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(506) 2223-1327                              Published Monday, Sept. 29, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 192                           Email us
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There's a taxing couple of months in store for expats
By Garland M. Baker
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The end of September brings fiscal tax year 2014 to a close. Oct.1 begins 2015. There are tax filings and payments just around the corner for almost everyone.

Tax dodgers are caught by not filing required tax forms. The country’s tax system is very reliant on the checks and balances built into the system. The tax department also analyses gross and net profit margins and changes in owners’ equity that do not match with taxes paid against profits to find companies that are not paying their taxes fairly.  Random audits are occurring more frequently, too, to catch cheaters.

Here is a summary of what is on the horizon:

Form D-150 is a withholding report for anyone paying an employee over the threshold where income taxes become due. When this occurs, law requires taxes be collected by an employer and paid to the government monthly. This report is a summary of those payments.

This year Form D-151, is due on Dec. 1, because Nov. 30 falls on a weekend. Many expats overlook this filing because they believe it does not apply to them. The D-151 is an informational form used to report sales and purchases to the tax department. It is used to crosscheck information, one of the most important keys in finding tax cheats.

Income taxes are due with Form D-101 Dec. 15. Many expats working in Costa Rica illegally do not file the form or pay taxes.  This is cheating too. And, it is not fair to Costa Rica. The country needs the money.

To file a tax return one needs to have an identification number. Most illegals do not have one of these, but the tax department has a special number to be used called a N.I.T.E.  This stands for Número de Identificación Tributaria Especial. It is used in cases where an individual does not have a Costa Rican cédula or DIMEX card. A DIMEX is an immigration identity card.

Everyone with a vehicle has to pay marchamo tax.  It is due Dec. 31. This tax is a property asset assessment on vehicles. It is collected by the Instituto Nacional de Seguros de Costa Rica, which, in turn, pays what it collects to the government.

It seems like everyone just paid his or her Law 9024 taxes. Well, that may be so, but soon it will be due again. The law is better known to all as the impuesto a las personas jurídicas or the company assessment tax. Last year, the government tax institution changed inactive companies that pay the lower company tax assessment created by Law 9024 to active without any warning. It made people mad.

There is still time to dissolve old companies or inactivate them before the end of the year. Dissolving a company does away with the tax. Inactivating a company reduces it 50 percent. Converting a company to a sociedad civil also eliminates the tax.
A.M. Costa Rica graphic

Kevin Chavarria, a certified public accountant, said in a telephone interview that Dirección General de Tributación, the tax department turns over reports on the active and inactive status of companies to the Registro Nacional Dec. 15. He said if a company shows active on that date, full taxes will be due on Jan. 1. The only way to combat this is to go through the inactivation process beforehand.

Wealthy expats need to worry about Form D-179. It is a pain in the side for most of them too. This is a tax on residential properties. It is the aggregate value of a property including all of its features, to include but not limited to, pool, tennis courts, BBQ, rancho, guest houses, etc. The tax to be paid is equal to 0.25 percent of the property’s total value to a maximum tax rate of 0.55 percent since it is a progressive tax. The value of the house is determined by a guide designed by the government and needs to be filed every three years. Commercial properties are not subject to this tax.

Last on this list is the annoying education and culture taxes. Why does the country still even have it on the tax rolls every year? Many people, including professionals, slough off filing form D-110 and paying these taxes.  However, paying them is required by Ley 5923, and every company in Costa Rica listed at the Registro Nacional is required to pay this tax.  A company’s net capital amount determines the tax to be paid.

Broke yet? Hope not, because property taxes are not on the Dirección General de Tributación’s list. Nevertheless, they are due quarterly to the municipality where the property is located. 2014 needs to be paid in full by Dec 31.

This is a good time to revise Christmas lists and delete those dream items to make rooms for up and coming tax responsibilities.

Most returns and payments are now filed and paid online, so sending a piece of coal to the taxman along with your tax return is no longer possible.

Garland M. Baker, a certified international property specialist, is a 44-year resident and naturalized citizen of Costa Rica. His firm’s team provides multidisciplinary professional services to the country’s international community.  Reach him at  Baker has undertaken the research leading to these series of articles in conjunction with A.M. Costa Rica.  Find the collection at, a free reprint is available at the end of each article.  Copyright 2004-2014, use without permission prohibited.


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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 29, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 192

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


U.S. Tax International
Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal
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U.S. Tax rollover
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Contact Us:
 U.S 786-206-9473         CR 506-2288-2001
FAX: 506 2231-3300
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US Income Tax,  US GAAP Accounting
& Business Consulting

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• eFile returns: secure with faster refunds
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Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620

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

Phone number: (506) 8853-0000


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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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   • Specialized in the Central and South Pacific.
   • Great network of realtors, to find your dream
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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.
* 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.
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* Electricity and water to each of 79 clear0titled lots.
* 20 minutes to the Liberia International Airport
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Contact Jim Day
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Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo       
This crocodile that wandered the streets of Quepos was trussed up and exported Friday by the Fuerza Pública and fire fighters. This is the second crocodile located in the central Pacific community in the last week.

Modified feeds undetected in animal study

By the University of California — David news service

A new scientific review from the University of California — Davis reports that the performance and health of food-producing animals consuming genetically engineered feed, first introduced 18 years ago, has been comparable to that of animals consuming non-engineered feed.

The review study also found that scientific studies have detected no differences in the nutritional makeup of the meat, milk or other food products derived from animals that ate genetically engineered feed.

The review, led by university animal scientist Alison Van Eenennaam, examined nearly 30 years of livestock-feeding studies that represent more than 100 billion animals.

Titled “Prevalence and Impacts of Genetically Engineered Feedstuffs on Livestock Populations,” the review article is now available online in open-access form through the American Society of Animal Science: It will appear in print and open-access in the October issue of the Journal of Animal Science.
Genetically engineered crops were first introduced in 1996.  Today, 19 genetically engineered plant species are approved for use in the United States, including the major crops used extensively in animal feed: alfalfa, canola, corn, cotton, soybean and sugar beet.

Food-producing animals such as cows, pigs, goats, chickens and other poultry species now consume 70 to 90 percent of all genetically engineered crops, according to the new review. In the United States, alone, 9 billion food-producing animals are produced annually, with 95 percent of them consuming feed that contains genetically engineered ingredients.

“Studies have continually shown that the milk, meat and eggs derived from animals that have consumed GE feed are indistinguishable from the products derived from animals fed a non-GE diet,” Ms. Van Eenennaam said.  “Therefore, proposed labeling of animal products from livestock and poultry that have eaten GE feed would require supply-chain segregation and traceability, as the products themselves would not differ in any way that could be detected.”

air crash
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo       
The pilot of this crashed plane vanished after the mishap in Cañas, Ganacaste, Sunday afternoon. Police are suspicious. The craft is a Cessna 182 with a false registration number.

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 29, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 192
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Pennsylvania priest who is pedophile suspect visited Costa Rica
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A Pennsylvania Roman Catholic priest who is facing child sex abuse charges in the United States was involved with youngsters in Costa Rica, too.

The priest, Joseph D. Maurizio, Jr., 69, was charged Thursday with engaging in illicit sexual conduct and possession of child pornography following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations in Pittsburgh, the federal agency reported. He has been suspended as pastor of the Our Lady Queen of Angels Church in Central City, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh.

Federal agents allege that they found possible child pornography on his computer system that was in the church rectory. The federal agency said that from July 2011 through the present, foreign travel records indicate that Maurizio has made approximately 10 separate trips to various Central American countries. Many of his visits were to Honduras where he was associated with Fundación ProNiño in Progresso, Honduras, a home for street children.

Federal agents visited the home and area to obtain statements that cover 10 years, the agency reported.

According to the court complaint, every year between 1999 and 2009, Maurizio traveled from Pennsylvania to Honduras to assist the non-profit organization that provides services to children there, said Homeland Security.  Each trip lasted two to three weeks.

The priest also was reported to have been involved with a rescue home in Costa Rica called New Home for Street Children.

Sept. 12, search warrants were executed by Homeland Security
special agents at the rectory at Our Lady Queen of Angels Church and a farm owned by Maurizio in Windber. Dozens of pieces of evidence were seized from the rectory including four computers, a laptop, hundreds of CDs, a loose hard drive, camera, floppy disks, thumb drives, VHS tapes and media cards, the agency said. Suspected images of child pornography were found on the loose hard drive, the agency added.

Homeland Security requested that anyone with information about Maurizio contact the agency by calling the 24-hour Tip line at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. The public can also submit an online tip at or by downloading the Operation Predator smartphone app and submitting a tip via the app, the agency said. All tips will remain anonymous, the agency added.

Years of online church bulletins at Our Lady Queen of Angels verify the priest's involvement with Central America and Costa Rica, although there are little specifics.

The Maurizio case is creating a local firestorm because area bishops were said to have received reports of this type of illegal activity for the last five years. One report said that church authorities did not know of the priest's outside work with children despite the mentions in the weekly bulletins.

Under U.S. law, illegal sexual activities overseas can be prosecuted in federal court.

Although Pope Frances has vowed to root out illegal sexual activity by the clergy, many who follow such cases have said they are skeptical. Last week the Vatican said a bishop in Paraguay was suspended over allegations he covered up cases of sexual misconduct by priests under his charge. Sunday a Catholic bishop in Britain resigned his post and admitted an affair with a married mother in his parish.

Roman Catholic priests are supposed to be celibate.

Career of Juan Rafael Mora Porras to be discussed Tuesday
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

This is the bicentennial year of the birth of  Juan Rafael Mora Porras, who, as president, was instrumental in raising military forces to fight the troops of William Walker in 1856.

So the Museo Histórico Cultural Juan Santamaría is hosting a discussion of the career of Mora and that of his brother-in-law, José María Cañas, Tuesday at the Alajuela museum.

The country marks the war against the Nicaraguan filibusterers March 20, the anniversary of the battle of Santa Rosa, and April 11, the anniversary of the battle of Rivas.

Less known was that the Costa Ricans at the time heard the campaign described as a battle against invading Protestants.

The outcome was less than heroic. The troops brought back cholera to the rest of the nation and 10 percent of the population died, according to historical estimates.

Mora was a bit of an elitist, too, because he disenfranchised most of the population with a constitutional rewrite that restricted voting and holding office to the rich.
cana and brother in law
José María Cañas and Juan Rafael Mora Porras

The historical record is not very clear on why he was deposed in1859. When he returned from exile in El Salvador a year later he was captured and executed in Puntarenas along with Cañas.

The museum discussion will be at 2 p.m.

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, Monday, Sept. 29, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 192
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Wife of scientist was inspiration for name of new poison dart specimen
By the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute news service
A bright orange poison dart frog with a unique call was discovered in Donoso, Panamá, and described by researchers from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the Universidad Autónoma de Chiriquí in Panamá, and the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia.

In the species description published this week in Zootaxa, it was named Andinobates geminisae for Geminis Vargas, "the beloved wife of Marcos Ponce, for her unconditional support of his studies of Panamanian herpetology."

Ponce is a co-author.

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute photo
The hololotype specimen which scientists used as the basis to describe a new species of poison dart frog, Andinobates geminisae.
Every new species name is based on a representative specimen, the hololotype. The specimen for this species was collected Feb. 21, 2011, in the headwaters of the Rio Caño, in the district of Donoso, Colón Province, Panamá, by Samuel Valdés, who was then the MWH Global Inc. environment office director, and his field assistant, Carlos de la Cruz. Additional specimens were collected between the Rio Coclé del Norte and the Rio Belén by biologists Ponce and Abel Batista, then a student at the Universidad Autónoma de Chiriquí. The specimens were deposited in the Museo de Vertebrados at the University of Panamá, the Museo Herpetólogico de Chiriquí at the Universidad Autónoma de Chiriquí and in the Círculo Herpetólogico de Panamá.

"Abel Batista and Marcos Ponce were the first to note the presence of this species," said Cesar Jaramillo, Smithsonian herpetologist. "They've known it was there for several years. However, they were not sure if it was only a variety of another poison dart frog species, Oophaga pumilio, which exhibits tremendous color variation. Based on morphological characteristics of the adult and the tadpole, I thought it might be a new species of Andinobates."

Andrew Crawford, professor at Universidad de Los Andes and former Smithsonian postdoctoral fellow, sequenced the DNA, confirming that this was a new species of Andinobates. Genetic information about this species is available in the Barcode of Life Data System and in GenBank.

Because this new frog species appears to be found in only a very small area, habitat loss and collecting for the pet trade are major threats to its existence. The authors recommend the formulation of special conservation plans to guarantee its survival. A. geminisae is included in the captive breeding program of the Panamá Amphibian Rescue and Conservation project, a consortium of six zoos and research institutions dedicated to saving amphibians from the chytrid fungal disease, which is decimating amphibians worldwide, and habitat loss.

The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, headquartered in Panama City, Panama, is a unit of the Smithsonian Institution.

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

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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, Monday, Sept. 29, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 192
Real Estate
About us

International effort sought
to fight organ trafficking

By the University of Leeds news service

The author of new research into organ trafficking has called for a concerted international effort to confront the problem.

Ana Manzano of the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds says a combination of factors means nobody knows definitively how many organs are being traded across the world.

“Unless these issues are addressed and countries work together to take firm action against the traffickers, more people who have their organs trafficked will
die, " she said.

“Even in the UK, although the World Health Organization has identified us as a buyer country, we don’t know the full extent of it.”

The research, published in the journal Transplantation, describes five main reasons why the true extent of organ trafficking is difficult to pinpoint.

These factors are:

* A reluctance by those who give away their organs to talk, because of fear of prosecution.

* No agreement between countries about what penalties should be in place for those who buy organs, and little consistency in enforcing laws.

* The high status of surgeons. Some surgeons perform illegal transplants knowing that they will only be caught if they are reported to regulatory bodies by colleagues.

* The nature of organ trafficking offenses means they can span several countries, making tracing organs difficult.

* Insurers play a part in the proliferation of organ trafficking by paying for follow-up treatment to transplant patients.

Dr. Manzano added: “Together, these factors have helped create the practice of organ laundering where the illegal purchase of organs takes on the veneer of a legal transaction.

“Countries should follow the example of places like Spain where reporting the recipient of an organ purchased abroad is compulsory if follow-up care is requested.”  

Although there is no internationally agreed definition, organ trafficking is broadly defined as situations in which people are tricked into giving up organs, may sell them for financial gain but are not paid for as agreed.

Dr. Manzano added: “If countries do nothing about this problem, the consequences for both donors and recipients can be terrible, as they may have to deal with dreadful health outcomes.”

Obama: U.S. underestimated
the rise of Islamic State forces

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama said the United States underestimated the rise of Islamic State and other Syrian-based militants and overestimated Iraq's ability to fight them.

Obama told CBS television's "60 Minutes" Sunday it is a myth that if the United States had armed the moderate Syrian rebels two years ago, as some in Washington urged, Syria would be fine today.

The president blamed the situation in Iraq, in part, on former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki. He said the prime minister squandered an opportunity to unify the country.

Obama said Maliki was suspicious of Sunnis and Kurds and more interested in consolidating his Shi'ite support than putting together a unity government.

The U.S. leader said Syrians, Iraqis and others in the region must think about what political accommodation means. He said young men who only think about whether they are Sunnis or Shi'ites should instead be concerned about getting an education and a good job.

Earlier Sunday, U.S.-led air strikes hit three oil refineries near Syria's border with Turkey in the ongoing offensive against Islamic State militants.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attacks occurred shortly after midnight, adding that they also hit a plastics factory.

Also on Sunday, U.S. lawmakers stepped up calls for congressional authorization of Obama's war against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, amid signs the United States and its allies face a long and difficult fight.

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio told ABC's This Week that he believed Obama had the legal authority for strikes against Islamic State militants but would call lawmakers back from their districts if Obama sought a resolution backing the action.

“I think he does have the authority to do it. But ... this is a proposal the Congress ought to consider,” Boehner said, warning that the United States could eventually be dragged into another ground war in the region.

Obama and other U.S. officials have said they believe no further vote to authorize force is needed, but political analysts warn that the war could dampen participation by anti-war Democrats in the November elections.

Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat and member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told CNN that Congress should debate the issue because of uncertainty about how long the U.S. military would remain engaged in Syria.

“There are some serious questions that we have to ask,” Murphy said. “You need a realistic political strategy. And I just don't think we have that today in Syria.”

Sen. John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican and member of the Foreign Relations Committee, urged Obama to follow the lead of British Prime Minister David Cameron in recalling the British parliament.

“I think the president has an obligation to call us back tomorrow to start this debate,” Barrasso said.

Europe wins golf Ryder Cup
by again defeating U.S.

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Europe has retained golf's Ryder Cup, easily defeating the United States for its eighth victory in the last 10 times in the biennial event.

The 12-man European team, a collection of the continent's best professional golfers, held a commanding four-point lead heading into Sunday's decisive singles matches at the Gleneagles course in Scotland, and added to its margin, finishing ahead 16 1/2 to 11 1/2.

The Europeans won five matches on Sunday, the U.S. four, and three ended in ties.

With a handful of golfers yet to finish on the hilly, manicured course, Welsh golfer Jamie Donaldson won his match over American Keegan Bradley to give Europe the deciding point it needed to keep the cup.

Donaldson exulted in the victory.

"It's been an unbelievable week. I've had so much support. The crowds have been immense. It's a wonderful feeling," said Donaldson.

Air France union decides
to end expensive strike

 By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Air France's leading pilots union has decided to end a two-week strike that crippled the French airline, a union official said Sunday.

The strike's end comes after Air France offered Wednesday to scrap a central part of a plan to shift most of its European operations to low-cost carrier Transavia.

That plan had prompted the strike, because pilots see it as a way to outsource their jobs to countries with lower taxes and labor costs. Air France wants to restructure to stay competitive.

Air France's dispute with pilots triggered a walkout that has cost it up to 20 million euros ($25 million) a day, grounded roughly half of the carrier's flights, stranded passengers worldwide and led to stern shows of frustration by the French prime minister.

“I can confirm that the SNPL  has decided to put an end to the strike,” Julien Doboz, spokesman for the sister Air France pilot union SPAF, said.

Air France declined immediate comment.

The SNPL union told The Associated Press in a text message that the strike was over. A spokesman told AP he was unable to immediately provide further details, but confirmed that the union believed conditions were still not in place for proper dialogue between the pilots and Air France management to overcome problems leading to the strike.

Pilots have been trying to pressure Air France to offer the same contracts to those flying on the proposed new Transavia unit as to its own pilots, a demand the airline has argued is incompatible with the low-cost model.

The pilots decided to end the strike without reaching an agreement with the French airline even though talks resumed with management on Saturday night.

U.S. doctor is flown home
after being exposed to ebola

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

An American doctor who was exposed to ebola while in Sierra Leone has been flown to the United States.

The doctor was flown to a regional airport in the eastern state of Maryland Sunday and walked off the plane wearing a white protective suit.

The infectious disease chief at the National Institutes for Health near Washington would not discuss details about the patient, but said that in general, an exposure to ebola doesn't necessarily mean someone will become sick.

In a statement issued Saturday, the National Institute for Health said the patient will be admitted to its clinical center for observation and to enroll in a clinical study.  The agency also said the physician will be in a special isolation unit out of an abundance of caution.

Four other American aid workers who were infected with ebola while volunteering in the West African outbreak have been treated at hospitals in Georgia and Nebraska.

One remains hospitalized while the others have recovered.

Earthquake in Perú kills
at least eight near Cuzco

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

An earthquake in Perú has killed at least eight people, including four children, and injured at least a half-dozen more, police said Sunday.

The shallow 4.9-magnitude tremor rocked the mountainous southeastern region of Cuzco late Saturday.

The victims were all from the community of Misca, where many homes collapsed in the quake. Police were only able to get through the blocked roads to the village Sunday.

President Ollanta Humala and several ministers are traveling to the area to assess the damage.

Carlos Castro of Peru's civil defense agency reported the deaths from the Saturday night earthquake during an interview with RPP Radio Sunday morning.

The agency had earlier reported seven deaths on its Web site.

Teen use of marijuana said
to have damaging impact

By the Loyola University Health System
news staff

Whether states should legalize marijuana for recreational and medical use is a hot topic across the country. As the debate continues, more preteens, teens and young adults are beginning to use the substance with the feeling that it is safe. In fact, 36 percent of all seniors in high school and 7 percent of eighth-graders report using the drug in the past month, according to a recent study.

Though the public’s perception that marijuana is a harmless drug continues to increase, research shows it can have a damaging impact on developing brains and may lead to lifelong addiction.

“Teens are seeing marijuana as a safe substance, but its effects on the adolescent brain can be dangerous, especially if there is heavy use. As the stigma of marijuana use decreases, the number of teens using the drug has increased. More U.S. high school students now smoke marijuana than they do cigarettes,” said Garry Sigman, director of the Adolescent Medicine Division at Loyola University Health System and professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Loyola University Chicago's Stritch School of Medicine.

Marijuana is an addictive substance and, according to Sigman, adolescents are two to four times more likely to become dependent on the drug within two years after first using it as compared with adult users.

“Marijuana is the most common substance addiction being treated in adolescents in rehabilitation centers across the country. Like all addictive substances, marijuana is used to lessen uncomfortable feelings like anxiety and depression. Because the type of addiction is seen as less intense in comparison with other substances such as cocaine or heroin, many people don’t realize that marijuana can cause dependence and has a withdrawal syndrome,” Sigman said.

While some adolescents use marijuana only occasionally due to peer pressure at a party or in a social setting, others self-medicate with marijuana to cope with emotions and stress. One of the signs of a substance-use disorder is when drugs are used often to cope with uncomfortable feelings.

Addiction isn’t the only hazard for adolescents when it comes to smoking marijuana. Research shows that heavy use can lead to neurotoxicity and alterations in brain development
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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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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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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


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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Casa de Eden is  2,600 square feet with 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath, outdoor shower, private outdoor terrace and pool located only minutes from Playa Conchal.  The home is in a private, secure, gated community surrounded by nature and close to the resort town of Tamarindo, only an hour from Liberia airport.  The home is being offered fully furnished with: AC & ceiling fans, Frigidaire Professional series stainless steel appliances, granite kitchen countertops, marble bathroom vanities, custom wood cabinetry, internet, cable. 
Contact  U.S. (732) 984-7549
or CR (506) 8349-2025.

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Call center for rent ready to go !
13 work stations, good equipment, good location, Rohrmoser, two blocks from Plaza Mayor. $4.000 per month. Call Kevin 8366-6861.

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A.M. Costa Rica's
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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 29, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 192
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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
medical transport
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo  
The security ministry's aviation wing made three trips to Panamá Sunday to bring back found Costa Ricans who were injured in a vehicle accident there. Here, one patient arrives at Juan Santamaría airport to be transported by ambulance to a hospital.

Escazú hotel closed by tax officials

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Tax authorities closed The Beacon Costa Rica Hotel & Spa Friday morning and rousted out the guests who were there.

The hotel remained closed Sunday night, but an employee said that hotel operators planned a meeting with the Ministerio de Hacienda this week.

The ministry made no mention of the action or reported on any similar closings. Such actions are not unusual when a company has fallen behind on the payment of sales taxes or, sometimes, payments to the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social.

The hotel is just a block and a half west of the Parque Central in Escazú,

Agents spot men fleeing Escazú home

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Two judicial agents driving by a home in San Rafael de Escazú spottted a suspicious vehicle and then saw three men jumping a wall to get into the car.

The agents figured correctly that this was a home invasion in progress, and they managed to stop the vehicle and take into custody four persons from 18 to 43 years of age.

The crime took place about 10:30 p.m. Thursday, and when contacted a few minutes later, the occupant of the home said he had just been robbed  by three men who took items very similar to those found in the vehicle, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

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From Page 7:

Cuba's airline will begin a direct flight

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Cubana de Aviación said it will begin a direct flight to Costa Rica Nov. 16.

The flight will be between Aeropuerto Internacional José Martí in Havana to Juan Santamaría in Alajuela.

The flight was announced by Wilhelm von Breymann, the minister of Turismo. He noted that there were 3,372 visitors from Cuba in 2013.

He also noted that four airlines have announced in September that they are increasing flights to Costa Rica, mostly for the December-March high seasons.