 casinos within 2 blocks and dozens of hotels around this apartment. Included in your rental price: fast Internet, the best they have in Costa Rica, cable TV with 80 stations, water, washer and dryer. All you pay extra for is electricity. You have your own meter and receive a bill from the electric company every month.  This apartment has a American-style hot water system, hot water in both bathrooms and the kitchen. There is a 25-foot balcony to sit on and watch the people in San José walk by. The neighborhood Barrio Amón is the safest in San José For photos and more information contact:   Call us: 506-2221-7161. 

Beautiful cottage in San Rafael, Heredia

 Surrounded by nature.
One or two bedrooms, 1 or 1.5 bathrooms. Bus line service, security. Pets allowed. $450 and $500 monthly. Phone: (506) 7019-9457,  8739-0638, 8993-5801. Or

Heredia cottage

house for rent
$800 plus electric
Two-bedrooms, two-bath house, fully furnished, INCLUDES internet, WiFi, cable TV, water bill. Inside private property, safe and secure. In the country but close to town. Santa Bárbara de Heredia. Email for more info and pictures. Long term. NO DOGS.

Apartment Lemur del Bosque for rent
San Francisco de Dos Ríos, El Bosque, furnished 2-bedroom, 1-bath apartment, quiet area, free cable TV, WiFi, large patio area, swimming pool, parking, security. Close to San José. $440/month.   Retired persons prefered. Call 8375-6838. Email:

Furnished apartment for rent  Available Now!
Impeccable newly remodeled villa in Villas de Cariari for rent day, week or month. Rates from US$85 per day. Utilities, washer and dryer, car parking,  24 hour security, Wi-Fi, close to airport and shopping. Long=term and corporate renters are accepted.
Contact: Chris English/Spanish U.S. phone: 1-804-699-8073
Costa Rica phone : (506) 6145-7003 Email:

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 baths, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Direct TV via sling box on Internet.  Rent per month $750 plus utilities with free internet.  Price for Sale $179,000   Contact Mike:  Check out slide show HERE!

Condo in Jacó for rent
Two-bedroom, 1-bath condominium available for rent starting June 1st in Corteza del Sol in the Quebrada Seca, just across the Costanera from Jacó. 24-hour security, wifi/cable, AC, luxurious amenities, kitchen includes everything you need to cook, gorgeous pools just steps from your front door. 15 minute walk to town or quick bike ride. ¢2,000 taxi to center of town. Short-term renter is fine. Long-term would be great! Looking for someone low-key who will fit in well with the complex. $950/month including cable & internet, NOT INCLUDING ELECTRIC! Call 8725-0344 or email

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.

Real Estate
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The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2015 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
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A.M. Costa Rica's   Fifth news page
Family home

San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, July 14, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 137
Real Estate
About us

Defense Department to study
transgenderers in the military

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. military will consider allowing transgender individuals to join, and there will be a six-month study into the issue.

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter ordered the review Monday, saying the "Defense Department's current regulations regarding transgender service members are outdated and are causing uncertainty that distracts commanders from our core missions." 

Carter said he is creating a working group to review current policies banning transgender individuals.  However, he said the group will begin the process with "the presumption that transgender persons can serve openly without adverse impact on military effectiveness and readiness, unless and except where objective, practical impediments are identified."

The secretary said that during the six-month review process, any decisions to discharge transgender military personnel will be referred to his personal undersecretary, Brad Carson. Carson will also head the working group.

"At a time when our troops have learned from experience that the most important qualification for service members should be whether they're able and willing to do their job, our officers and enlisted personnel are faced with certain rules that tell them the opposite," Carter said.

In 2011, the U.S. military formally ended its "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that allowed gays to serve only if they did not reveal their sexual orientation.

The "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy was instituted in 1993 during the administration of President Bill Clinton, as a compromise to the complete ban on homosexuals in the military.  During the nearly two decades the policy was in effect, about 14,000 members of the U.S. military were kicked out for revealing their orientation.

Obama commutes sentences
for 46 federal prisoners

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. President Barack Obama has cut the prison sentences of 46 non-violent offenders, as part of a push to reform the nation's chronically overcrowded federal prison system.

In a White House video released Tuesday, Obama said "these men and women were not hardened criminals, but the overwhelming majority had been sentenced to at least 20 years."

The president has now issued nearly 90 commutations during his presidency, with most of them targeting offenders imprisoned for drug crimes who met new criteria established by the Justice Department last year.

The commutations leave the convictions in place, while ending the punishment.

White House counsel Neil Eggleston said he expects the president to issue more commutations and pardons before he leaves the White House in 2017.

The White House says Obama will elaborate on plans to improve the fairness of the criminal justice system in an address to the the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People today.

Administration officials have described reform efforts as a push to give relief to inmates jailed under harsh mandatory sentencing guidelines formulated in the 1980s, at the height of the crack cocaine epidemic.

The commutations include the case of Stephen Donovan, a Wisconsin native who along with three accomplices was charged in 1992 with conspiracy to deliver dozens of kilograms of cocaine purchased elsewhere. 

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, quoting court records, said Donovan, unlike his accomplices, had two prior marijuana convictions.  He therefore faced mandatory life imprisonment without the possibility of parole under controversial three strikes penalties widely imposed by courts in that era. 

At his sentencing, his lawyers unsuccessfully argued that it was unconstitutional to impose a life sentence for a non-violent crime. He was 35 years old at the time.

Donovan's current lawyer is quoted as saying his now 58-year-old client will likely be transferred from a federal prison to a halfway house before his release.

The presidential decree orders all 46 inmates released by Nov. 10.

Tech experts reject the idea
of back door for data devices

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

It’s no secret that James Comey, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is not a fan of encryption, at least not when it puts data outside the reach of the FBI.

For over a year now, Comey has pressured congressional leaders and Silicon Valley executives to curb the use and spread of encryption tools for computers, tablets and mobile phones, but with little effect.

Comey said he wants encryption services to create secret back doors and key escrows for their products so agencies like the FBI can get emergency access to data critical for fighting crime and protecting national security.

So far, the debate has been largely low-key and one-sided, with few corporate executives eager to pick a public fight with the FBI.

But now, a group of cybersecurity professionals is pushing back at the FBI, warning that what Comey wants is not only infeasible, but could make the entire Internet significantly more vulnerable to hack attacks.

With high-profile cyberattacks on the increase and continuing revelations of U.S. government surveillance activities leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, encryption has become a booming business.

There are literally hundreds of encryption apps and services currently available that allow users to lock away their messages, texts, pictures, contacts and other data from prying eyes, with more on the way every month.

Sensing this explosive growth, industry leaders such as Apple, Microsoft and Google now offer robust encryption options for devices using their operating systems.

Last September, Apple included an iOS security change that makes it nearly impossible for police agencies to unlock devices such as an iPhone without the owner’s consent.

Previously, the operating system allowed Apple to unlock devices if the government provided a search warrant.

One month later, at a forum hosted by the Brookings Institution, Comey delivered a caustic broadside against the spread of encryption services.

Comey cautioned that law enforcement agencies like the FBI are increasingly vexed by bad guys using encrypted data storage and keeping nearly all their information – some of which might be evidence of illegal activity – on encrypted phones, outside the traditional access of wiretaps or database searches.

Encryption, he said, is turning every electronic device into a safe that can never be cracked.

“If the challenges of real-time interception threaten to leave us in the dark, encryption threatens to lead all of us to a very dark place,” he warned.

Since then, the FBI director has taken nearly every opportunity to warn about encryption’s spread.

Just last week, while announcing the arrest of a number of individuals suspected of plotting terror attacks, Comey said that some of those arrested had been communicating with Islamic State militants through encrypted message platforms.

Perhaps recognizing that the encryption genie is already out of the cyber bottle, Comey is pushing tech companies to build in secret access points to their services, allowing data to be recovered without the key-holders consent. He’s also calling for key escrows,  essentially a digital bank holding the secret encryption keys for every user.

While Comey has yet to score any significant concessions, his campaign to this point has been more lecture than debate, with corporate executives offering noncommittal assurances of working with the government to study the issue.

Some of that may have changed, however, with the release last week of a report that pushes back against Comey and warns that his proposals would make private data even more vulnerable to hacking and theft.

“Keys Under Doormats” was written by a group of 15 elite cybersecurity and cryptographic professionals and published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In brief, they argue that secret entry points into encrypted systems don’t currently exist because they simply don’t work.

Moreover, they say such paths “pose far more grave security risks, imperil innovation on which the world’s economies depend, and raise more thorny policy issues than we could have imagined when the Internet was in its infancy.”

Walker makes it official
and joins crowded field

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker joined the crowded field seeking the Republican Party's 2016 U.S. presidential nomination Monday, saying he is in the race to "fight and win for the American people."

The 47-year-old Walker is the 15th candidate in the Republican contest.

Political surveys show him among the top Republicans seeking the nomination, with some of his biggest support in Wisconsin's neighboring state of Iowa, which holds the country's first nominating caucus next February.

The deeply conservative Walker has not run for national office before, but gained prominence in Republican circles by winning three statewide elections since 2010 in a state that has voted for Democratic presidential candidates over Republicans in the past seven national elections, dating to 1984.

A collection of national surveys about the Republican presidential campaign currently shows him trailing only former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, the son and brother of two U.S. presidents.

But the field is so splintered no candidate has emerged as a frontrunner.

In 2012, Walker became the first U.S. governor to survive a recall election, a vote spawned by Walker's determined efforts to weaken public-sector unions in the state.

Because of his staunch Republican following, and adamant Democratic opposition, some U.S. political analysts call him America's most polarizing governor.

In a campaign video, Walker points to his political victories as a credential for his presidential campaign.

"We did it by leading," Walker says in the video. "Now, we need to do the same thing for America. It's not too late. We can make our country great again."

But his lack of foreign policy experience already drew some disdain earlier this year when he said his fight against Wisconsin government worker unions will equip him to lead the fight against Islamic State insurgents in the Mideast.

During his Wisconsin tenure, he has cut personal and corporate income taxes by nearly $2 billion, legalized the carrying of concealed weapons and made abortions more difficult to obtain.

Like many of his fellow Republican candidates, Walker relishes his criticism of Washington and the national government, calling it "68 square miles surrounded by reality."

Political surveys suggest Walker, the son of a Baptist preacher, has the potential to win broader support from Christian conservatives, Tea Party activists opposed to big government initiatives and business-oriented Republicans.

A college dropout, Walker casts himself as an average guy in touch with working-class America, part of a family that packs brown-bag lunches and clips coupons for department store sales.

Walker tweeted his presidential intentions early Monday but is set for a night-time campaign rally in the southeast Wisconsin community of Waukesha, just west of Milwaukee.

He is then campaigning over the next week in several states where Republicans will vote early next year in nominating contests.

Mrs. Clinton promises aid
to the middle-class worker

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton laid out an ambitious economic plan Monday, aimed at boosting economic growth and middle-class wages.

In a speech at the New School in New York City, Mrs. Clinton said as president she would be committed to both economic growth and fairness with a focus on raising incomes for middle-class Americans.

“The defining economic challenge of our time is clear. We must raise incomes for hard-working Americans so they can afford a middle-class life," Mrs. Clinton said.

"We must drive strong and steady income growth that lifts up families and lifts up our country. And that will be my mission from the first day I’m president to the last," she added.

Mrs. Clinton said she supports raising the minimum wage, will encourage companies to offer profit-sharing with employees and favors tax benefits that favor workers.

She also took shots at some of the Republican presidential contenders for some of their conservative economic views, including former Florida governor Jeb Bush, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who officially entered the race Monday.

Clinton’s focus on the economy comes as one of her four Democratic challengers, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, has drawn enthusiastic crowds by hammering away at income inequality between the wealthy and everyone else.

"The top 1 percent owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. And my conclusion is that that type of economics is not only immoral, it is not only wrong, it is unsustainable," Sanders said.

Sanders advocates higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans to benefit the poor and the middle class and has crept closer to Mrs. Clinton in recent public opinion polls in the early contest states of Iowa and New Hampshire.

Analysts said Mrs. Clinton remains the Democratic favorite, but Sanders’ focus on income disparity may force her a bit more to the left.

"I think Hillary Clinton will be the nominee at the end of the day, but we always knew that she would have a challenge from the left,” said John Fortier of the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington.

“He will draw her to be more to the left on some issues. And right now that energy on the left is flowing to Bernie Sanders to make him a challenger to Hillary Clinton," Fortier said.

Greece gets another bailout
and for now stays in EU

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Following marathon negotiations over several days, European leaders announced a tentative agreement Monday to provide Greece with another bailout, its third in five years, and to ensure the country remains in the 19-nation eurozone family, for now.  But despite sighs of relief in Europe and in financial markets, experts say now the hard part begins.

Judging from the reaction in financial markets, it’s a done deal.  A third European bailout for Greece worth nearly 90 billion euros. But Greek lawmakers have yet to ratify the terms, which include more spending cuts, tax hikes and the privatization of government assets.

That’s the easy part, says Johns Hopkins international economics professor Cristino Arroyo.

“The really hard part is that they’re going to have to make, besides the required reforms, they will also have to find ways to get growth going and that is the real challenge,” he said.

Even if the Greek parliament ratifies the deal, it's an uphill climb for a country still trying to dig itself out of a deep recession.  Market analyst Mike Ingram at BGC Partners says more spending cuts are unlikely to produce enough growth to reduce Greece's rapidly expanding debt.  

“We’re going to see further cuts in public sector expenditure," he said.  "Broadbrush – a lot more austerity, probably forever.”

Without a plan to grow Greece's cash-starved economy economist Robert Kahn at the Council on Foreign Relations says the latest bailout is just a bandage.

"Even if we get a deal, my fear is that it will be really more an effort to kick the can down the road and buy some time, rather than really put in place policies that will return growth to Greece," he said.

Greece’s largest creditor, Germany, which had been criticized for proposing more spending cuts in exchange for a bailout, says there may be room yet for compromise.

“The Eurogroup is ready if necessary to grant longer grace period and longer loan maturities. We talked about it after the first successful review of the new Greek program,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

While Greek banks remain closed this week, some finance ministers expressed relief that negotiations have averted a potentially destabilizing Greek exit for now.  Some say the bigger challenge in coming weeks is how to rebuild trust between Athens and the other 18 countries that make up the eurozone.

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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo
Photo montage of penthouse
Are you  tired of wasting time searching your home….. with no results?
If so, you should not miss this deal !!!

Special Offer

Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo

* Located on 6th floor.
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Mafi Real Estate: Houses, lots and farms in Costa Rica
If you do not find, what are you looking for, contact us
WE HAVE A NETWORK OF OVER 500 brokers across the country to get what you are looking for.
English Calls: Miguel Fiatt Sauma or Paule Ortiz
Phone/Fax.+506 2238-5029
Cel. +506 8399-7000
Web Page:

Costa Rica,

Central America
Houses, lots and farms in Grecia,
western Central Valley.
Great climate
and safe communities.

Visit our Web Site:

English calls: (Cristian Arce) Phone: 
(506) 2494-0016 
(506) 8309-0173
English calls :  (Luis David) Phone: 
(506) 6154-1940 

Español calls: (Luis G. Jiménez)  Phone:   
(506) 8707-4016
Grecia one
Big house for sale.
Great opportunity !!!

If you know about house for sale prices,  you will realize that this is a real deal.  Original price of  $400,000 now is $320,000.
Due to its characteristics and location, it can also be used for commercial purposes (boutique hotel, offices, medical center).  Large house, 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, one office, just 250 meters from Grecia downtown. High quality construction, built in 2009, high ceilings, balcony with beautiful views over central Grecia valley, elegant luxury furnitures included, network cabling 6 gigabits throughout the house, Giant TV flat projection system of 120 inches in the main room, sound system 7.1 channel. Air conditioning system, security system, and cameras, lighting system in open areas. 4-car parking space plus large garage, Recommended for large families.

Property Location: Central Grecia, Alajuela
Total area construction (two floors):
252 square meters
Total area: 250 square meters
Construction Type: Concrete
See more photos click HERE!

Grecias two
  Send us your request to our email:


CoopeAgri Real Estate

The best option in real estate services in southern Costa Rica and the South Pacific coast. We are professionals promoting properties such as farms, lots, ranches, commercial premises, homes and apartments, through our advertising and marketing services.
Are you buying a property? Our experienced team is ready to help you to find the right place. Are you selling? We are experts selling properties.  Keep it simple. Don't waste your time. We are  the best local and international listing.  Contact us, and we will be glad to assist you!
Local CR Phones: (506) 2785-0282 or  (506) 2785-0278

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For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 4030-5480 or 8339-2112.

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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 Costa 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:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

San Rafael
Charming land for sale
Located in  in the mountains of Los Angeles, San Rafael, Heredia. Surrounded by trees and nature, beautiful gardens, and a small river.
Bus line service, security, 45 minutes from San José. Land with 3 houses (cottage type). The lot measures around 6.000 M2.
Sale by the owners, Offered at $750,000 USD. 
Phone: (506) 8739-0638, (506) 7019-9457, (506) 8993-5801,

Ringle resort
on one big lot in Esterillos Oeste, (Central Pacific)
Located on a breezy hill just 4 minutes walk to the beach, surf and tide-pools, only 20 minutes drive north to Jacó nightlife and shopping or south to the rural town of Parrita.

First, a 2-storey, 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1½-bathroom house with big kitchen and living room.  Full-width verandah with eating and sitting areas, overlooking lawn, pool and gazebo. Sitting balcony at upper, bedroom level.  Carport. and laundry. 

Second, a completely private single-storey. 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1-bathroom home with big back yard at a lower level on the same, big fully titled 1,100M2 lot.. Full security bars at all doors and windows, plus locking vehicle access and pedestrian gates at the street. In a very safe neighborhood, with private and natural surroundings

Well maintained, fully and tastefully furnished and equipped, hot water, local phone, cable TV/DVD and high speed wireless internet   The houses have been rented for both long-term and vacation for $100/$80 per day and $1,500/$1,200 per month respectively. See this place, you will love it! Then make an offer. E-mail or call (506) 8386-8825.  Rodney, asking $350,000.

Coffee farm
Organic coffee farm for sale
34,000 meters square zoned ARC. 130 meters paved road frontage. City water and irrigation runes through property. Year round spring. Bananas and many fruit trees on property. Approx. 1.5K from Sarchí Center, 40K from airport. Plans and permits ready for 2-bedroom house. Proposed subdivision plans are also included. @$15US per meter for total $510,000. Email or

Highway Restaurant & Bar
Golfito, Costa Rica’s paradise. About 5 acre, choice property on the highway. Ideal to build a drive-in restaurant and home. Asking Only $65,000.00 Agents inquiries welcome. Call Jens: 2775-0225 or

San Ramon
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!

Goetl in Palo Seco

Charming small oceanfront hotel for sale in Playa Palo Seco
Ideal oceanfront location with back up to a mangrove estuary. The
charming small hotel has a fully equipped kitchen, bar and restaurant and is exceptionnally well maintained. Located on a very private beach of the central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica 35 minutes north of Quepos-Manuel Antonio and 45 minutes south of  Playa Jacó. The main building is a two-storey house with 12 bedrooms. The lot measures 3,054 M2. Beautiful gardens around the large pool and exceptional flora and fauna. Well mentioned in tourist guides like Lonely Planet and Guide Ulysse. Offered at $1,250,000. USD
or call (506) 8707-1037  (506) 2778-8408

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 back yard 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 $239,000.  Call  Jeff: 8824-8113 or 8725-8176.  Email:

Aerial Ocean and Volcano Views with Boutique Coffee! 33 Acres $725,000. Click HERE!

San Ramon rollover
Three-bedroom home with view near San Ramón
Beautiful house in magical setting in the hills above San Ramón in Costa Rica can be yours for $185,000! House was built 10 years ago with soaring 16-foot ceilings.  Enclosed area is 1,200 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms, large kitchen, and utility room.  It is located at 4,000 feet with typical temperatures ranging between 75 and the low 80s during the day and the low to mid-60s at night.  The house is offered fully furnished, including all appliances (nearly new energy-efficient Samsung refrigerator). The front of the house features a large covered veranda (another 500 square feet), with a barbecue and outdoor patio furniture to seat 8, and hooks for a hammock. There are many tropical plants, flowers, and trees are on the half-acre property.  Set on the far western edge of the Central Valley in a small, pastoral community, it's only 10 minutes to San Ramón and its many small stores, restaurants, museums, a branch campus of the University of Costa Rica, and a weekly farmers' market.
See additional pictures at
Phone: (506) 7009-0364

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

private ranch home
Small private ranch for sale
This exceptional private ranch sits on a 9+ hectare lot and supports 15-20 horses. Only 2 hours south of San José, on the road to Puriscal. Roomy stalls all with drains, water hookup, lights and fans, grooming and shoeing área. Two-story house all furnished and cowboy house. Don't miss your chance on that turnkey operation.  Offered at $889,000.
E-mail:  or call (506) 8707-1037 
(506) 2778-8408 Web:

For sale: Titled beachfront lot 1/2 acre (1,750m2) near Jacó $89,000. Just one hour drive from San José.
Panoramic ocean view lot 1.25 acres (5,000m2) 25 minutes from Tamarindo  $25,000.
Panoramic ocean view lot  5,400 sq. ft. (500m2)  $6,500. Financing available.
For rent two-bedroom house  five minute walk to water $350 a month.
Call 6261-7932 Or email See this Web site:

Shangra la
Located in Jacó in the best and safest location possible, at Barrio Ricos y Famosos in Calle Europa, Casa Shangri La.

Main house: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 270 square meters, 2 condominiums 2 bedrooms, one bath, 110 square meters, plus one small apartment: One bedroom, one bath. Huge pool, carport for five cars. plus double garage, rancho with pool bathroom, gymnasium, laundry room, pool plumbing room, huge dog house in separate 500-square-meter garden with aviary for birds and other animals. 60 meters of river front of Río Copey with a 4-meter-high protective and retention stone wall. Eight surveillance camera CCTV system with Internet access from anywhere. Over 2-meter-high brick wall all around the property with two layers of razor wires on top, the safest place to be! Electronic entrance gate, door phone, Beautiful gardens with many fruit trees. Built in year 2005 to highest standard by German owner now 69 years old, who wants to downgrade. Room for two more apartments, plans approved. Only 6 minutes walk to the beach and or center of Jacó.  Price reduced for quick sale to $1,150.000 and still negotiable. All fittings and furniture included. Excellent quality and well maintained. Just upgraded and remodeled for $ 30,000. Owner financing available.  More photos on request HERE! Email:  Cell 8838-2081 or home 2643-2979.

ARenal property
Location: Near Arenal        Price: $2.7 million
Size: 113 acres
Web site:

The farm is at the highest point on a stunning ridge bordered by pristine Costa Rican primary forest on all sides of the property, with active wildlife all throughout the area. On each of its gently rolling terraced lomas you get a glimpse of Volcán Arenal from a distance. This property has four different lagunas, a working organic farm and nursery, mature fruit trees, sheep corral, ideal for grazing horses with stunning views from all the hillsides. The Northern Zone of Costa Rica is the country's best kept secret, providing a perfect home base location to travel the country's many destinations while still maintaining the best climate at 400 meters above sea level.

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, July 14, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 137
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Drug lord still free despite manhunt

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Mexico's notorious drug kingpin, Joaquin  Guzmán, was still on the loose Monday, two days after he escaped from a maximum security prison for the second time in 14 years.

Mexican police engaged in a massive manhunt, setting up highway checkpoints, stepping up border security and shutting down an international airport.

But there was no sign of Guzmán, widely considered to be the world's richest and most powerful drug lord before his capture last year.

He slipped away from the Altiplano prison, about 90 kilometers west of Mexico City, late Saturday after 17 months behind bars. Authorities say he climbed down a 10-meter ladder in a shaft under his prison cell's shower area and disappeared into a sophisticated 1.5-kilometer tunnel with ventilation, lighting and a motorcycle on rails apparently used to move dirt in the tunnel's construction.

At the far end of then tunnel, a ladder led up into a gray brick building situated on a construction site on the side of a hill surrounded by pasture land. Investigators released a video showing the hole inside the building's dirt-covered floor. A bed and a kitchen were in the building, indicating that people may have lived there.

On an official visit to Paris, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto called Guzman's escape an affront to the state and demanded an investigation into whether prison guards had helped him flee.

Mexican Attorney General Arely Gomez said 30 people who worked at the prison are being questioned "so we can determine what their legal situation will be."

Mexican Sen. Luis Miguel Barbosa, also in Paris for the state visit, said, "This is regrettable, very bad, because it without doubt affects the image of Mexico in the world."

The United States, where the fugitive faces drug cartel charges, pledged any support Mexico needs in recapturing Guzmán. American authorities had sought to extradite Guzmán to stand trial in the U.S. but were rebuffed by Mexico.

Latin American analyst Mark Jones of Rice University said Guzman’s second escape, following one from a Mexican prison in 2001, is a major embarrassment for Peña Nieto's government, whose crowning achievement in Mexico's war on drug cartels and their elusive kingpins was the capture of Guzmán, who had been on the run for 13 years after his earlier escape.

Jones said there is little U.S. law enforcement can do in the effort to recapture Guzmán.

Mexico analyst Barry Carr of Australia’s Latrobe University also said Guzman’s latest escape is one of a number of events in the past 18 months that have tarnished the anti-corruption image of the Peña Nieto administration.

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From Page 7:

Investors may overlook early red flags

By the North Carolina State University news staff

New research identifies the types of investors who are vigilant about corporate fraud, but finds that most of those investors are tracking the wrong red flags, meaning the warning signs they look for are clear only after it’s too late to protect their investment. The work was performed by researchers at North Carolina State University, George Mason University, the University of Virginia and the University of Cincinnati.

“Individual investors get hurt if they own stock in fraudulent companies that cook the books, such as Enron,” says Joe Brazel, a professor of accounting at North Carolina State and lead author of a paper on the work. “But we wanted to know how investors think about fraud and whether they try to protect themselves.”

The researchers surveyed 194 experienced, nonprofessional investors from 38 states about fraud and their investment activity. Among other things, the researchers asked investors if they looked for specific red flags that can be indicative of fraudulent activity, such as abnormally high revenue growth, a change in the company’s auditor, or the launch of an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The researchers found two factors that are common to investors who are concerned about fraud. First, if investors think corporate fraud is a common practice, they are more likely to place importance on assessing fraud risk when making investment decisions. Second, investors are more likely to assess fraud risk if they rely primarily on financial statements to make investment decisions, rather than other sources like news reports or advice from professionals.

The survey also found that most nonprofessional investors are not diversified and hold shares in only five to 10 companies at a time. “That means these investors are more likely to get hurt if they hold shares in a fraudulent company,” Brazel says.

“We also found that 25 percent of all survey respondents had been burned by fraudulent companies,” he added. “But investors who had been burned by fraud in the past were no more likely than other investors to now use fraud red flags. That was surprising.”

Another surprise was that investors who were concerned about fraud were relying on late-stage red flags, such as an SEC investigation. The stock may already have dropped in value by the time these red flags appear.

“If you’re waiting for an SEC investigation or a lawsuit before selling your shares, you’re tracking the wrong red flags,” Brazel says. “More sophisticated investors will likely have already sold their shares.”

However, the researchers also found that investors who did track early red flags – such as high manager turnover – had higher returns than other investors on their investment portfolios.

“Our findings raise a new question,” Brazel says. “If we care about the individual investor – then what can we do to get investors to pay attention to early red flags? One option is to make these red flags more transparent. For example, creating a Web site that tracks these early red flags for companies, so that they can be easily monitored.”