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(506) 2223-1327                                 Pubished Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 209                         Email us
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Solís warns dock workers that port will function
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

With the Limón dockworkers union poised to strike, President Luis Guillermo Solís promised Tuesday he would not allow a job action to affect the operations of the port.

If a strike is called, Solís may have to send police into the Moín terminal to keep his promise. A prolonged strike might mean temporary non-union workers.

Costa Rica has been down this road before because the Sindicato de Trabajadores de Japdeva y Afines Portuarios has called strikes  repeatedly in the past.

Presidential action might have been foreshadowed earlier this month when Fuerza Pública officers and traffic police cracked down on pirate taxi drivers who were blocking a major highway in Hatillo. There were arrests and vehicles were confiscated.

Previous administrations have been reluctant to confront strikers and considered blockades, work stoppages and similar to be the right of workers. Protesters paralyzed the country several times  over the North American Free Trade Treaty
during the Abel Pacheco and Óscar Arias Sánchez administrations.

The big difference now is that the government holds the upper hand because there is extensive public support for the controversial $1 billion container handling facility. And union members have alienated some due to the disruptive way they broke up a hearing over the terminal.

Still, the government is hopeful that there will not be a strike The Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes said Tuesday that the new container facility run by APM Terminals would not be a monopoly and that 40 percent of the goods that pass through the Moín docks are not in containers. Jorge Mora of the Consejo Nacional de Concesiones, who way quoted saying this, was trying to assure dockworkers that they would not lose their jobs. He also said that the new terminal, because it is a concession, will always belong to the state.

No one is expecting a reaction from Solís similar to that of U.S. president Ronald Reagan, who fired striking air traffic controllers in 1981, or the way president Harry Truman sent in the Army to run U.S. railroads in 1950.

Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Securidad Pública photo

Police officer stands guard while a backhoe demolishes an illegal structure in Hatillo.

Second time might be a charm for drug bunker
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Bunkers are rough construction or dwellings that are fortified for the benefit of drug dealers and users inside. They are frequent in low-income areas where drug use is common and gangs can rule a neighborhood.

Such is the case in  Ciudadela 25 de Julio in Hatillo. Workmen under police supervision destroyed a bunker there last week.

Rebuilding was quick. So Fuerza Pública officers
and San José municipal police were back again Tuesday to tear down the structure.

The bunker is the centerpiece of an effort that eventually will destroy some 50 slum homes that have been constructed on public land. More than 100 persons will be displaced, said the Fuerza Pública.

The metal siding and roofing, plus lumber will be trucked to a dump to make reuse difficult. Police and heavy machinery operators expect to be there into next week.

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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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Metro bike path plan explained

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A handful of lawmakers are backing a plan for a bike path from Parque la Sabana to San Pedro.

The group, headed by Antonio Alvarez Desanti of the Partido Liberación Nacional, outlined the plan at the legislature Tuesday.

They have support from a number of bike riders in the metro area.

Álvarez said that the plan also would promote the health of residents, They would get exercise peddling the bikes.

 The plan uses existing streets and sidewalks to create a safety zone for bikes. Bike riders now mix with vehicles.

Loss of U.N. seat brings on blame game

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rican officials are finger pointing because the country did not win reelection to the U.N. Human Rights Council

The country finished fourth in a four-way race for three seats.  The winners in this region are Bolivia, Paraguay and El Salvador.

Although the human rights council has been subject to strong criticism, Costa Rica is a major supporter of the United Nations.

The foreign ministry blames the Laura Chinchilla administration for not campaigning hard enough for the seat.

Costa Rica could have served two consecutive three-year terms.

Sandra Piszk Feinzilber, a lawmaker, characterized the vote as a defeat for the foreign policy of the country.

The council, itself, has been subject to plenty of criticism because some of the members are countries not well regarded for their practices of human rights.

Venezuela, Cuba and China are current members.

Local rights groups take on Russian's case

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A Russian fraud suspect, having exhausted his remedies in the judicial courts, is now trying to win his case in the court of public opinion.

This has worked before in Costa Rica where emotions frequently trump the law.

The Russian is Evgeny Konstantinovich Otto. A press release Tuesday said that Otto will be the subject of a press conference today to outline his case. He has been on a hunger strike for a week, said the press release. He has been in jail for three years.

The press release included a summary, said to be written by the suspect himself, in which he said "I was warned by my lawyer that if I return to Russia I will be arrested and jailed, that’s the reason why I asked for political asylum to Costa Rica."

He notes he has been fighting extradition for seven years and has filed a slander suit against Mario Zamora, who has been both immigration director and security minister.

Otto has gone so far as to appeal his treatment here to the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights, which declined to act on his behalf.

In his letter, Otto alleges that political asylum is for sale here.

" . . . Human rights’ defense is a big lie in here, and it really is not the image what this country pretends to project to the international community. I didn’t know either that in Costa Rica 'political asylum' means sometimes shelter but another times means a big lucrative business where they negotiates extradition in interchange of huge investments and donations, highly profitable and absolutely safe."

He did not name names.

Otto was a businessman in Russia and he is accused of using his executive position in a company to enrich himself.

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 209
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New tuna decree reduces coastal area outlined in earlier decree
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The president signed a decree Tuesday that specifies two areas in the Pacific national waters where commercial fishermen can seek tuna and similar species.

The decree invalidates one that has been signed by president Laura Chinchilla in April. That decree never took effect because it never was published.

The decree appears to keep commercial tuna fishermen 40 nautical miles from the Pacific coast. That is about 46 statute miles. The Chinchilla decree said 60 miles.

Environmentalists said they would have preferred 100 miles.
The Luis Guillermo Solís decree also put the job of drawing up details rules in the hands of the  Instituto Costarricense de Pesca y Acuicultura, which generally is regarded as being pro-commercial fishery.

The new decree would require, as did the Chinchilla decree, that larger commercial boats carry a monitoring device that emits the location. There also is a provision for licensing.

A big concern with environmentalists are the circle nets that commercial tuna fishermen use. They trap dolphin and other non-tuna species, including sea turtles. Dolphins are mammals and can drown if trapped in a net.

The fisheries institute has a year to draw up detailed management plans, said the decree.

Double murder seems to have uncovered string of serial killings
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Investigators are following the trail left by a man accused of a
William Duarte Gaitán
double murder in Sixaola.

As a result, they found the bones presumed to be of a missing agricultural worker in a shallow grave in Suerre de Pococí Monday. The identification will not be conclusive until family members are located and DNA test are run, but agents are pretty sure the bones are those of William Duarte Gaitán, 56,  who was murdered last Jan. 6.

Investigators have inside information, perhaps even from the suspect, that led them to the grave and helped them make the identification.

Duarte worked for a property owner who
also is missing. The suspect in these cases is Florentino Elizondo Ríos, 41, who came into police hands early Sunday after hiding out in the jungle for nearly four days.
The Judicial Investigating Organization is handling the case as one of a serial killer. Agents think they can clear up eight murders with the one suspect. Not all are victims hidden in graves. One is a bus driver who died during a robbery

The dead driver was a 64-year-old man with the last name of Álvarez, who tried to stop the robbery, according to agents at the time. The bus was near the end of its Limón-Sixaola run about 9 p.m. July 26, 2013.

Elizondo was the object of a massive search last weekend after two young men were murdered.

One of the dead men was  José García García, 23, who was identified by the Cuerpo de Bomberos because he was a volunteer firefighter for nearly two years. The second victim was identified as  José Torres Torres. 21. Both were buried Saturday amid an outpouring of community sympathy and an escort of firefighters. The young men appear to have stumbled upon their killer and associates while going to tend their crops in  Paraíso de Sixaola.

Agents knew about Elizondo before the two young men were killed because there was an arrest warrant outstanding for him.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 209
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Do radicals with blood on their hands deserve Internet free expression?
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

One of the things people often say they like most about the Internet is that it’s a global free-speech zone, a place where just about anyone can say just about anything they want.

One of the things most hated about web? It’s a place where just about anyone can say just about anything they want.

Resolving the competing concerns between guaranteeing freedom of expression online and preventing malicious or criminal acts is a tough trick even in the best of times.

But when you throw extremist groups like the so-called Islamic State and their bloody social media activity into the mix, it can seem almost impossible.

As the Internet and social media become more ubiquitous across the world, that’s exactly the task that governments, individuals and private corporations must increasingly confront.

And it’s a tricky balance, analysts say.

Every nation is given a certain amount of control over what’s known as its top-level country code domain.

In Internet-speak, that’s the “.uk” or “.ru” appendages at the end of many Internet addresses. Each two-letter code constitutes a portion of the web that each nation can regulate – setting up their own rules as to who can purchase and operate a Web site using their national domain.

The nation of Iceland’s domain is “.is” and while only 50,000 some domains have been registered, many are owned and operated somewhere other than Iceland. That’s because the “.is” domain is a popular “domain hack” – meaning when someone uses the domain to help spell out a word or phrase. Examples for Iceland include popular sites such as “” or “”

Until recently, you could have added another domain hack to this list: “”  “Khilafah” is Arabic for “Caliphate” and the Web appeared to be the work of the so-called Islamic State, or IS, militants. The Icelandic newspaper Morgunblaðið reported that the site was “… mainly sort of a news por­tal for IS,” but included messages directed to Washington and information related to the recent executions of journalists by IS militants.

Iceland’s Prime Minister, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, expressed deep disappointment that one of the nation’s domains was being used to promote Islamic extremism. Reykjavík moved swiftly to bring pressure on the national domain regulator, ISNIC, which in turn shut the site down.

Such a move might be considered relatively non-controversial, but Iceland has staked a claim as one of the world’s most secure and free places for Internet traffic and expression.

Helgi Hrafn Gun­nars­son, a member of parliament, blamed the government of pressuring ISNIC to suspend the domain – a move ISNIC has never before taken. Calling the IS “horrific,” Gunnarsson also said on Facebook it was wrong to suspend the site, saying that people need to “be able to reach their own conclusions” on controversial matters.

“This is alarming,” said Guðjón Idir, executive director of the Iceland-based International Modern Media Institute, who is also critical of the block.

“The correct channels were indeed the courts, but given that the prime minister had voiced his deep disappointment that the country domain had been used by this group for their propaganda …goes to show the mounting political pressure ISNIC were under,” he said.

“We believe it was the wrong action to take.”

Iceland’s government defends the move on security grounds, saying it’s necessary to protect people from a stateless militant group.  Free speech advocates criticize the block as needless censorship that sets a bad precedent.

But there’s another view as well – one basically centered on money.

“In this case of ISIS, I would agree 100 percent that the government did the right thing, but it’s basically to protect their brand,” said Alain
Ghiai, CEO of the Switzerland-based data security and storage firm DigitalSafe.

“What ISIS did – using .is – that’s actually really clever,” he said. “I don’t think they really cared that much more about you and I, it’s more about protecting their brand and reputation. If suddenly all these ISIS people have .is domain names, well, Iceland who is trying to brand itself as a data center, that business would go down.”

Not so many years ago, in the days before the Internet and social media, part of a journalist’s job was to serve as a gatekeeper. When controversial stories or images of graphic violence came in to a bureau, reporters and editors worked hard to get the story out while keeping vivid material out of public view.

While many traditional journalists still work to strike that same balance, the web and citizen journalism have burst the gates wide open.

The IS’s sophisticated social media campaigns includes documenting beheadings and mass shootings of Iraqi army soldiers, recruiting new fighters and spreading its version of radical Islam.

Few, if any, large media organizations published either images or video clips of the violence, relying instead on text descriptions of the images.

But thanks to social media, these clips quickly spread around the world and back, popping up on dozens of blogs, Twitter posts, video-sharing sites like YouTube, Facebook and elsewhere.

“That gatekeeper role is gone,” said Gene Policinski, chief operating officer at Washington’s First Amendment Center and a journalist of 40-plus years. “They can’t control the news anymore, But they can be the example of what accuracy and fairness and completeness means.”

That doesn’t mean that Policinski believes governments should control the news or free expression.

“Anytime any government anywhere begins to censor speech, it bears the utmost scrutiny to anybody who’s interested in freedom of expression,” he said.

Policinski defends Iceland’s actions in this one narrow case, given that, as he puts it, “when you get a group like ISIS who uses this tactic which is killing people to make a political point, to me they forfeit much if not all of the protection normally afforded freedom of expression.”

But even the narrow exceptions of terrorism, Policinksi said, deserve great scrutiny before governments leap to censor.

In his view, private corporations – the Internet service providers, social networks and such – are the best situated to determine what can and can’t be said on their service. Recently, representatives from Twitter, Microsoft, Facebook, and Google attended a meeting with representatives of the European Union to discuss tools and techniques for limiting extremists’ use of social media and the Internet.

These may be tricky questions. But Policinski said, they’re not unanswerable.

“The concept of free expression ultimately rests in the concept that if we all talk to one another without a government interfering, that there will be a productive outcome,” Polickinski said. “Their goal is to prostitute free expression and to use it for an end that is outside the boundaries of what humans should be doing,” he said of the Islamic State.

It's easy for journalists and politicians to tout the general benefits of freedom of expression, online or otherwise. But in practice, it becomes much more difficult for all types of governments - including the United States - when that speech challenges those in power.

The South Korean government has worked hard to keep the web relatively free and open for all sorts of expression, save that related to the North.

But recently it came to light that elements of the government were monitoring social media and demanding the removal of posts containing what was called groundless defamation of government officials, including President Park Geun-hye. The move has inspired many editorials.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

La Fortuna
Comfort of your home in the campo, 5 minutes from Fortuna Centro of San Carlos, in the shadow of Volcano Arenal, Flat screen TV, AC, refrigerator, free coffee. Local area activities like four-wheeling, horse riding, zip lining, hot springs, jungle walking tours. Bring your camera for great photos of nature, fishing and swimming, canyoning and wireless internet. Harry Hart, proprietor.  Call for reservations  (506) 2479-8670   and (506) 8682-9219  Email:

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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
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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
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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.


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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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Maneul Antonio
The vacation homes at Manuel Antonio Estates offers luxury, comfort and peace of mind. We have numerous homes to chose from, all within walking distance of the town’s shops and restaurants and just a few minutes to the best beaches and the famous national park. While the homes are secluded and hidden among the rainforest, the surrounding area offers adventures like zip lines, white water rafting, mangrove kayaking and many more. All of the homes are available for short-term rentals, have easily accessible parking, cable TV, and Internet and are fully furnished. We are happy to assist with all your need for the perfect Costa Rican vacation.
Manuel Antonio Estates        TOLL FREE: 1800 346 9724
011 (506) 2777.3339

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:

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.

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A.M. Costa Rica's   Fifth news page
Family home

cat trees
 San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 209
Real Estate
About us

Ben Bradlee, Post editor,
dies at 93 in Washington

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Ben Bradlee, former executive editor of the Washington Post, who oversaw coverage of the Watergate scandal that toppled President Richard Nixon, was 93 years old.

Bradlee died at his home in Washington of natural causes.

Bradlee skyrocketed to fame in the early 1970s, first by spearheading a legal battle by the Post and The New York Times that culminated in a Supreme Court ruling allowing the newspapers to continue publishing the Pentagon Papers - a secret government accounting of America's involvement in Vietnam.

Then, he oversaw an investigation by the Post into the burglary at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. His collaboration with young reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein eventually brought down the Nixon presidency and established the Washington Post as one of the world's top newspapers.

Donald Graham, the former publisher of the Post, hailed Bradlee as "the best American newspaper editor of his time."

Donald Graham's mother, Katherine Graham, was publisher of The Washington Post during Bradlee's tenure.

Bradlee's Watergate fame was sealed with the movie "All the President's Men," in which he was portrayed by actor Jason Robards.

After retiring, Bradlee wrote a memoir entitled "A Good Life" in 1995 and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama last year.

Americans reported uneasy
as Nov. 4 elections near

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Recent opinion surveys reflect an undercurrent of unease among American voters ahead of the Nov. 4 congressional, state and local elections. A Gallup poll says the Ebola virus and the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria are among the top 10 issues Americans consider the most important facing the country.  Some Republican candidates are questioning how safe Americans are under Democratic President Barack Obama, and some Democrats are blaming Republicans for cutting funds for public health as ebola worries surface.

Frightening news from overseas has come home for many Americans, with the first cases of ebola in the United States and the beheadings of three American and British aid workers and journalists by Islamic State terrorists.

The perceived threat from Islamic State jihadists has become a campaign issue, according to Frank Newport of the Gallup Poll.

"The current military action that is taking place against the Islamic State is a factor when you remind Americans of it, that they say, ‘Hmm, that could be important.’ And some candidates at the Senate level are trying to take advantage of it, as of course politicians will do,” said Newport.

Republican supporters are using TV campaign ads to tie incumbent Democratic senators to President Obama and to accuse them of being weak on national security.

"While radical Islamists threaten to attack America, and millions cross our border undetected, President Obama and Senator Landrieu have done nothing,” says one ad.

Several ads from Republican-leaning groups against Democrats merge the separate issues of Islamic State terrorists and illegal immigration into one specter of gloom.

“Evil forces around the world want to harm Americans every day. Their entry into our country? Through Arizona’s backyard. Yet Ann Kirkpatrick consistently votes with her party against protecting Arizona,” one ad warns voters.

For their part, some Democratic supporters are using an ebola ad on YouTube to try to attack Republican candidates for cutting government spending.

Asked if they are worried about ebola, some tourists to the nation's capital said they have mixed feelings.

“I’m not afraid that it’s going to become a huge thing, The disease is horrible, but I am not afraid about our own medical system,” said Mary Huttar of Virginia

“I’m getting worried. I’m not scared yet. I think we’ll get it all figured out,” said Frank Wyman of South Carolina.

Despite the scary ads, though, most Americans still say their top issues in this election are the economy, unemployment and dissatisfaction with the government.

North Korea releases
one of three U.S. citizens

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. officials are welcoming the release of Jeffrey Fowle, an American who had been detained in North Korea since May.

The United States, however, is continuing to urge Pyongyang to free two other Americans who remain in custody.

North Korea on Tuesday abruptly freed Fowle, after which U.S. officials announced that he had departed North Korea and is heading home. Fowle, who arrived in North Korea on a tourist visa, was arrested earlier this year after leaving a Bible in a North Korean restaurant and bar.

He was never put on trial, and his family has denied charges that he traveled to the country on a church-related mission.

Both the White House and the State Department called Fowle's release a positive decision, but State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said there is continued concern about the two Americans who remain in custody.

“We remain focused on the continued detention of Kenneth Bae and Matthew Miller, and again call on the DPRK to immediately release them,” said Harf, adding that Fowle has been evaluated by a doctor and appears to be in good health.

"It's not about whether or not we believe his story," she added. "I would remind people that we have a very strict travel warning in place, telling Americans not to travel to North Korea for a variety of reasons. But I think today it is not about whether or not we believe his story. We believed, as we did today as we did yesterday, that he should immediately be released, as he has been."

There was no immediate word on what prompted North Korea to free Fowle, but Ms. Harf said the Swedish government played a role in negotiations for his release.

Miller was sentenced to six years of hard labor after being convicted of hostile acts against North Korea. Bae received a 15-year prison sentence, also for hostile acts.

Congolese gynecologist gets
rights honor for rape work

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A Congolese gynecologist who has spent more than 15 years helping women heal from the horrors of rape is the winner of this year's Sakharov human rights prize.

The European Parliament unanimously chose Denis Mukwege for what it calls his fight for the protection of women.

The 59-year-old Mukwege founded his Panzi Hospital in Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1998 to treat victims of war-inspired mass rape and sexual violence.

He survived an assassination attempt and defied death threats for speaking out against rape as a weapon of war.

Mukwege will be awarded the Sakharov prize Nov. 26 in Strasbourg, France.

Runners-up for this year's award were Ukraine's pro-democracy EuroMaidan movement and jailed Azerbaijani human rights activist Leyla Yunis.

The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought was named for the late Soviet dissident and scientist Andrei Sahkarov.

Major Mexican suspect
caught shopping in U.S.

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A man U.S. authorities call the head of a major Mexican drug gang, the Gulf Cartel, has appeared in a court in Beaumont, Texas.

The man, Juan Francisco Saenz-Tamez, from the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, was arrested by U.S. federal agents while shopping in Edinburg, Texas Oct. 9.

He is charged with conspiracy in shipping thousands of kilograms of cocaine and marijuana across the U.S.-Mexico border and with money-laundering.

If convicted on all charges, he faces a maximum of life in prison.

Saenz-Tamez is the latest of several people who have headed the Gulf Cartel following the 2013 arrest of former leader Mario Ramirez-Trevino.

Canadian soldier dies
as likely terror victim

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A Canadian soldier is dead a day after a suspected Islamic radical hit him and another soldier with his car.

Police shot and killed the driver after he rammed into the two soldiers Monday in a parking lot in Quebec province.

Police officials say the other soldier was not as seriously hurt.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing. Police say they are looking into the theory the act was deliberate.

Canadian officials say the 25-year-old suspect was known to federal authorities who were concerned that he had become radicalized.

The suspect has been identified as Martin Couture Rouleau.

After hitting the two soldiers, he fled the scene in his car, but police chased him and shot him when he got out of the vehicle after losing control of it. He reportedly was in possession of a knife at the time.

After hearing about the incident Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper called the reports "extremely troubling."

Flurry of major earthquakes
give scientists new data

By the Geological Society of America news staff

The last ten years have been a remarkable time for great earthquakes. Since December 2004 there have been no less than 18 quakes of of magnitude 8.0 or greater – a rate of more than twice that seen from 1900 to mid-2004. Hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost and massive damage has resulted from these great earthquakes. But as devastating as such events can be, these recent great quakes have come with a silver lining: They coincide with unprecedented advances in technological and scientific capacity for learning from them.

“We previously had very limited information about how ruptures grow into great earthquakes and interact with regions around them,” said seismologist Thorne Lay of the University of California at Santa Cruz. “So we are using the recorded data for these recent events to guide our understanding of future earthquakes. We've gained a new level of appreciation for how one earthquake can influence events in other zones.”

High on the list of areas ripe for a great quake is Cascadia, the Pacific Northwest, where the risk for great quakes had long been under appreciated. Evidence began surfacing about 20 years ago that there had been a great quake in the region in the year 1700. Since then the view of the great quake risk in Cascadia has shifted dramatically.

“We don't know many details about what happened in 1700,” said Lay. There were no instruments back then to observe and record it. And so the best way to try and understand the danger and what could happen in Cascadia is to study the recent events elsewhere.

Over the last decade Lay and his colleagues have been able to gather fine details about these giant earthquakes using data from an expanded global networks of seismometers, GPS stations, tsunami gauges, and new satellite imaging capabilities such as GRACE, InSAR, and LandSAT interferometry.  Among the broader conclusions they have come to is that great quakes are very complicated and idiosyncratic. Lay was to present some of those idiosyncrasies at the meeting of the Geological Society of America this week.

“What we've seen is that we can have multiple faults activated,” said Lay. “We've seen it off Sumatra and off Japan. Once earthquakes get going they can activate faulting in areas that were thought not physically feasible.”

The great Sumatra-Andaman earthquake of Dec. 26, 2004, for instance, unzipped a 1,300 kilometer long segment of the subduction zone and unleashed one of history's most destructive, deadly tsunamis. Much of the rupture was along a region with very limited plate convergence.  In Japan, the Kuril Islands, and the Solomon Islands, great mega-thrust ruptures have moved portions of the subduction zones that were thought too warm or weak to experience earthquakes.

“These earthquakes ruptured right through areas that had been considered to have low risk,” said Lay. “We thought that would not happen. But it did, so we have to adjust our understanding.”

Perhaps the best recent analogy to Cascadia is off the coast of Iquique, Chile, said Lay. There had been a great quake in 1877, and a conspicuous gap in quakes ever since. Like the 1700 Cascadia earthquake, there is little data for the 1877 event, which killed more than 2,500 people. In both subduction zones, the converging plates are thought to be accumulating strain which could be released in a very large and violent rupture. On April 1 of this year, some of that strain was released offshore of Iquique. There was a magnitude 8.1 rupture in the northern portion of the seismic gap. But it involved slip over less than 20 percent of the region that seismologists believe to have accumulated strain since 1877.

“We have no idea why only a portion of the 1877 zone ruptured,” said Lay. “But clearly, 80 percent of that zone is still unruptured. We don't have a good basis for assessment of how the rest will fail. It’s the same for Cascadia. We don't know if it always goes all at once or sometimes in sequences of smaller events, with alternating pattern. It is prudent to prepare for the worst case of failure of the entire region in a single event, but it may not happen that way every time.”

New tarantula is named
after Beatle's John Lennon

By the Pensoft Pubishers news staff

A newly described tarantula species from Western Brazilian Amazonia was named Bumba lennoni in honor of John Lennon, a founder member of the legendary band the Beatles. The new species is part of the tarantula family Theraphosidae which comprises the largest spider species in the world. The study was published in the open access journal ZooKeys.

The name of the new species came across when the authors of the study Fernando Pérez-Miles from the University of the Republic, Uruguay, and Alexandre Bonaldo and Laura Miglio, both from the Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi, Brazil, found out that they are all great fans of the Beatles music.

The genus, Bumba, which is proposed as replacement of the old one Maraca, already taken and used for Orthoptera, also has a story behind the choice of name. The new name is taken from Brazilian theatrical folk tradition of the popular festival called Boi-bumbá ("hit my bull"), which takes place annually in north and northeastern Brazil.

The new species, as other tarantulas, has defensive urticating hairs on the abdomen which produce irritation upon contact with the skin or sensible tissues.

The specimens used in the study were captured manually or in traps during the night in Caxiuaná, Pará, Brasil, which suggest they could be mainly nocturnal animals.

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For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 4030-5480 or 8339-2112.

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

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

Check with our Web site at
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
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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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Maneul Antonio
Manuel Antonio Estates focuses on building vacation homes for clients within Manuel Antonio Estates and Palmas Pacifica. We take care of the details from permits and design to supervision of construction and management of the rentals, if needed. We provide privacy and security, and our gated community offers shared common recreational facilities, beautiful landscaping and parking areas. Our homes and lots are located just minutes from the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. If you've ever considered buying a second home, just minutes from the beach, do not hesitate, if you have any questions or would like to request more information please take full advantage of our Costa Rica real estate services and contact us today!
Manuel Antonio Estates    1 800 346-9724  (506) 8815-9606.

Ciudad Colon
Great Deal!! Apartment in condo with pool and extensive green areas:
Ciudad Colón, San José $112,000
The apartment has a master bedroom with a large ensuite bathroom with bath tub, and a smaller second bedroom/office  with air conditioning. It has a second full bathroom, living/dining room, laundry room with hot water tank and storage area. The kitchen comes with granite countertops, a breakfast bar and new dishwasher. It has 82 m2 of construction. 2 balconies with beautiful views of the river and mountains. Private parking for one car. Elevator and a well presented reception area. Located in a very quiet and private neighborhood just 400 meters from the centre of Ciudad Colón. Within minutes to all major amenities in Santa Ana and Escazú. Easy access to the beach (less than 1.5 hrs).  24-hour security, visitor parking, pool, extensive and lush green areas, BBQ area, children’s playground and its own water treatment plant. Contact (506) 6022-9294 or 6022-9967, for further info or to arrange a viewing.

Suenos montage
Outrageous blowout prices on oceanfront condos in Los Sueños!

Located in the private Bay Residence enclave overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Los Sueños Resort and Marina, there are three gorgeous units available at unbelievable bargain pricing from $589,000.  All of these beautiful units are three bedrooms and two baths, 2,200 square feet, fully furnished and ready to move in.  Development includes a gym, access to 3 pools, jacuzzis, BBQ areas and the Beach Club.  If you’ve always wanted to own in Los Sueños, now is the time!  Contact  or call Nate @ 8635-9320.
From the US call 209-482-1788.
Top floor unit: $649,000   Second floor unit: $675,000  Garden unit: $589,000

Newly available in Roca Verde
Well-built home of 215 m2, 3 bedrooms, two bath on 1,150 m2 of lot, with attractive rock retaining wall, carport, and a pool. Indoors there are high, vaulted hardwood ceiling, bright rooms, a laundry room.  The floor is ceramic tile in pastel shades. $247,000. Photos: 2446-5587.

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!


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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call center
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.

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. Panama
A.M. Colombia
A.M. Guatemala
A.M. Honduras
A.M. Cuba
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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
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 209
Real Estate
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News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Press freedoms said deteriorating

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Freedom of the press and of expression in the hemisphere underwent a marked deterioration in the last six months due to a significant increase in direct and indirect censorship and physical attacks on journalists.

That is the summary by the Inter American Press Association as it concluded its  70th General Assembly

Violence carried out by organized crime, drug traffic hit men and police-style groups on the orders of several governments of the region left a balance of 11 journalists murdered, three in Honduras, three in Paraguay, two in Mexico, one in El Salvador, one in Colombia and one in Perú, said the organization

The summary also said:

Journalists in almost all the countries of the region suffered physical attacks, particularly in Venezuela where police forces and police-style groups on the orders of the government left a balance of several journalists injured. Physical attacks on journalists were also recorded during coverage of various election processes in Bolivia, Brazil and Peru, and street protests in the American city of Ferguson and in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In Cuba four journalists remain behind bars with sentences of up to seven and 14 years imprisonment, while there continues the massive detention of dissidents for the simple act of expressing their political opinions. Also in Cuba there has to be mentioned that the online newspaper 14yMedio, launched in May by journalist Yoani Sánchez, is intermittently being blocked on its Web site.

In Argentina there was cloning of Clarín print media and in Mexico there was the cloning of the newsprint and the online versions of a magazine, while in Venezuela official sectors and criminal gangs used Facebook and Twitter to attack media and journalists. In Argentina, social networks and government-owned media were also used with these purposes.

Censorship of the media during electoral processes was evident in Brazil, where the judicial branch of government accepted 138 requests that media withdraw content, and in Bolivia where the opposition saw political propaganda limited to 30 days before the elections, while President Evo Morales did not suffer any limitations.

The censorship was also applied to media in Ecuador through a ruling of the Constitutional Court that ratified what is established in the communication law turning the work of the press into a public service. As part of this crude censorship, an agency for the control of content punished 25 media and four newspapers had to stop publishing.

In Venezuela the government of President Nicolás Maduro continues to deny foreign exchange for the purchase of supplies for print media. More than 30 newspapers are hit by the lack of newsprint and another 12 have already ceased publishing.

In Haiti, Chile and Colombia several laws have regulations by which the government and agencies of control can meddle in editorial content and criteria. The same is happening in Argentina with the discriminatory application of the Audiovisual Services Law against the Clarín group, and in Bolivia where the government is threatening enactment of a communication law.

The lack of transparency and access to public information continues to be an obstacle to the free practice of journalism in Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru and Dominican Republic.

The U.S. government of President Barack Obama is continuing to prohibit officials from talking to the press. In the United States and Canada defeated were legislative reforms aimed at limiting exceptions on the part of these governments to continue restricting public information for reasons always attributed to national security.

Perhaps the most positive news has been the enactment of the law on access to public information and transparency in Paraguay , which is expected to encourage other countries in the region that still do not.

In Argentina, Nicaragua and Venezuela official corruption has been reflected in the abuse of government propaganda and in the discriminatory distribution of official advertising.

Concentration of government media worsened in Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

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The CAFTA Report
Fish fabulous Costa Rica

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From Page 7:

Drill empties Sabana tower quickly

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The  Instituto Costarricense  de Electricidad said that some 1,200 employees in the 16-floor telecommunications tower managed to exit the building in less that 14 minutes Tuesday morning.

The state telecom company had set up a drill at the La Sabana facility.

The 45 rescue team members for the institute had more to do than just chasing people from the building. The simulation also included person injured by falls, and they had to be attended. There also was a man with a simulated heart attack, said the telecom agency. The  Cuerpo de Bomberos y Cruz Roja Costarricense also participated.