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Time to mark the calendars for those holiday events
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Christmas events will dominate the news as more and more organizations fix the date for their
hospital tree
Tree at hospital
contribution to the holiday season.

The Hospital de Niños said Tuesday that the traditional tree lighting would be Thursday, Dec. 5, at the hospital starting at about 6 p.m. when dusk falls.

Each year the hospital puts on a show, but the real star is the live evergreen tree decked with 25,000 lights. Hundreds of adults and children show up for the annual event, but there also are the sick children in the hospital, and some are
well enough to witness the celebration from the balconies of the main building.

The peninsula will have its Festival de la Luz Nicoya Brilla 2013 Dec. 7, a Saturday. Some 15 bands have been invited, including one from Panamá. Nicoya also will be celebrating its 165th anniversary as a canton.

The festival is organized by the Municipalidad de
Nicoya lights
Municipalidad de Nicoya photo
Many communities will have holiday lights. These were in Nicoya last year.

Nicoya. It starts at 10 a.m. with a municipal council meeting. At noon a series of popular bands play, including Souhlinaje, Cabuya y Nicoa 37.

The marching bands start at 3 p.m. with the parade stepping off at 7 p.m. Organizers promise 15 floats.

San Jose's Festival de la Luz is the next Saturday, Dec. 14. There will be plenty of bands. It will proceed east on Paseo Colón and Avenida Secunda. Organizers say that the Christmas parade attracts up to a million people to San José. There usually is an earlier show in the street for young children.

The San José parade used to be an excuse for underage drinking and misbehaving. But police have stepped up their efforts, and the event has been much less rowdy and nearly crime free.


Prosecutors ask judge to put Luis Milanes in prison
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Prosecutors Tuesday morning asked a judge to remand Luis Ángel Milanes Tamayo into preventative detention Tuesday morning.

The casino owner and operator of the collapsed Savings Unlimited high-interest operation was characterized as a flight risk who faces up to 22 years in prison on allegations of aggravated fraud and illegal financial intermediation.

Prosecutors also said that Milanes failed to live up to a conciliation agreement and tried to make deals individually with victims, something that was prohibited.  He also was accused of being less than candid when he said he was returning to Costa Rica in June 2008.

Milanes was a fugitive for nearly six years when he was found with a fake passport at an El Salvador airport, the court was reminded.  He was believed to have struck a deal with top prosecutors, but that theory was denied Tuesday.

Lead prosecutor Marcela Muñoz asked Judge Dayanna Segura Mena to put Milanes away until he comes up for trial.

The judge deferred her decision until she hears from other lawyers. Ewald Acuña, a private lawyer who represents more than 200 former investors with the Milanes firm, is scheduled to make his presentation today. The judge might not rule on prison until at least Nov. 20.

Milanes and others accused in the case were not present Tuesday. They were represented by lawyers.

The hearing is closed, and reporters are not allowed, according to Costa Rican law. So the information comes from some of the former investors who were at the session, a preliminary hearing where prosecutors and lawyers present their accusations.

Milanes, a Cuban-American, is about 62. A significant prison term would likely be a life sentence. He has been described as ailing with high blood pressure.

Savings Unlimited was one of those firms that sought loans from the public and offered an interest rate of from 3 to 3.5 percent a month. It was a
contemporary with the Brothers Villalobos  high-interest operations. In fact, Michael González, one of the accused, had been associated with Luis Enrique Villalobos. González was the manager of the Savings Unlimited office in Centro Colón in San José. Enrique Villalobos has been a fugitive since he suspended operations Oct. 14, 2002.

A brother, Oswaldo Villalobos, has been convicted of aggravated fraud.

Whereas Villalobos paid his investors in cash with envelopes stuffed with bills, Milanes was more formal, and his office even had what appeared to be a cashier's window. Villalobos refused to tell his investors what he did with the money. Milanes claimed he was investing in more casinos.

Milanes cleaned out his office during the weekend before Monday, Nov. 25, 2002.  Investors learned
the firm was defunct when an employee sent an email from the company's account saying that "Michael and Don Luis the owner of this company they run away from the country with your money, try to contact more investments and you will see, sorry."

That was the last anyone admits hearing of Milanes until he turned up in El Salvador in 2008.

Investors may have lost up to $200 million with the firm. Many investors divided their money between the Milanes firm and that run by Villalobos.

In his efforts to reach an agreement with his investors, Milanes never put the lucrative casinos on the table. Instead he offered real estate and the downtown Hotel Europa where he still lives in the penthouse. Investors said the conciliation agreement began to fall apart a year ago when Milanes failed to make a $578,000 payment that would have been shared among the investors.

The man still lives large in San José surrounded by bodyguards as he travels from the hotel to his casinos. The hotel was one of the properties he offered to investors, but the property attracted no buyers with its $5 million price tag. After a recent reappraisal, the price was lowered, but potential buyers have complained that there is no financial information available on the hotel business.

If the judge decides to send the case to a full trial, that probably would not take place for a year.

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Bill to speed up expropriations
reported out of committee


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A legislative committee has approved and sent to the floor of the assembly a measure that will let the state expropriate property for public works quicker.

A summary provided by the Comisión Especial de Asuntos Jurídicos said that the state will be able to take over property it needs once it has deposited the money appraisers think the property is worth.

The property owner will be able to take the money at the same time even if he or she disputes the price. Currently the state has to enter into a judicial proceeding to obtain title to the property. The owner still will have the option of going to court to seek an improved price.

Members of the committee noted that many public projects have been held up by court proceeding over expropriation.

There were no negative votes by members of the committee.


Investigators and prosecutors
have cell phones from heliport

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Prosecutors are examining six cell telephones police found on two suspects in Asturias de Pococí.

These are the two men who are suspected of being involved in the clandestine heliport and refueling setup that investigators discovered Saturday.

Prosecutors interrogated the men Tuesday morning and then conducted a formal study of the six cell phones.

The results of the study are not yet known, but most devices contain a record of their use.

The Fuerza Pública said they detained the pair Monday afternoon when the two men appear to have been headed to a rendezvous with two men in a vehicle that was parked on Route 32. Police said that when they approached the men in the car, they fled into the mountains.

That is the same as what happened to those men at the heliport Saturday when police appeared. The two men detained Monday are presumed to be part of that group.

They were identified by the last names of Ramírez Sánchez and Vega Jiménez.   Ramírez, a Colombian, is reported to be a helicopter mechanic. Both face up to eight years in prison, said the Poder Judicial.

When police found the hidden heliport, they also found a cabin, firearms, about $50,000 in cash and containers of fuel.

That plus a similar operation discovered in the northwest of the country earlier in October seem to show that smugglers are using a helicopter air bridge to carry drugs north.

Cyberattacks becoming common
as spies seek economic goodies


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Efforts to steal trade secrets from U.S. companies continue at a high level and are hitting new targets, in spite of major efforts to stop such industrial espionage. Losing trade secrets hurts the economy by discouraging investments in the research critical to growth.  Some new players are getting into the fray, and the attacks hit a huge variety of businesses from high tech to high fashion. 

Plans for a fighter jet are an obvious target for corporate and other kinds of spies, but experts say industrial espionage also has been aimed at high fashion designers and toymakers, innovative steel makers, food and beverage companies, clean energy research and wind turbine makers.  Corporate spies also are seeking information about the management practices that guide successful businesses.

Mandient corporate security expert Laura Galante says a growing number of companies think security breaches are becoming inevitable.

“2013 was kind of an inflection point for cyber threats and our industry, the cyber security industry, because so many new types of companies were interested in understanding the threat that was their next headache," said Galante.

She says some relatively new players have attacked Western media companies and banks.  The cyberattacks on economic targets are apparently intended to advance political interests of forces in Syria and Iran.

A former federal prosecutor who took many cases of industrial and economic espionage to trial says China is making the most attempts to steal company secrets.  But Peter Toren of the law firm Weisbrod Matteis & Copley says many nations are active in this area.

“I would guess that all of the western European nations are doing it, Russia, Israel is doing it," said Toren.

University of New Haven business Professor George Haley says French spies sought new targets at the end of the cold war. 

“After the fall of the Soviet Union, they had moved their espionage efforts from primarily political espionage to industrial espionage, to benefit French companies.  So France is definitely there," said Haley.

Experts say companies can spend millions of dollars and years of work creating a better computer program, a lighter and stronger kind of steel or other product.  If another company steals that research, the thief can then create a competing product at a far lower cost and gain a price advantage in the market. 

The author of the book “Restoring Our American Dream,” Michael Farr, says industrial espionage also destroys trust and hurts the economy.  Farr is an investment advisor and says without trust, businesses will not take the risks and make the investments needed to create a growing economy and new jobs. 


Economy might eclipse action
on climate next week in Warsaw


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

World governments are likely to recoil from plans for an ambitious 2015 climate change deal at talks next week as concerns over economic growth at least partially eclipse scientists' warnings of rising temperatures and water levels.
 
“We are in the eye of a storm,” said Yvo de Boer, the United Nations climate chief in 2009, when a summit in Copenhagen ended without agreement. After Copenhagen, nations targeted a 2015 deal, to enter into force from 2020, with the goal of averting more floods, heat waves, droughts and rising sea levels.
 
The outline of a more modest 2015 deal, to be discussed at annual U.N. climate talks in Warsaw next week, is emerging. This deal will not halt a creeping rise in temperatures but might be a guide for tougher measures in later years.
 
The U.S. shale boom helped push U.S. carbon emissions to an 18-year low last year, for instance, but it also shifted cheap coal into Europe, where it has been increasingly used in power generation.
 
“Our concern is urgency” in tackling climate change, said Marlene Moses of Nauru, chairwoman of the Alliance of Small Island States whose members fear they will be swamped by rising sea levels. “Vague promises will no longer suffice.”
 
She wants progress when senior officials and environment ministers from almost 200 nations meet in Warsaw to discuss the 2015 deal, in addition to climate aid to poor nations and ways to compensate them for loss and damage from global warming.
 
Yet many governments, especially in Europe, are concerned that climate policies, such as generous support schemes for solar energy, push up consumer energy bills.
 
Some want to emulate the success of the United States in bringing down energy prices via shale gas, a fossil fuel that can help cut greenhouse emissions if it replaces coal, but at the same time can divert investments from even cleaner forms of energy.
 
Temperatures have risen by 0.8 degrees C (1.4 degrees F) since the Industrial Revolution, according to most scientific studies. The seas have been rising since the end of the Ice Age, and predictions are for continued increases.


Young soloists to perform

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Teatro Nacional will host young soloists Friday night at 8 p.m.

Accompanying will be the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional. The seven soloists will be playing marimba, piano, violin, saxophone and guitar. The young performers were picked via auditions.

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Environmental groups rally around petition against incineration
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A host of environmental groups and individuals are calling upon the health minster to prohibit the incineration of plastic because doing so is a direct menace to public health, according to the lead organization, Ni Una Sola Mina.

The firm BT BioEnergía Tica S.A. has signed a contract with the cantons of Cañas, Tilarán and Bagaces to handle their solid waste. Some will be recycled and the remainder will be incinerated.

The petition notes that the contract has been approved by the Contraloría General de la República, but it raises questions as to what the environmental impact will be from the project.

The company is seeking to generate electricity from the heat generated by incineration.
The organizations and individuals who signed the petition say they are strictly against this project.

Solid waste or garbage is a big problem in Costa Rica where there are a limited number of landfills.  Some smaller communities are maintaining dumps that are themselves environmental disasters.

The petition says that consigning plastic, paper and other waste to incineration violates a Costa Rican law. Plus the petition asks where the ash will go once incineration is complete.

The petition also says that the gas coming from the incinerator would be dangerous. The petition also raises a constitutional issue of a citizen's right to a healthy life. That presages possible legal action.

Some who signed the petition are as far away as México, Argentina and Venezuela.


Routine search turns up well-armed individuals and drugs
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial agents seeking a missing person encountered rifles, pistols, marijuana and cocaine.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said its agents were conducting a routine search in Limón when they spotted a man carrying an AR-15 firearm. The man with the weapon shouted to others in a nearby house and one man fled with a bag.

Agents said they managed to round up the man and found weapons in the bag. After a judge provided the paperwork, the agents entered the home and one nearby. They said they discovered more firearms and drugs.

They said that they presumed that the individuals were involved in a local criminal organization selling drugs.

weapons
Judicial Investigating Organization photo
Here are the weapons that were located in Limón.



Power company will get a new lease on life from lawmakers
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Lawmakers in a committee Tuesday acted to extend the life of the Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz. The firm will be allowed to operate for 99 more years if the full legislature approves the bill.

The action was in the Comisión de Asuntos Agropecuarios.
The state firm sells about 46 percent of the electricity used in Costa Rica. It has about 510,000 customers, mainly in the Central Valley. 

The firm has seven generating plants of its own, all hydro operations. And it has a wind generating field. The company buys additional power from the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad.

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Three-dimensional imaging helps scientists learn more about malaria parasite
By the University of Edinburgh news service

Scientists have developed a 3D filming technique that could aid research to stem the spread of malaria.

Creating moving digital holograms of malaria sperm has given researchers fresh insights into the behavior of these tiny life forms.

Understanding how malaria parasites mate could pave the way for improved prevention and control of this deadly disease, which poses a threat to half of the world’s population, said researchers.

Malaria parasites mate in the gut of mosquitoes, and people can catch the disease when they are bitten by these infected, blood-sucking insects.

Scientists from the University of Edinburgh and the Rowland Institute at Harvard University were able to see that malaria sperm move in an irregular, lopsided corkscrew motion.
 This enables them to twist to the left or the right, as well as go forwards and backwards, and is thought to help the sperm swim between red blood cells to find female mates.

Malaria sperm use microscopic structures, known as flagella, to swim.

These structures are important because they are used by many parasites to invade parts of the body.

They also perform essential roles in embryonic development, reproduction, and nutrient uptake in all animals.

Scientists say the simple structure of the malaria sperm makes it an excellent model system in which to study flagella in animals.

The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

 
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Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat
Steve and Debbie Legg
Toll Free: 1-888-828-9245       In Costa Rica: (506)-2478-0023 or 8333-6863

Our Vision at Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat is to create the perfect blend of Adventure, Discovery and Tranquility for each guest.  Plan an Adventure zooming along a zip line high in the canopy or horseback riding though forests, farms and rivers. Discover the magical wonders of the flora and fauna of Costa Rica. Experience Tranquility in one of our cabins tucked in our 26 acres. Located in Monterrey, San Carlos, in the mountains above Fortuna, we enjoy spectacular, panoramic views of the Arenal Volcano and its lava flow. Please see our Web site for more information. www.leavesandlizards.com or e-mail us at leavesandlizards@gmail.com.
7862-8/1/13

Costa Rica’s #1 Time –Tested Relocation/Retirement Tours
Christopher Howard's Award-winning Combination Relocation/Retirement Tour. NO other retirement tour offers MORE options...MORE areas visited, MORE information, MORE people just like you who have made the move and a LONGER
fact-filled tour for your money. Winner of the 2010 Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the most UNIQUE and OUTSTANDING tour in Latin America. This  is the ONLY relocation/retirement tour really APPROVED with a LEGAL tour guide to operate in Costa Rica by the government’s Institute of Tourism ICT (license number DL-658-2004) in 2004. ALL tours are personally led by Christopher Howard, the author of the perennial best-selling ”New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica,” the MOST read authority on living and 
Christ Howard with Max
retiring in Costa Rica,  and who has personally helped over 10,000 people with ALL BUDGETS relocate SUCCESSFULLY over the last 35 years. CUSTOM TAILOR-MADE TOURS are also available for people with special needs or who can’t take one of our fixed-date tours. ALL tours include EXTENSIVE touring and a highly informative SEMINAR by the country’s most renowned EXPERTS in their respective fields. Also visit: Live in Costa Rica to check out our NEW tour prices and specials.  Customer satisfaction 100% guaranteed! MY REFERENCES.

* Recommended by the Association of Residents of Costa Rica ARCR as part of the new Costa Rica Alliance (made up of the most renowned experts in their respective fields).

* FREE 50% DISCOUNT on the first year's MEMBERSHIP for the Association of Residents of Costa Rica ARCR with these tours
        
*FREE BONUS all people who sign up for the tour receive a FREE copy of the 16th edition of  the bestseller “New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica. At the conclusion of the tour they also receive FREE eBook copies of Christopher Howard’s other one-of-a-kind  bestsellers “Official Guide to Costa Rican Spanish,” “The Official Guide to Real Estate In Costa Rica” and “The Official Guide to Costa Rica’s Legal System for Tontos (dumbells).” Almost 2,000 pages of INVALUABLE material in all!
7962-6/9/13

Howard Spanish cover

NOW YOU CAN SPEAK SPANISH

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ALL you need to handle most daily situation. ALL of the Tico slang you cannot find in a dictionary. Practical pronunciation exercises to help you lose your Gringo accent. Social situations and everything else you need to know in the #1 Best-selling “Christopher Howard’s Official Guide to Costa Rica Spanish.”  Also see our #1 Web site on Google www.costaricaspanish.net  for FREE Spanish lessons. eBook available through www.costaricabooks.com
7963-6/9/13

Christopher Howard’s Costa Rica Starter Kit!
4 INDISPENSABLE eBOOKS FOR ONLY $39.95        
THE SAME 4  GUIDEBOOKS IN HARDBACK COST  $82.95
costa Rica Starter Kit

    * The 16th edition of the 680-page  “New Golden Door to Retirement
             and Living  in Costa Rica”
    * The 545-page “Official Guide to Real Estate in Costa Rica”
    * Speak Spanish like a Costa Rican! “The Official Guide to Costa Rican Spanish”
    * Christopher Howard’s “Official Guide to Costa Rica’s Legal System for Tontos
            (dumbells)”
Purchase through Pay Pal at: www.costaricabooks.com
7964-6/9/13

Ready For a Vacation to Costa Rica?
VacationsCostaRica.com offers customized, upscale vacations to Costa Rica, planned by our team of in-country travel experts. Call us Toll Free: 1-800-606-1860 or locally in San Jose: 2296-7715.  We also offer trips to Panama, visit: VacationToPanama.com. Are you a fisherman? Our local experts will help arrange fishing trips to Costa Rica, just click HERE!
7699-3/4/14

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?


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HERE!


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

Real estate rental services (paid category)

See our listing of real estate brokers on the for-sale page.

Real estate for rent (paid category)

Palmares


Homes for rent in Palmares, Alajuela

See our Web page: palmarescostarica.us
8109-11/10/13

Unfurnished 2-bedroom 2-bathroom house.. One large room for living room, dining room and kitchen. Separate bath.  2 bedrooms with bath on second floor. Washroom. Large 3-bay garage with bathroom, secure  for warehousing and storage. Located  approximately 6 miles east of San José and 1 mile west of Concepcion Tres Rios.  Map on request.  Telephone installed, cable and Internet available.  $250 a month plus utilities. 6 months minimum lease, deposit. Available after Oct. 15.  Tel. 2256-9426 bobbyruf@ice.co.cr 
8100-11/3/13

COMPLETELY and nicely furnished apartments
apartment view
in San José. Fast Internet, cable TV, hot water. Large American appliances including washer and dryer. Both convenient locations. No pets. $600 per month. Contact: rentnowcr@gmail.com or call 8555-9819.
8106-11/21/13

prime
                                    properties
ATTENTION EXPATS:
 
We have many prime properties available for long-term rentals.
Rohrmoser
Escazú
Santa Ana
 

  rentals.sanjose@gmail.com
88136-12.22.13

Lovely cottage on private coffee farm
One spacious bedroom, one bath, office room/spare room with high speed DSL internet, fully equipped kitchen, phone line,
Sarchi cottage
balcony with beautiful view, especially at night with the far off lights of San José. Farm is gated and guarded, private and peaceful, owner on-site. Sarchi is a quiet small town about 30-40 min from the airport, a perfect base to explore from and also get a
feel for normal, day-to-day Tico life. Rental is $575 per month, 3 months minimum. All utilities included. Shorter stays at $45 per night, 2 nights minimum. $225 per week, and $30 per additional night. Sorry, no pets.  Contact jogya345@yahoo.com or 8308-7732.
8093-10/16/13

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
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.
8054-2/16/14

Barrio Escalante, totally furnished, 1 BR apartment for single, responsible person. $35 daily, weekly rates. Contact 8385-2542, celigar53@gmail.com.
8018-8/24/13

ALAJUELA – SERENE LIVING
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 gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.
7968-7/17/13
7875-4/11/13

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A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday,  Nov. 6, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 220
Sports
Calendar
Opinion
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Real Estate
Lifestyle
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Cafetales



Pacific Estates

Sweetie
Terre des Hommes photo
The virtual 10-year-old Filipino girl who lured predators.

Virtual 10 year old is the lure
for pedophiles stalking online

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Over 1,000 pedophiles were identified using a novel, high-tech approach.

Using a computer-generated 10-year-old Filipino girl named Sweetie, the Dutch rights group Terre des Hommes attracted over 1,000 adults willing to pay children in developing countries to perform sex acts on a webcam.

Researchers in Amsterdam sought potential predators in public online chat rooms. In a very short period of time, over 20,000 people from over 65 countries approached the virtual 10-year-old, asking for webcam sex performances.

While the adults interacted with the virtual girl, the researchers gathered information about them through social media to uncover their identities.

The group says it plans to hand over video of the adults to law enforcement authorities.

Terre des Hommes said the crimes represent a largely unknown, but quickly spreading new form of child exploitation. The group added that “webcam child sex tourism is as devastating to the victims as physical abuse.”

The group said that while webcam child sex tourism is banned by most national and international laws, only six perpetrators worldwide have been convicted of this crime.

“It is not a problem of existing laws,” says Hans Guyt, director of campaigns at Terre des Hommes Netherlands. “The United Nations has established laws that make this child abuse nearly universally illegal. The biggest problem is that the police don’t take action until child victims file reports, but children almost never report these crimes. These children are usually forced to do this by adults or by extreme poverty.”

Guyt said getting a child to testify is almost an impossible thing to do, adding he’d like to see governments adopt proactive investigation policies that give law enforcement agencies the mandate to actively patrol public Internet hotspots where this child abuse takes place every day.

“The child predators doing this now feel that the law doesn’t apply to them,” he said. “The Internet is free, but not lawless.”

The group estimates that at any given time, there are 750,000 child predators online.

The number of children exploited through webcam child sex tourism is expected to rise due to the global demand of predators, and as growing access to cheap Internet in developing countries is making it easier to exploit children online.


Google chairman say China
needs more openness, freedom


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt says China needs to allow greater online freedoms if it wants to continue to grow its economy.

During a visit to Hong Kong Monday, Schmidt voiced concerns over new Chinese efforts to control online speech, including its 500 repost rule, which could mean a prison sentence for authors of messages deemed defamatory by the government.
 
He said freedom of speech will help the mainland avoid falling into the so-called middle-income trap of countries that are no longer poor but have trouble reaching the status of a high-income nation.
 
"The best government says, 'I want to solve the problems of smart people. I want to have entrepreneurs. I want to solve the jobless problem. I need more entrepreneurs, more innovation,'" he said. "We argue at Google that in order for you to have that, you have to have a free and open Internet, something that Hong Kong has and Mainland China does not."
 
Google left Mainland China and relocated its Chinese language servers to Hong Kong in 2010. The U.S. tech giant cited a trend of increasing censorship as well as intrusions by what it called "a highly-sophisticated hacker attack that originated in China."
 
Huang Qi, the owner of www.64tianwang.com, the first Chinese human rights web site, said he appreciated Google's commitment to universal values and urged all foreign companies doing business in China to follow Google's example.
 
“For many years Google has upheld universal values when confronted with mainland China’s blockage of media and the Internet," said Huang. "It continuously never compromised, refusing economic enticements. This practice should be followed by international companies. We hope every company can put human rights and democratic ideals in a higher position, to refuse to be complicit in the authorities’ bad dealings, and safeguard mainland Chinese peoples’ human rights and media freedom.”
 
China is frequently accused by activists of trying to silence online debate to crack down on dissent.


U.S. Navy bribery scandal
has security dimension, too

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

This week a U.S. Court opens a hearing into a U.S. Navy bribery scandal involving millions of dollars in excess charges for servicing American ships at Asian ports. The charges against two Singapore-based businessmen, a Navy commander and a senior Navy investigator have raised eyebrows in the region as the case also suggests breaches of military security.

A Federal court in San Diego holds a pre-trial hearing Friday for the Navy commander, Michael Misiewicz, the Navy investigator, John Beliveau, and defense contractors Leonard Francis and Alex Wisidigama. The men are facing charges of conspiracy to commit bribery. All have pleaded not guilty.
 
Prosecutors say Singapore-based contract company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia, GDMA, provided the Navy men with gifts including prostitutes, luxury travel, and concert tickets.
 
In return, Misiewicz is alleged to have steered Navy ships based mainly in Japan to visits at ports with lax oversight in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. Prosecutors say GDMA then overcharged the Navy by millions of dollars for food, fuel, waste removal, and other services through fraudulent invoices and fake tariffs.
 
Navy investigator Beliveau is alleged to have fed Francis, the head of the company, internal information on the three-year probe to warn him and help prepare a defense.
 
Carl Thayer, a former professor at the Australian Defense Force Academy, said the Navy scandal is of a magnitude he has never seen.
 
“There have been the odd occasions when reports have been released of people, 'loose lips sink ships,' of making remarks in public or in private that contained classified information. But, not on this organized a scale itself and not involving, specifically, in this area of the world in my recent memory,” Thayer said.
 
Cmdr. William Marks, a spokesman for the U.S. 7th Fleet, based in Japan, acknowledged the scandal's allegations can harm the perception of confidence in U.S. Navy command.
 
“So, these are certainly hard for us in the Navy, but we take a certain amount of pride in holding ourselves to the highest possible standards," Marks said. "The Navy is known for its accountability. Primarily, more than anything, we take very great concern into the ultimate accountability of the commanding officer.”
 
Navy commander Misiewicz is also alleged to have given Francis classified information on planned warship movements in the region, months in advance, though neither has been charged with endangering national security.
 
The charges filed in connection with the case prompted authorities in Australia, a major U.S. ally, to investigate whether the Australian Navy was affected. GDMA has been servicing navies in Asia for 25 years, including Australia's, in ports from Vladivostok to Sydney.
 
Thayer said while embarrassing to the U.S. Navy in Asia, the controversy will increase scrutiny of relations between militaries and contractors.
 
“So, I think it's kind of a one-off affair. It's not seen as, you know, symptomatic of the entire U.S. Navy," Thayer said. "These things happen from time to time. But, the concern is what is the immediate security impact? And, in this case, it involves the movement of U.S. warships.”
 
The four men were arrested in September and October after Navy Officers lured Francis, a Malaysian citizen, to San Diego on the false pretense of a business meeting.
 
The independent U.S. military newspaper, Stars and Stripes, reports the investigation on GDMA began in 2010 when suspicious billing was first spotted.
 
The company charged the Navy $110,000 in dockage fees for supporting annual exercises with the Thai Navy despite an agreement between the countries for no costs.
 
Capt. Daniel Dusek of the "USS Bonhomme Richard" is also under investigation and was in October relieved of duty by Rear Admiral Hugh Wetherald. Navy spokesman Marks underscores that he was not charged with any wrongdoing but that the investigation was detrimental to his ability to lead those under his command.
 
“Part of the hallmarks of being a commanding officer is having the confidence and trust of people both below you and above you, your seniors," Marks said. "Based on Admiral Wetherald's judgment, there was a loss in that confidence and for that reason he relieved Captain Dusek Of his command.”
 
The four men charged could face up to five years in prison if convicted. But the corruption case could expand further. Court documents allege other Navy personnel accepted gifts from Francis but no names or details have been released.


$1 billion in stolen art works
recovered in Munich apartment


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A German media report says authorities confiscated a cache of about 1,500 works of art from an apartment in Munich in 2011. The works, including paintings by Picasso, Matisse and Chagall, have been missing for 70 years and are believed to have been private property confiscated by the Nazis from Jewish families.
 
The German magazine Focus reported Sunday that Cornelius Gurlitt, the owner of the Munich apartment, inherited the missing art from his father.  Hildebrand Gurlitt was a museum director hired by the Nazis to sell the works abroad but kept some of them for himself.
 
A German government spokesman told reporters Monday that Bavarian state prosecutors are getting federal government in the form of experts on Nazi-looted art. The spokesman did not confirm or deny the magazine report.
 
"We have been aware of the case for a couple of months already and that's why we are releasing the information that we're trying to provide help by arranging experts," said the spokesman.
 
Experts say that 20,000 works of modern art were confiscated from Jewish dealers in Nazi Germany. Many remain missing. When they are discovered, they are claimed by the descendants of their former owners. Experts feel cases such as this bring light not only to the scale of how much the Nazis stole, but also to some disturbing trends that persist in the world of art.
 
"The Gurlitt case shows the extent of organized art theft in museum and private collections under the Nazis, when the works had all been the private property of Jewish owners. It also shows the lack of transparency in the art trade because there was no research into provenance of the works that Gurlitt sold. Also, this discovery happened in 2011 and is only being publicized now," said Ruediger Mahlo, a representative of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims in Germany.
 
Focus magazine reported that the discovery came after a routine customs cash check on a train between Switzerland and Munich in 2010. Customs officials found the 80-year-old Gurlitt carrying the equivalent of about $12,000 in euros, apparently obtained from an art sale in a Swiss gallery.
 
The art found in Gurlitt's apartment is estimated to be worth more than $1 billion.
 
Mahlo said every piece must be investigated for provenance and recorded in the lost art database in Magdeburg.


zombie
Voice of America photo
A man holds zombie doll at 'Walker Stalker' convention.
 
Zombies are a hit in Atlanta
as fans honor television show

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Thousands of people converged on Atlanta, Georgia, recently to attend a convention honoring the walking dead: zombies in general, and the characters of "The Walking Dead" television show in particular.

The convention was the first such gathering organized by two podcasters who produce a bi-weekly show called "Walker Stalkers," celebrating all things "The Walking Dead," including its post-apocalyptic Atlanta setting and the surrounding Georgia countryside in the U.S. southeast.

Actors from the show signed autographs, posed for photographs and answered questions from fans.

Lead actor Andrew Lincoln, who plays embattled Sheriff Rick Grimes, made a rare public appearance.

His character leads a small contingent of humans who defend themselves and their encampment in an abandoned prison against sporadic onslaughts of wandering zombies, known on the show as "walkers."

Lincoln, who is British, was intrigued by the role because it was unlike anything he'd ever read before.

"I’ve done comedy, I’ve done a lot of romantic roles, and things like that," he said. "And the opportunity to play a badass sheriff, I was like, 'Are you kidding me? Would I get to wear some boots and ride a horse and shoot people for a living? Count me in.'"

Some fans at the convention dressed as the show's human characters, while others decked out in zombie gore.

They wandered through a maze of stalls offering a variety of merchandise, including zombie-themed sculptures and an animatronic zombie doll that wraps its limbs around your waist and growls at passers-by.

Zombie culture is experiencing a renaissance in pop culture, but the allure of the genre may not be apparent to the uninitiated. While the thrill of blood and gore might be enough for some, the show's subtle hints at old-time movie Westerns may draw others.

For fan Robyn Gerris of Vancouver, British Columbia, the world of "The Walking Dead" means a chance to start over.

"The world needs a reset," she said, describing the world as a place where consumerism is out of hand and not enough attention is paid to human welfare. She says she likes the idea of a return to the basic needs of survival: food, shelter, companionship.


Democrat takes governorship
against Va. Tea Party candidate


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Democrat Terry McAuliffe has won the Virginia governor's race in a close victory over Tea Party conservative Ken Cuccinelli.
 
With 97 precincts reporting late on Tuesday, McAuliffe edged out Cuccinelli 47 to 46 percent.
 
The only other U.S. state selecting a governor Tuesday, the northeastern U.S. state of New Jersey, has chosen Republican and possible 2016 presidential contender Chris Christie.
 
Votes are still being counted, but exit polls give Christie a wide lead over his Democratic opponent, State Sen. Barbara Buono. Christie has already given his victory speech, declaring himself the luckiest guy in the world.
 
The popular Christie became a national figure when Superstorm Sandy devastated his state last year. He pleased liberals but angered conservatives when he became friendly with President Barack Obama in working to clean up storm damage.
 
Meanwhile, New York City is getting its first Democratic mayor in more than 20 years. New York's public advocate, Bill de Blasio, won by a large margin over Republican Joe Lhota, who is a former chairman of the city's transportation authority. Three-term Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an independent, is barred from a fourth term.
 
Voters in several other major cities, including Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Houston and Miami, also elected mayors.
 
U.S. political analysts are looking for clues from Tuesday's results to help predict the outcome of next year's congressional elections, when all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and one-third of the nation's 100 Senate seats are up for grabs.
 
Americans also voted on a variety of ballot initiatives Tuesday.
 
In the western state of Colorado, which legalized recreational marijuana last year, voters approved a measure to impose a 25 percent tax on the drug. The money will go toward regulating the marijuana industry and building schools.
 

Family and police practices
gave New York race to Dem

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

New York City voters elected a new mayor, Bill de Blasio, putting the city under Democratic party control for the first time in more than 20 years. De Blasio, a Democrat, entered the race with a huge lead over the Republican nominee, Joe Lhota, in a city where registered Democrats already outnumber Republicans six to one.
 
He appealed to voters with a populist agenda and interracial family: his two children and African-American wife, writer Chirlane McCray, whom de Blasio says will have an important role in his administration.
 
Running from his position as the city’s public advocate, the middle-class Democrat from Brooklyn could hardly have been less like the incumbent mayor, billionaire Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent Michael Bloomberg.
 
A liberal with progressive economic policies, de Blasio professed little sympathy for Wall Street. At every campaign event, his message was the same: New Yorkers want a break from the Bloomberg years, when, he said, big business and the wealthy were catered to at the expense of ordinary New Yorkers.
 
“Right now in New York, we’re living a tale of two cities; almost half of New Yorkers are living at or near the poverty line and the middle class is disappearing,” he said at the last Democratic debate.
 
In an interview, de Blasio praised Bloomberg’s policies on the environment and public health but said that the pressing needs of most New Yorkers were being neglected.
 
“I’ve also said we should tax the wealthy, and that’s another big difference: I want to tax the wealthy to help our public schools,” he said, referring to his proposal for funding all-day pre-kindergarten and after-school programs. The plan would raise the marginal tax rate from about 3.9 percent to 4.4 percent on people whose annual income tops $500,000. Critics, however, noted that raising taxes would require the approval of the New York state legislature, which is currently controlled by Republicans.
 
Some observers say a television ad featuring De Blasio’s teenage son, Dante, sporting a huge afro gave de Blasio a big boost in multi-ethnic New York. The image of the candidate’s son as a young African-American man hit home among some New Yorkers angered by what they see as racially discriminatory police practices, including stopping and searching suspects,  mostly men of color, without probable cause.
 
“He’s the only one who will end a stop-and-frisk era that unfairly targets people of color,” Dante says in the ad.
 
Voters on Election Day said that however appealing de Blasio’s family is, it was his policies that attracted them.
 
“He relates more to an average working person, I feel, than not just the other party, but also the other candidate,” New Yorker Ron Katz said outside a polling site in Brooklyn.
 
“I feel he represents the needs of my family and community. He’s from our community, he’s worked hard in our community,” said Charlene Clark.
 
De Blasio's opponent, Republican candidate Joe Lhota, a former deputy mayor, appeared with former Mayor Rudy Giuliani in the last days of the campaign. Lhota hammered at the theme of his campaign commercials: that crime in New York would rebound under the liberal de Blasio.

Real estate-related services (paid category)

Project completion specialists
Casa del pacifico logo
Pacifica living
A turnkey home and project completion agency devoted to creative vision and flawless execution. We provide a single, solid and dedicated point of contact for the duration of your real estate project, specializing in:

                      • Building completion services
                      • Interior design & decoration
                      • Custom furniture design & manufacturing.

Our primary goal is to assist our clients with a smooth transition to occupancy while providing highly personalized and distinctive services. We have refined the process to be a hassle free experience, especially valuable for clients who live abroad. We customize to suit each client’s personal taste, lifestyle and budget.
Serving region for 10 years.
We regularly exceed client expectations. We guarantee it.
Email: info@casadelpacifico.com
Cell phone: (506) - 8707-8008
Office phone: (506) - 2288-5644
Web: www.casadelpacifico.com
8070-2/14/13


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 2228-5961 or 8339-2112. www.costaricarealtyone.com
8091-12/11/13

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.
7949-11/15/13

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 www.moranlakearenal.com
Contact us at the office: (506) 2694-0088
Cell (506) 8880-8888
Phone number from the U.S. (305) 307-0088
Email: moranrealestate@gmail.com
Moran logo
8119-4/16/14



Costa Rica,

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





Visit our Web Site:
 www.greciarealestate.com




English: (Cristian Arce)
(506) 8309-0173  
English:  (Luis Arce)
(506) 7100-8489  
 Español: (Luis G. Jiménez)
  (506) 8707-4016  
Grecia 794
This is the BIGGEST DEAL of the month now at $850.000: HERE!
30,000 square meters of land and 750 square-meters of construction.
Grecia 768
1,000 square meters of land and 350 square meters of construction. HERE!
Grecia 807
  18,000 square meters of land and 300 square meters of construction. HERE!
  Send us your request to our email: info@greciarealestate.com
8068-11/9/13

Real estate for sale (paid category)


Med house
Mediterranean inspired home overlooking the Bay of Nicoya and Pacific Ocean. This design allows for barrier free living, yet maximizes views from every room in the house . Vaulted ceiling over the living area and kitchen give the great room it’s spacious, open feeling with a natural stone fireplace and imported Spanish tile floors. $365,000.   Property: 22,000 m2 or 5.5 acres. Construction: 4,500 sq. ft. including porches and garage. 3 nedrooms, 2 baths, full dining room, separate office. Custom wrought iron gates, custom exotic wood cabinets, high-end stainless steel appliances, Granite countertops.    Slide show at  www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/24055899   
For more information contact:  deeday214@gmail.com
8135-2/5/14

beach scenes
Established Hotel/Resort -Great Business Opportunity:
The owner/manager of a successful hotel on the Gold Coast of Costa Rica has listed their property with us. It is a successful and ongoing concern. The property and buildings are well built and maintained. The property has a history of repeat clients. To protect the business for the current and future owners, detailed information of the listing will only be shared after an expression of interest and a non-disclosure confidentiality agreement is executed. It is located about one hour of Liberia airport and less than 500 meters to beach. The land is over 1 hectare allowing room for expansion. There are 18 bedrooms in a variety of apartments, cabinas and houses, A/C, bar restaurant and shop. Near golf, horses, tennis, world class surf and more. Listing Price of $US2.4 million. Mary or Jerre West, maryandjerre@aol.com, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603
8123-4/22/2104

San Mateo pool

BEAUTIFUL PROPERTY IN SAN MATEO, ALAJUELA 3,528 m2

Includes 4-bedroom, 2-bath, 2-story house built to American standards with a balcony overlooking full-sized swimming pool and rancho with a bathroom and a shower room, and landscaped tropical gardens.  There are two large storage buildings, a carport and electric-gate access to the enclosed property.  It is a short drive to the highways to San José and the beaches.  Owner financing available.  Please call: +506 2446-4901
8116-11/15/13

montage
For sale is a beautiful 50-acre property located in Los Alpes, just 15 minutes outside of San Ramon. At about 4,000 feet above sea level, this finca provides gorgeous views of the Central Valley as well as the Pacific Ocean in the distance while also offering a wonderful climate year around. The main house is two stories with three bedrooms and two full baths. High quality construction using exotic hardwoods such as almond, which covers the ceilings throughout the entire house. There are also two corrals and a small casita on the property. This location is perfect for a farm-style home or for beginning an agricultural business. This truly is a rare piece of property and is available for $399,999. Price is somewhat negotiable and we will be happy to work with the buyer to make it work! Please call 8816-2478 or e-mail bmcart3@gmail.com for more information ¡y se habla español!
8097-xxx

Pacific Estates

Pacific Estates is divided into three distinct sections called Pacific Landings, Pacific Hills and Pacific Acres. Pacific Landings includes unique 2 & 3 bedroom homes incorporating pole house construction, cathedral ceilings, balconies on both the front and back of the house and eco-friendly elements. The homes also include granite counter tops, state-of-the-art stainless steel kitchen appliances, washer & dryer hook ups, internet connectivity and zone controlled A/C. These homes feature 1,290 square feet under A/C space and 1,537 square feet under A/C space with an optional Loft. To learn more about Pacific Estates, schedule a No Obligation Free Virtual Tour today by clicking here!
8087-10/18/13

Samara church and lot
Commercial lot with great visibility in heart of Playa Sámara commercial district. Located alongside town's largest church, bank, hardware store/lumber yard, mini shopping plaza, and Pali (Sámara's largest supermarket). This lot has a large elevated building platform shaded with mature treees. All this makes for many commercial options.  One block from stunning "blue flag" beach. This is a perfect location for a eco/boutique hotel, restaurant/catering, apartments, or condominium. All utilities to this property. Lot size 1,414m2. Price 325K. Email: mwk350@yahoo.com
8082-10/9/13

Nicoya
                                views
Maui, 50 years ago!
One acre with all services located on the Nicoya Peninsula at about 2,400 feet below cloud level with the most intriguing panoramic views to the picturesque gulf, mountains and valleys, as well as sunset over the Pacific. 60,000 USD, axelspecial@gmail.com    Cell 8916-5550.
8061-xxxxx

Five bedroom home
Five bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths plus guest house
Price reduced $100,000 for quick sale. Features include out door BBQ, swimming pool, plus on the beach. The home is completely furnished with U.S. products. Each room is individually air conditioned.  Hot water in bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.  Fully furnished. Includes TV’s, refrigerator/freezer, dish washer, microwave, electric stove/oven, washer & dryer and many “as seen on TV” appliances.  To see more, go to YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/user/CasaDelSolCostaRica
Asking  $250,000.    Call Gary 8784-2945 or email combrokers@aol.com
88059-xxxx

humming bird nest

Bed & Breakfast for sale and personal home with 2 houses on property of 3/4 acre (3,030 m2) and buildings w/verandas & carport approximately 350 m2. One house at entrance is central to village w/gated parking lot and a 3-bedroom house for rental or employees/family w/carport/yard/gardens. A 50-meter sendero winds to the top among lush gardens where the main house is situated w/2 buildings attached by verandas & stairway to second floor.  There are 2 bedrooms, sala, 4 baths, large kitchen, laundry rooms, work bodega, storage bodega and hot tub on veranda w/tiled shower room.  Home is surrounded by tropical gardens, views of Arenal Volcano, panoramic views of Lake Arenal, private w/school owned property on one side, pasture land on back side and connecting entry gate on other side to Cabinas El Castillo & Fusion Restaurant.  A bird watcher's paradise w/hummingbirds, Montezuma, toucans, butterflies and visits from howler monkeys.  The B&B is listed four consecutive editions of Lonely Planet and the first established B&B in this area.  Photos can be viewed on the Web site: www.hummingbirdnestbb.com.  Make your dream come true with a slice of paradise in a quiet, private setting. Call Ellen Neely at  8835-8711.  Email: nidocolibri@hotmail.com
8058-11/15/13

Naranjo views

NARANJO VIEW PROPERTY READY TO BUILD: ALL PERMISSIONS

4254 msq. 1.2 acres - $59,000.00
• 10 minutes to the autopista and Naranjo centro
• Tranquil and Quiet
• Landscaped with fruit trees and flowering plants, and coffee#
• Incredible views - The Central Valley and nature reserve
• Close to public transportation - paved main road
• Building pad prepared and soil tested
• Survey/topo
• All services in place and underground - water/electricity/phone
Email monicacal@mac.com
8034-8/19/13

Guiones retreat
SURFERS PARADISE on PLAYA GUIONES, NOSARA
Approximately half acre on the beach with private path to the surf. Very private three-home complex with pool, spacious patios with two wet bars, barbeque and yoga area. Featuring a three-bedroom ranch style home plus a two story Mexican villa style home with two master suites, large kitchen and living area with ocean views and breezes upstairs and a garden apartment downstairs with separate entrance. A caretaker's or teenager's cottage and lots of space for expansion. PRICED FOR QUICK SALE: $899,000.  Call 506 8867-8883 or heidebob2@gmail.com
8027-1/12/14

Beautiful fully renovated house in Bello Horizonte, Escazu, 446 sq. meters. Four bedrooms; four baths. Price includes all furniture and fixtures - ready to move in! Light, bright and airy....$550,000 USD. Telephone 2288.6451. More details HERE!
8010-7/28/13

Flamingo
                            view
Condo for sale in Flamingo

Ocean view 3-bedroom, 3 1/2-bathroom condo. Designer furnished 1,800 square feet, gated community. Only six units. Huge pool and balcony, pet friendly, parking, walking distance to Flamingo beach, banks, grocery store, farmacia, etc. New building. $349,000 asking. Ask for photos. 8705-0056. or 1-800-536-2322.
7986-8/6/13

Guaancaate condos
Little Dreams La Colina Magnolias

Great Guanacaste Beach Condos Available

$28,500 - Little Dreams - Ocotal beach studio condo, furnished upper floor condo in great complex just 1 mile from Ocotal beach, 2 miles from Coco beach, great price for this complex.
$70,000 - La Colina - another Ocotal beach 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo, 80 m2 and fully furnished with upgraded kitchen, complex has Infinity pool, mountain views.

$75,000 Magnolias 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath townhome just 1 minute's walk from Coco beach and the 2 beach clubs in Coco. Nicely furnished, walk to town, 67 m2, perfect location.
Find out more information on these and other condos at my website WendyLovesCostaRica.com. All 3 of these condos are about 35 minutes away from Liberia Intl. airport, no need to drive a long way to get to your condo.  Call for more information, 1-415-670-9382 or 011-506-826-1211. Or email Wendy@WendyLovesCostaRica.com.
7971-6/23/13

NOW REDUCED TO $680,000
ALAJUELA – PRIVATE COMPOUND OF 4 HOMES - $850,000 TURNKEY
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 gerrybuilt2000@yahoo.com.  See property video here:

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:
7967-7/17/13

Nicoya views
Property with ocean and gulf view for sale
Tranquil million dollar view, 5,000-sq.meter property with 3/2 home built to American standards, artistically designed and decorated, 16-foot ceilings of mango and tamarindo, appliances, plunge pool, rancho, caretaker apartment, workshop, covered parking, views of Gulf of Nicoya and ocean, in countryside near San José to Caldera highway. Near the lovely town of Esparza. Can provide extra income from bed and breakfast room rental and stellar Tripadvisor reviews. www.oasisbytheseabandb.com $180,000 506-8869-9274.
7882-4/15/13

For Sale By Owner
1 lot (1.5 acres)  at SIBU (8 lots total) amongst 50 acres of protected jungle gardens with sunset ocean views of Playa Nosara. Underground electric and water.13 minutes from Playa Guiones. Gated. In house financing available. Home of SIBU Sanctuary. jungalow@gmail.com.
7845-8/18/13

Real estate services
Real estate for sale
Businesses for sale

Business for sale or lease (paid category)71

beach scenes
Established Hotel/Resort -Great Business Opportunity:
The owner/manager of a successful hotel on the Gold Coast of Costa Rica has listed their property with us. It is a successful and ongoing concern. The property and buildings are well built and maintained. The property has a history of repeat clients. To protect the business for the current and future owners, detailed information of the listing will only be shared after an expression of interest and a non-disclosure confidentiality agreement is executed. It is located about one hour of Liberia airport and less than 500 meters to beach. The land is over 1 hectare allowing room for expansion. There are 18 bedrooms in a variety of apartments, cabinas and houses, A/C, bar restaurant and shop. Near golf, horses, tennis, world class surf and more. Listing Price of $US2.4 million. Mary or Jerre West, maryandjerre@aol.com, 8879-0235 or (303) 317-6603
8123-4/22/2
11

DIGITS RESOURCE GUIDE is for sale!
In the nine years of operation, DIGITS Resource Guide has grown to cover the entire Southern Pacific Zone, and opened the door to further penetration in San Jose, Jacó, Manuel Antonio, and Osa Peninsula areas.  DIGITS is the only one of its kind with no comparable competition. With the extensive groundwork that has already been achieved, the business is now poised to expand into an even greater level of success. Operating since 2005, the owner is retiring to another Latin American country. For a preview of the magazine, go to www.everydigit.com, or simply go to a local Distributor for a copy. Details on the business, its history, a strategic analysis of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, as well as a Pro-Forma Income Statement from 2008 through to 2013 are available upon request to aha_jm@yahoo.
8115-11/18/13

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.

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page


San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday,  Nov. 6, 2013, Vol. 13, No. 220
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Guatemala drops membership
in Venezuela's Petrocaribe


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Guatemala has withdrawn from the Venezuelan-led Petrocaribe oil alliance after the Central American nation failed to negotiate favorable rates for purchases and financing, a vice-presidential spokesperson said Monday.
 
Guatemala joined the 18-member group in May, seeking an interest rate of below 2 percent on its deferred purchases of Venezuelan oil.
 
“We did not get the benefits that the country hoped for,” spokeswoman Karen Cardona said.

Venezuela's late president, Hugo Chávez, founded Petrocaribe in 2005 as an alliance that allows its member states to buy oil from Venezuela at favorable rates and with easy payment plans.
 
Venezuela, suffering from cash flow constraints and product shortages, has apparently been trying to make changes to the Petrocaribe financing arrangements.
 
Venezuelan foreign minister Elias Jaua said in Mexico Monday that “we are advancing toward a new phase with Petrocaribe from an energy alliance to a productive energy alliance,” without giving further details.
 
Venezuela has for months suffered from nagging product shortages, in part as a result of a lack of hard currency to import consumer goods.
 
Separately, Honduras, which rejoined the alliance in May, has been waiting since August for a fuel shipment from Venezuela that has been delayed due to what are called technical problems in Venezuela's refineries, according to officials.


Toronto mayor changes story
and admits smoking crack


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has apologized to Canadians after admitting to smoking crack cocaine.

Ford battled tears on Tuesday, telling reporters he is embarrassed and ashamed that he let down the people of Toronto.

He said this mistake will never happen again, and that he will continue serving as mayor of Canada's biggest city at least until next year's election.

Ford initially denied all allegations. He was finally forced to admit trying crack after police obtained a video showing the mayor smoking. The Toronto Star newspaper and a gossip-oriented U.S. Web site called Gawker first reported the existence of the tape in May.

Ford said he is not a drug addict.  He said he tried crack about a year ago, probably during what he described as "one of my drunken stupors."

Ford and his brother, Doug, a Toronto city councilor, have called for the police to release the video. But police say that is prohibited, because it is evidence before the courts as part of an investigation into extortion charges against one of the mayor's associates.

"I know what I did was wrong and admitting it was the most difficult and embarrassing thing I have ever had to do. Folks, I have nothing left to hide. I would do anything, absolutely anything to change the past. But the past is the past and we must move forward. I want to be clear, I want to be crystal clear to every single person. These mistakes will never ever ever happen again," said Ford.

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From Page 7:

President promotes country in Paris

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

President Laura Chinchilla spoke Tuesday at a session of the council of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris, France.

This is the organization that Costa Rica hopes to join in 2015. It has been made up mainly of developed countries, and lately had been reaching out to developing countries.

The organization sets international standards in such areas as tax policy, education and the labor market.

This is the organization that put Costa Rica on its black list of tax havens, which had a strong impact on officials.

The organization formed as an administrator of the post-World War II Marshall plan and developed into more of an arbiter of policy after 1961.

The organization's secretary general, Ángel Gurría, visited Costa Rica last month.

President Chinchilla told the meeting that Costa Rica, as a small country, can contribute to the political dialogue because the country has achieved stable and sustainable growth and high levels of human development.