A.M. Costa Rica
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Published Weekend Edition
July 21, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 144
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                            de Zaguate
SENASA Facebook photo     
A dog at the shelter wanders about in a filthy garbage pile on the facility grounds.
Shelter clashes with SENASA on animal abuses
By Rommel Téllez
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Dogs with skin rashes, open wounds, malnutrition and poor drinking facilities are some of the images with which the Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal justified its inspection in Territorio de Zaguate, a rescue center for stray dogs and animals located in Carrizal de Alajuela.

The arrival of the authorities apparently caused much anger to the owners of the place, who became violent and disrespectful with the visitors, so the latter had to call for help from the Fuerza Pública, according to Bernardo Jaén, general director of the Servicio.

Once inside the place, inspectors report to have found problems in regards the amount of animals, the infrastructure, and the fencing so that animals do not run away.

In regards to the animals, Jaén said many of them are in poor health conditions, undernourished, suffering from tooth problems and the lack of proper care.

“We found evidently sick animals with a deplorable physical condition,” said Jaén. “There is no separation of animals according to their age, health status and temperament, which causes injuries and wounds caused by fights among them.”

“The rescue center doesn't have its own veterinary doctor to provide the required medical care and follow up,” said Jaén. “That's one of the most important requirements to run this type of organization.”

A.M. Costa Rica tried to contact Lya Battle and Álvaro Saumet by making several phone calls on their number listed in their Facebook page. Email was also used but the couple who runs the place did not get back.

However, some communication was provided by their same Facebook page, where they asked President Luis Guillermo Solís to intervene on the Servicio as soon as possible.
The entity claims the institution is not efficient and never addresses complaints. The document also questions why Territorio de Zaguates is being targeted now.
Poor canine
SENASA Facebook photo     
Canine with noticeable eye mucus buildup.

Territorio de Zaguates also claimed in the statement that the government agency does not have an inspection protocol by which the rescue centers should abide and be prepared to comply with.

“They are liars. We say publicize and we are not going to fear their threats,” said Territorio on another Facebook post. “We are not criminals that will remain in the dark as other rescue centers do out of fear.”

“Thousands of complaints for animal abuse are filed by the the Costa Ricans, such as cock and dog fights and they are usually absent,” the document adds. “If it is not for rescue centers as ours, dogs and cats will die in front of their noses and the Servicio wouldn't do a thing."

Jaén replied to these allegations by saying they do have a lot of other inspections to perform on a daily basis and that the Servicio also has to visit butcheries, dairy factories and any place that uses animals for human consumption.

He also added anywhere in the law, the Servicio was created to provide shelter to animals, so the most the it can do is coordinate their welfare among civilian associations to take care of the animals.

“Our aim is not to close the place, but provide them with counseling about how to improve their practices. The last thing we want is to destroy the organizations work,” Jaén added.

When asked if he is thinking about presenting judicial charges against Territorio de Zaguates under the new animal protection law that came into force in June, he said they are not even thinking about it.

Finance ministry calls for backup on fiscal crisis
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The finance ministry brought in reinforcements from the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development in its fight over reforms for the country’s fiscal system.

“Costa Rica is playing with fire,” said Álvaro Pereira, the director for the department of economics at the OECD.

“Without reforms, the country’s fiscal situation would become a threat. It is urgent to clean up the public accounts. Costa Rica has much to lose if the reforms that are currently in congress are not approved.”

According to the Ministerio of Hacienda, the first half of 2017 yielded a primary deficit similar to the previous year at 0.9 percent of gross-domestic-product. Officials did, however, see an increase to 2.4 percent of GDP in June 2017 from 2.2 percent of GDP during June 2016.

Increases in revenue came primarily from tax increases of 35.8 percent for this past month. This is up from 32.2 percent in June 2015. Interest payments show dramatic growth between June 2016 and the end of April 2017. These increased from nine percent to over 21 percent between the two periods.

Pereira previously served as the economic minister for Portugal prior to assuming his position in the OECD.

His conclusions came after a technical analysis of the country’s fiscal situation was presented this past Wednesday to the finance committee members in the Asamblea Legislativa and the Unión Costarricense de Cámaras y Asociaciones del Sector Empresarial Privado, one of the larger organizations representing employers throughout the country.

“Without fiscal reforms, there is a very high probability that a serious fiscal crisis will unfold in the near future, with disastrous consequences for growth, welfare and social stability in Costa Rica,” Pereira warned in his address to the committee.

“Fast action is needed to put the fiscal situation on a more secure path.”

Ministerio de Hacienda photo       
Álvaro Pereira speaks candidly.

Based on the findings of the OECD, a weak fiscal position limits the ability to respond to any external shocks and natural disasters. Due to the nature of Costa Rica being a small, open economy, that makes their position all the more vulnerable and leaves little room to maneuver to deal with such consequences.

A crisis would then force Costa Rica to make drastic and detrimental cuts and freeze the country’s welfare and pension system, Pereira said. In addition, it could require cuts to the police forces and lead to increases of not only poverty but crime as well triggering a strong reaction from the country’s citizenry.

“We have also reiterated that the debt compromises the development of the country, and that its increasing balance increases the financial cost, limiting social and productive investment,” reiterated Helio Fallas, the first vice president and finance minister. “We are at the limit of indebtedness and the absence of fresh resources to face unavoidable commitments require us to assess emergency measures, in the event of a lack of liquidity.”

The OECD recommended to the country that, in the absence of any new laws, there should be a strict monitoring in the increases of expenditures, salary increases and pensions. The organization also recommended the freezing of seats and modernization of tools for the tax administration to detect any other instances of fraud or evasion.

“While these measures are too small to redirect public finances into a sustainable trend, they will reduce the deficit, improve credibility and demonstrate a willingness to address Costa Rica’s worrying fiscal trends,” the report concludes.

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Published || Weekend Edition, July 21, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 144
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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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Poder Judicial workers go on strike

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Several autopsies halted, limited transfers of prisoners to jail or trials and reduced capacity to receive complaints from citizens. Those were just a part of the problems caused by the strike that has been carried out by the workers of Poder Judicial across the country since Wednesday.

According to the protestors, the strike will continue indefinitely, despite conversations held between the head of the Corte Suprema, Carlos Chinchillas, and leaders of the Poder Judicial unions.

In a statement sent Thursday afternoon, the Poder Judicial confirmed it will remain open for essential services such as receiving complains and requesting restraining orders. However the services will be delivered at a slower pace. Chinchilla said that it is a legal movement and as an authority he respects it.

"Strike have constitutional protection,” Chinchilla explained. “It is not an out-of-order situation, judicial employees have that right and we respect it,”

The president of the court also described the movement as atypical since it is not against employers but against the Legislative Assembly.

Judicial workers are demanding that a legislative commission in charge of analyzing changes in the judicial pension system use their own draft as a basis for a future bill. As of now, legislators on the committee are working on a draft issued by the Superintendencia de Pensiones.

In addition, the Supreme Court of Justice requested a mathematical study from the Universidad de Costa Rica to further understand the technical needs of the pensions regime.

The draft of the workers proposes retirement at age 62 in the case of men and 60 years in case of women, while the draft establishes 65 years old as the age that may provide financial sustainability to the régime.

On the other hand, the unions want to keep the 30-year continuous work requirement to apply for retirement. However, the latest study of the Universidad de Costa Rica forecasts people will need to  work for at least 35 years.

Ministry presents tourism malpractices

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Officials from the Ministerio de Economía, Comercio y Industria held an interesting presentation Thursday in relation to abusive practices within the tourism industry.

The main idea behind this was to provide people with the specified laws guaranteeing consumer rights in tourism dealings, explain the varying examples of potentially suspicious or fraudulent activities, provide examples of abusive clauses and recommending to consumers what to do.

The abuses have a tendency to include contractual clauses that restrict or waive consumer rights disproportionally in favor of the provider or exonerate the seller from responsibility, the ministry said.

According to the presentation, types of abusive practices on the part of tourism operators include: promotional material not matching what the contract says, asking to sign a promissory note unless one is guaranteeing a debt, a receipt or other documents that do not include identification and asking for a credit card as a requirement for the service.

They also advise consumers to beware if there not a clear concise name indicating who is responsible, if the provider gives a customer flight reservations but not the actual tickets, they do not warn you of the right to withdraw and then common street savviness like the old phrase “if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is” or “if it sounds shady, then it probably is.”

The main advice from the economic ministry to take away from the presentation seemed to be a reminder that a consumer has up to two months to file a complaint if the contract was violated or if the company does not have proper authorization.

Data provided in the presentation showed that there have been 641 denunciations filed as of July 20, 2017, since 2015. This includes 78 for time-share agreements while the rest constitute tourism services.

The legal recommendations include a reform to the Ley 7472 so that companies are legally obligated to comply with all contributions of the customers to safeguard the customers’ right to be fully compensated for their losses. The current law requires to sufficiently inform the consumer in Spanish and in a clear and truthful way about the elements that have a direct impact on their decision.

The ministry also seeks to coordinate with the Instituto Costarricense del Turismo with incorporating compliance with Article 44 in granting a declaration of the tourists’ interests. This article, in Spanish, states:

“Forward sales of goods such as immovable property, apartments and houses, future provision of services, such as sales of travel clubs, shares, securities and rights that involve consumers as owners, partners and the development projects, such as social and tourist centers, industrial, agricultural and commercial activities, must comply with the provisions of this article provided that the following conditions are met: public and widespread offer to consumers, delivery of the good or provision of the service is conditioned to a future event, realization of this future event, depend on the selling company and, before selling, you must have the authorization of the MEIC.”

Director chosen to stage Moliére play

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Le Malade Imaginaire, one of the most famous plays by French playwright Moliére, will be staged by the Compañía Nacional de Teatro next October, under the direction of José Pablo Umaña.

Jose Pablo
Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud photo
José Pablo Umaña.
 To have the play produced,
 Umaña had to compete with
 other contestants for a monetary
 grant under the XIII Puesta en
 Escena contest, which is
 organized by the Compañía
 Nacional de Teatro and the
 Ministerio de Cultura y

 According to the jury, Umaña's
 proposal was chosen upon its
 coherence from an aesthetic and
 ideologically point of view.

 The text covers subjects that are
 valid for all generations and it
 provides a viable methodology.

According to Umaña, the Costa Rican public has not had enough exposure to classical European theater in the last two decades, specially when it comes to the baroque style, which is essential to understand further developmental theater.

Rehearsals will start once the rest of the administrative requirements are met.

Seniors can receive gold cards at home

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Persons 65-years old and over can now receive their Ciudadano de Oro at their home, according to a recent provision adopted by the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social.

The gold cards, as they are translated to in English, mark their 20-year anniversary since coming into existence. They began as a way for older persons to receive free bus and public transport fare and have evolved into including some varying discounts from stores to theater performances. In some ways, they function similarly to a state-sanctioned AARP card. Additionally they also function as membership cards for any interested attendees to Caja workshops.

These can include handicrafts, yoga and physical fitness courses among others. They also offer courses on detecting abuse and mistreatment as well as how and where to file a complaint.

The measure of sending the cards directly to the person’s home is an attempt to make the institution more friendly and accessible to that part of the population. According to Ana Patricia Arguedas Flores, who is in charge of the gold card program, the interested party needs to call 2539-1590 and provide the exact address and telephone number. The card will arrive via Correos de Costa Rica, she said.

According to the Caja, about 5,400 gold cards are issued each year. According to Alejandra Suárez Arias, a member of the interdisciplinary team for the program, the increase in the senior population constitutes a major challenge for the future of the gold card activities. The Instituto Nacional de Estadistica y Censos predicts that Costa Rica’s senior population will increase from 355,637 in 2015 to 580,343 by 2025. This will be expected to ballon to 1,262,310 by 2050, the institute said.

Ms. Suárez said that one of the greatest efforts to be made was to discourage and lower the amount of abandonment of older persons by their families, the community and society in general. Social participation of seniors should also be promoted in other areas as well.

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U.S. Tax
Published || Weekend Edition, July 21, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 144
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Viability of electric vehicles in Costa Rica considered by university
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The viability of electric vehicles in Costa Rica was being mulled over by engineers and researchers at the school of electrical engineering at the Universidad de Costa Rica.

“Many people believe that this is a new technology, but it is actually older than fossil-fuel vehicles because in 1828, there appeared a small electric car with automated movement of only one kilometer,” said Jairo Quirós Tortós, an engineer and researcher at the university.

“In 1900, they are popularized to the point where a third of the cars that existed in the United States were electric. In 1908, there is a mass production of internal combustion engines worldwide and the electric ones lose force until, by 1935, they disappeared.”

Quirós notes that the benefits to the electrically powered vehicles are obvious. No emissions, little noise and simple maintenance that, he claims, goes from 30 to 60 percent of the value by comparison to a regular gas or diesel engine.

Currently, there are three types of electric vehicles available on the market. There are the hybrid electric cars that require a fossil fuel for its operation and does not acquire fuel from the electric grid. Next there are the plug-in hybrids that have a fossil fuel tank but uses stored power to increase the autonomy from fuels and reduce CO2. When accelerated above a speed of about 60 or 70 kilometers an hour, the vehicles switch over to the gas engine.

Lastly there are the pure electric vehicles that use only batteries to generate their electricity. China and the United States are the leaders in electric vehicle sales, according to Quirós, and he claims that auto companies such as Chevrolet, Nissan, BMW, Volvo and Land Rover are making aggressive moves to enter the niche market.

Detractors argue that the cost of the batteries make electric cars unaffordable for most people. Some of the brands listed above are not exactly known for being cheap.

The university’s engineer countered that the cost for the batteries was reduced by 77 percent within a year to around $227. He also noted that rising prices in oil and other materials are making it more expensive to build a fossil-fuel car.

"In our country the purchase of electric vehicles has been encouraged since 1997 when it was decreed to lower by 40 percent the selective consumption tax of these cars. In 2006 it was changed to 15 percent overall and in 2013 to 10 percent. Currently, electric vehicles do not pay this tax,” he said.

Mechanic at work
Universidad de Costa Rica photo      
The university's engineers are looking at the feasibility of electric cars like this mechanic with the engine.

The idea could be a boon for a country that is heavily dependent on the imports of foreign oil to run its vehicles. A bill in the legislature seeks to reduce dependence on oil by nearly 67 percent, deletion of the sales and customs tax for these vehicles as well as require 10 percent of the public fleet to be electrically-powered.

That may be difficult, however, considering a firm hold that automakers have on Costa Rica and the region. According to recent data provided by, autoparts in Central America represent a $1 billion market. In 2016, the region imported parts of vehicles at a rate that jumped eight percent in just a year.

Costa Rica runs in third place for the region in terms of monetary amount imported at $215 million. The first-place importer was Guatemala at $293 million. Meanwhile, neighboring Nicaragua was in last place at $79 million.

Moreover, the other issue would be the transition off of fossil fuels and how that will affect the economy. It is no secret that the price of fuel in Costa Rica remains among the highest if not the highest in the region. Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo, or Recope, is the dominant petroleum company for the country.

Still, due to the high expenses in buying both vehicle and gas, that may help the country be among the leaders in purchasing vehicles that run on electric, rather than gas or diesel, power.

This could be equally amplified by the elimination of those taxes mentioned in the legislation and the fact that Costa Rica’s population, both total and those driving, is relatively small by comparison to gas-dependent economies such as the United States.

Costa Rican legislators declare unilateral support for Maduro
By Rommel Téllez of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Venezuelan government of Nicolás Maduro and its plan to call for a Constitutional Assembly has received full support from Costa Ricans Ligia Fallas and José Ramírez, two Frente Amplio Legislators, at the 23rd Foro de Sao Paulo, an event that attracts left-leaning politician from the entire continent.

This year, the event took place at Managua, Nicaragua. On a statement issued on Monday, the two Costa Rican legislators agreed to sign a document where they pledged to defend, from their legislative chairs, the National Constituent Assembly, conveyed by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, “to preserve peace, the democratic and social state of law and justice and to promote an inclusive social dialogue that will  defeat the brutal aggression against the Venezuelan people."

“The government of Nicolás Maduro is the constitutionally, democratically elected power with the legitimacy to call for a National Constituent Assembly.” said Ms. Fallas to A.M Costa Rica. “The Venezuelan people deserve peace, and that's what this new process will provide, if no external interest interfere.”

Detractors to this move to rewrite the constitution say that this intends to gut the power of the mostly opposition-led National Assembly and render it impotent.

They would contend that the move seeks to eliminate all opposition to the establishment of a socialist dictatorship under Maduro.

Nearly 100 people have been killed in the seemingly endless protests that have wracked the country in recent days along with crushing economic hardship of the once-wealthy economy in the country. Now, the opposition groups have been calling for a nationwide general strike in opposition to the heavy-handed tactics of the regime.

The United States has promised to deliver heavier-handed sanctions against the regime's leaders if they continue on with the use of violent suppression of assemblies and protests as well as jailing of political prisoners. Venezuela has shrugged off these threats and sees it as proof of a U.S.-led imperialist conspiracy to topple Maduro.

Venezuelans vote
Venezolanos en Costa Rica Facebook photo
The Venezuelan activist group participated in the worldwide referendum to voice opposition to Maduro.

The resolution was also signed by representatives of Brazil, México, El Salvador, Venezuela, Colombia, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Spain, Perú, Argentina and Cuba.

Despite the legislator's support, Rodolfo Ulloa, president of the party, affirmed the legislators signed the document from a personal perspective and not in the name of the Frente Amplio.

“The very first and most important thing to say is that these Costa Rican legislators do not represent the Costa Rican people,” said María Faria, general coordinator of the opposition group Venezolanos en Costa Rica.

“With all due respect to the legislators, any support provided to the Nicolás Maduro government turn them into accomplices of murder and the poor quality of life of our Venezuelan brothers and sisters”

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

Published || Weekend Edition, July 21, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 144
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Research says key to mosquito control is in "sensor map" of fruit fly
By the Northwestern University press staff

Northwestern University neuroscientists now can visualize how fruit flies sense and process humidity and temperature together through a sensory map within their brains, according to new research.

The findings could one day help researchers better understand how the human brain simultaneously processes humidity and temperature and might influence how humans control for mosquitoes in cities and prevent mosquito-borne diseases. The study was published July 20 in the journal “Current Biology.”

“We know very little about how temperature and humidity are represented in the human brain,” said senior author Marco Gallio, assistant professor of neurobiology in Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. “This study demonstrates that the fruit fly brain contains a combined sensory map for temperature and humidity. We show how the fly’s brain reads this map to lead it away from dangerous hot and dry conditions.”

Hot, cold, dry and wet light up different physical locations within the sensory map. The fruit fly is a major model system for the genetics of sensory behavior, including human behavior.

The ability to process humidity in the brain together with temperature is imperative for the survival of fruit flies, which need warm, humid environments to thrive, and helps them make sensible behavioral choices to avoid hot, dry areas.

The study builds upon previous research in which Northwestern neuroscientists developed a new tool that uses fluorescent molecules to light up conversations between neurons in the fruit fly’s brain to visualize when they’re experiencing hot or cold stimuli. This new study sought out where humidity is represented in the fruit fly’s brain to test that additional environmental element.

The scientists restrained individual fruit flies under a microscope and controlled the level of humidity and temperature of the air flowing over their antennae. Meanwhile, they measured what was happening in this target region in the brain using genetically engineered flies in which neuronal conversations light up under a microscope. A puff of dry air lit up the neuron in the fly’s brain that reads dry stimuli. A puff of humid air spurred activity in the humid neurons. The intensity of how dry, humid, hot or cold it was changed how bright the neuron became.

“Neurons that measure temperature and humidity converge in the brain, but there is a physical separation of activity, which we can see by looking as neurons light up,” Gallio said. “Hot, cold, dry and wet light up different physical locations within this sensory map.”

Most interestingly, the scientists discovered that this map functions as a switchboard, so that neurons in the brain can connect at different locations to read one or more of the signals.
"Sensor map"
Northwestern University photo    
Could the fruit fly brain be key to unlocking the ultimate mosquito control mechanism?

Narrowly tuned neurons only read individual stimuli  such as just hot or just wet, while broadly tuned neurons can sample multiple stimuli at once such as hot and dry.

“When we knocked out the neuron that helps the fly recognize dry air, the fruit flies lost their ability to determine the combined danger of hot and dry and avoided dry heat just as much as they avoided the humid heat,” Gallio said.

The scientists discovered a single type of broadly tuned brain neuron that simultaneously receives signals from both dry and hot sensors, explaining how flies steer away from this particularly dangerous combination.

Why would a fruit fly brain need such broadly tuned hot/dry neurons? One hypothesis, Gallio said, is that dry and hot are often found together in the environment, so it makes sense that they would be processed together. 

“This neuron would be ideally positioned to summate the negative signals from dry and hot to make sure they get out of that environment as quickly as possible,” Gallio said.

The organization of the sensory triad of neurons is similar to what has been described in other insects, suggesting that other insects, such as the mosquito, might sense external humidity in the same manner as the fruit fly.

Ability to process humidity, temperature together could provide insight into human brains

“It’s not a big leap to think that mosquitoes might use the same strategies to navigate their environment,” Gallio said. “One of the ways we’re trying to control the major issue of mosquito-borne diseases is to mess with their brains.”

Mosquitoes use temperature to find their prey, and they also like to lay their eggs in water, Gallio explained. As an example, he said scientists could screen in the lab for compounds that target a mosquito’s humidity receptor.

A drop of that compound in the open water of an urbanized area may lead the mosquito to ignore that body of water when searching for a suitable place to lay its eggs.

The paper is titled “Early integration of temperature and humidity stimuli in the Drosophila brain.”

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Side of Pura Vida

A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page

Salsa Lizano
Published || Weekend Edition, July 21, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 144
Real Estate
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Bill to cut legal immigration
expected later this summer

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Two Republican senators are working with the White House on a comprehensive immigration bill that reports say will cut legal immigration in half.

An earlier version of the bill proposed in February by Senators David Perdue and Tom Cotton was also expected to cut legal immigration from 1 million to 500,000 each year.

It called for limiting admission for migrants' family members, ending the diversity visa lottery program and making the process of obtaining green card work permits much more difficult.

“Sen. Cotton and Sen. Perdue are continuing to build on the RAISE act they introduced earlier this year and hope to introduce a new bill soon,” Communications Director for Cotton, Caroline Rabbitt, said.

 “I would be nervous if we cut the number of immigrants by 50 percent,” Kim Rueben, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute, said.

Explaining why, Rueben said one of the most striking findings of research she participated in with the National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine was that starting in 2020 the only increases in the U.S. labor-force are expected to come from immigrants and the children of immigrants.

Cotton and Perdue argue that the generation-long-influx of low-skilled immigrants has been a major factor in the downward pressure on the wages of working Americans.

The latest data from the U.S. Department of Labor shows that in June job growth was strong, which economists say contradicts the idea that immigrants are taking jobs away from native-born Americans.

"Since January, the unemployment rate has dropped by 0.4 percent and is well below the pre-recession rate of 5.3 percent. (June's) robust job creation and moderate wage growth has direct impact on American families," Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta said in a statement.

Rueben says the economy actually needs people to take on jobs.

"As baby boomers and generation X age and natives are having fewer children, the people who are going to be replacing them in the labor force are largely coming from immigrant populations and their children," Rueben said.

On Monday, the Dept. of Homeland Security made 15,000 additional H-2B visas available for companies to hire temporary, non-agricultural foreign workers before the end of the fiscal year Sept. 30.

Cotton and Perdue are expected to introduce the latest version of their bill later in the summer.

U.S. Dream Act would offer
amnesty to DACA recipients

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Two U.S. senators on Thursday introduced a bipartisan bill that would grant amnesty to illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children.

Senators Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, and Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, are co-sponsoring the Dream Act of 2017, which would ensure permanent resident status to about a million young people, known as dreamers, who were brought to the U.S. under age 17 and have lived in the country for at least four years.

The bill, if it were to pass, would be a lifeline for the young people who already have registered for the Obama-era program Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

DACA is in jeopardy. Last week, Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus that the department would not commit to defending the program in court because department lawyers said DACA was unlikely to survive a legal challenge promised by 10 state officials.

The states have said they will sue the administration of President Donald Trump if it does not rescind DACA by September 5.

"Kelly was basically telling us DACA is facing a death sentence," Representative Luis Gutierrez, an Illinois Democrat, said in a statement after the caucus meeting. Undoing DACA would leave almost 800,000 current registrants for the program undocumented and open them up to deportation proceedings.

Graham and Durbin have sponsored a number of versions of the Dream Act since the administration of President George W. Bush, but Congress has never been able to agree on a final version.

At a news conference to announce the latest edition Thursday, Graham said the bill was a matter of basic fairness.

"These DACA kids have come out of the shadows at the invitation of the government," he said. "We do not pull the rug out from under them."

Graham added that he hoped Trump would be the man who started the country on the road to reform. And he issued a direct challenge to the president: "You're going to have to make a decision; the campaign is over."

But McClatchy News reported Thursday that Trump was not likely to support the Dream Act. The news service quoted an administration official as saying immigration enforcement was the administration's first priority.

Trump has been inconclusive on the subject of DACA. During the campaign, he professed to be against the program, but more recently he has wavered, calling it one of the most difficult subjects he has to make back in February.

U.S. lifts ban on laptops
on incoming foreign flights

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. has lifted its ban on carry-on laptop computers on foreign flights headed to American airports.

The Department of Homeland Security's ban list originally affected 10 airports and nine airlines, mostly Middle Eastern carriers. The agency announced that the countries where the airports are located were complying with tightened security measures and anyone flying to the U.S. can now bring a computer onto the plane.

The toughened security measures include checking electronic devices for possible explosives and pulling more people out of airport security lines for more extensive screening.

Homeland Security imposed the laptop ban from the Middle East in March and threatened to expand it to more than 280 airports worldwide unless all of them carried out the intensified screenings.

Many global airlines feared a laptop ban, especially for business travelers, would hurt their business.

“The quick and decisive action taken by airlines, nations, and stakeholders are a testament to our shared commitment to raising the bar on global aviation security,” Homeland Security spokesman David Lapan said Thursday.

U.S. authorities imposed the ban in March when intelligence said Islamic State was working to build a bomb inside a laptop. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told a U.S. security conference Wednesday that experts carried out such a test.

Far-Right group plans patrol
of the Mediterranean Sea

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A pan-European far-right group with a history of violent direct action has charted a 422-ton ship and says it plans to confront people-smugglers and turn back migrants it finds in the waters off Libya.

Humanitarian organizations say the planned intervention is a public relations provocation by the Defend Europe group, which is part of the continent-wide, anti-Islam identitarian movement. Identitarians advocate the preservation of national identity and a return to "traditional Western values."

They warn lives could be endangered, if the far-right activists impede refugee-rescue operations in the Mediterranean, something some of the group’s leaders have vowed they will do.

Humanitarian groups are highlighting the shadowy background of the owner of the ship the far-right activists have chartered, 49-year-old Swedish businessman Sven Tomas Egerstrom, who has provided private maritime security services in Africa.

In 2015, a court in the Seychelles ordered the seizure of a cargo of automatic weapons worth $2 million found on one of Egerstrom’s ships in a case brought by the crew of the vessel, Ocean Bounty, who accused him of abandoning them.

Defend Europe leaders have been contradictory about what they intend to do with chartered ship, the C-Star. Lorenzo Fiato, head of Defend Europe’s Italian branch, said the activists will coordinate their actions with Libyan authorities and coast guards in Tripoli.

But he admitted Defend Europe has been unable to establish firm contacts in Libya and he appeared unknowledgeable about the militia and trafficker connections of Libya’s coast guards.

Martin Sellner, co-leader of the Austrian identitarian branch and a key figure in Defend Europe, vowed in an online video the group would block NGO ships from going to the Libyan coast.

Europe’s identitarian movement, which is often dubbed the hipster right, is a network of social media-savvy young activists mainly operating in France, Germany, Austria and Italy. It has a record of mounting provocative direct-action campaigns and then using the publicity generated to win more recruits and attract donations from crowd-funding appeals.

Identitarians have occupied mosques, and in March 2016 they clashed with French police after burning tires and blocking bridges leading from a makeshift migrant camp known as the jungle in Calais.

Human Rights Watch warned Tuesday if Defend Europe activists return migrants to Libya against their will they would be in breach of international humanitarian law and if they impede rescue missions they would be breaking maritime law, which obliges seafarers to save lives at sea.

"My personal response to what they want to do is probably unprintable," says Judith Sunderland of Human Rights Watch, who warns Defend Europe could end up "handing people over to militias that collude with the smugglers and traffickers."

She accused the Identitarian group of aiming to stoke anti-migrant sentiment in Italy, which in recent weeks has mounted and is buffeting the government of Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni.

More than 86,000 migrants have reached Italy this year from Libya, a 10 percent increase on the same period last year, according to the International Office for Migration.

Italy’s migrant detention centers and temporary shelters have reached their capacity of 200,000 and Italian officials have warned neighboring European countries that they are considering granting migrants European Union visas, which would allow them to travel legally to other EU states.

In May, Defend Europe tried unsuccessfully to use a dinghy to block in Italian waters a refugee-rescue vessel chartered by the international Doctors Without Borders.The action generated international media coverage and nearly $170,000 in donations from two crowd-funding appeals.

Originally Defend Europe planned to dock the vessel at the Sicilian port of Catania, but now the activists say they plan to keep it anchored 40 kilometers off the coast, as they fear Italian authorities may decide to impound the ship.

Nevada parole board votes
to release O.J. Simpson

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A Las Vegas parole board on Thursday granted U.S. football and screen star O.J. Simpson parole after nine years in prison for armed robbery and kidnapping.

"Thank you," Simpson gasped, visibly relieved just seconds after the decision was announced. The 70-year-old smiled wearily, waved and mouthed "I'll call you" to someone off camera as he was ushered out of the courtroom.

The decision was a quick one, announced less than an hour after the conclusion of his parole hearing.

The Hall of Fame athlete who was acquitted at the conclusion of a sensational murder trial in the 1990s cited good behavior while imprisoned on his convictions and told the court he wanted to be released so he could be with his family.

"I want to spend as much time as I can with my children and friends," he said. "I've done my time as respectfully as I can. I have not complained for nine years. All I've done is try to be helpful, telling the guys around me, 'Do your time, do your fighting in court.”

His daughter Arnelle Simpson told the court, "We recognize he's not the perfect man, but he's been a perfect inmate, following the rules and making the best of the situation. He is remorseful. He truly is remorseful and we just want him to come home so we can move forward, quietly."

Simpson could be released from prison as soon as Oct. 1, although Capt. Shawn Arruti of the Nevada Division of Parole and Probation told reporters the state generally does not announce inmates' release dates. Simpson is expected to move to Florida, where he has family.

Arruti said Florida parole officials have up to 45 days to decide whether to accept Simpson. He said acceptance rates are high when there is family in the area.

Simpson was convicted of armed robbery and kidnapping, among other charges, in 2008 after he confronted two sports memorabilia dealers in September 2007 regarding merchandise that he claimed had been stolen from him. He was given a nine-year minimum on his 33-year prison sentence.

In July 2013, Simpson had a parole board hearing regarding five of the 12 charges he was convicted of, and he said he regretted the 2007 incident.

The board said Simpson was a low risk for repeat offenses and ruled in his favor on some charges, but not all. That meant he would remain in prison at least four more years, until his next parole hearing.

It has been a stunning fall from grace for the charismatic star, whose fame turned to notoriety following the slayings of his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman in 1994.

O.J. Simpson was accused of the killings, in a legal process intensely watched by the nation, from a low-speed police chase on a California highway to his acquittal in 1995. He was later found responsible for the deaths in a civil trial and paid a penalty of $33.5 million to the families of the victims.

"The Juice," as he was known, won the Heisman Trophy as the best U.S. college football player in 1968 and was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985.

He went on to star in commercials and movies such as the Naked Gun comedies and do sideline reporting for Monday Night Football.

Voice of America photo      
Soil scientist Ray Weil says tilled soil erodes more easily and holds less water.

Farmers find healthy soils
yield healthier profits

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Ancient civilizations plowed themselves into oblivion, and modern agriculture risks doing it again, geologist David Montgomery says.

In his new book, Montgomery says a growing number of farmers are using techniques that can save their farms from slow death by erosion.

In “Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life,” Montgomery meets farmers who are building healthy soil and buffering themselves against climate change, and saving money while doing it, by practicing what is called conservation agriculture.

Experts worldwide are working to persuade farmers to reject thousands of years of agricultural tradition in order to save their soil.

His previous book, “Dirt: the Erosion of Civilizations” describes how tillage, one of the oldest practices in agriculture, degraded farms and civilizations from Mesopotamia to 1930's Dust Bowl America.

Farmers till the soil to control weeds and make planting easier, but exposed soil washes away in the rain and blows away in the wind, carrying with it the nutrients plants need to thrive.

And yet, most farmers worldwide still plow their soil and leave it bare in the off-season. Many plant the same crops over and over again. All three practices wear out the soil.

Growing a Revolution picks up where Dirt ends, with the promise of a relatively new kind of farming.

Trey Hill of Maryland has not tilled his soybean field in years. The young crop peeks out from below waist-high brown stalks of what remains of last year's cover crop, a mix of grains, legumes, radishes and more.

A short drive away, in a neighbor's conventionally tilled field, soybeans grow in neat and tidy lines on a clean slate of bare earth.

University of Maryland soil scientist Ray Weil sees signs of trouble. The lower leaves of the soybean plants are splashed with mud from a rainstorm two nights earlier.

Just a few millimeters below the surface, he finds soybean roots growing sideways, unable to penetrate a layer of hard earth packed down by the effects of tillage. If it turns dry later in the summer, he said, they're going to be crying for water.

Hill's ugly field is pretty on the inside. The roots of the cover crop he planted last year held onto the soil and its precious nutrients through the winter. Legumes added nitrogen, a key fertilizer. Earthworms feasting on the decomposing plants dig tunnels in the earth. Those pores soak up rainfall like a sponge, and they provide paths for the roots of Hill's soybeans to grow through.

Cushioning against droughts and downpours, these soils help Hill through the weather extremes that are becoming more frequent with climate change.

And Hill is saving money. Less tilling means paying for less tractor fuel. He buys less fertilizer because his cover crops feed the soil.

Conservation agriculture is also working on small farms in the developing world.

Montgomery visited Ghana, where traditional slash-and-burn farming is degrading the soil, but conservation agriculture is turning fields into food forests. Farmers raised multiple crops on the same field, keeping the ground covered year 'round.

The spread of conservation agriculture has been slow. The transition can take several years. Weeds can cut yields in that time. Equipment designed to work on bare earth may not operate on cover-cropped fields.

Developing world farmers, in particular, often remove the residues of one crop before planting the next, to feed livestock, thatch roofs, or use as cooking fuel. Cheaper, soil-saving and climate-friendly, experts worldwide are helping farmers switch to conservation agriculture and consign the plow to the history books.

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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)

Hotel in

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. Up to 40% financing / get residency through investor status / includes a corporation that is 27 years old and offshore banking account with  Banco National / possible 50/50 partnership. Super location in front of the Bosques de Escazú  Condos  / Monthly rentals available

Send an email Call for more info:
Free US phone 877-778-8515  or 410-975-6703 
In Costa Rica phone: 506- 8307-0164

Sur house
Commercial Building for Sale in Sabana Sur
A two story building w/14 areas for offices, call center, storage or residence. Building has been completely remodelled  Transportation within 50 mts. passenger train, buses and taxis. Park, gymnasium, tennis club and National soccer stadium 2 - 3 block walk. 24 hour security, many restuarants, clubs and social facilities nearby. Approximately 325 mts. construction $350,000. 
Contact :
 James Holley E-mail

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

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

Century 21

A Name You Trust,
Professionalism You Deserve

Tom Ghormley and the dream team!
in CR since 1979

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

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

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

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

Playas del Coco Click Here!

Playa Panama Click Here!

Playa Hermosa Click Here!
Peninsula Papagayo Click Here!

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


Real estate-related services (paid category)


Costa Rica

Serving Atenas and Surroundings Areas

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

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



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

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Published || Weekend Edition, July 21, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 144
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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

Agua gira
Casa Presidencial photo      
The water channels are now joined as part of irrigation project.

2,634 hectares receive water supply

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Over 32 kilometers of canal connecting two separate sections to the southern channel of the Distrito de Riego Arenal Tempisque has now been extended.

According to a statement from Casa Presidencial, around 2,634 hectares of land and more than 250 families will benefit from the new extension beginning this August. The Servicio Nacional de Aguas Subterráneas, Riego y Avenamiento, popularly called Senara, made an investment of around 10.5 million colones in infrastructure funds.

The canal is designed to initially move about 15,000 liters of water per second for irrigation purposes. The first section is a part of the Canal del Sur with the second section running from the Río Cañas to La Zopilota gorge on the right bank of the Río Abangares. It is the first of two stages to benefit the cantons of Cañas and Abangares in the Colorado district.

Resources for this agreement came with the loan agreement between Costa Rica and the Banco Centeroamericano de Integración Económica. It is a part of the water resource management program.

In the second stage, Senara would invest about $7.1 million in the construction of a secondary network stretching around 45.5 kilometers but is currently looking for the funds to do the project, Casa Presidencial said. This part of the water supply project intended for the Río Tempisque and the coastal areas in Guanacaste province.

Milk producers get massive funding

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Tilarán’s small and medium-sized milk producers are receiving a boon in investment from the government in promotion of their industry.

In the La Poma settlement, a formal agreement on distributing electricity to varying electric fences and mechanical milk rooms was made. The investment required for this work was 16.4 million colones, according to Casa Presidencial. The Instituto de Desarrollo Rural had also delivered 57 pregnant heifers and materials to construct dairies at around 55 million colones. This also comes with a further 17 rural loans at 59.5 colones too.

Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís and First Lady Mercedes Peñas Domingo announced the new investments during a working tour in Guanacaste. Inder also collaborated with other institutions such as the Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad and the Cámara de Ganaderos among others.

“We are happy and I feel like I hit the lottery because being selected to be part of this project is like having won the project,” Modesto Ruiz, one of the beneficiaries of Finca La Poma, said.

The agriculture ministry also announced a total of 120 million colones will soon be invested for the improvement of dairy farms and producers for the chamber of livestock in Tilarán. The aim is to continue to improve the profitability of farms like in Nuevo Arenal, Tilarán, Tierras Morenas, Los Ángeles and Líbano among others.

The investment will be used for the acquisition of 19 mechanical extraction systems an 25 cold storage tanks for milk, Casa Presidencial said in a statement. Additionally, a rainwater collecting system will also be installed with funds provided by Inder and the Comisión Nacional de Emergencias.

Costa Rican News
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From page 7:

Corporate taxes due by September this year

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Anyone owning or belonging to any association with a Cédula Jurídica should be aware it will be time to pay the corporate tax for the 2017 period by September 1.

The corporate tax, locally known as the Impuesto a las Personas Jurídicas, is to be paid by any sort of commercially-registered company, non-profits, foundations, cooperatives and any other association that generates income.

Normally, this tax should be paid on a yearly basis, but since recent reforms took place, the amount will be just a third of the normal fee this year only.  According to the law, active companies making less than $89,168 a year, should pay about $220 a year. In 2017 only, that amount will be $73.

Active companies making between $89,168 and $192,397 should normally pay $230, which equates to about 30 percent of a base salary in government: roughly $769. However, on 2017, that amount decreases to $76.60

Those companies making $192.397 and above should normally pay 50 percent of that base salary which corresponds to $384.50, however, in 2017 that amount will be $128. In the case of inactive companies, which many use to protect cars and real state, they pay 15 percent of that base salary or $115. The 2017 fee for them is $38. By Jan. 2018, the full corporate tax should be payed at the beginning of each year for the full amount explained about.

If active companies do not pay this tax, the Registro Público will not be issuing a Cédula Jurídica, which is a document companies need in order to run several errands such as opening bank accounts, enrolling new employees, asking for credit for the banking system or to register their assets and incomes.

If an active company reaches three years in a row skipping this payment, the company will be taken off the records and any property or asset linked to it will follow on a very complicated path of recovery. In the meantime, they will be in a financial limbo. However, the debt and its interest rate of one percent per month does not expire, and the fiscal authorities may try to collect the money.

By the fourth year, the debtor has the possibility to request the prescription of the debt before the Tribunals.

“Another very important misunderstanding to clarify is that people with inactive organizations should go to Ministerio de Hacienda and file the form D-140, so that fiscal authorities know of their existence,”said Luis Javier Porras, president of the Colegio de Contadores Públicos and source of information for this article.

“Because of the information systems at Ministerio de Hacienda, inactive organizations are not on the radar, so the law establishes that owner should go to Hacienda and make themselves subject of taxing.” added Porras. “Not doing so could imply more fines or judicial prosecution.”