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(506) 2223-1327                             San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 189                        Email us
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Got bugs?
Museo Nacional photo
The collection held by INBio is heavy with insects, including these aquatic backswimmers.
Moving gigantic INBio collection gets first OK
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Experts at the Museo Nacional have given the first go-ahead for the acquisition of the massive nature collection now held by the Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad in Heredia.

More evaluations will take place as the museum
wgat is in the bottle
Specimens are identified
moves toward the construction of a new building in Pavas to house the collection. That building is scheduled to be ready in 2017.

No one is sure but the conservative estimate is that the collection contains more than 3.5 million specimens. The collection belongs to the state, and an
arrangement with the Dirección Fitosanitaria del Estado of the Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería allowed the collection to remain at the  Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad in Santo Domingo de Heredia.

Evaluation is a complex chore because the institute, known as INBio, has its own collections, and the material going to the museum must be separated. Evaluators checked for the quality of the specimens, the integrity of whatever case they were in as well as the presence or absence of 
Museo Nacional photo
Workers are ready to tackle more specimens.

any fungus or other unwanted biological pests.

INBio is devising an online catalogue of the material now. The collection is heavy in insects and butterflies, all representative of Costa Rica's biodiversity. There also are various plant species, mosses, mushrooms and algae.

The museum board of directors approved the initial evaluation Friday. Work will continue into December as workers put many of the specimens in a museum data base. The museum already has a collection of more than 300,000 specimens.

That the museum was receiving the large INBio collection already had been reported, but that a new building will be constructed is new information.


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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 189

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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.

Lucinda Gray, Ph.D.
California Licensed Psychologist
International Practice via the Web
Lucinda Gray
   •  Transformational  
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   •  Relationship Issues
   •  New World

           Training & Support
U.S. Phone: 310-827-4241
Costa Rica: (506) 2228-2041


U.S. Tax International
Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal
 services. Over 15 years in Costa Rica

U.S. Tax rollover
(English spoken). Tamarindo office hours now available.  If you or anyone you know would like an appointment in Tamarindo, please call our San José office at 2288-2201 to make an appointment.
Contact Us:
 U.S 786-206-9473         CR 506-2288-2001
FAX: 506 2231-3300
Web page:

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US Income Tax,  US GAAP Accounting
& Business Consulting

• US Tax return preparation  for
individuals and businesses
• eFile returns: secure with faster refunds
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• Take advantage of the Foreign
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• Business Consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica
• Accounting for US and International Financial Reporting
• Associate of David Housman

Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620

Legal services

Real Estate Closing Services
Pablo Mata

Lic. Pablo Mata Ferreto, MBA.

Legal – Financial Adviser

Real Estate and Business Transactions

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

Phone number: (506) 8853-0000


Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants and Crowns

Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini has placed and restored
DR. Cavallini
Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini
over 17,000 dental implants since 1980. The Dr. Marco Muñoz Cavallini Dental Clinic, is recognized as one of the best practices in Dental Reconstruction, Dental Implant placement and Cosmetic Dentistry in Costa Rica and the World. For more information, visit us today at:

Remodelling and Construction

Real estate agents and services

CR Beach
Jaco Beach Central Pacific Real Estate
CR Beach Investment Real Estate Broker-Owner
Jeff Fisher invites you to see why this 20-year resident of Costa Rica believes the Central Pacific areas of Jacó Beach-Playa Hermosa-Los Suenos Marina & Golf and Esterillos-Bejuco Beaches are the best place to live and invest.
Reason #1:  SJO Int’l Airport and S.J. suburbs are little more than one hour away.
#2: Jaco has everything you need, from tourist attractions to government offices.
#3: Amazingly, it’s still a BUYERS’ MARKET and our “brutally honest” agents will help you find your perfect property-
See why Jeff and Colin Miller (12 years here), Frances Winborne (more than 23 years), and Junior Diaz (Jacó born & bred) chose the Central Pacific!

Member of the N.A.R., the Costa Rican Real Estate Board CRGAR and the Central Pacific Chamber of Commerce.
Toll Free: 1-888-782-1119 OR  2643-4334, 2643-3672
Office: IL Galeone Center, Jacó Beach, Costa Rica

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   • Specialized in the Central and South Pacific.
   • Great network of realtors, to find your dream
   • Homes, condominium & luxury homes
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   • Property management in the Jacó area
Telephone: +506 2643-4065   
cell: +506 8825-6556   US:  626 548-3909
skype: ecorealtorscr  Facebook: ecorealtorscr
Office Las Monas, Jacó
Green NAR designee, member of the CCBR, CRGAR

Jim Day, representing Colinas del Sol
del Pacifico, S.A.


* Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project  in a quiet area.
* There are 88 clear titled lots.
* Mountain areas with great views.
* Gently sloping level areas ideal for hobby farms, gardening, fruit tree orchards.
* Quiet place to get away from the busy city and beach crowds.
* All lots have gravel roads to them, water and electricity at each.
* Lots are 5,000 sq. meters or larger, starting at only $39,000 USD , and many can be combined for those wanting a larger area for their chosen passion, be it a hobby horse farm or retirement haven.
* Located in Libertad, Guanacaste, Northwest Pacific area of Costa Rica.
* Electricity and water to each of 79 clear0titled lots.
* 20 minutes to the Liberia International Airport
* 15 minutes to the Pacific Beaches
* 10 minutes to Medical Facilities
* 25 minutes to the Liberia Hospital
* 5 minutes to Papagayo  Golf & Country Club
Contact Jim Day
or Phone:  001 517 484-3675.
Click Here:

Residency experts

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A full service immigration agency
U.S. and San José offices
Getting and authenticating documents can be a chore —

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Tel: (323) 255-6116

Liberty Reserve figure admits guilt

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Maxim Chukharev, a figure in the Liberty Reserve case, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, said the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. The former Costa Rican resident faces a possible five years in prison at sentencing Jan. 30.

He admited one count of conspiring to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business. The U.S. Attorney's Office described him as an information technology manager for Liberty Reserve.

According to allegations contained in the indictment filed against Liberty Reserve, Chukharev, and six other individual defendants, and statements made in related court proceedings:

"Liberty Reserve was incorporated in Costa Rica in 2006 and billed itself as the Internet’s largest payment processor and money transfer system. Liberty Reserve was created, structured and operated to help users conduct illegal transactions anonymously and launder the proceeds of their crimes. It emerged as one of the principal money transfer agents used by cybercriminals around the world to distribute, store, and launder the proceeds of their illegal activity.

"Liberty Reserve was used extensively for illegal purposes, functioning as the bank of choice for the criminal underworld because it provided an infrastructure that enabled cybercriminals around the world to conduct anonymous and untraceable financial transactions.

"Before being shut down by the U.S. government in May 2013, Liberty Reserve had more than one million users worldwide, including more than 200,000 users in the United States, who conducted approximately 55 million transactions through its system totaling more than $6 billion in funds. These funds encompassed suspected proceeds of credit card fraud, identity theft, investment fraud, computer hacking, child pornography, narcotics trafficking, and other crimes."

Chukharev was an associate of Liberty Reserve founder Arthur Budovsky and was responsible, along with co-defendant Mark Marmilev, formerly Liberty Reserve’s chief technology officer, for maintaining Liberty Reserve’s technological infrastructure, said prosecutors.

Chukharev is among seven individuals charged in the indictment, which was unsealed on May 28, 2013. Three co-defendants, Vladimir Kats, Azzeddine el Amine, and Mark Marmilev, previously pled guilty and await sentencing. The indictment also charged Liberty Reserve with conspiracy to commit money laundering and operation of an unlicensed money transmitting business, and those charges remain pending.

Value-added tax has many problems

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

As another correspondent has noted, value added tax, VAT, applies equally to the poor and rich on each item they buy. As the rich spend more, they pay more tax, which in Costa Rica, means that those who are rich and evade tax might pay for the first time.

VAT does raise more revenue, but in Europe, where the rates have been sneaked up each year to around 20 percent in many countries, there have been other problems:

1. As a tax on purchases, every increase adds to inflation and acts as a brake on economic growth.

2. It is easily evaded by those providing and using services who can accept cash without receipts, for example plumbers, electricians, gardeners, doctors, dentists, etc. The service providers do have to pay on their own spending on manufactured products which are easier to track.

3. Smuggling increases from countries with no such taxes.

4. There are many opportunities for fraud. In the UK individual fraudsters are under prosecution or in the the courts for frauds of well over $200 million each. False documentation is usually involved, which is easily obtained here.

In a country such as Costa Rica where tax evasion seems to be considered normal,  there are many accusations of corruption in the legislature, administration and judicial systems, the scope for such fraud could be both proportionally higher than in Europe and enormous.

Perhaps the president's focus should be more on restricting spending, enforcing existing taxes and vigorous anti-corruption measures. Given the embedded vested interests in stopping such measures, he needs all the luck he can get. We should not be too hopeful.
Chris Clarke

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 189
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Anti-exploitation day generates some unusual trafficking statistics
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Tuesday was the International Day against Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking, and the observance produced some unusual statistics.

An article in Acontecer Digital at the Universidad Estatal a Distancia reported that in San José there were 2,000 young girls working in prostitution. The article cited Colombians, Dominicans and Filipinos who have been brought to Costa Rica for sexual reasons. There was no attribution.

However, the article says that the International Police Agency saying that each year there are 35,000 Colombian women who are victims of trafficking, presumably in Costa Rica.

At the legislature Tuesday, Sandra Piszk Feinzilber asked her fellow lawmakers to pay more attention to the situation. She said that modern slavery and trafficking of all types involves 20.9 million victims each year and that the international Labor Organization says that 18.7 million are exploited for economic reasons by individuals and companies.
Despite the large numbers of trafficking victims supposedly in Costa Rica, the Acontecer Digital correctly reported that just 29 persons in Costa Rica were considered trafficking victims in 2013. Still, it said, 2.5 million persons in Latin America are victims of trafficking. The university is part of a network that studies and keeps statistics on trafficking.

Part of the reason for the confusion has been the way statics have been very broad. Generally they do not separate out those forced into prostitution form those who are willing participants. Costa Rica has seen cases of both, including women brought to the country under false pretenses and then forced into prostitution by individuals who confiscate passports.

Most are not aware that there are special programs for trafficking victims, including temporary residency. In addition, included in the mix are persons who pay to be transported through Costa Rica with the goal of reaching the United States. A recent case involved citizens of Nepal who were stopped by the Fuerza Pública.

A case of forced labor developed when the crew of a foreign fishing boat said they have been forced to work without pay.

Smugglers fail to bring to shore another load of marijuana
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Crewmen of the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas might be thinking about affiliating with the longshoremen's union.

After another boat confiscation in the Caribbean Monday they ended up having to handle up to a ton of marijuana. That is on top of some 1,117 kilos of marijuana that they confiscated from the sea Sept. 12.

The latest interception was of an open boat about 100 miles off the Limón coast. The alert came from the crew of a U.S. spotter plane.

The four crewmen on the small boat began throwing packages into the sea, but the coast guard crew managed to recover them, said the security ministry.

The captured crew was made up of three Costa Ricans and a Nicaraguan. The marijuana is presumed to have come from Jamaica. They arrived in Limón early Tuesday.

Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo
Coast guard crewmen are building muscles handling bales of pot.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 189
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Climate summit closes with billions in pledges to reduce global warming
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services
and the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The day-long United Nations Climate Summit has closed with hundreds of billions of dollars in pledges from member states to fight global warming but no binding agreements.

U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are calling for a new global commitment to protect the Earth from greenhouse gas emissions. The World Bank is promoting a price on carbon emissions.

Addressing this year’s United Nations Climate Summit Tuesday, Obama said the United States, the world's second biggest polluter, takes responsibility for its role in damaging the global environment, but that all nations must act together to combat the worsening problem of climate change.

At the largest high-level gathering on climate in years, Obama called on world leaders to reduce emissions and invest in clean energy, saying it is time to take action against what he called the urgent and growing threat posed by rising temperatures.

"The climate is changing faster than our efforts to address it. The alarm bells keep ringing, our citizens keep marching," he said. "We cannot pretend we do not hear them. We have to answer the call."

The U.S. leader said the United States has reduced pollution by more than any other nation, adding that his administration has taken measures to cut carbon emissions by 300 million metric tons through the year 2030.

He then urged other nations to take similar measures, saying no one gets a pass, or is exempt, from the effort.

That effort, Obama said, includes China, the world's biggest carbon polluter. He met Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli on the sidelines of the summit before his speech. Obama said they agreed that their countries, with the world's two biggest economies, must take responsibility to lead the effort to curb carbon emissions.

The summit has shown the sharp divisions that exist between industrialized countries and those with developing economies that see environmental restrictions as a threat to growth.

Minutes after Obama spoke, the Chinese vice premier called for developing countries to be allowed to have more relaxed carbon emission restrictions than industrialized nations.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened the summit by calling for the world's nations to adopt a new course to protect the global environment from the carbon emissions. Ban said the world should be
carbon neutral by the end of the 21st century.

Monday, the World Bank announced that 73 national and 22 regional governments, together with about 1,000 companies, will join forces to push for policies that encourage a shift to cleaner energy technologies.

That coalition includes countries like China, South Africa, Russia and the Marshall Islands, and companies like British Airways, Unilever and Swiss cement manufacturer Holcim. The United States, the World Bank's largest single financial supporter, was absent from the list.

Carbon pricing, if expanded to this scale and then globally, has the potential to bring down emissions in a way that supports clean energy and low-carbon growth while giving businesses the flexibility to innovate and find the most efficient choices, the World Bank said. 

“The science is clear. The economics are compelling. We are seeing a shift toward the economic architecture that will be necessary to avoid a 2-degree-warmer world, an architecture that supports green growth, jobs and competitiveness,” said Rachel Kyte, World Bank Group vice president and special envoy for climate change .

To move carbon pricing use and understanding forward, the World Bank Group, World Economic Forum, and We Mean Business Coalition announced that they would convene a carbon pricing leadership coalition with business and government leaders.

Carbon pricing brings together two distinct groups that have each spoken in favor of climate action but rarely worked together to address climate change: governments, which have been testing carbon trading systems and carbon taxes, and businesses that have started setting internal shadow carbon prices to help guide decisions.

Quebec started with a tax on fossil fuels and a goal to reduce emissions by 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. It launched a carbon trading system in 2012 that is now linked with California’s.

“We are encouraging our businesses to become more energy-efficient, adopt clean technologies, and use renewable forms of energy,” said Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard. That means modernizing business models. “Decisions made by companies should reflect the high environmental, social and economic costs associated with climate disruptions.”

Couillard and California Gov. Jerry Brown added their public support for carbon pricing through the Put a Price on Carbon Statement, organized by the World Bank with support from several partners.

“There has to be a price on carbon because there is a price on carbon: it’s the consequences to health and the economy and to our climate,” Brown said.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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

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

   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
   * Find out how to live affordably
   * See how other expats live. Meet other expats who have made
          the move.
   * Access the country's affordable health care system
   * Informative two-day seminar given by local experts in their
          relevant fields.
   * Tours led by Christopher Howard, 34-year resident, citizen,
          and the author of "The New Golden Door to Retirement
          and  Living in Costa Rica – the Official Guide to Relocation”
Click HERE  to learn all about our Association of Residents (ARCR)  approved tours at

Anywhere Costa Rica plans custom vacations, and has the most comprehensive travel services in the country including travel guides, resorts and vacation homesCosta Rica tours
and car rentals.  
Call 1-888.456.3212 or 2479-8811 locally.

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

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

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

 (as reported by the moving companies)
Visit many rental options to actually experience the price/amenity options available in more of the areas chosen by Expats for security, comfort, and quality of life.

Meet many Expats who are willing to share their experiences and how the tour has value long after the “lust” wears off.
See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!

Ask the others what you get for your money, and then compare the quality of accommodations, quality, quantity and variety of food and drink to measure the best value for your money. 

Learn how others “talk the talk” and learn who really can “walk the walk”

Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
George Lundquist, retirement, relocation columnist, Guide & Developer/Builder.


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

Need a book about Costa Rica?

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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)

Beautiful fully furnished two floor house for rent
in La Guacima

Guacima montage
La Guacima, Alajuela. 20 minutes from airport, San José or Alajuela Centro and 30 minutes from Heredia. Near highway 27. $1,200 a month. All services included (Internet, water, electricity, security). Very private, very quiet, green areas, fully furnished. Must like animals (we have three gentle dogs), look at high resolution pics HERE! U.S. citizens or Europeans preferred. No children. Call to inquiry and for appointment to visit. Available for rent in December. Contact phone number:  (506)  8839-4315.

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

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

MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

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

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

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

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

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A.M. Costa Rica's   Fifth news page

cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 189
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1.4 million ebola cases
projected by late January

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Between 550,000 and 1.4 million people in West Africa could be infected with the ebola virus by late January, according to a report issued on Tuesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The top range of the estimate, 1.4 million, assumes that the number of cases officially cited so far, 5,864 according to the count kept by the World Health Organization, is significantly underreported, and that it is likely that 2.5 times as many cases, or nearly 20,000, have in fact occurred.

CDC emphasized that the projections, based on an epidemiological model that takes into account how many people each ebola patient eventually infects as well as other factors, is based on data available in August. They therefore do not account for the recently announced U.S. government relief effort, which includes sending 3,000 members of the armed forces to the ebola-stricken region.

"Extensive, immediate actions - such as those already started - can bring the epidemic to a tipping point to start a rapid decline in cases," the centers said in a statement.

The agency's best-case model projects that by getting 70 percent of patients into facilities where the risk for transmission is reduced and burying the dead safely, the epidemic would be almost ended by Jan. 20.

A senior U.N. official warned the escalating ebola crisis in Liberia is threatening the social fabric of the country, reversing many of the social, economic and political gains achieved since Liberia emerged from civil war.

U.N. special representative Antonio Vigilante said Tuesday the number of ebola cases in Liberia is doubling every few weeks and stands at more than 3,000. About half of those infected have died. 

“While in the last years Liberia was growing at a very interesting rate, the projections for this year have already been slashed by half and perhaps now 70 percent," Vigilante said.

"Production in the mining industry and the agricultural sector and the forestry sector are slowing down, and many in the concessions are actually closed or have had their activities reduced significantly."

Vigilante said poverty is increasing as people lose their livelihoods, markets are short of supplies and people are going hungry because food prices are soaring.

Meanwhile, it was revealed that experimental ebola drugs will be tested in West Africa for the first time, as part of an initiative to quickly find treatments for the vicious disease.

A London-based charity, the Wellcome Trust, said Tuesday it is giving $5.2 million so a consortium of aid groups, research institutions and the World Health Organization can set up clinical trials at ebola treatment centers.

There is currently no cure or vaccine for ebola, which has infected more than 5,600 people and killed more than 2,800 in West Africa this year, mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. 

The Wellcome Trust says drug makers taking part in the project include Mapp Biopharmaceutical, whose untested Zmapp drug has been given to a small number of ebola patients, as well as a Canadian company, Tekmira, and U.S.-based Sarepta.

Precise details of how the trials will be carried out are still under discussion.  The Wellcome Trust says participating groups are working with health officials in the affected countries to choose the best sites for the trials.

World Health says the number of people infected with ebola could grow at an explosive rate - exceeding 20,000 by November - unless more is done quickly to control the outbreak.

The New England Journal of Medicine published a report Tuesday by World Health's Ebola Response Team warning that efforts to isolate patients, increase clinical care, safely bury bodies and engage the community must improve quickly to avoid a sharp increase in cases.

World Health Strategy Director Christopher Dye, a co-author of the report, says it is important to act now.

"One of the key messages that we want to get across is that we are now in the third explosive phase of growth of the epidemic," he said. "This is an exponential increase with hundreds, going into thousands of cases per week, and if we don't stop the epidemic very soon, this is going to turn from a disaster into a catastrophe," he said.

The report comes six months after the World Health was notified of the ebola outbreak. The virus has infected 5,864 people and killed 2,811.

Tuesday's report says that although ebola has been reported in many parts of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, more than 90 percent of the cases have been in just 14 of 67 total districts in those countries.

World Health said Monday that the outbreak appears to have been stopped in Nigeria and Senegal, with no new cases in Nigeria since Sept. 8 and none in Senegal since its first and only case was reported Aug. 29.

Another 30 to 40 U.S. military personnel were due to arrive in West Africa, joining 60 Americans already there, as part of the U.S. effort to combat ebola. The United States has committed $175 million to help combat the outbreak and is sending 3,000 troops to the region to build field hospitals and provide logistical aid.

World Health has called for an end to flight cancellations and travel restrictions to the ebola zone.  It says these measures hamper international relief efforts and hurt the countries' economies.

Stars join USAID project
to educate young women

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Hollywood stars Alicia Keys, Jennifer Garner and 30 others have voiced their support for a U.S.-backed initiative called Let Girls Learn.  The $231 million program, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, is aimed at ensuring public and quality education for girls worldwide. The new program will focus on five countries in Africa, South Asia, Latin America and the Middle East

“In Nigeria, hundreds of young girls were kidnapped as they prepared for their final exams at a boarding school. In Pakistan, a girl was shot,” says an USAID ad.

The U.S. Agency for International Development partners with celebrities to call attention to the importance of education for girls worldwide.

“For them to be motivated by Malala, for them to be motivated by the kidnapping of the girls in Nigeria ... that means we have a whole new group of people that we can educate,” said Christie Vilsack, a USAID senior advisor for international education.

Today, the agency reports that 62 million girls are not in school, and some who insist on getting an education risk their lives.

In Pakistan, teenage activist Malala Yousafzai was shot two years ago for her campaign against Taliban efforts to deny girls an education.  On Sept. 12, Pakistani authorities announced the arrest of 10 people believed to be responsible.

Meanwhile in Nigeria, hundreds of school girls are still missing after being kidnapped by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, whose name means "Western education is a sin" in the local Hausa language. 

But Ugandan Mandela Fellow Cyrus Kawalya says education is key to reaching one's full potential. “Education helps you open up your mind.  Once you open up your mind, then you choose what information works for you and how you are going to work with it," Kawalya explains. "Without education you cannot open up your mind, then what would you do.”

USAID recently announced it will provide $231 million to fund programs for primary and secondary schools in Afghanistan, Jordan, Guatemala, South Sudan and Nigeria.

“In Nigeria, part of those resources would go for training quality teachers and that is really an important part of it too," Ms. Vilsak said. "About 250,000 girls will be affected.”

While a lot of progress has been made in getting children to schools in general, a recent report by the World Bank shows that in a number of countries, about 70 percent of students in the second and third grades could not read a simple paragraph.  Ms. Vilsack, says her agency uses a new system to assess students. “I was in Pakistan and got to see the children taking this 10-minute test that very quickly evaluates their fluency, their ability to recognize letters, to name and pronounce the sound of them," she said.

She says the agency is working hard to train teachers to make sure the children are not just memorizing, but truly understanding what they are studying.

Most U.S. lawmakers say
they support Syrian strikes

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. lawmakers are reacting to the first U.S. air strikes on Islamic State targets in Syria, with a number of congressional leaders praising the action taken by President Barack Obama. But some members of Congress say the nature of the U.S. mission is shifting, and that Congress needs to debate and vote on authorization of a broader and more sustained military campaign against terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria.

Members of Congress are scattered across the country for a seven-week recess, many of them campaigning for the Nov. 4 congressional elections.  But a number of lawmakers came out in strong support of the first U.S. air strikes against militant group targets inside Syria.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin said it is historic that the strikes involved forces from Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.  Republican House Speaker John Boehner said he supports the air strikes ordered by the president, understanding they are just one step in what must be a larger effort to defeat the terrorist organization.

Speaking at the White House Tuesday, President Obama highlighted bipartisan support for the U.S. mission in the House and the Senate.

But there were also some lawmakers who expressed concern that the nature of U.S. military action is shifting. Sen. Tim Kaine, a Democrat, spoke at an event at the Center for American Progress research institute in Washington.
“The point that I think is so critical is that the president shouldn’t be doing this without Congress.  And maybe more to the point, frankly, if we are going to assess some culpability, Congress shouldn’t be allowing it to happen without Congress," said Kaine.

Before leaving town for the recess, the House and Senate both voted on a narrow measure to authorize the Defense Department to train and equip vetted Syrian rebels in the fight against the Islamic State group. Sen. Bill Nelson, another Democrat, said that is all that is required for now.

"The national security of the United States is definitely threatened by ISIS. As I have said over and over, I believe the president has the constitutional authority to strike ISIS in Syria, as he already has in northern Iraq. And that is under his constitutional duty as commander-in-chief," said Nelson.

Congress returns Nov. 12, and then will have one month to approve a spending bill to keep the federal government running past Dec. 11.  Some lawmakers are saying Congress will also have to authorize additional funds for the costly air campaign against Islamic State targets, and that approving the money should be part of a broader debate to authorize the whole mission.

Ben Laden son-in-law gets
a life term for propaganda

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A son-in-law of Osama bin Laden has been sentenced by a U.S. court to life in prison for his role as al-Qaida's spokesman after the 2001 terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in the United States.

Judge Lewis Kaplan sentenced Sulaiman Abu Ghaith in New York, telling the 48-year-old Kuwaiti he saw no remorse from him.  The judge said he believes Abu Ghaith still wants to do everything he can to carry out al-Qaida's agenda of killing Americans.

Before sentencing, Abu Ghaith, speaking in Arabic, said he would not seek mercy from anyone but God.  He said, by sentencing him, the judge was "at the same time unleashing the hands of hundreds of Muslim youths."

Abu Ghaith was convicted in March of conspiring to kill Americans and providing support for terrorists.

Prosecutors said he answered bin Laden's request to speak on inflammatory videos aimed at recruiting new followers to carry out more suicide missions like those in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Jurors at the trial saw parts of a video from Sept. 12 that year showing Abu Ghaith seated next to bin Laden and two other top al-Qaida leaders as they sought to justify the attacks the day before.

Surgeons use ultrasound
to kill tumor in kidney

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

There is a new way of killing certain cancer tumors that allows the patient to go home on the same day.  Surgeons at the Keck Medical Center of the University of Southern California became the first doctors to use this procedure on a patient with the help of high intensity focused ultrasound and new robotic technology. 

A month ago, doctors found a cancerous tumor in Gary Fradkin’s kidney.  It needed to be removed.  The 62-year-old windsurfer feared being inactive for weeks after surgery.  Doctors told him about a new procedure that would allow him to go home just hours after the operation.

“Summer is almost over.  I have got to get whatever wind surfing left I can in the season, so I am happy,” he said.

Fradkin is in a clinical trial that uses high intensity focused ultrasound to destroy a tumor.  Inderbir Gill,  physician, says the process starts with an incision about a centimeter wide. 

A robotic device then gets into the abdomen, finds the tumor and kills it. 

“So that is what is exciting about the case today, is that to our knowledge, for the first time, a kidney tumor has been ablated using high intensity focused ultrasound as monotherapy, without any additional treatment.  And allowing us to do this cuts down on the operative time, decreases the blood loss, decreases the chances of complications, preserves kidney function, while killing the tumor and allows the patient to go home the same day,” Gill explains.

Traditionally, patients would have a hospital stay of three to four days after kidney cancer surgery because surgeons would have to cut out the tumor.   

“We would stop the blood supply to the kidney.  We would cut out the tumor then we would suture and repair the kidney, restore blood supply to the kidney, that is a reasonable undertaking and leads to reasonable amount of blood loss and a significant hospital stay to make sure everything is good before letting him go home and even then tell him “take it easy for a month,” Gill adds.

With high intensity focused ultrasound, Gill says the tumor is not removed.  It dissolves slowly over time. “That is what we will be studying closely as to how long it takes for it to go away,” he said.

Gill says he has identified other patients who can benefit from this procedure.  They have to have tumors that are four centimeters or smaller, which is about 10 percent of all kidney tumors.  He says he believes in the future similar surgery can also be an option for patients with prostate, liver and pancreatic cancers. 

“I thought it’s exciting.  Dr. Gill keeps pushing the edge.  I was happy I was able to get this rather than have to go through a traditional surgery,” stated Fradkin.

Fradkin said he plans on going back to work as a post-production engineer in the film industry in a few days, and back on the water, surfing with the wind. 
Real estate-related services (paid category)

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

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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:

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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 Interamericana 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, appliances included. High-speed internet iinstalled, Direct TV via sling box on Internet. $199,000 Contact   Check out slide show HERE!

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.

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-story, 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-story 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.


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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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, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 189
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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
Consejo Nacional de vilaidad photo
The rainy season can generate big surprises for motorists, like this washout at Kilometer 101 on the Interamerican in southern Costa Rica.

Simplifying procedures mandated

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The government moved Tuesday to simplify and make more efficient what citizens must do to conduct official business.

Public institutions and ministries are supposed to designate a high-level employee to be the simplification officer, and the agency must create a plan on how to protect citizens from excessive requirements.

Welmer Ramos, minister of Economía, said he was optimistic that this action would improve use of the government by citizens and firms.

He noted that there will be 65 simplification officers in the country. The annual plan is supposed to be published in the La Gaceta official newspaper and also on the institution's Web page.

Jacó woman, 39, is murder victim

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A 39-year-old Jacó woman with the last name of Sandí died early Tuesday from what appears to be a severe beating.

The woman's body turned up near the bridge over the Río Tárcoles north of Jacó, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

The woman was last seen about 4 a.m. walking alone in Jacó, said investigators. They said her body showed bruises and possible signs of suffocation.

The speculation is that the killer tried to eliminate the body by throwing the woman to the crocodiles that inhabit the river.

Striking municipal workers to meet

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The mayor of Montes de Oca, which includes San Pedro, said Tuesday that municipal workers have been on strike since Friday.

After a series of meetings Tuesday, the worker's union has called a general meeting today at 9 a.m. to see if the strike should continue.

The mayor, Fernando Trejos B., said that he expected the strike to end soon so that the jobs of trash collection, recycling, cemetery maintenance, cleaning streets and gutters and all the other necessary tasks could resume.

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From Page 7:

JetBlue will institute a Boston-Liberia flight

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

JetBlue will begin passenger service between Liberia and Boston Nov. 1, tourism officials announced.

The new flight was announced with much fanfare because President Luis Guillermo Solís and Wilhelm von Breymann, minister of Turismo, met with airline officials in New York.

Unstated was if the flight is just for the high season or will continue year round. Many lines increase their flights in anticipation of refugees from the frigid north heading south to Costa Rica over the North American winter.

Von Breymann, in a release, noted that the airline also has announced flights from Orlando, Florida, and from New York.