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(506) 2223-1327                           Published Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 180                       Email us
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Tourism officials report significant rise in visitors
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The tourism institute is reporting a 5.4 percent increase in foreigners arriving on tourism visas for the first six months of the year. The statistics also show significant increases of North Americans and Europeans.

The institute, using figures supplied by the Dirección General de Migración, said that 1,391,617 tourists arrive in the country during that period. The institute also said that 946,103 came by air. That represented a 7.6 percent increase over the same period, January to June, in 2013, said the institute.

There was less than a 1 percent increase in those arriving by land, according to the statistics. That number was 439,151 and the travelers are mainly Central Americans.

The Institute Costarricense de Turismo also
reported that 6,363 tourists came by ship, which is a 18.9 percent increase.

Perhaps the most important static was the number of tourists who came from North America, mainly Canada and the United States. In 2013 that number was 663,072. The total for 2014 is 712,458. according to the tourism institute.

That represents an increase of  nearly 7.5 percent.

European visitors also were up by more than 30,000. In 2013 there were 149,430 European tourists, according to the archived institute figures. This year through June there have been 179,743 or a bit more than 20 percent more.

The tourism institute said that the statistics exclude Costa Ricans and those foreigners who were entering the country on temporary work permits. That last group would include agricultural workers.

Police officers still battle turtle egg thieves
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Police gave chase and detained a driver who ignored requests to stop in Guanacaste Tuesday night.

After the three-kilometer chase officers found a trunk full of turtle eggs. There were 9,400, police officers said when they completed the count Wednesday morning.

They added that to the total of 223 eggs they confiscated from a woman and a female teenager earlier Tuesday at Playa Bejuco.

They are believed to be green turtle eggs.

The eggs find a ready market at some bars because of their presumed powers. Police are quick to note that the beaches where the turtles lay eggs are too vast for continual patrol.
turtle eggs
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo
A trunk full of turtle eggs.

The Fuerza Pública said the 9,400 eggs represented the largest confiscation anywhere in the country this year. The Caribbean coast also is a hotbed of turtle egg thefts.

Map available online for today's 9/11 ceremony
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Those who seek to honor the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States might have second thoughts because of the location.

This morning  the observance is in the training academy for firefighters in Patarrá, Desamparados. Fortunately, the Cuerpo de Bomberos has a map on its Web page HERE! The time is 10:30 a.m., said the U.S. Embassy.

This is the 13th anniversary of the multiple disasters. Fire fighters have a special relationship with the anniversary because so many died in the
 collapse of the World Trade towers in New York.

The academy grounds also hold the relocated monument to the victims. It had to be moved from Sabana Norte because thieves were stealing the copper from which the monument was constructed.

The U.S. Embassy said that Héctor Chaves, director of the Bomberos, would be there along with Ravi Candadai, the U.S. consul general.

The Marine Corps League will make a strong showing as will members of other military organizations as well as U.S. and Costa Rican citizens.

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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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Southern Command CO visiting today

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

U.S. Marine Gen. John Kelly, commander of U.S. Southern Command, is visiting Costa Rica today.  He will be at Casa Presidencial this morning to meet with security officials.

As head of the Southern Command, Kelly is a major decision maker in the U.S. war on drugs. He is expected to talk about the Central American Regional Security Initiative with Costa Rican officials today.

Kelly is coming from El Salvador, which is considered an important U.S. ally in Latin America. The U.S. and El Salvador enjoy a strong military partnership and a long history of security cooperation guided by a shared interest in lasting peace and stability for the region, said the Southern Command. in advance of the trip.

Thursday Kelly met with Adm. Paul Zukunft, the new U.S. Coast Guard commandant at the Southern Command's headquarters near Miami, Florida. The Southern Command said that the main theme of the meeting was the need for renewed efforts toward safety and security in the Western Hemisphere.

“Criminal organizations engaged in trafficking threaten nations and the security of their citizens,” Kelly was quoted as saying. “These challenges require close cooperation among federal agencies, along with willing partners in the region, to continue the fight against illicit trafficking. These relationships not only enhance our abilities to deal with these threats to our sovereignty and security, they offer a tangible example of our willingness and commitment to work with partners in support of shared goals for peace, security and prosperity throughout the western hemisphere.”

Zukunft said that “The wide-spread violence of criminal networks just to our south has reached epidemic levels,” according to a summary by the Southern Command.

Application brings users the weather

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The national weather institute has created a cell telephone application that provides extensive amount of information and also provides real time data in emergencies.

The application is free and available through the Apple Store or Play Store.

Basically the device put all the current weather data on cell telephone. That includes more than just the temperature and forecasts, although they are there, too.

The application provides an ultraviolet radiation index, for example. Users also can report their local weather via the application, said an announcement.

The application was done by the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional and the  Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo.

The application also includes video games that discuss climate change and promotes conservation, according to an announcement.

Vocational training gets a review

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

International experts have reviewed Costa Rica's technical and professional academic programs.

The reviewers were from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which operates the Skills beyond School survey.

The goal is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the educational programs. The Ministerio de Educación Pública  was involved as was the  Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje which runs vocational training programs. Evaluators met with local educators this week to discuss findings.

Costa Rica is working to become a member of the international organization.

Study: Conspiracy theories provide closure

By the British Psychological Society news service

A need for cognitive closure leads to many people believing in conspiracy theories, according to a new study.

Research by Karen Douglas of the University of Kent, examined the extent to which 250 people agreed with theories for the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 earlier this year.

Scientists expected that factors such as mistrust, powerlessness and paranoia could influence whether or not individuals believe in conspiracy theories. However, they also discovered that the need for cognitive closure and belief in an unjust world can also play a part if no official explanation exists.

In addition, they found that those who believe in MH370 conspiracy theories also agree with alternative explanations for other notorious events, such as the death of Princess Diana and the 9/11 attacks.

Ms. Douglas said this means the psychological predictors of conspiracy beliefs "may be the same whether an official explanation has been established or not."

The study is being presented this week at the British Psychological Society's Social Psychology Section conference in Canterbury.

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Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 180
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Health ministry planning triple strategy against potential suicides
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The fact is well known that some 86 percent of the country's suicide victims are men, but the heath ministry reported Wednesday that the statistic is because many more women are unsuccessful at suicide.

Through August this year there were 625 cases of suicide attempts, and 59 percent of those involved were women. The ministry also said that the highest percentage of attempts was among the 15- to 24-year age group.

María Esther Anchía Ángulo said that September is the month with the highest number of suicides. She is a vice minister at the Ministerio de Salud and a physician. The monthly totals may be why Sept. 10 is world day for suicide prevention.

The vice minister noted that Costa Rica is unique among its neighbors in having a law that requires reporting of suicide attempts by health professionals and other public employees. Consequently the ministry has reasonably good statistics.

The data also showed that suicides here dropped from 343 to 313 between 2012 and 2013. The rate last year was 6.2 suicides per every 100,000 of population.

The ministry wants to lower that rate and announced three approaches Wednesday. The first will be directed to all residents and include programs to promote mental health. The ministry also wants to reduce the consumption of alcohol and also reduce the number of
Ministerio de Salud graphic
The suicide rate appears to be nearly constant over the years.

ways persons can kill themselves. However, in Costa Rica nearly 60
percent of the suicides are from hanging, so the means always is available.

The ministry also wants to direct programs toward vulnerable groups, such as those victims of trauma or abuse, victims of disasters, refugees and migrants and family members of suicide victims.

Third, the ministry officials plan to direct attention to vulnerable individuals and develop more training for health professionals who work with them.

Modern artists in metal take their cue from the Diquis culture
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Museo Nacional inaugurates tonight a seven-week exposition of metalwork inspired by the Diquís culture of the southern Pacific.

The works come from six artists who call themselves the Colectivo ¿Por qué No?, meaning that everything is possible.

The Diquís region is the home of those enigmatic pre-Columbian stone spheres. But the ancient culture also had its fine metalworkers, according to the museum, which maintains a vast collection.

The exposition will be inaugurated this evening at 7 p.m. and runs until Oct. 31 in the museum's temporary gallery.

The display is timely because the Diquís culture and the spheres have just been declared part of the world's heritage by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Museum staffers avow that the objects in the display have been inspired by the personal contact by the artists with the land, the natural riches, the archaeological artifacts and the symbolism of the ancient culture.

The collective includes five Costa Ricans and a Columbian.

The spheres themselves continue to be a mystery. They range from football size to two meters in diameter. An academic expert on hydraulics consulted by A.M. Costa Rica earlier this year said that he doubts the large balls could have been made using fast-flowing
Museo Nacional photos
Some examples of the works inspired by the spheres.

river water. Most archaeologists think the sphere were made by individuals who simply pecked at the stone with a smaller rock.

Because some of the balls were found in association with the remains of dwellings, Museo Nacional archaeologists have said they think the balls were status symbols.

The museum has opened up a museum as an additional attraction for the four sites named as the world's heritage. They are Finca 6, Batambal, El Silencio and Grijalba-2, all in the Cantón de Osa.

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 180
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Study says brain of persons with violent tendencies are different
By the  Mount Sinai Hospital news staff

With the longstanding debate over whether violent movies cause real world violence as a backstop, a new study found that each person’s reaction to violent images depends on that individual’s brain circuitry and on how aggressive they were to begin with.

The study, which was led by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the National Institutes of Health Intramural Program, featured brain scans which revealed that both watching and not watching violent images caused different brain activity in people with different aggression levels. The findings may have implications for intervention programs that seek to reduce aggressive behavior starting in childhood.

“Our aim was to investigate what is going on in the brains of people when they watch violent movies,” said lead investigator Nelly Alia-Klein, associate professor of neuroscience and psychiatry at the Friedman Brain Institute and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “We hypothesized that if people have aggressive traits to begin with, they will process violent media in a very different way as compared to non-aggressive people, a theory supported by these findings.”

After answering a questionnaire, a group of 54 men were split by the research team into two groups — one with individuals possessing aggressive traits, including a history of physical assault, and a second group without these tendencies. The participants’ brains were then scanned as they watched a succession of violent scenes (shootings and street fights) on day one, emotional, but non-violent scenes (people interacting during a natural disaster) on day two, and nothing on day three.

The scans measured the subjects’ brain metabolic activity, a marker of
brain function. Participants also had their blood pressure taken every 5 minutes, and were asked how they were feeling at 15 minute intervals.

Investigators discovered that during mind wandering, when no movies were presented, the participants with aggressive traits had unusually high brain activity in a network of regions that are known to be active when not doing anything in particular.

This suggests that participants with aggressive traits have a different brain function map than non-aggressive participants, researchers said.

Interestingly, while watching scenes from violent movies, the aggressive group had less brain activity than the non-aggressive group in the orbitofrontal cortex, a brain region associated by past studies with emotion-related decision making and self-control. The aggressive subjects described feeling more inspired and determined and less upset or nervous than non-aggressive participants when watching violent (day 1) versus just emotional (day 2) media. In line with these responses, while watching the violent media, aggressive participants’ blood pressure went down progressively with time while the non-aggressive participants experienced a rise in blood pressure.

“How an individual responds to their environment depends on the brain of the beholder,” said Dr. Alia-Klein. “Aggression is a trait that develops together with the nervous system over time starting from childhood; patterns of behavior become solidified and the nervous system prepares to continue the behavior patterns into adulthood when they become increasingly coached in personality. This could be at the root of the differences in people who are aggressive and not aggressive, and how media motivates them to do certain things. Hopefully these results will give educators an opportunity to identify children with aggressive traits and teach them to be more aware of how aggressive material activates them specifically.”

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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.
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San Ramon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya.7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamerica highway. 3,200 ft. elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 baths, frig, dishwasher, washer, dryer, TV, DVD player, high-speed internet, direct TV via sling box on Internet. rent is $750 plus electricity & water. free Internet. Prefer 3 months or more. Available Nov. 1. Contact   Check out slide show HERE!

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.
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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.
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 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
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A.M. Costa Rica's   Fifth news page

cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 180
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Obama seeks to broaden
the anti-Islamic campaign

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama proposed a substantially expanded American military campaign against Islamic State militants, vowing a relentless effort to wipe out the terrorists wherever they exist, he told the nation Wednesday night.

Obama laid out the new strategy in a televised White House speech as the U.S. and its allies face the growing threat of rising Islamist extremism in Iraq, Syria and other parts of the volatile Middle East and North Africa region.

Obama's plan includes training and arming Iraqi security forces as well as vetted Syrian opposition fighters in order to help both groups battle fighters from the Islamic State.

But Obama emphasized that the fight against Islamic State militants will be different from recent U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil. This counter-terrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground.”

“This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years,” Obama said.

The president also discussed the possibility of expanding American air strikes against militant strongholds across the Iraqi border into Syria and indicated that allies in Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere are ready to join the U.S.-led counter-terrorism campaign.

“With a new Iraqi government in place, and following consultations with allies abroad and Congress at home, I can announce that America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat,” Obama said.

“Our objective is clear: we will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.”

As part of that effort, the U.S. also will send an additional 475 service members to Iraq in a non-combat role to support Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the president said.

The American-led coalition will mount a strategy to stem the flow of foreign fighters to the Islamic State, and ramp up humanitarian assistance to those displaced by militants.

Earlier Wednesday, the White House announced it would provide $25 million in immediate military assistance to the new Iraqi government as part of its efforts to combat the Sunni extremist group, which controls substantial swathes of territory in northern and western Iraq.

According to sources, Saudi Arabia has pledged its full commitment to that effort, and U.S. troops will train Syrian opposition fighters on Saudi soil.

The effort is dependent on the U.S. Congress approving $500 million to train and arm the rebels.

The Saudi decision emerged after Obama spoke by phone earlier in the day with Saudi King Abdullah, who has pushed the American government to do more to resolve the Syrian conflict.

Secretary of State John Kerry, now visiting Baghdad, will meet with leaders across the region in the coming days.

Republican House Speaker John Boehner issued a statement after the president's speech Wednesday saying Obama has finally begun making the case that "destroying this terrorist threat requires decisive action." But Boehner also said a "speech is not the same thing as a strategy," and that there are still questions about the president's intentions.

Republican Ed Royce, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said it remains to be seen whether the administration, "after much delay and denial, develops and executes the sustained commitment needed" to destroy the Islamic State.

Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee said she would have preferred Obama be more definitive in identifying which nations would take part in the coalition.

Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel of New York  said that he strongly supports Obama's plan while adding that it is "only the opening salvo."

But Alaska's Democratic senator, Mark Begich, a member of the Armed Services Committee, said he would not give the president "a blank check to begin another land war in Iraq." Begich -- one of many Democratic senators facing a tough re-election contest in November -- said Congress must approve any military campaign beyond the current air strikes.

Public opinion polls this week show a majority of Americans support action against the militants.

Meanwhile, Senate Democratic leaders prepared legislation that would authorize the U.S. military to arm and train pro-Western Syrian rebels in the fight against Islamic State militants, according to Senate Democratic aides.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid indicated he supports providing President Obama the authority to strengthen regional forces in the fight against the Islamic State.

“It's clear to me that we need to train and equip Syrian rebels and other groups in the Middle East that need some help,'' Reid said Wednesday.

House Republicans abruptly called off a vote scheduled for Thursday on a short-term spending bill in order to consider a last-minute White House request that training language be included. They will discuss the issue in an emergency meeting Thursday morning.

The White House request asks for “authority to train and equip appropriately vetted elements of the Syrian armed opposition to help defend the Syrian people from attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and the Syrian regime” as well as stabilize areas in Syria under rebel control.

Pro-Western Syrian rebels have been fighting both Islamic State extremists and forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Obama has told key government officials that he believes he already has the power to order an increased military offensive without congressional approval. But he told four top lawmakers at a White House meeting earlier this week he would welcome a favorable legislative vote to show the country was united in fighting the militants.

Law enforcement officials
at tense because of the date

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

As Americans prepare to observe the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, there are growing concerns that the militant group known as Islamic State could carry out attacks in the U.S. and Europe.

Each year before the anniversary of the 2001 attacks, U.S. law enforcement agencies go on alert, watching for potential terrorist attacks. Security sensitivities are higher this year because of the rise and rapid military successes in Iraq and Syria of the Islamic State, a brutal terrorist group.

The group has made a point of threatening the United States and recently beheaded two kidnapped American journalists. Terrorism experts say officials in the U.S. and other Western countries are particularly worried about hundreds of foreigners who have joined the Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq.

Scores of Europeans and even some Americans have known to have traveled to the Middle East to join its ranks. Terrorism analysts worry that some of these militants may return to their home countries planning to cause havoc and stage violent attacks.
Britain recently raised its threat level - an estimate of the risk of terrorist activity - to severe, which is meant to signal that an attack attempt is highly likely, but not necessarily imminent.

Home Secretary Theresa May said the threat-level adjustment was prompted by knowledge that has been gained about foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria who hold British and European passports.

“The increase in the threat level is related to developments in Syria and Iraq where terrorist groups are planning attacks against the West,” Secretary May said recently.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security says it is unaware of any specific threats from the Islamic State. However, U.S. analysts say anniversary dates like Sept. 11 are important for terrorist propaganda.

Two years ago, a militant attack on the Sept. 11 anniversary razed the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Global threats to the U.S. are increasing, said Professor Yonah Alexander, who directs terrorism studies at the Potomac Institute, outside the U.S. capital.

“For example, one of the affiliates of al-Qaida in Somalia, the al-Shabab, they just threatened the United States, that they are going to mount attacks against the U.S. which are going to be worse than the U.S. experience in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said this week.

Independence for Scotland
continues too close to call

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Next week, people in Scotland will decide whether to remain part of the United Kingdom along with England, Wales and Northern Ireland or whether to break away and become independent.

Recent polls show a lead for the ‘No’ campaign has melted away and the two sides are now neck-and-neck. 

On Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, the icons of Scottish identity – bagpipers, tartan and whisky shops – are pulling in tourists and doing a brisk trade during a week when the city is hosting political leaders from London who have united in a campaign to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom.

In a speech Wednesday, British Prime Minister David Cameron made an impassioned plea.

“Of course, it is an issue that will be decided solely by the people of Scotland," he said. "But I want to make sure that they hear how much the rest of the United Kingdom also cares and wants to say to them very clearly, 'It's your decision, but we want you to stay.'”

Cameron agreed to a referendum two years ago. Scotland already has a separate parliament in Edinburgh but its powers to raise taxes are limited, and London still decides economic and foreign policy.

The ‘Yes’ to independence campaign, led by the incumbent Scottish National Party, appears to have the late momentum.

“There has always been a sizable minority in Scotland who just instinctively want Scotland to be an independent country," said David Torrance, a political writer and biographer of Alex Salmond, the current First Minister of Scotland. "That might be romantic to an extent but nevertheless it’s a sincerely held view. What you see now is an additional layer of people who have been convinced over the past two years that independence will make them better off.’

The question of whether Scotland would be economically better off breaking away is at the heart of the debate.

U.S. Attorney's Office photo
Here is one of many boxes found filled with cash

U.S. agents move against
L. A. peso exchange scheme

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Approximately 1,000 law enforcement officials fanned out across the Fashion District in downtown Los Angeles Wednesday to execute dozens of search warrants and arrest warrants linked to businesses suspected of using black market peso exchange schemes to launder narcotics proceeds for international drug cartels.

Authorities arrested nine defendants and seized what is estimated to be at least $65 million in cash and from bank accounts around the world in relation to asset forfeiture actions filed as part of the ongoing investigations.

One case unsealed Wednesday alleges that the Sinaloa Drug Cartel used a Fashion District business to accept and launder ransom payments to secure the release of a United States citizen who was kidnapped by that narcotics organization, held hostage, and tortured at a ranch in Mexico.

Two other indictments also involve alleged money laundering by other Fashion District stores using the black market peso exchange scheme.

In the scheme, a peso broker works with an individual engaged in illegal activity, such as a drug trafficker, who has currency in the United States that he needs to bring to a foreign country, such as Mexico, and convert into pesos. The peso broker finds business owners in the foreign country who buy goods from vendors in the United States and who need dollars to pay for those goods. The peso broker arranges for the illegally obtained dollars to be delivered to the United States-based vendors, such as the stores in the Fashion District, and these illegally obtained dollars are used to pay for the goods purchased by the foreign customers. Once the goods are shipped to the foreign country and sold by the foreign-based business owner in exchange for pesos, the pesos are turned over to the peso broker, who then pays the drug trafficker in the local currency of the foreign country, thus completing the laundering of the illegally obtained dollars.

This BMPE scheme,  which is also known as trade-based money laundering, is often used by Mexico-based drug trafficking organizations to collect money from their drug sales in the United States without having to take the risk of smuggling bulk amounts of U.S. currency across the Mexican border and without having to convert and wire the U.S. currency through established financial institutions, which not only carries transaction fees, but also a threat their illegal activity will be detected.

“We have targeted money laundering activities in the Fashion District based on a wealth of information that numerous businesses there are engaged in black market peso exchange schemes,” said Robert E. Dugdale, the assistant United States attorney who oversees the Criminal Division in the Central District of California. “Los Angeles has become the epicenter of narco-dollar money laundering with couriers regularly bringing duffel bags and suitcases full of cash to many businesses.  Because Los Angeles is at the forefront of this money laundering activity, law enforcement in Los Angeles is now at the forefront of combatting this issue.”

In the criminal case related to the laundering of ransom money to the Sinaloa Cartel, three people were arrested today for their roles in a peso scheme based at a Fashion District wholesaler named QT Fashion, Inc. The indictment in this case also alleges that a Sinaloa, Mexico-based business, Maria Ferre S.A. de C.V., was involved in the scheme to launder ransom money. Following the kidnapping of a United States citizen by the Sinaloa Drug Cartel, QT Fashion allegedly accepted bulk cash and funneled the money through 17 other Fashion District businesses at the direction of Maria Ferre.

The indictment alleges that the Sinaloa Drug Cartel ordered the kidnapping of the victim after authorities in the United States seized more than 100 kilograms of cocaine that he was responsible for distributing. The victim was held at a ranch in Culiacan, Sinaloa, where he was beaten, shot, electrocuted and waterboarded. The hostage was released after relatives paid $140,000 in ransom, and he is currently in the United States, said the U.S. Attorney's Office.
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A Buyer’s Broker offering the best
of Costa Rica Real Estate.
For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 4030-5480 or 8339-2112.

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

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

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

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

Visit our Web Site:

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

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

Real estate for sale (paid category)

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.

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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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13 work stations, good equipment, good location, Rohrmoser, two blocks from Plaza Mayor. $4.000 per month. Call Kevin 8366-6861.

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A.M. Costa Rica's
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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 180
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News from the BBC up to the minute

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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Maduro starts papers despite shortages

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The Inter American Press Association has expressed indignation at the announcement by Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro of the creation of two government newspapers at the time that one of the pioneer papers of the South American country’s press, El Impulso of Barquisimeto, reported in an editorial that it will cease publishing next week due to the lack of newsprint and other supplies, at “one of the saddest times for press freedom in Venezuela.”

The chairman of the association's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Claudio Paolillo, said that with this action “there is demonstrated once more the bipolarity regarding press freedom of the Venezuelan government which on the one hand brazenly announces the creation of new official media and on the other maintains a systematic and oppressive economic and legal policy, with the intention of shutting down privately-owned and independent media.”

Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda, added that Maduró’s announcement of the creation of media funded by the Venezuelan people’s money is part of the propaganda apparatus with which he continues closing down anything that criticizes and monitors. In this regard he added that the government also achieved that several independent media, under pressure, have changed their ownership with the object of neutralizing criticism. He mentioned the sale of the newspapers El Universal and Últimas Noticias, and that of the television network Globovisión.

“It is a disgrace to see how at one of the saddest times for freedom of the press in Venezuela the governments of the countries of the Americas are showing indifference towards the precepts of freedom of expression and democracy contained in the Inter-American Democratic Charter which are flagrantly violated to the detriment of the Venezuelans,” Paolillo added.

El Impulso, which has been published for the past 110 years and owned by the Carmona family, said in an editorial Tuesday that starting next Monday “we will be preparing ourselves for the bitter situation of bringing the circulation of this newspaper to a halt.” The article added that since late 2012 “we have been alerting, through news reports, editorials and on the op-ed pages concerning the intense lack of supplies of raw materials and the obstacle to obtaining foreign currency.”

At the same time that this editorial appeared President Maduro was announcing the creation of the daily newspaper of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela and another, Los Mazazos, whose name alludes to a television program of National Assembly Speaker Diosdado Cabello. The government has a vast network of media that are not publicly-owned but are used as governmental media, among them nine television channels, radio stations and newspapers, and a national and international news agency.

The government ceased providing foreign exchange to the independent press for the purchase of newsprint and other supplies. As highlighted in the report on Venezuela at the meeting of the Inter American Press Association in April this year as of that date there had temporarily or definitively ceased to be published the newspapers Caribe (Nueva Esparta state), La Hora (Nueva Esparta), Versión Final (Zulia), Los Llanos (Barinas), Diario de Sucre (Sucre), Antorcha de El Tigre (Anzoátegui), El Sol de Maturín (Monagas), El Expreso (Bolívar) and El Guayanés (Bolívar).

Also identified were other newspapers with circulation problems for lack of newsprint: El Oriental (Monagas), La Región (western Venezuela), El Regional (Zulia), La Prensa de Monagas (Monagas) and El Correo del Caroní (Bolívar). Meanwhile papers of another media group reduced their number of pages, among these El Nacional, El Caribazo (Nueva Esparta), Los Llanos and La Prensa (Anzoátegui) and El Impulso (Lara), which this week announced a halt to its print edition.

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From Page 7:

Minister seeking investments in China

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Alexander Mora, the minister of  Comercio Exterior, is on an extended visit to China.

He also is participated in an international fair for commerce and investment in the city of  Xiamen.  The theme of the event this year is overseas investments by chinese businesses.

 He also is a guest at a World Economic forum event in the city of  Tianjin.

The role of a minster of commerce includes promoting the investment by foreign firms in the country. Mora is the latest of a number of Costa Rican officials who have courted Chinese  business leaders since former president Óscar Arias Sánchez dropped diplomatic relations with Taiwan in favor of the People's Republic in 2007.