Atenas coffee
A.M. Costa Rica

Your daily

news source
Monday through Friday

Universal de Idiomas

(506) 223-1327               Published Thursday, Aug. 16, 2007, in Vol. 7, No. 162         E-mail us   
Jo Stuart
Real Estate
About us

Fraud raid bags 16 local Internet scamming suspects
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Investigators detains some 16 persons Wednesday and said they were a gang that used the Internet to steal bank passwords and then steal from the accounts of victims.

The arrests were related to 13 cases of Internet fraud, although officials admit that they have more than 150 active investigations on the same topic.

The 16 detained Wednesday are accused of using fake e-mails and Web pages to make bank customers think they were accessing their account. In that way they were able to steal user names and passwords. Then the money was transferred from the victim's account to accounts maintained by the scammers, said officials.

A recent case involved an expat U.S. citizen who lost $225,000 from her business account at Banco de Costa Rica. She was not believed to be among the cases that led to the arrests Wednesday.
The woman maintains a high balance because she is involved in a business that requires cash.

She denied having been a victim of an e-mail scam, called phishing. However, no one, either from the bank or from the Judicial Investigating Organization, has inspected her computer in the last two weeks to determine how else the crime may have been committed.
At the time, the suggestion was raised that bank insiders were using phishing as a cover for their own pilfering.

Raids Wednesday took place in Desamparados, the Quesada Durán section of San José, San Sebastián, Hatillo and other parts of the metropolitan area.

Jorge Rojas, director for the Judicial Investigating Organization, held a press conference where he
explained ways crooks can get into bank accounts. In addition to phishing Rojas said that scammers can get vital bank information from other people. He also explained the use of a keylogger. He displayed graphics of a cylindrical device that fits between a computer and a keyboard and collects the keystrokes entered into the machine.

Some keyloggers are just software, and the growing use of wireless computers has led to a whole new breed of scammer tools that can intercept computers messages, including passwords and user names as if they were just radio transmissions.

Rojas urged computer users not to type in any critical information into Internet cafe computers which are vulnerable to scammers. Savvy computer users respond to this threat by using encryption for e-mails and for accessing financil Web pages.

The Sección de Fraudes was the lead law enforcement element in the investigation.

Tsunami fizzles to the relief of Pacific residents
By Saray Ramírez Vindas
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Coastal Pacific residents got a scare Wednesday night when the nation's emergency commission issued a tsunami warning. The warning was canceled about the same time the commission had said a 2-meter (6.5 feet) wave of water would hit.

Some communities and some hotels had begun evacuations. The tsunami was predicted after a 7.9 magnitude earthquake took place off the shore of Peru.

The Costa Rican warning was based on what the  Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center had said, according to Daniel Gallardo, emergency commission president.

Some coastal residents still were concerned by possible high water, but the tsunami could have inundated some 1,000 feet or so of the coastline.  Gallardo had warned residents to move to higher ground and stay some 500 meters (1,640) feet from the shoreline.

Gallardo praised news media for alerting coastal residents. A.M. Costa Rica sent out an advisory to
its daily digest subscribers, some of whom live on the Pacific. Gallardo said that a tsunami alert requires immediate action and he did not apologize for the issuing and then canceling the alert two hours later.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the epicenter of the quake was near the Pacific coast of central Peru about 148 kms (92 miles) southeast of Lima, and 43 kms (27 miles) northwest of Chincha Alta.

The quake was felt strongly in the capital of Lima, according to the Andina news service. Fidel Gutiérrez Mendoza of that agency said that electricity went out and rush-hour traffic was snarled. His service was reporting 17 dead and at least 70 injured, mostly in the province of Pisco.

The quake lasted a minute and a half, he said, and there were 70 aftershocks. Chincha was the community that was affected the most because the older homes are of adobe and stone and not designed to withstand quakes.

The estimates of the number of deaths covered a wide range. The Associated Press reported early today that 115 persons had been killed. Another Lima newspaper said 50 persons died.

exchange rate
to our
daily digest

our site

Send us
a news story

Real estate ads

Ads for

ad info

ad info

Contact us
Our stats

puerto limon agency

Panderia Alaman

Rixson ad
Playa Hermosa
glc ad
Quepos banner
Free Tell A Friend from Free Tell A Friend from
Tell 'em about
A.M. Costa Rica

Costa Rica
Second newspage

jaco realty ad
Real estate
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2007, Vol. 7, No. 162

Costa Rica Expertise
Costa Rica Expertise Ltd E-mail Tel:506-256-8585 Fax:506-256-7575

Click HERE for great hotel discounts

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.

Residency experts

Torres logo
(506) 257-8068 / 233-0293
Paseo Colon Av, 30th Street
1 block west from Pizza Hut, San Jose C.R.

Lilliana Torres, attorney at law

We handle immigration services and residency procedures as required by the government for foreigners who wish to live in Costa Rica. For 16 years we've provided competitive, dependable, professional services with integrity, loyalty and honesty. Thousands of satisfied foreign clients have obtained their Costa Rican residency through us.


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, rentista and inversionista. Your first stop for smooth, professional service and a positive experience. Javier Zavaleta
Tel: 323-255-6116

Dental Clinics

Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants $500, Crowns $250
Dr. Muñoz Cavallini
Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini has placed and restored over 6,000 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 HERE!

Acupuncture physician

Acupuncture   auriculotherapy
Immediate results for sport and all injuries; Back, neck, whiplash, shoulder, elbow, carpal tunnel, knees, sciatica, T.M.J., kidney stones, intercostal neuralgia,
Photo of McDonald

  and all painfull conditions. Excellent results for migraine, stress, anxiety, depression; and many other medical conditions from constipation, hemorroids, to hemiplegia, raynauds, bells palsy, etc. Acupuncture works even if other therapies had little or no results. Free consultation, U.S. license, 17 years experience, Eugene Mc Donald, A.P (acupuncture physician) Escazú, 352-0661


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 $82,400 in 2006)
• Business Consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica
• Accounting for US and International Financial Reporting

Telephone 305-3149 or 256-8620

U.S. Tax and Accounting

Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal services
Over 10 years in Costa Rica
(English Spoken)
C.R. 288-2201   U.S 786-206-9473

Real estate agents and services

with Great Estates of Costa Rica and Ocean Realty - Jacó

15 years Costa Rican
real estate experience

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

Member of
Costa Rican-American Chamber of Commerce
(506)  220-3729 &  (506) 382-7399 cell
(506)  232-5016 (phone/fax)

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

Buying? Selling?
We Can Do It!
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

First Costa Rican Title & Trust
Protecting your interests since 1994

  Purchase contracts
  Escrow services
  Title transfers
  Title guarantees
  Trust services
  Developer services
Call us for your real property legal and investment needs at 225-0501 or send us an e-mail at

Title Guarantees issued by First American Title Insurance Co., one of the oldest and largest title companies in the world. The First American difference in protection is that the policies cover unrecorded matters and unknown risks.

7Legal services

Lic.Gregory Kearney Lawson.

Attorneys at Law and real estate brokers. Relocation services, Wedding Planning
   * Investments  * Corporations
   * Tax Shelters  
* Immigration 
   * Real Estate Sales in Costa Rica
   * Name & Product registration
   * Business procedures  

   * Family and Labor Law
   * Locate People
   * Private Investigations
Ph/Fax: 221-9462, 841-0007

Bufete Hernández Mussio & Asociados
 Lic. Arcelio Hernández Mussio
Tel. 643-3058                Cell 365-3088
 Web site:
Arcelio hernandez
• Real Estate Transactions
•  Legal Due Diligence
• Purchase and Sale
• Costa Rican Corporations.
• Title Guaranty • Fraud
• Constitution of condominiums
• Notary public services in
• Escrow Services (registered
     with SUGEF)
Visit our Office in Jacó Beach (Oficentro Costa Brava, above Day Star).
tropical storm track
National Hurricane Center/A.M. Costa Rica
This is the predicted track of Tropical Storm Dean

Tropical storm expected
to become hurricane today

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Tropical Storm Dean is expected to reach hurricane status sometime today and bring rain to Costa Rica for the weekend.

The country already has been soaked and the ground is ill-prepared to handle more rain, said the national emergency commission.

Although Costa Rica is never hit directly by a hurricane, these storms affect weather for thousands of miles and most of the storm damage here is caused by hurricane backlash.

The Pacific coast and the Central Valley will be most affected by the hurricane if it continues on its predicted track, said the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional.

A U.S. Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft is expected to enter the storm this afternoon to get more data. The last report from the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami was that the storm was getting better organized and there are few factors that would prevent it from increasing in strength over the Atlantic.

Arias brings freedom
to convicted mothers

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Two mothers got their freedom Wednesday during a Mothers Day excursion by President Óscar Arias Sánchez to the Buen Pastor women's prison.

One, Aida Jiménez Hidalgo, was in prison on a drug charge and had served more than five years. But the Consejo de Gobierno, the president's cabinet, cut short her sentence. She is in ill health.

Elizabeth Calderón, the other inmate, was facing a 20-year sentence for murdering her husband. But evidence showed that she was an abused wife, said Casa Presidencial.

Some 70 percent of the women in the prison are in on drug charges that officials blame on a lack of opportunity.

Abangares mine museum
voted as official entity

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Ecomuseo de las Minas de Abangares became a legal reality Wednesday when lawmakers approved it for the second time.

The museum already exists, but the legislation makes it official.

Saturnino Fonseca, a lawmaker with the Partido Liberación Nacional, said that every family in Guanacaste has at least one relative that worked in the gold mines of Abangares.

The municipality will run the museum and mostly rely on donations to support it.

Free trade debate in English
planned by Democrats Abroad

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Democrats Abroad will be hosting a debate on the Central American Free Trade Agreement with the United States. It may be the only one ever in English.

Costa Ricans go to the polls Oct. 7 to accept or reject the measure.

Speaking in support of the trade treaty will be Otto Guevara of Movimiento Libertario, a former lawmaker and current party president. The opposing speaker has not been selected yet, but he or she is expected to come from the ranks of the Partido Acción Ciudadana. That party has consistently opposed the treaty.

The event will be from 9:30 a.m. to noon Aug. 25, a Saturday, on the Third Floor of the Aurola Holiday Inn in downtown San José. Reservations are required by Aug. 24, the club said. Reservations may be made online at or by calling Paul Kloes at 228-8260. 

A donation is collected for meeting room rental and refreshments.

Expats and other non-Costa Rican citizens cannot participate in the referendum campaign, but the trade treaty issue is the biggest news of the year.

Southern zone will get
its cultural festival

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The southern zone will have its cultural festival, Somos el Sur, starting Friday at San Vito de Coto Brus.

The event will be in the Casa de Cultura there and will feature workshops, dance, music and theater.

This is the first cultural fair in the southern zone according to organizers. They expect participation from some 300 persons from Brus, Corredores, Golfito, Osa, Buenos Aires and Pérez Zeledón, they said.

The event will run through Sunday, and some of the performers will reflect the Italian roots of Coto Brus, according to the program.

Have you seen these stories?

retirement gif

You need to see Costa Rican properties for sale
on our real estate page HERE!

Costa Rica
third newspage

CR builders ad
Real estate
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2007, Vol. 7, No. 162

Spanish Eyes display ad
Tex Mex is for sale
Azucar ad

Two firms announce opening of San Pedro animated studio
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Don't call it Hollywood south yet, but San Pedro now has a multi million dollar media studio.

Two companies, Motion Pixel Corp. of Florida and Dart of Costa Rica, are working together on the venture. San Pedro is east of San José and contains the Universidad de Costa Rica.

The companies are calling the media studio the biggest in Central America and one of the largest in Latin America, according to a press release.

There already are five animated productions being worked on at the facility through the partnership with Indian media firm Pritish Nandy Communications with another 10 in planning, said the release. The firms also promise an aggressive push into the music business recording and promoting Latin American jazz, ethno beat and other music genres.

“With our current infrastructure we can now continue to build in many different areas including animation," said Manny Bains of Motion Pixel. "We plan on getting very
 aggressive with our partner Pritish Nandy in India, as well as with Live Action, targeting shooting four to five live films in the beautiful backdrop of Costa Rica within the next 18 months."

“We have worked hard to complete a facility which takes pride in state of the art technology and we can offer a broad range of services to our clients at very competitive prices," said Vinicio Musmanni, chief executive officer of Dart. The operation has everything any group needs including a top class post production facility, he said.

“We also plan to become a market leader in DVD authoring and duplication," said Bains. "This is a multi-billion dollar a year industry and we are already in talks with several major media groups worldwide to partner in this area.”

Motion Pixel Corp. said it focused on the entertainment industry with partnerships with select media groups and athletes globally.

Dart said it is an entertainment production company that promotes artists, musicians, and film makers with the latest technology. The company is also dedicated to digital content creation training for Latin America, it said.

Arias administration to reveal its anti-crime proposal today
By the A.M. Costa Rica Staff

The Arias administration is presenting today its national plan to prevent violence and promote the social peace.

The plan is the work of Laura Chinchilla, vice president and minister of Justicia y Gracia, and a committee.

A Casa Presidencial release said that the plan will complement control and sanctions that are already in place in the country and propose a series of actions that will make the fight against organized crime more efficient. Juvenile gangs and drug cartels are the dominant forms of organized crime.

Óscar Arias Sánchez, the president, is expected to attend the presentation in the Museo de los Niños.

Vice President Chinchilla was tapped to address the crime issues in May. She said then that the survey firm Demoscopía had done a study of juvenile gangs in the country and found that an urgent intervention was needed. She said that the data shows single-family homes in poverty generated juvenile gang members, as did drug use.

She said the government would come up with some kind of anti-drug plan in three weeks. But it has not done so up to now.

In fact, the Arias administration was going to present three
measures to the legislature to deal with crime, but these appear to be some of the items stalled by the gridlock over the free trade agreement.

In addition to a measure against organized crime, the administration was going to provide a plan to protect witnesses.

Politicians and many Costa Ricans were shocked to learn in late June that hired killers from Colombia entered the country with the goal of killing Rodrigo Arias, the president's brother, and Fernando Berrocal, the security minister.  That was what police officials said when they arrested some of the men.
Costa Rican officials deported five Colombians around July 1. They said the men were planning to kill Rodrigo Arias, the minister of the Presidencia, and the security minister because of their anti-drug activities.

The Arias administration, through unidentified sources, said that Colombian drug lords sent the men to avenge the confiscation of shipments involving some 400 tons of cocaine since last August.

The bulk of these drug shipments were snagged by the U.S. Coast Guard operating with Costa Rican officials.

The information that came into official hands was from telephone intercepts.

Río Azul landfill site
to be fixed up

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The central government declared a national emergency Wednesday to free up money to eliminate environmental dangers at the Río Azul landfill in La Unión.

The dump or landfill was closed at the end of last month and inspections showed that there are dangers of landslides and the release of garbage residue. The site is on land owned by the Ministerio de Salud and had been operating since the 1960s.

María Luisa Ávila, the minister of Salud, said the emergency declaration would free up the money so that an environmental study could be done with the Universidad de Costa Rica as well as studies of the health of those who live near the now-closed landfill.

The minister estimated that the work to mitigate the environmental dangers would take about nine months. The state of the landfill has been worsened by rains and the fact that some of the garbage has not been covered correctly to prevent mixing with runoff.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

A.M. Costa Rica
fourth news page

A.M. Costa Rica rates

Display and classified rates have increased
as of June 18, 2007. The average display increase is between 6 and 8.5 percent.
This is the first rate increase in the six-year history
of the newspaper. The new rates are posted here:

Display   Classified

As usual, the bulk of any income goes
to get you a better newspaper.
Real estate
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2007, Vol. 7, No. 162

Another dissident released from prison by Cuban government
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A Cuban human rights group says the government has released a dissident after he served three years in prison on charges of disrespecting authorities and resisting arrest.

Elizardo Sánchez, the president of the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation says authorities freed Lazaro González Adan Tuesday in the eastern city of Camaguey.

The Havana-based commission says police arrested González Adan in October 2004 after he painted on his home quotes from national independence leader Jose Marti deemed critical of the government. González Adan was detained after ignoring police orders to erase the words.
The commission says he is the second dissident to be released in less than a week, but it says both former prisoners were freed because they served their time. 

Friday, the government released human rights activist Francisco Chaviano González after more than 13 years in prison.

The former mathematics professor was arrested in 1994 and sentenced to 15 years in prison on charges that included revealing state security secrets.

The commission says the number of political prisoners in Cuba has fallen to about 244 from at least 283 at the start of 2007. Cuba's government denies holding political prisoners and describes dissidents as mercenaries.

Drug suspect's lawyer says his client is anxious to be returned to United States
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services
The lawyer for a suspected Colombian drug lord says he will travel to the United States to try to expedite his client's potential extradition to the U.S. from Brazil.

The lawyer, Sergio Alambert, representing Juan Carlos Ramírez Abadia, says he plans to meet with U.S. officials in an effort to accelerate the extradition process. He said Ramirez Abadia, who is wanted by the U.S. on drug charges, fears for his life if he is sent back to Colombia.

Brazilian police arrested Ramírez Abadia last week at a luxury home on the outskirts of Sao Paulo.
He is accused of shipping tons of cocaine to the U.S. and ordering the killings of police and informants in the U.S. and Colombia. Ramírez Abadia is also believed to be the leader of Norte del Valle, Colombia's largest drug cartel since the 1990s.

The United States is seeking Ramírez Abadia's extradition and had offered up to $5 million for information leading to his arrest.

Brazilian judicial officials are considering the extradition request. But Brazilian law prohibits the extradition of prisoners to countries where they could face life imprisonment or the death penalty.

We can put your business announcement here
where those seeking international news will see it

News from the BBC up to the minute
BBC sports news up to the minute
BBC news and sports feeds are disabled on archived pages.

A.M. Costa Rica
Sports news
local and from the wires

Place a classified ad
Real estate
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2007, Vol. 7, No. 162

The latest top sports news
Sports news from VOA
Sports feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Jo Stuart
Real Estate
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  and 2007 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for more details