Atenas coffee
A.M. Costa Rica

Your daily

news source
Monday through Friday

Universal de Idiomas

(506) 223-1327                 Published Monday, Aug. 27, 2007, in Vol. 7, No. 169              E-mail us   
Jo Stuart
Real Estate
About us

Tourist police forum highlights a 'grave' situation
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Crimes against tourists are a grave, pressing issue that lawmakers must urgently confront, according to a summary of a forum at the Asamblea Legislativa.

The purpose of the session Friday was to support a legislative proposal to enshrine the nation's tourism police into law. Right now the police are the result of a decree issued by the executive branch last December.

According to Ofelia Taitelbaum Yoselewich, a Partido Liberación Nacional lawmaker, establishing the tourism police by law would guarantee that it would continue and could not be changed at the whim of another president.

Right now there are 126 tourism officers at work and some 400 are in training with the Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje. Among other skills, the officers must speak a foreign language.

However, Jorge Rojas, director of the Judicial Investigating Organization, disagreed. He said the resources did not exist for police in every location. He said he saw the problem as a socioeconomic one. His position is similar to that of the Arias administration, which is seeking to solve criminality among the young with more recreation and activities.

Rojas said that from January 2006 to June 2007 there were 500 crimes reported against tourists. He said this showed the problem was grave.

However, many tourists never report crimes. Even a female tourist who was the victim of a brutal gang rape in Quepos went home without filing a police report. Others claim that they make reports and nothing ever happens.

One revelation at the forum is that eight tourism officers are stationed at Juan Santamaría airport in Alajuela to keep an eye on tourists who leave there with rental cars.
don't tell the frog
Don't tell the frog: The Camera Nacional de Turismo has a spot on its Web page for robbery reports, but it is 'in construction.'

Criminals with inside contacts have been able to poke sharp objects into the tires of these rental cars, and the tourists suffer a flat tire somewhere down the highway. They become sitting ducks for the gun-wielding criminals. This technique is called  pinchonazo in Spanish. Officers have one car and two motorcycles for their patrols.

Tourists at Liberia have no such protection because the police at Daniel Oduber airport have just bicycles. However, in all of Guanacaste there are 40 policemen with 11 motorcycles and two vehicles. Officers with bikes patrol, in addition to the Liberia airport, Playa Panamá, Tamarindo and Playas del Coco, according to Martín Arias of the Policia Turistica.

Some 23 officers with two motorcycles are on the job in La Fortuna, the town nearest to Arenal volcano, according to a summary by Arias. In Limón there are 12 officers with motorcycles and 16 officers with bikes in San José.

Under terms of the agreement reached with the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo last December, that agency is supporting the tourism police. A law making the police an official entity would require funds placed for it in the national budget. There are about 12 separate police forces in the country now.

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

Quepos marina rollover
glc ad
Rixson ad
Playa Hermosa
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, Monday, Aug. 27, 2007, Vol. 7, No. 169

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.

Physicians and Surgeons

Aesthetic Surgery Costa Rica  Awarded The Best Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery Center in Costa Rica 2005-2006. Dr. Gabriel Alberto Peralta is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with the most renowned plastic surgeons worldwide.

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, 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).
Chicken fight raid nets
handguns and some drugs

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Fuerza Pública officers backed up by members of two other law enforcement organizations raided an arena for cock fights Sunday and ended up detaining five persons.

The raid was in Pavas, and officers were confronted by about 50 angry participants in the cock fighting. The Unidad Intervención Policial and the Judicial Investigating Organization participated.

Officers shook down some of the participants and found handguns, several types of drugs and at least one baggie of marijuana. Bootlegged alcohol also was confiscated.

There was no immediate indication of what the purpose was for the raid, although chicken fights are frowned on officially. More than two dozen fighting birds were found in tiny individual cages.
directional signs
Directional signs of the type to be fabricated

Approval given to purchase
materials for road signs

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Contraloría General, the nation's financial watchdog, has given the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo approval to purchase raw materials to make directional signs.

The signs are supposed to help tourists, both national and international.

The material, mostly metals of copper, steel and aluminum will be purchased from the firm Abonos Agro for 190 million colons, some $377,000. The entire job, including fabrication and erection will cost 300 million, about $577,000.

Some 225 signs with coffee-colored backgrounds will point the way to national parks, reserves and other sites of tourist interest. Some 379 other signs will point the way to the nation's beaches, and 599 signs will be installed on the Interamerican north and Route 32 from San José to Limón.

The signs will be made of galvanized metal to reduce the temptation for thieves to steal them, tourism officials said. They said that galvanized metal is not recyclable.

Crew of 5 dumps packages
and sets the fastboat afire

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Yet another crew of a fastboat has fallen into police hands.

A U.S. Coast Guard unit on patrol offshore in the Pacific spotted such a boat, typical of drug smugglers Sunday and called in Costa Rican officials who launched an aircraft to track the vessel.

The crew of five dumped packages into the sea and then set the craft afire before fleeing in the vicinity of Playa Conchal. They were apprehended eventually by police units. The charred boat was recovered and still was afloat.

Some Costa Rican coast guardsmen were at sea attempting to locate the cargo from the boat. The packages are presumed to be cocaine.

Before the latest capture police were proud of having confiscated some 40 tons of cocaine, mostly from such fastboats on the Pacific. Depending on what is hauled out of the Pacific, that number may increase. Typically such boats carry between two and three tons of drugs.

Air passenger detained on drug count

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Another air passenger faces an allegation that he was smuggling narcotics. The Policía de Control de Drogas detained a Guatemalan man with the last names of Villatoro Argueta at Juan Santamaría airport. He was headed to Honduras, officers said.

The man, who is 31, was carrying some 795 grams of heroin attached to his body, they said. That's about 1.75 pounds.

Young men face murder counts

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Two brothers, believed to be members of the notorious Cueva de Sapo gang fell into police hands Friday. Both are facing murder allegations. One is 19 and his brother is 15, said a spokesman for the Ministerio Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública. Both men have the last names of Salinas Mendoza. They were apprehended in the La Carpio neighborhood in La Uruca.

Drag racers die in head-on crash

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Two men on motorcycles collided head-on with a vehicle Saturday night at Río Frio, Sarapiquí. Occupants of another motorcycle are believed to have fled. Officials say the two motorcycles were engaged in a drag race in the area and one strayed into the path of an oncoming vehicle. Three persons in the vehicle were injured. They went to the Hospital de Guápiles.

Have you seen these stories?

retirement gif rollover

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, Monday, Aug. 27, 2007, Vol. 7, No. 169

Spanish Eyes display ad
Azucarcr ad
It's the readers who make
A.M. Costa Rica
such a sensational
advertising vehicle

Insomniacs will get a chance to see total lunar eclipse here
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Earth's shadow will creep slowly across the surface of the Moon early Tuesday, culminating in a total eclipse.
If weather conditions are favorable, the eclipse will be visible in North and South America. East Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands will also be able to view the event if skies are clear.

The eclipse, although partial, will begin at 08:51 UTC   That's 2:51 a.m. Costa Rican time and Mountain daylight time in the United States. Sunrise will end the show for people in eastern North and South America. In east Asia, the moon will rise in various stages of eclipse. The eclipse is scheduled to end at 12:24 UTC, which is 6:24 a.m. Costa Rican time. 

An eclipse occurs when the Earth passes between the sun and the moon, blocking the sun's light. During the full eclipse, the moon will not be completely dark because some light still reaches it around the edges of the Earth.
eclipse here
NASA/A.M. Costa Rica graphic
Progress of the total eclipse is displayed here.

Costa Rica adds Lebanon to its list of states with which it maintains relations
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica and the Middle Eastern country of Lebanon have resumed diplomatic relations after a 23-year break. The official action came in New York at the United Nations where Jorge Urbina Ortega represented Costa Rica. He is the country's ambassador to the U.N.

The decision is part of a shift in Costa Rican foreign policy by President Óscar Arias Sánchez and his foreign minister, Bruno Stagno.

Middle Eastern Islamic states broke with Costa Rica because the country decided to install its embassy in Jerusalem instead of the more politically correct Tel Aviv. That happened in 1984. The decision took place during the administration of Luis Alberto Monge Álvarez. Arias
followed Monge as president but did nothing during his first presidential term from 1986 to 1990.

Last Aug. 16 Arias announced the move of the embassy to Tel Aviv and called the decision to locate the diplomatic seat in Jerusalem an historical error.

Since then Costa Rica has established relations with Jordan, Egypt, Kuwait, Bahrein and Yemen.

The pragmatic foreign policy also resulted in establishing diplomatic relations with Communist China last June 1 and the exodus of Taiwanese  diplomats from Costa Rica. Red China has just finished installing its embassy close to the Arias home in Rohrmoser, and Arias will visit China at the end of October as part of an extensive Asian trip, according to officials.

Multiple rabbits are a euphemism for duplicity and trickery
El que persigue a dos liebres no coge ninguna.
“One who chases after two hares catches neither.” This dicho has to do with duplicity, people who are double talkers, players of both sides of the coin, or who always try to please everyone.
Recently much new information has come to light concerning President Oscar Arias’s receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize back in 1987 for his having brought peace to
rabbits dancing
our region. This new information appears to indicate that Mr. Arias was by no means the only one who worked diligently for the peace accord in Central America.
Now Mr. Arias is busily trying to rebut statements made by the president of Nicaragua and the
former president of Guatemala concerning the assiduous efforts of many regional leaders back in the mid 1980s to end violence and foster peace in Central America. He appears to be pursuing two liebres; his place in history and his reputation for scrupulous honesty without turning himself into Pinocchio in the process.
This is one current example of trying to do too much with too little by attempting to please all factions at the same time. Let’s hope that for Costa Rica’s national dignity he is successful.
I have a friend who, when we meet someone new, always says how much he likes the person. But he also never fails to point out some rather indeterminate flaw in our new acquaintance’s character. He will say something like, “I can’t quite put my finger on it,” or “I don’t know just what it is, but . . . .” And I usually have the feeling that he’s really playing both sides of the coin so that should the new person actually turn out to be something of a heel, my friend will always be able to say “I told you so.”
Trust is a very important issue in interpersonal relations. But it is also important to understand that we are all humans and to be able to forgive one another our misdeeds. My friend,

way we say it

By Daniel Soto

who never seems to quite trust anyone, also has a very hard time forgiving others. He would rather simply erase them
from his life than to see their mistakes as human and forgive them as such. I believe at some point in his life perhaps he was deeply hurt by someone he trusted. I do understand his position, but I think I can be happier if I don’t pursue life as though it were an enormous emotional minefield.
A very wealthy lawyer of my acquaintance in the United States was once visiting us in Costa Rica when he asked me to help him to undertake a certain “deal.” I said I’d be willing to help him as long as everything was on the up and up. This fellow and his “deal” did not command my fullest confidence, so I kept careful records of all the translations I did for him, and especially any document that required my signature.
Sure enough this slightly shady “deal” fell through, and he was very upset. After returning to the States I never heard from him again.

Apparently he was only my friend so long as I was useful to him. In the beginning this hurt me, but now I feel I’m better off without such a duplicitous “friend” in my life.
You see, I’d much prefer having one nice cuddly little liebre, than a hundred of them hopping crazily all over the place.

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, Monday, Aug. 27, 2007, Vol. 7, No. 169

Some U.S. housing markets still are posting higher prices
By the A.M. Costa Rica stsaff
and wire service reports

North American home prices, the engine that fuels much of Costa Rica's housing boom, have dropped as much as 7 percent in some sections of the U.S. mainland, but prices still are climbing in other sections.

This is despite a credit crisis that may mean mortgage rate increases for some 2 million persons within the next two months.

With mortgage interest rates at historic lows, in many parts of the country prices of single-family homes doubled in the early part of this decade. Some homeowners cashed in, moved to Costa Rica and built here. Others refinanced their homes or obtained a second mortgage to purchase a condo or second vacation home, most likely on the Pacific Coast on in the central highlands.

But the boom is now over and prices in many U.S. regions have turned down.

Nationwide, U.S. home prices are 1.5 percent lower than a year ago. Regional differences are significant with prices still rising in Seattle, the San Francisco Bay area and Charlotte, North Carolina. But prices in the Midwest rust belt cities of Detroit and Cleveland are down 7 percent. Prices are also down in Phoenix, Las Vegas and most parts of Florida.

Stephen Frater, a New York Times reporter covering real estate in southwest Florida, says until 2006 home prices in the Sarasota-Bradenton area of Florida were rising 25 to 30 percent per year. "In a four- to five-year time frame prices doubled. And we've given back how much of that, I would say more than 10 percent, probably closer to 20 per cent," he said.

Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Bank in  
Pittsburgh, believes the credit squeeze is putting additional downward pressure on home prices. "And I think the decline in the housing market has a good bit further to go," he said.

As elsewhere, most Americans buy their homes with long-term mortgage loans. A high 70 percent of all American families own the homes in which they live. The fixed rate 30-year mortgage has become less of an industry standard as many home-buyers pay off their loans in 15 years or take adjustable rate mortgages, which at the beginning are often cheaper.

The credit squeeze occurred in large part because of trouble in sub-prime mortgages. These higher interest rate loans are offered to borrowers with poor credit histories. Until recently, many sub-prime loans had teaser rates where interest was waived or very low for the first few years. Many of these borrowers are now behind in their payments and repossessions are way up. An estimated two million borrowers in the next few months will have their interest rates reset to higher market levels.

Richard Berner, chief economist at Morgan Stanley in New York, says the credit squeeze is likely to make it harder for home buyers to get loans. "It's going to be an environment in which investors are going to be a lot more cautious. Credit officers will be a lot more cautious," he said.

Since a home is the principal asset of most Americans, if price declines take hold there is bound to be a political impact.

Most experts say the Federal Reserve Board will cut interest rates if the housing market remains weak. Fortunately for Costa Rica, sub-prime borrowers probably are not the individuals buying condos and vacation homes here. Real estate brokers here report sluggish sales, but they also report that buyers still are active but are taking longer to come up with the cash.  

Newspaper says Panamá mansion being readied for Noriega
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
and wire service reports

A U.S. judge has refused to block the extradition of former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega to France to face money laundering charges. At the same time the judge, William Hoeveler, also said that it is unclear if Panamá is actively seeking Noriega's return to face charges of embezzlement, corruption and murder.

But The Panamá News, an English-language online weekly, reported this week that workmen are fixing up the luxury mansion once occuped by Noriega. The newspaper also published a scathing Page One story in which it said the current regime of Martín Torrijos is "largely staffed by apparatchiki from the dictatorship" of Noriega.

Said the newspaper:

". . . in Altos de Golf, a group of laborers directed by an attorney for General Manuel Antonio Noriega is restoring a mansion where the former dictator used to live. Now isn't that strange? After the 1989 U.S. invasion the government expropriated the building because after lengthy hearings it was found that it had been acquired with the proceeds of illegal activity. The property was turned over to the Ministry of Finance.
"Ah, but the present Minister of Finance, Héctor Alexander, just happens to have been the Minister of Planning and Economic Policy when Noriega ran the government here."

The newspaper also accused government officials in Panamá of being involved in the use of hit men and national police officers to kill activists in the construction worker's union.
The federal judge in Miami rejected claims from lawyers for Noriega, who are seeking to block an extradition request from France. The lawyers filed motions in July, arguing that Noriega should be returned to Panamá, because he was declared a U.S. "prisoner of war" following his 1992 conviction on drug trafficking charges that followed the U.S. invasion of Panamá.

In his written decision, Hoeveler noted that the Geneva Convention on prisoners of war does not require that Noriega be repatriated, nor does it protect him from future prosecutions. The decision of where Noreiga will go now is left to the U.S. Department of State.

Noriega's lawyer, Frank Rubino, said he was disappointed by the ruling, and said Panama's government is partly to blame for failing to press its extradition claim. "Panama obviously is terrified and scared to death that Noriega would return to Panama, and that is why they have done nothing about getting his return," he said, in an apparent contradiction of the essence of the Panamá News story.

Noriega's lawyers have alleged that officials from France, Panamá and the United States have agreed to the French extradition, to save Panama's government from any political embarrassment. Panamanian officials say they have filed several extradition requests in the United States.
Rubino said he will consult with Noriega about filing another U.S. court motion or making a possible appeal to the United Nations to block the extradition. Noriega is set to be released from a U.S. prison Sept. 9, after serving 17 years of a drug sentence.

In France, a court already has issued a 10-year prison term against Noriega on charges of using millions of dollars in alleged drug money to buy luxurious apartments in Paris.

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, Monday, Aug. 27, 2007, Vol. 7, No. 169

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

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