free webpage hit counter
Sonesta condos

Hermosa Highlands
A.M. Costa Rica

Your daily

news source
Monday through Friday

universal update

(506) 2223-1327       Published Thursday, Nov. 6, 2008, in Vol. 8, No. 221       E-mail us
Jo Stuart
Real Estate
About us

locals papers on Obama
Local newspapers were full of the Obamas to mark the historic election.
Not all are pleased with outcome of U.S. voting
By Elyssa Pachico
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

For conservatives in Costa Rica's expat community, the future was not looking rosy after Sen. Barack Obama's victory in the Tuesday presidential election.

“Bush was there when the first torpedo hit the ship, and Obama's gonna be there when the ship goes down,” said Dan Wise, 59, a self-identified Republican who owns a fishing lodge in Barra de Colorado. 

In a series of post-election interviews, many conservatives expressed fears that an Obama administration would mean a future filled with big government, high taxes and constant, nagging suspicions about Obama's character.

“I'm not very comfortable with Obama being president right now,” said Brock Higdon, 35, owner of BH Real Estate in San José. “He has a lot to prove – his past associations with radical people is troubling to me.”

After Obama's victory, A.M. Costa Rica received a barrage of overnight e-mails from readers expressing similar suspicions.

“I cannot and will never pay tribute or be loyal to a Muslin,” one reader wrote. “Christians who voted for him will have a price to pay . . . . "

Throughout the presidential campaign, Obama was falsely identified as a Muslim in various smear e-mails and Internet ads. He is a Christian.

Another conservative reader despaired of the downfall of capitalism that a President Obama would supposedly bring.

“This socialist – who can never be my president – has at least served one positive end, and that is to motivate me to rise and fight back,” another reader wrote in an e-mail message.

To less extremes, many other conservative expats said they felt wary about the kind of economic philosophy that an Obama administration would support.

Spammers react to vote

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Spammers are already taking advantage of Obama's victory in the U.S. election.

An e-mail promising an exclusive, although non-existent video interview with the president-elect is already circling the web. The e-mail contains a link to archives called “BarackObama.exe” hosted at the website  hxxp://*snip*.com/web/BarackObama.exe. Clicking upon the link releases a computer virus.

For more information, go to

Astronaut's daughter wins

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

One of the winners in U.S. elections Tuesday was Sonia Chang-Diaz, daughter of the Costa Rican-born U.S. astronaut. She won a seat in the Massachusetts Senate. The election was no surprise. The 30-year-old former school teacher ran in a Boston district that is so overwhelmingly Democratic that Republicans did not even put up a candidate.
“What concerns me most is the question of large government and the loss of personal freedom,” said David Ellis, the president of Costa Rica's chapter of Republicans Abroad.

“I'm concerned about a federal government that is willing to overtax and confiscate the property I earned with the sweat of my brow,” echoed Wise. 

Few had an optimistic outlook for an Obama-managed economy.

“The winner of the BamaMac Comedy Show contest has set forth policies which reflect those of Herbert Hoover in the early 1930s,” one reader, who identified himself only as George, wrote in another e-mail.

Many of those interviewed by telephone said they believed most of the groundswell of support for Obama was more of a vendetta against Bush, and that the wave of enthusiasm might not be reproducible in 2012.

“Obama has George Bush to thank for his win, who has single-handedly destroyed the Republican Party,” lamented Higdon.

Retiree James Harman, 61, said he believed that in three or four years, most of the ill-will that Republicans received in 2008 would be redirected towards both Republicans and Democrats.

“A third, independent party will come out and be a viable force in the next presidential election,” he said. “The two parties right now don't give you anything viable to vote for anymore. It's the same old crap.”

Despite the overall lack of optimism for what lies ahead, most conservative expats are willing to turn the page on what has been a very, very long election year.

“It's an election,” said Ellis. “It's not the end of the world. The Republican party has lost elections before. We will have another day. It depends on how well Obama governs.”

Arias says Obama exudes
Jack Kennedy's idealism

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

President  Óscar Arias Sánchez formally congratulated Sen. Barack Obama on his victory in the U.S. election, both in public remarks and in a letter addressed to the president-elect released Wednesday.

In the letter, Arias praised Obama for inspiring hope in the democratic process around the globe. He said that Costa Rica would be a strong ally to America's efforts to fight poverty and promote clean energy policies in the region.   

“Many of your most loyal allies are also those closest to home, here in Latin America, and no country cherishes your friendship more than Costa Rica,” Arias wrote in the letter.

In public remarks, Arias said Obama shared John F. Kennedy's idealism, and that an Obama administration would signal a departure from the foreign policy of the past.

Obama has said he believes Latin America has been neglected and ignored by the Bush administration, causing more Latinos to view the United States negatively.

A recent study by the Pew Research Center found that between 2002 and 2007, America's image had seriously deteriorated in Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Bolivia and Argentina.

exchange rate
to our
daily digest

our site

Send us
a news story

Real estate ads

Ads for

ad info

ad info

Contact us
Our stats

Italian restaurant
jumping through hoops

Realty Executives ad

Costa Rica vacations

Purto Limon update

Costa Rica real estate
GLC rollover
Chris Howard book ad
Karen real estate banner
  Costa Rica Real estate

updated hot springs

Costa Rica
Second newspage
Tico Travel
Real estate
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2008, Vol. 8, No. 221

Costa Rica Expertise
Costa Rica Expertise Ltd E-mail Tel:506-256-8585 Fax:506-256-7575

RJ Personal
sportsmens update
Click HERE for great hotel discounts

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.

Residency experts

Residency in Costa Rica
A full service immigration agency
U.S. and San José offices
Getting and authenticating documents can be a chore —

we know how to do it. Experienced with many nationalities. Up-to-date on
Costa Rica's evolving immigration law.
Pensionado and rentista. Your first stop for smooth, professional service and a positive experience. Javier Zavaleta
Tel: (323) 255-6116A.M. Costa Rica/Saray Ramírez Vindas

Dental Clinics

Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants $500, Crowns $250

Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini has placed and restored
Dr. cavallini
Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini
over 8,000 dental implants since 1980. The Dr. Marco Muñoz Cavallini Dental Clinic, is recognized as one of the best practices in Dental Reconstruction,
Dental Implant placement and Cosmetic Dentistry in Costa Rica and the World. 
For more information,
visit us today at:

Acupuncture physician

Acupuncture (disposable needles),
& Auriculotherapy (without needles) 

Immediate results guaranteed
for sport and all injuries; Back, neck, shoulder, elbow, carpal tunnel, knees, sciatica, 
Eugene McDonald
Eugene Mc Donald A.P.
migraine, T.M.J., kidney stones, intercostal neuralgia, and all painfull conditions  without drugs. Excellent results for stress, tension, anxiety, depression; and many other medical conditions and health maintenance.  Acupuncture works even if other therapies had little or no results. Free consultation, U.S. license, 19 years experience, Eugene Mc Donald, A.P (acupuncture physician) Escazú, 8352-0661.


James Brohl, C.P.A. & M.B.A.
US Income Tax,  US GAAP Accounting
& Business Consulting

• US Tax return preparation  for
individuals and businesses
• eFile returns: secure with faster refunds
• Assist with back reporting and other filing issues
• Take advantage of the Foreign
Income Tax Exclusion (up to $85,700 in 2007)
• Business Consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica
• Accounting for US and International Financial Reporting

Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620

U.S. Tax International

Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal services
Over 10 years in Costa Rica
(English Spoken)
C.R. 2288-2201   U.S 786-206-9473
Web page with vital U.S. tax info HERE!

Real estate agents and services

with Great Estates of Costa Rica and Ocean Realty - Jacó

15 years Costa Rican
real estate experience

Member of the Costa Rican Real Estate Association, Lic. #1000

Member of
Costa Rican-American Chamber of Commerce
(506)  2220-3729 &  (506) 8382-7399 cell
(506)  2232-5016 (phone/fax)

CENTURY 21 Jacó Beach Realty
A Name You Trust & Professional Service

Buying? Selling?
We Can Do It!
1 (877) 746-3868
  Tom Ghormley - Owner/Broker - in CR since '79

Beachfront, Views, Mountains, Lots, Farms, Beaches, Houses, Condos. Hotels, Restaurants, Projects, Commercial, Investments

7Legal services

Bufete Hernández Mussio & Asociados
 Lic. Arcelio Hernández Mussio
Tel. 2643-3058                Cell 8365-3088
Toll-free  from the U.S.: 
 Web site:

Arcelio hernandez
• Real Estate Transactions
•  Legal Due Diligence
• Purchase and Sale   Agreements/Options
• Trademarks 
• Costa Rican Corporations.
• Title Guaranty • Fraud
     protection * Litigation 
• Constitution of condominiums
• Notary public services in
   general • Offshore Incorporation • Offshore Banking  • Business Law 
• Escrow Services (registered
     with SUGEF) • Estate Planning 
• Family Law 
• Bilingual Accounting Services 

Visit our Office in Jacó Beach (GEM Building, 
Office 4 across from AyA on Calle Ancha).

Member of the Central Pacific Chamber of Commerce


Lic.Gregory Kearney Lawson.
Attorneys at Law and real estate brokers
Relocation services, Wedding Planning
Greg kearney
*Investments  *Corporations
*Tax Shelters *Immigration
*Real Estate Sales in Costa Rica
*Name & Product registration
*Business procedures 
*Family and Labor Law
*Locate People   *Private Investigations

Ph/Fax: 2221-9462, 8841-0007

marijuana cutting
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía 
y Seguridad Pública photo 
Fuerza Pública officers haul marijuana to a bonfire.

Police are back in Talamanca
harvesting, burning marijuana

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

In what has become a ritual, Fuerza Pública officers took to the high Talamanca this week to destroy some 9,000 mature marijuana plants, most more than 6 feet high.

In all, officers have uprooted and destroyed some 14,000 plants in just the last two weeks, they said.

Officers from Valle de la Estrella said they traveled to Alto Cuen where they found marijuana plants in six separate lots. They also reported that they found three nurseries for smaller plants that were ready for transplant.

The impoverished and remote Talamanca is a principal source for marijuana in Costa Rica, and officers are there frequently cutting and burning the illegal crops.

Officers also harvested in Kunabri this weekend and also in the Cantón de Osa on the Pacific coast.

Pair acquitted in murder
of girl, 6, in her home

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A three-judge criminal panel acquitted a man and a woman Wednesday in the murder of a 6-year-old schoolgirl. The judges said there was not enough evidence to convict.

The crime happened April 26, 2006 when someone began firing at the family home in Vista de Mar, Goicoechea. The victim, Valeria Gaitán, received a bullet in the head.

The two suspects were a man, identified by the last name of  Mora Montenegro and a woman with the last names of Rivera Vargas.

Prosecutors said the crime was motivated by an effort to seek revenge against the mother of the child. They sought 35 years in prison for each suspect.

Civil union referendum
received an approval

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones has authorized Wednesday the form for the collection of signatures to put a referendum on the ballot over civil unions for persons of the same sex.

Proponents of the measure have to collect signatures from 5 percent of the voters, that is 136,751, the tribunal said. The most current list of voters is the one that closed Aug. 31. The tribunal approved the idea Sept, 30, but said the exact form of the document that will be used must be approved, too.

The approved document is 8.5 by 13 inches.

Costa Rican law only allows one referendum a year, so it is unclear when the question will be put on the ballot even if sufficient signatures are obtained.

Have you seen these stories?
Top story feeds are disabled on archived pages.
news feed promo

Puriscal properties
Newspaper nameplate

Costa Rica
third newspage

Ecazú Christian Fellowship
Real estate
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2008, Vol. 8, No. 221

A.M. Costa Rica likes trees
protection ad
Axel's ad

There will be a lot of magic in the air Saturday at festival
By Elyssa Pachico
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Feeling the need to whisper sweet nothings into your loved one's ear – in elvish? Have a friend who's depressed about the Dark Lord's ascension as the new ruler of Middle Earth?

Look no further than Saturday's fifth annual Tolkien festival, celebrating all things Orcish, Elvish, Hobbit-ish, magical and Medieval.

Organized by the Sociedad Tolkien de Costa Rica, the event is intended as a homage to J.R.R. Tolkien's award-winning trilogy of fantasy novels.

Formed in 2004 and currently consisting of 350 members, Ronny Ramírez, vice president of the Tolkien society, said that interest in all things Tolkien surged in Costa Rica in 2004, following the release of the Academy Award winning films.

“It's true that fantasy and Medieval themes are European, but the values that Tolkien inspires through his works are for everyone,” he said. “You don't just read them to have a good time.”

Ramirez said that in order to become a member of the Tolkien society it was not necessary to have read all of the books or even to have watched the films.

“I'd say maybe 25 percent of our members have read all of the books,” he said. “80 percent have read at least one.”

Fans can join by registering at the group forums at, and selecting an appropriate Tolkien-themed identity such as Aragorn II, Thuringwethil or Eldarung, lord of the dragons.

Other members have become part of the group simply by showing up at social activities, said Ramirez, adding that the group usually hosts a monthly dinner or fundraiser for a local charity.

Even fans of that other best-selling boy-wizard saga are welcome.
tolkien festival
Tolkien character from poster announcing festival

“Curiously enough, there's no feelings of competitiveness
between Harry Potter or Tolkien fans,” said Ramirez. “Probably because people who are members of one fantasy fan group are likely to be members of the other.”

Saturday's Tolkin festival will feature highlights such as lessons in elvish and magical runes, Celtic and Medieval dancing, and a 4 p.m. lecture entitled “Mortal Men Destined to Die.”  Held in the Centro Nacional de La Cultura from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., the festival costs 2,000 colons for adults and 1,000 colons for children under 10. 

Proceeds benfit the Cruz Roja.

Tamarindo betterment group downsizes to sharpen focus
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

In a move that may foreshadow similar tough spending decisions for non-profits concerned with over development on Costa Rica's beaches, the community organization Asociación Pro Mejoras de Playa Tamarindo in Guanacaste has closed its office due to lack of funds.

“We were doing a lot of projects this year,” said the group's former executive director and treasurer, Federico Amado. “And there weren't enough funds to do everything that needed to be done.”

With 150 members, the group focused its monthly budget of $5,000 to $6,000 primarily on environmental projects like beach clean-ups and water inspections.

The group also tried to address security problems by providing the local police station with cable, air conditioning, fax and Internet services as part of an ongoing effort to bring more police to the area, said Amado.

Money came from small donations from local business owners. However, funds took a hit this August, partly because some expat-owned businesses only operate seasonally, said Amado, and also because the non-profit was juggling more projects than ever before.

“The funding just wasn't there, especially with the end of the summer and the economy being as it is,” said Steve
Broyles of the real estate company Bratton, Broyles & Associates, who also sat on the group's board of directors.

According to Amado, after some soul-searching in July, the group decided that it was better to close its office and cut Amado's position, and instead use the money to deal with the area's many environmental problems.

“Things have been so messed up here with the beaches and water contamination that [the group] had an environmental bent to it by default,” said Brock Menking, owner of Osprey sports-fishing company in Tamarindo, who also sat on the group's board of directors.

The national water company, the Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados, found high levels of coliform bacteria in Tamarindo's ocean waters a year ago.

The pollution ranged from 3.3 to 329 times the amount permitted for swimming. Recent tests found 1,000 coliform bacteria in every 100 milliliters of water, down from as much as 4,600 in 2007. That is within the permitted range.

Amado said that the Asociación Pro Mejoras has also been working with the water company and the health ministry in order to continue water testing and build a new water treatment plant in the area.

He added that as seasonal businesses re-open at the end of November, the Asociación will likely begin attracting funds.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

A.M. Costa Rica
fourth news page

Cafta report promo
Real estate
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2008, Vol. 8, No. 221

Plane crash in México might bring greater U.S. involvement
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A plane carrying two of Mexico's top crime fighters crashed Tuesday on a busy street in the heart of Mexico City, killing all eight people on board and a number of people on the ground. Experts see this tragedy as a setback, if not a crippling blow, to Mexico's effort to fight powerful drug cartels.

The crash produced a horrific scene on one of Mexico City's busiest intersections. Dozens of automobiles burned in the fire caused by the crash, and police evacuated nearly 2,000 people from the site.

The most prominent victim of the crash was Mexico's interior minister, Juan Camilo Maurino, a major figure on President Felipe Calderon's anti-crime team. Also killed was the former chief prosecutor for drug crimes, José Luis Santiago Vasconcelos.

Peter Zeihan is vice president of analysis for the Austin, Texas-based private intelligence and analysis company Stratfor. He says there is reason to suspect Mexico's powerful drug trafficking organizations were behind the plane crash.

"We cannot rule out that it was a mechanical failure," said Zeihan. "But considering the identity of the people on board, I think it is pretty obvious that the cartels are in some way responsible for this."

Ziehan says sources Stratfor has contacted within Calderon's government say officials there believe the crash was caused by the drug traffickers.

"The information that we are getting out of the Mexican government is absolute fury," he said. "We are seeing the elites of Mexico in a state of anger that we have never seen before."

Mexico expert George Grayson, who teaches at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, said if the drug gangs did bring down the plane carrying Juan Camilo Maurino and other officials, the implications are enormous.

"One has to only pray that the death of Juan Camilo was truly an accident and was not a move by the drug cartels to
send a message to the Calderón administration to back off from their aggressive activities," he said.

Since taking office in December, 2006, President Calderón has waged a major war against the drug cartels, kidnapping gangs and organized crime in general. While Maurino was a major player in that effort, analyst Grayson said the chief strategists are Mexico's secretary of defense and attorney general, who will continue to prosecute the war on criminal gangs.

"It is a setback for Calderón," he said. "But it is not a fatal blow to his anti-cartel activities."

Zeihan is less optimistic about Calderon's chances of successfully continuing his war on organized crime groups. Although Mexico has traditionally shunned direct U.S. involvement in its affairs, he said Calderón may have to consider U.S. help on a level similar to America's involvement in Colombia, where the government has made major progress in defeating drug trafficking groups.

"Mexico is moving in one of two directions: One, this is going to break the back of the war on the cartels and Mexico is going to devolve into a failed state, which will force the United States to take much more direct action," said Zeihan. "Option Two, this is going to break the back of the Mexican resistance to getting the Americans involved, in which case we will be involved in a more direct way. Either way, the level of American involvement in the war against cartels in Mexico is about to skyrocket."

Grayson said another approach would be to concentrate on the market for most of the drugs and the source of money that allows criminal gangs to thrive.

"The responsibility lies principally in the United States," he said. "We, after all, are the major consumer of the drugs produced in Mexico and the drugs that pass through Mexico."

Grayson said U.S. decriminalization of some drug use, better treatment and education programs, and perhaps even legalization of some drugs would shrink the size of the illicit drug market and undermine drug traffickers. He says that might allow Mexico to gain ground against the powerful criminal gangs.

News from the BBC up to the minute
BBC sports news up to the minute
BBC news and sports feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Costa Rica
fifth news page

Real estate
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2008, Vol. 8, No. 221

A.M. Costa Rica

users guide

This is a brief users guide to A.M. Costa Rica.

Old pages

Each day someone complains via e-mail that the newspages are from yesterday or the day before. A.M. Costa Rica staffers check every page and every link when the newspaper is made available at 2 a.m. each week day.

So the problem is with the browser in each reader's computer. Particularly when the connection with the  server is slow, a computer will look to the latest page in its internal memory and serve up that page.

Readers should refresh the page and, if necessary, dump the cache of their computer, if this problem persists. Readers in Costa Rica have this problem frequently because the local Internet provider has continual problems.


The A.M. Costa Rica search page has a list of all previous editions by date and a space to search for specific words and phrases. The search will return links to archived pages.


A typical edition will consist of a front page and four other newspages. Each of these pages can be reached by links near the top and bottom of the pages.


Five classified pages are updated daily. Employment listings are free, as are listings for accommodations wanted, articles for sale and articles wanted. The tourism page and the real estate sales and real estate rentals are updated daily.

Advertising information

A summary of advertising rates and sizes are available for display and classifieds.


A.M. Costa Rica makes its monthly statistics available to advertisers and readers. It is HERE! 

Contacting us

Both the main telephone number and the editor's e-mail address are listed on the front page near the date.

Visiting us

Directions to our office and other data, like bank account numbers are on the about us page.

Bus driver wins fight
to keep his change

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Three men tried to steal the driver's change from a public bus Wednesday near Parque de la Paz, but the driver was able to prevail.

Fuerza Pública officers detained three men a short time later at the San Miguel turnoff in Desamparados.

The driver of the Barrio Corazón de Jesús de Aserrí — San José bus told officers that one of the men tried to grab the sponge in which he keeps his change. Most bus drivers have a piece of sponge about one foot by two feet in which pockets are cut to keep various denominations of coins.

The three men, when caught, did not carry any weapons nor did police find any evidence linking them to the bus incident. They were brought to court.

13 seeking posts on panel
to regulate telecom firms

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The board of directors of the Authoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos has picked 13 persons as finalists to serve on a new telecommunications panel.

The 13 have been picked from the 80 persons who applied.

The panel is charged with setting rates, resolving conflicts, giving approvals, protecting the rights of users and assuring the efficiency quality and continuity and improved operation of telecommuncations.

The entity is called formally the Consejo de la Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones. It was created as part of the new telecommunications law that ended the government's monopoly in providing such services.

The final council will be three persons and an alternate.

The Reguladora board of directors has until Nov. 13 to submit the names of panel members to the Asamblea Legislative, which has the right of refusal.

The 13 persons selected include lawyers, engineers and even two persons with doctorates in economics.

New campus in Sarapiquí

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Universidad Nacional will inaugurate its new campus in La Victoria de Horquetas de Sarapiquí Nov. 18.  The campus is expected to draw students from the northern zone and from the Caribbean. These areas generally are considered deprived, and the new campus is an effort by the university to reach out to them, the university said. Classes will start in January.

Jo Stuart
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 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007  and 2008 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for more details