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(506) 2223-1327                               Published Monday, Oct. 27, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 212                         Email us
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Murder sentence consistency seems to be lacking
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Strangling a man to steal his possessions means 15 years in prisons, according to a report from the Poder Judicial.

But if you are woman and slug the man who gropes you, the penalty is 10 years when the man later dies in the hospital, according to the same series of report

The penalty is only eight years in prison if you shoot an unarmed acquaintance in the head.

These were some of the contradictions that took place in the nation's courts last week. The Poder Judicial reported the penalties and the cases.

A judge in Pococí assessed the the 15-year penalty on two men and a woman who were involved in the strangling of a 60-year-old lawyer with the last name of Vargas. That happened in  Guácimo  last December. The trio 
took advantage of an abbreviated procedure without a trial in which they admitted their guilt. The woman appears to have lured the victim to her home where he was killed.

The woman who got 10 years also participated in an abbreviated process. The Poder Judicial said she was in a commercial center in Turrialba this February when a passerby groped her in what the report said was her intimate parts. The woman responded by hitting the man, identified by the last name of Araya, The man died at the hospital.

In yet another abbreviated procedure, a man in a Limón court got eight years for the shooting death of a victim identified by the last name of Walters. After a confrontation in the public street, the convicted man pulled out a firearm and shot the victim in the head. There had been prior personal problems,

In most cases, convicted felons serve about half their sentence.

Little wasps are out to protect the passion fruit
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Fruit producers in the Los Santos zone are liberating hundreds of thousands of tiny parasitic wasp is the annual battle against fruit flies.

The wasps lay eggs in the larva of fruit flies and are seen as a control without pesticides.

The principal target of the fruit fly in that area is the  granadilla or passion fruit (Passiflora ligularis).

The Cooperativa de Productores Agrícolas y de Servicios Múltiples, an association of many producers, is involved in the liberation. The tiny wasps (Diachasmimorpha longicaudata)  are produced for this purpose by the  Servicio Fitosanitario del Estado. There is a  Programa Nacional de Mosca de la Fruta for this purpose.

The fruit flies not only attack the buds of the plant flower, but they also attack the fruit. That means there can be fruit fly larva in fruit that is going to be shipped. Other controls, such as fumigation and chilling are expensive.

Costa Rican officials also maintain a program of
Division of Plant Industry. Florida Department
of Agriculture and Consumer/Jeffery Lotz
Adult female wasp is laying eggs in fruit fly larva.

traps for the fruit flies. In addition to Anastrepha, there are two other species, Ceratitis and Toxotrypana, that can damage fruit. The wasp is effective against all three.

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Solís seeks investments from Canada

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

President Luis Guillermo Solís is one of 90  speakers at the Toronto Global Forum today and tomorrow.

He and other Costa Rican officials are in Toronto trying to generate foreign investment here.  His visit comes at the same time that the country has been haled into international arbitration by a Canadian firm that says it got a raw deal with the Las Crucitas open pit gold mine.

Solís will share the podium with, among others, former U.S. secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who is despised in some parts of Latin America because of his involvement in the overthrow of the Chilean regime of Salvador Allende in 1973 that led to the brutal dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

Casa Presidencial said that some 400 business leaders and investors from the United states and Canada will be at the forum, an annual event. Solís appears to be the only head of state on the agenda.

Newest Nicoya ferry going to the shop

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Tambor III is going to Cartagena, Colombia, for maintenance, so the hours for the Puntarenas-Paquera ferry service are being revised.

Tambor III is the new, modern ferry with the largest capacity. The change will take effect Thursday, and normal operations are expected to resume Dec. 10.

Tambor II will pick up the slack and leave Paquera each day at 5 a.m., 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Return trips will be at 7 a.m. 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Ferry service is important for those living or visiting the southern part of the Nicoya peninsula.

Parents held in infant's injuries

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Both parents have been detained in the case of a 3-month old girl who is in the  Hospital de Niños with a fractured skull, broken legs and broken arms. Physicians at the hospital characterized her condition as reserved.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that the 28-year-old mother was detained at the hospital Saturday. The father, 25, was detained at the family home late the same day in  Los Filtros de Alajuelita.

There are other children, 4 and 8, in the family.

Employees are suspects in kidnapping

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Five men kidnapped a plant exporter in  Guápiles, and the suspects turned out to be his own employees.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that the man, 56,  was lured to a location on the promise of an export deal. There he was forced into another car, blindfolded and tied up.

The kidnappers demanded 120 million colons, about $220,000. That was late Thursday. Eventually the crooks settled for 40 million colons (about $73,500) in negotiations with a family member.

The deal was that the money would be delivered in a public street in  Belén de Heredia while the kidnapped man was released near the Hospital de Guápiles.

Judicial agents were at both locations and detained three men in Belén and two more in Guápiles, they reported.

Arrest made in murder of judge

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A man suspected of murdering a judge has been detained. The judge, identified by the last name of Chinchilla, was 54 when he died Sept. 24 outside a bar in  Guadalupe. He appears to have been the victim of a street robbery.

The suspect also lives in Guadalupe, but investigatorss tracked him to  Búfalo de Limón where the arrest was made Friday, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 27, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 212
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fighting fires
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo

Police officers spent much of the evening hours as fire fighters putting out blazes around Limón. Tires and garbage were the principal fuels.  In some cases, officers fired tear gas to clear the vandals.

Vandals maintain blazing blockades on key highways in Limón
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

 The weekend has been one of disorders in Limón where tractor-trailers have been attacked and there was a continual series of vandalism and tire burnings.

The Fuerza Púbica detained seven persons suspected of such vandalism Saturday night and early Sunday morning. None appears to be a striking union members, and at least two were minors.

Police said they detained some individuals with home-made bombs

Members of the striking dock workers union deny that they are behind the vandalism and road blockades that have been going on since late Wednesday when police took over the Limón docks. Some of the adults detained Saturday night and early Sunday had criminal records. Two were detained late Friday trying to distribute tires to be burned at various road blockades.

Truckers reported attacks by gangs who seemed to be attempting to torch the vehicle. One tractor-trailer was torched late Thursday. The trucks are bringing loads to be shipped out at the port of Moín.
A variation there late Saturday and early Sunday was the use of bits of metal to puncture truck tires. One trucker reported a blowout  on the approach to the Moín docks but said he rode on the tire until he came in contact with a police patrol.

There has been no reports of negotiations between Costa Rican officials and strikers, members of the  Sindicato de Trabajadores de Japdeva y Afines Portuarios. Japdeva, the Junta de Administración Portuaria y de Desarrollo Económico de la Vertiente Atlántica, reports that operations on the docs are normal now despite the walkout. Union members disagree.

President Luis Gullermo Solís has been firm in saying that a key clause of a contract with APM terminals will not be renegotiated. APM Terminals, a Dutch firm, has an agreement for a concession for which it will build a $1 billion container handling facility. The strikers call this an illegal monopoly. They fear less work for them through the public docks at Moín.

Union members walked out Wednesday morning, and the Fuerza Pública took over the docks about 6 p.m. the same day. At the Moín docks police detained 45 men and eight women. At the Limón docks 13 men were detained as well as two women.

Spectators asked to distance themselves from airport runway fence
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Airport police are cracking down on spectators who would watch takeoffs and landings from a spot near the runway fence.

This has been a traditional spectator spot, but now police say those who would watch the air traffic should do so across the street in the  Parque del Agricultor. They claimed that the park was safer, better illuminated and more secure.

They also said that spectators who insist in breaking the law and watching aircraft activity from the chain link fence expose themselves to noxious fumes from aircraft engines.

Juan Santamaría airport in Alajuela always has attracted spectators. There is no balcony for viewing inside the terminal, so a wide spot big enough to park cars between the highway and the fence has been used in the past. Some weekends there may be as many as 30 people watching takeoffs and landings. But no more, it seems.

The airport police coupled the warning with a concern for citizen security, suggesting that there may have been crimes in their spectator areas.

They urged persons who go to the airport to watch planes not to do so alone and to do so from a secure site, as well as to respect the traffic laws.
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Publíca photo
Police are sometimes stationed at the former viewing spot not far from the main runway.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Certain extracts of cocoa seem to reverse age-related memory loss
By the  Columbia University Medical Center news staff

Dietary cocoa flavanols — naturally occurring bioactives found in cocoa — reversed age-related memory decline in healthy older adults, according to a study led by Columbia University Medical Center scientists. The study, published in the advance online issue of Nature Neuroscience, provides the first direct evidence that one component of age-related memory decline in humans is caused by changes in a specific region of the brain and that this form of memory decline can be improved by a dietary intervention.

As people age, they typically show some decline in cognitive abilities, including learning and remembering such things as the names of new acquaintances or where one parked the car or placed one’s keys. This normal age-related memory decline starts in early adulthood but usually does not have any noticeable impact on quality of life until people reach their fifties or sixties. Age-related memory decline is different from the often-devastating memory impairment that occurs with Alzheimer’s, in which a disease process damages and destroys neurons in various parts of the brain, including the memory circuits.

Previous work, including by the laboratory of senior author Scott A. Small, had shown that changes in a specific part of the brain — the dentate gyrus — are associated with age-related memory decline. Until now, however, the evidence in humans showed only a correlational link, not a causal one. To see if the dentate gyrus is the source of age-related memory decline in humans, Small and his colleagues tested whether compounds called cocoa flavanols can improve the function of this brain region and improve memory. Flavanols extracted from cocoa beans had previously been found to improve neuronal connections in the dentate gyrus of mice.
Hippocampal region

A cocoa flavanol-containing test drink prepared specifically for research purposes was produced by the food company Mars, Inc., which also partly supported the research, using a proprietary process to extract flavanols from cocoa beans. Most methods of processing cocoa remove many of the flavanols found in the raw plant.

In the study, 37 healthy volunteers, ages 50 to 69, were randomized to receive either a high-flavanol diet (900 milligrams of flavanols a day) or a low-flavanol diet (10 milligrams of flavanols a day) for three months. Brain imaging and memory tests were administered to each participant before and after the study. The brain imaging measured blood volume in the dentate gyrus, a measure of metabolism, and the memory test involved a 20-minute pattern-recognition exercise designed to evaluate a type of memory controlled by the dentate gyrus.
Columbia University Medical Center/ Lab of Scott A. Small
Brain area outlined in yellow is the hippocampus. The dentate gyrus is shown in green.

“When we imaged our research subjects’ brains, we found noticeable improvements in the function of the dentate gyrus in those who consumed the high-cocoa-flavanol drink,” said lead author Adam M. Brickman, associate professor of neuropsychology at the Taub Institute.

The high-flavanol group also performed significantly better on the memory test. “If a participant had the memory of a typical 60-year-old at the beginning of the study, after three months that person on average had the memory of a typical 30- or 40-year-old,” said Small. He cautioned, however, that the findings need to be replicated in a larger study — which he and his team plan to do.   

Flavanols are also found naturally in tea leaves and in certain fruits and vegetables, but the overall amounts, as well as the specific forms and mixtures, vary widely.

The precise formulation used in the  study has also been shown to improve cardiovascular health. Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston recently announced a study of 18,000 men and women to see whether flavanols can help prevent heart attacks and strokes.

The researchers point out that the product used in the study is not the same as chocolate, and they caution against an increase in chocolate consumption in an attempt to gain this effect.

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
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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
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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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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. Email:

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. $1,000 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 inquire 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.

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A.M. Costa Rica's   Fifth news page
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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Oct. 27, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 212
Real Estate
About us

Movie about Singapore plays
everywhere but in Singapore

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The documentary, “To Singapore, with Love,” has screenings planned this month from Britain to India to Malaysia. One place it won’t be playing: Singapore.

The government here banned the film, which presents vignettes of Singaporean dissidents who fled decades ago to escape the prospect of detention without trial, as the film’s Web site says.

The ban raises uncomfortable questions about free speech, for Singapore as a whole but also for a U.S. Ivy League university that was going to show the film at its local affiliate.

Yale-NUS College is a partnership between the Connecticut school and the National University of Singapore. Even before the campus opened in 2013, critics said Yale was tarnishing its reputation for academic freedom by lending its insignia to an authoritarian state run mostly by a single party. Now that Singapore has stopped Yale-NUS from screening “To Singapore, with Love,” some say those fears have been realized.

“The prime minister and his long-ruling People's Action Party have a long, well-documented record of using meticulous, Kafkaesque legalism to block freedoms of expression they want to block and to permit whatever they decide to permit in this rich little city-state,” Jim Sleeper, a political science lecturer at Yale, wrote on the Huffington Post in response to the censorship.

The film’s director, Tan Pin Pin, is asking the Media Development Authority to lift the ban.

“I have not agreed to any private screenings in Singapore, because the film is under appeal,” Ms. Pin Pin said by email.

She also sent a link to a local blogger’s post that explains the decision not to hold private screenings, which the blogger said would “reduce the public pressure on MDA to revoke the ban -- if people can catch it at their school or at a friend’s place, they’ll be less invested in making sure it’s available to the public.”

Singapore is the envy of some autocratic countries because it successfully combined iron-fisted rule with economic growth, which has enabled living standards that are among the world’s highest. GDP per capita is $55,183 in this city-state of 5.4 million people. As a highly educated population, Singaporeans are far from brainwashed. Rather, some accept censorship as part of the trade-off in a social contract that promises stability and prosperity.

“There’s a saying in Singapore,” Shane Teng, a data analyst, said half-jokingly. “We are all busy making money. For people concerned with civil rights, they must have a lot of free time.”

Taking a late afternoon break downtown in the Marina Bay Financial Center courtyard, where many bankers gather for a smoke, Teng said he’s interested in watching “To Singapore, with Love,” but not enough to ruffle any feathers. “Most of us are pretty content with what we have,” he said.

The Media Development Authority seemed to go into painstaking detail when explaining its ban, rebutting specific criticisms that political exiles made in the film and saying they white-wash their crimes. The authority said the film contents undermine national security because legitimate actions of the security agencies are depicted in a distorted way.

The censor added that the exiles are free to “return to Singapore if they agree to be interviewed by the authorities on their past activities to resolve their cases. Criminal offenses will have to be accounted for in accordance with the law.”

Yale-NUS declined an interview request but emailed a statement saying it will not show the award-winning documentary until Ms. Pin Pin permits.

“We respect her decision and hope to have the opportunity to share the film with our students when it becomes available for such viewing,” the public affairs director, Fiona Soh, said in the email.

The title, “To Singapore, with Love,” refers to the fact that the film is shot entirely outside of the island nation and is intended as a missive back to Singapore. Whether this cinematic dispatch will ever officially reach its intended recipient is an open question.

Suspect in murder of Pearl
acquitted in Pakistani court

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A Pakistani terrorism court has acquitted a co-defendant in the 2002 beheading of U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl. The court freed Qari Hashim, citing a lack of evidence.

Police arrested Hashim in 2005 and jailed him in the southern city of Hyderabad.

Pearl was the South Asia bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal when he was kidnapped in Pakistan in 2002. A videotape of his murder was sent to Pakistani authorities, who later found his headless body in a shallow grave.

The ringleader of the captors, Omar Sheikh, was sentenced to death.  Three other suspects were given terms of life in prison. All have appealed.

Mandatory quarantines said
to discourage volunteerism

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A top U.S. medical official has warned that mandatory quarantines of health care workers returning from ebola-affected parts of West Africa could discourage people from volunteering in the region.

Anthony Fauci, the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN's "State of the Union" program Sunday that the best way to protect Americans is to stop the outbreak in Africa, and one of the best ways to do that is to help health workers who go there, rather than take measures that may disincentivise them from going.  

His comments follow new quarantine policies being imposed by three U.S. states.

New York, New Jersey and Illinois have imposed a mandatory three-week quarantine for anyone returning from West Africa who had exposure to ebola patients.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie defended his state's quarantine, calling it necessary to protect the public health of the people of New Jersey.

Meanwhile, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, landed in Conakry, Guinea, on Sunday to see first-hand how the global response is failing to stop the deadly spread of ebola in West Africa.

Ms. Power, who will also visit Liberia and Sierra Leone, said she hopes to gain a better understanding of which resources are missing so she can push other countries to offer more help.

The three West African countries are bearing the brunt of the worst outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever on record that the World Health Organization says has killed nearly 5,000 people.

Ms. Power told reporters on Saturday that the benefits of having first-hand knowledge of what is going on there far outweigh what she calls the "almost nonexistent risk."

A small number of cases have also been reported in Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Spain and the United States.

“We are not on track right now to bend the curve,” Ms. Power said. “I will take what I know and I learn and obviously provide it to President Obama, who's got world leaders now on speed dial on this issue.

“Hopefully the more specific we can be in terms of what the requirements are and what other countries could usefully do, the more resources we can attract,” she said.

According to the Africa Governance Initiative even if existing international commitments are met by December, there could be a shortage of over 6,000 beds across Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Nearly half of the beds currently planned in the three West African countries will lack the medical staff needed to support them, a study by former British prime minister Tony Blair's London-based development consultancy found.

The Africa Governance Initiative based its projections on the World Health Organization's worst-case scenario, which foresees 10,000 new cases per week in December.

“The international community badly misjudged the impact of the ebola epidemic in its first few months and is compounding that error by failing to act quickly enough now,” the Africa Governance Initiative chief executive, Nick Thompson, said.

He called upon more countries to follow the examples of the United States, Britain and Cuba, which have deployed military and medical personnel to the region to bolster efforts to stop the epidemic at its source.

Ms. Power will visit ebola coordination centers and meet with top government officials, U.S. health experts and military forces combating the disease.

In another development, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized the use of two new diagnostic developed tests by an American firm that can detect ebola in a blood or urine sample in about an hour, compared to the 24 to 48 hours required for current tests.

The agency has been working with the Utah-based Bio-Fire to obtain the necessary performance data to grant the emergency authorization.

Also Saturday, the United Nations flew one metric ton of emergency relief supplies to Mali after it reported its first Ebola death.

A 2-year-old girl from Guinea died Friday in Mali, where she had gone for treatment.

World Health said the girl arrived by bus and may have exposed others in Mali to the disease.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has ordered a mandatory 21-day quarantine for so-called high-risk people arriving in the midwestern American state from Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone.

The order covers anyone who had direct contact with an ebola patient.

Quinn said the protective measure is too important to be voluntary. The governor of New York also has ordered quarantines.

The 21-day period marks the ebola virus incubation period.

President Barack Obama urged Americans in his weekly Saturday radio address to be guided by the facts, not fear in the fight against ebola. He again reminded Americans how difficult it is to catch the disease. Someone has to come in direct contact with an infected patient's bodily fluids to contract ebola, researchers say.

Dilma Roussef prevails
in Brazil's presidential vote

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has been re-elected to a second term to lead the world's fifth-most populous nation.

With 98 percent of the vote counted, Ms. Rousseff won 51.5 percent of the ballots over her opponent, center-right Sen. Aecio Neves.

The vote is widely seen as an endorsement of Ms. Rousseff's Workers' Party, which has held the presidency since 2003.

The party is credited with expanding social welfare programs and lifting millions out of poverty to the middle class.

However, Ms. Rousseff's last four years in office have been marked by poor economic growth and recession. She has also faced massive anti-corruption protests and criticism over spending on the World Cup.

Brazilians have largely shrugged off the acrimonious finger pointing and corruption allegations that characterized the most competitive campaign in decades, dividing instead between those who feel better off than they did before Ms. Rousseff's party took office and those who believe the country is stuck in a rut.

“We're tired after 12 years ... we need a change, we need better education and basic health care,” said Tiago Nunes, a 32-year-old doctor in Sao Paulo who was voting for Neves.

Electronic polls opened without incident from remote farming communities in the vast interior to coastal towns in the historically poor northeast. More than 140 million people are registered to vote in Brazil and casting a ballot is mandatory for everyone between the ages of 18 and 70.

Ms. Rousseff voted early in the southern city of Porto Alegre, where she lived and rose in the state bureaucracy in the 1990s. She has promised to deepen flagship welfare programs and to seek to restore growth with a new economic team.

Neves also promised to keep the popular social benefits while adopting more market-friendly fiscal measures to rein in public spending, take a tougher stance against inflation and give the central bank more autonomy to set monetary policy.

The choice takes Brazil back to a clash between classes in a country still riven by inequality.

The final two opinion polls before Sunday's vote showed Ms. Rousseff as a slight favorite, with one putting her in front by 6 percentage points. But one showed Neves pulling ahead in Minas Gerais, the state he governed for two terms and a bellwether every victorious presidential candidate has won since Brazil's full return to democracy in 1989.

Pollsters faced widespread criticism for failing to pinpoint Neves' strong showing in the first round of voting on Oct. 5, when he surged from a distant third place to clinch second.

If the vote were about the economy alone, Ms. Rousseff would have a hard time winning.

As demand for Brazil's vast natural resources cooled in recent years, her administration has been unable to revive growth. That has strained a government model that relied on soaring tax revenues to fuel social programs and pump subsidized credit through state lenders, juicing a consumer boom.

The economy, which fell into recession in the first half of the year, has grown by less than 2 percent annually on Ms. Rousseff's watch. Investment has sagged and inflation, a chronic problem in Brazil's pre-boom past, is running just over the government's official tolerance limit of 6.5 percent.

Although unemployment remains at historic lows, economists see few bright spots on the horizon.

“Regardless who wins, the economic model in Brazil is exhausted and needs real change to grow again,” said Luis Otavio Leal, an economist at Banco ABC Brasil in Sao Paulo.

Meanwhile, persistent corruption scandals have led to criticism from many that the ruling party has turned a blind eye to the pillaging of public coffers.

An ongoing probe over kickbacks by contractors at the state-run oil giant Petrobras has hurt Ms. Rousseff's reputation as a competent manager because she once chaired the company's board and as president appoints senior executives.

In a televised debate against Ms. Rousseff on Friday, Neves said Brazilians could end corruption with one measure: “Pull the Workers' Party from government.”

Still, the plea is likely to fall on deaf ears among many of the roughly 40 percent of the electorate who credit the Workers' Party with helping them lead more prosperous lives. The party's aggressive campaign team has cast most criticism as the deceitful propaganda of a power-hungry elite.

“No other party is going to work on behalf of people like us,” said Sergio Calazans, a 42-year-old fruit vendor in the Rio de Janeiro slum of PavIao-PavIaozinho. “Sure there are mistakes, but who doesn't make a mistake?”

The political standoff is on display on the hillside upon which the slum sits. Red and black campaign propaganda of the Workers' Party gave way to blue-and-yellow signs, flags, and stickers for the opposition along wealthier streets below.

The race has given an oversized role to a longstanding rivalry between Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Rousseff's popular predecessor and mentor, and former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Neves' Brazilian Social Democracy Party, which held power from 1995 to 2002.

Lula made three predictions involving soccer and politics on Saturday. Two proved wrong after Barcelona lost to Real Madrid and his beloved Corinthians team tied with Palmeiras in Brazil.

Soldiers take the honors
in U.S. Marine marathon

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Marine Corps held its 39th annual marathon in the Washington, D.C., area Sunday.

About 30,000 runners started the race in Arlington, Virginia, and ended the 26.2-mile run at the Marine Corps War Memorial near Rosslyn, Virginia.

In the men’s division, Samuel Kosgei, 30, of Junction City, Kansas, won with the time of 2:22.11, maintaining a pace of 5:25 per mile, according to the Marine Corps Marathon Web site.

In the women’s division, Meghan Curran, 28, of Moorestown, New Jersey, won with a time of 2:51.47, maintaining a pace of 6:33 per mile.

Kosgei is a specialist in the U.S. Army, and Curran is a captain in the U.S. Army, according to media reports.

The course of the marathon, one of the largest marathons in the United State, covers the National Mall between the historic Lincoln Memorial and U.S. Capitol, passing many iconic landmarks, including the Washington Monument and the Smithsonians.

Race organizers said runners represented 59 countries and each branch of the U.S. armed forces. Runners enjoyed clear skies and temperatures near 20 degree C. during the race.
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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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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
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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!
  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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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, Monday, Oct. 27, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 212
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News from the BBC up to the minute

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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Weeds can provide a bit of therapy

For the last few hours, I have been doing a job that I have never heard anyone profess to enjoy.  Yes, I was weeding the garden.

Weeds are pernicious, evil, malicious, insidious, destructive things

Victoria torley
 (too much?).  Since they don’t have to produce — except their own nasty seeds or runners — they can put all their energy into a developing a destructive force greater than that of the Death Star.

Okay that was over the top a bit, but I bet you have all felt the same way.  I know of only one good thing about weeds.  When you are
angry or upset, you can go out, grab a weed by its scrawny neck, yank it right out of the ground, shake it into submission, scream at it (vile curses work for me), call it by name (and by that I mean the name of your husband, wife, boss, you get the idea), and throw it far, far away!!   Ahhhhhh.  Wasn’t that a relief? And don’t you feel better?  Sometimes it takes more than one or two weeds.  There are times when I have treated myself to an entire section of my garden before the smile returned to my face.  But it helps. 

Today’s weeding expedition was in the portulaca bed.  Portulaca are particularly difficult because they are tender stemmed and they start at a central point and spread outward.  As you pull weeds, it is easy to disturb shallow roots.  If weed seeds have gotten in close to the central point, you need to pull the portulaca shoots gently apart and wiggle the weed so that the roots let go without damaging flower roots.  I much prefer weeding around my lilies and roses.  It’s so much easier to see what I am doing.  On the other hand, if I weeded my portulaca more often…..okay, I should probably do that. 

I have a lot of gardens, and most of them are relatively small.  The rose garden is about 3 square meters (about 32 square feet) and other gardens are larger or smaller.  There was a time when I had one big garden 6 x 23 meters (20 x 75 feet) or a total of 139 square meters (1,500 square feet).  That is a big garden, and I never got finished with the weeding.   This was very frustrating because I was never actually done.  Nothing was ever finished.   Now there are a lot of small gardens, and I can come in and say, with finality, “I weeded the garden.”  There is a sense of accomplishment about finishing a job you started.  And there is a sense of relief because that garden will not have to be weeded again for another week.  Today, I weeded the portulaca garden and had enough energy left over to weed a second small garden. 

I’ll drink to that!

Plant of the Day

Crepe ginger (Costus speciosus) is an upright plant that can grow to 3 meters (10 feet).  Leaves are spiral along the stem, and flowers bloom from a cone-shaped bract at the end of the stem.  You should plant crepe ginger in moist, well drained soil where it will receive at
A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torley
least 6 hours of sun daily.  The plant is virtually pest-free and I haven’t seen leaf-cutters on mine, so there is hope.

If you would like to suggest a topic for this column, simply send a letter to the editor.  And, for more garden tips, visit the Arenal Gardeners Facebook page.

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From Page 7:

A favorite Gringo holiday comes early

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Halloween came a week early Friday as Gringo bars in downtown San José jumped the gun.

The Hotel and Casino Del Rey and its nearby Key Largo had announced that it would celebrate Halloween both last weekend and next. The Sportsmen's Lodge a couple of blocks away was not to be outdone and decked its halls with scary figures.

Waitresses and bartenders at the Del Rey each spent about an hour under the care of a professional makeup artist to get that ghoulie look.

Meanwhile, at the adjacent Casino Club Colonial, the day was more like Christmas for the patrons who were winning millions of colons at a post anniversary raffle.

Halloween is a time to tap into that alter ego and dress as an extension of personality. In addition to the staff at the various Gringo bars, Patrons, usually female, push the limits on unconventional dress.

The Bar Poás also celebrated with a DJ to keep the Latin beat going.

The downtown is expected to be one big party again Friday and Saturday with similar celebrations.