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Eco Realtors
(506) 2223-1327                          Published Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013, in Vol. 13, No. 186                 Email us
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Jo Stuart
Cascata del Bosco

Immigration fix proposed for low-income illegals
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Lawmakers soon will consider a proposal to make more immigrants legal.

The principal concerns are mostly Nicaraguan immigrants who are in the gray labor market because they cannot afford the cost of official applications.

The full details of the proposal are not yet available, but the concept was under discussion Wednesday at the legislature.  Elibeth Venegas, a lawmaker for the ruling Partido Liberación Nacional, gave her backing to the plan, which appears to eliminate several hundred dollars on application fees for low-income individuals who seek to become legal immigrants.

The bill stems from long-standing concern that illegal immigrants are exploited in the labor market.

These include men who are working at salaries below the legal minimum wage and women who are in domestic service.

The idea for the change in the 3-year-old immigration law came from the Mesa de Mujeres Migrantes y Refugiadas, a group of immigrants and advocates who presented proposals to President Laura Chinchilla in August 2010.

Ms. Venegas said that the organization believed that the current immigration law, although designed with human rights in mind, continues to violate some of these. The lawmaker cited the high cost of applying for immigation status by children, young women and men who are low-income.

The International Labour Organization has written much on the subject.  Female migrants face specific
 risks to their security through the entire process, the organization has said.

In one report it said that in at least two Costa Rican cities some 57 percent of domestic workers originated in Nicaragua.  The international organization also cited violence against women, sexual exploitation and human trafficking. The organization also noted that a disproportionate number of Nicaraguan women were those who were killed in domestic disputes. Live-in domestic help face increased vulnerabilities to sexual exploitation, it noted.

Because many of the immigrants are illegal, they are unaware of remedies to their situations or are afraid to utilize them.

The labor organization said that there should be information campaigns targeted especially at these groups of immigrants and that female migrants should be guaranteed full access to protection and assistance regardless of their legal status.

The organization also promoted a proposal by the Mesa de Mujeres Migrantes y Refugiadas to create a two-year exception to the current immigration law so that low-income female applicants with Costa Rican children will be spared a $200 application fee and fines for being here illegally. They would receive permanent residency allowing them to work legally. Exemption also was suggested for illegal immigrants who are related closely by blood to other Costa Rican relatives.  The proposal also seeks temporary residency for female heads of households for reunification of families.

If approved, this would be a second round of exemptions for mostly Nicaraguan immigrants here in irregular status.

Stamp honors father of ICE, Jorge Manuel Dengo
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Correos de Costa Rica has issued a commemorative stamp honoring Jorge Manuel Dengo Obregón, a U.S.-educated engineer who helped bring Costa Rica into the modern era.

In addition to being the father of the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, known as ICE, he was first vice president of the country under President Óscar Arias Sánchez from 1985 to 1990 and also held posts in international development organizations. The Heredia native died last year at 93.

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad at the same time issued a telephone card bearing his image. Dengo served as head of the institute from its formation in 1949 to 1960.

He was a 1943 graduate of the University of Minnesota with an engineering degree specializing in hydro resources. When he returned to Heredia, he directed the construction of the Carrillos de Poás hydro plant and then became involved in national government as what is now the minister of Obras Publicas y Transportes. His career is outlined on the Web pages of the Asamblea Legislativa, which named him a beneméritos de la patria  in 2007.

Dengo also was instrumental in the creation of the Escuela de Agricultura de la Región del Trópico Húmedo (EARTH) and the national emergency commission.

Each stamp carried a 500-colon cost, about $1. The issue is a two-unit set. The designer is Cristian Ramírez Vargas, and the printer was Gozaka S.A. in La Uruca. The stamp is a montage of Dengo in his younger years in front of the headquarters building of the electrical and power generating state agency.

Correos issued the stamp Wednesday.

There also appears to be other persons issuing stamps, something that makes officials at Correos
Dengo stamp
This is the new Correos issue

fake stamps
Correos says these are fakes.

de Costa Rica unhappy. The postal service reported that there are some fake Costa Rican stamps making the rounds that it has not authorized. The postal service, by law, has a monopoly on postage stamp production. One set posted by Correos on its Web page advertised the Province of Puntarenas. Another set used the name of Heredia.

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 186

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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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Colinas photo


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Storms still likely today,
but improvement predicted

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
with wire service reports

The Central Valley got another inch and a half of rain Wednesday night, and today is expected to be another day of unstable weather with a low pressure area in the Pacific nearby. However, the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional said that rain would begin to diminish.

The rains were heavier Tuesday with the central Pacific getting up to 80 millimeters, more than three inches, according to the weather institute.

Most of the Central Valley rain fell after 2 p.m. San José saw 35 millimeters or about 1.4 inches. Pavas received 38.5 millimeters or 1.5 inches. Santa Bárbara de Heredia got 26.6 millimeters, a bit more than an inch, in a storm that lasted until 10 p.m.

The national emergency commission said its geologists were inspecting areas where there had been problems earlier in the week. In one case, a pipe had been installed that was too small for the flow, so water flooded the neighborhood.

In another case, a family constructed a home over a sewer line and suffered flooding when the line backed up.

Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias also issued a list of preventative measures. The country has yet to experience October, which is generally the month with the most rain. So more flooding and problems are expected.

Things could be much worse. Looting broke out in the flooded Mexican beach resort of Acapulco as the government Wednesday struggled to reach tens of thousands of people cut off by some of the worst storm damage in decades.
Stores were ransacked by looters who carried off everything from televisions to Christmas decorations, after floodwaters wreaked havoc in the Pacific port that has borne the brunt of torrential rains that have killed at least 57 people across México.
Tens of thousands of people have been trapped in the aftermath of two tropical storms that hammered vast swaths of México. More than one million people have been affected, and Acapulco's airport terminal was under water. Shops were plundered in the upscale neighborhood of Diamante, home to luxury hotels and plush apartments, where dozens of cars were ruined by muddy brown floodwaters. Marines were posted outside stores to prevent further theft.
The rains were spawned by two tropical storms, Ingrid and Manuel, that converged on Mexico from the Pacific and the Gulf, triggering flash floods that washed away homes and caused landslides in eastern Mexico.
Manuel strengthened to a tropical storm again on the Pacific coast Wednesday, moving northwest toward the Baja California peninsula, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
Higher education budget
sought to reduce dropouts

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The education ministry wants a budget for next year that is 11.4 percent higher that will allow it to hire 3,467 new employees. That was the report Wednesday from Leonardo Garnier, minister of  Educación Pública, when he appeared before the legislative budget committee.

He said that curbing the dropout rate and providing better access to the Internet were priorities in the budget. The ministry has 77,787 employees this year. and salaries make up 29.1 percent of the current budget. About half the secondary school students leave before receiving their diploma, according to recent statistics.

Dramatic presentations aim
to curb animal mistreatment

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A dramatic presentation over the characteristics of dogs is on the agenda for 4 p.m. Saturday at the Centro Cultural e Histórico José Figueres in San Ramón. Admission is free.

The Grupo Alaputenses will present five stories with the goal of alerting the public to the mistreatment that causes a lot of suffering to animals. The Grupo Alaputenses formed in 2004 to capture and recount the stories of the region.

Robbers kill two guards
in separate incidents

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Crooks murdered two private guards in separate incidents Wednesday morning, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

In Curridabat, a 60-year-old man providing security at a construction site storage unit was found dead by two companions after they heard shots. He was found without his personal effect or firearm.

In Heredia a 42-year-old guard died under similar circumstances. He was in Belén en Heredia when companions tried to find him after he did not answer on a radio or by telephone. He was located with a fatal blow to the head about 4:30 a.m.

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

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


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


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

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The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2013 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details


A.M. Costa Rica

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 186
Real Estate
About us

Dust from Africa reported affecting weather in Caribbean basin
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

In addition to those troublesome low pressure tropical waves bring downpours, Africa also contributes large quantities of dust to the Caribbean and Costa Rica.

A new study at the University of Miami, Florida, verifies this and says that the Caribbean Basin receives enormous quantities of African dust every year. In addition to its impact on air quality, an important factor for the Caribbean basin is the potential effect of Saharan air outbreaks on hurricane activity, the study said.

The findings published in the journal of Environmental Science and Technology.

Joseph Prospero, professor emeritus at the university, found that the average air concentrations of inhalable particles more than doubled during a major Saharan dust intrusion in Houston, Texas, said the university, adding that:

The researchers were able to distinguish between particles transported across the Atlantic and those from local sources in the Houston region. In this way they established the fingerprint of the African dust. To their knowledge, this is the first study that isolates, differentiates, and quantifies the air contaminants in the U.S. during the incursion of African dust. There is a concern that the fine airborne dust particles could be a health problem for asthmatics and people with respiratory problems.
The presence of dust from Africa has been reported in Costa Rica, but there have been no measurements of quantity.

"African dust storms are associated with hurricane season because the meteorological situations that are involved with generating tropical cyclones are also associated with the generation and transport of dust," Prospero said in a
NASA photo
 A NASA satellite image taken Saturday shows a cloud of
 dust carried by strong winds from sources in the Western
 Sahara. The Trade Winds transport the dust westward.

university release. "The dust emerges from the coast of Africa in a hot, dry, elevated layer, the Saharan Air Layer, following behind easterly waves from which tropical cyclones sometimes develop."

The dust suspended in the wind absorbs and scatters solar radiation, so less sunlight reaches the ocean surface resulting in cooler temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean, the main area where hurricanes develop, he added. Cooler ocean temperatures mean less energy for hurricanes to form and strengthen, he noted.

"Dust activity has been very intense this year and sea surface temperatures are unusually low," Prospero said in the release. "These may have been contributing factors to the unusually weak hurricane season this year."

These Transformers are called that because they can change from a towering robot to some more common items, such as a Chevrolet Camaro.

museum display
Museo de los Niños photo

Transformers to take over Museo de los Niños this weekend
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Mention the names Expo Prime, Bumblebee and Devastator to the average expat retirees, and the response will be blank stares unless there is a grandchild in the household.

These are the names of some of the comic book characters that started as Japanese toys and now movie and televison stars, the Transformers. These robot-type aliens are not only popular culture but history.  They originated in the 1980s.

The Museo de los Niños will recognize them Saturday and Sunday with the Expo Prime event that includes displays, discussions and the showing of some movies. Among the topics
of discussion is the possibility of a "Transformers 4" movie.

There also will be some 300 of the figures on display, including a 2.4-meter Optimus Prime. That's about eight feet. Eight adult collectors will provide the figures, said the museum. Some are members of the Transformers de Costa Rica group.

Alejandro Murillo, a collector with 15 years experience, will discuss the history of the Transformers, the museum said.
Chapters of the series “Transformers Prime” will be shown at 10 and 11:30 a.m. both days, said the museum.

Those who pay the admission for the event also can visit the rest of the museum, which is in north San José.

Del Rey HOtel

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 186
Real Estate
About us

Brain pattern scans track activity by market bubble participants
By the Wellcome Trust news staff

Market bubbles that lead to financial crashes may be self-made because of instinctive biological mechanisms in traders' brains that lead them to try and predict how others behave, according to a study part-funded by the Wellcome Trust.

The research offers the first insight into the processes in the brain that underpin financial decisions and behavior leading to the formation of market bubbles. Publication of the study coincides with the five-year anniversary of the infamous collapse of the Lehman Brothers investment bank in 2008.

A bubble happens when active trading of a commodity or asset reaches prices that are considerably higher than its intrinsic value, usually followed by a market crash. The boom and bust of the U.S. dot com sector and the crash in the UK housing market are recent examples that resulted in billions in financial losses. Although bubbles have been intensely investigated in economics, the reasons why they arise and crash are not well understood and we know little about the biology of financial decision behavior.

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology investigated the problem by bringing together expertise in experimental finance and neuroscience to look at the brain activity and behavior of student volunteers as they traded shares within a staged financial market.

The researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging, a technique to measure the flow of blood in the brain as an indication of activity, to map participants' brain activity as they traded within the experimental market. They found that the formation of bubbles was linked to increased activity in an area of the brain that processes value judgements. People who had greater brain activity in this area were more likely to ride the bubble and lose money by paying more for an asset than its fundamental worth.

In bubble markets, they also found a strong correlation between activity in
the value processing part of the brain and another area that is responsible for computing social signals to infer the intentions of other people and predict their behavior.

Benedetto De Martino, a researcher at Royal Holloway University of London who led the study while at the California Institute of Technology, said: "We find that in a bubble situation, people start to see the market as a strategic opponent and shift the brain processes they're using to make financial decisions. They start trying to imagine how the other traders will behave, and this leads them to modify their judgment of how valuable the asset is.

"They become less driven by explicit information, like actual prices, and more focused on how they imagine the market will change.

"These brain processes have evolved to help us get along better in social situations and are usually advantageous. But we've shown that when we use them within a complex modern system, like financial markets, they can result in unproductive behaviors that drive a cycle of boom and bust."

The team found that when participants noticed disparity between how much they perceived an asset to be worth and the rate of transactions for that asset, they began making poor business decisions and bubbles started to form in the market.

Peter Bossaerts from the University of Utah, a co-author of the study, explains: "It's group illusion. When participants see inconsistency in the rate of transactions, they think that there are people who know better operating in the marketplace and they make a game out of it. In reality, however, there is nothing to be gained because nobody knows better."

The findings give the first glimpse to the decision-making mechanisms in the brain that drive financial markets. Although they may not help to predict the onset of a bubble, the research could help to design better social and financial interventions to avoid the formation of future bubbles in financial markets.

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See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!

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Howard Spanish cover


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A.M. Costa Rica
Real estate rentals
Real estate rental agents
Real estate for rent
Real estate wanted

Real estate rental services (paid category)

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

Real estate for rent (paid category)

Cute rental house
Beautiful and cozy mountain cottages
in San Rafael de Heredia.
Surrounded by nature. Bus line service. Security.
One or two bedrooms, one or two baths.
$500 or $425, monthly with furniture.
$325 or $250 without furniture. No bills included.
MORE INFO:  (506) 8739-0638.

COMPLETELY and nicely furnished apartments
apartment view
in San José, and one condo in Escazú. Fast Internet, cable TV, hot water. Large American appliances including washer and dryer. Both convenient locations. No pets. $600 per month. Contact: or call 8555-9819.

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.

We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
Santa Ana

Lovely cottage on private coffee farm
One spacious bedroom, one bath, office room/spare room with high speed DSL internet, fully equipped kitchen, phone line,
Sarchi cottage
balcony with beautiful view, especially at night with the far off lights of San José. Farm is gated and guarded, private and peaceful, owner on-site. Sarchi is a quiet small town about 30-40 min from the airport, a perfect base to explore from and also get a
feel for normal, day-to-day Tico life. Rental is $575 per month, 3 months minimum. All utilities included. Shorter stays at $45 per night, 2 nights minimum. $225 per week, and $30 per additional night. Sorry, no pets.  Contact or 8308-7732.

Barrio Escalante, totally furnished, 1 BR apartment for single, responsible person. $35 daily, weekly rates. Contact 8385-2542,

1 bedroom with private bath. Rooms in large, 3.000 sq ft. historical mansion in heart of Barrio Amón.  Prices starting at $350. for long-term. Smoking ok in common areas. Includes electricity, water, commercial kitchen use, laundry, high-speed internet. 7078-6985. More info HERE!

COMPLETELY and nicely furnished apartments
apartment view
in San José, and one condo in Escazú. Fast Internet, cable TV, hot water. Large American appliances including washer and dryer. Both convenient locations. No pets. $600 per month. Contact: or call 8555-9819.

We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
Santa Ana

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.

Beautiful Golfito house for rent in Costa Rica: $300/month
Available now and please see the video!
New construction includes some wooden stairs to the main gate and a small pavilion above the house overlooking the village. The distance to Golfito harbor/downtown is 7 kms and you can get there by car, taxi or bus. The sale price is $72,000 which is negotiable and includes the property lot of 26,000 sq, ft, for more houses. The rent is $300/month, which is very reasonable for those who want to live near sea and Panamá in an inexpensive lifestyle. It was so nice to live near Panamá where people can shop for much lower prices including for groceries. Please contact me at for more details. Thank you.

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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 186
Real Estate
About us

U.S. stocks reach new highs
after Fed takes no action

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. stock prices reached new highs Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve said it would stay the course on efforts to stimulate the economy. And that rally could continue, despite the central bank's conclusion that the U.S. economic recovery still has a way to go before it becomes fully sustainable. Many economists were expecting the Fed to start scaling back its bond purchases this month as the economy recovers from the worst recession in decades.

Top central bank officials concluded two days of meetings Wednesday by doing something completely unexpected - nothing. 

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke summed up their findings saying there would be no immediate change.

“As you already know from our statement, the committee decided today to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at zero to one-fourth percent and to make no change in either its asset purchase programs or its forward guidance regarding the federal funds rate target," said Bernanke.

The Federal Reserve has been buying $85 billion in bonds a month to stimulate the economy by keeping interest rates low. 

Financial markets reacted almost instantly sending stock prices sharply higher.

Not surprising says economics professor Steven Kyle. 

“Well, in the stock market, they’re happy because that means that long-term interest rates will stay low.  That’s a good thing for stocks, and they can keep the party going a while longer," said Kyle.

But the decision to maintain the stimulus package confirms that the U.S. economy is not as robust as many hoped.  Bernanke says the job market remains weak.

“Notably, at 7.3 percent, the unemployment rate remains well above acceptable levels.  Long-term unemployment and underemployment remain high," he said.
Economist Joseph Gagnon at the Peterson Institute had predicted the tapering would not happen this month, partly because of intense market speculation, and partly because of the tepid economy.

“Things are not looking as good as they were three months ago, the last time they did a forecast.  And part of that is the higher interest rates, which have risen because of this talk about tapering itself, is making the economy worse," said Gagnon.

Some say it’s not a question of when the Fed will start tapering but by how much.

That could be more difficult given expectations that Bernanke will step down as Fed chairman when his term ends in January - says the Concord Coalition's Robert Bixby.

“It’s going to be a difficult job because you’re essentially unwinding a policy that somebody put in place and that’s a difficult challenge," said Bixby.

Market experts say a more immediate problem may not be the size of the taper but whether Congress is able to agree on government spending levels or the size of the U.S. debt when budget negotiations begin later this month.

Defense Secretary Hagel orders
review of U.S. base security

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered a security review of U.S. military facilities worldwide following the mass killings at the Washington Navy Yard this week.
Hagel said warning signs about gunman Aaron Alexis were missed, including his mental illness and legal problems.
"When you go back in hindsight there were some red flags, of course there were, and sure, should we have picked him up. Why didn't we. How could we have. All those questions need to be answered," said Secretary Hagel.
Alexis, a former Navy reservist and military contractor, shot 12 people before he was shot dead by police Monday at the Navy facility.
His mother would not speak on camera, but read a statement to the families of the victims.
"Aaron is now in a place where he can no longer do harm to anyone, and for that I am glad.  To the families of the victims, I am so very sorry that this has happened. My heart is broken," she said.
Monday's violence is the latest in a rash of deadly mass shootings in the United States. During an interview on the Spanish language television network Telemundo, U.S. President Barack Obama called on Congress to approve new gun control measures to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.
"The fact that we do not have a firm enough background check system is something that makes us more vulnerable to these kinds of mass shootings. And I do get concerned that this becomes a ritual that we go through every three, four months, where we have these horrific mass shootings and yet we're not willing to take some basic actions that we know could make a difference," said Obama.
President Obama says the fact a firm enough background check system is not in place is something that makes the country more vulnerable to mass shootings like the one at the Washington Navy Yard.

Gun violence called threat
to public health after shooting

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Gun violence in the United States has claimed the lives of more than 30,000 men, women and children in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Doctors and public health specialists say gun violence is at epidemic levels, calling it a major public health threat.

Americans stayed riveted to news channels Sept. 16. A gunman shot and killed 12 people at the Navy Yard in Washington before he was shot and killed. Mass shootings in the U.S. happen so frequently they are no longer unimaginable.

President Barack Obama lamented this latest one. "We're confronting yet another mass shooting. This one happened on a military installation in the nation's capital."

An organization of U.S. mayors reports that there have been more than 50 mass shootings in the past four years.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, killers used guns to murder 11,000 people in 2010 in the U.S., the latest year for which statistics are available. Twenty-thousand others used guns to commit suicides that year, and another 73,000 people were rushed to hospital emergency rooms for gunshot wounds.

Dariush Mozaffarian from the Harvard School of Public Health says the problem is partly due to gun violence displayed in the media.

"We have a culture that really glorifies gun violence to a level and a depth and an intensity that's actually never been in place before in the United States," said Mozaffarian. He supports laws to reduce gun violence.

"We can make guns safer by having automatic security locks so only the owners can use them. We could pass policies that require certain gun storage safety the same way that we require kids to sit in child seats to make cars safer. We can require that guns be stored in locked, safe cabinets so kids can't reach them," said Mozaffarian.

Obama is again calling on lawmakers to act on gun control. Legislation did not make it through Congress following the mass shooting of 20 school children and six adults last December in Newtown, Connecticut.

Research shows that many Americans agree that something has to be done. Colleen Barry at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health said, “Our study showed that there was broad support among gun owners and non-gun owners alike for a spectrum of different types of policies aimed at restricting gun ownership from potentially dangerous people."

The CDC reports that initiatives to reduce gun-related violence can draw upon growing research about behavior and environmental factors associated with this type of violence.

Ken Norton, boxing champ,
dies recovering from stroke

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Former U.S. heavyweight boxing champion Ken Norton has died at the age of 70.

His friend and former manager says Norton passed away at a rehabilitation center in Arizona. He was living at the center after suffering a stroke last year.

Norton took up boxing while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps in the 1960s and turned professional after his release from duty in 1967. His victory over boxing legend Muhammad Ali in 1973, during which he broke Ali's jaw, elevated him to the top ranks of heavyweight contenders. He lost a rematch to Ali six months later, then again in 1976 during a bruising title match in Yankee Stadium.

Norton was named the World Boxing Council heavyweight champion in 1977 after Leon Spinks refused to fight him, but he lost the title the next year in an epic 15-round match to Larry Holmes.

Norton retired from boxing in 1981 with a career record of 42 wins, seven losses and one draw.

One of his sons, Ken Norton, Jr., was a star defensive player in the National Football League and now coaches for the Seattle Seahawks.

Facebook tag protected,
U.S. court says of symbol

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Facebook users who employ the Web site's like feature to show support for a political candidate engage in legally protected speech, a U.S. appeals court said, reviving a lawsuit examining the limits of what people may constitutionally do online.
The Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a former deputy sheriff in Hampton, Virginia, who claimed he lost his job in retaliation for his liking the Facebook page of a candidate running against his boss for city sheriff.
"Liking a political candidate's campaign page communicates the user's approval of the candidate and supports the campaign by associating the user with it," Chief Judge William Traxler wrote for a three-judge panel of the Richmond, Virginia-based appeals court. "It is the Internet equivalent of displaying a political sign in one's front yard, which the Supreme Court has held is substantive speech."
The case had been brought by six former employees of Hampton Sheriff B.J. Roberts, who claimed they were fired in violation of their First Amendment rights in retaliation for their having supported his opponent Jim Adams in a 2009 election.
Wednesday's decision revived claims by three of the six employees. It partially reversed an April 2012 ruling by U.S. District Judge Raymond Jackson in Newport News, Virginia, who called the liking of a Facebook page "insufficient speech to merit constitutional protection."

China cracking down on fines
issued in single-child program

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

China will crack down on penalties paid by families flouting strict family planning rules after a National Audit Office probe found $260 million in fines had been levied illegally, state media reported.
Public anger has been growing over the one-child policy, which was introduced in the late 1970s to prevent population growth from spiraling out of control.
The policy covers 63 percent of China, although family planning rules have been loosened over the years to allow some couples to have a second child.
The audit office's investigation of 45 counties in nine provinces and municipalities from 2009-12 found that 1.6 billion yuan ($260 million) in fines had been given out in contravention of the rules, Chinese newspapers said on Thursday.
The social support fee, as the fine is called, is meant to go towards the government budget to compensate for resources and public services the child would use.
National Health and Family Planning Commission spokesman Mao Qunan said the fines are “a means to ensure the implementation of the one-child policy,” according to the official Xinhua news agency.
His department is now pushing “related local family planning departments to rectify misconduct in the collection and management of such fines,” the report said.
The ministry “will take effective measures to address problems uncovered from the auditing process and improve the system on the collection and management of fines,” Xinhua said.
“The commission will tighten supervision and guide local family planning departments to publish information for public scrutiny,” it went on.
The audit office found that problems included inaccurate reporting of the number of extra children parents had, some fees not being successfully collected and officials handing out higher fines than they should have.
However, the figure reported for the amount of fines illegally collected falls far short of the more than 16.5 billion yuan activists say provincial governments have failed to account for.

Survey in Vietnam studies
purchasers of rhino horns

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

One of the biggest markets for illegally poached rhino horns is Vietnam. Now, a new study profiles the consumers driving that demand and how they view the horns as symbols of status and power.

It’s easy to grasp just how big the demand is. In the first half of this year, hundreds of rhinos have been killed in South Africa alone.

“South Africa is home to about 75 percent of the world’s rhinos. And since 2008, has been experiencing quite a dramatic increase in the poaching of rhinos for their horns, up from less than 20 a year to 668 in 2012 and already 635 in 2013,” said Jo Shaw, rhino coordinator for the World Wildlife Fund South Africa.

She said that demand for rhino horns existed long before the huge spike in trafficking to Vietnam and China.

“Earlier demand for horn for dagger handles in the Yemen had a very serious, negative impact on rhino populations throughout eastern and central Africa through the 60s and 70s. But since about 1994, rhino numbers have been increasing. The populations have been growing again. So I think everyone was hit a little bit by surprise by this new wave in the poaching epidemic.”

That new wave in the poaching epidemic led the Wildlife Fund to sponsor a consumer research study, which was then coordinated by a Vietnamese branch of the conservation group TRAFFIC. It surveyed 720 people in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

“With the goal of developing a very targeted demand reduction campaign in that country, we wanted to better understand exactly who it was that was using the horn and why, so that we could begin to try and bring about behavior change,” said Shaw.

The study also shows that buyers of rhino horns are often women in their 50s, who are giving them to family members.

Ms. Shaw said, “The finding from the research about this most significant user group to be addressing shows that it’s the wealthy, older businessmen, who are very successful. They still have some belief in the medicinal and functional properties of the horn. It’s seen as a kind of panacea, a cure all often given as a gift to other family members or particularly to business associates or people within your peer group to show one’s wealth and status.”

Only 35 percent of the people surveyed said they would never buy or consume rhino horn.

“Underneath these current users, the current target group, is another group of slightly younger, very aspirational, upwardly mobile people within the same community, who aren’t able to afford to buy rhino horn at the moment, but are very much intending to do so in the future as soon as their economic situation allows it,” she said.

The conservation groups will now use the data to develop an awareness campaign that’s not only effective, but culturally sensitive to Vietnamese. The research indicates that while rhino horn consumers are aware that many animals are being killed, they still feel very disconnected from the issue. They do not see themselves as catalysts for the current poaching crisis.

“We need to think carefully about how we run campaigns around behavior change. And understand that being culturally sensitive and speaking in the most influential way to the most influential people is really what will give us the biggest impact,” said Ms. Shaw.

The World Wildlife Fund and TRAFFIC will work closely with Vietnamese agencies in designing the rhino horn awareness campaign.

While efforts increase to reduce demand for rhino horns in Asia, much still needs to be done in Africa. The U.S. and others have launched new programs to improve anti-poaching efforts. Currently, poachers are often better armed and better equipped than game park rangers. Also, local communities will be encouraged to report any poaching they see.

Canadian passenger train
destroys double-decker bus

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A passenger train and a double-decker city bus collided on the outskirts of Ottawa Wednesday, killing six people on the bus and injuring 30 others, emergency officials said.
The front of the red double-decker bus was sheared off and the engine of the VIA Rail train had derailed, but the train cars remained upright with little noticeable damage.
“Paramedics had to declare five persons deceased on scene, nothing could be done. And of the 31 that were transported, we've just been advised that one was deceased in hospital, for a total of six deaths at this point,” Anthony DiMonte, chief of Ottawa Paramedic Services, told a news conference.
He said 11 of the people taken to hospital had been in critical condition.
Ambulances and fire trucks swarmed the scene in the rural west end of Canada's capital city as emergency workers helped train passengers disembark past the wreckage of the bus. Five bodies appeared to be wrapped in yellow tarps beside the train track. One had a purse and a backpack next to it.
One passenger on the bus said the driver did not seem to notice the oncoming train or that the track-level signals were flashing. He said some passengers tried to warn the driver before the collision.
“From what I can tell the bus driver did not notice that these train-tracks signal lights were on and the gates were down. People screamed on the bus shortly before the crash because he was not stopping,” Gregory Mech, a passenger on the top level of the double-decker bus, told CBC Television.
“I could see that there were bodies on the train tracks. It was horrible. There's just no other way to explain it. Some people were upset and crying.”
Ottawa emergency officials said the collision occurred at 8:48 a.m. eastern. VIA Rail, which operates national rail passenger service in Canada, said there were no major injuries reported on the train.
Passengers on the train, which was heading to Toronto, said they felt a small impact.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

Project completion specialists
Casa del pacifico logo
Pacifica living
A turnkey home and project completion agency devoted to creative vision and flawless execution. We provide a single, solid and dedicated point of contact for the duration of your real estate project, specializing in:

                      • Building completion services
                      • Interior design & decoration
                      • Custom furniture design & manufacturing.

Our primary goal is to assist our clients with a smooth transition to occupancy while providing highly personalized and distinctive services. We have refined the process to be a hassle free experience, especially valuable for clients who live abroad. We customize to suit each client’s personal taste, lifestyle and budget.
Serving region for 10 years.
We regularly exceed client expectations. We guarantee it.
Cell phone: (506) - 8707-8008
Office phone: (506) - 2288-5644

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

Swimming pool at night
A Buyer’s Broker offering the best
of Costa Rica Real Estate.

For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 2228-5961 or 8339-2112.

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

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

Check with our Web site at
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
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The #1 Authority in Costa Rica Real Estate

Costa Rica real estate
Since 1996, CRREC has been providing the most valuable resource for discovering real estate in Costa Rica. Our Costa Rica properties database contains some of the most exclusive and hard to find properties in the country. Not to mention how affordable some of our Costa Rica homes for sale are. So if you're in the market for Costa Rica real estate then we encourage you to
visit our Costa Rica MLS and discover for yourself why people call CRREC the #1 authority in Costa Rica real estate.
Call Today @ 506-2654-5507 (Costa Rica) or 1-888-414-1836 (Toll-Free) Email:

Costa Rica,

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

Visit our Web Site:

English: (Cristian Arce)
(506) 8309-0173  
English:  (Luis Arce)
(506) 7100-8489  
 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)
  (506) 8707-4016  
Grecia 794
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $850.000: HERE!
30,000 square meters of land and 750 square-meters of construction.
Grecia 803
5,000 square meters of land and 175 square-meters of construction. HERE!
2,000 square meters of land and 200 square-meters of construction.  HERE!
  Send us your request to our email:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

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

Pacific Estates

Pacific Estates is divided into three distinct sections called Pacific Landings, Pacific Hills and Pacific Acres. Pacific Landings includes unique 2 & 3 bedroom homes incorporating pole house construction, cathedral ceilings, balconies on both the front and back of the house and eco-friendly elements. The homes also include granite counter tops, state-of-the-art stainless steel kitchen appliances, washer & dryer hook ups, internet connectivity and zone controlled A/C. These homes feature 1,290 square feet under A/C space and 1,537 square feet under A/C space with an optional Loft. To learn more about Pacific Estates, schedule a No Obligation Free Virtual Tour today by clicking here!

Samara church and lot
Commercial lot with great visibility in heart of Playa Sámara commercial district. Located alongside town's largest church, bank, hardware store/lumber yard, mini shopping plaza, and Pali (Sámara's largest supermarket). This lot has a large elevated building platform shaded with mature treees. All this makes for many commercial options.  One block from stunning "blue flag" beach. This is a perfect location for a eco/boutique hotel, restaurant/catering, apartments, or condominium. All utilities to this property. Lot size 1,414m2. Price 325K. Email:

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

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

humming bird nest

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

Liberia farm
Must Sell - Immediately
Guanacaste - Liberia Farm

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

Naranjo views


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

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

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

Condo for sale in Flamingo

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

Guaancaate condos
Little Dreams La Colina Magnolias

Great Guanacaste Beach Condos Available

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

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

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

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

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

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

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

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

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 186
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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

Top Cuban musician invites
sanctioned group to play

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The best known musician in Cuba and a staunch supporter of the island's Communist revolution, Silvio Rodriguez, has challenged state censorship by inviting a recently sanctioned colleague to join him at two concerts this weekend on the Caribbean island.

Jazz musician Robertico Carcasses shocked authorities last week when he called for direct presidential elections, freedom of information and tolerance of dissent. He spoke out during a televised mega-concert to demand the return of four Cuban agents imprisoned in the United States 15 years ago.

The ministry of culture, which controls music venues and all recording, responded by banning Carcasses and his jazz-fusion group, Interactivo, from state venues until further notice, touching off a debate among artists and intellectuals on social media.

Rodriguez's invitation to Carcasses to perform represents perhaps the most serious challenge in decades to the state's control of culture and thought.

“I took the decision to do this precisely in the next two concerts, after learning that he had been sanctioned with an indefinite suspension from concerts and other public activities sponsored by the ministry,” Rodriguez said in his blog, Segunda Cita Tuesday.

“I do not agree with the excessive sanction of barring a musician from doing his work,” said Rodriguez.

Soon after Rodriguez extended the invitation, the ministry met with Carcasses and his band. Rodriguez said on his blog on Wednesday that the ministry was expected to lift the sanction on Carcasses, but there was no official word. The controversy has not been mentioned by state-run media.

Despite his gesture of support for Carcasses, Rodriguez was sharply critical of what he termed Carcasses' stupidity.

“As a Cuban citizen Robertico has the right to say what he thinks,” he wrote. “I would have preferred that he would do this in another concert, in a record, somewhere else, because the struggle for the freedom of the agents is sacred to the Cuban people.”

Carcasses, in a statement issued after his suspension, stuck to his guns, repeating his words at the concert, but he apologized if he had caused further pain to the families of the agents and for not consulting fellow band members before speaking up.

“I want .. free access to information so I can have my own opinion. Elect the president by direct vote and not another way... Neither militant nor dissident, all Cubans with the same rights,” were some of the forbidden words uttered by Carcasses in improvised lyrics.

The Communist Party is the only legal party in Cuba, and presidents are elected by a single chamber parliament.

The concert where Carcasses made his comments was staged in front of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Havana, culminating a day of support activities to bring the Cuban agents home.

The agents were sentenced to long prison terms in the United States for spying on violence-prone exiles and U.S. military bases in Florida.

Carcasses' protest and the state's response has touched off a controversy in Cuba reminiscent of that which followed the black power salute of African-American athletes during the 1968 Olympic Games.

Artists and intellectuals appear nearly unanimous in their criticism of Carcasses's choice of time and place to make his statement, while most also have expressed disagreement with his suspension.

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From Page 7:

Meeting set up to expand credit options

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

More than 100 representatives of government and financial institutions are in the second day today of a seminar on secured transactions. The goal is to increase the possibilities for credit of medium and smaller firms.

The term garantías mobiliarias is directly translated as secured transactions in English. A better term might be chattel mortgages used in Anglo Saxon law, which are the credit contracts for something tangible or intangible, including furniture, inventories, perhaps vehicles and trademarks.

The International finance Corp. of the World Bank, the Registro Nacional and the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio sponsored the event.

The legislature has a bill sponsored by the Laura Chinchilla administration to set up a registry to handle this type of credit agreement. Officials hope to have the system in place next year.

The registry would contain the contracts that have been negotiated between lenders and borrowers in the same way that the Registro Nacional keeps a record of property mortgages and vehicle liens.

The ministry said that a similar system in México is used mostly by small business operators. A farmer could even use anticipated crops as a loan guarantee, said the ministry.

The International finance Corp. is working to set up such systems in at least 20 countries which lacked laws specific to this type of transaction.