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(506) 2223-1327                                  Published Friday, Nov. 21, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 231                        Email us
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Expats have a chance to duck higher property taxes
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Expat homeowners can save significant amounts of money on municipal taxes if they file an assessment of value before Dec. 1.

Although current values still are in force, some municipalities are accepting the new valuations early, according to the Ministerio de Hacienda.

The valuations are good for five years, and by filing early, homeowners can duck new calculations that threaten to increase the municipal tax up to 50 percent.

The 2009 tables that provide indexes to value still are valid until Dec. 1. The 2015 values contain what the ministry calls a considerable increase.

A square meter of land assessed now at 1 million colons might be assessed under the new table at 1.5 million. The property taxes are calculated based on the valuations as is the impuesto solidario, the luxury home tax, the ministry noted.
Because the valuations endure for five years, the homeowner will save money on municipal taxes and the luxury home tax, if applicable, for that period.

This method to reduce the valuation and then the tax also is possible for new construction, the ministry noted. That is if the relevant municipality accepts the early filing.

Homeowners and other property owners are required to state the value of their real estate once every five years.

Ministry workers have been holding discussions with municipal officials on how to apply the new tables after Dec. 1

The luxury home tax is assessed on any dwelling and immediate property that is worth this year more than 122 million colons, about $226,000. 

The tax to be paid is equal to 0.25 percent of the property’s total value to a maximum tax rate of 0.55 percent since it is a progressive tax.

An A.M. Costa Rica editorial
Obama's immigration proposal is worth considering

By Jay Brodell
editor of A.M. Costa Rica

Barack Obama's timid effort to protect millions of illegal immigrants in the United States appears to make sense. The Devil is in the  details, as they say,

White House Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama delivers an address from the East Room of the White House
so a full evaluation cannot be done until the whole plan is public.

Obama has three parts to his executive order announced Thursday night. The first two are hardly controversial. He said he would reinforce the southern border of the U.S. to reduce illegal entries. He also supported a popular idea to allow foreign university graduates and those with advanced U.S. degrees to remain in the United States. The new Congress should put these principles into law in January.

Obama's speech . . . HERE!

His third point would give temporary immunity from deportation to illegals who come forward, register and agree to work and pay taxes. Those who have broken no laws other than those related to immigration would qualify if they have been in the United States five years.

A better plan would be to have all illegals register under penalty of deportation. The public estimates of illegal aliens in the United States are around 11 million. Private government estimates suggest there are many more. Officials at least need a good census to proceed further. The new Congress also should make sure that illegal aliens never obtain full U.S. citizenship.

The immigration situation in the United States has many parallels here. There are hundreds of thousands of illegal residents in Costa Rica. The government only seems interested in legalizing housekeepers and agricultural workers. Many expats live in the gray zone of perpetual tourism.

Obama is among the best in giving speeches. His plan, as he describes it, seems humane and possible. But the Devil is in the details.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 231   

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

Residency experts

Residency in Costa Rica
A full service immigration agency
U.S. and San José‚ offices
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Tel: (323) 255-6116


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Lic. Pablo Mata Ferreto, MBA.

Legal – Financial Adviser

Real Estate and Business Transactions

Avoid Real Estate scams, get independent advice and have due diligence performed before signing or making a deposit.

Phone number: (506) 8853-0000


Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants and Crowns

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Remodelling and Construction

Real estate agents and services

CR Beach
Jaco Beach Central Pacific Real Estate
CR Beach Investment Real Estate Broker & INT’L
NAR certified Realtor Jeff Fisher is famous for being “Brutally Honest.”
See why he still believes only the 100% titled land of the Jaco beach & Central Pacific areas of Playa Hermosa/ Jaco-Los Suenos Marina & Golf and the Esterillos-Bejuco beaches are the best places to live, invest and enjoy. 
Reason #1:  SJO Int’l Airport and S.J. suburbs are little more than one hour away.
#2: The Jaco area has everything you need, from KFC to Gourmet Organic;  from zip lines to bank lines, from a movie house to a fire sale house…. 
#3: BUYERS’ MARKET: Many properties are at their lowest price ever
           *$179,900 Hermosa Beachfront Community with Ocean Views !
Yes we know Costa Rica: Jeff (21 years here), Frances Winborne (23 years), and Junior Diaz (Jac¢ born & bred),  and we chose the Central Pacific!

Member of the N.A.R., the Costa Rican Real Estate Board CRGAR and the Central Pacific Chamber of Commerce.
Toll Free: 1-888-782-1119 or  2643-4334, 2643-3672
JACO Office: IL Galeone Center by BAC, #14, Costa Rica

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   • Specialized in the Central and South Pacific.
   • Great network of realtors, to find your dream
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Telephone: +506 2643-4065   
cell: +506 8825-6556   US:  626 548-3909
skype: ecorealtorscr  Facebook: ecorealtorscr
In front of Subway at Plaza Herradura, Jacó
Green NAR designee, member of the CCBR, CRGAR

Jim Day, representing Colinas del Sol
del Pacifico, S.A.


* Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project  in a quiet area.
* There are 88 clear titled lots.
* Mountain areas with great views.
* Gently sloping level areas ideal for hobby farms, gardening, fruit tree orchards.
* Quiet place to get away from the busy city and beach crowds.
* All lots have gravel roads to them, water and electricity at each.
* Lots are 5,000 sq. meters or larger, starting at only $39,000 USD , and many can be combined for those wanting a larger area for their chosen passion, be it a hobby horse farm or retirement haven.
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* Electricity and water to each of 79 clear0titled lots.
* 20 minutes to the Liberia International Airport
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* 10 minutes to Medical Facilities
* 25 minutes to the Liberia Hospital
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Contact Jim Day
or Phone:  001 517 484-3675.
Click Here:

car keys
Judicial Investigating Organization photo            
Agents found these sets of car keys in the suspect's home.

Agents grab suspect in vehicle robberies

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Motorists are at their most vulnerable when they have to leave their vehicle to open the gate to their household parking spot.

That is when bandits strike and take the vehicle. Sometimes the motorist is left injured or worse.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said Thursday that its agents had detained a 24-year-old man in Barrio Mercedes de Aserrí and accused him of committing at least four such crimes.

They are called bajonazos in Spanish. That's when someone sticks a pistol in the face of a motorist and tells him or her to get down out of the vehicle.

The man detained Thursday also faces an allegation of attempted murder.

Agents suspect that there are victims who have not reported the crime. They said they encouraged them to do so.

Milanes investors say 'That's our hotel'

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Investors who are involved in a court case with Luis Milanes Tamayo are mystified why his lawyer said the Hotel Europa would be used as collateral to pay off fired employees.

The investors own the hotel via a court-approve trust.

Some of the investors said they were surprised that the lawyer for Milanes, Hugo Navas, could spin the story so well to other news outlets. Navas told some newspapers that Milanes was closing the casino at the Hotel Europa due to high costs.

Actually, Milanes and his casino are the subject of an eviction process instigated by the investor's trust.

Some also noted that Milanes closed the Royal Dutch Casino on Avenida 2 after he had failed to pay the rent there for months.

Milanes also closed down his casino in the Hotel Europa. Some 250 employees were fired, and they expect to obtain their mandatory Christmas bonus, pay and severance.

Milanes had been paying rent to the trust for the use of the Hotel Europa.

Police in Escazú collar two suspects

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Policía Municipal de Escazú said they managed to collar two robbery suspects in the late afternoon Thursday.

The pair were suspects in a stickup of a store in Bebedero de San Antonio de Escazú. The robbers fled in a vehicle, and police gave chase. They were detained in the center of Escazú, police said.

Quake reported near Quepos

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A 4.3 magnitude quake rocked the Pacific coast south of Quepos three and a half minutes before 11 p.m. Thursday.

The Laboratorio de Ingeniería Sísmica estimated the epicenter to be inland some 3 kilometers north of Savegre de Aguirre. That would be at a point close to the Costanera coastal highway.

Police confiscate more alcohol

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Fuerza Pública said that its officers confiscated two loads of alcohol in Golfito. The value was about 6.9 million colons, about $12,600.

There were several thousand bottles involved. In both cases the untaxed alcohol was in vehicles that were stopped by police.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 231               
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Full legislature rejects 3.8 per cent cut in the 2015 national budget
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Four political parties in the legislature rejected plans Thursday night that the budget submitted by the president be cut 3.8 percent.

Instead, some 25 lawmakers voted to go ahead with the original 7.9 trillion-colon ($14.6-billion) 2015 budget.

A legislative committee proposed the cuts amounting to 300 billion colons, some $555 million. Voting to reject the reduction were the  Movimiento Libertario, Frente Amplio, Accesibilidad Sin Exclusión and the bulk of Acción Ciudadana lawmakers in the Asamblea Legislativa. President Luis Guillermo Solís ran on the Acción Ciudadana ticket.

Otto Guevara Guth, the long-time leader of  Movimiento Libertario, broke with his party to support the cuts.

He said current law prohibits financing current expenses with debt.

Under the budget 3.7 trillion or $6.9 billion will be financed with
debt. Only 4.2 trillion ($7.8 billion) will come from government income. In addition, the budget calls for 1.7 trillion colons to be paid as debt service on prior loans. That's $3.2 billion.

The Solís budget is 19 percent higher than the previous year's, and it contains more spending on social programs.

After the legislative budget committee voted to make the 3.8 percent reduction, a number of ministries and special interests launched campaigns to restore the cuts. They predicted damage to their missions if the cuts were not restored.

Meanwhile the Ministerio de Hacienda, the budget agency, said Thursday that the national deficit increased in October to 4.4 percent of the gross national product. The deficit in October 2013 was 4.1 percent.

The central government hopes to improve the financial picture with a series of new levies, including a 15 percent value-added tax to replace the current 13 percent sales tax. But these measures face tough going in the legislature.

police officers
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo

Fuerza Pública officers are formed up in Parque Central for a pep talk before embarking on the Christmas protective project.

Police kick off the Christmas season with a show of force downtown
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The security ministry kicked off the Christmas season Thursday with a display of force involving some 300 officers.

This is the annul effort to safeguard downtown shoppers and protect those who have received their annual Christmas bonus, the aguinaldo.
Police officers formed up in ranks at Parque Central just west of the Catedral Metropolitana for a pep talk.

Officials said that the patrols will involve motorcycles, bicycles, and police cars.

Police will pay special attention to automatic teller locations, bus stops and wherever groups of people congregate, officials said.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

Del Rey nightlife

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 231
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In the face of a virus threat, Kenya seeks to dump modified crop ban
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

With a virus threatening the crops of up to 70 percent of Kenya's maize farmers, a number of lawmakers are calling for the country’s controversial ban on genetically modified organisms to be lifted for the sake of food security.

If there is one thing  almost guaranteed to be found in a Kenyan kitchen, it is corn, known locally as maize. Corn is roasted by the side of the road, boiled with beans or ground into flour to make ugali, a Kenyan staple.

Agricultural researcher Simon Gichuki explains that for many Kenyans, maize is an irreplaceable part of their diet.

“They eat maize almost every day. There are people who eat it for lunch, and they also eat it for dinner and breakfast. So when there is no maize in Kenya, we usually say there is famine," said Gichuki. "Even when the other crops are doing well - like bananas, cassava, sweet potatoes - we say there is famine.”

This is why the past several years have been so alarming for Kenyans. The country’s cereal-growing heartlands have been ravaged by a virus called maize lethal necrosis disease.  The Cereal Growers Association has said the disease could cut production this year by almost a third, with up to 70 percent of maize farmers affected.

According to Kipkorir Menjo, head of the Kenya Farmers Association, the virus could be a threat to food security.

Genetically modified organisms have been banned in Kenya since 2012, when a study found that modified maize caused cancer in rats. The study was later discredited and pulled from the scientific journal that had published it.

But in Kenya Genetically modified organisms are still illegal.
Gichuki, who runs the biotechnology unit at the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization, says Kenyan scientists are already talking to foreign universities to start work on a lethal necrosis disease-resistant maize. Several other types of genetically modified maize have been harvested already, including one crop in October.

Menjo says that among farmers themselves, opinions on genetically modified organisms are mixed. But a number of lawmakers have been speaking out in favor of lifting the ban.

“The pressure is from the MPs because they know the benefits, and why this kind of GMOs are necessary as far as food security is concerned," said Menjo. "Because every now and then we have been having challenges of having enough food to feed the nation.”

Genetically modified organisms are still controversial in Kenya, and although Menjo supports legalizing them, he says many people are concerned about their potential side effects.

“You find that the unintended results is what most people fear. Because who is controlling to ensure that we have the positive results coming in and not the negative side of it? That is basically what makes people to be a bit skeptical," said Menjo.

But Gichuki is convinced it will not be long before he and his team of scientists will be able to distribute their newly-created genetically modified organisms seeds to farmers.

“The government is very serious about food security, so I don’t see any reason why this ban is going to be there for long. It will definitely be lifted," said Gichuki. "And we in research are not just waiting - we are moving on, preparing, because we are confident that it will be lifted.”

Kenya’s genetically modified organisms ban can only be lifted by the cabinet, which has yet to make a decision.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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

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

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

   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
   * Find out how to live affordably
   * See how other expats live. Meet other expats who have made
          the move.
   * Access the country's affordable health care system
   * Informative two-day seminar given by local experts in their
          relevant fields.
   * Tours led by Christopher Howard, 34-year resident, citizen,
          and the author of "The New Golden Door to Retirement
          and  Living in Costa Rica – the Official Guide to Relocation”
Click HERE  to learn all about our Association of Residents (ARCR)  approved tours at

Anywhere Costa Rica plans custom vacations, and has the most comprehensive travel services in the country including travel guides, resorts and vacation homesCosta Rica tours
and car rentals.  
Call 1-888.456.3212 or 2479-8811 locally.

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

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

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Real estate for rent (paid category)
Enjoy living in the middle of wonderful mountains.
Fresh air, gorgeous forest. Near downtown but away from noisy city.  Nature lifestyle.  Beautiful chalet in a large property located in Monte de la Cruz, Heredia. Two bedrooms, two baths, laundry room, fully furnished, security, electric gate. Rate $500 monthly. Phone  2267-6306  Email


Beautiful cottage in San Rafael, Heredia

Cottage in the mountain.  Surrounded by nature.  One bedroom, 1.5 bathrooms. Beautiful balcony and view. Bus line service, security.  $500 monthly.  Phone: 506-8739-0638  Email:

Maneul Antonio
The vacation homes at Manuel Antonio Estates offers luxury, comfort and peace of mind. We have numerous homes to chose from, all within walking distance of the town’s shops and restaurants and just a few minutes to the best beaches and the famous national park. While the homes are secluded and hidden among the rainforest, the surrounding area offers adventures like zip lines, white water rafting, mangrove kayaking and many more. All of the homes are available for short-term rentals, have easily accessible parking, cable TV, and Internet and are fully furnished. We are happy to assist with all your need for the perfect Costa Rican vacation.
Manuel Antonio Estates        TOLL FREE: 1800 346 9724
011 (506) 2777.3339

Beautiful 2-bedroom 2-bathroom American-style apartments with an elevator to your front door in a secure building located in Gringo Gulch the American Section of downtown San José. Costa Rica. Located between the Hotel Del Rey, the Hotel Mona Lisa and the Sportsman's Lodge and The Zona Blue (AKA) Little Habana across the street from Harry's Poas Bar, and next to the Holiday Inn.
apartment view
 There are 15 restaurants and American- style bars on this block and four supermarkets within a few blocks. There are 5 casinos within 2 blocks and dozens of hotels around this apartment. Included in your rental price, fast Internet, the best they have in Costa Rica, cable TV with 80 stations, water, washer
 and dryer. All you pay extra for is electricity. You have your own meter and receive a bill from the electric company every month.  This apartment has a American-style hot water system, hot water in both bathrooms and the kitchen. There is a 25-foot balcony to sit on and watch the people in San José walk by. The neighborhood Barrio Amón is the safest in San José For photos and more information contact:

Beautiful fully furnished two floor house for rent
in La Guacima

Guacima montage
La Guacima, Alajuela. 20 minutes from airport, San José or Alajuela Centro and 30 minutes from Heredia. Near highway 27. $1,000 a month. All services included (Internet, water, electricity, security). Very private, very quiet, green areas, fully furnished. Must like animals (we have three gentle dogs), look at high resolution pics HERE! U.S. citizens or Europeans preferred. No children. Call to inquire and for appointment to visit. Available for rent in December. Contact phone number:  (506)  8839-4315.

Organic farm home
$800 plus utilities.
Two-bedroom, two-bath house, fully furnished, Internet included, cable TV available. Inside organic farm, safe and secure. In the country but close to town. Santa Bárbara de Heredia, Email for more info and pictures. Long term, NO DOGS.

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

MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

Villas Casa Loma has everything you are looking for.  Best vistas, climate, value.  Four unique homes in a secure private compound on a ridge near Alajuela overlooking the entire Central Valley.  Two are available fully furnished and equipped, each a complete home accommodating 4 persons in two bedrooms with ensuite baths.  Pool, rancho, mirador, other features.  Ask about part-month rates.  Call Gerry at (506) 2441-8796 or e-mail at  See virtual tour of accommodations HERE!
Get to know the real Costa Rica – you may want to live here someday.

HP Cattle rentals
Mountain homes or farm for rent
Barva volcano, Heredia province
We offer for rent a gorgeous two-bedroom mountain chalet and a one-bedroom mountain home located on the slopes of the Barva Volcano, Heredia Province. The homes are situated at 7,300 feet altitude and within a working horse ranch just three kilometers from the Braulio Carrillo National Park entrance. From our homes one can hike to the Barva volcano crater-lake.  Enjoy a spacious living room, kitchen, fireplace and breathtaking views of the Irazú volcano and the Central Valley. Observe dozens of cloud forest bird species to include the resplendent quetzal.  The homes are incomparable in beauty and attention to detail within the Barva highland area.  We are only 35-55 minutes from Costa Rica’s three principal cities (Heredia, Alajuela, and San José), less than two hours from the central Pacific beaches, and three hours from the Caribbean beaches. Enjoy the tranquility of the mountains while maintaining quick access to the conveniences of the city and rapid access to other eco-tourist destinations in Costa Rica. Additionally, we can board your horses at a reasonable fee.  We can also offer our clients rental of a small and fully functional farm complete with stables, pasture, and office space.
Mountain chalet: $750.  Basic mountain home: $400.
Boutique mountain home: One-bedroom $850. Two-bedroom $1,000.
Small Farm that includes a chalet, basic mountain home, stables, and 8,000m2 of pasture/green areas: $1,500.

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The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2014 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
Family home

cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 231    
Real Estate
About us


Obama calls his proposal
a common-sense approach

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama has bypassed Congress on immigration reform, saying the country can no longer wait to fix a broken system.

The president unveiled his plan during a televised prime time address, in which he outlined a plan to temporarily protect as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation, allowing parents whose children are U.S. citizens or in the U.S. legally to qualify for work permits.

"What I’m describing is accountability — a common-sense, middle-ground approach: If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. If you’re a criminal, you’ll be deported," he said. "If you plan to enter the U.S. illegally, your chances of getting caught and sent back just went up."

Many Republicans have expressed outrage over Obama's decision to use an executive order to put forth his plan, instead of the usual congressional legislative process.

Republicans have also described the shielding of illegal immigrants from deportation as an act of granting amnesty to criminals.

Obama acknowledged that criticism directly. "Leaving this broken system the way it is" ... "that's the real amnesty," he said. He then called mass amnesty unfair and "mass deportation ... both impossible and contrary to our character."

Obama has waited more than a year for House Republican leaders to put an immigration reform plan to a vote after the Democrat-controlled Senate passed one. Despite disagreements on how to resolve the immigration problem, the glut of unaccompanied children on the Texas border earlier this year convinced Americans that the issue no longer can wait, a point Obama emphasized in his message.

Officials say the president is acting legally and that he is still willing to work with Congress.

Republican Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, soon to be Senate majority leader, says his party will consider a number of options to thwart the president. Some Republicans are threatening another government shutdown, while others want to ban funding for Obama's immigration plan.

McConnell also said the president's plan was aimed at securing his political legacy.

"The action he's proposed would ignore the law, would reject the voice of the voters and would impose new unfairness on law-abiding immigrants, all without solving the problem," McConnell said.

Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, said Obama's plan goes far beyond similar action taken by former president George H.W. Bush.

"This is millions of people. It’s a hundred times larger than a similar thing that advocates are pointing to that the first President Bush did," said Krikorian.

Some analysts, such as Klaus Larres, professor of international relations at the University of North Carolina, say the Republican threat will remain rhetorical.

“There will be lots of verbal attacks on the Obama administration, on the president personally, but once the new Congress is in office and has settled in, I don't think that any counter-action to Obama's plan will be taken that will be effective,” said Larres.

Toward the end of the address, Obama called on Congress to pass legislation.

"To those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill,” he said.

Obama is also expected to expand an executive order he signed in 2012, known as the Dream Act, that protects young immigrants who came to the United States as children from deportation by lifting the age restrictions on people who qualify. The parents of these children, however, would not be eligible for delayed deportation.

Undocumented immigrants eligible for these protections would not be entitled to receive federal benefits, including subsidies to obtain health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

Obama will sign the order Friday in Las Vegas, Nevada, which has a large Hispanic population.

Thursday, as details of the plan circulated, immigration lawyers warned that Obama's televised address may prove the easiest part of his controversial plan. Implementing it will be difficult and many people may never benefit, some lawyers said.

Immigration advocacy groups say they don't have sufficient resources to provide legal services to their existing clients, never mind the millions of potential new ones.

Obama's proposal is not expected to provide federal funding for attorneys to guide immigrants through the process.

Karla McKanders, who runs the immigration law clinic at the University of Tennessee College of Law in Knoxville, told Reuters, “If the past is any indication, it's going to be a significant increase in people asking for legal assistance."

Also, immigrants who have lived illegally in the United States for many years can be afraid to sign up or lack the proper documentation to back up their claims, said Jacqueline Rishty from the Immigration Legal Services Program of Catholic Charities in Washington.

The lack of immigration lawyers also opens the door for self-described legal experts who give bad advice or even scam clients out of thousands of dollars. The American Bar Association has warned of fraudsters offering legal services in Spanish-speaking communities.

U.S. presidents through the years have decreed a variety of changes through executive action, decisions that often attract little public attention.

Just since July, Obama has issued 10 executive orders, none of them controversial. Among other things, they established an advisory council for U.S. businesses in Africa, revised a list of communicable diseases and set the terms for hiring alcohol, tobacco and firearms agents.

But some executive orders have played prominent roles in shaping U.S. history and often were controversial at the time or proved to be when examined with the passage of time.

President Franklin Roosevelt issued an executive order that forcibly transferred Japanese-Americans to internment camps during World War II, an act for which the country has subsequently apologized and paid reparations to the victims.

Later, president Harry Truman abolished racial discrimination in the U.S. armed forces with a 1948 executive order and nationalized all steel mills during a 1952 labor strike.

President Dwight Eisenhower decreed an end to racial segregation in the country's public schools in 1957.

Through the years, other presidents have issued many more executive orders than Obama.

Several executive orders have been overturned in court challenges, including Truman's steel mill decree. New presidents can also override their predecessors' orders with new directives, while Congress can attempt to undo the orders through legislation.

U.S. cyber security chief
predicts foreign attacks

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The head of the U.S. National Security Agency, Admiral Michael Rogers, said China and one or two other countries have the ability to launch a cyber attack on the U.S. power grid and other vital infrastructure.

Rogers, who is head of the U.S. Cyber Command, did not name the other countries because, he said, it is classified information.

But he told a congressional hearing Tuesday that America's enemies are carrying out reconnaissance missions to discover how these networks function -- those that operate electrical systems, chemical plants, water treatment facilities, and other critical infrastructure.

Rogers said it is a matter of when something dramatic will happen, not if.

He said the Obama administration is looking at what kind of a cyber-attack would be considered an act of war.

Five from Guantanamo
transferred to Europe

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U. S. officials have transferred five prisoners, four of whom are Yemenis, from Guantanamo Bay to Europe as part of a renewed effort to close the detention center on the U.S. Navy base in Cuba.

The Pentagon announced Thursday that three Yemenis were sent to Georgia and that the other Yemeni and a Tunisian were moved to Slovakia, reducing the number of detainees at the prison to 143.

This is the first time any Yemeni has been transferred from the prison since 2010. More than half of the remaining detainees are from Yemen.

President Barack Obama vowed to close the detention center at Guantanamo when he took office in 2009.  But his efforts were thwarted by Congress, which prohibited sending any prisoner to the U.S. for any reason and imposed restrictions that brought releases to a halt.
The Center for Constitutional Rights, which represented one of the Yemenis, Abd Al Hakim Ghalib Ahmad Alhag, criticized the Obama administration's refusal to release other Yemeni detainees. It said 54 of them had already been approved for transfer.

"As we welcome Mr. Alhag's resettlement, we are reminded that the remaining Yemeni men should be sent home or resettled without further delay," Wells Dixon, the center's senior attorney, said in a statement.

Last week, the Republican congressman who heads the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Buck McKeon of California, cited an increase in Pentagon notifications of upcoming transfers of detainees out of Guantanamo.

He did not quantify them but, in a sign of continued pressure from Congress to halt releases, called the remaining detainees the worst of the worst and pointed to concerns that  former Guantanamo detainees might join Islamic State fighters who seized large parts of Syria and Iraq.

Race on to engineer
better ebola protection

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A team from a university in Maryland is working to improve protective equipment for health professionals battling the ebola epidemic. 329 of them have died of the disease to date, according to the World Health Organization.

The ebola virus is transmitted through contact with an infected person's bodily fluids. To protect themselves, doctors and nurses must wear special suits that isolate them from the virus. 

But in some cases, said Rich Lamporte, vice president of the global health organization Jhpiego, the suit is part of the problem. 

“We found it to be of much higher risk than they need to be, primarily because of the process of taking it off puts the health care workers at risk,” he said.

Lamporte said safe removal of the current suit requires about 20 steps, which creates opportunity for error. And West Africa's hot, humid climate makes it uncomfortable for health workers to spend more than 40 minutes inside the airtight suit.

So the call went out from Jhpiego and Johns Hopkins University for a better, safer, more comfortable design. More than 70 people took part in the Ebola Design Challenge, students, health professionals, even a wedding gown designer.

"The wedding gown and the ebola suit have a lot more in common than one would think," said Jill Andrews, the wedding gown expert. "They both are multilayered garments that require a lot of diligence to remove. Being a person that is a pattern maker and also knowing how garments are made and constructed, I knew that I can contribute."

That's the idea behind the challenge, said Youseph Yazdi, executive director of the Johns Hopkins Bioengineering Innovation Center in Baltimore.

“To solve the problem, you need all different perspectives at the table," he said. "If we just address it from an engineering or technical perspective, the design will be a failure.”

The Hopkins team entered a design based on ideas in a separate ebola suit competition sponsored by the U.S. government.  It was recently chosen as a semifinalist. One of the team's improvements was to the headset, which currently requires goggles and two surgical masks.

Tim Campbell, a Hopkins researcher, said the team "wanted to minimize the amount of face touching that went on in the removal or doffing process. So we switched to this version with a head covering system. We installed the vents in the side of the mask.” 

Hopkins bioengineering student Erin Reisfeld said she was excited to be on the volunteer team.

“Our program has a global health aspect, too, already," she said. "So a lot of us are very passionate about helping out the developing world.”

The Hopkins team's goal is ambitious: to create a new, low-cost ebola suit in a matter of months, not years.

Real estate-related services (paid category)

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

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

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Re/Max, the Pacific coast expert

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

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

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

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

Visit our Web Site:

English calls: (Cristian Arce) Phone: 
(506) 2494-0016 
(506) 8309-0173
English calls :  (Luis David) Phone: 
(506) 6154-1940

Español calls: (Luis G. Jiménez)  Phone:   
(506) 8707-4016
Grecia 884
Beautiful large house in Grecia, Costa Rica, with the best fresh natural weather. The property includes 9 challets and and 12.000 m2 of land,  1,000 m2 of construction. Price $498.000. Click HERE!
Grecia 881
Beautiful house in Grecia, Costa Rica,  2 kilometers from the city.   340 m2 of land.
Price $135.000. Click
Grecia 898
Beautiful house in Grecia downtown. Full security cameras. Land 250 m2.  Price $400,000.  Click HERE!
  Send us your request to our email:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

Condo montage
Cariari luxury condo for sale
 PRICE REDUCED FROM $235,000 to $195,000
This is not an ordinary condo. Completed one year ago, a $45,000 renovating made it an exquisite dwelling. As soon as you walk in you know it is a special home. No detail has been overlooked, even minuscule ones. The owner has a need to move on, and someone lucky will be the beneficiary of the fine detailed work. The home itself has three bedrooms, two and half bathrooms plus a maid’s quarters with its own bathroom. Also, it has a living room, dining room and a gorgeous kitchen with a kitchenette. There’s also a small outdoor patio. Being the end unit of this four-home condo complex, there’s parking space for three vehicles.  Approximately 240 sq. meters. All this near the Cariari Golf and Country Club and its renowned Tom Facio golf course. The club also has amenities such as a fitness centre, exercise room, Olympic swimming pool, sauna, 12 tennis courts and many other benefits. Tel:  8384-9608 or 2293-9054  Price $195,000.

Atenas home
This developer's prime lot with super house is being offered in Roca Verde, 7,006 M2 of gentle grade, all landscaped for tropical effect, 3 bedrooms 2 baths with tile floors and hardwood kitchen, near the entrance of the neighborhood. Great floor plan on this one! There is a double carport, and a large patio and pool, wheelhouse style living room and many other features. View, large usable lot, close to town, nice, oh yeah. $495,000.

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

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

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

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

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

Located in the private Bay Residence enclave overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Los Sueños Resort and Marina, there are three gorgeous units available at unbelievable bargain pricing from $589,000.  All of these beautiful units are three bedrooms and two baths, 2,200 square feet, fully furnished and ready to move in.  Development includes a gym, access to 3 pools, jacuzzis, BBQ areas and the Beach Club.  If you’ve always wanted to own in Los Sueños, now is the time!  Contact  or call 8702-0778.  From U.S. call 209-482-1788.

Top floor unit: $649,000   Second floor unit: $675,000  Garden unit: $589,000

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

See virtual tour of accommodations here:

For more details go to:

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

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

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

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

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A.M. Costa Rica's
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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 231
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
neck pressure
Ken Hansraj graphic
Graphic shows how different positions produce different weights.

Smartphone neck stresses the spine

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Imagine hanging four 10-pound bowling balls around your neck.
According to new research, that’s essentially what persons do when they hunch over and look at their smartphones.
Ken Hansraj, the chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, said we’re at the beginning of a wave of degenerative back and neck problems caused by poor posture while using smartphones.
Hansraj first became interested in the issue after seeing more and more young people come in with pain. In one case, a young man came in with neck, back and leg pain. Surgery improved the leg, but Hasraj said the man still had back and neck pain.
“That’s when we found he was spending four hours a day on his iPad playing games,” he said. “Look around. Everyone has their heads down.”
Some have coined the term text neck to describe the condition.
Hansraj said that in a neutral position, the human head weighs 10 to 12 pounds.
Lower the head 15 degrees, almost triples that weight, he said.
At 30 degrees, it’s 40 pounds, at 45 degrees, it’s nearly 50 pounds and at 60 degrees, it’s 60 pounds.
People with smartphones typically spend between two and four hours a day with their heads tilted toward the device, the research said. That totals between 700 and 1,400 hours a year with additional stress on the spine. Teens could be worse, spending up to 5,000 hours a year hunched over, Hansraj said.
“Kids today are just not aware that they have their heads down 45 to 50 degrees,” he said.
To get an estimate of the potential scope of the problem, it is estimated that nearly 60 percent of Americans own a smartphone.
According to Hansraj’s research, the best thing people can do is try to look at their smartphones with a neutral spine, meaning keeping the ears over your shoulders with shoulders drawn back.
Also, in place of lowering the head, they can look down with the eyes to avoid stressing the spine, he said.
“It’s not a military drill,” he said. “Don’t get in that position and stay there. The more you do it, the more the muscles build and ligaments strengthen.”
Hansraj said he’s a great fan of technology, but recommends smartphone users to be aware of their head positions.

The study was published in the National Library of Medicine and will appear next month in Surgical Technology International.

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From Page 7:

Costa Rica wins trade treaty appeal

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica has won its arbitration appeal under the Central American Free Trade Treaty against El Salvador.

The Ministerio de Comercio Exterior said Thursday that the arbitration panel decision puts an end to a year-long controversy and opens the way for Costa Rican products to enter the Salvadorean market with preferential import duties.

This is the first free trade treaty ruling involving cases between two governments.

El Salvador declined to allow preferential duties on Costa Rican products, including juices. The government there contended that the trade agreement only involved products from the United States. In fact, the treaty covers all of Central America, too, as well as the Dominican Republic.