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(506) 2223-1327                                 Published Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Vol. 16, No. 213                                    Email us
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New sex tourism proposal to be launched today
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The tourism institute and a foundation plan to launch a project today on the theory that foreign visitors are exploiting minors for commercial sex.

The foundation is Fundación Paniamor, which is best known for hanging banners addressing the topic at Juan Santamaría airport.

Ana Helena Chacón, the second vice president, is participating along with the  Instituto Costarricense de Turismo in what is being called Unforgettable Costa Rica. That phrase is hardly unique because travel agencies and hotels have used it in their promotions that have nothing to do with sex tourism.

The session today is described as a reminder of the public and private alliance against sex exploitation.

The Fundación Paniamor always has promoted the idea that foreign tourists come to Costa Rica to exploit underage children. That theory is not born out by the record. There have been no recent arrests here.

The United States enforces a law that prohibits its citizens from engaging in such activities overseas. There have been convictions in U.S. courts, but the venues have been exclusively Asian countries.

A U.S. judge sentenced a California man who admitting engaging a 16-year-old girl as a prostitute. That was Tuesday, but the case involved a California runaway.

Although there have been no recent cases of

 underage prostitution here, Vice President Chacón did note in a recent television interview that there are 14,000 adolescent mothers in Costa Rica each year. None appears to have risen to the level of a criminal case.

The age of consent for consensual sex in Costa Rica is 15. Prostitution is legal if the prostitute is 18 or older.

The video broadcast Sept. 27 of the Cadena Nacional featured a Carrillo, Guanacaste, 
woman, Hazel Arias, who told her story of giving birth at 14 and trying to raise her son Santiago. In addition to the vice president the video featured Mercedes Peñas, the wife of President Luis Guillermo Solís.

The video said that more than 90 percent of the men involved in early pregnancies are twice the age of the girls who became pregnant and have much more experience.

Although the pregnancy of  Ms. Arias was the result of a crime, there was no mention of legal action.

Some foundations here obtain grants by promoting the idea of sex exploitation by foreign tourists.

Among the most notorious case of underage sex was a court case in 2011 where a mother was accused of repeatedly prostituting her daughters 7 and 10 to a male acquaintance. That case pointed out the reality that sex exploitation of the young usually does not involve tourists.

Credit legislation boosts doing business ranking
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Government officials are cheering the improvement from 79 to 58 in the World Bank's annual assessment of business atmosphere here and in 188 others countries.

The World Bank uses 11 major categories to assess an economy and how business in it fares. The Costa Rica improvement was primarily in a change from a ranking of  90  to 7 in the ability of a company to obtain credit.  Other improvements were in the availability of electricity and the costs from 39 to 23 as well as the payment of taxes that changed from 119 to 80.

Said the World bank: Costa Rica improved access to credit information by guaranteeing borrowers’ right to inspect their personal data and adopting a new secured transactions law that establishes a functional secured transactions system and a modern, centralized, notice.

Regarding taxes, the World Bank said that "Costa Rica made paying taxes easier for companies by implementing an electronic system for filing corporate income tax and VAT." At this time Costa 
Rica does not have a value-added tax or VAT even though the central government is seeking such a system.

And the electronic system is several years old.

The rest of the indicators were ranked about the same, although the cost and effort in starting a business declined from 116 to 121 and the cost of getting a construction permit declined from 46 to 49.

The World Bank assessments were specified. For example the electricity index measured the cost of connecting a medium-sized warehouse in San José to the electrical lines, counting installation costs. The full report is HERE!

Costa Rica, Uganda, Kenya, Cyprus, Mauritania, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Jamaica, Senegal and Benin are among the economies that improved the most in areas tracked by Doing Business, said the World Bank.

Together, these 10 top improvers implemented 39 regulatory reforms making it easier to do business, it added. The data for the report was as of June.

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A.M. Costa Rica's
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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 213
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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


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Valdivieco header
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Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo            
This is a home that was raided in la Rivera de Belén in Heredia

Crack ring leader said to be prison inmate

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Police raids Tuesday in Los Guido de Desamparados led to the arrest of persons suspected of being major crack cocaine distributors and
the closing of points of sale in the Central Valley.

The leader of the organization was identified as a man who now is in prison for drug trafficking, said the Policía de Control de Drogas. The man is accused of running the operation with the aid of his female companion and the second person in charge.

Police said that the raids Tuesday also resulted in breaking up two other drug rings. One was in Desamparados and the other was in Paso Ancho, they said.

Police provided a list of some 21 persons who had been detained since the first of the year.  They said that these arrests led to the sweeping series of raids Tuesday.

In addition to 10 raids in Desamparados raids were in Santo Domingo, la Rivera de Belén in Heredia, Tres Ríos de Cartago and in Coyol de Alajuela, according to the anti-drug police.

Proposed law mandates affirmative action

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A new bill would require public companies to adopt an affirmative action plan to benefit women and also have at least two independent members on its board of directors.

The measure, No. 19688, involves those large companies that are subject to supervision by the Superintendencia General de Valores.

The bill also would require that the board of directors contains at least two independent members.

The sponsor, Maureen Clarke Clarke of the Partido Liberación Nacional, described the bill in a meeting Tuesday with the business chamber, the Unión Costarricense de Cámaras y Asociaciones del Sector Empresarial Privado.

The objective of the bill is to use the corporate code to promote aspects that guarantee the participation of women in the private sector and in the internal decision-making process, said Legislator Clarke in a release.

The bill cites a handful of local laws and an international agreement that promotes the cause of women.

Intense rains batter much of country

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Heavy rains lashed the country Tuesday afternoon. Low areas were flooded, and more than 110 vehicle accidents took place in the Central Valley.

The Cruz Roja and the Cuerpo de Bomberos were called out in San José to rescue individuals caught in the deluge.

The Instituto Meteorological Nacional said that up to 10 centimeters or about 4 inches of rain fell in some places in three to six hours. In San José, the amount was estimated at 7.5 centimeter or about three inches.

One death was reported in Naranjo of a woman caught in a flooded structure. Another death was in the southern part of the country.

Rescue workers assisted an elderly woman in Barrio Lujan, San José, who said she had to escape her flooding home by smashing out a window and crawling to a neighbor's roof.

Others were caught when drivers tried to brave the rising waters.

The areas most affected were in Barrio Lujan, San José, near the Dos Pinos facility, the southern part of Los Yoses, Calle Blancos and parts of San Pedro. A number of vehicles were flooded in a Dos Pinos parking lot.

As expected the rain began to diminish in the Central Valley at mid-evening.

The weather institute also said that heavy rains hit the Pacific coast, the mountains of the Caribbean and the northern zone.

In San José those who were affected blamed blocked storm sewers, but some rivers ran outside their banks, too.

The weather institute predicts that the dry season will arrive in the Central Valley within a week.

Even adults are seeking scary dress

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The annual ghoulish celebration of Halloween happens this Saturday. In the United States, children have fun dressing up in scary and funny costumes and trick or treat to get candy. Costumes used to be simple and often home-made, like a sheet for a ghost or a hat and a broom for a witch, but today, they are a huge industry with lots of choices.

There are scary masks, mustaches, funny hats and costumes galore at Total Fright, one of the biggest Halloween stores in the Washington, D.C., area.

“I’m going to knock on the door, and then hide, and I’m going to scare them, then they’ll drop their candy and I can get it,” said Robinson Andino, a 9-year-old trick or treater.

But Halloween isn’t just for kids anymore, said Lorenzo Caltagirone, the owner of Total Fright.

“Adults get together and families get together,” he said.

The biggest trend this year are nostalgia costumes, superheroes from decades-old comic books and TV and movies, like Batman.

“A lot of costumes are coming from movies or inspired by movies,” noted Caltagirone.

Star Wars costumes are a favorite especially since a new chapter in the series is coming out in December.

“Star Wars has always been popular over the decades, and one of the number one villain to dress up for Halloween is Darth Vader,” Caltagirone added.

And during this political season in the U.S., it's not surprising that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump masks are in demand. 

“Clinton is one of our top sellers right now and Donald Trump, we already sold out of  Donald Trump masks.  Also what’s very popular is the Obama presidential mask.  We also have a pumpkin Obama,” said Caltagirone.

French college student Raed Bokhari is going to be a zombie for his first Halloween in the U.S..

“People are scared of them even though they aren’t real.  The thing that makes them scary is that they have a thirst for blood than any creature that has ever been in the movies,” said Bokhari.

And it’s not just boys who want to look frightening.

“We see a growing trend that even young girls wanting to be scary,” said Caltagirone.

News for the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 213
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Graphic shows a proposed train overpass with the Autopista General Cañas below. The highway is expected to be expanded to four lanes in each direction before any train project is completed.

train overpass
Tecnológico de Costa Rica rendering

Study outlines ways of connecting airport to valley train line
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A train stop at Juan Santamaría airport is a logical improvement, and students at Tecnológico de Costa Rica and a French university have outlined how this can be accomplished.

The feasibility study designates three locations where the airport line would intersect with the existing or planned valley line.

One is in Río Segundo, one is near Walmart near the airport and the third is near Hospital San Rafael in Alajuela.

The line to Alajuela is under construction and repair. The study compares the costs and advantages of each possibility.

The study was done with the approval of the Municipalidad de Alajuela , the airport concession holder Aeris, and the

 Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles, which runs the trains. The French university is Universidad Sciences Po Rennes.

French students Louis Gendrau and Pierre Audeguil were given credit for developing the study under the supervision of Tecnológico university professors Carlos Ugalde and Tomás Martínez.

The study suggests that a train connection would reduce the estimated 9,000 vehicles an hour that travel the General Cañas highway at peak times. Juan Santamaría handles 83 percent of the nation's air traffic each year. That is about 3.4 million based on 2014 figures, said the study.

 The plan suggests that the line might be in service by 2030. Opposition is sure to come from taxi drivers who charge $20 for the airport-San José run.

Three more gunned down in crimes that do not seem to be robberies
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Three persons died Monday night and early Tuesday in crimes that appear to have motives other than robbery. In one case, the victim and a companion were taken for the legendary ride. That was in Desamparados and involved a man agents identified by the last name of  Muñoz and a companion, identified by the last name of  Fuentes.

That was about 8:45 p.m. when the pair were ordered by gunmen to enter a car that headed to San Antonio de Desamparados. When the car reached a bridge between San Antonio and Dos Cercas, the men made a bid to escape, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

Muñoz, who was 25, suffered six bullet wounds and died at the scene. His companion, 22, suffered a bullet wound to the arm.

In Concepción Abajo de Alajuelita about 11:45 p.m. a 22-year-old man with the last name of  Céspedes was approached by a man on a motorcycle who shot him five times said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

Then about midnight, a taxi driver in Puerto Viejo de  Sarapiquí picked up a fare and was discovered dead in his vehicle three hours later. He was identified by the last name of  Reyes and was 54, said agents. They dismissed the motive for the crime as robbery because the victim's possessions were not taken.

One victim got away with his life. About 7 p.m. in  San Josecito de Alajuelita a 63-year-old man identified by the last name of Irias, was in his vehicle when a motorcylist approached.

The victim received one bullet wound in the cheek but survived, said agents.

A.M. Costa Rica proudly presents
four new members of our hotel directory:

Vista BAllena 102915


Hacienda Baru

Recreo Verde

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 213
Real Estate
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This may seem wacky, but reef fish in trouble try to draw more predators
By the ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies news staff

Researchers at James Cook University have found that fish release a chemical distress call when caught by predators, dramatically boosting their chances of survival.

Fish harbor a chemical substance in their skin that's released upon injury. It triggers fearful and escape behavior in nearby fish, but until now scientists hadn't identified the benefits to the sender.

"For decades scientists have debated the evolutionary origin of chemical alarm cues in fish," says study lead author, Oona Lönnstedt, now a research fellow at the University of Uppsala.

The researchers have now found the answer, discovering that the chemical cue attracts additional predators to the capture site.

"Chemical alarm cues in fish seem to function in a similar way to the distress calls emitted by many birds and mammals following capture," says study co-author Mark McCormick.

"When damselfish release their chemical alarm on a coral reef, lots of additional predators are attracted to the cue release area," says McCormick of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies.

"More predators would seem to mean more trouble, but we discovered that additional predators interfere with the initial predation event, allowing the prey a greater chance to escape."

The research team found the new predators would attempt to steal the prey, and in the ensuing commotion the captured damselfish had a greater chance to break free and hide.

"When caught by a predator, small damselfish have almost
damsel fish
ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies/Oona Lönnstedt
Damsel fish in their coral habitat.

no chance of escaping their fate as the predator's next meal. However, when another fish predator is attracted to the capture site, prey will escape about 40 percent of the time," says McCormick.

Dr. Lönnstedt says this proves that chemical alarm cues benefit the sender by giving it a much greater chance of not ending up as dinner.

"These findings are the first to demonstrate an evolutionary mechanism by which fish may benefit from the production and release of chemical alarm cues, and highlight the complex and important role chemical cues play in predator-prey interactions on coral reefs." Dr. Lönnstedt said.

"It all goes to show that coral reef fish have evolved quite a range of clever strategies for survival which are deployed when a threatening situation demands," she added.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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.

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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. lundquistgeorge@gmail.com


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          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 www.liveincostarica.com

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.

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

Need a book about Costa Rica?

Check out our special selections available at Amazon logo


A.M. Costa Rica
Real estate rentals
Real estate rental agents
Real estate for rent
Real estate wanted

Real estate rental services (paid category)

Fully Furnished American style Apartments for Rent
2-bedroom, 2- bathroom, fully furnished American-style apartments with elevator in a secure building in Barrio Amó. Cable, Internet, water included. Shared laundry. Convenient to Parque Morazán,
hotels, restaurants, casinos, city government, national registry. $600-$650 per month plus electricity. ½ month security deposit. No lease.  The larger apartments are $650 per month. They have larger bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens. It would be best for the prospective tenants to visit
Barrio Amon
the building to see the apartments.   For more information contact: edificiomorazan@gmail.com  or call Hilda at 2221-7161.

Beautiful Apartment

Lemur del Bosque
for Rent

San Francisco de Dos Ríos, 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. $450/month. Retired persons preferred. Call 8375-6838. Email: jorge.jorgejim@gmail.com.

Unfurnished 400-sq. ft. apartment, with modern kitchen, located on beautiful Junquillal Beach is waiting for you. Sea Turtles are common to this beach. Great area for surfing one of C.R.'s premier surf spots or boogie boarding. Close to a market, restaurants and more touristy areas - Playa Negra and Tamarindo, if you want shopping, etc. This area is a great community. If you are looking for a nice relaxing area, this is it. $500 month + electric, visit our Web page - plumitapacifica.com  - for more info, photos and to view a video. Or call (506) 5004-3473.

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
tropical homes
of Costa Rica.We are offering homes for every budget and every need. Please visit our Web page at www.tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or contact us at rentals@tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or call at (506) 2654-5442

The vacation homes at Manuel Antonio Estates offers luxury, comfort and peace of mind. We have numerous homes from 2 bedrooms to 8 bedrooms ocean view with private pool,  all within walking distance of the town’s shops and restaurants and just a few minutes to the best beaches and the famous Manuel Antonio national park. While the homes are secluded and hidden among the rainforest, the surrounding area offers adventures like zip lines, whitewater rafting, mangrove kayaking and many more. All of the homes are available for short-term rentals, Fully equipped, Pool, concierge,  parking, cable TV, and Internet. We are happy to assist with all your need for the perfect Costa Rican vacation, Call us for your family vacation package.
TOLL FREE: 1800 346=9724 or (506) 2777-3339     

Real estate for rent

house for rent
Beautiful fully furnished house for rent
2 bedrooms, 2 baths, fully furnished $800 + electric, includes cable TV, Wifi, Internet. Inside gated property close to town. Contact organicfarmhouserental@gmail.com.

Coco rental
For Rent: Terms negotiable (long term)
Available immediately. Rural, secure (24/7) gated community. 20 minutes from Playas del Coco and only 7 minutes. from Playa Matapalo (think RIU Hotel).  Two-story, 3-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath home with pool, carport, wifi and access to the community pool and workout center. $1,100 USD plus utilities. (Agents: flat fee)  Contact: Wanda R Dunn at 8337-0032 or 1-610-732-3204 from U.S. wandardunn1562@yahoo.com
DunnRight Property Management, Lomas del Mar

Oganic farm rental
2 bedroom, 1 bath, $700 includes electric, water, cable, Internet & WiFi. Fully furnished. Inside gated property close to town, Santa Bárbara de Heredia. No dogs please.

Spectacular rentals are available for low weekly prices on SellMyTimeshareNow.com at resorts such as Bahia Turquesa Residences and Villas Sol Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. We have 
1- to 3-bedroom ocean and garden view timeshares available and most offer air conditioning, cable TV, fully equipped kitchens, and relaxing hammocks on private balconies. Enjoy the unique combination of seclusion and convenience as all resorts listed on our site are close to popular Costa Rican attractions and downtown 
centers, but are surrounded in lush, tropical forest. Villas are also available for sale in our inventory, so you can enjoy yearly vacations to this mesmerizing rainforest paradise. Please visit our rental inventory HERE!  or call us toll free at 877-815-4227, International: 603-516-0200.  Email: info@sellmytimesharenow.com

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 foot 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 installed, Direct TV via sling box on Internet.  Rent per month $750 plus utilities with free internet.  Price for Sale $179,000   Contact Mike: mmpeace@hotmail.com  Check out slide show HERE!

Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2015 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
Manuel Antonio
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 213
Real Estate
About us

Lawmakers voice concern
over terrorist immigrants

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Some Republican lawmakers have expressed concern that terrorists posing as Syrian refugees could slip into the country.

“With more and more refugees seeking to reach Europe from Syria and its neighbors, there will be of course those seeking to take advantage,” Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said Tuesday at a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee meeting where lawmakers heard from U.S. immigration and aid officials. 

“If we cannot guarantee the vetting of these refugees, it would be irresponsible for us to promote it,” the Florida Republican said.

The immigration officials testified that the United States has the best possible security screening procedures in place to process the thousands of Syrian refugees waiting for resettlement.

They told lawmakers that the first step in the resettlement process is determining refugee status based on a legal definition of a well-founded fear of persecution. Then agencies seek to resettle the most vulnerable of refugees, including widows, orphaned children and the sick. All refugees undergo security screening before they are allowed into the United States.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican, questioned how the United States classifies refugees as part of its screening. He expressed concern that many would-be immigrants appeared to be young men, “military-age men who, if they are against radical Islam, should be fighting radical Islam.”

Anne Richard, assistant secretary of State for population, refugees and migration, told the subcommittee that about 2 percent of the Syrian refugees taken in by the United States last year were young men, many of whom had families and who “had terrible things done to them.”

“I think the reason they’re coming is because they’ve lost hope of getting an education or earning a living,” Richard said.

Leon Rodriguez, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said later that his agency compares the biographical information of refugees with various law enforcement and intelligence databases to check for terrorist and illegal activity. His officers train for eight days to gain knowledge of the situation on the ground in Syria that allows them to conduct security screening with refugees seeking resettlement in the United States, he said.

“There’s a lot of work that’s done by the State Department and by us in gathering information about country conditions so that we understand in great depth what’s going on in those countries from a military standpoint, from a social standpoint,” Rodriguez said.

International aid agencies have repeatedly pointed to resettlement as a leading solution to the migrant crisis and offered ways of easing the complicated and lengthy process.

“Already, refugees receive more scrutiny than other visitors to the U.S., so there are ways of speeding up those kinds of background checks by doing the work on the ground in the first place to identify those who are most vulnerable and presumably would pose the least amount of risk to the country,” said David Fray, vice president of advocacy for CARE International.

Earlier Tuesday, Antonio Guterres , U.N. high commissioner for refugees, downplayed security concerns, saying that if potential terrorists wanted to pose as refugees “to enter the United States, the more stupid thing would be to apply for resettlement.”

Half of all Syrians have been killed or displaced from their homes because of the conflict that began in 2011. The U.S. has contributed $4.5 billion in direct aid and through U.N. appeals to help address the Syrian humanitarian crisis. The U.S. Agency for International Development estimates that aid reaches 5 million Syrians each month.

Low-cost, forced tourism
gets a close eye in China

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

China’s tourism watchdog is mulling measures to tighten regulations for discount trips following the death of a Chinese tourist in Hong Kong.

China's National Tourism Administration has already tried imposing penalties on travel agents who organize forced shopping tours, but that has done little to curb the practice. Critics say putting tourists themselves in the crosshairs is likely to be a tough policy to enforce.

In an online statement Sunday, the tourist organization said it is studying relevant punishment measures for Chinese tourists who sign what it called fake contracts with travel agencies for bargain trips.

The fake contracts appear to comply with government regulations for low priced trips, which ban forced buying, but in reality tourists know they are getting a huge discount with the understanding that when they reach their destination they will make big purchases. Tour guides then get a commission from the stores where the tourists shop.

The regulator’s decision comes after 54-year-old mainland tourist Miao Chunqi was allegedly beaten up outside a jewelry store and died of a heart attack early last week in Hong Kong.

Miao was trying to mediate an argument between two of his fellow tour members and their tour guides after they refused to shop.

The 20-member tour group had been arranged by a Shenzhen-based travel agency.

Each of the tourists on the tour reportedly paid 300 yuan ($47) for a three-day tour and shopping marathon in Hong Kong.

“To some extent, crime has been committed in two areas. The first is that those people who sold discount trips below the cost, that is in China,” said Andrew Chan, an associate professor at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University's school of hotel and tourism management.

“The other behavior that can be considered crime is that people are being coerced to shop. This is where the money come from, over 60 percent of those goods sold go to the tour operators,” he added.

Tourism regulators in both Hong Kong and China have long had measures in place that prohibit dirt-cheap trips.

Chinese authorities have been threatening to revoke licenses or impose fines of up to 300,000 Chinese yuan ($47,300) on travel agencies that lure tourists with unreasonably low fees that are below the cost and later force them to shop in designated stores. But so far, the practice remains rampant even though free trips are banned in China.

The only area where authorities appear to be making some inroads is when tours are advertised online. In early March this year, two online travel agencies turiu.com and ly.com were ordered to cancel a promotional tour that cost participants only 1 Chinese yuan (16 U.S. cents).

Lilien Lian, managing director of Grand China Air Travel said that even if authorities approve the new regulations that target tourists, they will be hard to enforce.

It takes huge efforts and manpower to monitor such illegal practices and in places where there is no supervision, tour operators struggling with thin margins will still tend to take risks, she said.

However, Lily Zeng of Jiangxi Normal University’s school of tourism argues that, in free markets, no discount trips should be banned and shopping arrangements should be allowed as long as a prior consent from tourists is clearly stated in the contract.

“Some people pay for service with their time while others pay for service with their deep pockets,” Zeng said in an emailed reply. “Hence, it’s not fair to say discount trips are unreasonable.”

Brennan outraged at hacker
and also raps coverage

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services
CIA Director John Brennan said Tuesday he was outraged when a hacker broke into his personal email account but added the attack highlights how everyone's personal data is vulnerable on the Internet.

Brennan told a conference on national security at George Washington University in Washington that he was outraged by the publication of sensitive data.

“I was certainly outraged by it.  . . . I certainly was concerned about what people might try to do with that information," he said at the conference, which was co-sponsored by the CIA.

Brennan also faulted the media not only for its coverage of the incident, but also for suggesting impropriety or lax security on his part regarding the email account.

"Because of some things that were put out, the implication of the reporting was that I was doing something wrong or inappropriate or in violation of my security responsibility, which was not certainly the case," Brennan told those at the conference.

"Giving air to what is criminal activity and propagating information I think was inappropriate," he said about media coverage.

WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy Web site, began releasing documents from Brennan's private AOL account last week, days after a teenage hacker said he fooled telecommunications giant Verizon into providing him access to Brennan's account.

The information included email contact addresses, some of which were out of date, his wife's pension identification number, and the Social Security numbers and personal information of U.S. intelligence officials.

The case marked another instance of hacking involving the U.S. government or government officials, although it appeared to be of a much smaller and more primitive character than previous attacks, such as the massive breach of Office of Personnel Management computers in June.

It appears Brennan stopped using the account in 2008 when he rejoined the government after a period in private life.

Brennan said the incident should serve as an example for everyone of the growing vulnerabilities of the cyber world.

“I think it does epitomize … what we have to deal with in this increasingly modern and interconnected world. It’s a reality of the 21st century,” the CIA chief said.

Republican debate tonight
comes as polling gap closes

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The top 10 Republican presidential contenders hold their third debate tonight in Boulder, Colorado. The debate will be broadcast by CNBC, and the focus is expected to be on the top four candidates in the Republican field according to the latest national polls: real estate mogul Donald Trump, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Florida governor Jeb Bush.

Four recent polls in Iowa show Carson surging into a lead over Trump. And for the first time, Carson has taken a narrow lead over Trump in a new national survey. The latest New York Times/CBS News poll shows Carson with 26 percent among Republican primary voters with Trump in second place with 22 percent. It's the first time that Trump is not in the lead since the Times/CBS poll began ranking the candidates in late July.

The stakes seem especially critical for Bush who recently slashed campaign spending after slipping further behind in national polls and surveys in key early voting-states like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Bush was busy this past weekend trying to reassure wealthy campaign donors at a Houston retreat.

Wednesday’s prime-time debate will also feature former business executive Carly Fiorina, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

An earlier debate will also be held featuring four other contenders who did not make the top ten: Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former New York governor George Pataki and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. Former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore did not qualify for the earlier debate because he is below one percent in the polls.

The size of the Republican field is a major contrast with the Democratic race where only three contenders remain: former secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley. Two Democrats dropped out last week: former Virginia senator Jim Webb and former Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee.

Vice President Joe Biden also took himself out of the 2016 race, giving Mrs. Clinton a boost that has helped re-establish her as the clear Democratic frontrunner. Mrs. Clinton also helped herself with her strong appearance before the House Select Committee on Benghazi and a crisp debate performance the previous week.

In the Republican race, Trump has stepped up his attacks on Carson in recent days, accusing him of having super low energy in an interview with CNN. Carson responded on Fox that he didn’t want to get in the mud pit with Trump, but that may be harder to avoid in Wednesday’s debate. Trump told MSNBC Tuesday that he is willing to spend whatever it takes to win. He also said Carson will get more attention now and "we'll see how he holds up to the scrutiny."

Trump has not hesitated to go after rivals previously, targeting Bush, Rubio and Paul both in campaign speeches and in past debates. But there may be more of a risk for Trump attacking Carson, who is the best-liked of the Republican contenders, according to recent polls. A Bloomberg survey found 84 percent of Iowa Republicans viewed Carson favorably.

But Trump did well in a new Associated Press-Gfk poll where seven in 10 Republicans surveyed said Trump was the party’s strongest general election candidate, compared to six in 10 for Carson. Sixty percent also said Bush could win the general election while 54 percent said the same about Rubio.

Trump also got a boost recently when Politico reported that 81 percent of Republican insiders who they check with regularly believe that the odds of  Trump winning the nomination have grown measurably over the last two months.

Trump’s success continues to stir worry among members of the Republican establishment. Republican strategist Karl Rove, a key advisor to former President George W. Bush, wrote in the Wall Street Journal that Republicans may have to choose between a nominee who has a conservative agenda or one reflecting populist anger, presumably referring to Trump. Rove warned that conservative principles would provide a path to victory while populist outrage alone will end in defeat.

Real estate-related services (paid category)

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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

Rich Coast Rollover
Thinking of Buying a Vacation or Retirement Home
in Costa Rica?

Rich Coast Realty is a full-service real estate company with property listings in Escazú, Santa Ana, Jacó, Esterillos, Bejuco, Palo Seco, Manuel Antonio, and beyond. We offer efficient, personalized service always protecting our client’s interests. We work hard to find you the property of your dreams, and assist with legal advice, residency, starting corporations, opening bank accounts, etc. Contact us today with your questions about buying property in, and relocating to Costa Rica. With 11 years experience in Costa Rica real estate, we look forward to hearing from you.
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891

Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo
Photo montage of penthouse
Are you  tired of wasting time searching your home….. with no results?
If so, you should not miss this deal !!!

Special Offer

Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo

* Located on 6th floor.
* Elevator.
* Security 24/7.
* Pool, BBQ area.
* 2 underground
        parking,  cellar.

* 3 bedrooms.
* 2 bathrooms.
* 2 terraces.
* Luxuriously
* Negotiable price.

* Enjoy the view,  CLICK HERE
Mafi Real Estate: Houses, lots and farms in Costa Rica
If you do not find, what are you looking for, contact us
WE HAVE A NETWORK OF OVER 500 brokers across the country to get what you are looking for.
English Calls: Miguel Fiatt Sauma or Paule Ortiz
Phone/Fax.+506 2238-5029
Cel. +506 8399-7000
Email: mfiatt@mafirealestate.com 
Web Page: www.mafirealestate.com

Remax logo
Re/Max Ocean Surf and Sun:

The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 20 years experience and the largest networked team of agents in the country.  We can help you learn if investing in Costa Rica is right for you with our low-key, educational approach to sales. Our professional agents can tell you more about sCosta Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and commercial real estate.  Call us: Ocean Surf and Sun Int. Realty Ldta at 011 (506) 2653-0073 or send us an email at: info@remax-oceansurf-cr.com

Real estate for sale (paid category)

For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú
Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant.
Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning.
Easy to get liquor license. Low interest financing.
Toll free US phone 877-778-8515
In Costa Rica 8307-0164

Pacific Sur montagee

These 2 lots are in the Pacific southern zone,
Tres Rio/Coronado de Osa. 

Will give a great deal on one of these lots, only $29,990.  Both of these lots have water, phone lines, Internet accessibility, electricity, easy 3 kms. access to the Costanera.  2-wheel drive accessible.  Close to new hospital, beautiful beaches and county services.  Financing available.   Lote 234, This corner lote is excellently located in lower Tres Rios.  Has 2 well-sculptured lots for 2 houses or one for multiunit cabins.  Lote 236,  1 1/2 hectare.  Big lote for building a grand house, with a smaller plantel for a cabin.  Small ocean view with great sunsets.  Watch the videos for more information, Planos,  and details.   Email: escapetyranny2cr@gmail.com. CR phone   2786-5555. USA call  760-536-4717 YouTube link for more real estate deals. 

property montage
Lovely east coast property for sale
This is a huge property surrounded by beautiful tropical gardens. The house is about 85% built, but I will give you the property completely finished.  The whole land includes 7,886 m2 or 84,884 ft2 of forest and gardens in a mountain area of Cimarrones, Limón, east coast. Full house with large master bedroom plus bathroom. One extra guest bedroom. Large dining room. Large kitchen area. Another extra bathroom for guests. Large laundry room and two cellars (storage areas). The house has wide corridors where you will see a breathtaking view of large gardens and forest.  I am open to hear your offer. The full property and land price is $125,000. Call Harold Fonseca, Phone number (506) 8702-4217, Email: hfonseca24@gmail.com

Escazu villa
Escazú villa. spectacular 360 degree city and mountain views.
Enjoy the sunsets along with the sunrise

There are special properties, which are more than mere houses. Where you can appreciate moments where you build memories. Relaxing reading in the garden of 5000 sq. m. Places to enjoy moments with family or friends with large heated pool. Beautiful city views of San José with mountain view. Places, where you can enjoy the comforting warmth of the sun throughout the day with cool nights of living 1,300 meters up on your own Mountain Noel. You are away from all the noise of San José, yet you are only 15 minutes drive there. Costa Rica largest mall is also only 15-minutes drive away.
The main house four bedrooms with four bathrooms, large office with built-in wood cabinets, and beautiful hardwood ceilings throughout the whole house. The main house is 330 sq. m. For your guest, there is a self-contained apartment of 100 sq. m. consisting of two bedrooms and two baths. Nice layout with a living room and dining room and kitchen all have views. For being so near to the city and to have that much land is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The selling price is land value will throw in the house and the apartment. Price is $690,000. Contact jamescorreo@gmail.com.

Osa home
Costa Rica Tropical Paradise Beach House For Sale
Tropical 5-acre forested beachfront property with custom house and guest casita on the Osa Península, South Pacific Coast. Abundant wildlife, exotic plants and fruits, secluded beach.

Located 8 km south of Puerto Jiménez on the way to Matapalo and Corcovado National Park. Great Price $775,000. Contact: osaroger@gmail.com
Watch this video for full details.


Hill Villa Esterillos Oeste, Costa Rica
Property size: 3405.14 sq. mtrs or 37,000 sq. feet
Gorgeous house built 5 years ago to U.S. standards on 37,000 sq. ft TITLED property. This home (240 sq. mtrs or 2,600 sq. ft) has 360-degree ocean and mountain views and electric-gated private road access. The large open style home has soaring teak ceilings, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, custom cabinetry and ceramic tiles throughout and a doubled car electric garage door. There is also a beautiful large swimming pool surrounded by exotic garden, laundry room and bodega. This is a very special and rare property because of the INCREDIBLE VIEW and excellent location. This one of a kind home and property is truly a must to see. all custom built furniture included. Photo gallery click here: www.monalbum.fr/Album=E3GLBJQX    Contact Jack  Email: quadtours@yahoo.ca   Cell: (506) 8812-1789

Goetl in Palo Seco

Charming small oceanfront hotel for sale in Playa Palo Seco
Ideal oceanfront location with back up to a mangrove estuary. The
charming small hotel has a fully equipped kitchen, bar and restaurant and is exceptionnally well maintained. Located on a very private beach of the central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica 35 minutes north of Quepos-Manuel Antonio and 45 minutes south of  Playa Jacó. The main building is a two-storey house with 12 bedrooms. The lot measures 3,054 M2. Beautiful gardens around the large pool and exceptional flora and fauna. Well mentioned in tourist guides like Lonely Planet and Guide Ulysse. Offered at $999,000. USD
e-mail:  marietta234@yahoo.es 
or call (506) 8707-1037  (506) 2778-8408
Web   http://mariettedaignault.point2agent.com

Big House for Sale in Playa Grande,
Santa Cruz, Guanacaste
834.62 square meters property with 326 square meters construction. Two-storey house with front porch, entry lobby, living room, dinning room, large kitchen, breakfast room, large cupboard, 3 ½ bathrooms, 3 large bedrooms, the main bedroom includes jacuzzi and balcony. Playground, office, laundry area, garage for two cars, own and municipal potable water supply, electricity service, cable TV system, A/C. Located 700 meters from Las Colinas Golf Course, near the airport, Tamarindo Beach and the best beaches of the country. Excellent construction and great details. Price $349,000. 2,866.33 square meters building lot with three terraces. Price $75,000. For more information, please contact us:
Email stanleystephendorn@yahoo.com Phone (506) 2653-6417.
Cell (506) 8825-8942 / (506) 8916-0734.

private ranch home
Small private ranch for sale
This exceptional private ranch sits on a 9+ hectare lot and supports 15-20 horses. Only 2 hours south of San José, on the road to Puriscal. Roomy stalls all with drains, water hookup, lights and fans, grooming and shoeing área. Two-story house all furnished and cowboy house. Don't miss your chance on that turnkey operation.  Offered at $749,000.
E-mail:  marietta234@yahoo.es  or call (506) 8707-1037 
(506) 2778-8408 Web:   http://mariettedaignault.point2agent.com

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 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: mmpeace@hotmail.com   Check out slide show HERE!

A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

A beautiful American style suburban home, 2,700 sq ft of living space with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, front and rear living rooms, laundry area, kitchen and small attached library nook, arched windows and doors and connected hallways, exotic wood interior ceilings and trim, tile floors thru-out.  The lot is 835 m2 with mature landscape and orchid nurseries surrounding the house. There is an enclosed workshop and BBQ area in the back yard with lots of storage under roof, plus a nursery for an herb/vegetable garden.  This is a very well-kept property with many upgrades, a private feel but yet only 5 minutes from the center of town.  Pérez Zeledón is the commercial hub of the southern zone and considered to be one of the best places to live in all of Costa Rica, the perfect size town, not too big and not too small.  The beach is 45 minutes to the west and a short drive to the cool mountains is to the east. In between, this large valley has a moderate climate.  Pérez has plenty of modern goods and services, an excellent farmers market, private schools, private doctors and clinics, all you need without having to go to the crazy madness of San José.    Just reduced to $199,000.  Call  Jeff: 8824-8113 or 8725-8176.  Email:  angelsdad@me.com

Aerial Ocean and Volcano Views with Boutique Coffee! 33 Acres $380,000. Click HERE!

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Business for sale or lease (paid category)
Live the dream!
Several profitable businesses, including a regional radio station, are for sale in Costa Rica. Certain purchases can provide the new owner with residency as well as a great lifestyle. So live your dream while making a profit. Contact: manager@crbusiness.biz.

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Some of our other titles:
A.M. Panama
A.M. Colombia
A.M. Guatemala
A.M. Honduras
A.M. Cuba
A.M. Nicaragua
A.M. Venezuela
A.M. Central America
Dominican Republic

A.M. Ecuador A.M. El Salvador
A.M. Bolivia

Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2015 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 213
Real Estate
About us

News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
U.N. Cuba embargo vote called unhelpful

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A vote by the U.N. urging the United States to lift its economic embargo against Cuba will not help move things forward, U.S. Ambassador Ron Godard said.

The international community voted nearly unanimously Tuesday for an end to the 50-year-old economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba.

One hundred ninety-one members of the U.N. General Assembly called for Washington to end the measures put in place during the height of the Cold War. Only the U.S. and Israel voted against it.

This was the strongest support the world body has expressed for ending the embargo in the 24 consecutive years it has taken up the issue.

"We find it unfortunate that despite our demonstrated bilateral progress, the Cuban government has chosen to introduce a resolution that is nearly identical to those tabled in years past," Godard said afterward. "Nevertheless, the United States will not be bound by a history of mistrust."

But Cuba’s foreign minister, Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, urged the United States to lift the embargo, saying it was in the U.S. national interest.

“We share the hope that the Congress of the United States would move on to change an inefficient, cruel and unjust policy, anchored in the past, and adopt decisions based on the values and feelings of its citizens,” he said.

Godard told the assembly that fully normalizing relations between the U.S. and Cuba could not be done overnight. It "will require years of persistence and dedication on both sides.”

He said that since December, when diplomatic relations with Cuba were restored, the United States has implemented a range of “historic” measures designed to begin normalizing bilateral relations.

U.S. and Cuban officials have met in Havana to set a broad agenda for cooperation, he said, adding that those talks have spanned law enforcement, drug trafficking, human rights and climate change.

“By the end of the year,” Godard said, “we hope to announce several concrete accomplishments that will benefit both our peoples.”

The U.S. came in for robust criticism from leaders of regional blocs in the General Assembly.

“It is the most unjust, severe, and longest lasting system of unilateral sanctions ever applied to any country,” said South African Ambassador Kingsley Mamabolo, speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 developing countries and China.

“In our opinion, the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on Cuba is contrary to the letter, the spirit, principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter and international law,” said Ambassador Diego Morejon, representing the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.

Iran’s ambassador, Gholam Ali Khoshroo, speaking on behalf of the non-aligned movement, said the embargo continued to hurt the Cuban people.

“It affects all crucial sectors of the economy, such as public health, nutrition and agriculture, as well as banking, trade, investment and tourism,” he said.

The European Union representative, Luxembourg Ambassador Sylvie Lucas, welcomed the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Washington and Havana, but noted that under the new circumstances, the embargo had become even more of an anachronism.

Last December, President Barack Obama ordered full restoration of diplomatic relations with the island nation. He also eased some travel restrictions, but only Congress can lift the 56-year-old embargo.

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From Page 7:

Budget pact seen as job boost in U.S.

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

White House economic officials say a tentative budget agreement with Congress could boost job creation by 340,000 workers next year and even more in the future.

Jason Furman, chaiman of the Council of Economic Advisers, writes the two-year bi-partisan budget agreement "reduces the recent policy uncertainty that weighed on economic growth."

The deal follows weeks of negotiations and averts the economic consequences that could come from the threats of default on government debt or a partial shutdown of government operations.

The deal comes as top officials of the U.S. central bank are meeting in Washington to consider how soon and how much to raise the key interest rate.

Federal Reserve officials are scheduled to announce their decision today. Many economists say faltering U.S. economic growth and low inflation make it unlikely the Fed will raise rates now.

Raising interest rates would boost the value of the already strong U.S. dollar. That makes U.S.-produced goods more expensive and hurts exports, and the economic boost they provide. U.S. exports are already being hurt by slowing growth in many foreign markets.

Some economic reports published Tuesday were disappointing, including a measure of business investment that fell four-tenths of a percent in September. Less investment in long lasting manufactured goods makes future economic growth less likely. Wells Fargo economic analysts called the report on the factory sector a dud.

A separate study of consumer confidence also dropped slightly, perhaps because of a recent slowdown in job creation. Economists watch consumer confidence closely because consumer demand drives most U.S. economic activity.

One bright spot in the flurry of economic data came in the housing sector, where prices rose at a steady pace in August from a year earlier. Severe problems in the housing industry were a key reason for the financial crisis, and economists watch the sector closely.