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(506) 2223-1327                           Pubished Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 179                        Email us
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New trial ordered in that YouTube defamation case
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An expat who has become the poster boy for complicated court cases over property has won a new trial on his conviction for defamation.

The expat is Sheldon Haseltine, the president of a corporation that holds valuable land in the central Pacific coast near Los Sueños. He also is the man who put a video on YouTube critical of well-known businessmen who are seeking to take over his corporation's land.

A criminal court convicted Haseltine of defamation Feb. 5 because of the video. A criminal appeals court panel overturned the verdict relating to Haseltine in a decision made known Tuesday.

As many expats know, truth is not a defense for defamation in Costa Rica. But there are exceptions. One is if the alleged defamation relates to a matter of public interest.  It is called excepción de verdad in the penal code.

In the video, as the appeals court decision notes, Haseltine said "Can you imagine that the law whose intention was to help the poor campesinos in Costa Rica is being used by rich millionaires to rip off the owners?"

Those who brought the action against Haseltine figured they were the rich millionaires. They are Armando González Fonseca, Fuad Farach Abdalah and Ricardo Jiménez Montealegre, all well known businessmen. Also in the case was Barva lawyer Otto Geovanny Ceciliano Mora.

The original trial court awarded the businessmen money damages.

Haseltine's lawyer, Horacio Mejías Portuguez, raised several issues in the appeal, including the
fact that those bringing the defamation claim had translated the video into Spanish and the court accepted that.

Several aspects of the translation are amusing to English speakers. In one case, the phrase rip off was translated as estafar, meaning defraud and a crime. Rip off in English is far broader and does not necessarily allege a crime.

The appeals court took note of that and also said the original trial panel should have viewed the video on YouTube. The three-judge appeals panel was critical of the trial court for several reasons, including the fact that the conviction confused several laws relating to properties.

Haseltine took most of the criticisms he aired on YouTube from the Spanish-language press. The appeals court noted that, too, and said that the trial court made an error in not letting Haseltine and his lawyer address the matter of public interest and truth. It also noted that in another case also related to property the judges quoted the lawyer Mejías reporting that some of the businessmen paid a squatter $700,000 for rights to property owned by Haseltine's Ivanhoe Investment, Inc.

The appeals panel said "The truth exception is admissible and a route to the discovery of the real truth of the facts for the existence of a current public interest."

The decision also said that "The abuse of the coastal properties, squatting and their taking by third parties who do not comply with the assumptions of law is real, public and existing."

Haseltine and his company have been involved in property battles for the last 16 years. He is in criminal and civil court repeatedly, and sometimes multiple times on the same issue.

And the hangover the following day is a real killer
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Facebook friend had a lot more on her mind than friendship, investigators say.

The 39-year-old woman prowled for suckers on the social networks and then suggested an intimate rendezvous.

At least three men took her up on her offer and there probably are many more. She was a mickey finn artist who would quickly spike the drink of her new male companion and then clean out the apartment or house. The Judicial Investigating Organization says she obtained at least $15,000 in jewelry in one case. They did not say how the victim explained that to his wife. Another victim lost 5 million colons in cash.

Agents said they located some of the items when they searched the woman's home in Desamparados Tuesday. She faces allegations of aggravated robbery and attempted murder.

She is one of a long line of women and men who prey upon the unsuspecting. Many times the victim is an expat. They report being overcomed by sudden drowsiness after taking one or more women to their apartment.
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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 179

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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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Legal services

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Real estate agents and services

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Former reporter named defensora

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Montserrat Solano Carboni, 38, has been named the defensora de los habitantes.

She emerged victorious on a third ballot among legislators Tuesday afternoon.

Ms. Solano is a former journalist and a staffer at the Estado de la Nación. She has a record of involvement in human rights causes. Among others, she was supported by the Partido Liberación Nacional.

The defensora supervises a staff that is supposed to answer questions and intercede for citizens in the governmental bureaucracy.

Pineapple free of residue, report says

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Servicio Fitosanitario del Estado said that in its continuing checking of pineapples, it found that 70 percent have no measurable chemical residue and 30 percent have residue below the standards for human consumption.

The cultivation of pineapple is a $681 million business annually and occupies 42,000 hectares, said the service.

The farms are notorious for polluting the adjacent waterways. There is heavy use of agrochemicals. However, products going to market are washed.

The service also checks fresh vegetables, and it reported that in 2013 their samples showed that just 4 percent has residue above permitted standards.

The reports follow another revelation that pregnant women living near banana plantations have higher concentrations of certain agrochemicals in their urine.

Today there is tango at jade museum

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The new jade museum is taking a leaf out of the books of other similar facilities by establishing a weekly musical event.

Today the Entre Quintos wind quintet, the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional and the Instituto Nacional de la Música will present a program at 5 p.m. The program is free.

On the program at two well-known tango arrangements: "Libertango” by  Astor Piazzoll and “Volver” by Carlos Gardel. Also on the program is “Serenata” by Antonín Dvořák.

The museum which is correctly called the Museo del Jade y la Cultura Precolombina, is on the west side of the Plaza de la Demcracia on Avenida Central.

Jatropha hybred developer moving south

Special to A.M. Costa Rica staff

SGB Inc., an agricultural biotechnology and seed company said Tuesday that it has been successful in its program to create hybrid jatropha, a biofuel plant, which has both high yield and rapid time to maturity. In conjunction with these results, the company has closed an $11 million Series C financing to drive commercial rollout.

With its latest generation of Jatropha hybrids, the San Diego, California, firm said it has reduced the time to maturity from 5 years to 1 to 2 years. Based on 100 acres of pre-commercial trials of its top 10 hybrids, SGB’s best performing hybrid to date eclipsed an equivalent of 300 gallons of oil per acre in year one with a corresponding protein production of 0.6 metric tons, surpassing protein yield of soybean by more than 30 percent.

Total yield also includes 20 metric tons of green biomass per acre. A white paper released today and authored by Bob Schmidt, SGB’s chief scientist outlines how SGB has accomplished the domestication of a new crop species.

The $11 million financing is led by SGB’s current investors, including Flint Hills Resources, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch Industries.

The money will be used for commercial partnerships and project deployments focused on Central America, India and Southeast Asia, and to further advance genetic improvement, and agronomic best practices to maximize the full potential of the crop, the firm said.

There are
jatropha plantations in Costa Rica.

“The yield from our hybrids are stunning, and SGB’s investors clearly recognize the significant opportunity arising from having the first new proven crop for protein and oil since canola was developed in the 1970s,” said Arama Kukutai, executive chairman of SGB. “Our scientific and breeding teams have cracked the code and the technology is now ready for full-scale commercial deployment of jatropha. This financing underscores that jatropha has risen from the ashes and will be a major plantation crop and viable alternative to palm and soybean as a sustainable source of oil and protein.”

SGB’s hybrids have been developed following six years of research and close to $40 million of investment, drawing from a diverse germplasm library including more than 12,000 unique genotypes, the firm said..

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 179
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Another measure submitted to prohibit children from using firearms
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A Liberación lawmaker proposed Tuesday a change in the firearms law to prohibit minors from using weapons or even being at a shooting range.

The lawmaker is Ronny Monge Salas, who formally presented the measure, which still does not have a submission number.  Monge said he took the action, in part, to mark the Día de Niño.

Monge said that the Ministerio de Educación Pública reports that 434 firearms were found in the possession of school children between 2006 and 2012. He also reported that 58 youngsters have been treated for bullet wounds at the Hospital Nacional de Niños during the same period.

The statistics do not mention the children who have been killed by firearms.
In 2013 members of the previous legislature proposed a similar prohibition and said that children as young as 10 have been taken to shooting ranges by parents.

That prohibition was rolled into a wide-reaching firearms update that never was passed.

The Monge bill would prohibit minors to be involved in hunting activities even if they did not carry a firearm.   Adults who violate the law would face a stiff fine.

There has been a lengthy effort to prohibit children from handling firearms, although some proposals had exceptions for competitive shooting. The proposal by Monge does not.

In most of the cases he cited in which children were injured, the firearm was handled by someone else.

Break out the credit cards because the new iPhones soon will be here
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

So expats are excited today because they are counting down the time until the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus reach Costa Rica.

Naturally there will be a lot muled in through Juan Santamaría and Daniel Oduber airports. But even in the United States the phones are not available. The company is accepting pre-orders.

Apple has come out with two versions of the iPhone,  the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. One can now spend from $200 to $500 to be plugged in continually to the net. The advantage is a bigger and better screen.

According to commentators, users can be sure to hook up with a new Facebook friend without delay.

The much anticipated Apple Watch will not be on the market until next year.

Meanwhile, sociologists are pondering what this means to society.
On that topic, the Johns Hopkins Newsletter, produced by students, weighted in on a world without cell phones::

". . . it’s the 1990s. A time when strangers would talk to each other on airplanes and trains or in bars. A time when families could have dinner without being interrupted by “Single Ladies” by Beyonce. A time when we would have debates that ended in consensus or fist fights instead of one guy silencing the crowd by raising his illuminated iPhone above his head and citing Wikipedia as the final word.?

And that was in 2009!
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The Phone 6 Plus is a bit larger.

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, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 179
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Many bird species believed to be at risk with higher temperatures
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. bird populations are in decline across several key habitats, according to the nation's top bird scientists and conservation groups.

Their report - called "The State of the Birds 2014" - identifies so-called arid land birds as the population in steepest decline.  These include birds that live in desert habitats in the western United States, which have seen a 46 percent decline in indigenous species since 1968, due primarily to habitat loss and fragmentation. Invasive species are another threat.

The 23-member partnership of government agencies and organizations also reviewed bird populations across grasslands, forests, wetlands, oceans, islands and along the coasts.

Experts also found significant threats in the nation’s grasslands, noting in the report a 40 percent decline in breeding birds, including the eastern meadowlark and the bobolink, since 1968.

But the report notes that conservation efforts have made a significant difference in helping populations recover.

However, there is trouble ahead for North America's birds. A new report from the National Audubon Society warns that more than 300 species are threatened by climate change, including the iconic Bald Eagle.

Researchers analyzed 30 years of North American climate data and thousands of official bird observations over the decades, looking for links between where birds live and climate conditions.
Using predicted scenarios of climate change, they mapped how each bird’s ideal range could shift in the future. A range is the area where birds live and breed, with the temperatures, precipitation, and seasonal changes each species needs to survive.

The study predicts the continent could lose more than 50 percent and in some cases 100 percent  of the current ranges of 126 species by mid-century because the birds won't be able to relocate to cooler climates.

Their findings indicate, for example, that the current summer range of the eagle, the national symbol of the United States, could decrease by nearly 75 percent in 65 years if temperatures continue to rise.

In addition, by 2080, warming temperatures threaten to reduce by half the current ranges of 188 birds, according to the study. 

However, researchers say it's possible many of these bird species could relocate, recolonizing and making up for the loss, if the proper habitat exists in the new range.

Audubon President David Yarnold calls climate change's impact on birds a potentially staggering loss.. horrific.

But he says the study creates a road map and a call to action to reverse the decline, identifying places where birds live that need protection.

The two reports were issued 100 years after the extinction of the passenger pigeon.

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
   * See how other expats live. Meet other expats who have made
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   * Informative two-day seminar given by local experts in their
          relevant fields.
   * Tours led by Christopher Howard, 34-year resident, citizen,
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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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Real estate rentals
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See our listing of real estate brokers on the for-sale page.

Real estate for rent (paid category)
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, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 179
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U.S., México, Isthmus
will study child migrants

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Top law enforcement officials from North and Central America are forming a multinational task force to address the massive influx of child migrants to the United States.

At a meeting in Mexico City with his counterparts from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder agreed Tuesday to create a working group that will focus on the criminal elements behind child migration.

The team will review how to confront smugglers and cartels that profit from the routes through Mexico to the U.S. It also will look at the violent Central American gangs that prey on children as new recruits.

Recent data from the U.S. government show the number of unaccompanied children, primarily from Central America, has nearly doubled in the last year. More than 66,000 minors have been detained at the southwest U.S. border since October 2013.

According to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice, the working group will hold its first meeting in the coming weeks.

The presidents and foreign ministers from the three Central American countries met with U.S. President Barack Obama in July. The U.S. government has pledged funds to improve conditions in the children's home countries in an effort to slow the mass exodus, which slowed in July and August.

Obama will outline strategy
to defeat Islamic state tonight

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama is preparing to lay out his strategy against militants of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria when he delivers an address to Americans tonight.

President Obama plans to deliver his address after drawing widespread criticism last month when he said he did not yet have a strategy to counter the militants who have taken over areas of Iraq, threatened minorities and beheaded two American journalists on video that horrified Americans.

In the past months, the president has been reluctant to expand military operations in Iraq, as polls showed Americans were weary following a decade of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  But a major poll conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News this week shows Americans surveyed overwhelmingly view the Islamic State group as a serious threat to U.S. interests, and widely support air strikes against the group.

At a briefing Tuesday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the president believes confronting Islamic State militants is a high national security priority.

“The president has been specific about what the end game is. The president believes that we need to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL. That is the end game," said Earnest.

Earnest said the address will be about the next phase of U.S. efforts against the militants, beyond the current round of air strikes that U.S. forces are carrying out against the militants. 

“What the president will talk about tomorrow is what are the steps we need to take in order to get us there," he said.

Those steps include bolstering the inclusive government that Iraq’s new leadership has set up, building international support for the effort against the militants and securing commitments from governments in the region to, among other things, support the moderate Syrian opposition.

The speech is planned as Secretary of State John Kerry travels to the Middle East to meet with leaders in Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

White House officials said President Obama will not announce the return of combat troops to Iraq, nor will he give a timetable for U.S. military operations in the country.  U.S. officials have said the operation will be long-term, with some saying the effort could go on for years.

Analysts say Wednesday’s speech comes at a crucial time in Obama’s presidency, with the latest polls showing his public approval ratings at record or near-record lows, and more than half of those surveyed saying they believe his presidency has been a failure.

The administration hopes the announcement of a comprehensive strategy at a time when polls are showing Americans favor a more aggressive approach against the militants will help change that perception.

Public opinion surveys have shown growing support in the United States for more air attacks on the Islamic State, especially since the wide broadcast of Islamic State videos showing the militants beheading two American journalists.

Despite the attacks, a segment of the public and some lawmakers are voicing concerns about expanded U.S. military involvement in the Mideast at the same time the U.S. is winding down its 13-year fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Obama says he has the authority to go on the offensive against the Islamic State. But some U.S. lawmakers have called for extensive debate in Congress on U.S. policies in the region before any Syrian mission is undertaken.

The president also met Tuesday with the top four congressional leaders, Democrat Harry Reid and Republican Mitch McConnell from the Senate, along with the House Republican leader, Speaker John Boehner, and the top House Democrat, Nancy Pelosi.

The President began the meeting by laying out some of the ideas he has already discussed publicly about how to combat Islamic State  threat.

McConnell is calling for a congressional vote on whatever strategy Obama adopts for attacking the insurgents.

An aide to Boehner says the speaker backs some of the actions Obama has already proposed. This includes bolstering Iraqi security forces and training and equipping the Syrian opposition.

The aide says Boehner would support the president if he decides to deploy U.S. forces to help train and advise Iraqi forces and help with the lethal targeting of Islamic State leadership.

Islamic State has taken over large parts of northern Iraq and Syria, terrorizing religious minorities and non-Muslims. It also recently beheaded two U.S. journalists in Syria and put the grisly scenes on the Internet.

Government officials also are briefing all 535 members of Congress in the next few days on the Islamic State threat and how the U.S. plans to respond.

The president pulled the last U.S. combat troops out of Iraq three years ago following a nine-year war. But he has dispatched about 1,000 advisers to Baghdad and ordered extensive air strikes against the insurgents in Iraq.

Lawmakers are wondering
if Obama needs their OK

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. lawmakers are speaking out on the eve of President Barack Obama’s address outlining U.S. plans to combat radical Islamic State fighters.  Both parties say action is warranted, but some disagree on whether Congress must authorize the use of force.

For months, Republican lawmakers have slammed the Obama administration’s response to chaos and fanatical militancy in the Middle East as timid and tardy.  Now, with the president set to lay out his strategy for taking on the Islamic State, some Republicans are, for the moment, moderating criticism while continuing to urge bold action. 

“The threat from ISIL is real, and it is growing," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. "It is time for President Obama to exercise some leadership in launching a response.”

That message is echoed by Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

“They have threatened to conduct terrorist attacks internationally, including here in the United States," she said. "We must hold ISIS accountable for their despicable acts.”

Some lawmakers of both parties say Obama need not secure congressional authorization to strike against Islamic State fighters who control territory in Syria and Iraq. Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is not one of them. Cruz is outspoken in his support of military action.

“ISIS is a study in oppression and brutality," he said. "The response must be, principally, military.”

But Cruz, who accuses Obama of weakness in combating global terrorism, said any action taken against the Islamic State group must be approved by Congress.

“The president is reportedly considering an action that could last as long as three years," he said. "If this is, indeed, the case, then it is incumbent on him to come to Congress and lay out his strategies.”

In the House of Representatives, Republican Speaker John Boehner was repeatedly asked if congressional authorization is required and repeatedly gave a cryptic response.

"What I am hoping to hear from the president today is a strategy that goes after ISIS, and destroys them,” he said.

Overall, Democrats are sensitive to criticism the president has been slow to act. Florida Sen. Bill Nelson took to the floor to note that Obama has already ordered air strikes in Iraq that have halted Islamic State advances on key cities and infrastructure targets. Lawmakers of both parties say they will watch the president’s speech tonight with great interest.

Programs giving cities
military goods reviewed

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday reviewed federal government programs that provide billions of dollars in surplus military weapons and equipment to civilian police departments.

The action comes amid growing calls to end the so-called militarization of local law-enforcement agencies after last month's police response to protests in Ferguson, Missouri.

Events in Ferguson drew worldwide attention when local police, dressed in military uniforms with assault weapons and armored combat vehicles, fired tear gas to break up demonstrations over the Aug. 9 shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer.

During a Senate Homeland Security Committee, Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat, called the use of combat equipment in Ferguson unnecessary.

"Officers dressed in military fatigues are not viewed as partners in any community," said the Missouri senator. "Armored military vehicles, even if they are painted black and used with the utmost discretion are, by definition, intimidating."

Since 1997, the Defense Department has given away $5 billion worth of military-grade weapons and equipment intended for fighting major crimes, terrorism and response to disasters.

Sen. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, also voiced his opposition to the program, stating the Department of Defense specifically instructs local police departments that it is not intended for riot control.

"Many of the police forces actually think that this equipment would be good for riot suppression in a big city," he said. "Much is frankly inappropriate, and really should not be on anybody's list of authorized equipment."

Defense officials have said the military supplies are useful to law enforcement agencies, But Alan Estevez, undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, said the Pentagon cannot monitor how the equipment is used.

"I think we need to review all of the equipment that we are providing. And as I said, we at the Department of Defense do not push any of this equipment on any police force," said Estevez. "The states decide what they need."

Saint Louis newspaper photojournalist Wiley Price, who covered the demonstrations, said Ferguson residents were surprised to see police driving around in military vehicles, pointing assault weapons at them.

"Other photographers were questioning each other about what was going on and this went on for three or four days," he said. "Police aggravated peaceful marchers when they were just standing there chanting."

A Western Kentucky University criminal justice professor, Jim Bueermann, told lawmakers he supports giving police military equipment — but with more training specifically on when it is appropriate to use.

"If there is any silver lining that comes out of the event in Ferguson, it is that we begin this discussion that should have happened in 1997, not 2014, about how we use this equipment, whether it comes from a federal program or out of a city's general fund in an appropriate way that doesn't damage the relationship police have with the community," said Bueermann.

Lawmakers say they will continue to review government programs that provide military equipment to domestic police departments.

Hoping to avoid the kind of police response in Ferguson that sparked so much outrage and controversy, the Obama Administration is conducting its own investigation into the program.

U.S. man gets more time
for his help to al-Qaida

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A U.S. man convicted of supporting al-Qaida will serve an additional four years in prison after a U.S. federal judge in Miami on Tuesday ruled the initial 17-year sentence was too lenient.

Jose Padilla, the first U.S. citizen labeled an enemy combatant, was convicted in the southern U.S. state of Florida in 2007 of providing material support to terrorists and collaborating with the transnational terrorist network.

Padilla, now 43, was arrested in 2002 at a U.S. airport after returning from what prosecutors called an al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan. He was accused of plotting to detonate a radioactive dirty bomb in a U.S. city, but was never charged with that.  A jury found him guilty on charges of supporting al-Qaida and terrorism conspiracy.

He initially was given credit for time served in a military prison in the U.S. after being deemed an enemy combatant. Tuesday's ruling revokes that credit.

Federal prosecutors agreed not to seek more than 30 years in prison for Padilla as long as his lawyers did not introduce records related to alleged harsh conditions he endured during the three-and-one-half years spent in a South Carolina military prison.

Padilla sat shackled in a khaki jumpsuit and did not speak during the two-hour hearing. Under his new sentence, Padilla remains held in a super-maximum security prison.
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The undiscovered jewel of Central America, 35 square miles of blue, pristine, clear water ideal for fishing, swimming, boating, Real estate values still low.
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Check with our Web site at
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Cell (506) 8880-8888
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Costa Rica,

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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:

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Esterilos montage
Two lovely homes on one big lot in Esterillos Oeste, (Central Pacific)
Located on a breezy hill just 4 minutes walk to the beach, surf and tide-pools, only 20 minutes drive north to Jacó nightlife and shopping or south to the rural town of Parrita.

First, a 2-storey, 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1½-bathroom house with big kitchen and living room.  Full-width verandah with eating and sitting areas, overlooking lawn, pool and gazebo. Sitting balcony at upper, bedroom level.  Carport. and laundry. 

Second, a completely private single-storey. 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1-bathroom home with big back yard at a lower level on the same, big fully titled 1,100M2 lot.. Full security bars at all doors and windows, plus locking vehicle access and pedestrian gates at the street. In a very safe neighborhood, with private and natural surroundings

Well maintained, fully and tastefully furnished and equipped, hot water, local phone, cable TV/DVD and high speed wireless internet   The houses have been rented for both long-term and vacation for $100/$80 per day and $1,500/$1,200 per month respectively. See this place, you will love it! Then make an offer. E-mail or call (506) 8386-8825.  Rodney, asking $350,000.

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
Four bedrooms and five baths. 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:

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.

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

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Tropical lots located walking distance to a beautiful white sandy beach
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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 
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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 
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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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Call center for rent ready to go !
13 work stations, good equipment, good location, Rohrmoser, two blocks from Plaza Mayor. $4.000 per month. Call Kevin 8366-6861.

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, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 179
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News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Mexican and Colombian newspeople
face threats, attack and shooting

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The Inter American Press Association has condemned an increase in attacks on the lives of journalists in Mexico and Colombia. The organization further criticized a campaign of harassment in Bolivia, concerns that will be discussed in detail at the organization’s upcoming General Assembly scheduled for October 17 to 21 in Chile.

The chairman of the association's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Claudio Paolillo, expressed solidarity with journalists Karla Janeth Silva of Mexico and Amalfi Rosales of Colombia and Bolivian newspaper publishing company, Día a Día. Paolillo called on the authorities of those countries to carry out rigorous investigations to identify and punish those accountable.

Paolillo who is also the editor of the Montevideo Uruguay weekly, Búsqueda, protested an attack on Ms. Silva, a reporter with the newspaper El Heraldo in Silao, Guanajuato state. The journalist was beaten at her office Sept. 4 by a group of unidentified assailants who also damaged furniture and equipment there.

Ms. Silva filed a formal complaint about the attack and expressing confidence that city officials dissatisfied with her work are responsible for the attack. The incident comes in the wake of alleged warnings for her to lower the tone of her reports which focused on a lack of safety, transparency and wrongdoing in the handling of local government funds.

According to the organization Artículo 19 between April and June this year there were in Mexico 87 attacks of various kinds on media and journalists.

As regards Colombia, Ms. Rosales left La Guajira province where she lived after her home was shot at on Sept. 2. She and her family were unhurt in the attack. Ms. Rosales, a reporter with El Heraldo of Barranquilla, a correspondent of Noticias Uno radio and newspaper Al Día, had been receiving threats since last November.

She has covered political affairs such as the case of former governor Francisco “Kiko” Gómez, now in prison for alleged links to paramilitaries and three homicides. Gómez was also said to be involved in an alleged plan to kill journalists Gonzalo Guillén, León Valencia, Ariel Ávila and member of Congress and former journalist Claudia López. Last week Guillén, who is being guarded by a National Protection Unit, left the country temporarily.

Regarding Bolivia, the Inter American Press Association received a complaint from the Editorial Día a Día S.A., a newspaper publishing company, about a campaign of harassment that was understood to be waged by the government against witnesses and defendants in a case of alleged terrorism that has been before the courts of the South American nation for the past five years.

The company, which publishes the daily newspapers El Día, El Sol and Solo Deporte, reported that on Sept. 2 an individual wore a shirt, reserved exclusively for employees, containing the logo, “identify theft and material and ideological deceit.” The individual is not connected with the company.

The incident occurred during the holding of a trial that has a clear political color. Among those charged is an owner of the newspaper group. The person who used without authority the shirt with the company logo has been declared to be an alleged member of the security guard of one of the public prosecutors involved in the case.

Paolillo said that despite the fact that the association is respectful of legal proceedings “we condemn these kinds of incidents that while they are often seen as simple but grotesque acts can impede due process.”

Did that suitcase just move?

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Juan Santamaría airport is where a lot of smuggling takes place. Usually the contraband is marijuana or cocaine.

But how about 100 frogs, 50 snakes and 20 small lizards?

That's what airport police found in the luggage of a German tourist headed to Panamá. The man had arranged the animals cleverly in small plastic containers and even provided some lettuce as a snack for the trip.

Capturing and moving forest creatures is illegal, and the tourist was presented to prosecutors. He may face stiff fines.

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From Page 7:

Tourism is once again an economic sector

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Government officials have agreed to move tourism out of second place and back into a free-standing economic sector under the minister of Turismo.

That was the result of a meeting of  Wilhelm von Breymann, the tourism minister, with Melvin Jiménez, minister of the Presidencia, and the minster of  Planificación, Olga Marta Sánchez.

Last month a decree put Tourism as a subsector under the economics minister. That made tourism officials unhappy.

But all is not sweetness and light.

The Cámara Nacional de Turismo said Tuesday that it would present two administrative actions against the Dirección General de Tributación and the  Ministerio de Hacienda. Such actions are one way of exhausting remedies before going to court.

Tourism leaders are upset by the central government's plan to assess 13 percent sales tax on activities and also to seek six years of back taxes.

The tourism chamber will go to the Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo and perhaps the Sala IV constitutional court if there is no administrative satisfaction.