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(506) 2223-1327                            Published Friday, Sept. 5, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 176                                Email us
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There is a full month of celebrations for children
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

There's music, theater, workshops and even a circus to celebrate the Día de la Niñez or children's day.

Although the actual day is Tuesday, Sept. 9, the celebration starts at a more convenient time this weekend.

The Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud has announced a program that goes until the end of the month.

The Centro Cultural e Histórico José Figueres in San Ramón has a show that covers children's literature.  It is “Carrusel” featuring the Marquesina Compañía Teatral. The free show is Saturday at 3 p.m.

The Banda de Conciertos de Cartago has a special concert planned for Sunday at 11 a.m. at the  Anfiteatro Municipal de Cartago, The Banda de Conciertos de Limón plans a show, “Una tarde en el Circo” with a circus theme at 4 p.m. Sunday in Parque Vargas, Limón Centro.

The Banda de Guanacaste plays Tuesday at 8 p.m. in the Escuela Aplicación on Liberia.  
The Banda de San José will celebrate the day Sept. 28 with a concert in the Museo Nacional.

The Teatro Nacional is combining children's day with its usual theater at noon. The show Tuesday will be “Sonrisa de Tiburón” by a group called EX – ánima. The theme is respect for endangered sea creatures. There is an admission.

The Centro Alajuelense de la Cultura also has a free activity Tuesday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  It is a musical presentation by the Sistema Nacional de Educación Musical, a workshop for children, including face painting.

The Teatro Popular Melico Salazar plans an entire month for children until Sept. 27. There will be a number of shows.

Sept. 21 children are invited to travel with gata Suchi as she tries to find her way out of a forest.
The character meets forest creatures and learns a lot about the wild. The show is at the Sala Juan Enrique Acuña in the Museo Calderón Guardia in Barrio Escalante. The presentation is by the Teatro PLUIE. There is an admission.

Two held in case of skimmed debit cards at ATMs
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Investigators detained two men Thursday on allegations that they used cameras and electronic devices to steal data from debit cards at automatic tellers.

The crime involved the use of so-called skimmers that are inserted into the opening where debit cards are inserted. A bank customer inserts his card unknowingly over the device, which then steals the information on the magnetic band of the card.

In addition, the Judicial Investigating Organization said that crooks placed tiny cameras at automatic tellers to videotape the personal identification numbers that customers used.

Roberto Méndez, director of security at Banco Nacional, applauded the arrests and said that the crooks were spotted by the bank's own cameras.

One of the men arrested is from the Czech Republic. The other is from Romania.

Judicial investigators said they had been working on the case for nearly a year.

Two raids took place in San Pedro. Agents said they obtained fake debit cards, the devices used for skimming, tiny cameras, machines used to copy credit card information and even clothing
skimmers and cables
Judicial Investigating Organization photo
Confiscated skimmer and cables

that matched that worn by crooks caught on the bank cameras.

Investigators estimated the loss as a result of the skimming at 110 million colons or about $200,000 from the accounts of about 250 bank customers.

Well known to police agencies is that there is a large, organized gang of European computer savvy crooks who practice these types of frauds.


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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Sept. 5, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 176

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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.

Lucinda Gray, Ph.D.
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Legal services

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Legal – Financial Adviser

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Avoid Real Estate scams, get independent advice and have due diligence performed before signing or making a deposit.

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Remodelling and Construction

Real estate agents and services

CR Beach
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Police report arrests in San Carlos sweep

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The major police deployment in San Carlos has resulted in six arrests for persons sought on warrants. The Fuerza Pública put more officers in the community and setup multiple checkpoints after the municipal council complained about crimes.

Police said they confiscated three motorcycles, two vehicles and even three cows.

The report Thursday also said that police turned up one illegal firearm, marijuana and a small amount of cocaine.

Checkpoints were in Río Cuarto de Grecia, Alfaro Ruiz, Guatuso, Ciudad Quesada, the tourism center of  La Fortuna, Florencia and San Carlos.

Police said they checked nearly 1,000 persons.

At a meeting Wednesday police officials promised a series of sweeps and even said that the security ministry's air wing, the Servicio de Vigilancia Aérea, would participate.

San Ramón group helping students

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The Community Action Alliance in San Ramón is working with Escuela Jorge Washington to raise funds for students whose economic situation does not enable them to pay normal school fees. Many of the students come from single-parent homes with difficult financial conditions, the organization said.

The school fees contribute to the school’s annual expenditures from administrative expenses to graduation costs.

There are two fundraisers in the next three months. The first is a Desayuno Tipico on Sept. 14 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the school. The cost is 3,000 colons per person, a bit less than $6. This is the first time that the school has done a fundraising breakfast. The Community Action Alliance is supporting the event by promoting ticket sales to its members.  They can be reserved by email here: For questions about the event, the public can contact Marielos Montero at 8309-5370 or 8817-1875 at Jorge Washington.

The second and larger fundraising event is scheduled for mid-November and will mark the 75th Anniversary of the school. The Community Action Alliance is co-sponsoring this family event with Jorge Washington, and will be participating in the planning, food preparation, overall promotion, and ticket sales. Funds raised at this event will benefit the school’s 5th graders, and the basketball association’s new court project. The fundraiser details will be announced at the end of September.

Community Action Alliance said it is a group of San Ramón area expats and locals volunteering together for community enrichment.

Internet crooks still have their tricks

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The security ministry has issued another warning because crooks still are stealing items that persons advertise on the Internet.

A summary said that the items taken include motorcycles and electronic articles.

The crooks use various tricks to get the items away from the owner. In some cases, the crook will show up and ask to make a test ride with the motorcycle that is for sale. He never returns.

In one unusual case, police officers determined that a motorcycle the crook took had been stolen from someone else in the same manner.

To steal a computer or a television set, the crook arranges a meeting in some public place. The crook fails to show up on time and asks that the item be left at a nearby store. The store clerks usually are innocent parties who let an accomplice take the item when the owner is distracted.

In some cases, legitimate messengers are employed to pick up and deliver items to the crooks. Police issued warnings to messengers earlier this year.

Those who are victimized usually are those advertising on social networks or in online classifieds. Investigations have shown that the person managing the crimes can be a prisoner in one of the country's penitentiaries.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Sept. 5, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 176
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Costa Rica appears to be slightly below average in rate of suicides
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Despite its claim to be the happiest country, Costa Rica is around average in the rate of suicides, according to a comprehensive report issued this week by the World Health Organization.

In 2012 there were 331 listed suicides in Costa Rica with most of the deaths, some 278, being men.  The rate per thousand was 6.9 and there was a 3.7 percent reduction from 2000 to 2012, according to the country's records published in the U.N. agency's first global report on suicide prevention. Male suicides were down 7.9 percent while those by females were up 24.6 percent.

Nicaragua had 9.1 suicides per 100,000 in the same year with a total of 547. Panamá was lower at 4.5 suicides per 100,000 of population with 160 suicides. Honduras had a suicide rate of 4.9 per 100,000 of population with 386 suicides.

El Salvador appeared to have the highest rate in Central America with 12.8 suicides per 100,000 of population. There were 906 suicides there in 2012, the report said.  Guatemala has a 7.3 per 100,000 rate of suicides with 1,101 deaths

Elsewhere, Cuba had a 14.6 rate of suicides per 100,000 with 1,648.

In the Americas, the average estimated suicide rate is 7.3 per 100,000 inhabitants, which is lower than in other World Health  regions and lower than the global average of 11.4 per 100,000, said the report. However, Guyana has the highest estimated suicide rate for 2012 in the world, and Suriname has the sixth-highest. Data from the Americas show that suicide rates first peak among young people, remain at the same level for other age groups, and rise again among older men.

In general, more men die by suicide than women. In countries of the Americas, rates range two to six times higher for men than for women.

More than 800,000 people around the world die from suicide every year, according to the report. Some 75 percent of suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries.

“Unfortunately, suicide all too often fails to be prioritized as a major public health problem,” said World Health Director-General Margaret Chan. “Despite an increase in research and knowledge about suicide and its prevention, the taboo and stigma surrounding
Suicide rates based on 2012 data
Rate per
Costa Rica
El Salvador
Source: World Health Organization

suicide persist, and often people do not seek help or are left alone. And if they do seek help, many health systems and services fail to provide timely and effective help.”

Suicide occurs all over the world and can take place at almost any age, the report said. Globally, rates of suicide are highest in people aged 70 years and over. In some individual countries, however, the highest rates are found among the young. Notably, suicide is the second-leading cause of death in 15- to 29-year-olds globally.

Pesticide poisoning is one of the most common methods of suicide, especially in low- and middle-income countries, and accounts for one-third of cases globally, the report said. The relatively high proportion of suicides by firearms in high-income countries is primarily driven by high-income countries in the Americas, where firearms account for 46 percent of all suicides, the report said. In high-income countries outside the Americas, firearms account for only 4.5 percent of suicides. Evidence shows that limiting access to the means of suicide can help prevent such deaths, as can a commitment by national governments to the establishment and implementation of coordinated plans of action, said the agency.

The world suicide report seeks to make suicide a priority on the global public health agenda, said the agency. The report’s launch comes just a week before World Suicide Prevention Day, observed on Sept. 10 each year to provide an opportunity for joint action to raise awareness about suicide and its prevention around the world, said the agency.

The report in English is HERE!

Another illegal rural still goes up in flames during police raid
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Bootlegged alcohol always is dangerous, but the still police knocked over Thursday night was downright unhealthy. Even the Fuerza Pública officers said so.

The still was in a mountainous area of Valverde Vega in Alajuela province. Police said the owner of the property did not know of the operation.

No one was there when police arrived. They said they received a tip. They said they found large containers for fermentation and other devices used in making alcohol. All were in deplorable condition.

The scene was something like rural stills during the era of U.S. Prohibition. Police torched much of the combustibles.

At the very least bootlegged alcohol can cause blindness. There have been several cases in Central America in the last few years where dozens of persons died.

By contrast, police and tax agents sometimes raid sophisticated bootlegging operations, usually in the cities.  One setup in Tibás was duplicating the container and label of a popular brand of guaro.
got guaro?
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo
Police torched everything that could burn.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Sept. 5, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 176
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U.N. agency says that violence against children is widespread globally
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A new report from the United Nations children’s agency says violence against children is widespread across the globe.  Among the disturbing findings, some 95,000 minors were murdered in 2012, and 120 million girls have experienced sexual violence.

"Just because we do not always see violence against children does not mean it does not exist."  This is the message of a new report by the United Nations Children's Fund called “Hidden in Plain Sight,” which analyzes violence against children in 190 countries.

The agency's deputy executive director, Geeta Rao Gupta, said Thursday that violence plagues children around the world, regardless of their economic and social circumstances, culture, religion or ethnicity.

“It takes many forms: physical, sexual, emotional.  It occurs in places where children should be safe: their homes, schools and communities. Increasingly, it happens over the Internet.  And it is perpetrated by family members and teachers, neighbors and strangers, and other children," said Ms. Gupta.

Violence often starts in the home.  Researchers found that nearly one billion children worldwide are subjected to physical punishment by
their parents or caregivers on a regular basis.  Children also
experience violence at school, with one in three adolescents saying they were routinely bullied.  And, according to the U.N. researchers, 120 million girls under age 20 have been subjected to forced sexual intercourse or other sexual acts.
Such abuse becomes normal and pervades attitudes, with the study finding that half of all teenage girls worldwide believe that a husband is sometimes justified in hitting or beating his wife.

Report author Claudia Cappa said that even if one child is harmed through an act of violence, it is one child too many.

“Violence against children does not only inflict pain and humiliation, it kills children.  In 2012 alone, approximately 95,000 children and adolescents under age 20 were killed by homicides," said Ms. Cappa.

The report’s authors said efforts need to be made to change social attitudes about hitting children, and positive discipline methods need to be taught to lower the risk of violence in the home.

Services also need to be provided for children who have experienced psychological or physical abuse, and laws and policies that are meant to protect children must be enforced and implemented.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

Will Costa Rica Retirement Work For You?
Find out for yourself on Live In Costa Rica Tours

When you visit Costa Rica, you'll want to discover what you need to know to  make the right choice about moving to this tropical paradise.  Our familiarization tours have won hard-earned credentials that prove general excellence and the right focus.  These are the only retirement tours that are licensed and approved by the Costa Rican government and tourism institute  (ICT). In 2006 we were featured on the NBC Today Show and World News.  In 2010, we won the  prestigious Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the Best and Most Unique Tour in Latin America.

   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
   * Find out how to live affordably
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Anywhere Costa Rica plans custom vacations, and has the most comprehensive travel services in the country including travel guides, resorts and vacation homesCosta Rica tours
and car rentals.  
Call 1-888.456.3212 or 2479-8811 locally.

Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
at the largest gallery in Guanacaste.

The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is a great place to find quality remembrances of Costa Rica to take home or to decorate your home or office in Costa Rica.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever.  With more than 60 artists on exhibit and fine art in 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we are easy to locate just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport. Visit our Web site at
or contact us by email:   
Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tel. 2667-0592 / 8386-6872; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073. International shipping available.

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

 (as reported by the moving companies)
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.


Here's reasonable medical care
Costa Rica's world class medical specialists are at your command. Get the top care for much less than U.S. prices. It is really a great way to spend a vacation. See our list of recommended professionals HERE!amcr-prom

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See our listing of real estate brokers on the for-sale page.

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oranic farm
$800 plus utilities, 2-bedroom, 2-bath house, fully furnished, elecricity and Internet included, cable TV available. Inside organic farm, safe and secure. In the country but close to town. Santa Barbara de Heredia,  Email for more info and pictures. Long term, NO DOGS.

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for your stay in this beautiful part of Costa Rica.
We are offering homes for every budget and every need.
Please visit our Web page at or contact us at
or call at (506) 2654-5442.

eredia home
Beautiful house for rent in Heredia
On a large property surrounded by fruit trees and garden and on bus line. Fully furnished, complete laundry room, two bedrooms, plus extra room for office.  Security, electric gate,  Internet available.  Located in Monte de la Cruz, San Rafael de Heredia. $500 monthly.  Call Leda (506) 2267-6306   Email

MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

Villas Casa Loma has everything you are looking for.  Best vistas, climate, value.  Four unique homes in a secure private compound on a ridge near Alajuela overlooking the entire Central Valley.  Two are available fully furnished and equipped, each a complete home accommodating 4 persons in two bedrooms with ensuite baths.  Pool, rancho, mirador, other features.  Ask about part-month rates.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.

HP Cattle rentals
Mountain homes or farm for rent
Barva volcano, Heredia province
We offer for rent a gorgeous two-bedroom mountain chalet and a one-bedroom mountain home located on the slopes of the Barva Volcano, Heredia Province. The homes are situated at 7,300 feet altitude and within a working horse ranch just three kilometers from the Braulio Carrillo National Park entrance. From our homes one can hike to the Barva volcano crater-lake.  Enjoy a spacious living room, kitchen, fireplace and breathtaking views of the Irazú volcano and the Central Valley. Observe dozens of cloud forest bird species to include the resplendent quetzal.  The homes are incomparable in beauty and attention to detail within the Barva highland area.  We are only 35-55 minutes from Costa Rica’s three principal cities (Heredia, Alajuela, and San José), less than two hours from the central Pacific beaches, and three hours from the Caribbean beaches. Enjoy the tranquility of the mountains while maintaining quick access to the conveniences of the city and rapid access to other eco-tourist destinations in Costa Rica. Additionally, we can board your horses at a reasonable fee.  We can also offer our clients rental of a small and fully functional farm complete with stables, pasture, and office space.
Mountain chalet: $750.  Basic mountain home: $400.
Boutique mountain home: One-bedroom $850. Two-bedroom $1,000.
Small Farm that includes a chalet, basic mountain home, stables, and 8,000m2 of pasture/green areas: $1,500.

Apartments Lemur
Apartment Lemur for rent
San Francisco de Dos Rios, El Bosque, furnished, 2-bedroom, 1-bath apartment, quiet area, free cable TV, WiFi. large patio area, swimming pool, parking, security. Close to San José. $440/month. Retired persons preferred. Call 8375-6838.

Beautiful 2-bedroom 2-bathroom American-style apartments with an elevator to your front door in a secure building located in Gringo Gulch the American Section of downtown San José. Costa Rica. Located between the Hotel Del Rey, the Hotel Mona Lisa and the Sportsman's Lodge and The Zona Blue (AKA) Little Habana across the street from Harry's Poas Bar, and next to the Holiday Inn.
apartment view
 There are 15 restaurants and American- style bars on this block and four supermarkets within a few blocks. There are 5 casinos within 2 blocks and dozens of hotels around this apartment. Included in your rental price, fast Internet, the best they have in Costa Rica, cable TV with 80 stations, water, washer
 and dryer. All you pay extra for is electricity. You have your own meter and receive a bill from the electric company every month.  This apartment has a American-style hot water system, hot water in both bathrooms and the kitchen. There is a 25-foot balcony to sit on and watch the people in San José walk by. The neighborhood Barrio Amón is the safest in San José For photos and more information contact:

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A.M. Costa Rica's   Fifth news page

cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Sept. 5, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 176
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Obama is urged to take action
to fix U.S. immigration mess

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez and several U.S. religious leaders are calling on President Barack Obama to take executive actions soon to fix the U.S. immigration system, after Congress failed to pass comprehensive reform legislation.

Other Democratic lawmakers in tough re-election races, however, have asked the president to delay any executive action on immigration until after the November midterm elections, frustrating immigrants' rights activists. 

Obama and some of his senior advisers are now said to be engaged in an internal debate about when to move on executive action on deportations and how to deal with the influx of children from Central America at the U.S. southern border.

The president had said in June that he would announce executive actions by the end of the summer, but now the White House says the decision could come later.  One of the leading advocates for immigrants' rights in Congress, Gutierrez, is calling on Obama to stand up for what he believes in.

"Because it is better the president make the decision now, clearly before the American public, in a transparent manner, before the election," he said.

Gutierrez called on Democrats who are reportedly asking for a delay to not block action on the issue, saying Democrats cannot stand with immigrants only when it is politically expedient.

Clarissa Martinez de Castro of the National Council of La Raza agrees.

"We are deeply disappointed to hear that some may be advocating for a delay in the president moving forward with his long-awaited announcement on executive action on immigration," she said.

The U.S. Senate passed comprehensive immigration reform legislation more than a year ago, but the House of Representatives failed to hold a vote on broad reforms.  In July, the House instead passed a bill that focused on boosting border security. 

A group of religious leaders has written the president to ask him to ensure that the rights of children are not lost in the broad political debate on immigration.  One of them, Sister Simone Campbell of the Catholic group Network, has been working to help unaccompanied children at the border. She said she is disappointed in the House vote.

"They took the approach of rolling back protections for those who are the most vulnerable.  That is not who we are as a nation," Campbell said.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon, a Republican, said a 2008 law to protect children from human trafficking needs to be revised, because the measure is motivating Central American children to risk their lives to come to the United States.

"The problem is a refugee problem down at the border right now.  And the president, a couple of weeks ago told us that he would support changing that 2008 law, and now they are against it, so he changed his mind," he said.

Experts say it is unclear exactly what type of reforms the president may enact, ranging from increasing the number of green cards offered, which allow foreigners to live and work in the United States, to deferring deportations for undocumented immigrants.

Any executive actions the president takes could be reversed by Congress.

Pharmacist for drug firm
held in case of tainted shots

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. officials have arrested a senior pharmacist of the company linked to a 2012 outbreak of fungal meningitis that was blamed for 64 deaths.

Officials say Glenn Adam Chin, a former supervisory pharmacist at a Boston-area facility, did not properly sterilize or test equipment, and concealed the unsafe practices.

Chin has been charged with mail fraud in connection with shipping 17,000 tainted vials that were sent to more than 76 facilities in 23 U.S. states.

About 750 people in 20 states contracted infections after receiving injections of preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate, produced by Chin's employer. It was the worst meningitis outbreak in U.S. history.

Chin was arrested Thursday at Boston's international airport. Authorities say the criminal investigation of Chin and others associated with the outbreak is ongoing, but federal prosecutors decided to charge and arrest Chin after learning he was planning to leave the country.

Chin's defense attorney said he had no intention of fleeing the country and was merely traveling to Hong Kong with his family to attend a wedding.

Drexel University graphic
Giant dino looked something like this.

Big dino was still youngster
even though big as a house

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

About 77 million years after being buried in a flash flood, one of the most massive creatures ever to walk the earth has been recovered and described by scientists from Philadelphia's Drexel University.

Kenneth Lacovara, who led the team, estimates the 26-meter-long Dreadnoughtus schrani weighed more than 59,000 kilograms when alive, and was not yet full grown.

Its fossilized remains, excavated in southern Argentina between 2005 and 2009, include more than 70 percent of the bones, more than any other skeleton of the huge plant-eaters.  That gives researchers a rare opportunity to study the anatomy, growth rate, and biomechanics of this dinosaur species, known as titanosaurs.

Lacovara says he imagines the dinosaur spent most of its day eating, in order to take in all the calories it needed.

Lacovara notes that with a body as large as a house, weighing as much as a herd of elephants and swinging a weaponized tail, Dreadnoughtus would not have feared any other creature, so he named it after the battleships of a century ago, which were huge, iron-clad and virtually impervious.

Virginia ex-governor, wife
found guilty of corruption

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A former U.S. governor and his wife are facing decades in prison after a jury ruled Thursday that they took bribes from a businessman.

Virginia's ex-governor Bob McDonnell was convicted of 11 corruption charges after accepting loans, luxury clothes, and trips in exchange for promoting a dietary supplement company. His wife was found guilty of nine similar counts.

Once a rising star in the Republican party, McDonnell was governor of the southern U.S. state from 2010 until his indictment in January.

The 60-year-old and his wife, Maureen, accepted $177,000 from vitamin executive Jonnie Williams. Those gifts included an $11,000 dress purchase at Oscar de la Renta and nearly $6,000 at Louis Vuitton.

Williams also gave the politician an engraved Rolex with the words "71st governor of Virginia."

McDonnell paid back part of the sum. But that did not stop prosecutors from pursuing charges.

The couple will be sentenced in January They each face up to 30 years in prison on most of the counts.

Nevada lures battery firm
with years of tax incentives

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Electric car company Tesla will build a $5 billion battery factory in Nevada after accepting a hefty incentives package from the U.S. state.

Nevada beat out Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas for the Tesla plant by offering $1 billion to the company over the next 20 years, mainly in the form of tax breaks.

In exchange, Tesla is projected to create more than 22,000 jobs, including 6,500 permanent positions at the so-called gigafactory.

It is also expected to bring in $100 billion to the state's economy in the coming decade.

The battery plant is a joint venture between Japanese electronics giant Panasonic and the California-based Tesla. The pair are looking to build a new generation of electric vehicles at a lower price by 2017 using batteries produced at the Nevada facility.

Fast-food workers protest
and seek higher salaries

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Thousands of protesters gathered at fast food restaurants around the United States Thursday to demand a higher minimum wage for American workers.  In the absence of action by Congress, the debate over raising the minimum wage is taking place city by city and state by state.

Thursday's protests by fast food workers in major American cities, like the one in Atlanta, were billed as the largest yet.  They are part of an ongoing effort to raise the pay of those who work in restaurants and other small businesses.

This past Monday, which was celebrated as Labor Day in the United States, President Barack Obama added his voice to the chorus.

“All across the country right now, there is a national movement going on made up of fast food workers organizing to lift wages so they can provide for their families with pride and dignity," he said. "There is no denying a simple truth:  America deserves a raise."

The national minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. 

But the minimum wage is higher in some cities and states, such as California, where workers earn at least $9 an hour.  The city of Seattle has the highest minimum, at $15 an hour, which the protesters want to peg as a national rate. 

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti wants to raise his city's lowest wage to $13.25 an hour within three years.  He also spoke to workers on Labor Day.

“It is a crime for people to live in this rich nation and receive starvation wages," said Garcetti. "So today we agree it is time to 'raise the wage L.A.'”

U.S. Small Business Administration chief Maria Contreras-Sweet says there is opposition in Congress to any raise.  She spoke Wednesday after addressing the civic group Town Hall Los Angeles.

“The president announced a 10-10, meaning $10.10 minimum wage, but we understand that throughout the country, there are different economic situations and standards," she said. "And because Congress is not acting, so many mayors and states are taking their own action."

Many small business owners are on the other side of the issue.  Freeman Ho owns an auto repair shop near Los Angeles and has mixed feelings about raising the pay of his workers.

“If the labor rate, labor charge is up, we have to multiply more charging to the customer," he said.

But Ho says workers need more than the current minimum to support their families.

“So at least buying food or the other things, it will give them more chances, I mean purchase power," he said.

Many Americans work long hours for little pay, says Rusty Hicks of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.

“And if you work full time, you work 40 hours a week, you should be able to support yourself, support your family, and contribute to your community," he said.

Business groups and many Republicans in Congress say raising the minimum wage will force employers to reduce their work force and hurt those at the bottom of the pay scale.

Supporters of pay hikes counter that a rise in the minimum wage will boost the U.S. economy and give needed help to the nation's most vulnerable workers.

U.S. jobless applicants rise
as exports improve slightly

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

United States companies hired fewer workers than expected during the month of August, and July's U.S. trade deficit fell to its lowest level since January, reflecting a greater demand for U.S. exports.

The Labor Department says applications for jobless benefits rose to 302,000 last week, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week. But the number of those receiving unemployment aid last week was the lowest since June 2007.

The data was released ahead of the government's official report which comes out today.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department reported the U.S. trade deficit fell 0.6 percent in July to $40.5 billion.

Exports of automobiles, parts, engines and industrial supplies increased 0.9 percent to $198 billion. Imports also rose 0.7 percent to $238.6 billion with added shipments of industrial supplies, cars and food.

Additionally, the Commerce Department report showed the trade deficit with China rose 2.7 percent to a $30.9 billion, which is a record monthly high.


Real estate-related services (paid category)

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

Swimming pool at night
A Buyer’s Broker offering the best
of Costa Rica Real Estate.
For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 4030-5480 or 8339-2112.

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Re/Max, the Pacific coast expert

Re/Max offers comprehensive Costa Rica Real Estate, vacation rental and relocation services. Our award-winning team is the largest in the country, and can show you the best lifestyle and financial investment properties in the most desirable locations including prime real estate in Tamarindo, Langosta, Conchal, Flamingo, Pinilla, Coco, Hermosa and Playa Panama.  Give us a call in Costa Rica at 506-2653-0073, or toll free from the U.S. and Canada 1-800-385-5930. Re/Max, the name you trust for the finest real estate services in Costa Rica.

Moran Arenal
Lake Arenal, Costa Rica
The undiscovered jewel of Central America, 35 square miles of blue, pristine, clear water ideal for fishing, swimming, boating, Real estate values still low.
Great lake front, river front land, farms, homes, condos and commercial property. Some with owner financing
This is far and away the most beautiful place in all Central America — cool climate. Try our two-day, all-inclusive discovery tour for $299.

Check with our Web site at
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
Moran logo

Costa Rica,

Central America
Houses, lots and farms in Grecia,
western Central Valley.
Great climate
and safe communities.

Visit our Web Site:

English calls: (Cristian Arce) Phone: 
(506) 2494-0016  
English calls :  (Luis David) Phone: 
(506) 8331-5228

Español calls: (Luis G. Jiménez)  Phone:   
(506) 8707-4016
house 865
Beautiful chalet in Grecia, with the best fresh natural weather, 1.040 m2 of land, Price $135.000. Click HERE!
House 868
Beautiful house  in Grecia, with the best fresh natural weather, 810 m2 of land, Price $178.000. Click HERE!
House 866
Beautiful large house  in Grecia, with the best fresh natural weather,1.006 m2 of land, Price $290.000.  HERE!
  Send us your request to our email:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

house photo
More photos HERE!
Another 'live in the view' home in Puriscal
$179,900 includes:
Lot on river, concrete road, custom kitchen & bath with granite counter tops, PEX plumbing, 2” Styrofoam, sandwiched in steel roof, 4” concrete/recycled Styrofoam & steel walls, laminated, bronzed windows, custom wood doors, appliances and all transfer taxes, and fees.

2, 900 sq feet under roof, 1,250 sq feet inside walls, 2 bedroom, 2 ½ baths, laundry room, three separate patio areas, covered carport, shade trees, in upscale, secure project.  This project has river with protected areas & walkways. It is only 10 minutes on all paved roads to Santiago de Puriscal, 45 minutes to La Plaza Mall/Hospital CIMA and SJO airport, and 1 ½ hours to Pacific Beaches. It has recently upgraded public water supply and dependable ICE electric and high-speed internet.
Please come visit our projects and meet four new homeowners who have recently moved into their new “live in the view” homes to verify how happy they are and that they all came in under budget. CONTACT: George Lundquist  Home phone: 2417-1041 Cell phone: 8888 4543 Skype glundquist.
To see more Photos of this house, click HERE!

Beautiful home and separate apartment
The land is 289 square meters with  329 square meters of construction. Three bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, 2 floors, covered parking, with room for  a second parking space. A first floor patio and a second floor balcony with view. Attached apartment rented for $500 per month. Live free. House valued, @ $330,000. asking price with agents is $295,000. With no agent, asking $279,000, negotiable. Must see to appreciate,  Contact: Wayne Winstead,, 8820-1501/8379-7947

Farm montage

Guanacaste, Liberia Farm
$64,000 NEGOTIABLE and owner financing available.
9 hectares (24 acres). Riverfront property and amazing views of 3 volcanoes.


Beach Front Home - Central Pacific Coast
Pristine condition, recently renovated. The best surfing and boogie boarding in the country. The most magnificent ocean and sunset view. New 20-year, fully registered concession on one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. Easy access from San José (1 hour 25 minutes) located between Jacó and Manuel Antonio, in Esterillos Oeste.  2 or 3 bedrooms. Center room can be living room. House with 2 1/2 baths. Separated rancho with kitchen and large entertainment patio. Landscaped garden with no water shortage. Has both municipal and well water with automatic watering system. Direct access to the beach as no road is in front of property. Protected land on one side of the property for additional privacy.  Alarm system and complete shutters for security while away. Lot approximately 1,725 square meters, Asking price: $385.000.  Contact to Paul at local phone 506- 2637-8858  Cell phone 506- 8823-8550 .  US Mobile 908-400-9772  Emails:  and

New 5,000-sq. ft. home in the middle of coffee plantation
Superb mountain views and privacy. 3.3-acre property on top of mountain. 15 minutes from local shopping. One hour from all San José has to offer. Two hours from the beaches and attractions at Quepos. Balconies for each bedroom, two large decks with stunning mountain views, octagonal gazebo, extensive rock walls and landscaping. Surrounded by trees. New home never lived in. Very quiet mountain location in exclusive coffee farm area. Two-story open dining and living room with guest bath. Spiral staircase leads to common area for parties, etc. Has room with bar and another spiral staircase leads to the skydeck. This is a balcony high up above the house that has extensive mountain views. All ceilings are wood accented with large beams. Balconies are tile and the decks are stained teak. Decks have balustrades. The second floor balcony and common area have custom wrought iron. All services available from satellite Sky TV, to high-speed Internet. All block and steel construction. Many hiking trails and rainforest zone a few miles away. If nature, quiet life and privacy is your thing, this could be for you. Juan Santamaria SJO Airport 1 hour 15 minutes away. $470,000. Picture gallery emailed on request to serious inquiries. Contact Jim Alfaro,   Cell 8714-8274.

Condo montage
Cariari luxury condo for sale
This is not an ordinary condo.
Completed one year ago, a $45,000 renovating made it an exquisite dwelling. As soon as you walk in you know it is a special home. No detail has been overlooked, even minuscule ones. The owner has a need to move on, and someone lucky will be the beneficiary of the fine detailed work. The home itself has three bedrooms, two and half bathrooms plus a maid’s quarters with its own bathroom. Also, it has a living room, dining room and a gorgeous kitchen with a kitchenette. There’s also a small outdoor patio. Being the end unit of this four-home condo complex, there’s parking space for three vehicles.  Approximately 240 sq. meters. All this near the Cariari Golf and Country Club and its renowned Tom Facio golf course. The club also has amenities such as a fitness centre, exercise room, Olympic swimming pool, sauna, 12 tennis courts and many other benefits. Tel:  8384-9608 or 2293-9054  Price $214,500.


Spectacular view property on a ridge near Alajuela.  Large home and 3 rental homes totaling 7,300 square feet (678 square meters) live-in construction.  Property area is 3,376 square meters (0.83 acres) including a vacant lot for expansion options.  In total there are 10 bedrooms, each with an ensuite bath.  Property has pool, rancho, mirador, courtyard and covered parking.  Homes have romantic fireplaces, built-ins, storage, other luxury features.  Turnkey sale includes all appliances, furniture, fixtures, equipment.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

A perfect ranch in Cariari, Guápiles
Fertile 42.5 hectares (about 105 acres) with a clean river and a natural spring of good water. Perfect for cattle or horses. Property faces a main road and contains corral and living quarters. Special price: $200,000 for a quick sale.. Call (506) 8383-3104 or write

ARenal property
Location: Near Arenal        Price: $2.7 million
Size: 113 acres
Web site:

The farm is at the highest point on a stunning ridge bordered by pristine Costa Rican primary forest on all sides of the property, with active wildlife all throughout the area. On each of its gently rolling terraced lomas you get a glimpse of Volcán Arenal from a distance. This property has four different lagunas, a working organic farm and nursery, mature fruit trees, sheep corral, ideal for grazing horses with stunning views from all the hillsides. The Northern Zone of Costa Rica is the country's best kept secret, providing a perfect home base location to travel the country's many destinations while still maintaining the best climate at 400 meters above sea level.

Twice the Security & Prestige for Half the Cost

The only private guarded development in El Castillo
• 50% off for limited time only   • $26/square meter
• Neighbors are $80/square meter  • Incredible view
Clubhouse, pool, equestrian, country club
Only 2 remaining
Secure a spot in a million dollar neighborhood for under $100k
 Free architecture services
•  Full commission paid to brokers   • Financing available
Email or call the 24-hour recorded message for full info   CR: 4000-1983 (English/Español)
USA: 619-800-8550 (English only)

Tiliran property
Turnkey commercial/apartment building for sale in San Luis, Tilaran, Guanacaste. In a corporation. 100 percent occupancy and all permits in place. Great opportunity to gain investor status residency. New construction - 2012. Consists of three studio apartments upstairs with lake view and 4 storefronts on ground level, including laundry service, soda, consignment store. Comes with purchase or start your own business while you live in one of the apartments. $308,000. Please email

Ad three graphics
Tropical lots located walking distance to a beautiful white sandy beach
Only $49,999 with interest-free financing
These lots are located in a gated, private community with low HOA dues and offer amenities including a pool & rancho.  It is located close to Playa Conchal and Pirates beaches.  And only 20 minutes to the resort town of Tamarindo and an hour from Liberia International airport. Reserve your lot with only a $1,500 deposit.  We are offering Interest-free financing for 5 years for a limited time only. Contact: Christian 
U.S. (732) 962-6525 or CR (506) 8349-2025

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For Sale: Fully Furnished OCEAN VIEW CONDOMINIUM
Reduced $199,999
Gorgeous 2-bedroom, 2-bath condo with private terrace offering spectacular ocean views and built energy green. This condo is located in a gated community with low HOA dues and offers amenities including a pool & rancho.  It is located close to a beautiful white, sandy beach. Only 20 minutes to the resort town Tamarindo and an hour from Liberia airport.  Luxury finishings: Pella double pane windows, AC & ceiling fans, Frigidaire stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, marble bathroom vanities, custom cabinets. Contact or email 
U.S. (732) 962-6525 or CR (506) 8349-2025

Ad one grpahics
For Sale by Owner: Playa Conchal ocean view home reduced $339,999

Casa de Eden is  2,600 square feet with 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath, outdoor shower, private outdoor terrace and pool located only minutes from Playa Conchal.  The home is in a private, secure, gated community surrounded by nature and close to the resort town of Tamarindo, only an hour from Liberia airport.  The home is being offered fully furnished with: AC & ceiling fans, Frigidaire Professional series stainless steel appliances, granite kitchen countertops, marble bathroom vanities, custom wood cabinetry, internet, cable. 
Contact  U.S. (732) 984-7549
or CR (506) 8349-2025.

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

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A.M. Costa Rica's
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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Sept. 5, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 176
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Ecuador's media attacks condemned

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The Human Rights Foundation said Thursday that it condemns the systematic attacks on press freedom and the climate of self-censorship in which independent media operates as a result of government actions in Ecuador.

The Organic Law of Communications, enacted in June 2013, restricts the type of information that can be broadcast and published by the media, the organization said. The enactment of the law combined with the introduction of government institutions with the legal authority to monitor, intervene, control, and impose penalties on media has led to more than 100 legal proceedings against journalists, the shutdown of the print edition of at least four newspapers, and a looming threat to other media outlets that they must follow the rules or close their doors, it said.

With the approval of the law, President Rafael Correa has intensified his campaign to put an end to independent journalism in Ecuador and eliminate any trace of critical public opinion that contradicts the government’s propaganda machine, composed of state-owned media outlets, said Thor Halvorssen, president of the  Human Rights Foundation. “In addition to using all three powers of the state to persecute anyone who counters his government’s media hegemony, President Correa threatens and insults journalists in Ecuador and abroad through smear campaigns shown on mandatory national broadcasts and his weekly TV show,” added Halvorssen.

The communicaton law gives the government broad powers to regulate both the content as well as the quality of what can or cannot be reported by the media. Specifically, the law prohibits prior censorship, but rather than define censorship as state action to censure the independent press, the law classifies it as the independent media’s ability to choose the subjects they cover. For example, the law forces the press to cover and disseminate events of public interest and considers an act of preliminary censorship to be any deliberate and recurrent omission of the dissemination of issues of public interest.

In the application of these provisions, more than 100 administrative processes against various media outlets have been filed with the information and communication superintendence, which began operations in October 2013.

The newspaper El Universo is among the media outlets penalized under the new law. The paper was fined $90,000 earlier this year for publishing a satirical cartoon.

Amnesty says México's cops torture

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Human rights watchdog Amnesty International says reports of torture and abuse by Mexican security forces have skyrocketed 600 percent in the last decade.

A new study released Thursday also alleges the government is complicit in the abuse.

Mexico's National Human Rights Commission received 7,000 complaints from 2010 to 2013. Of those, the federal attorney general's office found evidence in 26.

There have been only seven federal convictions for torture in Mexico's federal courts.

An Amnesty International researcher said the increase in allegations against police and government forces overlaps with the state's response to the so-called war on drugs.

Amnesty officials fear the abuses by security forces have been normalized as the government struggles to quell the turf wars between the drug cartels that have left a bloody trail across the country.

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From Page 7:

Europe's central bank cuts rate

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The European Central Bank has cut its benchmark interest rate in a new effort to boost the eurozone's lagging economy.

ECB President Mario Draghi announced Thursday the rate would drop to 0.05 percent from a previous record low of 0.15 percent and that the bank will begin purchases of private financial assets.

Many analysts viewed it as an indication that officials have grown increasingly concerned that the recent period of very low inflation could persist longer than first thought and may threaten the economic recovery of the 18-nation eurozone. The region's economy was flat in the April to June period.

According to Draghi, the ECB will begin purchasing asset-backed securities and bonds in October.

Many stock exchanges around the world rallied on the news of the rate cut.

Following the announcement, the euro fell to $1.2995. This is the first time it has fallen below $1.30 since July of 2013.