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(506) 2223-1327                                Published Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 214                       Email us
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Officials report breaches of judicial data security
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

When it was passed in July 2009, the  Plataforma de Investigación Policial was seen as a great crime-fighting tool. All the police agencies would have access to a single data base that would include information about individuals culled from the public record and the computers systems of other agencies.

The information would be as detailed to include what municipalities have on their citizens.

This was the same law that made police wiretapping easier and assessed prison as a penalty for wearing a police uniform when committing a crime.

The project did not work out as planned because technicians found that a lot of governmental and other agencies did not want to cooperate freely.

Officials were planning to propose new legislation that would give them guaranteed access.

Police officials at the time said that the public should not have fears about this new system, despite the Big Brother characteristics. The system would be controlled tightly with levels of access, they said. The law even says that the penalty for illegally using the system is from two to eight years in prison.

Well, the tip of the iceberg surfaced Tuesday when the Poder Judicial reported that four prosecutors and 24 judicial agents are suspected of illegally accessing the files of  Keylor Navas,
the goalkeeper on the national soccer team.

Jorge Chavarría Guzmán, the fiscal general or chief prosecutor, was reported to have ordered a disciplinary investigation by the  Inspección Fiscal last week against three persons. The data snatching includes Navas and some relatives, the Poder Judicial said.
The judiciary reported later Tuesday that  Zarela Villanueva, the president of the Corte Suprema de Justicia, is asking for a report from officials after the Judicial Investigating Organization said that 24 of its agents had done the same thing.

She was quoted as saying the actions were very grave, completely unacceptable and without any justification when someone is not a suspect in a crime.  At the same time, the judiciary said there were 51 separate searches involving the soccer player. This happened during July and August. The World Cup for soccer was held in Brazil in mid-July, and Navas was a star.

The court president also was quoted as calling for a disciplinary investigation instead of a criminal one.

The spying on the soccer player is the latest in cases involving secret judicial data bases. A private investigator has begun a campaign to again make public the identities of individuals involved in court cases. He reported that his workers had been approached by individuals who wanted to sell access.

chopping wood
Municipalidad de Nicoya photo
They really do chop wood as part of the celebration, as shown in this file photo.
Boyeros provide the muscle for Nicoya festival
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A festival that has its roots in at least the 17th century begins slowly Saturday in Nicoya.

Saturday is the  Contadera de Días in which in Colonial times residents would use kernels of dried corn to mark the days until the big celebration Dec. 12. That will be the Festejos de la Virgen de Guadalupe 2014.

But a week later, Nov. 8, is the time to chop wood for the celebration. This is the Pica e´ leña that begins with a gathering of an expected 40 or more boyeros or oxcart drivers and their animals at the  Cofradía or casa de la Virgen de Guadalupe in  Nicoya. They gather at 3 a.m., cook breakfast,
usually pozol and tortillas washed down with coffee.

Then they begin a trip of some three kilometers to the property of the  Enema family in Casitas. This is a tradition of at least some 450 years.

The idea is to chop wood (pica e´ leña) for the festival the following month.

These runups to the festival are less known than the Dec. 11 and 12 celebration, when the Virgin will be honored with the  Baile de la Yegüita, based on the tale that a horse once broke up a machete fight between two brothers.

The festival and the wood cutting almost certainly has its roots in pre-Columbian societies.

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

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Rice growers have to live with imports

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Rice growers will get no special protection from the government this month.

The Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio said Tuesday that it would not impose restrictions on imports.

Rice growers have complained that imports threaten to damage the national industry.

The ministry said that it is doing a study to see what the impact on rice has been. That study is expected to be done in a month, so the ministry said that this is a short period to impose restrictions.

Rice is a protected commodity in Costa Rica, and rice growers have used their political weight to get subsidies from the government. Of course this has an impact on the price of rice that shoppers have to pay.

The ministry plans a public hearing next week.

Obama is key figure in Tuesday vote

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama’s name will not appear on ballots across the country next Tuesday but Republicans have done a pretty good job of convincing voters otherwise.

Americans head to the polls Tuesday to elect a new Congress, and how the elections turn out will have a major impact on President Obama’s final two years in office.  And the way the polls look right now, the president should prepare for an even more difficult last two years in office if Republicans are able to capitalize on the sour public mood and retake a majority in the Senate as well as bolster their majority in the House of Representatives.

In one sense, the 2014 midterm election is Barack Obama’s final campaign, one last chance to win over voters and help Democrats hold their majority in the Senate.  And surprisingly the president has not been shy about acknowledging that his policies are subject to public scrutiny.

“Now, I am not on the ballot this fall,” he said in a recent speech in Illinois. “Michelle  is pretty happy about that.  But make no mistake.  These policies are on the ballot, every single one of them.”

That was music to the ears of many Republicans across the country including North Carolina Senate candidate Thom Tillis, who is in a tight race with incumbent Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan.

“If you want the same failed policies of President Obama, you’d vote for Kay Hagan,” Tillis said.

Sen. Hagan, like so many Democrats in swing states and states that lean Republican, has been forced to run away from the president and his policies.

“Speaker Tillis wants to make this race about the president,” Sen. Hagan said. “This race is about who is going to represent North Carolina.”

The Republican effort to put President Obama front and center in this year’s election has already paid dividends, said American Enterprise Institute political scholar Norm Ornstein.

“You have individual candidates who have some serious weaknesses and the best way to go around that is to nationalize an election at a time when people are unhappy and believing that things are out of control and the government’s not working and the president is not competent,” he said.

President Obama’s dismal public approval ratings, some of the lowest of his presidency, have caused many Democrats to keep a distance.

Frank Newport of the Gallup Polling organization said the public is down about the president’s handling of the economy and foreign policy, especially with the rise of the Islamic State group in the Middle East.

“Just about a quarter of Americans say they are satisfied with the way things are going in the United States and that is low,” Newport said. “You can do the math and that means about three-quarters of Americans are not satisfied, so I would say the mood in general is not great.”

Karlyn Bowman, who monitors public opinion at the American Enterprise Institute, said the voter mood this year reflects long term pessimism about the economy and the future of the country.

“You’ve got a kind of passive dissatisfaction and I think that is related to aftershocks from the Great Recession and the financial crash in 2008,” she said. “We just haven’t seen a public opinion recovery of the kinds that we have seen in the past, and the public is disengaged overall.”

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 214
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Salary increase for private employees for first half of 2015 is 2.01%
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Private employees who receive the legal minimum wage will get a 2.01 percent increase Jan. 1

That was the decision of the Consejo Nacional de Salarios, which adjusts the minimum salaries, the salarios minimos, every six months.

Domestic employees, however, will get a raise of 2.5 percent, the Consejo decided. In Costa Rica there is no single minimum wage.
There are minimum wages based on job categories.

The salary increase came after input by labor and management. Employee advocates sought increases of from 2.91 to 4.68 percent. The Unión Costarricense de Cámaras y Asociaciones de la Empresa Privada suggested an increase of 1.62 percent.

The Ministerioo de Trabajo usually posts the new salaries on its Web site before the first payment is due. The salaries are daily for some job classifications, mostly blue collar, and monthly for most skilled positions.

drug lord

The security ministry's air service confiscated this Beechcraft King Air F90 along with a ton of cocaine. Now it is in service with crime fighters and for hunanitarian missions. The craft has a ceiling of about 25,000 feet and can reach the Isla del Coco in 90 minutes, said officials. If purchased new, this craft would have a $3.4 million price tag.
King Air
Dirección del Servicio de Vigilancia Aérea photo

Government official accepts apology and resumes negotiations
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Government officials were miffed when they hear that striking Limón dockworkers burned photos of Luis Guillermo Solís and some of his ministers in a protest Monday.

So Casa Presidencial broke off negotiations with the striking union, the  Sindicato de Trabajadores de Japdeva.

Víctor Morales Mora, the minister of Trabajo, said later Tuesday that negotiations were back on after the union leaders issued an apology. However, there is no sign of an agreement even after government officials offered a fat package of development money for the docks 
and the central canton of Limón.

Negotiations might pick up today after the president returns from a trip seeking investments from Canada. He has not been present physically for many of the meetings with dock workers, and  Morales and other ministers have been handing the discussions.

Strikers went out Wednesday, and the Fuerza Pública took control of the docks that evening.

Although the government says the docks at Moín and Limón are functioning normally, those who depend on the docks have told reporters that shipments are tied up.

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. 29, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 214   
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Galapagos giant tortoises are making an astounding comeback
By the State University of New York news service

A population of endangered giant tortoises, which once dwindled to just over a dozen, has recovered on the Galapagos island of Española, a finding described as a true story of success and hope in conservation by a university professor who is the lead author of a study published Tuesday.

Some 40 years after the first captive-bred tortoises were reintroduced to the island by the Galapagos national park service, the endemic Española giant tortoises are reproducing and restoring some of the ecological damage caused by feral goats that were brought to the island in the late 19th century.

"The global population was down to just 15 tortoises by the 1960s. Now there are some 1,000 tortoises breeding on their own. The population is secure. It's a rare example of how biologists and managers can collaborate to recover a species from the brink of extinction, " said the professor, James P. Gibbs, a professor of vertebrate conservation biology at the State University of New York at Sracuse and lead author of the paper published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Gibbs and his collaborators assessed the tortoise population using 40 years of data from tortoises marked and recaptured repeatedly for measurement and monitoring by members of the Galapagos national park service, the Charles Darwin Foundation and visiting scientists.

But there is another side to the success story: while the tortoise population is stable, it is not likely to increase until more of the landscape recovers from the damage inflicted by the now-eradicated goats.

"Population restoration is one thing, but ecological restoration is going to take a lot longer," Gibbs said.

After the goats devoured all the grassy vegetation and were
State University of New York/James P. Gibbs
One of the reintroduced tortoises.

 subsequently removed from the island, more shrubs and small trees have grown on Española. This hinders both the growth of cactus, which is a vital piece of a tortoise's diet, and the tortoises' movement. Chemical analysis of the soil, done by Mark Teece, a university chemistry professor, shows there has been a pronounced shift from grasses to woody plants on the island in the last 100 years.

The shrubs and trees also inhibit the movements of the endangered waved albatross that breeds on the island. Gibbs said the plants make it difficult for the ungainly sea birds to take flight.

"This is a miraculous conservation success accomplished by the Galapagos national park service," said Gibbs, " but there is yet more work to fully recover the ecosystem upon which the tortoises and other rare species depend."

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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

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

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

   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
   * Find out how to live affordably
   * See how other expats live. Meet other expats who have made
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Anywhere Costa Rica plans custom vacations, and has the most comprehensive travel services in the country including travel guides, resorts and vacation homesCosta Rica tours
and car rentals.  
Call 1-888.456.3212 or 2479-8811 locally.

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

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

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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


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

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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
Family home

cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 214   
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mock war
Napoleon Chagnon photo
In this mid-1960s photo, men from two Yanomamö villages in the Amazon engage in non-hostile combat to determine the strength and fighting prowess of potential alliance partners.

Culture of war in Amazon
has some unusual twists

By the  the University of Utah news service

When Yanomamö men in the Amazon raided villages and killed decades ago, they formed alliances with men in other villages rather than just with close kin like chimpanzees do. And the spoils of war came from marrying their allies’ sisters and daughters, rather than taking their victims’ land and women.

Those findings, which suggest how violence and cooperation can go hand-in-hand and how culture may modify any innate tendencies toward violence, come from a new study of the so-called “fierce people” led by provocative anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon and written by his protégé, University of Utah anthropologist Shane Macfarlan.

Macfarlan says the researchers had expected to find the Yanomamö fought like bands of brothers and other close male kin like fathers, sons and cousins who live in the same community and fight nearby communities. That is how fights are conducted by chimpanzees. the only other apes besides humans that form coalitions to fight and kill.

Instead, a more apt description might be a band of brothers-in-law, in which Yanomamö men ally with similar-age men from nearby villages to attack another village, then marry their allies’ female kin, Macfarlan, Chagnon and colleagues write in the study, published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The study provides a mechanism to explain why Yanomamö warriors in a 1988 Chagnon study had more wives and children than those who did not kill.

“We are showing these guys individually get benefits from engaging in killing,” Macfarlan says. “They’re getting long-term alliance partners – other guys they can trust to get things done. And they are getting marriage opportunities.”

Since his 1968 book “Yanomamö: The Fierce People,” Chagnon has been harshly criticized by some cultural anthropologists who claim he places undue emphasis on genes and biology as underpinnings of human violence, based on his 1964-1993 visits to the Yanomamö. Defenders such as Macfarlan say Chagnon takes a much more balanced view, and that “it’s never a genes-versus-culture argument. They operate in tandem.”

Chagnon got what was seen as vindication in 2012 when he was elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences. The new study, with Macfarlan as first author and Chagnon as senior author is Chagnon’s inaugural PNAS article as a member.

Macfarlan joined the University of Utah faculty this year an assistant professor of anthropology. He worked as Chagnon’s postdoctoral fellow at the University of Missouri from January 2013 to June 2014. Chagnon and Macfarlan conducted the study with two Missouri colleagues: anthropologists Robert S. Walker and Mark V. Flinn.

The Yanomamö, hunters and farmers who live in southern Venezuela and northern Brazil,  once gained social status as unokai for killing.

Up to 20 Yanomamö (pronounced yah-NO-mama, but also spelled Yanomami or Yanomama) would sneak up on another village at dawn, “shoot the first person they saw and then hightail back home,” Macfarlan says. Some Yanomamö men did this once, some up to 11 times and some never killed. Data for the study, collected in the 1980s, covered somewhat earlier times when spears, bows and arrows were the primary weapons.

Macfarlan says the classic debate has been, “does warfare in small-scale societies like the Yanomamö resemble chimpanzee warfare?” – a theory known as the fraternal interest group model, in which bands of brothers, fathers, sons and paternal uncles all living in the same community fight other similar communities.

The new study asked whether Yanomamö killing follows that model or the strategic alliance model, which the researchers dub the band of brothers-in-law model. This model, supported by the study’s findings, indicates that Yanomamö men form alliances not with close kin from the same community, but with men from other communities. After killing together, a bond is formed and they often marry each other’s daughters or sisters and move into one or the other’s village or form a new village.

“When we started off this project, we all assumed it would be the chimpanzee-like model. But in human groups we have cultural rules that allow us to communicate with other communities. You certainly don’t see chimpanzees doing this.”

Is the study a retreat from what Chagnon’s critics see as too much focus on genetic and biological underpinnings of violence? Macfarlan says no, that Chagnon “has never been as all-biology as people have painted him. Most of his published research shows how unique cultural rules make the Yanomamö an interesting group of people.”

Earlier research suggested that for chimps, warfare is adaptive in an evolutionary sense, and that it also benefits small-scale human societies. The new study asked, “If warfare is adaptive, in what way do the adaptive benefits flow?” Macfarlan says.

“Some people, myself included, said, to the victor goes the spoils, because if you conquer another territory, you might take their land, food or potentially their females.”

But the new study indicates “the adaptive benefits are the alliances you build by perpetrating acts of warfare,” he adds. “It’s not that you are taking land or females from the vanquished group, but for the Yanomamö, what you acquire is that you can exchange resources with allies, such as labor and, most importantly, female marriage partners.”

The study’s findings that the Yanomamö form strategic alliances to kill suggest that “our ultracoooperative tendencies tend to go hand-in-hand with our ultralethal tendencies,” Macfarlan says. “We show a relationship between cooperation and violence at a level unseen in other organisms.” That may seem obvious for allied nations in modern wars, but “we’re saying that even in small-scale societies this is the case.”

The new study analyzed data collected by Chagnon in the 1980s, when about 25,000 Yanomamö lived in about 250 villages ranging from 25 to 400 people.

The study examined 118 Yanomamö warriors or unokai who had killed a total of 47 people by forming raiding parties of two to 15 men. The researchers analyzed the relationships between every possible pair of men in those raiding parties. Among the 118 unokai men, there were 509 possible pairs. Macfarlan says the findings revealed surprises about the relationship between co-unokai, pairs of men who kill together:

- Only 22 percent of men who kill together were from the same lineage.

- Only 34 percent of co-unokai pairs were from the same place of birth. “Guys who come from different places of birth are more likely to kill together.”

- Among co-killers known to be related, a majority were related on their mother’s side rather than their father’s side – more evidence of forming alliances beyond the immediate paternal kinship group. In Yanomamö culture, true kin are viewed as being on the paternal side, while maternal relatives are seen as belonging to another social group.

- The Yanomamö preferred forming coalitions with men within a median of age difference of 8 years. “The more similar in age, the more likely they will kill multiple times,” Macfarlan says.

- Of the 118 unokai, 102 got married in a total of 223 marriages to 206 women. Of married killers, 70 percent married at least one woman from the same paternal line as an ally in killing. And “the more times they kill together, the more likely they are going to get marriage partners from each other’s family line,” Macfarlan says.

- As a result, “The more times the guys kill together, the more likely they are to move into the same village later in life, despite having come from different village.”

Texas ID law seen cutting
numbers of voters at polls

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld the Texas voter identification law, which requires voters to show an approved form of picture ID in order to vote at a poll.  Those who are already registered and who are qualified to vote by mail can still cast a ballot, and the state provides free election certificates to those who can prove their U.S. citizenship and residence in Texas.

Critics of the law say it puts an undue burden on poor people, minorities, the elderly and the disabled.

Early voting began in Texas just a couple of days after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the state can require voters to show a photo ID to cast a ballot.

Texas Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott said the law will prevent voter fraud.

“Voter fraud is real and it must be stopped. How can you prove voter impersonation without an ID? You can’t. Which is exactly why it is needed,” said Abbott.

The law's supporters say most democratic countries around the world require voters to show ID.

But critics point out there have been few instances of voter fraud in the U.S. -- and that in Texas, where the state once blocked African-Americans and Hispanics from voting, it is more important to encourage voter participation.

Marianela Acuna of VoteRiders, a non-profit voter advocacy group, said there are many reasons why someone may not have an approved form of identification.

“There are people who need to renew their ID, there are also people who need to get their ID for the first time and do not have documents to prove their name change or their birth,” said Ms. Acuna.

Political Science Professor Mark Jones at Rice University said around half a million Texans may not have a proper ID to vote.

“Their only option is to get the free election identification certificate the state supplies, but that is not really free because you need a birth certificate to get it, which costs around $25, and you also have to go to a Department of Public Safety office to obtain it, and for someone without a car it is pretty difficult,” said Jones.

Jones said the voter ID law is unlikely to have any impact on major state races, but it could have an impact on some very close local races, including a few in Houston.

For example, Republican Devon Anderson and Democrat Kim Ogg are in a very tight race for Harris County district attorney.

“We could have… perhaps a half dozen races that are decided because of the voter ID legislation,” said Jones.

Activist groups like the Texas Organizing Project are fielding volunteers to help people with ID problems and provide transportation to the polls, but they are also encountering voter apathy.

In Texas, it is expected that close to two-thirds of eligible voters will not exercise their right to vote this year even though most of them have an acceptable ID.

While House computers
generate suspicious activity

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

White House officials say technicians recently noticed suspicious activity on the computer systems at the U.S. presidential mansion.

They say the situation was dealt with immediately and work continues, although the response has led to temporary outages and loss of Internet connectivity for some White House employees.

Officials gave no details about who might who have been responsible or when the activity occurred.

White House computer systems are a prime target of hackers, and the president's office receives daily alerts concerning numerous possible cyberthreats.

U.S. is tightening security
at some federal buildings

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson has ordered tighter security at federal government buildings in Washington and other major cities.

Johnson said Tuesday that the reason for the enhanced presence of federal protective officers was self-evident.

Terrorist groups have called for attacks inside the United States and elsewhere, including strikes on law enforcement and other government officials.

Johnson said world events, including two attacks in Canada last week, dictated heightened vigilance in protecting U.S. government installations.

Johnson did not mention specific threats and said the increased security would shift from location to location.

U.S. officials have said they are concerned about possible attacks from so-called "lone wolf" terrorists — individuals inspired by extremist ideology but without direct links to well-known terrorist groups.

Chinese tourism targeted
by splashy U.S. efforts

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

In one splashy television commercial segment, country music star Rosanne Cash croons about parts of the United States that potential visitors haven't seen in films and probably wouldn't know from popular music.

Part of a public-private sector tourism campaign to lure more travelers, the ad was produced by Brand USA, whose CEO, Chris Thompson, calls the effort crucial to supporting a vital sector of the U.S. economy.

Worldwide, tourists make more than one billion international trips annually, and the United Nations says their spending gives a boost to the global economy.

Domestically, the tourism industry directly supports nearly eight million U.S. jobs and impacts millions more. While many of these tourists come from the expanding middle classes in Brazil, India, and China efforts are being stepped up to attract even more.  Last year, the U.S. hosted 1.8 million visitors from China alone.

"There is so much more to the United States then they even have any inkling of right now," says Thompson. "And it is pretty much any interest they have, we can deliver it in a way that only the United States can deliver."

According to Daniel Chen, president of Lion Tours, Chinese tourists spend nearly $6,000 to make a U.S. visit, more than guests from other nations, thanks to the country's sustained economic growth, strengthening currency, and rapidly expanding wealth.

While the campaign promotes a range of U.S. cities across the continent, specific criteria informs the decision to promote certain destinations.

"Shopping is kind of a must thing for Chinese people," says Chen. "For Chinese, when a family member travels overseas, they always bring something back. When they return, give to their family, friends... colleagues, even."

Ever since an agreement between the U.S. and Chinese officials made it easier for Chinese tourists to visit, Chen says he is hearing fewer complaints about visas or the long airport lines that once annoyed international travelers.

And visitors, says Chen, are also get a more accurate picture of what the United States has to offer.

Tourism officials are working on an IMAX film to showcase America's national parks. They hope to finish it in plenty of time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of these protected places in August 2016.

Real estate-related services (paid category)

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

Swimming pool at night
A Buyer’s Broker offering the best
of Costa Rica Real Estate.
For those looking for quality properties and service at quality prices. Central Valley Rentals. Offering honesty, experience and knowledge. Your Villa Real Expert. Call us now  Toll Free (877) 845-4533. In Costa Rica 4030-5480 or 8339-2112.

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Re/Max, the Pacific coast expert

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

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

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

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

Visit our Web Site:

English calls: (Cristian Arce) Phone: 
(506) 2494-0016  
English calls :  (Luis David) Phone: 
(506) 8331-5228

Español calls: (Luis G. Jiménez)  Phone:   
(506) 8707-4016
house 865
Beautiful chalet in Grecia, with the best fresh natural weather, 1.040 m2 of land, Price $135.000. Click HERE!
House 868
Beautiful house  in Grecia, with the best fresh natural weather, 810 m2 of land, Price $178.000. Click HERE!
House 866
Beautiful large house  in Grecia, with the best fresh natural weather,1.006 m2 of land, Price $290.000.  HERE!
  Send us your request to our email:

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

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

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

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

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

San Ramon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya.7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 ft. elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 baths, appliances included. High-speed internet iinstalled, Direct TV via sling box on Internet. $199,000 Contact   Check out slide show HERE!

Condo montage
Cariari luxury condo for sale
This is not an ordinary condo.
Completed one year ago, a $45,000 renovating made it an exquisite dwelling. As soon as you walk in you know it is a special home. No detail has been overlooked, even minuscule ones. The owner has a need to move on, and someone lucky will be the beneficiary of the fine detailed work. The home itself has three bedrooms, two and half bathrooms plus a maid’s quarters with its own bathroom. Also, it has a living room, dining room and a gorgeous kitchen with a kitchenette. There’s also a small outdoor patio. Being the end unit of this four-home condo complex, there’s parking space for three vehicles.  Approximately 240 sq. meters. All this near the Cariari Golf and Country Club and its renowned Tom Facio golf course. The club also has amenities such as a fitness centre, exercise room, Olympic swimming pool, sauna, 12 tennis courts and many other benefits. Tel:  8384-9608 or 2293-9054  Price $214,500.

two houses
Two lovely homes on one big lot in Esterillos Oeste, (Central Pacific)
Located on a breezy hill just 4 minutes walk to the beach, surf and tide-pools, only 20 minutes drive north to Jacó nightlife and shopping or south to the rural town of Parrita.

First, a 2-story, 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1½-bathroom house with big kitchen and living room.  Full-width verandah with eating and sitting areas, overlooking lawn, pool and gazebo. Sitting balcony at upper, bedroom level.  Carport and laundry. 

Second, a completely private single-story 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1-bathroom home with big back yard at a lower level on the same, big fully titled 1,100M2 lot. Full security bars at all doors and windows, plus locking vehicle access and pedestrian gates at the street. In a very safe neighborhood, with private and natural surroundings

Well maintained, fully and tastefully furnished and equipped, hot water, local phone, cable TV/DVD and high speed wireless internet.   The houses have been rented for both long-term and vacation for $100/$80 per day and $1,500/$1,200 per month respectively. See this place, you will love it! Then make an offer. E-mail or call (506) 8386-8825.  Rodney, asking $350,000.

house photo
More photos HERE!
Another 'live in the view' home in Puriscal
$179,900 includes:
Lot on river, concrete road, custom kitchen & bath with granite counter tops, PEX plumbing, 2” Styrofoam, sandwiched in steel roof, 4” concrete/recycled Styrofoam & steel walls, laminated, bronzed windows, custom wood doors, appliances and all transfer taxes, and fees.

2, 900 sq feet under roof, 1,250 sq feet inside walls, 2 bedroom, 2 ½ baths, laundry room, three separate patio areas, covered carport, shade trees, in upscale, secure project.  This project has river with protected areas & walkways. It is only 10 minutes on all paved roads to Santiago de Puriscal, 45 minutes to La Plaza Mall/Hospital CIMA and SJO airport, and 1 ½ hours to Pacific Beaches. It has recently upgraded public water supply and dependable ICE electric and high-speed internet.
Please come visit our projects and meet four new homeowners who have recently moved into their new “live in the view” homes to verify how happy they are and that they all came in under budget. CONTACT: George Lundquist  Home phone: 2417-1041 Cell phone: 8888 4543 Skype glundquist.
To see more Photos of this house, click HERE!


Beach Front Home - Central Pacific Coast
Pristine condition, recently renovated. The best surfing and boogie boarding in the country. The most magnificent ocean and sunset view. New 20-year, fully registered concession on one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. Easy access from San José (1 hour 25 minutes) located between Jacó and Manuel Antonio, in Esterillos Oeste.  2 or 3 bedrooms. Center room can be living room. House with 2 1/2 baths. Separated rancho with kitchen and large entertainment patio. Landscaped garden with no water shortage. Has both municipal and well water with automatic watering system. Direct access to the beach as no road is in front of property. Protected land on one side of the property for additional privacy.  Alarm system and complete shutters for security while away. Lot approximately 1,725 square meters, Asking price: $385.000.  Contact to Paul at local phone 506- 2637-8858  Cell phone 506- 8823-8550 .  US Mobile 908-400-9772  Emails:  and


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

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

ARenal property
Location: Near Arenal        Price: $2.7 million
Size: 113 acres
Web site:

The farm is at the highest point on a stunning ridge bordered by pristine Costa Rican primary forest on all sides of the property, with active wildlife all throughout the area. On each of its gently rolling terraced lomas you get a glimpse of Volcán Arenal from a distance. This property has four different lagunas, a working organic farm and nursery, mature fruit trees, sheep corral, ideal for grazing horses with stunning views from all the hillsides. The Northern Zone of Costa Rica is the country's best kept secret, providing a perfect home base location to travel the country's many destinations while still maintaining the best climate at 400 meters above sea level.

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call center
Call center for rent ready to go !
13 work stations, good equipment, good location, Rohrmoser, two blocks from Plaza Mayor. $4.000 per month. Call Kevin 8366-6861.

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

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 214
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News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news feeds are disabled on rchived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Policía de Control Fiscal photo
 These are some of the three million India-manufactured cigarettes that the
 Policía de Control Fiscal confiscated at a warehouse in Guachipelín de
 Escazú Tuesday. They also found 2,000 bottles of alcohol. The tax police
 attributed the discover to calls from citizens.

Searchers seek eight in Braulio Carrillo

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Cruz Roja said Tuesday that it was seeking eight employees of the Poder Judicial who have become lost in the mountains of the  Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo north of San José.

The seven men and a woman entered the park Monday, but did not appear when they were supposed to do so near the Río Sucio..

The Cruz Roja said that one member of the missing party managed to contact a family member to say that all were in good health but that  they could not find their way out of the park.

A search team was working since Tuesday morning and more searchers have been called to the park to help

Adoption fair for pets planned

 By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Animales de Asís will hold a dog and cat adoption fair Saturday at the Walmart in Escazú. The animals are castrated and vaccinated, the organization said. A donation is requested.

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From Page 7:

Doing Business ranking drops slightly

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica dropped five places in the World Bank Doing Business annual survey. But officials are suggesting that the dip to 83rd place was because the bank has changed the methodology.

There is some sense to that argument. In a point total based on 10 categories, Costa Rica earned about the same score as it did last year. Last year's total was 63.08 for 78th position. This year the score is slightly higher at 63.67.

The World Bank measures the 10 indicators with an eye to efficiency, such as the easy of getting a building permit and how insolvencies are handled and for how long.