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Published Tuesday, July 26, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 146
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Solís unveils plan for citizen environmental cops
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The central government is creating a plan so that interested citizens can take to the fields, forests and mangroves to enforce environmental laws.

The positions are described as ad honorem, which basically means there is no money involved.

The private inspectors will work under local natural resource protection committees, according to a decree issued Monday in Nicoya by President Luis Guillermo Solís. Casa Presidencial pointed out that the Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía has 11 Áreas de Conservación that are supposed to oversee a number of protected areas.

There are 26 national parks, among 160 protected areas. There also are forest reserves, biological reserves, national monuments, mangroves and other protected places.

The maritime zone was not specifically mentioned Monday, but these areas along the coast also would seem to be included in the mandate for private inspectors.

The government promised to outline the
selection process for environmental inspectors within six months and to set up a system of training in one year.

Solís presented the plan at a cabinet meeting Monday morning in the community of Nicoya at a celebration of the 192nd anniversary of the Anexión del Partido de Nicoya.

The environmental ministry always has complained of limited resources and the lack
Solis and decree
Casa Presidencial photo
President displays the new decree.

of inspectors. The job of citizen inspectors might not be as easy as it first appears. Hunters sometimes fire on the current environmental agents. There also is a lot of money to be gained by cutting trees illegally, and inspectors who stumble on such activities might be in danger. Police officer are the primary control on the movement of illegal lumber.

Meanwhile along the beaches and the protected maritime zone, corruption is rampant in some municipalities where building projects take place that clearly are in violation of the law.

In some areas there are citizens who already have shouldered the responsibility of defending the environmental laws and the environment.

Frequently their complaints are overlooked in favor of commercial ventures.

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, July 26, 2016, 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.


Marco Cavallini & Associates
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Red Sismológica Nacional photo
Morning sun illuminates the emissions from the Turrialba volcano.

Volcano produces two morning eruptions

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Turrialba volcano erupted twice Monday morning, and the experts say there is enough movement under the mountain that more eruptions are expected.

The first eruption was at 7:22 a.m. The second, smaller one was at 8:26 a.m. The first plume of ash and gas went about 3,000 meters above the volcano peak, said the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Costa Rica. The second plume was just half that.

Almost at the same time, at 8:19 a.m., the Poás volcano produced a small eruption that broke through the surface of the crater lake.  The emissions were contained within the crater.

The Turrialba volcano continues to produce vapor, as usual.

The ash from the eruptions went to the northwest, and may have affected some pilgrims on their walk to Cartago. There were a lot of pilgrims on the roadways Monday because the day was a holiday.

The Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico said that there were two eruptions by Turrialba Sunday night that produced some rock as well as ash.

Flight operations were normal in Alajuela and Pavas, but American Airlines inexplicably halted a flight bound to Juan Santamaria airport from Charlotte, North Carolina. The aircraft was turned around when the crew heard about the eruptions, and passengers were spending a night at the airport.

Prediction says 93.4 million to get zika

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

As the zika viral epidemic continues across the Americas, it’s projected that 93.4 million people in total could become infected before the epidemic burns itself out. 

According to a new model developed by U.S., English and Swedish researchers, 1.6 million women of childbearing age could contract zika from infected mosquitoes. 

Experts say women who are infected with zika during the early months of their pregnancy are at highest risk of giving birth to babies with microcephaly.

Babies born with microcephaly have small heads and brains, causing mental and physical disability, seizures and sometimes death.

Experts say not every pregnant woman infected with Zika will give birth to a child with severe birth defects. 

But Alex Perkins, one of the model’s developers from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, says the number of newborns born with the birth defect could nonetheless be significant.

“If you want to think about the numbers in terms of microcephaly and things like that, I think somewhere on the order of tens of thousands is what our numbers would suggest,” he said.

Since the end of June, there have been almost 1,650 confirmed cases of microcephaly in five countries.

The zika projection model, published in the journal Nature Microbiology, is the most comprehensive estimate to date for zika spread.

In developing their forecast, Perkins and colleagues used data from past epidemics of dengue and chikungunya. Dengue is in the same flavivirus family as zika. Chikungunya, while in a different viral family, is also spread by mosquitoes and is endemic in the Americas.

All three can cause similar symptoms of headache, muscle ache and fever. But 80 percent of people who contract Zika have no symptoms at all. 

Researchers also analyzed data on blood samples collected from people who have been infected with Zika so far. That gave them information to forecast the rate of transmission at the local level.

The model is unique in that it also took into account a phenomenon called herd immunity, a tipping point in an epidemic when so many people contract an illness, others are protected against the disease.

“So really there’s going to be a large proportion of the population that remains uninfected after the epidemic," Perkins said. "And the epidemic is going to extinguish itself before it’s able to infect everyone.”

Other than herd immunity, there is currently no vaccine to shield people and pregnant women against zika, which the World Health Organization declared a public health emergency earlier this year.


News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, July 26, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 146
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Request for direct deposits was not an immigration rule, expert finds
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A Guanacaste couple cited some surprises they confronted when trying to renew their pensionado cédulas at a Banco de Costa Rica branch on the Pacific coast.

They described in an email how a bank staffer urged them to have their U.S. Social Security payments deposited in the bank electronically each month.

That request seems to have been a bit of informal marketing by the bank employee, because Javier Zavaleta of Residency in Costa Rica looked into the issue. He concluded that no such requirement exists.

“This sounds more like an attempt by the bank officer to increase the amount of deposits into that branch by forcing the expats to direct deposit their Socials Security check into the bank,” Zavaleta said in an email. “Sounds more like extortion.”

He said that an associate assisted five expats in renewing their documents in the previous week and they did not meet with any such new requirement.

Also true is that financial institutions are tightening up on the use of U.S. dollars. Both Banco de Costa Rica and Banco Nacional only dispense limited amounts of U.S. dollars at

automatic tellers. Payments on government loans and the central bank’s currency policies seem to have created shortages.

Banco de Costa Rica also collects a commission of about $7 for every cédula application it processes on behalf of the immigration agency.

Zavaleta did note that staffers at the local immigration office in Guanacaste did have the right to require a police report from the expats. The couple went there after declining the Banco de Costa Rica offer to deposit their Social Security checks.

“Migración has the authority to require this report but it is rarely, if ever, required,” Zavaleta said. “This is the first time I learned of the report being asked in the last six years.” 

Immigration probably will find little use for the police report, called an hoja de delinquencia here. Lawmakers just changed the law and now allows convicts to have their record wiped clean under certain conditions. In other words, the document will not reflect correctly the criminal history of an individual. Lawmakers did that so convicts could get jobs.

Pensionados have to show periodic exchanges of U.S. dollars into colons when they renew their immigration status. Zavaleta urged the Guanacaste couple to seek permanent residency status as soon as possible to avoid hassles in the future.

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, July 26, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 146
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Bill Clinton speaks tonight at the Democratic National Convention
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary's Clinton's spouse has the unique experience of having been president himself, and tonight Bill Clinton leads the list of speakers backing her campaign at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, party interim chairwoman Donna Brazile and a group of mothers whose children have died from gun violence or in clashes with police are also scheduled to address the convention.

They follow Monday's opening day where some of the party's biggest voices gave powerful calls for voters to support Mrs. Clinton.

First lady Michelle Obama spoke of the importance of those in the White House serving as role models to the nation's children, saying that "our words and actions matter" and that she believes Mrs. Clinton is the only person qualified to be the next president.

"I want a president with a record of public service, someone whose life work shows our children that we don't chase fame and fortune for ourselves, we fight to give everyone a chance to succeed," Mrs. Obama said. "I want a president who will teach our children that everyone in this country matters."

She made several apparent references to Republican nominee Donald Trump without mentioning his name, including saying a president cannot have a tendency to lash out and needs to be steady and well-informed.

"Don't let anyone ever tell you that this country is not great, that somehow we need to make it great again.  Because this right now is the greatest country on Earth," she said, rebutting Trump's campaign slogan "Make America Great Again."

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who finished second to Mrs. Clinton in the Democratic race, did repeatedly name Trump as he cast Mrs. Clinton and her policies as the better choice in November.

He said the country needs leadership that brings people together instead of insulting Latinos, Muslims, women, African-Americans and veterans.

"While Donald Trump is busy insulting one group after another, Hillary Clinton understands that our diversity is one of our greatest strengths," Sanders said.

He spoke about how his campaign was able to push the Democratic Party to adopt several of his proposals, including Wall Street and campaign finance reform and opposing trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership. 

Sanders expressed his disappointment in how the nomination process turned out, but said Mrs. Clinton must become the next president of the United States.

Trump criticized Sanders on Twitter, saying he totally sold out to Mrs. Clinton and that his campaign was a waste of time.

Voice America photo
Former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders takes the stage and the big screen during the first day of the Democratic National Convention.

Trump also had comments about the night's other big speakers, Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker.  But absent were any words about Obama's speech, a week after Trump's wife, Melania, spoke at the Republican National Convention with a passage very similar to one Mrs. Obama delivered in 2008.

Sen. Warren said Trump and his campaign have embraced keeping the powerful on top, as well as racial hatred, bigotry and attacks on women and immigrants.

"We've seen this ugliness before, and we're not going to be Donald Trump's hate-filled America.  Not now.  Not ever," she said.

Booker, who was mentioned as a possible running mate for Mrs. Clinton before she chose Sen. Tim Kaine, drew huge cheers with an optimistic speech about what he sees as the country's ideals.

"We can't devolve into a nation where our highest aspiration is that we just tolerate each other.  We are not called to be a nation of tolerance.  We are called to be a nation of love," Booker,a New Jersey Democrat, said.

He described Trump as divisive and said Mrs. Clinton was the better choice for president.

"Hillary Clinton knows what Donald Trump betrays time and again in this campaign; that we are not a zero sum nation, it is not you or me, it is not one American against another.  It is you and I together, interdependent, interconnected with one single interwoven American destiny."

Two new polls Monday showed Trump edging ahead of Mrs. Clinton in the days following the Republican convention.

U.S. presidential candidates typically get a bump in public support after their nominating conventions and Trump showed a sizable 10-point gain in a CNN/ORC poll.  The news organization's survey shows Trump with a 48 to 45 percent lead, compared to its last poll showing Mrs. Clinton with a 49 to 42 percent advantage.

A CBS News national poll showed Trump with a 44 to 43 percent lead, which is statistically insignificant.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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

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The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2016 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's
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Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, July 26, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 146
Real Estate
About us

Axiom new ad

Knife attacker kills 19
at home for disabled in Japan

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Officials in Japan now say 19 people were killed in a knife attack today at a center for disabled people in Sagamihara, west of Tokyo. Dozens more were injured.

Japan's national broadcaster NHK says police arrested a knife-wielding man after he turned himself in. NHK described the 26-year-old suspect as a former employee at the facility.

Other Japanese media said staff members at the Tsukui Yamayuri Garden facility called police at 2:30 a.m. local time today with reports of a man armed with a knife on the grounds.

The motive for the attack is still not clear. However, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported that police quoted the suspect as saying, "I want to get rid of the disabled from this world."

U.S. Embassy in Rangoon
apologizes after drill with gas

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A U.S. embassy spokesperson said Monday that it issued an apology after a deployed tear gas canister irritated civilians passing by the American compound in Rangoon.

According to local police, residents reported hearing an explosion in the vicinity of the compound around 8 p.m., after which they noticed a foul smell wafting into the surrounding streets. Soon after, people in the area began complaining of eye irritation.

Rangoon police said they initially suspected an attack, triggering rumors that drew emergency services to the scene. U.S. officials quickly explained that a tear gas canister had been used on the compound as part of a training drill.

"On the evening of Sunday, July 24, the U.S. Embassy in Yangon held a routine security drill, which inadvertently inconvenienced passers-by and a neighboring business," an embassy representative said. "No one was injured and embassy operations are running as normal. We apologize to our neighbors and others who were in the area."

London struggled to keep
role as leading money center

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global city. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, the so-called Brexit, means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters.
The prospect of leaving the European Union and with it access to the prized single market of 500 million people has sent shivers through the city of London. Already some banks, including global giant HSBC, have said they may shift operations to the European mainland.
David Slater of promotional body London and Partners said the new government in Britain must maintain London’s primacy.
“This is about the negotiation. The mayor of London has made clear, as has the prime minister, that we want to negotiate continued access to the single market.”
But other EU leaders insist Britain cannot have access to the single market without freedom of movement. Concern over immigration was the core issue that drove the Leave campaign to victory.
So with Britain seemingly on its way out of the single market, other cities are eyeing London’s position as Europe’s leading city.
Along with Frankfurt in Germany, Paris is among those best placed to steal a share. The French government recently spoke of rolling out the red carpet to firms fleeing Brexit, promising to make its tax regime for expatriates the most favorable in Europe.

Arnaud de Bresson is from the French corporate events firm Europlace, which recently staged a post-Brexit conference on foreign investment in Paris.

"If you compare the situation to 10 years ago, the situation has completely changed. The French corporations operate a major part of their activities in the global world," he said.
London is currently Europe’s leading hub for tech industries, with more than 3,000 start-ups based in the city. Many are around the so-called Silicon Roundabout in the central-eastern district of Old Street.

Berlin spies an opportunity: It is already Europe’s second-biggest tech city and the real estate is far cheaper than London.

Lukas Kampfmann is from the start-up hub Factory Berlin, home to global tech firms, including the music Web site SoundCloud.

“With Brexit, London has more or less taken itself out of the race. And we do believe that over time the advantage of Berlin will grow and more tech start-ups will come to Berlin,” said Kampfmann.
In a recent article, The New York Times rated Amsterdam as best placed to steal London’s crown, thanks to its global connections, English-speaking population and attractiveness to expatriates.
But London’s proponents insist the city will remain number one.
“Because the people that do the business and have the expertise want to remain here, and the government and the mayor of London will do everything they can to keep them,” said David Slater of London and Partners.
London contributes nearly a quarter of Britain’s national income. The Brexit vote has plunged the country into uncertainty, and rivals in Europe are watching with interest.

Spanish woman gives birth
to baby with microcephaly

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Health officials in Spain say a woman has given birth to a baby with the microcephaly birth defect associated with the zika virus, the first birth of its kind in Europe.

Officials say the woman had been diagnosed with the zika virus in May, and had decided to keep the baby.

Doctors in Barcelona say the baby's vital signs are normal and stable, and the infant did not require any resuscitation. They say initial tests confirm the baby's head circumference is smaller than normal and that it has microcephaly.

The mother contracted the zika virus while traveling earlier this year to South America. While hundreds of people in Europe are known to have contracted zika, mostly after traveling to infected countries, this is the first European birth of a baby born with microcephaly associated with the virus.

Spain has 190 known cases of zika infections, all but one of which resulted from traveling overseas. The other case resulted from sexual transmission.

Zika is spread primarily through mosquito bites, but can also be transferred by sexual contact. Experts are especially concerned about infected mosquitoes biting pregnant women because the virus can cause microcephaly.

Solar plane completes trip
flying around the world

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Solar Impulse 2 has become the first plane to complete a round-the-world trip powered only by the sun's energy.

This Swiss engineered plane landed today in Abu Dhabi, from where it first took off on an epic 40,000-kilometer journey that began more than a year ago.

The solar plane made 16 stops around the world without using a drop of fuel.

"Our mission now is to continue to motivate people, corporations and governments to use these same solutions on the ground wherever they make sense,'' the Solar Impulse chairman and pilot, Bertrand Piccard, said in a statement.

Solar Impulse is not much heavier than a car, but has the wingspan of a Boeing 747. It is powered by 17,248 solar cells that transfer energy to four electrical motors that power the plane's propellers. It runs on four lithium polymer batteries at night. The plane's wingspan stretches 72 meters to catch the sun's energy.

Over its entire mission, Solar Impulse 2 completed more than 500 flight hours, cruising at an average speed of between 45 kph and 90 kph. It made stops in Oman, India, Myanmar, China, Japan, the U.S., Spain, Italy, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. Its North American stops included California, Arizona, Oklahoma, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York.

The carbon fiber plane is a single-seater aircraft, meaning its two Swiss pilots, Piccard and Andre Borschberg, had to take turns flying solo for long days and nights. In a statement this week, Borschberg said it is no longer a question of whether it's possible to fly without fuel or polluting emissions.

"By flying around the world thanks to renewable energy and clean technologies, we have demonstrated that we can now make our world more energy efficient,'' he said.

Wildfires continue to rage
at two places in California

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A large wildfire in Southern California has forced thousands more residents from their homes after the blaze expanded Monday. 

Nearly 3,000 firefighters are battling the fire, which has raged for four days near Santa Clarita, about 60 kilometers north of Los Angeles. Officials say the blaze is only about 10 percent contained.

Evacuation orders were expanded Monday to about 10,000 homes, after a shift in the winds caused the fire to threaten more neighborhoods around the Angeles National Forest.

At least 18 homes already have been destroyed and authorities reported one fatality. A man's burned body was found in a parked car in the fire zone. Officials say his death remains under investigation.

Authorities say the fire has charred about 132 square kilometers, including canyons and ranch lands.

"It's not a one-direction type of fire,'' said Nathan Judy, a spokesman for the Angeles National Forest. "It's going in different directions, depending on which way the wind is blowing. It's doing what it wants.''

The fire also forced the evacuation of Bengal tigers, a mountain lion and other animals from a nonprofit sanctuary for rescued exotic creatures within the national forest.

Another fire is burning about 500 kilometers to the north, in the majestic Big Sur region of California. That fire poses a threat to about 1,000 homes, and the community of Palo Colorado was ordered evacuated.

Sonora Desert challenges
illegal immigrants to U.S.

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

It is relatively easy for migrants to cross the border in the remote areas of the Sonora Desert, but then they face arid desolation. The desert, which straddles the U.S.-Mexico border, is a rocky, dry and mostly desolate area, especially on the north side of the border. In summer months, temperatures can exceed 40 degrees C.

But thousands of people trudge across this desert every year. Some carry drugs or other contraband, but most come seeking jobs that pay much more than what they could earn at home, even if they were able to get a job there. For Central Americans making the trek, whose numbers have increased in recent years, there is also the fear of violence from ruthless criminal gangs that plague large parts of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

Some Americans are torn by the immigration question, recognizing the absolute need for a nation to control its borders and maintain the rule of law but also having sympathy for the poor people who risk their lives crossing an inhospitable landscape to seek a better life.

Opponents say undocumented workers create unemployment for American workers, drive down wages, put a burden on schools, hospitals and other social services and undermine the system for legal immigration.

Arizona voters have supported measures to curb illegal border crossings. In April, 2010, Arizona Gov. Janet Brewer signed a state law that required police to check the immigration status of anyone they stopped. Less than three months later a federal court blocked the most controversial aspects of the law.

Now out of office, Ms. Brewer remains a strong opponent to illegal immigration, saying recently, "Our borders need to be secured and we believe in the rule of law." The most outspoken public figure in Arizona is Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who spoke in favor of Trump's proposed border wall at last week's Republican Convention.

Tucson resident Diane Hoelter has been a volunteer with the humanitarian group Humane Borders for the past seven years and has become familiar with the plight of migrants who are ill-prepared for the desert.

“A lot of times they do not have the appropriate foot gear they should have,” she said. “Then they get blisters and so on. It is very bad. But the main thing would be the dehydration.”

Humane Borders places water tanks in various parts of the Arizona desert flying a flag above to alert migrants. It helps some, but many people crossing the border don’t know about these water stations, and the flags can be difficult to spot from a distance in the rocky and uneven ground.

Migrants who cannot keep up with the main group being led by a smuggler, usually at night, can get lost and find themselves in dire straits when the morning sun bears down on them. One female migrant said, “With this heat and the dehydration, I have heard of people being left behind in the middle of the trail.”

At that point their best hope of survival is rescue and arrest by the U.S. Border Patrol.

A special unit of Border Patrol seeks migrants in trouble and gives them water and first aid, if needed. But members of the unit are still law enforcement agents and are required to take the migrants to a detention center. If the migrants are first-time offenders, they will generally be released back across the border very quickly, but repeat offenders sometimes are kept locked up for weeks.

Paul Beeson, chief of the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector, understands the push and pull factors that drive people to cross the border without documents. But, he said he and his agents do not make policy, they enforce the law.

“People are constantly trying to cross this border,” he said. “That is why we are here; we are here to prevent them from doing that to the best of our ability.”

Beeson said the terrain that impedes their ability to stop all illegal crossers can also prevent them from saving people in need of help.

“This is a very rugged environment that we have here in the Tucson Sector,” he said. “There are seven mountain ranges that bisect the border, that impact our ability to move laterally, east and west.”

In Mexico, the government provides some services to migrants through a unit called Grupo Beta. It is an agency of the Mexican federal government’s Mexican Migration Institute and its uniformed agents work to stop smuggling and crimes against immigrants.

Mexican authorities cooperate with private charitable groups that offer other services to migrants, such as basic medical assistance, food and clothing.

The Kino Border Initiative, started by Catholic priests with cooperation from groups on both sides of the border, provides dozens of deported migrants with a hearty breakfast every day. Nuns assisting with the program also warn the migrants of the risks they face.

Sean Carroll, a Jesuit priest who serves as the organization's executive director, says the basic focus is on providing humanitarian assistance and informing the migrants of risks.

“If they cross again, they run the risk of being in detention for a number of days,” he said, “and the risks of the desert itself, being assaulted or robbed or even dying in the desert.”

But many of these people are driven by poverty and, especially in the case of Central Americans, by fear of violence in their home nations.

Little Pass Films photo 
 These children in the Omo River Valley could be
 declared mingi
Documentary puts focus
on ritual killings of children

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Photographer John Rowe discovered a deeply held secret on visits to the Omo River Valley in southwestern Ethiopia, a place of traditional culture and spectacular beauty. Children regarded as cursed, or mingi, were thought to be responsible for misfortune and were killed.

"The reason why people get sick, the reason why there's drought, the reason why there's famine, is because of mingi,” Rowe explained.

If children's teeth first appear on the upper gum instead of the bottom gum, or if they are born out of wedlock, disabled, or are twins, they are ritualistically murdered.

Rowe learned of the practice from Lale Labuko, his guide on his photographic journeys, and produced a documentary film about the practice called “Omo Child.”

At age 15, Labuko saw a 2-year-old child being drowned in the river and learned from his mother that he had also had two sisters who were killed before he was born.

One woman in the film recounts losing 15 children at birth, all declared mingi and snatched by village elders to be fed to crocodiles.

"I said, I want to stop these things," Labuko recalls in the film.

Labuko was the first member of his village to receive an education at a missionary school. He asked Rowe to help him end the killings as he first persuaded young people, then the families of his village and tribal elders.

Filming spanned five years and wasn't always easy, said Rowe's son Tyler, the director of cinematography. A few people were forthright, including some who had killed their children, but others denied the practice.

They insisted that "it doesn't happen here," recalled Tyler. "’We stopped it a long time ago,’ they said.  ‘It only happens off in this far village . . . those backward people. It's not us.’"

Through Labuko's efforts, however, the practice came to light in open discussion, and his Karo tribe agreed to ban mingi in 2012, as Rowe documented the effort in his film.

“Omo Child” was recently shown in Los Angeles at the Skirball Cultural Center, a Jewish institution, as part of a series featuring winners of the Social Impact Media Awards.

Audience members were given a packet to show how they can get involved with non-profit organizations to help solve social problems, from sex trafficking to the exploitation of workers in the fashion industry.

"We feel so connected to the world now via the internet," said Marie Bobin, who coordinates the series, "yet there are still stories that are unknown to us."

She says film has the power to tell those stories.

A charity set up by Labuko and his wife has saved more than 40 mingi children at a group home in Jinka, Ethiopia.

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

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Sierra Collection. Meridian House or Chateau Montage.
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The Terraces at San Martin.  Discover the essence of Costa Rica on our Luxury Ocean View Villas . Near Dominicalito Beach and Parque Nacional Marino Ballena.
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Ellan At Ballena Beach.  Welcome to a world of endless adventure on our beachside condominiums at Ballena Beach, Pacific Coast.  For more information click  HERE!
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    2.47 acre ocean view property w/ 2 houses & 2 unfinished apartments $249k!!!
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and lots of other great properties! Property listings in Escazú, Herradura, Jacó, Manuel Antonio, Dominical and beyond. We offer efficient, personalized service always protecting our client’s interests. Contact us today with your questions about buying property in Costa Rica. With 11 years experience in Costa Rica real estate.

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Real estate for sale (paid category)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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Business for sale or lease (paid category)

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

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

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, July 26, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 146
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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
Couple in Tibás latest drug war victims

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A gunman killed a couple who were sitting in a car in Cuatro Reinas de Tibás Monday morning.

Investigators attributed the killing to a dispute over drugs. The dead man was identified by the last name of  Paredes. He was a Colombian native naturalized as a Costa Rican, they said.

The couple were in the car parked outside the man’s apartment when the killer struck. Police searched the living quarters later Monday and found what appeared to be a kilo of cocaine.

Both victims were shot in the back of the head, suggesting that whoever did it was in the rear seat of the vehicle.

The woman, a mother from Limón was identified by the last name of Salazar. Investigators suggested she was killed with one bullet to the back of the head to keep her from identifying the murderer.  Paredes suffered three small-caliber bullet wounds to the head.

The victims appear to have been taken by surprise. Investigators found a handgun near the driver’s seat.

Consejo Nacional de Vialidad photo
This is the underpass that finally opened this month.

Testing will close new underpass tonight

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Highway officials just opened the new underpass at Paso Ancho, and now they are closing it for about four hours tonight.

This the six-lane underpass that replaced the traffic circle at Paso Ancho, also known as Guacamaya due to the nearby auto parts complex by that name.

The Consejo Nacional de Vialidad said closing the highway was necessary so that experts from the Universidad de Costa Rica could conduct tests on the quality of asphalt placed on the roadway. The experts are from the Laboratorio Nacional de Materiales y Modelos Estructurales.

The roadway will be closed at 8 p.m. and remain that way until midnight at the latest, said the highway agency.

This is the project on the Circunvalación where the traffic circle used to back up vehicles for miles.  The roadway loops around the southern part of San José from La Uruca to San Pedro.

Officials have promised to eliminate the last traffic circle at Zapote in the next two years. The circles were built for a time when there was less traffic.

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From Page 7:

Verizon agrees to buy internet pioneer Yahoo

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Telecommunications giant Verizon Communications has agreed to buy internet trailblazer Yahoo for $4.8 billion.

Yahoo was under pressure from shareholders who were critical of the company's financial performance over the past eight years.

The transaction will likely end the four-year reign of Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer, a former Google executive, although her exact role after the sale was unclear.

She told Yahoo employees in an email, "I love Yahoo, and I believe in all of you. It's important to me to see Yahoo into its next chapter."

Ms. Mayer will get a severance package valued at $55 million, according to documents filed with regulators.

Yahoo has under-performed even as advertisers have increased spending in what is now a $160 billion digital advertising market, according to the research firm eMarketer.  The Internet pioneer's services draw about one billion visitors each month.

Verizon's purchase of Yahoo should strengthen its America Online Internet business, which it bought last year for $4.4 billion.  Once the transaction is complete, Verizon will have access to Yahoo's advertising technology and other assets, such as search tools, mail, and messenger applications.

The sale does not include Yahoo's cash, its shares in Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba, worth $41 billion, Yahoo Japan or a small portfolio of patents.

Yahoo's market value was more than $37 billion when the markets opened Monday.