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Published Tuesday Edition
July 25, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 146
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Customs gives special privileges to four companies
By Conor Golden,
News Editor of A.M. Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s customs service certified four companies to receive special benefits as an Operador Económico Autorizado under the service’s reliable trade program.

According to the Ministerio de Hacienda, the certification is granted to the companies for a period of four years and are evaluated annually under the supervision of the Área de Relaciones y Asuntos Externos for the Dirección General de Aduanas.

The operator can be an individual person or company with a cédula jurídica registered within Costa Rica and who has carried out export and import activities within the last three years prior to filing the application. Additionally, individuals must possess the legal capacity to act and contract obligations on their own behalf or the company that they represent.

Recognition allows certain benefits at customs. Primarily, there is a guarantee in the reliability and security of goods in all customs operations. There is also priority given to the certified operator’s goods in terms of attention and moving it through the customs process, the finance ministry said. Moreover, an extension is granted with the customs scheduling for the goods to be transported in or out.

The four companies certified as authorized operators in this instance were: the Sociedad Anónima de Vehículos Automotores, Motosport S.A., Boston Scientific de Costa Rica and Abbott Vascular Limitada S.A.

“Being an OEA has provided us with greater agility in customs processes, not only in export and import, but also in the process of administrative consultations,” said Mario Torres, the director of materials at Boston Scientific de Costa Rica. “It gives a vote of confidence to the outside, recognizing that we have a secure logistics chain based on the fulfillment of the requirements established during international trade and the predictability of our processes.”

These certifications are apparently stingily handed out by Aduanas. To date, only 34 companies have been certified including these new additions. Wilson Céspedes, the director general of Aduanas, said in a statement that these are meant to only certify companies that are committed to the “correct commercial operation.”

“This commits us to strictly follow a series of rules, logistical procedures and customs legislation,” according to Gilberth Porras, the general manager for Sava.

Ever since Céspedes ascended to the top spot in Aduanas after the sudden departure of Benito Coghi, Aduanas has been announcing statement after statement that may intend to paint a picture of being tough on crime.

Rampant bribery at Aduanas as well as customs fraud have marked headlines in the past and this year the actions at customs seem to be in seizing goods violating intellectual property rights or not being declared. Céspedes himself continuously comments that customs fraud, intellectual property theft and other violations are not going to be tolerated.

Still goods slip through the inspections and finance ministry officials have stated in the past that not every single undeclared good or bank note or coin can be nabbed on first look. Meanwhile, some charities and other non-profit organizations run by expats have been feeling the long arm of customs grabbing their goods.

A shipping container bearing donated medical supplies for underprivileged people has been held since October over a demand for import duties at the Costa Rican port of Caldera.

Seized
                              goods
Ministerio de Hacienda photo        
Seized goods await processing at customs.

Contraband
                              cigarettes
Ministerio de Hacienda photo    
Contraband being dumped and destroyed.

The California non-profit organization Nuestra Ayuda has been negotiating with Costa Rican authorities to release the donated medical and healthcare supplies for people in desperate need, said the organization’s president, Edward Solarewicz.

According to the content list provided to A.M. Costa Rica at the time by Solarewicz, the shipping container holds approximately 12 boxes and four carts mostly loaded down with various medical supplies, but also a small amount of non-related donations as well.

These are supposed to be doled out to people in need in Talamanca and Limón, according to the group. Solarewicz said at the time that the items within the container are being held because they were not properly priced and itemized.

The government intended to assess a tax based on the value.

Nuestra Ayuda has also been asked to pay a storage fee of around $50 a day to hold the container, according to Solarewicz. That is money the foundation cannot afford, he said.

Back in 2016, Peter Aborn, a member of the Asociación Proyectos Especiales de Salud Región de Talamanca, said he has had a shipping container confiscated by customs authorities.

The items amounted to some 2000 kilograms worth of mostly dental instruments and equipment, but also donated items like sports gear as well.

All the supplies have been confiscated on account of the lack of payment for import duties.

Despite the efforts of Aborn and other members of the organization, their pleas for release have fallen on deaf ears by members of the government.

In 2011, the government changed the rules and consigned thousands of shipments to limbo where they may still remain because of unpaid sales tax.


Lack of listening seems to plague all sides of strike
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

In the conflict between the Poder Judicial workers on strike, the government and some legislators, nobody seems to listen to anyone anymore.

Talks have reached a dead end as the bodies being kept at Morgue Judicial pile up awaiting an autopsy and proper burial. As of Monday night, the amount of bodies that judicial workers refused to perform an autopsy on was somewhere from 32 to 35.

Even the Saturday night ruling by the Sala Constitucional of the Supreme Court demanding the immediate continuation of autopsies didn't resume operations.

Workers at the morgue took a sick leave due to a nervous breakdown, went home and stopped listening.

On Monday, about 50 people, all related to the deceased being kept in the morgue, cried their hearts out explaining judicial strikers how important is it for them to provide proper burial to their loved ones.

They even blocked the Ruta 27 in the morning to make sure people paid attention to their message.

However, strikers did not listen to that either, but they did reply.

They explained to the families that it is not their fault to be on strike, but the fault of legislators who refuse to reform their pensions plans based on the worker's proposal. Families did not seem to listen to that justification either. All they care is to have the bodies of their loved ones with them.

In social networks, citizens condemn the actions of the judicial workers and strongly criticize the way the executive branch is handling the situation. Again, they did not seem to listen to what President Luis Guillermo Solís explained during a public activity in Guanacaste.

The president said two things. He will not interfere in the situation, or else it could be understood as an intervention by an independent power. He would also try to request staff at the public hospitals to lend a hand and provide the pathological services. This is an unlikely solutions as the public hospitals are also heavily unionized and workers’ confederations tend to support one another.

Legislators seem to not be listening either. As if this was any other disagreement, they made it clear that they will 
continue working with the reform of the pensions plan that would increase the retirement age to 65.

Striking doctors, workers and administrative staff from Poder Judicial are deaf to the fact that as of Monday night, the country's prosecutor said a formal investigation against them has now begun.

They are not listening at all and already said that, as of tomorrow, the Poder Judicial branches all 
across the country will join the strike along with the social security systems unions, as confirmed by the Bloque Sindical y Social Costarricense.

Amidst the unbearable noise from all parties involved, at some point, someone will have himself or herself heard, the question is who and when. Bodies in the morgue have an expiration time.


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A.M.
Costa Rica

Second News Page

Published || Tuesday Edition, July 25, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 146
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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.
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Labor law changes go into effect today

By the Rommel Téllez of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

As of today, the most important set of changes to the Costa Rican labor laws goes into effect since the issuance of the Código de Trabajo, 1948.

Under the name of Reforma Procesal Laboral, the new measures seek to further clarify the employee-employer regulations in a time of social media, a more diverse social environment and the existence of new generations that question the very nature of how work should be. By switching into more conciliatory and oral processes, the judiciary estimates that conflicts that usually take years to resolve, would last about 10 months in the worst case scenarios.

From the worker's perspective, some of the changes and updates seek to bring labor justice faster, easier and more affordable. Probably one of the new most beneficial changes is the free legal assistance to all workers making less than 900,000 colones a month or $1,574, which is a vast majority of the public sector workers.

Another change is the tightening of anti-discriminatory measures at the work place. The old Código de Trabajo forbade discrimination based on age, ethnicity, gender and religion. The new laws establish that discrimination may also happen based upon heritage or the nationality of close family members, political ideology, sexual orientation, marital status, union membership, disability and even one’s socio-economic status.

Employers found guilty of discrimination based on that criteria could face fines and lawsuits on a personal level. If the discrimination comes from other workers, they could be fired with no benefits. Workers should also be careful with their social media accounts, since publication showing unauthorized or secret information of a company could lead into immediate termination.

Pregnant women and unionized workers cannot be fired without the explicit permission from the Ministerio de Trabajo. Although this isn't quite a new regulation, the new text emphasized how this should be enforced in a very efficient way.

If a employer is in need to let a worker go because of any kind of misconduct and without any severance package, the dismissal can only be done in person and providing a written letter that explains the reasons why the company made that decision. If the worker's feels it is unfair, then the reasons stated in the document will be the only ones taken into consideration in a labor trial.

If a employer gets caught in a legal fight with a worker of former worker, he is entitled to request an electronic token from Poder Judicial and follow the process digitally. The token will allow him or her to submit paperwork, receive notification and be up to date to sentences and any progress in their cases.

It's been almost two decades since the Reforma was first discussed at the in the Costa Rican society by employers, workers, government representatives and non-for-profit organizations back in 1998.

In 2000, the Corte Suprema studied and further analyzed the first proposal and encouraged the changes to be approved as soon as possible due to the urgency of updating the regulations. Twelve years later it was approved by the Legislative Assembly but it was immediately vetoed by former president Laura Chinchilla.

On Dec.12, 2014, President Luis Guillermo Solís revoked the veto on the law but that move was considered unconstitutional by the Sala Constitucional of the Supreme Court on Aug. 7, 2015.

Finally, the Legislative Assembly made some modifications to the bill and it was finally approved on Dec. 9, 2015 and its implementation is today.

However, the Reforma might be challenged by several association of private employers, who have already warned that they will take the law before the Constitutional Chamber of the Corte Suprema.

As of now, Poder Judicial has created a new labor court for San José and expects to deal with a flood of cases. More than 300 hires took place in order to enforce this new Reforma.


Vehicle
restriction
Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes photo            
Plate registration restrictions will be put on hold today.

Plate restrictions lifted for today

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Drivers with license plates ending in three of four can enter San José without having to comply with the vehicle registration number restriction today.

The statement was issued by the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes Monday morning. The ministry lifted the restriction due to the holiday celebrating the Anexión del Partido de Nicoya in Guanacaste. Mario Calderón, the director of the Policía de Tránsito, said he needed all officers for preparation of the holiday as well as the upcoming Romería celebrations next week.

Officials said the restriction will be lifted on August 2 for the Día de la Virgen de los Ángeles as well as August 15 for the Día de la Madre. Calderón emphasized that the reduction in traffic congestion due to the holidays no longer makes the restriction necessary.

The restriction will be lifted from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. It is usually applied Monday thru Friday beginning with plates that end in one or two Monday and finishing with plates numbered with the last digit of nine or zero. The fine for disobeying the restriction is 21,992 colones.


Farmers to receive scientific training

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Through an agreement between Earth University and the Ad Astra Rocket company, Guanacaste farmers will have some scientific training to increase their productivity, lower their costs and increase the results of their activities.

To achieve that, the two institutions have created the Precision Agriculture Center, a pilot plan in the canton of Liberia, Guanacaste.

The center's objective is to acquire sophisticated measurement equipment to identify the real needs of farmers raw materials and optimize their use in agricultural production, the use of clean technology and the education and training of small producers.

In a first phase, the pilot plan will run for 24 months. For this project, University Earth donated $364,374 and the Sistema Banca para el Desarrollo contributed with $881,870

The money will be used for the construction of the laboratory building, maintenance of equipment, hiring of technicians from the university and others.

The project comprises four phases, three of which are already completed. The first was the investigation of the technology that is in the market, then the purchase of the equipment, afterwards the installations and calibrations.

The fourth phase begins in 2018 and will train state workers, students from Earth University, students from agricultural technical colleges in Liberia and farmers. The idea is to replicate this project in other areas of the country in a way that suits the operation sizes of agricultural company’s. EARTH students and other participants are expected to be able to take the model to other areas in Central America and even Africa.

"This technology allows to have an x-ray of the terrain to know which are the areas of greater productivity and to take appropriate measures of water, electrical conductivity, soil pH and also precise location systems such as GPS," explained Felipe Araúz, the chief of the Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería.

"It is expected that after two years, the center will be self-sustaining and it will be able to sell services at differentiated costs depending on the size of the entrepreneur," said President Luis Guillermo Solis during a visit to the center.


Border guards at marker
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo         
Border guards look to see if anything changed in marker position.

Border boundary moving declared false

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The public security ministry declared Monday that reports of Nicaraguan soldiers moving boundary markers are false.

The Policía Fronteras conducted on-site inspections to this end, according to the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública. Officers verified the milestone was in the correct position using a GPS coordinates device often used in geocaching. Specifically, the incident was alleged to have occurred in the Delicias district of Upala.

Border patrols also made trips to the other markers and found everything was normal. Local residents claimed that there was nothing wrong despite rumors alleging the illegal action by several residents and also the Defensa de la Milla Fronteriza, a civic organization aimed at monitoring the norther border of the country.


News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English




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A.M.
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Third News Page
U.S. Tax
Published || Tuesday Edition, July 25, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 146
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Anexíon celebrations brings Guanacaste culture to San José Sunday
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The celebrations are not limited to Guanacaste for today as the Museo Nacional is planning its own holiday event in San José this coming Sunday.

The Anexión del Partido de Nicoya a Costa Rica is the holiday and one that is sure to shut down many businesses and offices today in a celebration that started with an event in Guanacaste. For those who do not know the annexation of the Partido de Nicoya to the then-province of Costa Rica on July 25, 1824. At the time, Costa Rica and the rest of Central America had only just recently separated from the First Mexican Empire that, itself, had only gained formal independence from Spain.

With traditional music, folk dancing and a lot of foods, the Museo will be hosting its celebration this coming Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The festival is called Alma Guanacasteca and it seeks to rescue the traditions and preserve the country’s cultural memory, according to María Elena Masís, the festival organizer.

She added that this holiday is particularly important as many of Costa Rica’s traditions have come from Guanacaste from the corn-based foods to the folk dances and rhythms. 15 artisans from Guanacaste will also be coming to share their famous Güaitil ceramics, wood carvings, costume, jewelry and other articles, the museum said.

Entrance to the museum is free to all citizens and permanent residents with foreigners being charged $9 or $4 for foreign students.

The day begins with a contest similar to improv theater as well as coplas, or couplets, bombas, which are a series of jokes that rhyme, and retahílas, an improvised type of rant.

Around 11 a.m. the Banda de Conciertos for San José will be holding a concert filled with Guanacasteca music. At 1 p.m. organizers will sponsor a guided tour to the new museum exhibit on the history of Costa Rica that also features the annexation. Lastly there will be folk dancing at 2 p.m. to cap the event.


Attendees will be able to enjoy quite a palate at the food fair, organizers said. “They can find for sale corn rice, achiotada chicken, hash, pozol, pork tamales with pejibaye flour, webbed tortillas with curd, piñonates, donut, roasted tamale, horchata, coffee blasting and cajetas,” the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud said in a statement.

At the time of the annexation, Costa Rica was part of the United Provinces of Central America, a loose confederacy of relatively independent provinces that eventually formed the Federal Republic of Central America, which also rapidly disintegrated into the modern countries that we see today.

Anexion celebration
Museo Nacional photo    

Anexion celebrations
Museo Nacional photo
The Anexión celebration brings Guanacaste to the capital.

The Partido de Nicoya was the name given to the lands located west of the Río Tempisque to the Pacific Ocean and north of the Río Salto until the Río La Flor and the Lago de Nicragua. Basically, this forms much of the modern day Costa Rican province of Guanacaste.

While the partido had enjoyed great autonomy, it was technically under the dominion of the Captaincy-General of Guatemala as had most of the region when it was under the rule of Spanish crown. However, its proximity to Costa Rica caused it to develop close ties with the province both economically and commercially, according to the Archivo Nacional. The partido had a special status and was neither formally part of Nicaragua or Costa Rica.

When independence was declared from the Spanish on Sept. 15, 1821, Nicaragua turned its interest to the area but the Archivo claimed that union with Nicaragua was not appealing to the Nicoyanos. An open council was called and the members formally annexed themselves to Costa Rica in 1824.



Poder Judicial strike exposes weakness in constitutional chamber
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Sala IV, the local and popular name for the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, seems to be all almighty when it determines key issues in the country's politics.

It is this entity  that places the average citizen in contact with the top magistrates of the country, those in charge of protecting the constitutional rights in Costa Rica.

Their rulings allowed presidential reelections, halted the gold mine project from Industrias Infinito, it decided same-sex couples have the right to medical insurance and lately, it ordered the powerful telecom companies and the government  to better define their fair internet usage policies or else, cancel them all in the next 4 months.

However with its power, the Sala IV does not count on a legal structure that allows it to enforce its own sentences when immediacy makes  the difference between getting justice on time or not getting it at all because it was today.

On Saturday the Sala IV ruled the striking pathologists at Morgue Judicial should resume their work and continue with their autopsies. Strikers would not listen in this case where immediacy becomes the most important value of justice.

As a consequence, the Ministerio Público started an investigation for contempt to the workers who refused to abide by the Sala IV, however it may take days, weeks or months to get a sentence. A constitutional order follows a traditional judicial path.

According to the latest Estado de la Nación report, compliance with the Sala IV rulings have declined since 2009. Back then the average compliance rate of its sentences was 95.6 percent. By 2016 that percentage had decreased to 91.9 percent.

One of the reasons for that, is what the recently retired magistrate Ana Virginia Calzada used to explain: the need to create a constitutional compliance office that would enforce the sentences at the speed a case deserves.

According to Ms. Calzada, such an infrastructure would boost the efficiency of the chamber, especially in cases where the rulings should be enforced immediately.

As we see today, if someone or some company refuses to obey a constitutional ruling, the plaintiff is obliged to go through the traditional courts where all traditional cases usually can wait and wait.

That discourages the person who first filed the appeal, discourages the writ of habeas corpus or any other constitutional claim. People will just drop the case.

However, when the Sala IV rulings are not enforced on time as to deliver true justice and protection to the citizen, Ms. Calzada and other magistrates have encouraged citizens to let them know.

The Sala IV does not track automatically all the cases and sometimes the only way to force a party to comply with a ruling is letting the Sala IV know someone does not want to play fair.


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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

Published || Tuesday Edition, July 25, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 146
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Tourism represents robust sector of Costa Rica economy, UCR says
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Tourism is one of the most dynamic sectors within the Costa Rican economy, according to the Universidad de Costa Rica.

In a bid to encourage more students to major in Eco-Tourism and Eco-Tourism management, the university discussed the robustness of one of the country’s major moneymakers both in the public and private sector.

According to figures from the Instituto Costarricese de Turismo, the foreign currency income generated by tourism grew by 6.4 percent totaling $3.6 billion. The tourism institute said that represents more than that generated by exports of products such as bananas, pineapples, coffee, pharmaceuticals and other products.

The university cited data from the World Tourism Organization and by the institute that said the industry maintains a growth rate of about four percent each year. Generally, there is an expectation of growth with the industry employing about 115,000 people a year.

“The Central Valley and the south Pacific are two regions where the largest number of people are captured, which is proportional to the number of people who have graduated from the venues and precincts found there,” the university said.

“There are regions such as the Caribbean and Guanacaste as well as the Central Pacific sector where the employability condition is a bit adverse because there are more professionals who have graduated than those who are working there. We could say that there is a slight surplus of professionals in those areas. The Central Valley is the geographic area where there is a broader labor market and the academic units that offer the degree  have not produced enough professionals that the market has in that area.”

In the case of the Zona Sur, there is a peculiar condition where a smaller labor market has not affected the ecotourism jobs.

Tourism in Costa Rica
Universidad de Costa Rica photo        
Infographic measuring top employers and concentrations of eco-tourism graduates by region.

In fact, the focus is on this brand of tourism, according to the university.

Moreover, the degree in tourism and ecotourism specialization require more training and certification than one thinks.

Command of the English language is an obvious and most-often used bonus but a certain environmental sensitivity is needed for the specialized degree, said Luis Carlos Núñez, a professor at the university’s Golfito campus who is also conducting a study on labor conditions for graduates with tourism degrees.

Núñez also said that that environmental sensitivity needs to translate to recognizing and turning the local into global in terms of point of view. He added that having the ability to bring solutions both to the tourism sector and communities are equally necessary for graduates in this degree.



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Dark
Side of Pura Vida

A.M. Costa Rica's
  
Fifth news page


Salsa Lizano
  Published || Tuesday Edition, July 25, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 146
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Venezuelans brace for strike
and more uncertainty


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Venezuelans are tensing for a national strike this week aimed at pressuring President Nicolas Maduro to cancel Sunday's controversial election of a constituent assembly to rewrite the country's constitution.

"We are calling out the entire people, all groups in society, for a 48-hour strike" scheduled to start Wednesday, legislator Simon Calzadilla said in a statement to rally opposition forces.

Calzadilla said a protest march Friday would heighten the demand that Maduro officially scrap the vote.

In Caracas on Monday, a national holiday marked the 1783 birth of native son and Latin American independence leader Simón Bolivar. Armed government troops stood guard in clusters of three or four at schools where the polling is scheduled to take place. They watched as members of the opposition arrived to post signs advising against the vote.

Meanwhile, Venezuelans scrambled to lay in already-sparse supplies ahead of the strike. Falling oil prices and government mismanagement have led to critical shortages of food, medicine and other basic goods in what once was Latin America's wealthiest country.

In front of the Luz supermarket in the capital city's Chacao district, engineer Víctor Maglio said he hoped to pick up some pasta and canned fish. But he complained that, with mostly imported products on store shelves everywhere, he could afford little else beyond that and candles.

Maglio, who is in his mid-40s, said he would try to accumulate food and whatever the pocket reaches. Delfin Miranda, a Peruvian man who has lived in Venezuela for more than 30 years, was trying to buy milk, water and nonperishables because they do not know what's coming.

It's a crucial week for Venezuela, where Maduro on Sunday threatened to imprison high court magistrates appointed last week by the National Assembly. The socialist president, in a nationally televised appearance, urged the opposition to abandon protest plans and to allow the constituent assembly vote.

"I recognize the opposition and I know that they have political strength as well. And I would like to measure force with votes, not with bullets, not with mortars, not with Molotov bombs, not with blasts," Maduro said.

He also verbally attacked U.S. President Donald Trump and several Latin American leaders for denouncing his plan to rewrite the constitution.

Julio Borges, president of the opposition-led National Assembly, sought foreign backing for the cause of anti-government demonstrators.

"In this crucial week, we call the international community to join Venezuela to curb fraud," Borges tweeted Sunday. He and other Maduro rivals say the president's call for the constituent assembly masks an attempt to grab power.

In an unofficial July 16 ballot organized by the opposition, some 7.5 million Venezuelans cast symbolic votes opposing the constitutional assembly and a revision of the charter.

This will be the second major strike in as many weeks. Last Thursday, anti-government protesters staged the first national strike since 2002, when a work stoppage unsuccessfully aimed to dislodge socialist leader Hugo Chavez, Maduro's predecessor.

Venezuelans, frustrated by a decline in living standards and democratic freedoms, have staged near-daily protests since early April. Clashes among Maduro foes, fans and government security forces have led to more than 100 deaths, primarily of civilians.

The U.S. Embassy in Venezuela issued a statement Monday advising Americans there to make sure they have enough water and food to last for 72 hours, to monitor news and to avoid areas where demonstrations are taking place.

Back at Luz supermarket, businessman Felipe Mellao grumbled that he often couldn't find toilet paper or toothpaste even when he had money. He said the strike represented something larger than just a 48-hour interruption.

"The point is that there must be a drastic change, not just for two days," Mellao said. "It's for the future of our sons and daughters."

Dengue outbreak kills
almost 300 in Sri Lanka


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The worst-ever outbreak of dengue fever in Sri Lanka has killed nearly 300 people, with the number of cases rising rapidly.

Sri Lanka's Ministry of Health reports that the number of dengue infections has climbed above 103,000 since the start of 2017, with 296 deaths. The number of cases this year is already nearly double the number of dengue infections recorded in all of 2016, when 55,150 people were diagnosed with the disease.

The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are rapidly scaling up emergency assistance to help contain the outbreak in the South Asian island nation.

"Dengue is endemic here, but one reason for the dramatic rise in cases is that the virus currently spreading has evolved and people lack the immunity to fight off the new strain," said Dr. Novil Wijesekara, head of health at the Sri Lanka Red Cross.

Compounding the crisis, recent monsoon rains and floods have left pools of stagnant water and rotting rain-soaked trash, which are ideal breeding sites for mosquitoes. Ongoing downpours and worsening sanitation conditions raise concerns the disease will continue to spread.

Dengue is common in South Asia,  especially during the monsoon season that runs from June to September, and, if untreated, it can be lethal.

The International Federation of Red Cross said it had released new disaster emergency funds on Monday to help about 307,000 people in three districts where dengue is rampant.


13 prisoners dig tunnel
to escape Guyana jail


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Authorities in Guyana are hunting for 13 prisoners who escaped from custody, just weeks after another jailbreak.

Police in the South American country said the prisoners dug a tunnel disguised as a latrine under a high wall to escape Lusignan Prison, a minimum-security facility on the country's east coast.

Lusignan Prison was recently fortified, after hundreds of inmates were transferred there from Georgetown Prison, a maximum-security institution that burned down after inmates set a fire to protest prison conditions and lengthy trial delays. Seventeen convicts died in the fire last year, and most of the hundreds of others formerly held at Georgetown have since been transferred to other facilities.

A senior police official said the 13 men who broke out between Sunday night and Monday morning were former Georgetown inmates, and he urged members of the public to be cautious.

Four other prisoners who escaped from what remains of the Georgetown Prison also are still on the loose. Using handguns smuggled into the jail, they shot their way out more than two weeks ago, killing a guard in the process.


ICE arrest
Voice of America photo        
Immigration officer making arrest.

State court rules police
can't detain on immigration

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Massachusetts' highest court ruled Monday it is against the law for local police officers to hold people based exclusively on their immigration status in order to give federal officials time to detain them.

The state's Supreme Judicial Court concluded in the case of Commonwealth v. Sreynuon Lunn that "nothing in the statutes or common law of Massachusetts authorizes court officers to make a civil arrest in these circumstances."

According to federal law, people who come to the United States legally and overstay their visas so that they are in the country unlawfully, have committed no crime. They are subject to civil penalties, not criminal ones. In addition, entering the U.S. illegally is a misdemeanor, or minor wrongdoing.

The ruling came after Sreynuon Lunn's lawyers filed an appeal on his behalf. Lunn came to the United States as a refugee when he was an infant in 1985 with his Cambodian parents, who were fleeing the Khmer Rouge.

Lunn, who is now in his 30s, was arrested Oct. 24, 2016, on a single count of unarmed robbery. The charge was eventually dismissed, but he continued to be held by court officers at the Boston Municipal Court at the request of a federal immigration hold, also known as a detainer.

Massachusetts law provides no authority for Massachusetts court officers to arrest and hold an individual solely on the basis of a federal civil immigration detainer, beyond the time that the individual would otherwise be entitled to be released from state custody, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling states.

Over the years, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has issued requests that local law enforcement hold on to individuals if ICE believes they are subject to deportation. The practice had local sheriff's departments across the country skeptical about the legality of these requests.

Sheriffs say holding someone on a detainer after they have completed their local or state custody is essentially a new arrest that must meet Fourth Amendment requirements.

But at least in Massachusetts, the practice of detaining a suspected undocumented immigrant for up to 48 hours after a criminal judge has ordered his or her release is now against the law.

Because the ruling was made by the state's supreme court, there is no higher authority to appeal to except the U.S. Supreme Court, which would not be applicable.

The Massachusetts state ruling comes on the heels of a ruling last week from a San Francisco federal judge that refused to reinstate a January executive order of President Donald Trump withdrawing federal funds from so-called sanctuary cities.

U.S. District Judge William Orrick III in San Francisco found that a memo from the Justice Department narrowing the scope of the executive order to a small number of federal grants and specific violations of immigration law was not grounds to reverse his own injunction against the order.

While government lawyers argued that the memo negated the need for the stay, the judge said it wasn't binding and could easily be reversed.

The lawsuit was brought by the city of San Francisco and Santa Clara County, which are sanctuary jurisdictions.

Sanctuary cities and counties generally decline to cooperate with federal immigration officials in rounding up illegal immigrants, including refusing to honor detainers.

In an interview with the Washington Examiner last week, ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan said he plans to send more resources and agents to sanctuary cities to crack down on illegal immigration.

The Trump administration says that local authorities endanger public safety when they decline to hand over illegal immigrants arrested for crimes.


Truck driver charged
in human smuggling case


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A truck driver suspected in a smuggling operation that left 10 people dead has been charged in Texas with illegally transporting immigrants, according to a court document released Monday.

The 60-year-old man, identified as James Bradley, Jr. from Florida, could face life in prison or the death penalty for the charges, said authorities.

Bradley was arrested in San Antonio Sunday after police recovered eight bodies in the back of his broiling tractor trailer in a Walmart parking lot. Two more victims later died and the others were hospitalized, many in critical condition, after suffering from heatstroke and exhaustion.

According to the criminal complaint filed against Bradley, he told federal investigators that he was driving the truck from Schaller, Iowa to Brownsville, Texas and was not aware that anyone was inside until he stopped in San Antonio.

Bradley described opening the doors and was surprised when he was run over by Spanish people and knocked to the ground, according to the court document. Investigators say Bradley called his wife, but not the emergency 911 number, even though he knew that there were fatalities. The complaint said Bradley's wife did not answer the phone when he called her.

Witness accounts indicate that at least 100 smuggled immigrants were in the back of the truck at some point during the journey. Surveillance footage recorded vehicles pulling up to the truck Saturday night, taking a few people at a time from the trailer, then closing the truck and driving away.

The truck's human cargo was discovered after someone from the trailer asked a Walmart employee for water. That request led to a police check, and the discovery of the human cargo, including two school-aged children, along with those who died. All were adult men.


Interior ministers meet
to tackle migrant crisis


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

European and African ministers are meeting in Tunisia about efforts to regulate the flow of refugees from Africa to Europe, primarily along the deadly central Mediterranean route originating in Libya.

In a declaration Monday in Tunis, the capital, the ministers said they agreed on a multi-pronged approach to the crisis, including informing people about the risks of illegal migration and the possibility of voluntarily returning home, addressing why migrants leave home and beefing up actions against human traffickers.

Participating in the meetings were interior ministers from Algeria, Austria, Chad, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Libya, Mali, Malta, Niger, Slovenia, Switzerland, Tunisia and Estonia, which currently holds the European Union Council presidency.

Through the first half of 2017, nearly 84,000 migrants arrived in Italy by sea, 20 percent more than during the same period last year. Detention centers and temporary shelters that Italy has for migrants have reached their maximum capacity of 200,000 people, but there are many other migrants in the country working illegally.

The meeting in Tunisia focused on Libya, French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said, since 95 percent of the migrants crossing the sea to Europe set sail from Libya. The ongoing political upheaval in Libya makes the problem worse, Collomb said, adding: "As long as a stable government is not in place, the control of this flux cannot be assured."

The European Union has proposed training and financing to increase the capabilities of Libya's coast guards, and last week the bloc also approved new rules for refugee-rescue ships operating in the Mediterranean. The vessels that charities operate to rescue refugees stranded on the open sea are now forbidden to coordinate their movements, either by phone or signal lights, with people-smugglers who pick up would-be migrants in Libya and sometimes leave them stranded at sea.

The refugee-rescue ships also are now required to stay out of Libyan territorial waters, where they previously have picked up asylum-seekers close to shore. Any vessel that breaks the new rules risks being banned from Italian ports.

Humanitarian ships now pick up more than a third of all migrants attempting the perilous Mediterranean crossing from Libya to Italy, compared to one percent in 2014.

Not all stranded migrants are rescued. More than 2,200 people died this year during unsuccessful attempts to cross the Mediterranean, according to the International Organization for Migration.

In their final declaration in Tunis, the ministers agreed that their countries should try to address "the root causes of irregular migration" and "strengthen the exchange of strategic and operational information on criminal networks for trafficking in human beings."

The statement said public development aid is needed to fight the causes of migration and create more opportunities at home, as well as to help border authorities with training, equipment and infrastructure.


Trump’s son-in-law denies
any collusion with Russia


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Jared Kushner, U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, denied Monday that he or anyone else with the Trump campaign had any improper contacts with Russia leading up to or after the 2016 election.

"I did not collude with Russia, nor do I know of anyone else in the campaign who did so," Kushner said at the White House in a brief statement after answering questions in a closed-door meeting with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators, the first of two congressional interviews for Kushner this week.

"I had no improper contacts," Kushner said. "I have not relied on Russian funds for my businesses, and I have been fully transparent in providing all requested information." He said that all of his actions were proper, and occurred in the normal course of events of a very unique campaign.

The president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., and former campaign manager Paul Manafort are also sharing information with another panel, the Senate Judiciary Committee.

In a written statement issued before his appearance on Capitol Hill, Kushner confirmed that he, the younger Trump and Manafort met with a Russian lawyer and other figures tied to Moscow last June, but asserted he arrived late to the meeting and heard no discussions of the presidential campaign.

That meeting has become a focal point for numerous investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election aimed at helping Trump win after his son Donald Jr. released emails expressing eagerness for what he expected the Russian attorney would provide: incriminating material about Democrat Hillary Clinton, Trump’s 2016 election opponent.

Kushner's statement does not rule out the possibility of Russian election interference, which the U.S. intelligence community has concluded was directed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Rather, it asserts that Kushner himself had no interactions or knowledge about plots from Moscow by himself or anyone else.

Kushner’s closed-door cooperation with congressional committee’s whetted some lawmakers’ appetites for public testimony. As Kushner left Capitol Hill after Monday's closed door testimony, he was approached by a protester who tried to give Kushner a Russian flag.

Trump last week rebuked Sessions for removing himself from Justice Department oversight of the agency's Russia investigation, which led to the appointment of Mueller.

Donald Trump Jr. and Manafort were initially scheduled to appear this week before the Senate Judiciary Committee. But that testimony has been postponed based on an understanding that the two men will provide the committee with records and other information.


More news of the Americas
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Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale
Real estate for sale (paid category)

Hotel in
Escazú

For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú

Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant. Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning. Can build 1550 Sqm. 7 meters high 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 hotelescazu@aol.com Call for more info:
Free US phone 877-778-8515  or 410-975-6703 
In Costa Rica phone: 506- 8307-0164
9142-7/27/17


Costa Rica
Penthouse

Costa Rica Penthouse For Sale

 Enjoy the most spectacular views in the valley in this 5 -story Penthouse.  One of a kind property on top of the Corobici / Crowne Plaza Hotel in Sabana overlooking the Central Park and new Soccer Stadium in San José.  Excellent location provides you easy access to everywhere.  Other benefits include 24-hour security, 2 restaurants inside the hotel plus other businesses.  Large Living Room, Elevator goes directly inside Penthouse.  Private hot tub deck and Dance floor with Spectacular views!!!  All exterior walls are glass or have windows. Commercial license is in place.  Seller will consider owner financing.  Asking $695K U.S.  Also available for monthly rent for $3,500 per month on an annual basis.  This is a private condo residence and is Not associated with the Crowne Plaza Hotel.  

Go to www.ThePenthouseCostaRica.com  
U.S. contact: Carl Stratton, cell phone: 813 310-7402  Email crstratton@ymail.com
Costa Rica contact:  Dan Wise, phone numbers:  2232-4063 / 2232-8610  Email: danwisellawyer@yahoo.com
9132-6/1/17


Costa Rica's first Realtor specialized
in eco properties, eco consulting and green living.

Eco graphic
   • Specialized in the Central and South Pacific.
   • Great network of Realtors, to find your dream
          property
   • Homes, condominium & luxury homes
   • Eco lodges and hotels
   • Green properties and waterfalls
   • Farms and developments
   • Sustainable and green living communities.
   • Property management in the Jacó area

Romantic Country Bungalow Click Here
Dream Property River Click Here

www.ecorealtorscr.com    info@ecorealtorscr.com
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
9124-4/19/17


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
Brendan@RichCoastRealty.com
www.RichCoastRealty.com
9189-9/2/17


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: mmpeace@hotmail.com  (please link that email)
Check out slide show HERE!
9220-8/15/17


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 toddscolorado@gmail.com. In Costa Rica call Liz Guegan at 506-7187-8577.
CODE: 9216-8/11/17


Puriscal home
GORGEOUS MOUNTAIN & OCEAN VIEW HOME
REDUCED $40K - $355,000
HEALTH CONDITIONS REQUIRES QUICK SALE
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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUEAmahIU9A
Community Web Site: http://www.altigua.com
Photos: HERE!
Costa Rica # 506-8985-6705 or from the States call # 561-740-0651 or email gary_one@msn.com
9173-9/1/17

colinasdelsol
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

Contact:
In Costa Rica, Jeffrey Sandi Murray:  jsandimurray@colinasdelsolcr.com
In the USA and Canada contact Jim Day: jimday50@aol.com or call 517-484-3675

For more information Click Here: www.colinasdelsolcr.com
9056-2/28/17

Etlinger Farm
rollover
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 www.etlingerafarms.com and photo album can be found at www.ticorico.com
9196-4/25/17

horse ranch
rollover
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 www.ranchforsalecostarica.com  Call Darin Ricco, phone +619-846-8249 or email:  darin_ricco@hotmail.com
9183-6/13/17

rollover
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  www.whynotcostarica.com. 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 tim@whynotcostarica.com 
9143-2/3/17

Business for sale or lease (paid category)






Hotel in
Escazú

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 hotelescazu@aol.com Call for more info:
Free US phone 877-778-8515  or 410-975-6703 
In Costa Rica phone: 506- 8307-0164
9142-7/27/17


Sabana
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  jimmy6902001@yahoo.com
9245-7/8/17


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: manager@crbusiness.biz.

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

CENTURY 21 JACÓ BEACH
Century 21

A Name You Trust,
Professionalism You Deserve

Tom Ghormley and the dream team!
Owner/Broker
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
Email: info@c21jaco.com
Web: www.c21jaco.com
9215-3/22/18


Remax
Tamarindo
www.remax-oceansurf-cr.com 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:  info@remax-oceansurf-cr.com  or click here www.remax-oceansurf-cr.com
9145-1/2918


ReMax
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
CONTACT US TODAY with NO OBLIGATION whatsoever.

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
Email: michael@costarica-realestate.com

9174-2/7/18

Real estate-related services (paid category)

Related

Costa Rica
Solar

COSTA RICA SOLAR
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!

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

OUR EMAIL:
andrefurlong@gmail.com
Paul.Furlong@CR-Solar.com
VISIT OUR WEB:

9177-6/19/16

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 BuyaTimeshare.com help you find a buyer or renter.
9203-4/19/2018

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Published || Tuesday Edition, July 25, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 146
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TEC students
Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica photo     
This group received an intense immersion in English.

Students get crash course in English

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A group of 14 students from the Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica had the opportunity to put their English language skills into practice.

The students are members of the Fundatec and the Conare programs that seek to provide improvements in the English language. This group was also part of an academic and cultural exchange for about three weeks that included immersion and interaction with native speakers of the language. The exchange was with Western Carolina University in the U.S. state of North Carolina, the institute said.

“The university campus in North Carolina was the ideal setting since the only way to communicate was by using English,” said Larissa Castillo, a professor attached to the TEC Escuela de Ciencias del Lenguaje. “It was three intensive weeks of practicing at all hours of the day: to eat, to ask for permission, for classes, for using the library, the internet and recreational activities.”

The teacher emphasized to the students the importance of representing their country well while studying abroad. The students emphasized the importance of being immersed in the culture of the language one is learning in order to improve one’s skills. The program occurred through the majority of June this year, the institute said.



Man detained for thefts using toy gun

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A man who robbed at least 10 stores by using a toy gun, will be sent to four months of preventive detention, according to the Ministerio Público.

The man was arrested on Friday, July 21, when agents of the Judicial Investigating Organization spotted the guy on the run after robbing a store in Turrialba.

According to the authorities, the man rode a motorcycle and always wore a black helmet. He is accused of robbing some bakeries and supermarkets. The spree apparently lasted from June 2 to July 21, officials said. The man is accused of stealing goods worth at least $8,000, according to authorities.



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From page 7:

Costa Rica ranks second on social spending

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica is ranked among a small group of Latin American countries that allocate at least 20 percent of its gross-domestic-product toward social spending programs.

The results were published by the Comisión Económica Para América Latina for 2016. The commission was established by the United Nations back in 1948 and is headquartered in Santiago, Chile. The purpose of the organization is contribute to the economic development of Latin America as well as promote the region’s social development.

According to data provided by the report, Costa Rica is only surpassed by Argentina and Brazil in the region as far investment in social programs. The country allocated approximately 23.68 percent of its GDP with Argentina taking the top spot at 30.8 percent of its GDP. The government sought to also emphasize its contribution in the education and health sectors under the notion of taking into account the investment into the entire public sector of the country.

About 7.53 percent of Costa Rica’s GDP goes toward funding the education sector placing it second in the region behind Bolivia at 8.1 percent. Meanwhile, the country invests about 6.57 percent of its GDP placing it in second behind Argentina at 7.1 percent. Based on the data, these figures are well above the average investments overall by the region.

It is important to note, however, that quantity of investment does not necessarily yield quality of the social service. These figures also take GDP and do not consider the size of the population in each country. The figures also show spending made by each country’s central government. A lower average in that category placed Costa Rica in tenth place.