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A.M. Costa Rica
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(506) 2223-1327                         Published Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, in Vol. 13, No. 195                 Email us
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Jo Stuart
Cascata del Bosco

Ticos count on court, but Nicaragua bets on river
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica has a date next Oct. 14 with the International Court of Justice seeking a cease and desist order against Nicaragua. But the result of the Nicaraguan dredging might be provided by nature, something the court cannot command.

The central government said Tuesday that a quick hearing by the court based in the Hague was a good sign. Costa Rica complained when officials realized last month that two canals had been dug and dredged from a bend in the Río San Juan to the Caribbean.

The foreign ministry said Tuesday that Costa Rica seeks to order Nicaragua to clear out of the disputed area and abstain from using any equipment there and authorize Costa Rica to take steps to avoid irreparable damage.

According to those who live in the area, the stage already is set for the Río San Juan to blast a wide mouth into the Caribbean Sea.

The twin channels are only to guide the force of the river, which is being augmented by the rainy season. Residents in the area have a lot of experience with the way rivers can create their one course.

The parallel canals were constructed so that the river would remove the soil between them as it surged to the sea.

October and November are usually the months with the most rain both in Costa Rica and in Nicaragua.

Costa Rica also said that it was seeking a visit from the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention on wetlands.

Nicaragua will be entering the International court session at a disadvantage, having violated many of the provisions ordered temporarily by the court. The world judicial body has not ruled officially on Costa Rica's claim that Nicaragua has invaded its territory. But the court ordered both countries to stay off the disputed land.

Obviously Nicaragua has not done this.

Eventually the court can order monetary damages against Nicaragua or mandate other measures. Any
Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto photo
This is the photo that officials offered as strong proof that Nicaragua had dredged a channel. The Caribbean is in the distance.

final judgement can be blocked by any permanent member of the U.N. Security Council.

The consequences of Nicaragua's actions will not be known until the rainy season ends. The Río Colorado is really a second mouth of the river well within Costa Rica. Some along that waterway think that a new mouth to the Río San Juan will have harmful effects on their river.

A new river mouth would cut off a piece of Costa Rica because the treaty setting the border of the two countries says the dividing line is the south bank of the river.  Of course the International Court can modify this treaty if it appears that Nicaragua has acted illegally.  But no court can change the course of the river.

The initial Nicaragua invasion was two years ago. The speculation at the time was that Nicaragua wanted to create a new river mouth to bypass the winding current mouth to the Caribbean that is heavily silted. Then the country could offer land to international developers to build hotels and marinas that would have quick access to the Caribbean.

As one reader pointed out, by making the mouth of the river lower in latitude, Nicaragua also gains extensive maritime holdings that might be rich in petroleum.

Exhibition at museum promotes spirit of democracy
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The campaign for the February general elections is heating up, and the Museo Nacional and the election tribunal have created an exposition of the path to democracy in Costa Rica.

The exposition opens today. It centers on the 10 major events in Costa Rican politics, including the disputed election of 1948 that led to civil war, the creation of the independent Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones the next year, as well as universal suffrage.

The exposition spans 125 years. A release by the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud  promotes the exposition by asking if residents know that in 1812 the vote was limited to property owners or those with a large income. It also asked if they knew that a poll worker died in Sabanilla de Alajuela in 1944 defending the ballot box.

The exposition runs until June, well after the Feb. 2 general elections.
María Elena Masís, the curator of the exhibition said that the display is not designed to be a general history of Costa Rica but a glimpse at the electoral process and to give an idea of the struggles of Costa Ricans to enjoy the democracy of today.

The exhibit also points out that democracy is constructed every day with the actions and attitudes of citizens and residents.

The exhibit encourages respect, dialogue, tolerance and inclusion, the ministry said.

The Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones is an independent branch of government that not only supervises the elections but takes control of the country during the voting.

The election magistrates have control of law enforcement as well as other agencies at that time.

The body also has the power to issue fines and throw out candidates and even entire political parties.

Power outage planned for Escazú late Thursday
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The electric company said Tuesday that power would be out in a portion of Escazú from 11 p.m. Thursday until 6 a.m. Friday.

The area involved is basically along the Caldera highway and San Rafael de Escazú, including but not limited to Tony Romas, Banco Promérica, Rostipollos, Wyndham Garden, Escuela Daniel 
Oduber, Urbanización Trejos Montealegre, Avenida Escazú  and Villa Esperanza.   Not included in the cutoff are Hospital CIMA and WalMart.

The Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz said that the reason for the cutoff is because utility poles are being moved.

It said that residents of the area might experience electrical fluctuations or brief outages.

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday,  Oct. 2, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 195

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


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 Our readers' opinions
Society should take steps
to institutionalize pedophiles

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Pedophilia is a horrific mental illness. Pedophilia is a horrific crime. These two definitions clash with each other when it comes time to respond to the pedophile.

New Jersey was the first State in the U.S. to construct a prison facility for those convicted of sex crimes, in 1976 in the town of Avenel. Although I wasn't directly involved in treatment or research on sex crimes, I visited the facility several times in the course of my own work. It was an outstanding penal institution with a heavy emphasis on treatment and rehabilitation.

And then, one of the former inmates of this facility was the man who later defiled and killed little Megan, whose death spurred the first statewide sex crimes registry and notification act in the U.S. He had been released as rehabilitated. The creation of that law generated enormous protests, for and against, regarding the civil rights of the offender and the definition of the behavior, whether as illness or crime.

Research on sex crime, in particular on pedophilia, is poor. The activity only comes to the attention of authorities when the offender has committed a large number of crimes. We do know, however, that those who are identified and convicted of sex crimes have a high rate of recidivism. And we also know, based on recent research conducted in New Jersey, that even with intense treatment while incarcerated, the rate of recidivism for further sex crimes remains as high as before treatment. (Rates for other types of crimes seem to be reduced, but the sex crimes are not.)

Sex crime and other forms of deviant behavior (such as drug use, gambling, and prostitution) are at the edge of civil rights. The question always becomes: How much of my behavior should be controlled by society? For me, the answer lies in the further question: Is there a victim? If there is, then society has a responsibility to protect itself against the offender. One way to judge the severity of a sex crime is to look at its intensity. For instance, the recent arrests in Costa Rica that involved many hundreds of CDs and hard drives filled with pedophilia, reflect extensive obsessive and compulsive behavior. We cannot even guess at how many little children are the victims.

For victimless crimes, I believe that government has no right to meddle in my business. But for crimes with victims, I want protection for myself and my loved ones. Pedophilia is one of those crimes. And because it has a substantially high rate of recidivism, society should consider it as the highly intractable mental illness that it is, and institutionalize pedophiles accordingly. They are a life threatening danger to the weakest members of society, our children.

John French

U.S. rules on immigration
also are discriminatory

Dear AM Costa Rica:

Two opinions published Tuesday require response.

Mr. Lam criticized the Costa Rican government as favoring some expats more than others. He argues that less wealthy U.S. retirees bring talent and other benefits to the country.

Mr. Lam and others would do well to study the immigration rules for the U.S. and to ask themselves whether Costa Rica is wrong to act as it does.  U.S. voters, through their representative lawmakers, have rightly or wrongly installed a discriminatory system.  It issues H1B visas to highly technically qualified and educated foreigners. Very wealthy investors are issued another type of visa.

The precious Green Card is offered more favorably to some nationalities than to others and usually requires evidence that a U.S. citizen is unavailable to do the job. Only the wealthiest retirees can actually achieve residency in the U.S. Many have to leave regularly in a very similar way as to what happens here in CR.

The one talent that too many immigrants from developed countries bring here is an ability to whine about how superior their ideas and system of government were back home. Too many retirees come to Costa Rica and latch on to the cheap and over-stretched medical services. In general, retirees can cost a lot more in health care than they bring in local employment and inward investment.

Both the U.S. and Costa Rica need worker bees. Nicaraguans are ethnically, culturally and linguistically closer to Ticos than most Gringos. Is immigration policy here as crazy or as unusual as Mr. Lam argues?

Mr. Beedle fears the consequences of hostile Nicaragua building a competitor to the Panama Canal.  Is not competition generally considered to be a good thing?

Mr. Beedle raises fears that require answers.  He suggests that a Nicaraguan canal would be used to traffic arms and drugs. Many in the U.S. and Latin America consider demand from the ill-controlled drug market in the U.S. as the major cause of international drug crime and smuggling. The real solution may lie in regulating demand in the U.S., rather than focusing on the supply side.

A canal is an enormous investment and way beyond the poor Nicaraguan state. Investors are unlikely to pile in, given U.S. hostility and the lack of interest in capitalism of the current Nicaraguan government.  The exception might be China, with its mountains of U.S. dollars and penchant for twisting the U.S.’s tale in Latin America.  China is also better at building massive infrastructure projects faster than just about everyone else these days.  The Chinese and perhaps Nicaragua are likely too clever to actually build such a project. All they need to do is to show interest and maybe do some initial digging. That would tie up U.S. resources in unwise threats against Latin America. It might even cause inept military intervention, with the usual negative consequences.

Fellow Gringos please stop feeling that you are doing the poor Ticos a favor by coming here.

Aaron Aalborg,
Grecia, Singapore
and London

Southern zone highways
always are poor at this time

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

The road situation is the same in most places, especially here in the Zona Sur.  We all suffer from a general downturn in tourism, enhanced by the road situation.  The last four years in Playa Zancudo, we have often paid the costs ourselves to have our road which runs thru town fixed each December.  It usually costs about $3,000 and is paid by businesses, and wealthier residents with cars.  Of course, that doesn't help much with the rest of the incoming road that brings the guests in.

Generally, over the past five years there has been a slight road maintenance improvement that is encouraging.  Come November, many of our service trucks won't come in.  Worst is that the school bus quits coming in just when the high school kids are needing to complete tests for graduation.  Everyone pitches in, a truck gets hired and we muddle thru.

This time of year we could enjoy more national tourism, as we lower our rates, but the wear and tear on the private vehicles is just too daunting for many locals.  Our daily boat services stop for the off-season too, as those transportation costs are also high.

I always wonder about the high costs of living here... and often think it is related to transportation costs, high cost of vehicles, and the damage sustained by them on the roads, and expensive gas.

I understand that not getting to a doctor, and emergency situations make some locations for vacation risky, but still think it part of the package to visit such a beautiful and remote location like Drake Bay.

Susan England
Playa Zancudo

Tigo's channel decision
was not for customers' benefit

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

For those of you are Tigo subscribers, you might have surprised by another change in Tigo when you tried to access the ABC network.  Tigo informed you that it would now be available on Channel 22, explaining in a twisted form of logic that "we expect that every change done will benefit our customers." 

What Tigo didn't bother to tell you is that the NBC network, which previously was on Channel 22, was being eliminated.  When I called Tigo to learn what happened, I was informed that the NBC network "had directed" Tigo to stop using the NBC signal. In other words, in another twisted form of logic, it was the responsibility of NBC in deciding to stop providing its signal to Tigo.  The truth is, however, that NBC — as with any other business — would be delighted to make its signal available to any cable service that is willing to pay the negotiated price. 

Tigo didn't want to pay the price, so it decided — in a self-proclaimed effort to "benefit" its subscribers — to eliminate NBC from its list of channels.  I am sorry Tigo, but I don't understand how I have been benefitted, nor do I appreciate your attempt to blame another party for a decision made only by Tigo.

David Jackson
San José
and San Francisco, California.       

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A.M. Costa Rica

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday,  Oct. 2, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 195
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Humane Society promoting meatless Monday for sustainability
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization has reaffirmed the devastating impacts of raising tens of billions of animals for food, according to its report, "Tackling Climate Change Through Livestock."

Humane Society International, one of the world’s largest animal protection organizations, is again calling for increased attention to animal welfare and ecological sustainability in agriculture and a worldwide reduction in meat consumption.

The alternative would mean dire consequences for the planet and its inhabitants, it said.

Humane Society International promotes raising animals humanely and had worked successfully against caged chickens and penned pigs with local retail outlets..

Said the organization:

More than 70 billion animals are raised for human consumption each year, not including aquaculture. In its
seminal 2006 report, "Livestock’s Long Shadow," the Food and Agriculture Organization concluded that the livestock sector was one of the top two or three major contributors to environmental degradation. Seven years later, this is still the case, with animal agriculture alone representing 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the follow-up report. The updated report recognizes that animal welfare safeguards should be included when pursuing emissions reductions programs in the farm animal sector.

“Changes must be made in the way we raise animals for food, Costa Rica included,” said Geoff Orme-Evans, Humane Society International farm animals’ public policy manager. “We must reduce the numbers of animals raised for food on industrial farm production facilities and find humane solutions to environmental problems.”

Humane Society International said it advocates compassionate eating, choosing products from sources that adhere to higher animal welfare standards. Humane Society International said it supports sustainable farmers in their efforts to reach discriminating consumers with more humanely raised food options.

Spiritual healer planning to show his talents in Curridabat
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

René Mey, described in a press release as a recognized French humanist and orator, is coming to Costa Rica. Elsewhere he describes himself as a healer and seer. Others are not as kind and describe him less enthusiastically.

Mey is of a different generation of showman who does not rely on the power of the Christian God to heal, as do people like Benny Hinn, the television evangelist. Instead, Mey draws his alleged powers from meditation and something called cellular regeneration made possible by his elevated spiritual development, according to a news release.

May will be here at the Colegio Internacional SEK en Cipreses in Curridabat Saturday for what is described as a free presentation. But if anyone wants to be a sponsor for $300 they get a handful of tickets and an invite to his meditation workshop the next day.

Newspaper writers generally are soft on healers, swamis,
 Indian medicine men, shamen, and the like because there is no percentage in alienating readers and advertisers.  But with the arrival of YouTube, Twitter and a host of other ways that individuals have access to the public mind, all bets are off.

Every cherished philosophy comes under attack on YouTube, ranging from democracy  to religion to paleontology to the germ theory.

Spiritual healing comes in from some lumps, too. One of the principal adversaries is James Randi, better known by his stage name of the Amazing Randi. His foundation still offers $1 million for proof of a paranormal claim, such as mind reading. no one has ever collected, but even Randi draws a line at including religious or spiritual claims in the challenge because he says they are not testable. Included in these are miracles.

Mey is all over YouTube, also, with videos including testimonials about unexplained recoveries by his supporters. Readers can see more about the Costa Rica presentations at this site

Del Rey HOtel

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday,  Oct. 2, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 195
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In 23 years, drugs prices have fallen but potency increased, world study says
By the British Medical Journal news staff

The international war on illegal drugs is failing to curb supply, despite the increasing amounts of resources being plowed into law enforcement activities, said research published in BMJ Open.

Since 1990, the street price of illegal drugs has fallen in real terms while the purity and potency has generally increased, both of which are indicators of availability.

The United Nations recently estimated that the illicit drug trade is worth at least $350 billion every year. And needle sharing is one of the key drivers of blood borne infections, including HIV. The drug trade is also linked to high rates of violence.

Over the past several decades most national drug control strategies have focused on law enforcement to curb supply, despite calls to explore approaches, such as decriminalization and strict legal regulation.

The researchers analyzed data from seven international government-funded drug surveillance systems, which had at least 10 years of information on the price and purity of cannabis, cocaine and opiates, including heroin.

They also reviewed the number of seizures of illegal drugs in drug production regions and rates of consumption in markets where demand for illegal drugs is high.

Three of the seven surveillance systems reported on international data, three reported on U.S. data and one reported on data from Australia. In some cases the data went back as far as 1975 with the most recent data going back to 2001.

Three major trends emerged from the data analysis: the purity/potency of illegal drugs either generally remained stable or increased between 1990 and 2010 and with few exceptions, the street price generally fell. Seizures of
drugs increased in both the countries of major supply and demand.

In the U.S., after adjusting for inflation and purity, the average street price of heroin fell by 81 percent, cocaine by 80 percent and cannabis by 86 percent, whereas the purity and/or potency of these drugs increased. Heroin potency was up 60 percent, cocaine by 11 percent, and cannabis  by 161 percent, said the report.

Similar trends were observed in Europe where, during the same period, the average price cocaine, adjusted for inflation and purity, decreased by 51 percent. In Australia, the price of cocaine fell by 14 percent and the price of heroin and cannabis dropped by 49 percent.

In the U.S. seizures of cocaine roughly halved between 1990 and 2010, but those of cannabis rose 465 percent and that of heroin rose by 29 percent.  In Europe seizures of cocaine and cannabis fluctuated, but seizures of heroin had risen 380 percent by 2009.

On the basis of the data, the authors conclude, as previous studies have, “that the global supply of illicit drugs has likely not been reduced in the previous two decades.”

They add: “In particular, the data presented in this study suggest that the supply of opiates and cannabis have increased, given the increasing potency and decreasing prices of these illegal commodities.”

And they conclude: “These findings suggest that expanding efforts at controlling the global illegal drug market through law enforcement are failing.”

“It is hoped that this study highlights the need to re-examine the effectiveness of national and international drug strategies that place a disproportionate emphasis on supply reduction at the expense of evidence based prevention and treatment of problematic illegal drug use,” they add.

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Christ Howard with Max
retiring in Costa Rica,  and who has personally helped over 10,000 people with ALL BUDGETS relocate SUCCESSFULLY over the last 35 years. CUSTOM TAILOR-MADE TOURS are also available for people with special needs or who can’t take one of our fixed-date tours. ALL tours include EXTENSIVE touring and a highly informative SEMINAR by the country’s most renowned EXPERTS in their respective fields. Also visit: Live in Costa Rica to check out our NEW tour prices and specials.  Customer satisfaction 100% guaranteed! MY REFERENCES.

* Recommended by the Association of Residents of Costa Rica ARCR as part of the new Costa Rica Alliance (made up of the most renowned experts in their respective fields).

* FREE 50% DISCOUNT on the first year's MEMBERSHIP for the Association of Residents of Costa Rica ARCR with these tours
*FREE BONUS all people who sign up for the tour receive a FREE copy of the 16th edition of  the bestseller “New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica. At the conclusion of the tour they also receive FREE eBook copies of Christopher Howard’s other one-of-a-kind  bestsellers “Official Guide to Costa Rican Spanish,” “The Official Guide to Real Estate In Costa Rica” and “The Official Guide to Costa Rica’s Legal System for Tontos (dumbells).” Almost 2,000 pages of INVALUABLE material in all!

Howard Spanish cover


ALL you need to handle most daily situation. ALL of the Tico slang you cannot find in a dictionary. Practical pronunciation exercises to help you lose your Gringo accent. Social situations and everything else you need to know in the #1 Best-selling “Christopher Howard’s Official Guide to Costa Rica Spanish.”  Also see our #1 Web site on Google  for FREE Spanish lessons. eBook available through

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costa Rica Starter Kit

    * The 16th edition of the 680-page  “New Golden Door to Retirement
             and Living  in Costa Rica”
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    * Speak Spanish like a Costa Rican! “The Official Guide to Costa Rican Spanish”
    * Christopher Howard’s “Official Guide to Costa Rica’s Legal System for Tontos
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Ready For a Vacation to Costa Rica? offers customized, upscale vacations to Costa Rica, planned by our team of in-country travel experts. Call us Toll Free: 1-800-606-1860 or locally in San Jose: 2296-7715.  We also offer trips to Panama, visit: Are you a fisherman? Our local experts will help arrange fishing trips to Costa Rica, just click HERE!

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

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

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

house for rent
House for rent on a large property surrounded by fruit trees and garden on a bus line. Fully furnished, complete laundry room, two bedrooms plus extra room for office, security, electric gate, Internet available.  Located in Monte de la Cruz, San Rafael de Heredia. $475 monthly. Call 2267-6306  Or email:

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

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.

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

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.

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

A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday,  Oct. 2, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 195
Real Estate
About us

Dangerous fungi are found
inhabiting kitchen appliances

By the Elsevier B.V. news staff

A potentially pathogenic fungus has found a home living in extreme conditions in some of the most common household appliances, researchers have found. A new paper published in the British Mycological Society journal, Fungal Biology, published by Elsevier, shows that these sites make perfect habitats for extremotolerant fungi, which includes black yeasts. Some of these are potentially dangerous to human health.

Modern living comes with an increasing need for electrical household equipment such as dishwashers, washing machines and coffee machines. A characteristic of these appliances is a moist and hot environment. In the case of dishwashers, high temperatures between 60 to 80 degrees C are intermittently produced and aggressive detergents and high concentrations of salt are used in each washing cycle.

The article focuses on the occurrence of potentially pathogenic fungal flora located in dishwashers, over a sample of private homes from 101 cities on six continents. 62 percent of the dishwashers contained fungi on the rubber band in door, 56 percent of which accommodated the polyextremotolerant black yeasts Exophiala dermatitidis and E. phaeomuriformis. Both Exophiala species showed remarkable tolerance to heat, high salt concentrations, aggressive detergents, and to both acid and alkaline water. This is a combination of extreme properties not previously observed in fungi.

Exophiala dermatitidis is rarely isolated from nature, but is frequently encountered as an agent of human disease, both in compromised and healthy people. It is also known to be involved in pulmonary colonization of patients with cystic fibrosis, and also occasionally causes fatal infections in healthy humans. The invasion of black yeasts into homes represents a potential health risk.

The discovery of this widespread presence of extremophilic fungi in some common household appliances suggests that these organisms have embarked on an extraordinary evolutionary process that could pose a significant risk to human health in the future.

Mercury danger from fish
discounted in British study

By the University of Bristol news service

New research from the Children of the 90s study at the University of Bristol suggests that fish accounts for only 7 per cent of mercury levels in the human body. In an analysis of 103 food and drink items consumed by 4,484 women during pregnancy, researchers found that the 103 items together accounted for less than 17 per cent of total mercury levels in the body.

Concerns about the negative effects of mercury on fetal development have led to official advice warning against eating too much fish during pregnancy. This new finding, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, suggests that those guidelines may need to be reviewed.

Previous research by Children of the 90s has shown that eating fish during pregnancy has a positive effect on the IQ and eyesight of the developing child, when tested later in life. Exactly what causes this is not proven, but fish contains many beneficial components including iodine and omega-3 fatty acids.

After fish (white fish and oily fish) the foodstuffs associated with the highest mercury blood levels were herbal teas and alcohol, with wine having higher levels than beer. The herbal teas were an unexpected finding and possibly due to the fact that herbal teas can be contaminated with toxins.

Another surprise finding was that the women with the highest mercury levels tended to be older, have attended university, to be in professional or managerial jobs, to own their own home, and to be expecting their first child. Overall, however, fewer than 1 per cent of women had mercury levels higher than the maximum level recommended by the U.S. National Research Council. There is no official safe level in the United Kingdom.

The authors conclude that advice to pregnant women to limit seafood intake is unlikely to reduce mercury levels substantially.

Speaking about the findings, the report’s main author, Jean Golding, said: “We were pleasantly surprised to find that fish contributes such a small amount to blood mercury levels. We have previously found that eating fish during pregnancy has many health benefits for both mother and child. We hope many more women will now consider eating more fish during pregnancy. It is important to stress, however, that pregnant women need a mixed balanced diet. They should include fish with other dietary components that are beneficial including fruit and vegetables.”

Origin of flowering plants
pushed by 100 million years

By the University of Zurich news service

Drilling cores from Switzerland have revealed the oldest known fossils of direct ancestors of flowering plants. These beautifully preserved 240-million-year-old pollen grains are evidence that flowering plants evolved 100 million years earlier than previously thought, according to researchers from the University of Zurich.

Flowering plants evolved from extinct plants related to conifers, ginkgos, cycads, and seed ferns. The oldest known fossils from flowering plants are pollen grains. These are small, robust and numerous and therefore fossilize more easily than leaves and flowers. An uninterrupted sequence of fossilized pollen from flowers begins in the early Cretaceous, approximately 140 million years ago, and it is generally assumed that flowering plants first evolved around that time. But the present study documents flowering plant-like pollen that is 100 million years older, implying that flowering plants may have originated in the early Triassic between 252 to 247 million years ago or even earlier.

Many studies have tried to estimate the age of flowering plants from molecular data, but so far no consensus has been reached. Depending on dataset and method, these estimates range from the Triassic to the Cretaceous. Molecular estimates typically need to be anchored in fossil evidence, but extremely old fossils were not available for flowering plants. “That is why the present finding of flower-like pollen from the Triassic is significant,” said Peter Hochuli, a University of Zurich professor.

Hochuli and Susanne Feist-Burkhardt from Paleontological Institute and Museum, University of Zürich, studied two drilling cores from Weiach and Leuggern, northern Switzerland, and found pollen grains that resemble fossil pollen from the earliest known flowering plants. With confocal laser scanning microscopy, they obtained high-resolution images across three dimensions of six different types of pollen.

In a previous study from 2004, Hochuli and Ms. Feist-Burkhardt documented different, but clearly related flowering-plant-like pollen from the Middle Triassic in cores from the Barents Sea, south of Spitsbergen. The samples from the present study were found 3,000 kilometers south of the previous site. “We believe that even highly cautious scientists will now be convinced that flowering plants evolved long before the Cretaceous”, say Hochuli.

What might these primitive flowering plants have looked like? In the Middle Triassic, both the Barents Sea and Switzerland lay in the subtropics, but the area of Switzerland was much drier than the region of the Barents Sea. This implies that these plants occurred a broad ecological range. The pollen’s structure suggests that the plants were pollinated by insects: most likely beetles, as bees would not evolve for another 100 million years.

Pope consults with panel
on future of Catholic Church

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Pope Francis has opened a landmark meeting on reforming the Catholic Church.

The pontiff is holding three days of consultations with eight cardinals he has appointed to advise him on revising the Vatican administration and worldwide church reforms.

The eight-member council is made up of cardinals from the Americas, Africa, Australia and Europe. 

As the talks began Tuesday, Rome's La Republica newspaper published an interview with Pope Francis in which he denounced what he called the Vatican-centric nature of the church's administration.

The pontiff said too many previous popes have been "narcissists, flattered and thrilled by their courtiers." He said that many of the courtiers inside the Vatican administration only look after Vatican interests, neglecting, in his words, "the world around us."

The pope said the Church must "restore hope to young people, help the old, be open to the future, spread love."

Also Tuesday, the Vatican bank published an annual report for the first time in its history. The bank's former top managers resigned in July after Italian prosecutors launched an investigation into alleged money laundering, a charge the Vatican denies. That investigation is ongoing.

Along with allegations of corruption and internal conflict, the Catholic Church has been undermined by revelations of a history of sexual abuse by priests.

Snowden gets nomination
for top human rights prize

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Fugitive U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden is among three candidates for the European Union's top human rights prize.

Snowden was nominated for the Sakharov Prize by the European Parliament's pro-environment Greens' caucus, which said Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor, risked his freedom by disclosing secret U.S. government surveillance programs.

Other nominees for the award include Pakistani schoolgirl and education activist Malala Yousafzai, who survived a Taliban assassination attempt, and a group of three Belarusian political prisoners jailed for protesting the disputed re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko.

The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought has been awarded yearly by the European Parliament since 1988.

Past recipients include former South African president and anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela and Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The award is named after Russian physicist and dissident Andrei Sakharov, who is known as the father of the Soviet hydrogen bomb. Sakharov later worked to raise awareness of the nuclear arms race and founded a committee to defend human rights and victims of political trials in the Soviet Union.

Politicians blame each other
for U.S. government shutdown

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

As a partial U.S. government shutdown nears a second day, the legislative breakdown that produced it shows no signs of repair. Members of Congress pointed fingers at one another Tuesday, and jockeyed to avoid blame for the suspension of federal operations.

Political brinksmanship ruled the day in Congress.  With lawmakers bracing for a popular backlash against the halt in government services, Republicans proposed piecemeal funding to reopen some of the nation’s most-popular federal entities.  Sen. Ted Cruz urged emergency funds for national parks and the agency serving America’s veterans.

“We should reopen the national parks today.  We should fund the VA  today.  The only reason it might not happen is if Harry Reid and Democrats object.  I hope they do not," said Cruz.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid rejected the Republican idea as wacky.  Fellow Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin called it an outrage.

“Senator Cruz is going to pick and choose those departments of government that he wants to open.  To think that this senator has the nerve to try to decide what is really, really important for America," said Durbin.

By the end of the day, the piecemeal funding initiative had faltered.  But the episode forced Democrats into the uncomfortable position of opposing a limited reopening of the federal government, and aided Republican efforts to portray themselves as reasonable compromisers and Democrats as hardline intransigents.

Those efforts began earlier in the day, when the Republican-led House voted to begin negotiations with the Senate on ending the government shutdown.  Rep. Tom McClintock, a Republican, said that is how Congress is supposed to work.

“After the House and Senate have exercised their best judgment, they are then supposed to sit down and negotiate out their differences," said  McClintock.

Those differences center on President Barack Obama’s health care law, a major portion of which went into effect Tuesday.  Republicans have sought to defund or delay the Affordable Care Act, and many House Republicans refuse to vote to fund the government absent provisions eroding the law, also known as Obamacare.

Senate Democrats said they would welcome bicameral conferences, but not during a government shutdown.  Majority Leader Harry Reid:

“We are happy to go to conference.  But only if the government is reopened."

Reid called on the House to pass a funding bill free of political stipulations.  House Speaker John Boehner had this response:

“My goodness, they will not even sit down and have a discussion about this."

Democrats accuse Republicans of holding government funding hostage to their political agenda and say they will not reward that behavior.

Initial polling shows the American people more apt to blame Republicans than Democrats or President Obama for the government shutdown.  Republicans want to change the perception of culpability. Democrats are banking on it continuing and forcing a resolution of the impasse on their terms.

Predicting prisoner's behavior
is likened to flipping a coin

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Assessment tools used to predict how likely a psychopathic prisoner is to re-offend if freed from jail are utterly useless and parole boards might just as well flip a coin when deciding such risks, psychiatrists said Tuesday.
Publishing a study that found risk score tools are only around 46 percent accurate on how likely psychopathic convicts are to kill, rape or assault again, they said probation officers and judges should set little or no store by such tests.
They warned that clinicians carrying out such classifications must be aware of their severe limitations, and make sure prisoners undergo comprehensive psychiatric diagnosis before any risks assessment is made.
“If you apply these to somebody who is a psychopath, they're utterly useless, you might as well toss a coin,” said Jeremy Coid, director of the forensic psychiatry research unit at Queen Mary University of London who led the study.
“They will not predict accurately at all,” he told reporters at a briefing in London about his findings.
Coid and other forensic psychiatrists say the findings. which also showed the tools perform only moderately well in prisoners with disorders like schizophrenia, depression, drug and alcohol dependence, could have major implications for risk assessment in criminal justice systems.
“There are increasing expectations of public protection from violent behavior, and psychiatrists can be seriously criticized if they make wrong decisions,” he said.
Seena Fazel, a consultant forensic psychiatrist at Britain's University of Oxford, said the reliability of the tests' predictive ability was so low that it might be best not to use them at all and warned that at the very least, their results should only be noted by parole boards, rather than acted upon.
“If you're going to use these instruments, be aware of their strengths and limitations,” he told reporters.
The estimated prevalence of adult psychopathy in the general population is around 1 percent, but that rises to between 15 percent and 25 percent among men in prison.
Coid, whose study was published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, analyzed data from 1,396 male prisoners in England and Wales who were interviewed between six and 12 months before their release. All the men were serving sentences of two or more years for sexual or violent offenses.
The prisoners were assessed for personality disorders, symptoms of schizophrenia, depression and drug and alcohol dependence, as well as being measured for psychopathy on a reputable scale known as Hare Psychopathy Check List.
After their release, data on their re-offending rates was added to the study, and showed that among three different re-offending risk assessment tools used before their release, the accuracy among psychopaths was below 50 percent.
While the tools were more accurate in predictions for prisoners with no mental health disorders — at around 75 percent accuracy — they were only around 60 percent right when it came to prisoners diagnosed with schizophrenia and depression.
For prisoners with anti-social personality disorders the predictive value of the tests ranged from poor to little more than chance, with an average 53.2 percent predictive accuracy. And for the 70 prisoners rated as psychopathic, none of the tests was statistically better than chance.
Coid said the results suggest it is time to question the expectations put on psychiatrists and psychologists asked to forecast future behavior of offenders, and to consider what can happen to their reputations if predictions are wrong.
“The easy solution is to be highly restrictive on who is released, and be risk averse. However, even for serious offenders, most will be released at some stage and someone has to carry out a risk assessment,” he said.
“We need to prioritize the development of new assessment tools for these hard-to-predict groups.”

Real estate-related services (paid category)

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

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

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

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

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

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

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

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

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

Costa Rica,

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

Visit our Web Site:

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

Real estate for sale (paid category)

For sale is a beautiful 50-acre property located in Los Alpes, just 15 minutes outside of San Ramøon. At about 4,000 feet above sea level, this finca provides gorgeous views of the Central Valley as well as the Pacific Ocean in the distance while also offering a wonderful climate year around. The main house is two stories with three bedrooms and two full baths. High quality construction using exotic hardwoods such as almond, which covers the ceilings throughout the entire house. There are also two corrals and a small casita on the property. This location is perfect for a farm-style home or for beginning an agricultural business. This truly is a rare piece of property and is available for $399,999. Price is somewhat negotiable and we will be happy to work with the buyer to make it work! Please call 8816-2478 or e-mail for more information ¡y se habla español!

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

Pacific Estates

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

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

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

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

humming bird nest

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

Naranjo views


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

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

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

Condo for sale in Flamingo

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

Guaancaate condos
Little Dreams La Colina Magnolias

Great Guanacaste Beach Condos Available

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

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

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

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

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

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

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

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

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday,  Oct. 2, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 195
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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

Yale arrest of reporter
spurs industry protest

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A Brazilian reporter was detained and handcuffed at a Yale University event Sept. 26, and a press advocacy group has protested.

But the university in New Haven, Connecticut, said that the reporter, Claudia Trevisan, misrepresented herself and tried to enter a private meeting.

The Inter American Press Association called the action disproportionate and said the woman was a corespondent  of the Brazilian newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo. She was seeking an interview with Joaquim Barbosa, chief justice of the Brazilian supreme court.

The woman was handcuffed and held for five hours at a university police station on the university campus for alleged trespassing.

Claudio Paolillo, chairman of the press organization's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, expressed concerns with what he called “a disproportionate attitude of vigilance and security at the university, which in the end limits a journalist task.”

Paolillo is editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda. He added that imposition of obstacles to the free flow of information and to the movement of journalists are serious restrictions of freedom of the press.

Yale had another view of the event. It said in a release:

"Each year Yale Law School convenes a gathering of senior judicial officials from around the world. The proceedings of this gathering are private; Yale Law School is committed to providing an opportunity for participants freely to discuss issues of shared importance in an environment that supports candid communication. Because the attendees are justices on various courts, the event requires heightened security, including the presence of police officers. The safety and security of the attendees are of paramount importance.
"When Ms. Trevisan initially contacted the Law School requesting to attend the event, she was told by law school administrators that the event was private and not open to the public or the press.
"Ms. Trevisan sought to gain entry to the private gathering by misrepresenting herself to the Yale Police officer who was providing security at the event, claiming to be 'looking for a friend.' The event was being held in a private room in a university building outside the law school. Although the first floor of this building is generally accessible to the public, this event was taking place on the second floor in a private room.  Staff who were present identified Ms. Trevisan as having previously been informed of the private nature of the event.
"Because of her attempts to enter the private meeting and because she misrepresented her intentions to a police officer, Ms. Trevisan was escorted from the building and arrested for trespassing. As a matter of standard procedure, she was handcuffed.

"When Yale Law School Dean Robert Post was informed that an arrest had taken place, he immediately requested that Ms. Trevisan be released and that the charges be dropped.

"The case of Ms. Trevisan should be contrasted to that of another Brazilian journalist who attempted to gain entry to the event. This journalist was informed that the meeting was private, and he agreed respectfully to wait on public property to interview those participants who wished to speak to the press."

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From Page 7:

Nicaragua small business gets funds

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The Inter-American Investment Corp. will finance micro, small, and medium-sized enterprisesin  Nicaragua’s productive sectors through a loan of up to US$500,000 to Financiera FAMA S.A.

The two institutions signed the loan agreement on the occasion of the Inter-American Forum on Microenterprise, one of the most important international meetings of the microfinance sector, which opened Monday in Guadalajara, México, with more than 1,500 participants.

“MSMEs constitute a critical link in the development of the Nicaraguan economy. Consequently, the IIC is committed to supporting MSMEs, providing them with financing tools designed to foster optimal conditions for their growth and prosperity,” noted Carl Muñana, general manager of the Inter-American Investment Corp.

A financial institution specializing in microfinance, Financiera FAMA is regulated by the Nicaraguan superintendency of banks. Operating in the Nicaraguan market for the past 21 years, Financiera FAMA has a network of 23 branch offices, seven in Managua and the remainder in smaller cities and towns throughout the country.