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(506) 2223-1327                                Published Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 233                       Email us
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Police officials are sending these motorcycles to the canton of Desamparados to increase police presence there in the wake of a spike in murders since August.
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública.

Police actions reveal the murderous drug wars
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The nation's hidden drug wars that have resulted in so many murders burst into public view with police actions Monday.

• In Puntarenas early Monday judicial police staged 13 raids, including one in which three suspects died in a firefight.

• In Naranjo, Alajuela, police on patrol came upon two fake officers holding up truckers and a vehicle that later yielded 573 kilos of cocaine.

• In San José judicial officials were trying to provide an analysis of the wave of murders that have taken place since August in Desamparados. The data show that 32 of the dead are Costa Ricans, and only five were foreigners. Investigators attributed 25 of the killings to drug gangs.

• Also in San José a judge ordered three men suspected of murder to be jailed for investigation. These are the men caught early Sunday in Pavas driving a vehicle that had a dead man in the back seat. The victim was later identified by the last names of Fonseca Salazar. The suspects have the last names of  Urbina, Méndez and Saborío.

• In San José police officials said 40 more motorcycles and more officers would be going to Desamparados.

The shootouts left a father and son, both with the last name of Cubillo, dead as well as a third man, identified by the last name of Álvarez. The raids with the fatal outcomes were in Palmas del Río and Riojalandia, both Barranca. The raids by tactical squads resulted in the arrest of six men and a women. The investigation relates to murders Feb. 9, July 27 and Oct. 14 in Barranca.

These killings also are attributed to disputes over drugs.

The Judicial police said the shootings took place as tactical squad members entered the two homes about 5 a.m. to make the arrests. They were met with gunfire, the agency said.
police check
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública.
A Fuerza Pública officer and a drug dog in Naranjo locate cocaine hidden in the floor of a trailer.

Two members of the Unidad Especial de Intervención also suffered wounds, the agency said, but their conditions were not reported.

Raids also took place in El Roble de Puntarenas and Esparza.

The situation involving two tractor trailers in Naranjo is being treated as an attempted hijacking. The Fuerza Pública said the police impostors carried fake identification and fake permits to carry weapons. They told the truckers they were a Fuerza Pública officer and an agent of the Policía de Control de Drogas.

The impostors tried to flee when the real police stumbled upon the halted trailers, said the Fuerza Pública. The three drivers of the Honduran-registered vehicles had been handcuffed.

When real anti-drug agents arrived with a dog, they quickly learned that one truck trailer was carrying cocaine. The driver was detained. Two other drivers and their truck were set free.

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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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CR Beach
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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
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Minister admits his traffic failings

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The minister who supervises the traffic police and other road agencies characterized as sensationalism the disclosure that he accumulated 13 traffic tickets since 1996.

The minister, Carlos Segnini Villalobos, said that all the information was open to the public anyway. He said there were other topics more important and more urgent for the country instead of his driving record.

Segnini is minister of Obras Públicas y Transportes. He said he was not going to justify the traffic violations. He has paid and learned from them, he said.

The ministry released a list including the date, the violation and the fine paid.

The most recent was Feb. 16 when the infraction was not respecting a traffic sign. That cost the minister 50,274 colons, about $93. In fact, seven of the 13 violations were of this type, extending back from Aug. 27, 1998. Another was for parking incorrectly.

But Oct. 12, 2007, the violation was alcohol.

Murder suspects, jailers tussle

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The suspects in the murder of turtle protector Jairo Mora got into a fight with guards Monday afternoon at the cells of the Tribunales de Justicia in Limón.

The Judicial Investigating Organization, which provides security for the courts, said that when a jailer was taking the suspects to the afternoon session of the murder trial, one of the accused pushed and hit the judicial worker.

Other suspects joined in, said the Judicial Investigating Organization and other jailers had to intervene to quell the melee.

The judicial agency said that those involved will face another allegation of resistance to authority.

One of the suspects was treated for injuries, the agency said.

Public employees invited to march

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Public employees have been given leave to march today in a demonstration against violence to women.

The event organized by the Instituto Nacional de Mujeres begins at 9 a.m. at Parque la Merced.

President Luis Guillermo Solís is participating. He said his cabinet also will march.

Public employees can be out of their offices from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. as long as there are sufficient persons to cover the work, said the president.

Solís said that today is a day to celebrate the battles that women have won to take the places that have been denied them for much of history. In Spanish the day is called Día de la No Violencia.

In another activity for the day the U.S. Embassy is sponsoring with the security ministry the showing of the documentary "Justicia para mi hermana."

The movie, directed by Californian Kimberly Bautista, related the three-year struggle of a Guatemalan woman to bring the murder of her sister to justice. Ms. Bautista is expected to be present.

The embassy said that in the three years, the woman encountered many obstacles, including a judge who was accused of killing his own wife and witnesses who declined to testify out of fear. Eventually the boyfriend was jailed.

The audience today will be police officers.

Industrial policy sought by government

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The government convened a forum Monday to discuss a policy for industry. The goal of the forum was to define the steps to create such a policy.

The Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio is taking the lead, and other ministries are expected to participate. The ministry also is seeking support from the chambers of commerce, banks and similar institutions.

Luis Guillermo Solís was quoted as saying such a policy is needed to reinforce the importance of industry.

The session was supported by the Proyecto Procalidad of the European Union.

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 233                
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Montes de Oca mayor tells employees to forget Christmas gifts
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Santa Claus has clashed with anti-corruption policies in Montes de Oca.

The mayor, Fernando Trejos B., reminded municipal workers and the public Monday that soliciting informal Christmas bonuses is contrary to ethical rules.

There is a long tradition of municipal employees in Montes de Oca, which includes San Pedro, and other municipalities in the country, going house to house seeking Christmas cash.

The mayor on his statement said that sometimes the garbage truck drivers blow their horn to remind residents of their presence.

In fact, competing garbage crews have been known to poach into
the territory of other crews. In addition, individuals appear claiming to have been cleaning the street all year.

A Montes de Oca directive says that the workers cannot ask for such presents. But the employee ethical manual says that they cannot receive them.

The mayor said that any public employees violating these rules will be subject to a disciplinary proceeding.

The mayor's statements run counter to long tradition of giving presents of cash to trash collectors, street cleaners and others who handle the dirtier side of daily life.

Many residents have said that as long as there is not coercion, they are happy to brighten the life of lower-paid municipal workers.

new police officers
Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública.
of police

Who says you can't find a cop when you need one? There were 280 new police officers sworn in Monday at  Plaza de la Democracia. That's just in time for the big Christmas show of force. Other graduates Monday attended advanced courses and a program for border security.

Tamarindo tourism pioneer Julia Boogaard dies in California
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A Tamarindo tourism pioneer died Saturday in California. She was Julia Boogaard, who moved to the popular beach resort when it still
was undiscovered, said her family. That was in 1979.

Ms. Boogaard and her husband, Koen, bought a house on a quiet beach in a part of Tamarindo that would not have electricity for a year, but made it work, said her daughter, Ilka, who added:

"Ever the entrepreneur Julia opened Tamarindo's very first tourist office, video store and rental business, and was landlady to her daughter's bookstore in the same building.

"Always looking for adventure, she bought a house in Mexico a few years later and also opened up
Mrs. Boogaard
Julia Boogaard
a vacation rental business. Eventually she would spend more time in Mexico, sold her business in Costa Rica and would come back to
Costa Rica only to visit her family. Traveling was her passion and she circumnavigated the world several times.

"In 2013 she decided to spend six months of the year closer to her family now in California. Three months later she had a stroke, and a year and a half later she passed away. She was a very intelligent woman, passionate about traveling and her family. She was a people person, a very good businesswoman and well remembered as a pioneer of Tamarindo, Costa Rica."

In addition to her daughter, she is survived by her son-in-law Warren, grandchildren Martin and Renee and her brother Pim.  Mrs. Boogaard was born in the Netherlands. Her father was a well-known flower exporter, and she had two older siblings. She had a good childhood and traveled a lot with her father on business throughout Europe.

"She was a popular girl, and living in a university town, her dance card was always full," her daughter said. "At age 24 while working as a receptionist in Noordwijk, she met her future husband. They married and very shortly thereafter had a daughter. After a few lean years, they started a cosmetics wholesale business which became very successful."
The couple separated in 1986.

Mrs. Boogaard was an avid supporter of World Animal Protection, and her family requested that any donations be made there in her memory.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 233
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Cutting-edge genetic study says turtles are related to birds and dinosaurs
By the California Academy of Sciences news staff

A team of scientists, including researchers from the California Academy of Sciences, has reconstructed a detailed tree of life for turtles. The specifics of how turtles are related to one another, to other reptiles, and even to dinosaurs have been hotly debated for decades.

Next generation sequencing technologies in academy labs have generated unprecedented amounts of genetic information for a new look at turtles' evolutionary history. These high-tech lab methods revolutionize the way scientists explore species origins and evolutionary relationships, and provide a strong foundation for future looks into Earth's fossil record.

Research results, appearing in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, describe how a new genetic sequencing technique reveals turtles' closest relatives across the animal kingdom. The new genetic tree uses an enormous amount of data to refute the notion that turtles are most closely related to lizards and snakes.

Instead, authors place turtles in the newly named group Archelosauria with their closest relatives: birds, crocodiles, and dinosaurs. Scientists suspect the new group will be the largest group of vertebrates to ever receive a new scientific name.

The technique used in high-tech labs allowed scientists to move beyond years of speculation and place the Archelosauria group in its rightful place on the reptile tree of life. The technique has been available since 2012, yet scientists are just beginning to tap its potential for generating enormous amounts of genetic data across vertebrates.

Major findings also resolve an evolutionary mystery
California Academy of Sciences       
Turtles, like this alligator snapping turtle Macrochelys temminckii, are a diverse group of animals with a hotly contested evolutionary history.

 surrounding softshell turtles, a bizarre group of scale-less turtles with snorkel-like snouts. Until now, studies linked softshell turtles with a smaller semi-aquatic group called mud turtles, despite the fact that softshells appear in the fossil record long before their mud-loving counterparts. The academy's study places softshells in a league of their own on the evolutionary tree, quite far removed from any turtle relatives. Their long independent history helps explain their striking looks as well as their ancient presence in the fossil record.

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

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

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

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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


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

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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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A.M. Costa Rica's   Fifth news page
Family home

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 233     
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Grand jury in Missouri
declines to indict policeman

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

After months of weighing evidence and testimony, a grand jury in Missouri has decided against indicting Darren Wilson, the white police officer who fatally shot unarmed black teenager Michael Brown during a street confrontation almost four months ago.

The announcement came Monday evening after days of agonizing suspense in this central U.S. state and beyond.

After their exhaustive review of the evidence, jurors determined that no probable cause exists to bring charges against Wilson, said Robert P. McCulloch, St. Louis County prosecutor, speaking from the courthouse in the county seat of Clayton.

As they awaited the decision, hundreds of people gathered in the streets of nearby Ferguson, where the 18-year-old Brown was killed. The mood there was tense, with some demonstrators carrying signs bearing messages such as "Jail for Life."

Minutes after the announcement, protests erupted in Ferguson. Some of the protesters looted local businesses and threw rocks at police, who responded with tear gas and bean bag bullets.

Several fires raged uncontrolled early Tuesday, as authorities scrambled to deal with the unrest. Sporadic gunshots could be heard, though it is unclear if there were any casualties.

Demonstrations were also held in cities across America. At Times Square in New York City, protesters held signs decrying "police tyranny" and chanted the "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" slogan that has become popular at rallies against police violence.

In Oakland and Chicago, protesters flooded freeways, blocking cars with their hands held in the air. A small crowd of protesters also gathered outside the White House.

The Aug. 9 shooting inflamed tensions in the predominantly black St. Louis suburb, which is patrolled by an overwhelmingly white police force. Rioting broke out the night after the shooting. Protests, sometimes violent, erupted for weeks, and police responded with tear gas and armored vehicles.

Demonstrations have continued in Ferguson and in Clayton, where the grand jury began meeting in late August. 

McCulloch said the grand jury met for 25 days and heard 70 hours of testimony from 60 witnesses. He said much of the witness testimony contradicted the evidence from the scene and that many others later changed their stories, admitting they had not witnessed the confrontation.

He praised the jurors for completing "this monumental responsibility," and he lauded the unprecedented cooperation" between federal investigators and local authorities.

The prosecutor also extended his sympathy to Brown's family over his death. He concluded his prepared remarks by saying he joined with the family, clergy and others "in urging everyone to continue the demonstrations, continue the discussion … but do so in a constructive way."

After the announcement, Brown's family issued a statement saying they were profoundly disappointed.

Lawyers for Darren Wilson said in a statement that the grand jury's decision shows the officer "followed his training and followed the law" during the confrontation with Brown.

President Barack Obama, in a brief televised address, called on Americans to "accept this was the grand jury's decision to make." He acknowledged the ruling left some people deeply disappointed, even angry, but called on all protesters to refrain from violence.

Attorney General Eric Holder said federal investigations continue into the shooting and into whether the Ferguson Police Department is engaging in unconstitutional practices. Calling Brown's death a tragedy, Holder said far more must be done to create enduring trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

Monday, streets around the courthouse had been barricaded and neighboring businesses had boarded up storefronts, hedges against any trouble that might erupt with news of the grand jury’s decision. But, despite throngs of law enforcement officers and news media, not a protester was in sight less than an hour before McCulloch shared the grand jury's decision. 

But by the time McCulloch had finished speaking, at least 50 people had gathered at the courthouse. Their mood was subdued.

Government officials in Missouri repeatedly have appealed for calm.

At a news conference earlier Monday evening, Gov. Jay Nixon joined several other officials in calling for peace, respect and restraint no matter what the outcome. A week earlier, he had activated the National Guard to assist local law enforcement.

"No matter what is announced, people will be emotional," acknowledged the county’s executive, Charlie A. Dooley. He urged people "to remain focused on long-term systemic changes." He said officials were committed to de-escalating negative actions while ensuring free speech, with the help of law enforcement and National Guard troops.

"I do not want people in this community to think they have to barricade their doors and take up arms," Dooley cautioned.

Medal of Freedom given
to 19 distinguished citizen

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

President Barack Obama has awarded the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to 19 distinguished Americans.

Those awarded Monday include artists, activists and public servants.

Three U.S. civil rights workers murdered by members of a white supremacist group 50 years ago were awarded posthumously. James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner were slain as they participated in historic efforts to register blacks to vote in Mississippi. Their deaths, part of a conspiracy by the Ku Klux Klan, led to the first successful federal prosecution of a civil rights case in Mississippi.

Chaney was black. Goodman and Schwerner were white. The voting rights activists’ brutal murders were a driving force behind passage of sweeping anti-discrimination laws such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Retired professional golfer Charles Sifford, an African-American, is another civil rights pioneer honored. Now 92, he broke the Professional Golfers' Association's color barrier in the 1960s by playing in tournaments that until then only allowed white golfers. Despite harassment and death threats, he was the first black to win two PGA tournament events in 1967 and 1969.

The Medal of Freedom also went to actress Meryl Streep, who the president described as "truly one of America’s leading ladies."

When awarding Ethel Kennedy, widow of the late Senator Robert Kennedy, Obama said, "We give thanks to a person whose love for her family is matched by her devotion to her nation."

Obama also honored singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder and retiring U.S. Rep. John Dingell, a Michigan Democrat who is the longest-serving member of Congress. Another award winner is former U.S. Rep. Abner Mikva, the Illinois Democrat.

Other honorees include composer Stephen Sondheim and longtime NBC journalist Tom Brokow. Another member of the distinguished group is Chilean-born author Isabel Allende, whose 21 books have sold 65 million copies in 35 languages.

The Medal of Freedom also has been awarded to activist, writer and curator Suzan Harjo, praised for helping to improve the lives of other Native Americans. Actress and activist Marlo Thomas was honored in part for leading outreach efforts for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Tennessee, which offers pediatric cancer treatments and research for children's catastrophic diseases.

Economist Robert Solow and physicist Mildred Dresselhau are also among those receiving the civilian honor.

Honored posthumously are choreographer Alvin Ailey, congresswoman Patsy Mink of Hawaii and Edward Roybal of California, founder of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

President John Kennedy established the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963. Since then, it has been awarded to 500 people.

Most admired jobs don't
always bring in the bucks

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Money and prestige don’t necessarily go together when it comes to the jobs Americans admire most.

Although doctors top a Harris Poll list of the most prestigious jobs in America, military officers, firefighters and police officers — who work in occupations that are not known to be particularly lucrative — are also in the Top 10.

Doctors are the highest paid workers in the United States with an average salary of $191,880, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates survey.

The Harris Poll found that 88 percent of U.S. adults believe physicians have either “a great deal of prestige” (45 percent) or “have prestige” (44 percent).

The average firefighter salary is $48,270, while police officers earn $58,720. Registered nurses pull in $68,910 annually, architects make $71,790, and engineers $92,170.

The poll results come from an online survey of 2,537 adults that was conducted in August 2014, and also examine which professions Americans find least admirable, many of which pay well.

The least-prestigious occupations on the list include real estate brokers and agents (73 percent), union leaders (65 percent), stockbrokers and bankers (62 percent), and accountants (60 percent).

Americans are mixed on some jobs. Opinions are almost evenly split when it comes to how members of Congress, entertainers, actors, farmers and journalists, are perceived.

Those divisions often come down along age lines. Younger people, those under 49 years old, tend to think highly of actors and athletes as opposed to those over 50 who hold the opposite opinion.

And while doctors might top both the money and prestige lists, the poll finds most parents would encourage their own children to become engineers.

Swiss museum will receive
hoard of looted Nazi art

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A museum in Switzerland has decided to accept hundreds of artworks from the son of a Nazi-era art dealer.  German authorities seized a priceless collection of 1,280 artworks in 2012, hidden in an apartment in the city of Munich. Many of the works were looted from Jewish families across Europe by the Nazis.

The collection of paintings was discovered by tax inspectors who were searching the Munich apartment of Cornelius Gurlitt, son of Adolf Hitler’s art dealer, Hildebrand Gurlitt, in 2012.

Cornelius Gurlitt died in May this year and named the Bern Art Museum in Switzerland as his sole heir.  The president of the museum’s Board of Trustees, Christoph Schaeublin, announced Monday it would accept some of the artworks.

Schaeublin said the decision was far from easy for the board of trustees.  He added there were certainly no feelings of triumph, which would be absolutely inappropriate in light of the art collection's history.

Among the works are paintings by Pablo Picasso and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.  The Bern Art Museum said it would not accept looted artworks, and pledged to help return stolen paintings to their rightful owners.

That will not be an easy task, says Christopher Marinello of Art Recovery International in London, which specializes in stolen and disputed artworks.

“It is extremely difficult to identify and prove a claim to Nazi-looted artwork.  Many of these people were fleeing for their lives and the last thing they were about to do is grab a box of receipts," said Marinello.

An agreement known as the Washington Principles aims to make it easier for claimants to prove ownership of stolen art.  German authorities have struggled to deal with the fallout of the extraordinary find in 2012, says Marinello.

“There is a lot to be learned in this case and the way it was handled for the next time. And I do believe there will be a next time.  We have not seen the last of hordes of Nazi-looted works of art," he said.

The recovery of some of the art looted by the Nazis was dramatized in the 2013 movie "The Monuments Men," starring George Clooney.

Earlier this year, a photo album depicting such stolen masterpieces was donated to the United States’ National Archives.

Eighty-eight-year-old Harry Ettlinger was one of the original Monuments Men, six soldiers from a US Army unit tasked with recovering thousands of looted artworks at the end of World War II, some of them hidden inside salt mines.  He recalled his first mission.

“The first one happened to contain the stained glass windows from the cathedral of Strasbourg, and Eisenhower made a big deal about it, rightfully so, and it was my job to go down into the mine and have miners help me get those boxes up and put on trucks to be returned," said Ettlinger.

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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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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 233
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News from the BBC up to the minute

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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Skeptic unconvinced by extreme weather
By the Michigan State University news staff

A new study led by a Michigan State University scholar throws cold water on that theory that enough droughts, floods and heat waves will begin to change minds of global warming skeptics.

Only 35 percent of U.S. citizens believe global warming was the main cause of the abnormally high temperatures during the winter of 2012, Aaron M. McCright and colleagues report in a paper published online in the journal Nature Climate Change.

"Many people already had their minds made up about global warming and this extreme weather was not going to change that," said McCright, associate professor in Michigan's Lyman Briggs College and Department of Sociology.

Winter 2012 was the fourth warmest winter in the United States dating back to at least 1895, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Some 80 percent of U.S. citizens reported winter temperatures in their local area were warmer than usual.

The researchers analyzed March 2012 Gallup Poll data of more than 1,000 people and examined how individuals' responses related to actual temperatures in their home states. Perceptions of warmer winter temperatures seemed to track with observed temperatures.

"Those results are promising because we do hope that people accurately perceive the reality that's around them so they can adapt accordingly to the weather," McCright said.

But when it came to attributing the abnormally warm weather to global warming, respondents largely held fast to their existing beliefs and were not influenced by actual temperatures.

As this study and McCright's past research shows, political party identification plays a significant role in determining global warming beliefs. People who identify as Republican tend to doubt the existence of global warming, while Democrats generally believe in it.

The abnormally warm winter was just one in an ongoing series of severe weather events, including the 2010 Russian heat wave, Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and the 2013 typhoon in the Philippines, that many believed would help start convincing global warming cynics.

"There's been a lot of talk among climate scientists, politicians and journalists that warmer winters like this would change people's minds," McCright said. "That the more people are exposed to climate change, the more they'll be convinced. This study suggests this is not the case."

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From Page 7:

Truckers spend 90 percent of the time waiting
to cross border at Paso Canoas, study said

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Truckers spend 90 percent of their time waiting to cross the border to and from Panamá at Paso Canoas, a new study says.

The report prepared by the Fundación Georgia Tech said that the waiting could be reduced drastically with modernization of the border post.

The study showed that importing into Costa Rica takes between 12 and 15 hours while exportation takes between seven and eight hours.

The study was done at the request of the Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo. The summary said that the wait times could be reduced to just 15 percent of the current amount.