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(506) 2223-1327                                  Published Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, in Vol. 16, No. 221                                  Email us
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Increasing murder cases remains outside tourist zone
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

High profile murders are tarnishing Costa Rica's international reputation. This is bound to affect high season tourism.

But tourists should be more concerned by luggage theft and street robberies than by fears of being gunned down in a driveby.

Once again the weekend produced a handful of gun deaths. Seven persons died from Friday until Sunday evening, but one man was killed in an exchange of fire with Escazú municipal police. One man died of wounds received Sept. 5.

In addition, Fuerza Pública officers made one arrest a short time after a murder in Paraíso de  Cartago.

As with other weekends, planned killings, bar disputes and vengeance seemed to be the motives creating situations that would not involve tourists.

A 34-year-old woman with the last name of  Guzmán died while driving in Coyal de Alajuela when another car pulled nearby and someone inside opened fire. A companion suffered injuries. Investigators are unsure of the motives.

A driveby also took the life of two men in Hatillo 6 Saturday about 11 p.m. They were identified by the last names of Gómez and Diaz. They, too, were in a vehicle when another car drove by and someone opened fire.

A man with the last name of Soto died about 6 p.m. Friday while standing in front of a family business in Calle Blancos. He was gunned down but the circumstances are not yet clear.

The municipal police action in San Antonio de Escazú took place when neighbors complained of weapons being fired. Police said they found two men in a car who fled when they arrived. When police followed they said they were greeted with bullets, according to investigators.

The 35-year-old man with the last name of Jiménez died and a 17 year old suffered two

bullet wounds, according to Judicial investigators.

That case still is under investigation. Agents said that it appears the weapon used against the police vanished and that the only evidence was a bullet clip.

Investigators said they still were trying to identify the victim in Llanos de Santa Lucía, Paraiso de Cartago. That shooting took place about 6 p.m after a dispute. One of the men involved left and returned with a firearm, said investigators. The victim suffered a bullet wound to the left eye. Another man was injured.

Fuerza Pública officers said they found the suspect in the nearby home of a relative. Police said the weapon involved seems to have been stolen from a security guard a few hours earlier.

Also Saturday a man with the last name of  Salazar suffered six bullet wounds about 8 p.m. in Vista Hermosa de Oreamuno. He was hospitalized at Hospital Max Peralta, said investigators.

About 3:40 a.m. Sunday two men suffered knife wounds during an altercation in the Parque Central de Santa Ana, said investigators.

Law enforcement officials blame the wave of murders on drug gangs and disputes over territory.  They say that the murder toll will reach a record of more than 500 this year.

However, an examination of weekend murders and those from previous weeks, show that there is a growing aggressive tendency that sometimes results in fatal street fights and bar shootings.

Most tourists would not be hanging around public parks or low-budget bars after midnight. Nor would they be likely to become embroiled in a personal dispute.

Hotels, restaurants and casinos that cater to tourists have extensive security precautions in place. If tourists do not venture outside these security screens they are unlikely to have a bad experience.

Those beaten up plastic highway posts being replaced
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Some 10 percent of those flexible plastic posts dividing a section of Ruta 32 are being replaced because they have been beaten up by motorists since being installed in June.

The 2,000 posts mark the center line of the two-lane highway from Santa Elena de San Isidro de Heredia to Río Frio. They were installed with much fanfare in June.

The meter-high plastic posts are hard to miss even in foggy weather.

In fact, some motorists do not want to miss them. The Consejo de Seguridad Vial has videos of motorists deliberately knocking down the posts. The devices are designed to take up to 75 hits during their useful life.

The Consejo said that damaged bright yellow posts are being replaced and that reflective tape will be installed on all of them. The work will be done by J L
Señalización y Arquitectura S.A., the same
Consejo de Seguridad Vial photo 
Highway crew replaces a damaged post.

firm that installed the posts in June. The contract is for  223 million colons or about $422,000. The 39-kilometer stretch of highway is part of the San José-Limón route, and it is prone to serious mishaps.

The posts are supposed to reduce head-on mishaps by 20 percent, said the Consejo.

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


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Well-fertilize plant surprises cops

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A marijuana plant in la Rosalía de Jorco de Aserrí must be some kind of record.

The Policía de Control de Drogas said that the plant measured three meters and 40 centimeters in height. That is more than 11 feet.

A neighbor directed police to the plant that was in the patio of a home of  a 27 year old man, they said.

cricket star
Voice of America/ Chandana Gadiraju        
       Australian cricket legend Glenn McGrath interacts with young
       cricketers at Citi Field in New York.

Cricket invades the home field of the Mets

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

More than 25,000 fans, mostly expats, flocked to New York's Citi Field to witness a cricketing spectacle on a chilly Saturday afternoon.

In an entertaining game that lasted a little over three hours, Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar’s Blasters took on Australian balling legend Shane Warne’s Warriors.

“It’s exciting to see all the stars coming together to introduce the game to the U.S. It’s exciting, also, to see Waseem Akram,” said Mohammad, a Pakistani-American who enjoyed the game with a group of his cricket-crazy friends.

Budding cricketer Chris Nancoo was thrilled to see his icons from the West Indies, saying, “I am here to watch Brian Lara. Hope he scores big.”

Though their average age was above 35, the legends did not disappoint. It was a feast for an average cricket follower in America who is deprived of watching live, quality cricket.

New Jersey native Padma Sharma never expected to see her favorite cricketers live in the U.S. “I am only here to enjoy cricket and never imagined it would happen,” she said.

But the biggest attraction for many fans was the God of Cricket, Sachin Tendulkar, widely regarded as one of the most popular sports icons in the world. Fans cheered his name at every possible opportunity.

“It’s a dream come true just to see him live. It was also great to see old rivals playing together,” said Anand Balachandra, who drove from Philadelphia to witness the battle between his cricketing idols.

Warne said he was thrilled to play in front of thousands of his fans who had packed a baseball stadium in New York. “It was a pretty amazing day,” he said.

“The whole idea of Cricket All Stars is to get as many people from different countries to enjoy it, to globalize cricket,” Tendulkar said. The Indian batting legend felt that the atmosphere was as electrifying as the Mets baseball game he'd witnessed a few days ago.

The Cricket All Stars, a group of 28 retired players from Pakistan, India, South Africa, Australia, Sri Lanka, West Indies and New Zealand, are trying to re-create the magic that entertained the world of cricket followers during their playing days. They are participating in three exhibition matches across the United States. The next matches will be at Houston’s Minute Maid Park Wednesday and at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Friday.

New York-based sports marketing company Leverage Agency joined with United Sports Associates to organize the series. The icons spent a week in New York interacting with fans and young cricketers.

By some estimates, there are about 200,000 cricket players in the United States, playing in more than 150 leagues. Most of these players are expats who continue to follow their passion. Capturing the attention of the average American sports fan remains cricket’s biggest challenge, and the star power of Cricket All Stars was expected to create a big buzz for the sport.

Saturday’s game was mostly attended by cricket-loving South Asians, Australians and Caribbeans. Houston and Los Angeles may not be very different.

“Cricket All Stars will definitely score big from the nostalgia or a personal standpoint, but . . .  for the general casual U.S. fan who likes his NFL, his baseball, or his basketball, I don’t really see much impact being made, particularly from the standpoint of the prices that are being put out for these tickets,” said ESPNCricinfo’s U.S. correspondent, Peter Della Penna.

Only 12 percent of the seats in these venues are priced at $50, while the rest range from $75 to $175. Della Penna believes the higher ticket prices may have discouraged those not familiar with this sport.

U.S. Youth Cricket’s President Jamie Harrison, who grew up as a baseball lover, agrees that pricing could have had a role to play, but also feels that a little more advance promotion on mainstream American media would have been helpful.

“They needed to be more open to interacting with Americans," Harrison said. "I would have liked to see a lot more promotion for a longer time, TV commercials, newspaper interviews, basically to get cricket out there.”

Moreover, younger players and fans would have liked to see today’s cricketers rather than watching retired legends. Experts feel that cricket should have followed the soccer model, where current players and clubs play exhibition games during the off-season.

“Soccer games with current stars get 50,000 to 60,000 people in a stadium," Della Penna said. "When the U.S. sends their sports overseas, they send the current talent. You see the NFL going to London every year now, or baseball opened a season in Sydney to a large crowd. Cricket could have used current stars like Chris Gayle, David Warner and M.S. Dhoni that could have helped in bringing in larger crowds.”

New York Times reporter Victor Mather believes that compared with soccer, cricket is a complex game and a little hard to sell, but he feels that thanks to such events, it will continue to grow.

“I have been living in New York for 30 years and this is the biggest thing cricketwise we have ever had," he said. "So you increase people gradually. Somebody who had no interest now has a little interest."

News for the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 221
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Guardacostas official reports some progress in fighting Nicoya piracy
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A Guardacostas official says the agency has recovered two motors and three boats that were carried off by pirates from the community of  Pochote on the Nicoya peninsula. An arrest warrant was issued for one man, he said.

Miguel Madrigal, who heads the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas in Caldera, met with fishing interests to discuss the wave of piracy in the gulf of Nicoya. He gave the report on the investigation prompted by the raid on Pochote.

An estimated eight pirates invaded Puerto Pochote near Tambor on the west coast of  the gulf in mid-October.  They attacked a guard, stole two boats, five motors and gasoline and took other fishing necessities.

There have been at least two more similar incidents during the
 year, and at least twice the pirates tied up the guard and threw him into the mangroves where he managed to escape by swimming.

One of the major jobs of the Guardacostas is suppression of illegal fishing. That means recovering illegal nets and checking the location and catches of fishing boats on the gulf. These violations are covered by fishing laws. Piracy is covered by the penal code and is what amounts to a felony, Madrigal noted.

He urged members of the various fishing associations to file complaints when crimes happen because without complaints there will not be an investigation, he said, noting that a complaint involving Pochote resulted in the recovery of the motors and boats.

Fishing communities in the gulf of Nicoya are setting up a network to fight piracy.

with a bang

Blowing off an explosive would be one way to celebrate a soccer score by your favorite team. But this also would be illegal.

Maybe that is why someone abandoned a bag containing 11 homemade explosives near the Estadio Nacional.  Police found them and reported that there were 11 devices of phosphorus and powder.

These are called bengalas in Spanish, and there are many varieties, some of them legal.

The stadium hosted Deportivo Saprissa  and the Liga Deportiva Alajuelense Sunday.

 Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo

Congress urged to go slow in stripping tax violators of passports
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

American Citizens Abroad has urged the U.S. Congress to delay a measure that would strip citizens of their passports if they were delinquent with tax payments.

The expat advocacy organization said that the tax provision has been added to a surface transportation bill.  The measure authorizes the revocation or denial of renewal of passports if the holder owes what the U.S. Internal Revenue Service claims is more than $50,000 in taxes.

American Citizens Abroad called the measure draconian and discriminatory. In a letter Friday to congressional leaders it urged that the measure be delayed until hearings are held and alternate ways to solve the problem are explored.

The organization noted that overseas IRS offices have been closed and that there are few chances for citizens to meet with revenue officers to seek resolution of their tax problems.

The measure discriminated against "American abroad, who unlike Americans living in the U.S.,  are overwhelmingly reliant upon their U.S, passports in their everyday lives," said the organization.

A tax debt of $50,000 initially appears large, but as some  U.S. expats here have learned, the IRS piles on penalties and interest on even the smallest claim.

The United Sates is just one of a few countries that tax its citizens on earnings overseas, something expat advocacy organizations oppose.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 221
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Germany's universities with free tuition are a big foreign student draw
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

More young Americans are taking a novel approach to getting a higher education without paying the rising costs of U.S. college tuition: enrolling in German universities where tuition is free.

Germany offers free university tuition to foreign as well as domestic students who meet certain academic qualifications.
By contrast, tuition fees at U.S. public and private universities have risen significantly in recent decades.

U.S. college students accumulate debts averaging $30,000 to pay for tuition by the time they graduate, according to American historian and social justice activist Lawrence Wittner.

“Today, paying for tuition is beyond the means of most U.S. college students and their families,” said Wittner on this week’s HashtagVOA program.

Hunter Bliss, from the southern U.S. state of South Carolina, told HashtagVOA that his family faced a stark choice.

“I either had to leave my country and save my own life, or stay in the U.S. and put down $45,000 for a bachelor’s degree. That was simply not doable for me,” said Bliss. He is a student at  Technical University of Munich.

Germany became an option for Bliss when he realized that he could pursue physics at the Technical University, where he enrolled as an undergraduate one year ago.

Tuition at the university is free, but Bliss says each year he has to pay semester fees of about $200, an amount that covers administrative costs of the university and its student union.

Thousands of other Americans have made the same decision as Bliss in recent years. The Institute of International Education, a U.S.-based nonprofit group, says there were 3,069 Americans doing full degrees in Germany in the 2013-14 academic year, a jump of 50 percent from five years earlier. It attributed the data to the German Academic Exchange Service, an organization of higher education institutions in Germany.

Bliss says Americans who qualify for undergraduate programs in Germany typically can study in English for the first year. But he says those students are required to take intensive German language courses to prepare them for completing their studies in the local language.

“The language barrier is probably the biggest challenge,” said Bliss, who already had some German skills before moving to Germany. “But there is a tradeoff. You either pay a lot of money to study in English in the U.S., or you learn the language in Germany.”

Bliss says he is considering a switch to studying design after failing to pass his latest physics exams. But he says he has no regrets about the move to Germany.

“Living more than 7,000 kilometers away from parents, that can be kind of difficult. But the whole journey has been an absolute pleasure. I loved every second of it,” Bliss said.

Chicago-based international university consultancy Eight Hours and Change is trying to help other American students to follow Bliss' lead.

Its founder, Jay Malone, also studied in Germany and now lives in Cologne.

He told HashtagVOA that U.S. students and their families often ask him about the additional costs of studying in Germany.

“It’s not absolutely free,” Malone said. “If you live in a more expensive city like Munich, students should budget around $800 to $1,000 per month for living expenses. For some less expensive cities in the east, you might be looking at spending less than $600 a month.”

Malone says Germany wants to boost its international student population from 300,000 to 400,000 in the coming years, hoping that many of them will go on to work in the country, revive its aging workforce and join its pool of taxpayers.

Bliss, when asked whether he will be one of those students who stays in Germany after graduation, gave an emphatic response. “Absolutely, I want to stay. This country is amazing!”

Vacation, travel and hospitality

HIdden Garden 2016
Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
at the largest gallery in Guanacaste.

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

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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


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Fully Furnished American style Apartments for Rent
2-bedroom, 2- bathroom, fully furnished American-style apartments with elevator in a secure building in Barrio Amó. Cable, Internet, water included. Shared laundry. Convenient to Parque Morazán,
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for Rent

San Francisco de Dos Ríos, El Bosque, furnished 2-bedroom,1-bath apartment, quiet area, free cable TV WiFi, large patio area, swimming pool, parking, security. Close to San José. $450/month. Retired persons preferred. Call 8375-6838. Email:

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

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for  your stay in this beautiful part
tropical homes
of Costa Rica.We are offering homes for every budget and every need. Please visit our Web page at or contact us at or call at (506) 2654-5442

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

Real estate for rent

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

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

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

Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 baths, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Direct TV via sling box on Internet.  Rent per month $750 plus utilities with free internet.  Price for Sale $179,000   Contact Mike:  Check out slide show HERE!

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

A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Manuel Antonio
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 221
Real Estate
About us

Pope says Vatican leaks
will not stop his reforms

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Pope Francis says the leaking of sensitive Vatican documents is a crime and a deplorable act that will not stop him from moving forward with church reforms.

The leader of the world's Roman Catholics, in his first comments since two people suspected of leaking the documents were arrested last week, said "this sad fact will certainly not distract me from the work of reform that is moving ahead."

"Stealing those documents is a crime, it is a deplorable act that does not help," he said before tens of thousand of people at his Sunday blessing in Saint Peter's Square.

Information from the leaked documents was used for two books, "Merchants in the Temple" by Gianluigi Nuzzi and "Avarice" by Emiliano Fittipaldi. The books detail mismanagement and corruption in the Vatican and how some prelates are resisting the pope's financial and administrative changes in the Holy See.

Last week the Vatican arrested two people, a high-ranking Holy See official and an Italian woman who is a public relations expert, for allegedly leaking the documents.

Russia and Britain move
to bring home citizens

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

European holiday makers are leaving the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh by the thousands following an airline disaster that killed hundreds of Russian tourists at the end of October.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said by the end of Sunday, 5,000 British citizens will have left the Red Sea destination. However the country's embassy in Cairo was careful about how it labeled the departures.

"Britain is not evacuating its tourists early from their holidays," the diplomatic mission said in a statement Saturday. "The steps that we have taken yesterday and today with the Egyptian authorities and UK airlines will now allow us to get British people home safely at the end of their holidays."

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his government last week to facilitate the repatriation of Russian travelers from Egypt. Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said Saturday that up to 80,000 Russians were visiting the country, twice as many as previously estimated. On Sunday, a Russian official said about 11,000 have now returned home.

All 224 people aboard a Russian Metrojet flight from Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg were killed Oct. 31. The tragedy prompted some European air carriers to curb or cut flights to the longtime tourism magnet at the southern tip of the Sinai peninsula.

Militants claiming affiliation with Islamic State claimed the attack, however the head of Egypt's investigation team says no conclusions have been reached about what brought the airliner down. U.S. and British officials have said it's possible that a bomb may have brought down the plane.

An unexplained noise during the final second of audio recordings from the cockpit has drawn intense attention, but Egypt's chief investigator, Ayman al-Muqaddam, said his team has not determined whether that signaled an explosion.

British media reported Saturday that a plane carrying tourists to Sharm El-Sheikh in August came within 300 meters of a rocket Aug. 23. However, officials in London and Cairo dismissed the incident.

Egypt's Foreign Affairs spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said Saturday that both governments were fully aware that plane was in no danger during military training near the Sharm el-Sheikh airport.

Russians loitering over cables
prompts security concerns

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

It seems like something more fitting of a Cold War-era James Bond movie script than present-day reality: unnamed Pentagon officials circulating reports that Russian naval vessels and submarines are lurking around undersea cables that link the U.S. to Europe and Asia.

The unnamed officials speculate the Russians might be trying to tap those links or even worse, completely sever them during a time of crisis.

That’s exactly what unnamed U.S. military and intelligence officials have been telling influential news outlets such as The New York Times. And they’re not alone.

Last week, the former NATO Supreme commander, Admiral John Stavridis (Ret.), warned that undersea fiber-optic cables handle almost all the world’s Internet communications and represent a serious security vulnerability should an adversary attack them.

This week, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators requested information from the secretaries of State, defense and homeland security regarding the security of the nearly 200 fiber-optic cables that link the globe together electronically.

“Due to increased Russian aggression and their presence in waters these cables rest in, we are increasingly concerned with what a targeted attack on the cables the U.S. depends on could result in,” they said in their request.

“Nearly all the world’s Internet traffic passes at some point through an underwater cable,” said Doug Madory, director of Internet research at the cyber-intelligence firm Dyn. “And rarely a week goes by that there isn’t a submarine cable break somewhere in the world.”

According to the firm TeleGeography, there are approximately 200 active submarine cables crisscrossing the bottom of the ocean’s floors. These cables electronically link together all of the world’s continents, except Antarctica, and nearly every island with a human population.

Undersea cables are generally around a mere 3 inches in diameter and composed of various layers of insulation, steel cables and water protection. Deep inside are bundles of thin optical fibers, tiny, flexible fibers marginally larger than a human hair. Each can  carry huge amounts of digital data. Together they handle over 95 percent of all Internet and phone data between continents.

Some nations, such as Cuba or New Zealand, have only one main cable connecting them to the global Internet.

“For countries relying on a single submarine cable, the loss of that cable could be crippling for their Internet service,” Madory said. “They may be able to fall back on bulk satellite service, but satellite has much greater latency and less capacity.”

The U.S., by contrast, has several dozen cables connected to its Atlantic and Pacific coast hubs.

Exposed along the vast expanses of ocean sea floor, these cables face a wide range of hazards, including dragging anchors and, in some areas, sharks that inexplicably like chewing on the cables’ polyethylene sheathing.

“When close to shore, these cables are encased in protective metal shielding and buried up to 3 meters deep in the seabed, but out in the deep sea they are unprotected and as thin as a garden hose,” said Madory. “If someone was able to locate these cables at sea, they could easily cut them.”

So could one nation sabotage another by simply mapping those cables and tapping into them or worse, cutting them?

“The U.S. and the former Soviet Union repeatedly tapped each other’s land lines during the Cold War,” noted Christopher Harmer, senior naval analyst with the Institute for the Study of War and retired deputy director with the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet.

“The U.S. Navy tapped the Russian Pacific Fleet data lines for at least a couple of years," said Harmer.

Harmer and Madory agreed that in most areas, undersea cables could easily be cut, and the Russians have a few vessels capable of very deep sea maneuvers.

Harmer said the Pentagon has long been aware of the cables' vulnerabilities to potential threats.

“Transoceanic cables are high-value targets that are extremely vulnerable to attack,” Harmer said via email. “The U.S. Navy is highly aware of the threat, has simulated the scenarios, understands the risks, but does not have the assets to mitigate the risks.”

However, Madory downplays the size of the problem for the U.S.

“There are multiple cables crossing the Atlantic and Pacific, providing enormous capacity and resilience for the Internet in North America,” Madory wrote via email. “To even make a dent in U.S. international connectivity would require simultaneously taking out multiple cables.

“If a perpetrator with a submarine wanted to cause maximal downtime, they could attempt to cause multiple breaks at harder-to-reach locations on multiple cables, but the impacts would be fleeting,” said Madory.

“I don't think the Russians have a significant advantage here,” said Harmer. “Their economy has devolved into a resource extraction economy. They need customers for it. Cutting data lines also cuts off their customers in Western Europe from communication with North America. The real threat is IT theft by China or Russia.”

Madory disagrees. “Experts in the industry are very doubtful that it is possible to tap a fiber-optic cable on the seabed without it being noticed,” he said.

Perhaps not, said Harmer. But that doesn’t mean that someone isn't trying.

World Bank says warming
means spike in poverty

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The World Bank is warning that global warming will push 100 million more people into poverty across the globe in the next 15 years, in the absence of further action by developed nations to curb rising temperatures.

In a report released Sunday, the bank called for "rapid, inclusive and climate smart development, together with emission reductions" aimed at protecting the world's most vulnerable inhabitants.

The report, entitled "Shockwaves: Managing the Impacts of Climate Change on Poverty," comes ahead of a global summit on climate change that opens Nov. 30 in Paris.

It also follows last week's United Nations warning that voluntary carbon emission cutting pledges from industrialized nations go nowhere near far enough to prevent a looming crisis.

Current recommendations call for global measures aimed at limiting temperature increases to 2 degrees C in this century.   

But Friday's U.N. Environment Program report said existing pledges, if honored, will yield only a third of the reductions needed by 2030 to preserve that long-range target.

Key elements in the World Bank report include warnings that 150 million more poor people could be at risk from malaria, diarrhea and growth stunting.

It also warns that climate change will continue to spur mass human migration by the poor in affected areas, requiring more social services elsewhere to address the crisis.

Additionally, the report warns that rising temperatures could drive up food prices in large parts of Africa as much as 12 percent by 2030.

Western nations have collectively pledged to boost climate related financing to $100 billion annually by 2020.  But developing countries are calling for commitments beyond 2020 in any agreement reached in the upcoming summit.

Rubio's credit card use
becomes campaign issue

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio charged more than $7,000 in personal expenses on a Republican Party credit card while he was a state lawmaker in Florida 10 years ago, but his campaign says he has reimbursed the party for all the charges.

The campaign's defense of Rubio's spending practices came just days after Republican rival and billionaire Donald Trump publicly ridiculed Rubio, saying he was a disaster with his credit cards who certainly lives beyond his means.  The New York Times reported that another rival, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, also raised the issue of Rubio's spending in questioning his fitness for higher office.

The campaign said Rubio's personal expenses included more than $3,700 to a tile store, and other charges made at a hotel and car rental agency in Las Vegas.  A campaign statement also said the Las Vegas charges were linked to a business trip that he extended to visit relatives. It did not explain the other expenses on the card.

Wednesday, Rubio told ABC News that his only debt is the mortgage on his home. "I obviously don't come from a wealthy family," he said.

Rubio's finances also played out during his 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate, when critics questioned details of his home mortgage payments and a liquidated retirement account.

In a report earlier this year, the Times said campaign managers for 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney flagged Rubio's spending record while vetting him as a possible vice presidential running mate.

Romney eventually tapped U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, forming a ticket that lost the election to the incumbents, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

Carson raps excess scrutiny
by national media outlets

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said Sunday he is receiving more scrutiny than others who have run for president because of the threat he poses to “the secular progressive movement in this country.”

Carson has soared to the top of the 2016 Republican presidential heap, where he remains with real estate mogul Donald Trump, with an inspiring story about his rise from a difficult childhood in Detroit, Michigan, to a successful career as a neurosurgeon.

But in recent days, media outlets have been reviewing several stories Carson describes in his autobiography, "Gifted Hands," and have found that many of the claims are difficult to verify.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the class "Perceptions 301," mentioned in the book, did not exist while Carson was a student at Yale University, despite his claims that he was the only student not to walk out after being told he had to retake an exam. That piece also questioned his recollections about high school, including a claim that he protected white students during a race riot.

Politico questioned the veracity of Carson's oft-repeated claim that he was offered a full scholarship to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, which does not offer scholarships because the cost of attendance for those accepted into the school is free.

Carson told ABC's "This Week" television news show on Sunday that the West Point Web site uses the word "scholarship," so that he was not wrong to use this word in the past when describing overtures from military officials who told him when he was young that they could get him a full scholarship to the academy.

Also Sunday, Carson repeated his stance that the level of scrutiny to which he is being subjected has never been applied to others who have sought the presidency, including Barack Obama.

"I have always said that I expect to be vetted, but being vetted and what is going on with me - 'You said this 30 years ago, you said this 20 years ago, this didn’t exist' ... I have not seen that with anyone else," he said during an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press."  "It's time to really move on," he said.

But his main rival Trump did not heed that suggestion, instead raising questions about Carson's accounts of his past on four different Sunday talk shows.  Trump called Carson's tales strange and weird, in a conversation with ABC's "This Week."

"He's going to have to explain a lot of things away," Trump told NBC's "Meet the Press."

Real estate-related services (paid category)

Solar device

Hot water is 40% of your average electric bill.  While MINAE and the PROCURADURIA debate over Solar Electric, you can begin saving now!  $1,895 installed.  Call for details.

200 liter EZINC Quality Pressurized Thermo-Siphon Solar Hot Water System Designed for the European Market. 

Install EZINC Today... Spend less tomorrow on Solar Electric!

2446-0543           8898-9398                8314-8090

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

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

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

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

Special Offer

Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo

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

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

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

Remax logo
Re/Max Ocean Surf and Sun:

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

Real estate for sale (paid category)

puriscal photo
Costa Rica home for sale $163,500 / 2bedroom - 1,984 ft2

Central Valley view home: 10 minutes from Santiago de Puriscal and shopping, hospital services, and soon Maxi Pali. Only one hour to San José or Pacific beaches.
- On .55-acre lot with river on one boundary
- Area under roof, 1,984 sq. ft., Area inside walls, 925 sq. ft. Steel, recycled
      Styrofoam, and concrete construction.
- 2 ½ years old with central living room and kitchen, 2 bedrooms and 2 baths,
       ceramic tile throughout.
- Central Valley volcano and SJO airport views from every room.
- Vaulted ceilings give bright open feeling.
- Entrance from concrete road to large graveled parking area
- VERY energy efficient with VERY low property taxes.
- Covered attached carport with entrance to front door or laundry-guest bath
- 2 carport storage bodegas.
- 12 foot x 14 foot storage bodega
- Security lights, And Amcrest day & night video recorder system.
- Producing banana trees, and mango, bread fruit, and guanabana trees

Includes: Refrigerator, gas stove & oven with electric grill element, microwave, electric washer-gas dryer stacked style, gas on demand whole house water heater. Other furnishings are negotiable. ICE electric service and land line phone. Bajo Burgos Water district. Metro-wireless WiFi is available. Tigo Star Satellite T.V. House is in a Costa Rican corporation, will transfer shares. Contract or call 506 2416-9324.  Additional photos are available on Flickr album

Goetl in Palo Seco

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

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

Pacific Sur montagee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

San Ramon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike:   Check out slide show HERE!

A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

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

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

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

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

A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 221
Real Estate
About us
News from the BBC up to the minute

BBC news ffeeds are disabled on archived pages.

Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
What's this about a chill in the tropics?

I am told, by those who have lived in Costa Rica a lot longer than I have  that the end of the rainy season is often presaged by a cold spell.

Victoria torley
I know all about cold spells, having suffered through them for many years.  A cold spell is when the green leaves turn red and yellow and fall off the trees.  Except a lot of my leaves are already red and have been for months.  So that’s not it. 

Another sure sign of a cold spell is finding a frosty window pane
when you wake up in the morning, but that hasn’t happened either.  Or maybe you hear the click and whoosh of the heat coming on at 3 a.m. Can’t be that because we don’t have a heater. 

Or maybe the grass is crunchy with frost?  Nah.  And that funny, fluffy, white stuff that used to fall from the sky?  Not happening.  So what is all this talk about a cold spell and can it really mean that the rainy season will soon be over?  I haven’t got a clue.

What I can tell you is that I had to put a blanket – a blanket! – on my bed last night.  Not only that, but I got up and closed my window at 4 a.m.  This is a sad state of affairs for someone living in the tropics. 

And what about my garden?  Will my flowers fade away from the chill?  Will the squash curl up and die?  Well, not so far, although my tomatoes seem to be suffering a bit.  All in all, the garden seems to be weathering the chill better than I am, even with my extra blanket.  But does all this actually presage an end to the rain.   I asked the experts, that is, my  friends who are native born Costa Ricans, and the answer was:  Yes and No.

Okay, come on guys, quit messing with me.  Yes and No?  I want to plan ahead.  Do I need to go out now and buy hose that will stretch from the house to the new vegetable garden or can I wait a while?  What about my transplants?  Will I need to plan on being home every day to keep them watered or can I take that three days we have planned at the beach. 

Sadly, the weather sages have no answer except, wait and see. 

flowering bush

Plant for the Week
The genus mussaenda includes several dozen separate species. This is mussaenda philippica  or Aurorae which come in both white and shades of pink. This sun-loving shrub can grow 2 meters tall but can also be cut back to suit the available space and prevent an untidy look. Bare spots at the base of the shrub can be hidden with other plantings. To enjoy near continuous blooming, dead-head discolored blooms. Plant as a specimen or as a hedge.

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From Page 7:

Good job news might mean a rate hike

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. said Friday its labor market rebounded sharply from three months of weak job growth, adding 271,000 more jobs in October and likely easing the way for the central bank to raise interest rates next month.

The Labor Department reported the U.S. unemployment rate edged down to 5 percent last month, the lowest rate in seven years.

The world's largest economy shrugged off a sluggish manufacturing sector, showing strong job growth in professional and business services, health care, retail, food services and construction.

Analysts had been predicting a much weaker employment advance last month, only slightly better than the 145,000-a-month average for August and September.

Analysts say the robust October hiring is likely to ease the path for the Federal Reserve, the U.S. central bank, to boost its benchmark interest rate next month.