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(506) 2223-1327                               Published Friday, Sept. 26, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 191                           Email us
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Lawmaker wants to raise legal marriage age to 18
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A legislator is proposing that the minimum age to marry in Costa Rica be raised to 18.

The lawmaker is Lorelly Trejos of the Partido Liberación Nacional. She outlined her proposal to fellow lawmakers Thursday.

She said that the proposal stems from international trends. She said she wants individuals to have physical, emotional, spiritual and mental maturity when they marry.

She said that under age unions result in premature pregnancies, childbearing problems, high infant mortality and sexual diseases.
Traditionally in Spanish societies the 15th
 birthday is when a girl becomes a woman. That is why that birthday is such a big deal and accompanied by the quinceañera celebration similar to a coming out party in North American and European cultures.

In Costa Rica a woman may marry at 15 with parental permission. This also is the age at which minors may maintain sexual relations without penalty.

Woman may marry without parental permission at 16. The lawmaker did not say how her change in the law would handle cases of pregnant minors.

In fact, in Costa Rica there are many family relationships without legal marriage. However, a sexual relationship between an adult and a minor still is actionable even if consensual.

gas spheres
Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo  S.A, photo
These are two of four spheres that Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo  S.A, is constructing   to hold petroleum liquid gas in Moín. Each sphere will hold 25,000 barrels, the firm said. Felguera I.H.S.A., a Spanish firm, is doing the
job. All the storage spheres will be in operation next year, the firm said.  This type of imported fuel is used by many for cooking and heating water.  So the new spheres will give additional fuel security for the country.

Three face claims of home invasion, attempted rape
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial investigators detained early Thursday three men who are suspects of being home invaders in the Palmares and San Ramón areas. The stolen items amounted to 50 million colons, said the Judicial Investigating Organization. That's about $92,000.

The men were detained during a 4 a.m. raid on their home in Esquipulas, Palmares. The men also
face an allegation of an attempted rape, which took place during one of the home invasions, said agents.

Agents said that the home invaders committed their crimes around 6 p.m. by violently forcing their way into dwellings and holding those they found there at gunpoint. The crimes for which they face possible charges were in Piedades Sur de San Ramón, Palmares Centro and Zaragoza, said agents.


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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 191

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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
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Costa Rica: (506) 2228-2041


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US Income Tax,  US GAAP Accounting
& Business Consulting

• US Tax return preparation  for
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• 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
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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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   • Property management in the Jacó area
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* Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project  in a quiet area.
* There are 88 clear titled lots.
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* Quiet place to get away from the busy city and beach crowds.
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* 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
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* 25 minutes to the Liberia Hospital
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Contact Jim Day
or Phone:  001 517 484-3675.
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Tel: (323) 255-6116

Secret court records damage society

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

The new administration owes it to the public for a complete top down review of the draconian interpretation of the country's data laws that allowed the Poder Judicial to shut down alphabetical access to its index of civil and criminal court cases in 2012. Prior to this arbitrary shutdown by Supreme Court Judge Roman Solis Zelaya, anybody with internet access could search the court's public database to see if a person or corporation had any civil or criminal cases on file.

As I understand the history of this case, some wife beater didn't like his name in the system and complained to the supreme court, which in turn removed this function solely based on this judge's ruling. He also restricted access to the file documenting this wife beater's misbehavior.

Lena White Curling, a functionary from the Poder Judicial at the time, stated that only a member of the Assembly could introduce a law to re-open these files. This means that a resident of Costa Rica could have a convicted child molester or murderer living in the next house over, or worse, next to a school yard, and no one would have the ability to check this out. Now, I fully understand about protection of privacy (I'm a card carrying member of the ACLU), but these records belong to in public view, not restricted to a few unknown people who have access.

Court systems that remain shuttered and secret belong in the dustbin of history along with all of the Latin American dictatorships that supported this type of secrecy in the past. I tried repeatedly to find out who had the passwords to this system and was rebuffed by Poder Judicial. Information is power and leaving this access in the hands of a small group of functionaries that can be politically manipulated is a disservice to the democracy that we all love here in Costa Rica. To make matters worse, when these records were shut down in 2012, a staff attorney from my office was immediately approached by a functionary in the court offering to sell access to the system. As our office not only abides by the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and, in fact, we enforce it for our clients, our staff attorney politely turned down the offer. I don't think this is the type of free market capitalism that the current president is supporting. Now I have been informed that a man was recently arrested who works in the central offices because he has been selling criminal records (rap sheets) maintained by the Judicial Investigating Organization.

I have been instrumental in conducting due diligence investigations to place branches of multi-national corporations in Costa Rica which brings jobs and capital into the country. It is routine to check the civil and criminal index on both the principals and corporations in which my clients wish to do business. Subsequent to this rule change in 2012, I have not placed one company in Costa Rica. Whether or not this data restriction has an effect on my clients' decision making, I do not know. But I do have my suspicions.
Seth Derish
Chico, California

Three teens held in brutal, fatal beating

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Three teens, 14, 15 and 16, have been detained in the brutal and fatal beating of a vagrant in Hatillo last May.

Judicial police conducted raids early Thursday to make the arrests.

The vagrant, a man with the last name of Araya, was well known in the area around the Escuela de Sagrada Familia. He was set upon between 8 and 10 p.m. May 18 by assailants who struck him repeatedly with an iron pipe, a board and even the butt of a pistol, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

Agents said there was no apparent motive for the killing. Araya was 31.

This is a different kind of drug smuggler

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Frontier police say that common smugglers are now using techniques perfected by drug traffickers.

They said they have found hidden compartments in the floor of public buses that contained contraband medicines. They also have found medicines hidden in the walls of truck trailers, they said.

The discoveries have been along the northern border with Nicaragua.

There is a steady trade in medicines from Nicaragua because they are cheaper and because Nicaraguans living in Costa Rica prefer medicines with which they are familiar.

The latest discovery of a hidden compartment in a bus involved a Nicaraguan man who is a resident of Costa Rica, said police.  There were 2,500 tablets and 100 other items, police said.

Location of Heredia bus stop being changed

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Consejo de Transporte Público will change the location of the Heredia #400 bus stop early Monday. The stop now is on Avenida 2. Monday morning it will be on the west side of the Parque del Ministerio de Salud, about 100 meters to the south.

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Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 191
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CBS to treat Costa Rican justice system with story of Bender case
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Television viewers in the United States will get a glimpse of the Costa Rican justice system Saturday when the CBS Network show "48 Hours" features the Ann Patton case.

She is the wife of a multimillionaire who has been acquitted and then convicted of the murder of her husband. The network just reported that  a husband and wife team of forensic experts have raised serious doubt about the investigation and the evidence that was used to convict the woman.

A trailer for the program shows that Ms. Patton was interviewed extensively on camera. She claims that she unsuccessfully wrestled with her husband, John, to prevent his suicide. The death took place in the five-story glass mansion on the 5,000-acre reserve the couple owned in La Florida de Barú de Pérez Zeledón. Patton was half a billionaire from his trading career winnings.

Expats here have been watching the case closely because of their own concerns about the Costa Rican justice system.

U.S. viewers certainly will be surprised by the way the law here allows an appeals court to reinstate a charge after acquittal. Anglo-American justice rejects double jeopardy.

A trial court acquitted Ms. Patton Jan. 21, 2013. The second trial May 27 resulted in a guilty verdict.

Since she was the only other person there when her husband died, prosecutors depended heavily on the position of the body, the entry wound and testimony from a medical examiner, Gretchen Flores Sandí. Supporters of Ms. Patton, including her brother Ken, have shown that Ms. Flores made significant changes in her testimony between the first and second trial. Supporters also point out that prosecutors have never established a motive for a murder. That was one reason she was acquitted in the first trial, according to the decision by the three judges.

The "48 Hour" experts concluded that the account provided by Ms. Patton, that she wrestled her husband for the gun, could be consistent with the fact. He was shot in the right side of the back of the head.

Bender and his wife suffered from depression, and he had talked
Bender family photo via CBS Network.
By all accounts, the Benders were devoted to each other.

about suicide in the past.  In testimony, Ms. Patton admitted three suicide attempts since 2000.

Testimony also showed that neither of the Benders had gunpowder residue on their hands when police investigated. The weapon was a 9-mm. Ruger pistol.

Ms. Patton has appealed the guilty verdict.

Man facing gun charge has been detained 90 times in past, police say
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Fuerza Pública said a police officer in Moravia detained a man who has been brought in 90 times in the past.

This time the man was in the possession of a firearm, said police.

Meanwhile, a man who was described as being well-known to police was detained inside a church in Quepos.

The Moravia incident began when a police officer noticed three men sitting in a vehicle near Plaza Lincoln. The police officer sought identity documents and then found a .38-caliber pistol within the vehicle, said police.
Carlos León, head of the local Fuerza Pública detachment, said that the man with the record had been detained on allegations of robbery and crimes against property.

There was no explanation why he still was on the streets. The pistol was reported stolen during a burglary at a local coffee firm, he said.

In Quepos Wednesday night neighbors of the Iglesia Cristiana Luz del Mundo called police when they heard noises at night. 

The Fuerza Pública said that the man they found inside had been detained various times in the last few months to face allegations of similar crimes. In this case, entry to the church was made through a hole in the roof, police said.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 191
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Dementia may be preceded by noticeable memory lapses, study says
By the University of Kentucky news staff

New research by scientists at the University of Kentucky's Sanders-Brown Center on Aging suggests that people who notice their memory is slipping may be on to something.

The research, led by Richard Kryscio, chairman of the Department of  Biostatistics and associate director of the Alzheimer's Disease Center at the university, appears to confirm that self-reported memory complaints are strong predictors of clinical memory impairment later in life.

Kryscio and his group asked 531 people with an average age of 73 and free of dementia if they had noticed any changes in their memory in the prior year. The participants were also given annual memory and thinking tests for an average of 10 years. After death, participants' brains were examined for evidence of Alzheimer's disease.

During the study, 56 percent of the participants reported changes in their memory, at an average age of 82. The study found that participants who reported changes in their memory were nearly three
  times more likely to develop memory and thinking problems. About one in six participants developed dementia during the study, and 80 percent of those first reported memory changes.

"What's notable about our study is the time it took for the transition from self-reported memory complaint to dementia or clinical impairment -- about 12 years for dementia and nine years for clinical impairment -- after the memory complaints began," Kryscio said. "That suggests that there may be a significant window of opportunity for intervention before a diagnosable problem shows up."

Kryscio pointed out that while these findings add to a growing body of evidence that self-reported memory complaints can be predictive of cognitive impairment later in life, there isn't cause for immediate alarm if persons can't remember where they left car keys.

"Certainly, someone with memory issues should report it to their doctor so they can be followed. Unfortunately, however, we do not yet have preventative therapies for Alzheimer's disease or other illnesses that cause memory problems."

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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The contents of this page and this Web site are copyrighted by A.M. Costa Ltda. 2014 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's   Fifth news page

cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 191
Real Estate
About us

FBI director says bombings
may not have defused plots

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Terrorist plots against the United States and Europe may still be in the works despite this week's air strikes against the al-Qaida cell known as Khorasan. FBI Director James Comey told reporters in Washington Thursday he is not confident at all that attacks by U.S.-led coalition disrupted Khorasan's plans.
Comey said the Khorasan group remains at the top of the FBI's list of terrorism concerns. It's comprised of al-Qaida veterans from Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to Comey. U.S. intelligence officials say Khorasan has been trying to perfect a non-metallic bomb that can evade airport security.

The director of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation also said the U.S. believes it has identified an executioner from the Islamic State group, the man shrouded in black who spoke with a British accent in videos the terror group circulated showing the recent beheadings of two American journalists and a British aid worker.

Comey did not disclose the man's name or say whether he carried out the killings himself. British officials have previously said they were close to identifying the masked man. 

About a dozen Americans are believed to be in Syria now fighting with extremist groups, Comey said, adding that more than 100 Americans have either been intercepted and arrested while trying to reach Syria, or have returned to the U.S. after joining the Syrian conflict. 

The FBI chief said those who have come back to the U.S. after fighting with extremist groups are either under investigation, under surveillance or have been arrested.

Despite intensive attempts to identify and track Islamic State fighters active in the United States, Comey said he fears that a home-grown terror attack within the United States could be attempted by Islamic State supporters.

Some approvals given
for use of drones in U.S.

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. government has begun lifting commercial restrictions on the use of unmanned aircraft, allowing six movie and television production companies to film scenes with small drones.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, speaking Thursday, described the move as a significant milestone in expanding commercial drone use.

Until now, the Federal Aviation Administration has banned all commercial drone operations outside of oil fields in sparsely-populated Alaska, citing safety risks to both private and commercial aircraft in U.S. airspace.

The new FAA permits limit the drone use to restricted areas, and require an operator to hold a private pilot's license. Ground operators will also be required to fly the small aircraft at altitudes below 122 meters during daylight hours only.

Dozens of other industries have also applied to use drones. Companies want to use them to inspect pipelines, oil platforms and bridges, and to spray crops. Online retailer Amazon wants to deliver packages, while commercial realtors, news organizations and many others are seeking to use them as well.

The U.S. Congress in 2012 directed aviation officials to formulate plans for drone use in U.S. airspace.  That directive extended from tiny drones weighing a few kilograms to giant unmanned vehicle surveillance aircraft. 

The FAA is facing an October 2015 deadline to complete those plans.

Panama chief
Voice of America/ Victor Lopez-Illescas
Candido Mezua is the president of the Embera-Wounaan General Congress, which includes about 10,000 people living in the tropical rain forests of Panamá.

Rain forest peoples meet
to share common concerns

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The forests that many native peoples call home are more than a means of food, raw materials and other necessities for survival. They are also their source of spiritual connection to the Earth, their ancestors and a meaningful way of life.  The leaders of many of the world’s forest peoples were in New York this week in connection with the first United Nations Climate Summit and the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples.    

Agnes Leina is the founder of Il’laramatak Community Concerns, a grassroots group in a remote region of Kenya dedicated to equality for girls and women in her forest community. With her hands resting gently on the vividly colored patterns of her native dress, she explains that there is a spiritual connection between the animals, both domesticated and wild, her fellow pastoralists and the forests.

“It’s through the forest that young men are initiated into men. And all the sacred trees, the sacred leaves, the sacred gums are actually found in that forest.  We naturally use gourds made out of dried wood. Even our cups and bowls! We depend on the forest for everything,” she said.

Ms. Leina knows countless traditional songs. But one, about a familiar forest bird, is a special favorite.

“Coo doo loo,” she said, imitating the bird’s calls, then sings. ”It says ‘before it gets dark, please allow me to go home before the cows are brought home.’ Even those words connect us to the forest, and with the animals with the birds and human beings - all interconnected and living at peace with each other,” she explained.

A tall tribal crown, big bare belly and scarlet, orange and blue yarn costume signify Candido Mezua’s role as president of the Embera-Wounaan General Congress. It includes about 10,000 people living in the tropical rain forests of Panama.

Mezua has fought corporate logging most of his life. Through an interpreter, he said that as a teenager, he was inspired by an old woman who approached his group’s campfire one night. 

“And the grandmother spoke to us with a very calm voice, but with a crying voice.  And even though it was dark and we could not see her eyes, but only listening to her voice, we started to cry also. And the grandmother said, ‘Look at the trees they are cutting down and taking away.' And she said, ‘Look, every tree cut down and taken away is a brother of us. Look how many of our brothers have been killed and taken away. So we need to start thinking. What are we going to do? Are we going to be disappear, our brothers, the trees and all the life they carry?  Are we going to disappear?’” he recalled.

Abdon Nababan, the secretary general of the Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago in Indonesia, says that nearly half his community’s forest homeland has disappeared in recent decades, and with it, something of himself.

He said he and his people must live with the grief and rage from what they regard as the theft and violation of much of their ancestral homeland.

“Home is a community. It’s where you feel you can talk [about] your story. You can dance. You can eat the meat that you get from the forest. That’s home," he said. "You just feel that you belong to that land. Because you depend on that land. Your identity is the land, forest.” He paused. “That’s the crisis. You will lose yourself, because your identity, the place where you stand, is not there anymore.  That’s the situation.”

If attitudes at the U.N. translate into national policies, that situation may change.  This week, the United Nations hosted the first World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, a high level plenary session of the General Assembly where over 1,000 delegates were invited to share perspectives on best practices to ensure indigenous rights worldwide.  

Rich Chinese fear collapse
and are getting money out

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The nearly $10 billion in fake business deals Chinese regulators Thursday announced they have discovered is just the tip of the iceberg of the money flowing out of China, says one leading U.S. financial expert.

Jim Rickards, author of the book "Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis," says: “Wealthy elites are getting their money out of China before the collapse comes.”

Rickards said it's been happening for a long time, but Chinese authorities seem less willing to look the other way.

Some people in China have managed to circumvent currency controls by disguising their personal financial transactions with the ordinary course of international business, which appears to be what the Chinese were talking about in their announcement this week.

For example, Rickards said a Chinese manufacturer sets up a Panamanian subsidiary and sells its product for half of what the parent company knows the subsidiary will get from the sale of the products. When the sales take place, the Chinese company has a lot of money in Panama.

The financial crisis in China is coming, Rickards is certain. He says the country has relied too heavily on investment to drive economic growth.  He said there is nothing necessarily wrong with using investment to grow the economy, but in the case of China, it has been financed by debt, which has been sold to retail investors who have been left very, risky junk bonds.

Scientists create long record
of ice ages and sea levels

By the University of Southampton news staff

Glacial decay at the end of the last five ice-ages caused global sea-levels to rise at rates of up to 5.5 meters per century, according to a new study.

An international team of researchers developed a 500,000-year record of sea-level variability, to provide the first account of how quickly sea-level changed during the last five ice-age cycles.

The results, published in the latest issue of Nature Communications, also found that more than 100 smaller events of sea-level rise took place in between the five major events.

Katharine Grant, from the Australian National University, Canberra, who led the study, says: "The really fast rates of sea-level rise typically seem to have happened at the end of periods with exceptionally large ice sheets, when there was two or more times more ice on the Earth than today.

"Time periods with less than twice the modern global ice volume show almost no indications of sea-level rise faster than about 2 meters per century. Those with close to the modern amount of ice on Earth, show rates of up to 1 to 1.5 meters per century."

Co-author Eelco Rohling, of both the University of Southampton and the Australian university, explains that the study also sheds light on the timescales of change. He says: "For the first time, we have data from a sufficiently large set of events to systematically study the timescale over which ice-sheet responses developed from initial change to maximum retreat."

"This happened within 400 years for 68 per cent of all 120 cases considered, and within 1,100 years for 95 per cent. In other words, once triggered, ice-sheet reduction (and therefore sea-level rise) kept accelerating relentlessly over periods of many centuries."

Rohling speculates that there may be an important lesson for our future: "Man-made warming spans 150 years already and studies have documented clear increases in mass-loss from the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets. Once under way, this response may be irreversible for many centuries to come."

The team reconstructed sea-levels using data from sediment cores from the Red Sea, an area that is very sensitive to sea-level changes because it's only natural connection with the open (Indian) ocean is through the very shallow (137-meter) Bab-el-Mandab Strait. These sediment samples record wind-blown dust variations, which the team linked to a well-dated climate record from Chinese stalagmites. Due to a common process, both dust and stalagmite records show a pronounced change at the end of each ice age, which allowed the team to date the sea-level record in detail.

The researchers emphasize that their values for sea-level change are 500-year averages, so brief pulses of faster change cannot be excluded.

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Beautiful chalet in Grecia, with the best fresh natural weather, 1.040 m2 of land, Price $135.000. Click HERE!
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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.
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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

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More photos HERE!
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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

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Guanacaste, Liberia Farm
$64,000 NEGOTIABLE and owner financing available.
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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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A.M. Costa Rica's
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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 191
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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
trucnk full of plants
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo
There are 16 plants in this car trunk, police said.

Aggie activity did not go as planned

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Someone spotted men moving marijuana plants from a rented home to a waiting vehicle Thursday and tipped off police.

Agents of the Policía de Control de Drogas showed up at the location in Santa Gertrudis Sur in Grecia and took four men into custody. They said there were 16 plants about 20 inches tall in the vehicle's trunk and 32 small plants inside the vehicle.

Agents confiscated the vehicle as well as a motorcycle one of the men was riding.

Tourism committee sworn in

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Eight members have been sworn in to serve on the Comisión Reguladora de Turismo.

This is the committee that the tourism sector has been pushing to have finalized.

Vice President Ana Helena Chacón conducted the swearing-in ceremony because President Luis Guillermo Solís is in the United States.

Serving from the private sector will be Mario Socatelli Porras, Mauricio Campos Brenes, Gustavo Araya Carvajal and Erasmo Rojas Madrigal.

The committee is in charge of approving tourism contracts, including construction jobs that have a tourism purpose. The tourism sector argued that without an active committee, the country would lose investments.

Guns, pets banned at inspection stations

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Motorists will have to leave Bruno elsewhere and surrender their pistol when they bring a vehicle for inspection, according to new rules issued Thursday by the Consejo de Seguridad Vial.

The consejo said that the rules fill a void and the purpose is to make sure that attendants at the vehicle inspection stations are not intimidated, menaced or facing aggression.

The consejo said that if any weapon is spotted anywhere in the vehicle, attendants will call police. The rules also cover all types of animals instead of just well-dentured German shepherds. Kids are OK, but they need to be in a safety seat if they are required by law to be in one due to age.

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From Page 7:

Industrial chamber unhappy with rate hike

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The industrial chamber says the price regulating agency is inconsistent because it has approved a 3.7 percent increase in electrical rates. The Cámara de Industrias de Costa Rica said that the Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos promised to hold the line on rate increases for 18 months.

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad has received a 7.11 percent increase in generation and the 3.7 percent increase in distribution rates.

The chamber noted that this means electrical rates will have gone up 20 percent in the year. The increase injures the competitivity of the country and the industrial sector that has lost 6,000 jobs in just 19 months, said the chamber.

The chamber discounted the claim that the increase would be absorbed by an Oct. 1 rate cut because the reduction is not finalized, it said.

New Quiznos will be a drive-through

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

QSR International, which holds the franchise for Latin America and the Caribbean for Quiznos restaurants, says it will build the first drive-through facility in Guadalupe near the judiciary building there. This will be the eighth restaurant owned and operated by a franchise partner of QSR International, Food Corp. It also will be the 29th Quiznos in Costa Rica, the firm said.

The Guadalupe restaurant will incorporate a new, high-speed dual equipment line which has proven to reduce service times by 40 percent, and is the new standard for QSR’s high volume and drive-through Quiznos restaurants, the firm said.

QSR International also said it was opening the fourth Quiznos in Nicaragua at  Multicentro Las Americas Mall, Villa Progreso, Managua.