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Your daily English-language news source Monday through Friday

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(506) 2223-1327                       Published Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, in Vol. 13, No. 177                 Email us
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Jo Stuart
Cascata del Bosco

Children have weekend events to celebrate their day
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The official  Día de la Niñez or Día de Niños is Monday, but much of the celebration is on the weekend.

This Saturday the weekly Enamorate de tu Ciudad activities at downtown parks will be dedicated to children.

At Parque la Merced at 12:20 p.m. 6-year-old Camilo Madrigal will play with the musical group  Malas Calificaciones.

In Parque Morazán at the same time the 110 students of the  Conservatorio Castella will present a multi-disciplinary production featuring dance, music and drama. Other activities will be in Parque España and in the Centro Nacional de la Cultura, the former liquor factory on Avenida 7.

The  Centro Cultural e Histórico José Figueres Ferrer in  San Ramón de Alajuela also has events planned.

In Playas del Coco, a celebration is planned featuring clowns, a skateboarding contest, martial arts and something organizers are calling a fire show this Sunday. Youngsters are asked to bring frisbees and water pistols.
Kids festival
Part of announcement from the Museo Nacional

The sponsor is the local development association. The event begins at 10 a.m. and runs until dusk, an announcement said.

The Museo Nacional in San José plans a festival Sunday for youngsters from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. A magic show is planned, Also promised are arts and craft displays and toys on sale. There also will be various shows and food for sale. The event is free for Costa Ricans and residents of the country. The extensive museum exhibits also will be open.

The Teatro Nacional also has children shows planned later in the week.

Children's day is an event well-known to youngsters.  They are expecting a gift or two on that day, Monday. That includes Costa Rican youngsters who live in other countries.

Lottery marks 40th anniversary of judicial police
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The nation's lottery organization will be honoring judicial investigators on their 40th birthday.

The lottery tickets for the Organismo de Investigación Judicial went on sale this week. The lottery periodically honors various organizations and institutions by featuring graphics on the face of the weekly lottery tickets. The lottery organization, the  Junta de Protección Social, still gets all the money.  Much of the proceeds are distributed to various charities.

The lottery ticket, designed by judicial worker  Manfred Ávila Chávez, displays a photo of the judicial police building, which is the middle of the three multi-story structures in the San José court complex. Each ticket sells for 800 colons, about $1.60, but they usually are purchased in groups.
Judicial Investigating Organization photo
This is how the tickets appear

The winner has to have a ticket with the correct three digit series and the correct two digit lottery ticket number. Drawings are televised Sundays.

The judicial police are an agency of the courts in the Costa Rican legal system.

Match tonight is much more than just a soccer game
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Tonight is not just a soccer game. It is revenge, an exorcism and righting a wrong all in one.

Daniel Ortega may be taking over Costa Rican land uncontested, and the cost of living is soaring. But none of that matters.

The attention of any true Tico will be focussed on the Estadio Nacional tonight.

Costa Ricans want revenge for the loss last March near Denver, Colorado, when snow covered the playing field. They also carry a grudge against the United States for the last-second goal that tied a 2010 game in Washington, D.C. that blocked the Costa Rican national team from going to South Africa and the World Cup.

Such feelings run deep, and La Nación published Thursday a lengthy story that verged on incitement. Titled Aquel maldito córner, the story ran to 3,398 words. almost a short novel, recounting the last
seconds of that game in the tiniest of details. The translation is "That damn corner," meaning the place in the net where the U.S. put the ball to score in the last seconds that October night.

The mood is that Costa Ricans have been picked upon.  Many resent the five minutes added to play that allowed the U.S. team to  engineer a 2-2 tie in 2010.  The sports story by  Álvaro Murillo notes that the U.S. team already had qualified for the South African trip. The unstated question is why did they play so hard to deprive Costa Rica of the same achievement. The way the rankings were then, Honduras got the third slot for the region when it won its game the same night.

Costa Ricans also feel that they were cheated somehow when game officials allowed the match to continue in March even though there was an early spring snowstorm.  A victory tonight would exorcise those events that have been bedeviling Costa Ricans for years. A loss would be an incredible blow to the nation's elf-esteem. No one dare say "It's just a game."

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The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2013 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission.
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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 177

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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.


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Orange slogan

Real estate agents and services

Colinas photo


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A fenced and gated project with the ex-pat hortaculturalist in mind. There are 88 clear-title hobby farms with water and electricity.  The layout is designed to provide ample space for your vegetable gardening ands fruit tree projects.
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Send us your request to our email:

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Legal services


Arcelio Hernandez

Official English/Spanish translator and interpreter
Serving the international community  since 2001
Lic. Arcelio Hernandez Mussio, Jr.
With over a decade of experience in the fields of:
Family law, criminal & constitutional law, civil & commercial law

Visit the website at:
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Skype:  hernandez.mussio
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Specializing in all matters of concern to U.S. taxpayers residing abroad, including all new passport and other
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Two men are gunned down
in Playas del Coco home

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Gunmen on bicycles assassinated two businessmen in Playas del Coco Wednesday afternoon.

The dead men were identified by the same last name,  Dávila, and were reported to have died from multiple gunshot wounds, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

The men operated a sea food store in the beach community. They were confronted in the hallway of their adjacent home, and investigators think that one person killed a 33-year-old victim while the other gunned down a 55-year-old victim. The killers initially passed themselves off as customers, agents said.

Witnesses told investigators that the killers fled on bicycles, too.

The 33-year-old suffered three wounds to the head and two in the stomach, while the other man suffered two wounds to the stomach and one to the face, said the Judicial investigating Organization. The younger man died at the scene and the older man died while being transported to a medical clinic, agents said.

They attributed the murders to personal problems.

The killings, which took place about 5:30 p.m., were a shock to expats living in the community., One reported that police plan a meeting with citizens Monday to discuss what people fear is growing lawlessness.

Regulating agency hikes
fares for nation's taxi fleet

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Taxi fares are going up 10 colons, the  Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos said Thursday. The basic rate of 595 colons will go to 605 as well the rate for each additional kilometer.

Taxies at Juan Santamaría  will maintain the same rate because there is a legal dispute over the concession there. The regulatory agency said that the operator of the airport taxis, Taxis Unidos Aeropuerto Internacional Juan Santamaría S.A, failed to pay a concession fee for three years running, and that the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes is seeking another firm to handle the business.

The increase of 10 colons is about two U.S. cents.

marijuana fire
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policia      
y Seguridad Pública photo      
Anti-drug police detained three when they raided
a marijuana plantation Thursday in Siquirres.
Note the face mask on the agent handling the fire.

Anti-drug police destroy
big harvests of marijuana

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Agents of the  Policía de Control de Drogas say they destroyed 57,482 marijuana plants in the last seven day.

They said that 4,557 of these were destroyed in  Siquirres where the 44-year-old owner of a finca was detained. Two other persons there also were arrested, agents said. They added that aircraft of the  Servicio de Vigilancia Aérea had spotted the individuals.

Agents also destroyed plants in San Rafael de Bordon, Shorbeta, Bajo Bley and Bocuare, all Talamanca. The mountains in the southeastern part of the country contain many small marijuana patches. But no one was detained in these operations, they said.

Four quakes mark anniversary
of the 7.9 event off Sámara

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Mother Nature commemorated the first anniversary of the Sámara earthquake by providing four more Thursday.

The first was at 6:29 a.m. some 79 kilometers west of Tamarindo in the Pacific Ocean. The magnitude was reported to be 5.8, said the Laboratorio de Ingeniería Sísmica at the Universidad de Costa Rica.

The Laboratorio said that the Thursday quake was so far from the coastline that it most likely was not related to the 2012 quake.

A second quake at 12:31 p.m. had an epicenter two kilometers north northwest of Nosara. This is in an area that has seen repeated quakes generated by the 7.6 magnitude Sámara quake.

The Laboratorio reported two afternoon quakes. The first at 4:34 p.m. was about 58  miles west of Cabo Vela in Santa Cruz on the north Pacific coast. The magnitude was 4.5.

Then at 5:54 p.m. a fourth quake took place about 73 miles west of Cabo Vela, said the Laboratorio.

This one had a magnitude of  4.8 and was felt in Santa Cruz and in Nosara, according to the Laboratorio.

Also Thursday morning, Sámara resident Belle Richardson reflected on the quake a year ago. In an email she said she had told friends that there probably would be a quake Thursday because it was the anniversary of the 2012 event. She wondered why there was not a news story in A.M. Costa Rica about the anniversary.

She said that Thursday night a large party was planned to mark the one-year anniversary and that there is gathering today in the mountains east of her town at the restaurant where many residents sought refuge after the early morning quake a year ago. They feared a tsunami.

"Many new friendships were made after the quake as people bound together to support each other and wait it out," she said. "For all of us still here it's beautiful to see how our small community continues to hold itself together months after the frightening experience."

Have you seen these stories?
From A.M. Costa Rica
A.M. Costa Rica
users guide

This is a brief users guide to A.M. Costa Rica.

Old pages

Each day someone complains via e-mail that the newspages are from yesterday or the day before. A.M. Costa Rica staffers check every page and every link when the newspaper is made available at 2 a.m. each week day.

So the problem is with the browser in each reader's computer. Particularly when the connection with the server is slow, a computer will look to the latest page in its internal memory and serve up that page.

Readers should refresh the page and, if necessary, dump the cache of their computer, if this problem persists. Readers in Costa Rica have this problem frequently because the local Internet provider has continual problems.


The A.M. Costa Rica search page has a list of all previous editions by date and a space to search for specific words and phrases. The search will return links to archived pages.


A typical edition will consist of a front page and six other newspages. Each of these pages can be reached by links near the top and bottom of the pages.


Classified pages are updated daily. Employment listings are free, as are listings for accommodations wanted, articles for sale and articles wanted. The tourism page and the real estate sales and real estate rentals are updated daily.

Advertising information

A summary of advertising rates and sizes are available for display and classifieds by contacting a sales executive at 2223-1327.


A.M. Costa Rica makes its monthly statistics available to advertisers and readers. Advertising executives will be happy to provide a summary via email with no questions asked.

Contacting us

Both the main telephone number and the editor's e-mail address are listed on the front page near the date.

Visiting us

Directions to our office and other data, like bank account numbers are on this PAGE.

The daily digest

Editors send out early each morning a summary of the news that is in the newspaper's Web site. Readers can subscribe to the digest HERE!

Digest recipients also can manage their own account via the link that is included each day at the base of  their personal digest.

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Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2013 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details


A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
 A.M. Costa Rica
advertising reaches
from 12,000 to 14,000
unique visitors
every weekday
in up to 90 countries.

San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 177
Real Estate
About us

Readers express their opinions on the country's new logo
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Nearly all readers who responded to the invitation Thursday to comment on the country's new Esencial Costa Rica logo said they did not like it or understand it.

Many preferred the slap-dash logo created by A.M. Costa Rica editors. Although editors are confident that the creation of the national logo was a transparent process, some reader thought the final product hinted at corruption or misuse of funds. Considering other cases of corruption in the country, they can be forgiven their concern.

Some hit on what probably is the real difficulty in creating this logo or slogan to represent the country: It was the product of a committee.

Jorge Sequeira, the general manager of the country's promotional organization, was the chairman if the inter-institutional committee that designed the logo. The organization is the non-profit  Promotora de Comercio Exterior.

Here are all the opinions of readers that were received by 5 p.m. Thursday roughly in the order they came in:

Thumbs down
This is just one more thing Costa Rica has screwed up and took 5 years to do. They take for ever to get anything done and almost always the decision they make turns out to be wrong. I have no idea what it says or what it means. I wonder how many people were employed to figure this out and who made money on it. Thanks for your comments. I would think fixing roads and helping there people would be more important than something like this.
Phillip Steward
Houston, Texas
and formerly of Costa Rica

Thumbs down
Cannot read the first word – bad design.

Del Trobak

Thumbs down
The new logo is ridiculous.  It shows, tells NOTHING about the country.  It looks like someone was trying to be slick and sophisticated, but falls completely flat.  Totally unimpressive.  The script is difficult to read, and the entire image so boring that most people probably will not even bother trying.

Your logo is eye-catching, interesting, and actually conveys a lot about the country.  (I'm not crazy about the big red "It's Great" but that could easily be replaced with a different catch phrase, maybe something like "Pure and Natural" in rainbow colors (a 30-second idea.)  Altogether, your 5-minute mock-up far surpasses the lame 5-year project results of whoever or whatever committee put that logo together.

Glen Love
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

thumbs down
I’d hire you any day for a quick logo design that say something a person can understand.  My head swims with wonder over a 5-year effort to come up with what the professionals came up with.  Wonders never cease! Oh well, I’m pretty sure this logo will go over about as well as all the rest of the lead balloons.
Robert Russell
Santa Ana

Thumbs down
Truly, the new logo is unimaginative and fails to capture the unique natural attributes of Costa Rica. Whereas, "our humble effort" does exactly that! The new logo is a failure, IMHO!   Bien hecho!!

Michael Connolly
Santa Cecilia de San Isidro de Heredia

Thumbs down
I think your effort far surpasses the official  logo. The logic of the official one is very difficult  to understand and certainly doesn't stir up any desire to visit Costa Rica. Is is true that this clumsy logo is really the result of  a long professional study ? It doesn't illustrate anything about Costa Rica.
Richard Orr
Monroe, Connecticut

Thumbs down
The video is well done. The logo is crap. It means nothing, does not present any image or any feelings.

Martha Usztan
Playa Hermosa

Thumbs down
In regards to the logo: I have to think when it comes to logos, K.I.S.S. is best. Keep It Simple, Silly: so everyone gets it. It would seem, in typical fashion, the government hired someone with lots of education (¿a politicos relative?) and little to no tourism experience to design it. And more typically: misspent colones. Pura Vida.
Karl Van Horn

Thumbs down
I to thought the first letter was a "g."  This slogan means nothing to me as an expat.  As a retired engineer, I may not be the most literate person, but I just don't get anything from this.  I don't think  that tourists will get anything either.  As for the other two target groups, good luck. Yours is much better.
Abigail Novoa

Thumbs down
The new logo dreamed up by the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo and the Ministerio de Comercio Exterior, or their consultants, Esencial Costa Rica, or Essential Costa Rica in English, conveys very little to English-speaking people.  "Essential" primarily refers to something that is necessary in English, not a useful concept for attracting either tourists or investors.  I hate to think how much money these dysfunctional agencies wasted on the effort.  To be sure, friends of the jefes, or their relatives, made out well, in the essential Costa Rican manner.

Loren B. Ford

Thumbs down
I agree, the lettering on the new logo is misleading . I, myself, thought when I first read it that it was a " j ". The video put out by Cardona is nice very effective for the citizenry of Costa Rica but I do not think for tourism.
Jaime Fernandez
New Orleans

Thumbs down
I can't believe it. I would give it a c- and that is being kind. The toucan logo is far better. 
Esteban Acedo.

Thumbs down
It's confusing and really doesn't say anything. Looks like a logo that came out of a committee instead of a good designer. With to many opinions comes a logo that gets so watered down it really doesn't say anything. Plus, I had to read your text to even know what the word was. Bad font choice. Never, ever use a hard-to-read script font in a logo. They will need to either use a word in English or a recognizable word in Spanish.  Some would immediately object to an English word, and I understand why, but who is your audience? Where will this logo be shown? It should evoke a longing. Stir your soul. And bring a sense of I need Costa Rica and now.

Options in English: Let go, Experience letting go, Experience true richness.  Enhance your life, Join nature. It's time for wild.

Options in Spanish: Vida rica, Mejora tu vida, Es el momento, Encontrar su pura vida, Naturaleza está llamando

Costa Rica should be on the top of the logo with the tagline following. The font should be simple and classy. The tagline could even be the same or similar font only italicized. The images should be additions and used only when it makes sense. Illustrations as opposed to photos would be my recommendation.
Scott Dinsmore

Thumbs down
To me this says nothing.  Essential is difficult to read.  Where is the ocean, animals, plants.  Anything that would invite me to visit. Essential for what?
Margo Ackerman

Thumbs down
They spend years on research, investigating and interviewing people internationally, spend tons of money and THIS is what they came up with??? What a complete waste of time and money, that logo. I’m no marketing pro, but if you have to explain a logo, you’re doing something wrong. A logo should be instantly recognizable and appeal to people. They immediately have to know what it is about. The costly Esencial logo misses the mark by, oh, only by about a couple of miles or so. Yours is a lot more appealing.

Rudi & Odette Koster
Playas del Coco,
Esencial logo
This is the official logo

it's  great
Our humble effort

The choices that were presented Thursday

Thumbs down
The swirling cursive reminds me of an ad for an aesthetic clinic.  Rejuvenation spas and plastic surgeons should love it.

Jim Saxon

Thumbs down
I personally like the logo with the Toucan with Costa Rica written below. I don't care for "It's Great"  Everyone knows that at this point.  If anything, it should be "Pura Vida" instead. The first logo is absolutely awful.  No birds, flowers, rainforest.
Nothing to denote the natural beauty of Costa Rica. I have been to Costa Rica 12 times in the past 9 years, and this logo
should be thrown out.

Sylvia Mastandrea
New York City.

Thumbs down
Well really, what do you expect? I mean, here we are in a place that fosters self esteem, pride and self-worth without attendant accomplishment, the solution to providing jobs for a population with a 50 percent high school drop-out rate is a bloated, indifferent and inefficient bureaucracy that is famously corrupt, and punctuality consists of "cinco minutos" that makes mañana look like it's in a hurry. Congratulations on a fine and truly communicative logo.

San Ramon de Alajuela

Thumbs down
Very disheartening.  It has  put back the "meh "  in  "mediocre."  Unbelievable;  it has so little charm and actual expression about anything. It seem as if there is an aggressive campaign to destroy what little is left of Costa Rican tourism. What a complete lack of talent and creativity. Love the Toucan!

Michael Moncarz
vita de Osa, Puntarenas

Thumbs down
The word  esencial . . .  I have a master degree and, I had to think what the meaning of esencial means. I think the logo is loco. important Costa Rica, wow????

J. Britt Henry
San José

Thumbs down
The new logo is a perfect example of Tico thinking. "Let's have endless meetings and all voice our opinions for five years and still come up with something that doesn't work." Did someone's uncle get paid to produce this? Maybe one hours work with a world class ad agency or graphic designer could have been money better spent.

David Dion
Boquete, Panama

thumbs down
For me, the people who benefit the most are those paid to create the logo.  If tourism increases significantly, not just the normal rate, maybe it will prove effective. It would be better to use the money paid for the logo for a more effective marketing plan.  The "s" in the script word is hard to decipher.  The point of Web sites, ads and logos is readability.

Helen Dunn Frame
San Rafael de Santa Ana.

Thumbs down
I like "It’s Great Costa Rica" better, but I don’t think either one has much value pulling tourists or selling products. They are just paja  that I would ignore. Do something real about all the waterways being polluted, criminal insecurity, pot holes in roads, drug trafficking, shark fins, failing health care and then talk about that, That would have some merit. Stop ICT wasting money in foolish advertising and corrupt projects,

Joseph Lassiter
Playa Hermosa, Guaancaste

Thumbs down
Being in the tourism business here in Costa Rica for more than 20 years, I am always happy to see efforts being made to promote tourism to Costa Rica.  The new logo is confusing. I agree with the reader who thought  the initial letter was a g, and  had trouble understanding what it meant.  I, too, had trouble understanding it.  Your new logo looks great.  It speaks  Costa Rica and everyone can understand it.   I would be proud to have it listed on my own promotional material.
Joanne Carter

It is esential to understand that the toucans are hard to find these days Better let school children come up with a new logo!

John Manners
Pavas Centro

Thumbs down
That new logo is a joke. To a Gringo, it means nothing. A logo should have a graphic that will stick in the minds of the reader. It's almost impossible to believe that focus groups approved it.

Harley Toberman
Playa Dominicalito

Thumbs down
The new logo is pretty goofy if one has to create a video to explain it.  I like your version much better.

Deborah Gallagher
Silverton, Oregon

thumbs down
The chosen script is not clear, and if it IS "essential" then I get the impression that you can expect a room with a door and lock, a bed, a bath room and little else, "just the essentials, please."  For the foreign investor, he will not get anything out of "esencial." He will consult with his friends.  And if we are referring to product quality, then that must mean that this is the empire of "copies:" a rag made in Alajuela with a fancy name-brand ticket made in Aserri.  The essentials:  the rag and the ticket.   I must admit I like the toucan better.

O. Lamoree D.

thumbs down
Let’s see now, is that a "y,’ a "g,’ an "ej,’ possibly an "es’? No, it’s a stylized "s’ drawing too much attention to itself.

And what does "esencial’ have to do with tourism, eco-tourism, or a new country to move to, or what does it have to do with business?  It’s asking too much of me the reader to decipher what it says literally and then to interpret its significance—It should just reach out and grab me intuitively, not analytically. Your "humble effort’ is much more effective, but I would place "Costa Rica’ at the top of the logo rather than at the bottom.               
Costa Rica
It’s Great!

I get it without effort in all its splendid glory.

Christen Lynn
Puerto Viejo de Limon

Thumbs up
In my opinion it's a grown-up and elegant logo. The 'esencial' is easy to read, it has flair and energy. Without the usual tree frogs, toucans and tropical rainbow colors it goes beyond the backpackers and presents the country as a contemporary partner to a wide range of business interests. Different shades of green still represent diverse biotops, our mountains, coffee, rain forests, ect. The script echoes volcanic peaks as well as ocean waves. I like it. I haven't seen the video yet, so I don't know, what the designers intended message is. It doesn't surprise me that it was a 5-year process, most of which gathering dust on one desk after another, no doubt!   
Claudia MK Leon
Mountain Home, Texas

Thumbs down
A.M. Costa Rica wins by a mile!  Whoever designed the Esencial Costa Rica doesn’t connect with the world at all, although the video is quite interesting.
Linda Templeton
Playas del Coco

Syrian situation appears to be beginnings of a Vietnam replay
I have been fretting all week over what has been going on in Washington, D.C., where the administration is trying to convince Congress to okay the bombing of Syria to teach President Bashar Assad that using weapons of mass destruction (in this case, alleged sarin gas) in the deadly civil war that has been raging for a couple of years is a crime. 

Like many Americans, I am weary of war, and have been for many years, which is one reason I moved to Costa Rica.  Other expats, friends of mine and I have been emailing our concerns and opinions to one another.  So far no one has said “Good idea.”  One friend, however, is concerned about the morality of not acting. 

The debacle in Iraq and the long pain of Afghanistan are still fresh in many people’s minds, and they are comparing this situation with those two. 

I see it more in terms of Vietnam.  The history is long, beginning even before the Eisenhower Administration (and curiously, France was involved with the Vietnamese, just as they have been with the Syrians).  But we started with “advisers” and then a response to a questionable attack.  And soon we were involved in one of the most vicious long-lasting civil wars in history.  The domino theory figured large then, and a new domino theory postulated by Sens. McCain and Graham, both of whom remember well the Vietnam war, is being articulated about Syria and the surrounding countries. Only this time, it is not the Commies who will take over, it is a variety of terrorists, and Hezbollah, and the threatened countries are those of the Middle East.  

CNN has been covering this debate and discussion nonstop all week and then on Wednesday night, in a stroke of programming genius, CNN followed a grueling day of discussions on Syria, with the re-run of an hour long documentary on the raid on the compound of the Branch Davidian Christians and their leader, David Koresh in Waco, Texas. This happened 20 years ago. And it made me think how prophetic.

It all started when the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms suspected that David Koresh and his followers were turning automatic rifles into machine guns (the first WMD’s, if you will) before reselling them.  The FBI got involved
Butterfly in the City
. . .  Musings from San José

By Jo Stuart

Jo Stuart

when they learned that Koresh was having sex with underage girls.

The government’s armed troops attempted to deliver arrest and search warrants to Koresh.  Everything escalated, probably due to the fact that both sides had weapons and the rest, we know, is history.  After 61 days of a standoff,

negotiations and a raid, four agents died and 76 Branch Davidians were killed, including 21 children.  Whether the children died as the result of collateral damage, friendly fire, or the fire that engulfed the compound, is unclear, but for them dead was dead.  They will never grow up.  Afterwards, Janet Reno, the attorney general, said, “It was all a terrible mistake.  We were trying to save the children.” The negotiators claim that they could have saved more people had they been allowed to continue their conversations with Koresh. 

In today’s world of muddled morality and ever more powerful armaments, it is difficult to say how to respond to acts of aggression.  Humanity has long forgotten Christ’s advice to turn the other cheek, the meek have yet to inherit almost anything, and the caution to beware of judging lest you be judged is irrelevant since the victors write history and command the airwaves. 

Meanwhile in our own little world of Central American, President Ortega of Nicaragua has decided he would like to re-annex Guanacaste, no matter that the people, a long time ago chose to be part of Costa Rica.  I would like to suggest to President Laura Chinchilla that she declare a day of laughter.

People can gather in town squares and even in barrios and laugh and laugh at the silliness.  Unfortunately, there are some events that cannot be laughed away.

Del Rey HOtel

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 177
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Traffic still moving in just one lane in either direction on Circunvalación
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Traffic on the Circunvalación southern bypass still was down to one lane in each direction Thursday while workers tried to get two more bailey bridges into service.

The Consejo Nacional de Vialidad said that the fourth bridge finally was in position and that what remained was constructing access ramps.

Traffic now passes over the site of a major washout on two bailey bridges. Weather permitting, officials hope to have four bridges in service by the weekend.

Even in the best of times, traffic is slow going on some parts of the four-lane highway. The washout took place in the westbound lanes between Hatillo 8 and the Pavas turnoff.

That is an area notorious for slow weekday traffic because of signals at the Hatillo cross street and grades on the highway itself.
Consejo Nacional de Vialidad photo

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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 176
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Brazil sets up infrastructure
to avoid spying for foreigners

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Can any government escape the prying eyes of the U.S. National Security Agency? Brazil is going to try.
Angered by recent revelations that the United States spied on its emails and phone calls and even its president, Brazil's government is speeding up efforts to improve the security of its communications and hopefully keep more of its secrets under wraps.
By purchasing a new satellite, pushing bureaucrats in Brasilia to use secure email platforms and even building its own fiber-optic cable to communicate with governments in neighboring countries, Brazil hopes to at least reduce the amount of information available to foreign spies.
The growing emphasis on secure communications has been a somewhat tough sell in a famously relaxed country that has no history of international terrorism and hasn't gone to war with any of its neighbors in more than a century.
Brazilian officials also admit they face the same problems as many other countries upset by the recent NSA disclosures. That is, building new technology is expensive and difficult, and even then there is no guarantee of fully dodging the sophisticated dragnet employed by the U.S. government.
Nonetheless, Brazil is particularly motivated to act.
More than most other countries, it has been embarrassed by documents leaked by fugitive former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. A report by Globo TV on Sunday displayed a document with a diagram showing communications between President Dilma Rousseff and her top aides, which it said was part of an NSA case study on its own powers of espionage.
Ms. Rousseff was so angered by the news that she may cancel a planned state visit to the White House next month.
That followed a report in July that the NSA had used secret surveillance programs to spy on emails and collect data on telephone calls in Brazil and other Latin American countries. In response, the U.S. government has said it monitors the patterns of communications in order to detect potential threats to security, but it does not snoop on ordinary people.
Bureaucrats working in Brasilia's modernistic government buildings have had encrypted email services, including a local platform known as Expresso, available to them for years.
But it wasn't until the recent disclosures that many officials realized their value, said Marcos Melo, a manager at Serpro, the state-run communications company that created Expresso and provides the government with secure databases.
“Now people understand the risk you run of not protecting your communications,” said Melo. “When we started investing in Expresso six years ago, they said: 'Why bother developing a new tool if Gmail exists and is free?'.”
The first wave of spying disclosures in July included documents showing the NSA and the Central Intelligence Agency jointly ran satellite monitoring stations in 64 countries, including one based in a residential neighborhood of Brazil's capital, Brasilia.
Coincidence or not, Brazil has made key decisions in recent weeks to gain more independence in the skies above.
Within weeks, it picked Thales Alenia Space, a consortium led by Europe's largest defense electronics company, France's Thales, to build a satellite that will be shared by Brazil's government and armed forces.
Much of the Brazilian government's communications, including those of the military, rely on a satellite owned by a company controlled by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim. Brazil cannot control its angle let alone the security of its channels.
The new satellite provided by Thales will be launched from neighboring French Guiana in 2016. The total cost, including the satellite, launch and insurance, will be $600 million to $650 million.

President Rousseff's trip
to visit Obama is called off

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has halted advance preparations for a state visit to Washington next month.
A statement from President Rousseff's office gave no reason for the cancellation. However, the announcement followed official demands for an explanation of allegations this week that the U.S. National Security Agency intercepted President Rousseff's communications.
The immediate effect of Thursday's action canceled a planned trip to Washington by an advance team of Brazilian officials preparing for the scheduled Oct. 23 visit.
Separately, President Barack Obama and President Rousseff met Thursday in Russia, on the sidelines of the Group of 20 economic summit in St. Petersburg.
No details of their conversation were immediately available, but Obama's adviser Ben Rhodes said the U.S. is working to resolve the dispute through diplomatic and intelligence channels.
Rhodes told reporters at the summit: "We understand how important this is to the Brazilians. We understand their strength of feeling on the issue."
The disclosure of U.S. intercepts of Brazilian state communications came from documents copied illegally by Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor.
An American-born journalist who lives in Brazil and is a confidant of Snowden's said this week that the NSA had access to the entire communications network of President Rousseff and her staff, including all telephone, Internet and social-network exchanges.
Without commenting on classified U.S. activities, White House adviser Rhodes said, "What we're focused on is making sure the Brazilians understand exactly what the nature of our intelligence effort is.''

Three candidate cities await
vote on 2020 Olympic games

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The International Olympic Committee is meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, this week and will vote Saturday on the host city for the 2020 Summer Olympics. The three bidding cities are Tokyo, Istanbul and Madrid.
While Japan's capital is considered the favorite, the country has had to deflect concerns over a radioactive water leak from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant.
Tokyo bid committee president Tsunekazu Takeda says enthusiasm for the city’s bid has been growing steadily.
"People are excited to imagine Tokyo transformed to a city center party as never before," he said. "And we Japanese people have always loved sports, and our TV ratings of the Olympic and Paralympic Games are among the highest in the world."
Istanbul's candidacy is uncertain because of the current political situation, but the city's bid chief, Hassan Arat, said bidding for the games has left a lasting sporting legacy for Turkey and the world regardless of who wins the 2020 hosting rights.
"The bid has really inspired people," he said. "The last IOC public poll supported Istanbul — 83 percent, the highest among these three cities."
Madrid has tried to deflect questions about its 27-percent unemployment rate and national economic struggles. Alejandro Blanco Bravo, Madrid’s bid committee chairman, said bringing the games to Spain's capital would transform the society.
“The situation that we have experienced in Spain, in Europe, and in the world, indicates that there is a significant lack of values," he said. "Sport can provide us with them, and the Olympic Games are the greatest expression of these values."
Madrid has failed in three prior attempts to become Olympic host. It was runner-up to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which is staging the 2016 Summer Games.

Venezuelans reel after outage
that hit two-thirds of nation

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

One of the worst power outages in Venezuelan history has given a jolt to President Nicolas Maduro's government and revived opposition accusations that its socialist policies and incompetence are wrecking the country.

Even though Venezuela's 29 million people have endured sporadic blackouts since 2009, there was widespread shock at the extent of this week's outage across two-thirds of the nation.

In the capital, Caracas, which the government strenuously shields from rationing, the power went off throughout Tuesday afternoon, causing chaos on the streets.

“This isn't the Third World, it's the Fifth World!” griped student Marilyn Morales, 26, recounting how first she was trapped in underground transport, then had to lend a doctor her iPhone to use as a flashlight during an appointment in a dark clinic.

Some Venezuelans in the provinces said it was about time the privileged residents of the capital, known as “caraquenos,” saw what they endured regularly.

Maduro, a 50-year-old former bus driver who narrowly won a presidential election this year after the death of his mentor and former leader Hugo Chávez, accused the opposition of deliberately sabotaging the grid to discredit him.

“Everything seems to indicate that the extreme right wing has revived its plan for an electricity coup,' he said, announcing a new Chávez-style initiative, Mission Electricity, to guard and improve the grid. “I urge the electricity workers and people to help in the fight to protect the system from sabotage.”

Maduro has not yet provided concrete evidence of sabotage, and troops have been guarding important installations since similar accusations in the past.

Though Venezuela's well-funded opposition movement certainly has its radicals, and plenty of machinations plagued Chavez' 14-year rule, Maduro's daily accusations of assassination and coup plots are straining credulity for many Venezuelans.

Opposition leader Henrique Capriles, who still contests Maduro's election victory in April and hopes to make gains against the ruling party in December local elections, led lampooning of the sabotage claims.

“The power cut shows once again the terrible incompetence of this government,” said Capriles. He was in the middle of a webcast with journalists where electricity shortages were under discussion when the lights went off on him.

“They'll make up any old story to distract Venezuelans,” added Capriles, 41, who governs Miranda state.

Opposition politicians accuse officials of stealing money and failing to invest properly in state-run power company Corpoelec after Chávez nationalized the sector in 2007 during a  sweeping state takeover of much of the economy.

The electricity sector is just one in a bulging in-tray of  problems Maduro faces as he seeks to govern in the name of Chávez while also fixing some of his predecessor's failings.

Inflation, a decades-old problem predating Chavez, remains the highest in the Americas, at an annualized 43 percent, and is causing huge pain on the streets despite government subsidies that offer some protection to the poor.

Currency controls are creating myriad distortions and scams: the dollar is selling on the black market at six times the official price of 6.3 bolivars.

That has brought a resurgence of practices like “currency tourism” where Venezuelans travel abroad simply to take advantage of dollar allowances at the official rate.

In some cases, they buy a ticket to show as a requisite for the allowance, but then do not get on the plane. Or they fly to the cheapest possible destination, where someone will be waiting to buy their credit card allowance straight off them.

Restricted access to dollars for private businesses has also been a factor in persistent shortages of basics from toilet paper to flour that continue to irritate Venezuelans.

Maduro's standing has not been helped, either, by some spectacular verbal gaffes.

In the latest, when alluding to the biblical story of Jesus miraculously providing loaves and fishes for a crowd of followers, he spoke of a multiplication of penises instead of fishes, muddling the Spanish words penes and peces.

Also last month, he raised eyebrows describing how he sometimes sleeps in the mausoleum where Chavez's body lies.

Video games seems to help
older adults remain sharp

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Scientists have developed a video game for older adults that appears to improve their short-term memory and long-term focus.  Seniors who play the so-called multi-tasking game develop neurological improvements rivaling those of 20-year-olds.

Peoples’ short and long-term cognitive abilities decline with each passing decade.  But there is growing scientific evidence that the human brain, with the right stimulation, can be reprogrammed to counteract the effects of age.

The latest research comes out of the University of California San Francisco, where researchers developed a video game for seniors called NeuroRacer. 

The game study involved more than a dozen 60 to 80-year-old participants, who were asked to maneuver a video-screen car at the same time that signs flashed in front of them on a screen.  The signs were either relevant or irrelevant to the game play.  The participants followed signs they deemed relevant and disregarded those they thought were unimportant.

Researchers began their investigation by measuring how well participants performed on one task and compared it to how well they did when a second task was added. 

Compared with young people who played the game once, study lead author Adam Gazzaley said in a telebriefing with reporters there was a striking improvement in multi-tasking after seniors practiced at home for one month.

“Before training, they had a 65 percent drop in performance when they do the two tasks versus one task.  After training, they only had a 16 percent drop in performance. And that’s better than the 20-year-olds that had a performance drop in the 27 percent range," said Gazzaley.

Most striking to Gazzaley was that improvements in the seniors' brain power carried over for six months into other mental areas and without any additional game play.

Although he’s reluctant to endorse commercially available video games, Gazzaley says some shooter games that focus players’ attention on a particular target could have a similar benefit.

Gazzeley says his lab is in the process of developing other video games for people with attention deficit disorder and depression.

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Call Today @ 506-2654-5507 (Costa Rica) or 1-888-414-1836 (Toll-Free) Email:

Costa Rica,

Central America
Houses, lots and farms in Grecia,
western Central Valley.
Great climate
and safe communities.
Grecia estate
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $850.000: HERE!
Sarchi home
Modern three-bedroon home in San Rafael de Sarchí. Cick HERE!
 Great deals for you!
Visit our Web Site:
 English: (Cristian Arce)
English:  (Luis Arce)
 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)

   (506) 8309-0173
   (506) 7100-8489
   (506) 8707-4016

  Send us your request to our email:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

sunset view
FREE FULL-DAY TOUR and property viewing – San Ramón! 
Come visit us in San Ramón and not only will we show you some great properties but we’ll also give you a FREE day-long tour of this terrific town with a relocation expert who has lived here for many years. Since 2006, CRC has been the area’s leading creator of socially-responsible communities for foreign retirees/investors and locals. “Easy access” to San Ramón does not mean living many miles outside of town, but less than 2 miles from everything you’ll need. Live near town but in an area that only feels a world away. None of our competitors have built a school, donated a water well and completed numerous projects for the community. A few stunning, direct ocean-view home sites of 1.25 acres to nearly 4 acres from only $55,000 remain in one of San Ramón’s most desirable residential communities. Please visit us at or email us at to request a property showing AND your free full-day tour. Overnight accommodations can be arranged. Limited availability so please contact us today referencing “Free Tour” in your email:

Nicoya views
Maui, 50 years ago!
One acre with all services located on the Nicoya Peninsula at about 2,400 feet below cloud level with the most intriguing panoramic views to the picturesque gulf, mountains and valleys, as well as sunset over the Pacific. 60,000 USD,    Cell 8916-5550.

Five bedroom home
Five bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths plus guest house
Price reduced $100,000 for quick sale. Features include out door BBQ, swimming pool, plus on the beach. The home is completely furnished with U.S. products. Each room is individually air conditioned.  Hot water in bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.  Fully furnished. Includes TV’s, refrigerator/freezer, dish washer, microwave, electric stove/oven, washer & dryer and many “as seen on TV” appliances.  To see more, go to YouTube
Asking  $250,000.    Call Gary 8784-2945 or email

humming bird nest

Bed & Breakfast for sale and personal home with 2 houses on property of 3/4 acre (3,030 m2) and buildings w/verandas & carport approximately 350 m2. One house at entrance is central to village w/gated parking lot and a 3-bedroom house for rental or employees/family w/carport/yard/gardens. A 50-meter sendero winds to the top among lush gardens where the main house is situated w/2 buildings attached by verandas & stairway to second floor.  There are 2 bedrooms, sala, 4 baths, large kitchen, laundry rooms, work bodega, storage bodega and hot tub on veranda w/tiled shower room.  Home is surrounded by tropical gardens, views of Arenal Volcano, panoramic views of Lake Arenal, private w/school owned property on one side, pasture land on back side and connecting entry gate on other side to Cabinas El Castillo & Fusion Restaurant.  A bird watcher's paradise w/hummingbirds, Montezuma, toucans, butterflies and visits from howler monkeys.  The B&B is listed four consecutive editions of Lonely Planet and the first established B&B in this area.  Photos can be viewed on the Web site:  Make your dream come true with a slice of paradise in a quiet, private setting. Call Ellen Neely at  8835-8711.  Email:

Liberia farm
Must Sell - Immediately
Guanacaste - Liberia Farm

9 hectares (24 acres)
$ 0.66 cents per square meter
Riverfront property and amazing views of 3 volcanoes
10 minutes from Liberia center
$59,500 plus all legal fees

Naranjo views


4254 msq. 1.2 acres - $59,000.00
• 10 minutes to the autopista and Naranjo centro
• Tranquil and Quiet
• Landscaped with fruit trees and flowering plants, and coffee#
• Incredible views - The Central Valley and nature reserve
• Close to public transportation - paved main road
• Building pad prepared and soil tested
• Survey/topo
• All services in place and underground - water/electricity/phone

Playa Palo Seco - Gorgeous beachfront 2-story home of roughly 2,000 square feet set on a half acre ocean front full of beautiful fruit and shade trees in Playa Palo Seco.
Playa Paol Seco
This home features two bedrooms, three full baths, high quality A/C units, huge front and backyard, and of course, a fantastic view of the Pacific Ocean just feet away from the front door! Playa Palo Seco is only minutes from  the tourist hot spot Jacó but far enough away to be quiet and tranquil. This is an incredible opportunity at $150,000! Owner financing is available! Visit for more information!

El Castillo - Up to 60-acre tract with breathtaking views of Volcán Arenal and Lake
Arenal are available. Multiple GORGEOUS home building sites are scattered throughout this area. This is definitely a one-of-a-kind piece of land that cannot be replicated. Perfectly suited for either real estate investment, homebuilding, or even a resort. Owner financing  is available! Please visit us at for more information!

San Ramon - Beautiful tracts of land of all shapes and sizes for sale in the San Ramón
San Ramon
area. Vista Rica Realty has been in the business for over 20 years which allows us to outcompete in not only selection, but also price. Oceanview homesites from only $30,000 with easy access to San Ramón. Up to 90-hectare fincas perfect for raising cattle or an off-the-grid project. Owner financing is available! Please visit us at for more information!

Guiones retreat
Approximately half acre on the beach with private path to the surf. Very private three-home complex with pool, spacious patios with two wet bars, barbeque and yoga area. Featuring a three-bedroom ranch style home plus a two story Mexican villa style home with two master suites, large kitchen and living area with ocean views and breezes upstairs and a garden apartment downstairs with separate entrance. A caretaker's or teenager's cottage and lots of space for expansion. PRICED FOR QUICK SALE: $899,000.  Call 506 8867-8883 or

Beautiful fully renovated house in Bello Horizonte, Escazu, 446 sq. meters. Four bedrooms; four baths. Price includes all furniture and fixtures - ready to move in! Light, bright and airy....$550,000 USD. Telephone 2288.6451. More details HERE!

Condo for sale in Flamingo

Ocean view 3-bedroom, 3 1/2-bathroom condo. Designer furnished 1,800 square feet, gated community. Only six units. Huge pool and balcony, pet friendly, parking, walking distance to Flamingo beach, banks, grocery store, farmacia, etc. New building. $349,000 asking. Ask for photos. 8705-0056. or 1-800-536-2322.

Guaancaate condos
Little Dreams La Colina Magnolias

Great Guanacaste Beach Condos Available

$28,500 - Little Dreams - Ocotal beach studio condo, furnished upper floor condo in great complex just 1 mile from Ocotal beach, 2 miles from Coco beach, great price for this complex.
$70,000 - La Colina - another Ocotal beach 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo, 80 m2 and fully furnished with upgraded kitchen, complex has Infinity pool, mountain views.

$75,000 Magnolias 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath townhome just 1 minute's walk from Coco beach and the 2 beach clubs in Coco. Nicely furnished, walk to town, 67 m2, perfect location.
Find out more information on these and other condos at my website All 3 of these condos are about 35 minutes away from Liberia Intl. airport, no need to drive a long way to get to your condo.  Call for more information, 1-415-670-9382 or 011-506-826-1211. Or email

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:

Nicoya views
Property with ocean and gulf view for sale
Tranquil million dollar view, 5,000-sq.meter property with 3/2 home built to American standards, artistically designed and decorated, 16-foot ceilings of mango and tamarindo, appliances, plunge pool, rancho, caretaker apartment, workshop, covered parking, views of Gulf of Nicoya and ocean, in countryside near San José to Caldera highway. Near the lovely town of Esparza. Can provide extra income from bed and breakfast room rental and stellar Tripadvisor reviews. $180,000 506-8869-9274.

For Sale By Owner
1 lot (1.5 acres)  at SIBU (8 lots total) amongst 50 acres of protected jungle gardens with sunset ocean views of Playa Nosara. Underground electric and water.13 minutes from Playa Guiones. Gated. In house financing available. Home of SIBU Sanctuary.

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Business for sale or lease (paid category)7115-12/16/11
A successful, local, long-running business for sale.
In the nine years of operation, this company has grown to cover the entire Southern Pacific Zone, and opened the door to further penetration in San Jose,  Manuel Antonio and Osa Peninsula areas.  And it is the only one of its kind with no comparable competition. With the extensive ground-work that has already been achieved, the business is now poised to expand into a new level of success. Operating since 2005, the owner retiring to another Latin American country. It is now time to turn the business over to a new owner who could expand it to  even greater success.  Details on the business, its history, a strategic analysis of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, as well as a Pro-Forma Income Statement from 2008 through to 2013 are available upon request to

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:

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 177
Real Estate
About us

News from the BBC up to the minute

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute

Banks are stumbling block
for marijuana operations

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Even as a shift in U.S. prosecution policy gives states more leeway to legalize marijuana, the companies that dispense it are likely to have trouble finding a bank, financial service industry and enforcement experts said.
Federal anti-money laundering rules prohibit the handling of proceeds from illegal activities, and banks must follow strict monitoring and reporting procedures to stay within the law. Because a federal prohibition of marijuana is still in place, most banks do not work with marijuana businesses in states that have legalized medical or recreational use of the drug.
“There are simply too many unanswered questions at this time,” said Jimmy Gurule, a former enforcement official at the U.S. Treasury Department. “I don't think that the banks will run the risk of criminal prosecution.”
Banks are not mentioned in last week's four-page memo in which the U.S. Justice Department outlined the policy shift to prosecutors. This suggests that the Obama administration still is not prepared to allow money from state-recognized pot sales to flow into banks and other financial institutions.
“The Justice Department could have gone the next step and at least applied its new standards to financial transactions that derive from medical marijuana proceeds,” said Peter Djinis, a former regulatory policy official with Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
“Either Justice officials were not aware of this dilemma, which is hard to believe, or they didn't want to enter into that fray,” Djinis said.
A Justice Department spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.
The Justice Department memo reiterated its commitment to enforcing federal restrictions on marijuana. But it told prosecutors to focus on areas of federal interest, such as distribution to minors, involvement of organized crime, trafficking across state lines and growing on public land. In other cases, enforcement would be a state matter.
Banks handling money from state-authorized marijuana dispensaries may face a money-laundering prosecution by either  the federal government or by another state if the funds cross state lines, said Gurule, who is now a professor at the University of Notre Dame law school.
Shunned by banks, dispensaries have flocked to money-services businesses to obtain money orders. But that industry is not well prepared to manage the legal obligations, Djinis said.
“This new policy doesn't solve the problem at all for the financial services community,” he said. “If anything, it makes it more cumbersome, more confusing and less satisfying.”
For instance, he said, dispensaries that distribute to minors will still face prosecution. But a financial institution would have no way of knowing whether a client had engaged in that or another activity still targeted by federal enforcers.
The medical marijuana business was worth $1.7 billion in 2011 and is growing, according to a study by financial analysis firm See Change Strategy.
Roughly 20 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana. Voters in Colorado and Washington state went a step further in November by legalizing recreational use.
But the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Justice Department probably “will continue to maintain that the proceeds are still illicit,” said a former Justice Department official who requested anonymity.
“I don't think the big banks will change their present policy and bank these outfits,” he said. “It's not worth the risk.”
Even if the Justice Department said financial institutions could serve state-authorized marijuana dispensaries, a regulator or a rogue U.S. attorney might have a different view and go after a bank, said Rob Rowe, a lawyer with the American Bankers Association's Center for Legal and Regulatory Compliance.
Some association members have said marijuana should remain illegal, he said, while others see a viable small business opportunity to offer banking services.
“But until Congress changes the law,” Rowe said, “there is not a lot a bank can do.”

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From Page 7:

UPS purchases two contractors here

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

UPS has announced it will purchase assets and operations of two Costa Rican-based companies: small package delivery firm Union Pak de Costa Rica, S.A. and SEISA Brokerage. Both companies have long-standing relationships with UPS as authorized service contractors.

The additions will allow UPS to better connect Costa Rica’s expanding economy to regional and world markets through the UPS network, the firm said. For Costa Rican shippers, UPS will be better positioned to provide customers one source for small package, freight forwarding, brokerage, and contract logistics, with a stronger link to UPS’s global transportation network, it added.

Union Pak de Costa Rica serves various industries with an emphasis on high-tech and medical device manufacturers. SEISA Brokerage provides same day customs clearance and delivery of package shipments within the Costa Rican free trade zones.

“UPS has enjoyed a successful relationship with these two companies,” said Romaine Seguin, president, UPS Americas region. “With the ownership of these operations in Costa Rica, UPS can provide customers the full suite of logistics services and global trade expertise. UPS continually invests in its global network, and these additions illustrate the company’s increasing commitment to serving the needs of customers in Costa Rica and throughout Latin America.”

UPS has enjoyed solid growth in Costa Rica since it established its presence in 1990. With trade agreements in place with Canada, China, Mexico and the U.S., Costa Rica’s annual import and export growth is forecast to grow an annual average of 7 percent over the next five years, according to the International Monetary Fund. In addition to its small package contractors, UPS provides services in Costa Rica through UPS Air Cargo, and UPS supply chain solutions.

UPS expects to complete the transactions in the fourth quarter of 2013 subject to customary closing conditions. Terms of the deal are not disclosed.