free webpage hit counter
Ship Costa Rica alternate

evermarine
A.M.
Costa Rica

Your daily
English-language 

news source
Monday through Friday

Pacific lots of Costa Rica
(506) 2223-1327               San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, July 28, 2010,  Vol. 10, No. 147       E-mail us
Sports
Calendar
Jo Stuart
Classifieds
Real Estate
Entertainment
About us


Arenal expats shiver at fugitives in their midst
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Some expats in Nuevo Arenal are having trouble sleeping because they unknowingly befriended the couple who are suspects in a growing list of murders.

The pair, William Cortez and his wife, Jean Seana Cortez, are in custody in Managua. That's a big relief for the expats who drank with the pair, invited them to dinner and even showed them property that the expats had for sale.

"You would have invited these people to you house for dinner," said Fred Cole, one of the Nuevo Arenal expats. Cole, a retired Washington State prison official, said he is surprised he was taken in, although he did express some minor suspicions about the wife because of her unchanging facial expressions.

Cole said the pair looked at his house, which is for sale, and at the finca of a friend. The couple are accused of killing those who offered to sell them property in Panamá.

As more and more is learned about the couple, they are rapidly climbing the serial killer suspect list to rival such criminal stars as Ted Bundy. They are likely to be expelled from Nicaragua to Panamá, although the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into the case because of some U.S. killings.

Cole said he first met the pair July 6 or 7 at the popular Bar Bambu in town. Others say the couple had been in Nuevo Arenal off and on for a month. Cole had the distinction of hosting the couple for farewell drinks last July 20 before the news broke that they were wanted as suspects in Bocas de Toro, just south of Costa Rica.

From Arenal Cortez and his wife rented a small house in Turrialba and then fled to La Trinidad where they spent Sunday night. They tried to cross the Río San Juan from northern Costa Rica Monday morning. That is when they fell into the hands of the Nicaraguan army.

This is what is known about their Nuevo Arena experience:

The pair identified themselves as Max and Anne Smith. They just sold, they said, a large home they restored in Heredia. They rented a Nuevo Arenal home and paid two months rent in advance. When
they left, the place was trashed and some items were stolen, said Cole.

The most uncomfortable aspect of their stay in Nuevo Arenal was that they showed up with different vehicles and one time with a pair of dogs. Residents wonder from where the animals and vehicles came.

Initially they came with a red and silver Dodge Ram. That was suppose to be a pickup owned by the brother of Cortez who was said to still be in Heredia.

They said they were a Tennessee couple and seemed to have some knowledge of Heredia. They left Nuevo Arenal and returned to purchase a faded red Nissan.

The vehicles are different from the silver four-by-four the couple purchased near Sixaola and used to travel to La Trinidad Sunday. That vehicle has been impounded.

Officials in Nicaragua said the pair were suspects in some 40 murders that took place in México, Belize and Costa Rica, as well as Panamá. Judicial police are investigating the couple's travels in Costa Rica over the last five years in an effort to shed some light on open murder cases. The allegations are that the couple simply killed people to take over their properties, to take their personal goods and to access their bank accounts.

The couple seemed to be able to come and go unhampered. In some cases they used fake passports.  Matthijs van Bonzel, the Dutch ambassador to Panamá, told a radio interviewer Tuesday that photos of Dutch passports being used by the couple showed inconsistencies.  He told  Radio Netherlands Worldwide that the passports could be fakes. In fact, Cortez is believed to be from Texas and his wife also to be a U.S. citizen. Cortez has connections in the Dutch island of Aruba.

Meanwhile in Nuevo Arenal Cole mused: "They truly were very dangerous, and I was very relieved to hear they were finally apprehended. I'm not sure if I will ever welcome strangers in town again, but it is a lesson for us all. We truly enjoy living here, but this has made us aware that due caution is in all of our best interest's as Latin American countries can become a playground for intelligent, determined criminals due to the lax law enforcement here."


Today's
colon
exchange rate
HERE!
Subscribe
to our
daily digest

Search
our site

Send us
a news story

Real estate ads
Classified
ads

Tourism and
services

Display
ad info

Classified
ad info

Contact us

Del Rey page one


Colinas de Miramar


GLC replacement
Oscar Vargas, dentist


Mountain View
exotic property tours


new Ship to Costa Rica ad

Resiudency in Costa Rica
Costa Travel

Las Olas


rss feed graphic
Twitter link
Facebook graphic



Rosas Monge

Chris Howard

90210 clinic

ARCR advertisement

Puriscal Properties

Visa renewal

Sports
Calendar
Jo Stuart
Classifieds
Real Estate
Entertainment
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier

The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007  and 2008 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for more details


90210 dental clinic

Costacan graphic
Clinica Vizualiza
A.M. Costa Rica's Second newspage
Home
Tourism
Calendar
Classifieds
Entertainment
Real estate
Rentals
Sports
About us

San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, July 28, 2010, Vol. 10, No. 147

Costa Rica Expertise
Costa Rica Expertise Ltd http://crexpertise.com E-mail info@crexpertise.com Tel:506-256-8585 Fax:506-256-7575

Pure LIfe Development
Sportsmen's Lodge


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.


Dentistry
Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants $500, Crowns $250

Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini has placed and restored
DR. Cavallini
Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini
over 12,000 dental implants since 1980. The Dr. Marco Muñoz Cavallini Dental Clinic, is recognized as one of the best practices in Dental Reconstruction, Dental Implant placement and Cosmetic Dentistry in Costa Rica and the World. For more information, visit us today at: aestheticdentistrycr.com
6094-xxxxx


Appraisers

BEFORE YOU BUY and OVERPAY
Angela Jiménez
ask Angela Jiménez
Architect/Certified Appraiser
23 years experience
for Costa Rica Banks
  
• building inspections
•¨property management
• construction advice and design
• remodeling advice
• certified appraisals
  
www.orbitcostarica.com/
certifieda.htm
6235-12/14/10


Hearing consultant

Allan Weinberg
your American hearing consultant
Now offering the smaller, better and less expensive hearing aid
from Widex, their best ever.

A fraction of U.S. prices. No more background noise, feedback or echoing and a lifetime of service.
 
8891-8989
allan9000@gmail.com
We service U.S. veterans
Clinica Dinamarca 10 clinics
www.clinicadinamarca.com
6124-6/17/10
Weinberg 070709
Allan Weinberg


Accountants

U.S. Tax International

Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal services
Over 15 years in Costa Rica
(English Spoken)
C.R. 2288-2201   U.S 786-206-9473
FAX: 2289-8235
E-mail: ustax@lawyer.com
Web page with vital U.S. tax info HERE!
6214-8/17/100

James Brohl, C.P.A. & M.B.A.
US Income Tax,  US GAAP Accounting
& Business Consulting

• US Tax return preparation  for
individuals and businesses
• eFile returns: secure with faster refunds
• Assist with back reporting and other filing issues
• Take advantage of the Foreign
Income Tax Exclusion (up to $
91,400 in 2009)
• Business Consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica
• Accounting for US and International Financial Reporting


Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620
E-mail jrtb_1999@racsa.co.cr
6023-3/30/11



Residency experts

Residency in Costa Rica
A full service immigration agency
U.S. and San José offices
Getting and authenticating documents can be a chore —

we know how to do it. Experienced with many nationalities. Up-to-date on
Costa Rica's evolving immigration law.
Pensionado and rentista. Your first stop for smooth, professional service and a positive experience. Javier Zavaleta jzava@pacbell.net
www.residencyincostarica.com
Tel: (323) 255-6116
5970-9/1/


Legal services

Burke Fiduciary, S.A.
Registered Escrow and Legal Services
Glenda Burke
Glenda Burke, LL.M
Thomas Burke
Thomas Burke, LL.M

Core services: real estate due diligence, real estate escrow services, residency status, business corporations, estate planning. English, Spanish, German and French spoken.

More about us at www.burkecr.com
Ph. 011 506 2267-6645
info@burkecr.com 

The registration of Burke Fiduciary S.A., corporate ID 3-101-501917 with the  General Superintendence of Financial Entities (SUGEF) is not an authorization  to operate. The supervision of SUGEF refers to compliance with the capital legitimization requirements of Law No. 8204. SUGEF does not supervise the
business carried out by this company, nor its security, stability or solvency.
Persons contracting its services do so for their own account and at their own risk.
5937-9/4/10

CONSULTORIA JURIDICA EMPRESARIAL CA, S.A
Attorneys & Notaries
 Tel.  2280-9692 / 2225-9322
Skype: CONJURIDICA
e-mail: info@conjuridica.com 
Web:  www.conjuridica.com
       We offer the highest professional standards with very competitive rates. All our official documentation and Notary deeds are always translated in English for better comprehension, client satisfaction and safety.
consultoria logo
• Immigration Law.
• Real Estate Law.
• Corporations, Foundations
       and Associations. 
• Trademarks & Intellectual
       Property.  
• Notary public services
• Criminal Law
•Civil & Commercial 
       Litigation
Our Law Office is conveniently located near Mall San Pedro,  350 meters south from the Subaru dealer, Los Yoses, San José.
6163-112/8/10

KEARNEY-LAWSON & Asoc.
Lic.Gregory Kearney Lawson.
Attorneys at Law and real estate brokers
Relocation services, Wedding Planning
Greg Kearney
*Investments  *Corporations
*Tax Shelters *Immigration
*Real Estate Sales in Costa Rica
*Name & Product registration
*Business procedures 
*Family and Labor Law
*Locate People   *Private Investigations
Phone/Fax: 2290-8117, 8841-0007
New location on Rohrmoser Blvd.
 Phone: (506) 2232-1014
attorneykearney@yahoo.com


Real estate agents and services

MARGARET SOHN
with Great Estates of Costa Rica

20 years Costa Rican
real estate experience

Member of the Costa Rican Real Estate Association, Lic. #1000

Member of
Costa Rican-American Chamber of Commerce

info@realtorcostarica.com
www.realtorcostarica.com
(506)  2220-3729 &  (506)
8333-8391 cell
(506)  2232-5016 (phone/fax)
586236-1/12/11

Latitude Nine real estate graphic
Latitude 9
Real Estate, Development, Investments.

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
506 2777-1197

Over 25 years experience in Costa Rica

www.latitude9.com
55672-5/25/10

CENTURY 21 Jacó Beach Realty
A Name You Trust & Professional Service

Buying? Selling?
We Can Do It!
TOLL FREE FROM THE US
1 (877) 746-3868
  Tom Ghormley - Owner/Broker - in CR since '79

Beachfront, Views, Mountains, Lots, Farms, Beaches, Houses, Condos. Hotels, Restaurants, Projects, Commercial, Investments

www.c21jaco.com
2643-3356
Info@c21jaco.com
4401-6/9/0

/

Collection services

COLLECTIONS COSTA RICA
The collection agency you’ve been searching for
• Receivables     • International Debt
• Comercial Collections     • Portfolio Collections
• Bad Debt Collections     • Condo HOA Collections
• Bad Check Collections     • Recovery solutions
Start early, recover more. Free quotes at
collection services
collectionscr@gmail.com
We are an attorney-based collection agency and specialize in the recovery of delinquent accounts nationwide. We work on a contingency basis or fee structure depending on the type of debt, but always fees that you can understand with no hidden costs. We recover your lost revenue quickly & professionally. Tel: 2253-3705/2283-8712   E-mail: collectionscr@gmail.com
5919-


President will not pull plug
on open pit gold mining


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Laura Chinchilla administration will not block the Las Crucitas open pit mining project.

That was the word Wednesday from Casa Presidencial. The decision is sure to anger some environmentalists and students.

The statement from the Presidencia said that a committee headed by Alfio Piva, second vice president, analyzed a decision by the Sala IV constitutional court. The decision basically found that the developers of the mine, Industrias Infinito S.A., have complied with the law.

In the first hours of her presidency, Ms. Chinchilla expressed displeasure at open pit mines and issued a decree preventing the development of any more in Costa Rica. But Las Crucitas has been well underway for years, despite roadblocks erected by environmentalists.

Piva said over the weekend that to pull the plug on the open pit mine would cost the country about $1.7 billion in reparations. That's more than $400 for every man, woman and child here. Compensation of this level, either by agreement or via an international arbitration hearing, would cripple the country.

Opponents disagree. Specifically they wanted Ms. Chinchilla to cancel a decree by Óscar Arias Sánchez that said the open pit mine was in the interest of the country.

Casa Presidencial said that the Sala IV examined and exhaustively evaluated all the technical studies and the entire judicial process relating to the mining project. And it found in favor of the project.

The company, a subsidiary of a Canadian firm, expects to extract 700,000 ounces of gold over the life of the project.

Casa Presidencial said that the Sala IV also concluded that the risk of polluting the ground water with cyanide was minimal. The chemical is used in leaching the gold from crushed ore.

This is not the last word. The mining firm is in a lower court facing similar allegations of environmental damage. And opponents are likely to respond with even more court appeals. The lower court, the Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo, has frozen the project.

The central government for years has considered the mine as a way to generate employment in northern Costa Rica. The site is in Cutris de San Carlos not far from the Río San Juan.

Among the more disappointed are the handful of mine opponents that spent a week walking from Casa Presidencial to the mine site in a well-covered publicity stunt.


Our readers' opinions
More positive reporting
will let Costa Rica shine


Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

We have just returned from a two-month trip to Germany, Spain and Canada and have been following the A.M. Costa Rica Web site while we were away. We are especially disturbed by the series of stories on crime in Costa Rica. We would like to offer another perspective.

First, there are two sides to every story. Unfortunately there is never any mention about why one becomes a victim of crime. Is it carelessness, lack of individual responsibility for their own security, e.g. leaving property unattended and/or unlocked, poor security installations, chatting up strangers in bars or casinos, becoming a visible target by displaying cell phones, ipods, computers, cameras, gold jewelry etc. in public, creating bad relations with Tico neighbors?

Secondly, while we were in Toronto there were daily stabbings, holdups, murders, gun fights reported in newspapers and television to say nothing about all the rampant crime in most U.S. cities. So why the holier than thou attitude that is so prevalent among North Americans who come to Costa Rica thinking nothing bad will ever happen here? Do they really think they have found "paradise"?

Thirdly, as owners of a bed & breakfast for 16 years, we naturally compared tourism here and in the countries we visited. Costa Rica has nothing to be ashamed of. In all aspects, it is far and away ahead. The superior hotel standards, particularly housekeeping, puts other countries to shame. There is little or no service in Europe or North America. In Germany, we stayed in a four-star hotel which had no air conditioning, and we even had to pay for a luggage cart and, of course, no help from anyone. No welcoming smiles.

Driving is a nightmare because of all the road and bridge construction resulting in two-hour traffic jams without moving, you just sit and wait! Frankfurt airport is like the Third World compared to Costa Rica's brand new facility. It is not much better in Canada. Again, little or no service especially in large stores where there is nobody to help customers, and the traffic jams!!! It actually took us almost nine hours to drive from Toronto to Montreal, which normally takes five hours. The reason? At least three or four accidents blocking the highway or road construction.

How about the Costa Ricans themselves? Generally speaking, the people are polite and helpful compared to the rudeness and bad behavior we encountered abroad, especially teenagers and small children who seem to think they are entitled to disturb the peace of other hotel guests.  Wherever we went, when we said we lived in Costa Rica, many said how much they enjoyed their visit here and others have put Costa Rica on their travel list  We heard no negative comments in both Germany and Canada. Recently,we had some Canadian guests who were involved in a car accident and they were overwhelmed by the number of Ticos who wanted to help. Our local hospital  treated them and charged nothing!

We shudder to think what all the negative reporting will do to tourism here which is already suffering from the worldwide economic crisis. In conclusion, neither we nor any of our guests have been victims of crime during the 16 years we have lived here but realize that times have changed and we have to continue to be as vigilant as we have always been without becoming paranoid.

We hope A.M. Costa Rica can do some reporting showing the positive side of living and visiting Costa Rica.

Tessa and Martin Borner
Rincón de Salas


Underlying causes of crime
must be addressed, too

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Although I was glad to read in A.M. Costa Rica that expats are banding together across the country to draw attention to the very real and growing problem of crime and urge the government to take action, I couldn't help but wish they would also join together and raise their voices to urge the government to address some of the underlying causes and driving forces behind Costa Rica's spiraling crime problems — namely increasing poverty, the growing disparities between those with and those without, the abysmally low wages of far too many Costa Rican workers, the reality that to grocery shop in Costa Rica is almost as expensive as in the United States, and, of course, the growing social and economic influence of the drug trades.
 
Demands to toughen laws and build more jails are well and good, but if these other, underlying issues are not also addressed, I can all but guarantee that for every criminal that gets locked up, two more will be waiting in the wings to pick up where the incarcerated chump left off.
 
Michael Cook
Gloucester, Massachusetts
Puerto Viejo de Limon, CR

Got something to say?

Say it with a letter to the editor

editor@amcostarica.com


Have you seen these stories?










Top story feeds are disabled on archived pages.












For your international reading pleasure:

News of Nicaragua
News of Central America
News of Cuba
News of Venezuela
News of Colombia
News of El Salvador

News of Honduras
News of the Dominican Republic
News of Panamá

Newspaper nameplate
Del Rey casino

Home
Tourism
Place
classified ad

Classifieds
Entertainment
Real estate
Rentals
Sports
About us

What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007  and 2008 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details


Del Rey ad

A.M.
Costa Rica
third newspage

Pura Vida Drilling
Home
Tourism
Calendar
Classifieds
Entertainment
Real estate
Rentals
Sports
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, July 28, 2010, Vol. 10, No. 147

Rapid Respose
Rock n roll

Big battle looming over rights to cell telephone towers
By Dennis Rogers
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The large number of towers needed for the three companies that win Costa Rica’s spectrum auction could prove a substantial blight on the scenery, if the Civil Aviation authorities have their way. They require all towers, regardless of distance from airports, to be red and white with blinking lights.

Each company will need about 1,000 cells around the country, and local companies are scrambling to arrange locations and set up towers in order to rent space. More than one system can go on a given tower, though there are some technical limitations. This suggests about 2,000 towers will be needed.

Not In My Back Yard resistance is already developing, as this week the municipalities of Barva and La Unión put a hold on any permits to install towers. In addition to the visual impact, in news reports local politicians cited uncertain health effects. The Sala IV constitutional court will be an ideal forum for neighbors to contest permitting decisions.

The government phone company, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, known as ICE, has about 500 cells for each of its two systems, though at least some share towers. The company has proved so difficult with other sorts of interconnection arrangements that others may not want to lease space on its facilities. The new telecommunications law obliges infrastructure owners to share, but only after negotiations about prices and terms are deadlocked do the regulatory authorities step in. This has already happened as ICE has refused to let Internet protocol phone services connect to the main network. When ICE and the newly arrived multinational cell phone companies negotiate interconnect fees, the fight will likely dwarf current issues, as has happened in cases where Digicel has gone against incumbents in the Caribbean.

Despite contrasting interpretations of international law in places like the United States and Britain, local aviation authorities demand that any tower (regardless of height) or even large building be evaluated by them as a potential hazard. They also charge more than $50 for the privilege. Sigifredo Fernández at the Dirección General de Aviación Civil insisted such measures are necessary in the case of an emergency involving a plane. “A pilot may have to make an emergency landing and needs to know where  
communication tower
A.M. Costa Rica file photo
There's a lot of hardware on this tower


[the towers] are,” he said. To make that easier, artificial obstacles need to be painted red and white and have a beacon at night, Fernández said.

Fernández maintains that is part of Annex 14 of the Chicago Convention on Aviation, though other signatories seem to consider those standards only to apply within three kilometers of a runway or within the actual approach and departure zones.

Electric towers appear to have escaped Aviación Civil’s supervision.

At Costa Pacífico, one of the firms involved in cell system infrastructure, general manager Gabriel Chernacov stated that his company “has to respect the authorities of the country” as to the specifications for towers.

The basilica in Cartago is the goal for the pilgrims. Many will go on their knees this weekend down the center isle of the church to pay homage to the tiny black representations of the Virgin encased in precious metals. Others will just congregate to enjoy the entertainment outside.
Basilica
Policía de Tránsito photo

Traffic police begin their biggest job of the year today
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The big weekend is coming when some 2 million persons will walk or otherwise arrive at the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles in Cartago.

The Policía de Tránsito will be watching the pilgrims and they will be armed with the new traffic code that allows them to ticket pedestrians and those on bicycles. They also will have the benefit of a security ministry helicopter to watch traffic.

This is the year's largest effort by police of all departments. Fuerza Pública officers will be guarding the hikers starting today in some areas.

Pilgrims in Guanacaste already have started walking so that they can arrive at the Cartago Roman Catholic church plaza later Sunday or early Monday, which is the feast day of the Virgin. She is the patroness of the country.

Some 300 traffic officers will be on the job. Some will be on the job today. Starting Saturday the entire force will be watching the routes. That includes 80 motorcycle officers.
They also will be looking for drunks and speeders.

Saturday motor traffic will be restricted on the Autopista Florencio del Castillo between San Pedro and Cartago.

The street from the Fuente  de la Hispanidad in front of Mall San Pedro through Curridabat will be closed to all but pilgrims.

Sunday trucks will be barred from the autopista. From Friday onward police are urging motorists to use alternate routes. One is to the south through Desamparados. The other is to the north through Ipis de Goicoechea.

Expats have a hard time comprehending the extent of the pilgrimage. Along the pedestrian boulevard in downtown San José Sunday afternoon and night the flood of individuals will be so heavy that walking west will be a chore. Pilgrims also will be on Avenida 2. Of course they also come from other directions with Cartago as the goal.

Traffic police are prepared for anything. Some pilgrims even make the trip on horseback. However police said skates are out.


Sports fishing logo

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!


Home
Tourism
Place
classified ad

Classifieds
Entertainment
Real estate
Rentals
Sports
About us

What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007  and 2008 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details


A.M. Costa Rica
fourth news page

renes law firm
Home
Tourism
Calendar
Classifieds
Entertainment
Real estate
Rentals
Sports
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, July 28, 2010, Vol. 10, No. 147


Shade-grown coffee promotes genetic diversity by bees

By the University of Michigan News Service

Shade-grown coffee farms support native bees that help maintain the health of some of the world’s most biodiverse tropical regions, according to a study by a University of Michigan biologist and a colleague at the University of California, Berkeley.

The study suggests that by pollinating native trees on shade-coffee farms and adjacent patches of forest, the bees help preserve the genetic diversity of remnant native-tree populations. The study was published online Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“A concern in tropical agriculture areas is that increasingly fragmented landscapes isolate native plant populations, eventually leading to lower genetic diversity,” said Christopher Dick, an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, at the University of Michigan.

“But this study shows that specialized native bees help enhance the fecundity and the genetic diversity of remnant native trees, which could serve as reservoirs for future forest regeneration,”

According to Dick, An estimated 32.1 million acres of tropical forest are destroyed each year by the expansion of cropland, pasture and logging. Often grown adjacent to remnant forest patches, coffee crops cover more than 27 million acres of land in many of the world’s most biodiverse regions.

Over the last three decades, many Latin American coffee farmers have abandoned traditional shade-growing techniques, in which plants are grown beneath a diverse canopy of trees. In an effort to increase production, much of the acreage has been converted to “sun coffee,” which involves thinning or removing the canopy.

Previous studies have demonstrated that shade-grown farms boost biodiversity by providing a haven for migratory birds, non-migratory bats and other beneficial creatures. Shade-coffee farms also require far less synthetic fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides than sun-coffee plantations.

In the latest study, Dick and Berkeley’s Shalene Jha investigated the role of native bees that pollinate native trees in and around shade-grown coffee farms in the highlands of southern Chiapas, Mexico. In their study area, tropical forest now represents less than 10 percent of the land cover.

Ms. Jha and Dick wanted to determine the degree to which native bees, which forage for pollen and nectar and pollinate trees in the process, facilitate gene flow between the remnant forest and adjacent shade-coffee farms.
They focused on Miconia affinis, a small, native understory tree that many farmers allow to invade shade-coffee farms because the trees help control soil erosion. 

M. affinis, commonly known as the saquiyac tree, is pollinated by an unusual method known as buzz pollination. In order to release pollen from the tree’s flowers, bees grab hold and vibrate their flight muscles, shaking the pollen free. Non-native Africanized honeybees don’t perform buzz pollination, but many native bees do.

“Our focus on a buzz-pollinated tree allowed us to exclude Africanized honeybees and highlight the role of native bees as both pollinators and vectors of gene flow in the shade-coffee landscape mosaic,” said Ms. Jha, a postdoctoral fellow at Berkeley who conducted the research while earning her doctorate at the University of Michigan.

Ms. Jha and Dick combined field observations with seed-parentage genetic analysis of Miconia affinis. They found that trees growing on shade-coffee farms received bee-delivered pollen from twice as many donor trees as M. affinis trees growing in the adjacent remnant forest.

The higher number of pollen donors translates into greater genetic diversity among the offspring of the shade-farm trees.

Seed parentage analysis revealed that pollen from forest trees sired 65.1 percent of the seeds sampled from M. affinis trees growing in shade-coffee habitat. That finding demonstrates that native bees are promoting gene flow between the remnant forest and the coffee farms — bridging the two habitat types — and that the shade-farm trees serve as a repository of local M. affinis genetic diversity, according to the authors.

In addition, Ms. Jha and Dick found that native bees carried pollen twice as far in shade-coffee habitat than they did in the forest. They documented shade-farm pollination trips of nearly a mile, which are among the longest precisely recorded pollination trips by native tropical bees.

Ms. Jha and Dick said their results likely apply to other buzz-pollinated plants, which represent about 8 percent of the world’s flowering plant species, as well as to other native plants whose limited pollen and nectar rewards don’t attract honeybees.

The enhanced genetic diversity of the shade-farm trees could provide a reservoir for future forest regeneration, as the coffee farms typically fall out of production in less than a century. Given that potential, along with the shade farm’s previously identified roles in connecting habitat patches and sheltering native wildlife, it is important to encourage this traditional style of agriculture, Ms. Jha and Dick said.


Home
Tourism
Place
classified ad

Classifieds
Entertainment
Real estate
Rentals
Sports
About us

What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007  and 2008 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details



A.M.
Costa Rica
fifth news page

Home
Tourism
Calendar
Classifieds
Entertainment
Real estate
Rentals
Sports
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, July 28, 2010, Vol. 10, No. 147

Medical vacations in Costa Rica

Parents in Sierpe celebrate
removal of school director


Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Rain was coming down very hard as parents and supervisors assembled in the English classroom at Sierpe Elementary School Tuesday morning. Three education officials and 50 parents gathered to voice concerns about the present director of this school. She has been there for the past eight years, and the parents are tired of what they call inaction and unsatisfactory performance.  After weeks of protest, the situation came to a head Tuesday morning.

First the education officials from San Isidro read the complaint sent to them by the local citizen’s group.

Then they spoke their position as government officials.  Several local officials also spoke, giving their opinions. And then the parents had their opportunity to speak. This became emotional as some locals expressed the frustrations about their children’s education.

They physically had blocked access for the controversial director.

Without much reflection, the officials proclaimed that the director in question would be removed in the next five days. The acting director, the English teacher, will be most likely installed as the next director. She is a favorite of the parents since she resides in Sierpe and is involved in the community. 

When the room cleared many parent stayed and discussed what had happened, exclaiming their joy after weeks of protest.  Later, several of the parents continued their discussion at a local restaurant.

Dall'Anese has job open
if he decides to return


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Although Franciso Dall'Anese resigned as fiscal general to take a job with the United Nations in Guatemala, he has the option to return.

The Corte Suprema de Justicia voted 21 to 1 to accept the resignation from Dall'Anese.  And the court granted him a two-year leave without pay. If he returns, it will not be as fiscal general or chief prosecutor. He can return in his previous position as an appeals judge.

The court magistrates decided to appoint a new chief prosecutor for four years. The interim chief prosecutor will be Lilliam Gómez Mora, Dall'Anese's deputy. He leaves effective Sunday.

Dall'Anese will head the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala. That agency was created by the United Nations to help the country squash rampant criminality.

Pilgrimage stops soccer

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Virgen de los Ángeles trumps professional soccer every time.

Deportivo Saprissa S.A.D said that the game planned for 7 p.m. Saturday was being suspended for a later date. The game was to be at Estadio Eladio Rosabal Cordero with arch rival Liga Deportiva Alajuelense.

The sports team said that the security ministry prevailed on the teams to postpone the contest because police officers would not be able to provide adequate security. Most would be tied up with security for the pilgrimage to Cartago.
News from the BBC up to the minute




BBC news and sports feed are disabled on archived pages.
BBC sports news up to the minute



Casa Alfi

Home
Tourism
Place
classified ad

Classifieds
Entertainment
Real estate
Rentals
Sports
About us

What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007  and 2008 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details
 

A.M. Costa Rica
sixth news page

For your international reading pleasure:

News of Nicaragua
News of Central America
News of Cuba
News of Venezuela
News of Colombia
News of El Salvador

News of Honduras
News of the Dominican Republic
News of Panamá

Home
Tourism
Calendar
Classifieds
Entertainment
Real estate
Rentals
Sports
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, July 28, 2010, Vol. 10, No. 147


Latin American news
Please reload page if feed does not appear promptly
failing bridge
Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes
Officials fear the concrete will fall into the river.

Repair work begins
on Desamparados bridge

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The transport ministry and the private firm Puente Prefa has started working to repair a bridge over the Río Cañas in San Juan de Desamparados.

A major concern is that a broken side of the bridge may fall into the river and create a temporary dam that would cause water to flow into nearby homes.

The project is expected to take 22 working days. During that time traffic is reduced to one lane. The concrete bridge part will be replaced with one of steel, officials said.

No reduction authorized
in double murder penalty

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A man who invaded the home of a gold merchant and killed her and her sister did not win a reduction in his 40-year sentence.

The man, identified by the last names of Hernández Núñez sought relief from the Sala III, the criminal branch of the Corte Suprema de Justicia.

The murder happened Sept. 24, 2004. Killed were Yolanda Medina Medina, 64, and her sister Susana, 62.  Both were on the floor side-by-side when the robber shot each with a single bullet. Hernández took money and jewelry. The man was sentenced 15 months later.

Corredores to celebrate

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Corredores  is having a civic festival Thursday, and the Tribunales de Justicia in that southern Costa Rican town will be suspended for the day, said the Poder Judicial.


Latin American news feeds are disabled on archived pages.
Online archives

Home
Tourism
Place
classified ad

Classifieds
Entertainment
Real estate
Rentals
Sports
About us

What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007  and 2008 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details