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(506) 2223-1327                               Published Oct. 23, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 210                         Email us
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Police take over Limón docks and arrest strikers
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The central government waited a bit more than eight hours before heavily armed riot troops took over the Caribbean ports of  Limón and Moín Wednesday.

As they had promised, the dock workers union called a strike. It began at 9:15 a.m. when workers closed the gates to the docks. The tactical squats of the security ministry moved in at 5:50 p.m. There were 68 arrests, mostly for impeding the work of the police.

Officers ran the names of many strikers through the Poder Judicial data base to see if there were outstanding warrants or other reason to jail them.

The strikers, members of the  Sindicato de Trabajadores de Japdeva y Afines Portuarios, have justified their actions on constitutional grounds.

They say that the proposed APM Terminals container handling facility will be an illegal monopoly of that type of shipping. That theory appears to be the base for another round of court cases. The union has been unsuccessful in other legal actions.

Celso Gambo, the security minister, said there was no room for negotiations. That sentiment also was expressed by President Luis Guillermo Solís. who spent Wednesday touring a hydro generating facility.

The strike met with strong negative reactions from the commerce sector. Enrique Egloff, president of the Cámara de Industrias, said that the ports in Limón are key for the productive sector and that 80 percent of import and exports pass through there.

"It is not possible that a small group decides for
all of a province and a country," he said in a statement.

Three cargo ships were tied up at the docks, and they are likely to reman there until work begins again. In the past, some police officers ran the cranes and loading machinery, but officials deflected questions about when port services would begin again.

The strike was inevitable after a meeting between Casa Presidencial officials and union representatives proved unsuccessful Monday.

The big losers are the firms that ship perishables through the ports. These include bananas and pineapples. The Fuerza Pública said that there had been millions of colons lost Wednesday due to  the strike.

At the Moín docks police detained 45 men and eight women. At the Limón docks 13 men were detained as well as two women.

Solís said on his Facebook page that Limón is more than a port and it is much more than a union. He promised, as he has in the past, to guarantee the security there and promised to keep the ports functioning and the access roads open.

The central government sees the $1 billion container terminal as a boost to the economy of Limón and a way to make the country more competitive internationally.

The government's lawyers are likely to see a judicial order that calls the strike illegal.

APM Terminals still has some hurdles to clear on environmental issues, but the firm hopes to begin construction early next year.

Rustler gets a super deal at a metro area court
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Poder Judicial said Wednesday that the criminal court in Goicoechea has successfully  handled and sentenced an accused in its  first case of cattle rustling.

The rustler, identified by the last names of  Soto Jara, got a much better deal that he would have in Texas or Colorado. The Poder Judicial said he got three years. But the fine print says he was let go on conditional execution of the penalty. Presumably if he does not rustle and butcher any more cows within five years, his sentence will be served.

There were two crimes. One was April 21 and the other was June 5. They were on different farms in Las Nubes de Coronado

Soto stole a Holstein yearling and a Jersey bull in the first instance and then a young Jersey in the second instance.

Soto took the animals to a secluded spot where he butchered them and carried away the meat.

Soto accepted the charges in what is known as an abbreviated procedure, so there was no trial.
'Anyone seen a rustler, pardners?'

Cattle rustling, either for sale or for the meat, is a plague but the locale usually is Guanacaste.

Coronado is a milk-producing area, and Jerseys and Holsteins are milk cows not well suited for steaks. That is probably why the  court in the northern metro area has not had a case like that previously.

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 210

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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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A full service immigration agency
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Real estate agents and services

CR Beach
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Toll Free: 1-888-782-1119 or  2643-4334, 2643-3672
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'Tis the season to enjoy the Gordo

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The chances of winning are remote, but the tradition is to sit in front of the television on a December evening watching the balls fall that give the numbers for the Gordo, the fat Christmas lottery.

Then the tradition is to crumble up the lottery tickets and have another beer.

Statisticians will do belly laughs when they figure the chances of winning and the payback from the Gordo. Sure, four or more persons next Dec. 14 will win 1.4 billion colons. That's about $2.6 million and  the Internal Revenue Service may never know. Lottery winnings are not taxed in Costa Rica.

The catch is that to win the big money, a lottery player has to buy a full sheet or entero of 40 ticket pieces. That's 70,000 colons this year. Most Costa Ricans have a handful of pieces, each worth 1,750 colons,  bearing various numbers when the drawing is held. Sometimes communities share in the winnings. Many have their special number. The tickets went on sale Wednesday.

The Junta de Proteción Social, which puts on the lottery, takes a large chunk off the top for various social programs. So a gambler has better odds at the local casino or with the illegal lotteries that can be found in many areas of the country. The winner of the Gordo has to have five numbers correctly distributed as a three-digit serial and two additional digits.

Tourism chamber says bill will hurt sector

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The national tourism chamber is raising the alarm about a proposed law that would cut in half the money available to promote the country.

The  Cámara Nacional de Turismo said that a bill is in the legislative hopper that would give half the money raised by a tax on airline tickets to the Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación, Right now, the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo gets the full $15 levied on air tickets purchased outside the county.

The chamber said it wanted the legislative Comisión de Ambiente  to dump the measure, which is No. 18.251. If the bill passes, the  Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación would be instructed to use its share of the money for purchasing or expropriating land for national parks.

Agents detain eight in prostitution case

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Eight men and a woman have been detained in a  case involving prostitution of minors.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said the men range in age from 54 to 72. The arrests were in the community of Los Santos.

The woman, 27, was arrested last week on the allegation that she was pimping a girl, 14, and another, 16, who lived in her home. Agents then began rounding up the customers, who paid from 10,000 to 20,000 colons for the sexual services, agents said. That's about $18.50 to $37.

Little Theatre Group plans mystery dinner

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Little Theatre Group plans a mystery evening Nov. 1. The group said that the upcoming Halloween event, “Come Dine On Me,” is "an interactive murder mystery featuring well known psychopath, Hannibal Spectre."

The 6:30 p.m. event is limited to 60 persons, and they are invited to come as their favorite Halloween character. Tickets are 16,000 colons a person and this includes dinner at a local restaurant.

Reservations can be made at 8858-1446  or by contact the group's Web page:

Train kills female pedestrian

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial investigators said that a 41-year-old woman with the last name of  Fonseca died in Hospital Calderón Guardia after being struck by a Heredia-San José train about 3 p.m. Tuesday in Barrio Aranjuez. The woman is believed to live in one of the homes along the tracks and was walking on the right-of-way.

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Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 210
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Church speaker

metate and ceramics
Judicial Investigating Organization photos
An elaborate metate and a mano grinding stone were among the iems confiscated, as well as this animated mug.
Judicial raid strips Piedades couple of pre-Columbian collection
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An inspector seeking information about illegal tree cutting found that an expat couple in  Piedades de Santa Ana had more than 70 pre-Columbian archaeological piece, some of them museum quality.

The pieces were confiscated Wednesday and placed in the custody of the Museo Nacional. Costa Rican law requires this, but many homes have similar collections.

The Poder Judicial identified the couple by the last name of Van Wilpe. They were reported to be Dutch.

The collection included 10 examples of metates, stone devices that are designed to grind corn. Some are very elaborate, and they also were used as grave goods. There were a lot of ceramics confiscated.

Although museum workers said that the metates could bring a
six-figure price on the international market, there was no indiction that the couple planned to sell any. The museum officials said that experts would evaluate the pieces and verify their pre-Columbian origin.

A lot of elaborate pieces are modern duplicates.

The Poder Judicial said that a proposed housing development was being put in and some trees were cut, which is why the inspector showed up at the home Oct. 14.

In one well publicized confiscation of archaeological items, museum officials had to return them because the owners proved that their possession predated the  Ley sobre Patrimonio Nacional Arqueológico.

The law against possessing such pieces carries a prison penalty, but it is enforced irregularly.  Some excellent ceramics and other pieces can be found at the Sunday flea market, most likely the result of a burglary of an upscale home.

Emergency officials seeking a common agenda for coastal protection
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica has more than 3,500 kilometers of coastline, so the topic of rising sea levels is a crucial one.

The national emergency commission is seeking to establish a common agenda with the leaders of the 14 municipalities that would be the most affected by sea level rise.

There are predictions that the sea level will rise more than a meter by 2100. In addition, a strong offshore earthquake could generate a tsunami.

The emergency commission said that at least 100,000 persons live in the 200-meter strip along the coast where they might be affected. Many of these persons and their structures are directly involved in the tourism trade.

The  Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de
Emergencias will be on the front line if some form of rapid disaster takes place.

Sea-level rise is a fact and has been since the end of the last ice age 12,000 year ago. The Gulf of Nicoya used to be the plains of Nicoya, and the western coast of Florida stretched out almost 200 more miles than it does today.

Regional officials in the northwestern United States have said they are considering the erection of a tsunami barrier to protect inland area from flooding in the event of a major offshore earthquake. In addition, some architects are creating what they call tsunami-proof homes.

Costa Rica has not gotten that far yet, but the offshore faults have the capacity for tsunamis.

Presumably these are some of the topics that the emergency commission will be considering in future meetings.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 210
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Resistant tuberculosis cases reported to be increasing at alarming rate
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The World Health Organization is calling for urgent action to stop the spread of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis or MDR-TB. While the agency’s Global Tuberculosis Report 2014 finds a steady decline in the number of TB cases globally, it warns MDR-TB is increasing at an alarming rate.

New estimates show 9 million people developed tuberculosis last year, and 1.5 million died, including 360,000 people who were HIV positive TB is a preventable and curable disease.

The World Health Organization says people should not lose heart, though, as important inroads are being made to get on top of this deadly disease. The report says mortality rates have fallen by 45 percent since 1990 and the number of new cases is declining by an average of 1.5 percent a year.

The director of agency's  Global TB Program, Mario Raviglione, said an estimated 37 million lives have been saved through effective diagnosis and treatment of TB since 2000. Unfortunately, he said this good news has to be balanced with the bad news that the global multi-drug resistant crisis continues and is getting worse. 

“There are now around 480,000 MDR-TB cases estimated to have occurred in 2013. And as you know, MDR-TB is a form of tuberculosis that is resistant to at least the first two key drugs against tuberculosis," said Raviglione. "When you have this situation, then the treatment changes. It becomes much more complicated, much longer, two years rather than six months, much more expensive, much more difficult to follow and much richer, if you like, of side-effects.” 

The  report notes MDR-TB constitutes about 3.5 percent of all people who developed tuberculoses in 2013. It says Central Asia and former Soviet Union countries are the hardest hit regions. It says some
countries, notably Belarus and Moldova, are reporting up to 35 percent of new cases of MDR-TB.

Furthermore, it says extensively drug-resistant TB, which is even costlier and harder to treat than MDR-TB, is reported in 100 countries.

Raviglione said there is no crisis of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis in Africa. 

“In terms of MDR-TB, the situation in Africa is probably one of the best in the world. And, this is probably due to the fact they have not used so far an enormous amount of second-line drugs, which, for instance is not the case in the former Soviet Union where there was access to these drugs," he said.

"So, that is how you develop resistance. You expose the patient to a drug without having the proper regimen and you develop resistance to that drug. And, to the fact that national programs in Africa have always worked in a very reasonable way-adopting the standards that have been promoted by WHO for many years,” said Raviglione.

Raviglione cautioned there are signs of MDR-TB growing in some parts of Africa, however, especially in the southern cone. For instance, he noted evidence in Botswana of an explosive co-epidemic of HIV linked with multi-drug resistant TB. 

He said these levels have gone up quite quickly in the past few years. He warns that Africa could face huge problems in the future if the two epidemics of HIV and multi-drug resistant TB join forces, as happened with normal tuberculosis.

World Health reports more than 1 million of the 9 million new cases of TB in 2013 were among HIV-positive people, with four out of five cases and deaths occurring in the African region.

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:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

cat trees
 San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 210
Real Estate
About us

Canada's prime minister
spurns terrorist intimidation

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Canada's prime minister said his country will never be intimidated by terrorists after a gunman killed a soldier in Ottawa and then stormed Parliament before he was shot dead.

In a televised address Wednesday evening, Stephen Harper said Wednesday's attack, along with another incident this week that led to a soldier's death, are grim reminders that Canada is not immune to terrorism.

The prime minister spoke hours after dozens of gunshots rang out in Canada's parliament buildings in Ottawa when a gunman shot and killed a soldier guarding the nearby Canadian National War Memorial

Little is known about the assailant, identified as 32-year-old ex-convict Michael Zehaf-Bibeau who was fatally shot.

Witnesses to the attack at the memorial say the gunman appeared to raise his arms in triumph before entering Canada’s Parliament where dozens of shots soon rang out.

According to those present, many fled the complex by scrambling down scaffolding erected for renovations, while others took cover inside and barricaded doors with chairs as police with rifles and body armor took up positions outside and cordoned off the normally bustling streets around Parliament.

On Twitter, Canada's justice minister and other government officials credited 58-year-old sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers with shooting the attacker just outside the lawmakers' caucus rooms.

Vickers serves a largely ceremonial role at the House of Commons, carrying a scepter and wearing rich green robes, white gloves and a tall imperial hat.

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, in a telephone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, appeared to link the attack to Canada's participation in the U.S.-led air campaign against the Islamic State group.

Earlier this week an Islamic convert in a car ran down two Canadian soldiers, killing one, near Montreal

President Barack Obama spoke by phone with Prime Minister Harper after Wednesday's attacks and said it was important for U.S. and Canadian counterterrorism authorities to continue working in sync.

Obama condemned the attacks on Canadian forces, and offered any U.S. assistance Canada needs in responding to the situation to the prime minister.

Obama said the U.S. is monitoring the Canadian situation and will do everything it can to protect the American people.

The shooting rampage forced Harper to cancel planned appearances with 17-year-old Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai.

Harper was scheduled to award Ms. Yousafzai an honorary Canadian citizenship at a downtown Toronto hotel.

Harper also was scheduled to announce a funding commitment for the Global Partnership for Education, an organization whose work Ms. Yousafzai strongly supports.

Ms. Yousafzai was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in 2012 for supporting schooling for girls.

Blackwater security guards
convicted in murder case

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A U.S. jury has found four former Blackwater security guards guilty in the 2007 shootings of more than 30 Iraqis in Baghdad.

Nicholas Slatten was found guilty of first-degree murder.  The three other three guards, Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard, were found guilty of voluntary manslaughter.

The jury has reached verdicts on only part of the 33 charges related to the shootings.  The jury is expected to continue deliberating on the other counts.

The trial focused on the killings of 14 Iraqis and the wounding of 17 others.  The Sept. 16, 2007, shootings caused an international uproar over the role of defense contractors in urban warfare.

The State Department hired Blackwater to protect American diplomats in Iraq.

Blackwater convoys of four heavily armored vehicles operated in risky environments where car bombs and attacks by insurgents were common.

The defendants' lawyers said there was strong evidence the guards were targeted with gunfire from insurgents and Iraqi police, leading the guards to shoot back in self-defense.   Federal prosecutors said there was no incoming gunfire and the shootings by the guards were unprovoked.

One of the government witnesses, Blackwater guard Jeremy Ridgeway, pleaded guilty to killing one woman during the shooting.

The maximum sentence for conviction of first-degree murder is life imprisonment.  

Africans from ebola areas
told to self report in U.S.

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. federal health authorities are ordering travelers from three West African countries to monitor their health for 21 days and report daily for any signs of ebola.

The visitors would be from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak.

The monitoring program will start Monday in six eastern states where the majority of those travelers would visit, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

The travelers will be given an ebola kit when they arrive at airports, including a thermometer.

Officials say 21 days represent the maximum incubation period for ebola.

Wednesday, President Barack Obama held his first official meeting with his new ebola czar, Ron Klain. His job is to coordinate anti-ebola efforts of multiple U.S. government agencies and aid groups.

After the talks, Obama said the Centers for Disease Control are working to make sure every American hospital has a plan to handle any ebola case, so that the mistakes made in Dallas are not repeated.

Two nurses who treated a Liberian patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, at the Dallas hospital contracted the disease when precise procedures to protect them apparently were not followed. One nurse is hospitalized outside Washington. The other is in Atlanta.

While in Liberia, a fresh contingent of Cuban doctors and nurses arrived Wednesday to help to fight the worst outbreak of the deadly ebola virus on record alongside a U.S. military mission deploying in the West Africa country.

The 83 doctors and nurses are the latest group of Cuban medical professionals sent to West Africa through an agreement with the World Health Organization.

The first group of 165 doctors and nurses deployed to Sierra Leone at the start of October and another group of around 40 medical staffers was due to arrive in neighboring Guinea Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said the ebola outbreak that has killed more than 4,500 people in West Africa could be contained within four to six months if the right steps are followed.

Elhadj As Sy told reporters Wednesday in China that the time frame was possible with good isolation and treatment for those with confirmed cases of ebola, along with proper burials for those who died from the virus.

His comments come as the World Health Organization convenes a meeting of its Emergency Committee on Ebola to discuss the latest developments in the outbreak and whether to alter its recommendations.

The talks are expected to take one or two days.

U.S. drug company Johnson & Johnson said Wednesday it was working with Danish health company Bavarian Nordic to develop an ebola vaccine that was projected to begin safety testing in January. Johnson & Johnson said the vaccine would be delivered in two doses, two months apart.

The company said it was spending up to $200 million to accelerate and expand its ebola research. It said it hoped to have vaccine doses ready for broad clinical trials by mid-2015.

Tuesday, World Health said that an experimental ebola vaccine could be in use by January.

Nebraska Medical Center officials said American video journalist Ashoka Mukpo had recovered from ebola and was released around 9 a.m. Wednesday from the hospital's biocontainment unit.

In a statement read at a news conference later, Mukpo said, in part: “Today is a joyful day.”

The hospital said Tuesday that Mukpo's blood tested negative for the virus. He had arrived at the Nebraska Medical Center on Oct. 6 and was the second ebola patient to be treated there. The first, Rick Sacra, has also recovered.

Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone have been the hardest hit by the ebola outbreak, with more than 9,100 cases.

U.S. Homeland Security officials are requiring all U.S.-bound travelers from those three countries to arrive through one of five U.S. airports with enhanced ebola screening. 

The airports are in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Washington and Newark, New Jersey.

Ninety-four percent of travelers coming to the U.S. from those three countries arrive at these airports even during normal conditions.

Another fence jumper enters
the grounds of White House

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

For the second time in a little more than a month, a man has jumped the White House fence, but this time the intruder was apprehended with the help of Secret Service dogs.

The jumper was caught Wednesday evening outside the White House after he scaled the north fence.  A Secret Service spokesman said the suspect kicked at one of the dogs before a second dog subdued him.

The jumper was then taken to a nearby hospital.  The White House was put on lockdown during the incident.

Sept. 19, Omar Gonzalez, a 42-year-old Army vet who is unemployed and homeless, bolted across the lawn and into the White House before being apprehended. He had a 9-centimeter knife in his pants and more than 800 rounds of ammunition, two hatchets and a machete in his car.

The unprecedented security breach led to congressional hearings and the resignation of Julia Pierson as Secret Service director.

Autopsy generally supports
cop in Ferguson shooting

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Following months of protests against excessive force by police in Ferguson, Missouri, a review of the official autopsy report says Michael Brown was shot at close range and did not have his arms raised in surrender at the time.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper obtained the St. Louis County medical examiner's autopsy and an accompanying toxicology report that shows the 18-year-old Brown had used marijuana.

The newspaper reported medical examiner Michael Graham and another pathologist not involved in the investigation reviewed the report and said it indicates Brown may have been reaching for Officer Darren Wilson’s weapon.

Some witnesses have said Brown had his hands raised when Wilson approached with his weapon and fired repeatedly. But the autopsy review indicates Brown's wounds were consistent with Wilson’s reported claim that he and Brown struggled inside his police car.

The examination “does support that there was a significant altercation at the car,” Graham said.

Medical examiner's office administrator Suzanne McCune confirmed the posted information was accurate, but said her office will not officially release the documents until the investigation is complete. The newspaper did not say where it obtained the documents.

Brown family attorney Benjamin Crump told The Associated Press on Wednesday the autopsy offers no insight into why Wilson killed Brown.

Brown has had three autopsies. The Post-Dispatch obtained the official autopsy released to prosecutors, but not the public, for its latest story. A private autopsy done at the behest of Brown’s family, discussed in detail at an August press conference largely agreed with the official autopsy, but said Brown had not been shot at close range. A third autopsy, the results of which have not been released or leaked, was performed by the U.S. Justice Department.

Tuesday, Gov. Jay Nixon appointed a special commission to look at how the region can move forward after the concerns raised by the shooting and its aftermath.

Latino vote seen as pivotal
in some federal elections

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. citizens of Latin American descent, or Latinos, could play an important role in the midterm elections Nov. 4, when Americans vote for members of the U.S. House of Representatives, a third of the Senate, and other state and local officials around the country. In states like California, Latinos are a core constituency for Democrats, but both parties face a challenge in getting their vote.

Latino activists signed up new voters at a citizenship ceremony, targeting newly minted U.S. citizens like Roberto Hernandez. He registered as a voter with help from his son Jose, who is already a citizen and a voter.

Hernandez wants a bigger voice and better things for the millions of undocumented residents of the country.

"Give them an opportunity," he said. "No discrimination. We should all be treated equal.”

In 2008 and 2012, many Latinos pinned their hopes on President Barack Obama, a Democrat who promised comprehensive immigration reform. However, the president ran into strong opposition from congressional Republicans who are demanding a secure border and also oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants

Latino activists, who are mostly Democrats, are disappointed and angry. They question what President Obama has done on immigration reform.

In a news conference, activists from the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles  asked,“What has President Obama done?  Nothing....”

They highlighted the plight of Latino families with some members who are citizens and others undocumented.  

Lauren Diegues, whose grandfather and uncle face deportation, is a citizen and voter and says she's unhappy with the president.

“I am," she said, "because now that I lived it, now I know how other families feel.”

Dean Bonner of the Public Policy Institute of California, a non-partisan research group, says California Hispanics tend to be Democrats, with smaller numbers of Republicans and independents. But he says California Hispanics, regardless of party affiliation, are evenly divided among conservative, liberal and centrist voters.

He says President Obama's popularity is dropping across the board, and that could hurt Democrats in the election.

“We have been seeing a steady erosion of his approval among Latinos," he said. "While three in four right before the election in 2012 were approving of his job performance, today that number is 50 percent.”

Activists who represent Hispanics, those whose origins are from Spanish-speaking countries, say voters respond to politicians who address their concerns, including the economy, education, health care and immigration.

Hector Barreto of the Hispanic Business Roundtable Institute says Latinos could swing the results in many states.

“Colorado, for example, has a large Hispanic population, North Carolina has, even Arkansas has an Hispanic population," he said. "So neither one of those two parties can take those for granted, and Hispanics will continue to play a pivotal role in every election, whether that be a local, state or national, whether it be mid-term or presidential.”

Hispanic voters were just 8 percent of the electorate two years ago, when fewer than half of the eligible Hispanics actually voted. Activists are working to boost turnout this time by registering new voters and urging them to vote. 

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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.

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

Check with our Web site at
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
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Houses, lots and farms in Grecia,
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Great climate
and safe communities.

Visit our Web Site:

English calls: (Cristian Arce) Phone: 
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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!
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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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13 work stations, good equipment, good location, Rohrmoser, two blocks from Plaza Mayor. $4.000 per month. Call Kevin 8366-6861.

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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
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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 210
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News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on archived paes.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Princess admits cockfighting events role

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A Romanian princess who ran a cockfighting business from her U.S. home was sentenced to three years’ probation Wednesday and ordered to pay a large fine.

The woman, Irina Walker, the third daughter of former Romanian King Michael I, pleaded guilty along with her husband to hosting the regular gambling events for at least a year, sometimes making $2,000 a day.

In cockfighting, roosters are often strapped with knives or razor blades and set loose in a ring to battle each other, often to the death. Spectators bet on which animal will survive.

According to court documents, at least a dozen people helped the Walkers organize the fights on the couple's ranch in the northwestern state of Oregon until their arrest in 2013.

As part of the plea deal, the couple must sell their farm and pay $200,000 to the government.

The 61-year-old princess was born after her father was forced to abdicate by Communists in 1947. King Michael is one of the only living heads of state from World War II.

Tesco reports a $422 million glitch

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The head of British retail giant Tesco says he will step down following the revelation of a $422 million accounting discrepancy.

An interim earnings report released Thursday included the news that Chairman Richard Broadbent will leave the company after a three-year tenure. No specific date was given for his resignation.

"A new management team is in place to address the root causes of the misstatement and to develop and implement the actions that will build the company’s future," Broadbent said in the statement posted to the Tesco Web site. "I am confident that the new chief executive and chief financial officer will move rapidly and effectively in this respect."

Tesco, the world's third biggest supermarket group, revealed last month that its profits during the first half of 2014 were overstated by an estimated $401 million. A subsequent accounting audit showed the figure to be even higher.

Shark fins found in boat off Quepos

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

 The  Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas says it located a boat, the  Doña Inés, off Quepos early Wednesday that carried 70 shark fins. The boat captain was detained because shark finning is illegal. But it is profitable.

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From Page 7:

Cattle project planned for Guanacaste

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Italian investors are seeking a free trade zone in Sardinal that eventually will contain a European Union quality slaughter house to process 28,000 head of cattle a year and produce 7,000 tons of beef.

One of the investors, Máximo Cataldi, met with lawmakers Wednesday to outline the project's three stages. The first stage, said a summary provided by the Asamblea Legislative, is a research project to study the raising of  Brahman cattle in Costa Rica and the possibilities of international sales.

The investor met with  Marta Arauz and Juan Marín Quirós Wednesday. They represent Guanacaste. The project will be presented to the  Comisión Legislativa de Guanacaste Nov. 18.

Marín was reported to be enthusiastic because the project will bring work to the area and also make use of Daniel Oduber airport for shipping.