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(506) 2223-1327                                 Published Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 234                      Email us
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Lawmakers try to act against violence to women
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Tuesday was a day to oppose violence against women.

In the morning there was a parade.

At the legislature, lawmaker Rolando González Ulloa declared that the patriarchal state should be combated at it roots. Youngsters should be educated so as not to repeat the errors of their fathers, he added.

Maureen Clarke Clarke, also of Liberación Nacional, said she has proposed a revision of a law that outlines punishment for violence against women. The proposal would delegate to the Instituto Nacional de Mujeres the job of creating preventative training for young men to effect cultural change.

Another lawmaker, Silvia Sánchez Venegas, outlined the 30-year legislative history during which Costa Rica adopted international conventions or passed laws itself to prevent violence toward women or sexual harassment.

However, it was Defensa de los Niños Internacional that put the problem in a social perspective in a news release. It spoke of economic dependence, poverty and even migration that expose women to risks.

Women are trapped into relationships of violence and abuse by their partner in order to feed their children, the organization said.

Lawmaker Clarke noted Tuesday that there have
Casa Presdiencial photo
This marcher Tuesday morning does not want piropos or unrequested flattery. The sign says she wants respect.

been 18 women killed by their partner or ex-partner this year, up from 10 last year.  There were 49 such cases in 2011, which created a public outcry for legislation. A law was passed but it ran into constitutional obstacles.

Judicial report on narco infiltration stresses ethics
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The judicial branch came out with a report Tuesday that said steps would be taken to prevent  infiltration of organized crime and drug criminals.

The report is the work of the high-level committee set up in May to investigate the penetration of organized crime and drug traffickers into the judiciary.

The summary of the report, released by the Poder Judicial, was predictable. The initial focus was on the judicial circuit in Limón. This was where a judge was accused of influencing the outcome of drug cases.

The committee said that judicial vacancies in the province should be filled and that the selections should be well vetted.

The report also said that a study should be initiated to identify weaknesses in the organizational climate.

The report also said a plan should be executed to strengthen the values and ethics for the judicial
personnel. The judiciary's human relation's department has an ethics unit.

The report also urged more training in ethics.

The judiciary also was instructed by the report to give the resources necessary to its Comisión de Transparencia so infiltration by criminal groups could be confronted.

Also sought are ways so that citizens can report irregularities relating to organized crime more rapidly. Toll-free phone lines, Web pages and email systems were suggested.

The committee was supposed to report in 30 days, but it said more judicial workers were brought into the study.

The summary report did not say if there had been organized crime penetration into the judicial branch.

The full report was approved by the full Corte Suprema de Justicia.  The committee was headed by Zarela Villanueva Monge, the president of the court.

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Solís orders tighter financial controls

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

President Luis Guillermo Solís has ordered his ministers to realign their operations to conform to the new national development plan.

In addition, the Ministerio de Hacienda will keep track and report monthly on overtime in the executive branch as well as trips, contracts and consultants.

The president seeks to keep better track of the national budgets in public entities, and he threatens to fire any official who does not follow his plan.

Solís issued an official directive to that effect Tuesday. The move was partly public relations because the executive branch has been involved in a prolonged fight to pass a budget that is 19 percent higher than the previous year.

Some 26 lawmakers, the majority at the time, rejected the $14.6 billion  budget Monday night, but Henry Mora Jiménez, the president of the Asamblea Legislativa issued a ruling that the budget had been approved. That action will be litigated.

Riteve is rejected again for fee hike

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos has once again rejected a bid for a rate increase from the company that inspects vehicles.

The firm is Riteve SyC Costa Rica. The company has 13 fixed inspection stations and four mobil ones.

The rate fixing agency said once again that it did not have methodology approved by the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes to evaluate a rate increase request.

That has been a continual theme, and the effort for the inspection firm to obtain a rate increase has a long history.

The firm wanted 30,000 colons for an automobile inspection. That's about $66.

Tax police mount holiday effort

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The unreformed Grinch may be alive and well on Avenida Secunda.

That is probably why the Policía de Control Fiscal and the dircciones generales de Tributación and Aduanas said they will have inspectors out in force to confiscate contraband and control the import of goods into the country.

The agencies were most interested in black Friday and cyber Monday. The inspectors also are trying to make sure that the sales taxes are being paid.

The tax agency said that special attention will be paid to arrivals at Juan Santamaría airport where those coming from other countries have to declare what they are bringing in.

The customs agency, aduana, also said that it would be following closely activities of courier services that may be handling goods for residents here.

Helio Fallas, the vice president and minister of Hacienda, called on citizens to turn in tax and customs violators.

Heredia is site for walking tour

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The tourism institute and other entities are promoting a walking tour of Heredia Saturday.

This is part of the ¡Vamos a Turistear! program that plans similar tours in other areas.

The Instituto Costarricense de Turismo has conducted a tour in San José.

The tour begins at 9:30 a.m. at the Parque Central of Heredia. Registration is required, and the institute suggests that participants bring a bottle of water. More information is HERE!

Furry Christmas gifts available Saturday

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Asociación Animales de Asís is offering folks in Santa Ana the chance to obtain a furry Christmas present Saturday. The organization plans its animal adoption event this week there near the local soccer field adjacent to the Roman Catholic church. Animals are vaccinated and castrated. A donation is requested.

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Environmental investigators seek to restore 'monument to incompetence'
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Environmental investigators are blaming public employees for the destruction of the Refugio de Vida Silvestre Las Camelias in Upala.

The Tribunal Ambiental Administrativo has elevated the case to prosecutors and is seeking administrative action against workers in the Upala office of the Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación.

The refuge came into being 20 years ago. The 64 hectares (about 159 acres) featured a lake and a host of creatures.

The Tribunal listed 240 species of birds, 30 species of amphibians and reptiles, and 148 species of plants.

The lake held gar fish, which the Tribunal correctly noted is a living fossil. The refuge also was a base for many migrating species.

That was then. Information supplied by the Tribunal says the refuge now is a pasture for buffalo, and someone has installed fences.

former lake
Tribunal Ambiental Administrativo photo
This is where the Las Camelias lake used to be.

The Tribunal is ordering that the conservation offices eject any trespassers on the protected refuge.

José Lino Chaves, president of the Tribunal, said the situation is a monument to institutional incompetence.

The goal now is to bring back the lake. Toward that end, the Tribunal is seeking hydrological studies.

Sunday is a day for bueyes, boyeros, oxcarts and tourists with cameras
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

This is the weekend for oxcarts, oxen and their handlers. The last Sunday in November always is the time for a gigantic parade bringing statues of saints into San José.

The handlers, boyeros, and their families always celebrate in Parque la Sabana the evening before in the open-air style of days gone by.

The gentle oxen or bueyes are about 1,800 pounds each, but they easily are handled by boys.

This is the 28th annual event this year, and President Luis Guillermo Solís is expected to be among the participants, although he probably does not own a pair of oxen. A lot of professionals do, however. And they hang up their suits on the weekend to participate in such parades with their animals. There still are a lot of oxen in use in day-to-day agriculture, too.

An estimated 300 oxen pairs and carts along with carriages and other conveyances and animals are expected in the parade up Paseo Colón and Avenida Secunda.

Not only is this a major Christmas season event, it also is a major tourism attraction.

The glory days of the oxen were in the mid-19th century when long lines of carts would carry the Central Valley's coffee to the Puntarenas port.

boyer famliy
A.M. Costa Rica archives
This boyero family was photographed in 2012.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 234
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U.N. researchers correlate being fat with risks of getting cancer
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Being overweight significantly increases the risk for cancer, according to a new report that found excess body weight responsible for 481,000 new cancers, or 3.6 percent of the cases worldwide, in 2012.

The study by the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France, said the prevalence of obesity in adults had doubled since 1980, accounting for a significant share of cancers.

The study by the research agency, an arm of the World Health Organization, found cancer poses a greater health problem for obese women, who developed 2-1/2 times more cases of cancer than overweight men did in 2012.

Most of the 345,000 new cancers in women involved reproductive organs, including the uterus and womb, or breast cancer in post-menopausal women.

Lead researcher Melina Arnold said there are different mechanisms by which excess weight causes cancer.

“For example, for breast cancer, we know that one of the pathways is related to hormones that are produced by fat tissue, and that can lead to cancer development," she said.

Cancers of the colon and kidney accounted for nearly 90,000 cases of the disease among men, according to Ms. Arnold’s report.

Esophageal cancer, or cancer of the gullet, is another common cancer worldwide, particularly among overweight men.

“One of the main risk factors is reflux of gastric acid," Ms. Arnold said. "And we know this reflux is more common in obese people.”

The study is the first to link excess weight to a specific number of cancer cases.  Researchers looked at data from the GLOBOCAN cancer database for 184 countries.

Most of the new cancer cases were found in the developed world. Twenty-three percent of the obesity-related cancers occurred in North America, while sub-Saharan Africa only contributed 7,300 cancers, or 1.5 percent of the cases.

But obesity is a growing health problem worldwide, and researchers expect that trend to be reflected in an increasing number of cancers in the next 10 to 20 years.
For example, Ms. Arnold said, North Africa has seen the largest increase in obesity during the past three decades and could also experience a sharp increase in cancer cases.

“We need to raise awareness in the population that obesity can cause cancer," she said.

The study on the global burden of cancer caused by overweight and obesity is published in the journal The Lancet Oncology

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
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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:

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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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 234      
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Voice of America/Kane Farabaugh
A Ferguson, Missouri, beauty supply store lies in ruin in the violence following the grand jury decision.

More unrest in Ferguson
and in other U.S. cities

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The midwestern U.S. town of Ferguson faced a second night of unrest, and solidarity demonstrations were held nationwide to protest a grand jury's decision to not indict a white police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager.

More than 2,000 National Guard soldiers have been deployed in Ferguson, Missouri, to guard against fresh racially charged riots, which broke out late Monday after it was announced that charges would not be filed against officer Darren Wilson.

There has been no repeat Tuesday of the widespread looting that was seen on the first night of protests, when over a dozen buildings were set on fire and at least 61 people arrested.

A tense moment occurred late Tuesday, when a group of protesters began smashing the windows of and setting fire to a police vehicle in front of Ferguson City Hall.

A large number of riot police and National Guard troops approached the area in armored vehicles and ordered the protesters to disperse.

The St. Louis County Police Department said via Twitter that the area was declared an unlawful assembly and that those refusing to leave would be arrested. The department also said there were reports of bottles and fireworks being thrown at officers.

The shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown has inflamed tensions and brought to the surface concerns over police violence and racial discrimination in the predominantly black suburb of St. Louis and across the nation.

Tuesday, demonstrators marched and disrupted traffic in cities including St. Louis, Cleveland, New York and Seattle. In Washington D.C., demonstrators laid on the ground in a so-called die-in protest in front of a police station. Protesters in New York also disrupted traffic on bridges and the Lincoln Tunnel, leading to a number of arrests.

President Barack Obama Tuesday said he deplored the destructive acts, saying they are criminal and those responsible should be prosecuted. But America's first black president also said he understands that many people are upset by the grand jury decision.

He said the frustrations of the protesters have "deep roots in many communities of color who have a sense that our laws are not always being enforced uniformly or fairly.''

Earlier Tuesday, Brown's parents appeared at a news conference in a Ferguson church, alongside their lawyers and civil rights leader Al Sharpton. They described the grand jury decision announced Monday as completely unfair.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said a federal investigation into the shooting continues. The Justice Department has been looking into whether the Ferguson Police Department is engaging in unconstitutional practices.

Officer Wilson made his first public comments about the incident Tuesday. In a television interview with ABC, Wilson said he feared for his life during the confrontation with Brown, saying the teenager was trying to take his gun.

The officer, who has been placed on leave, said he has a clean conscience "because I know I did my job right."

Several eyewitnesses said Brown was putting his hands in the air to surrender as Wilson opened fire.

But St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch said Monday that testimony is not supported by evidence and that many of the witnesses contradicted themselves.

The grand Jury of 12 contained three black members, and the decision not to indict was unanimous.

Pope challenges Europe
to reform its immigration

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Pope Francis called Europe elderly and haggard and said the continent is in need of immigration reform.

The pontiff in an address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg Tuesday said this year alone that at least 3,000 migrants have died trying to reach Italian shores, as he demanded the Mediterranean not be allowed to become a vast cemetery.

He warned that inaction on immigration concerns risked furthering slave labor conditions and exacerbating social tensions.

The Argentine-born pope chose the tiny southern Italian island of Lampedusa, which many migrants have died trying to reach, as the venue for his first papal trip outside Rome last year.

A member of European Parliament, Jean-Luc Melenchon, was critical of the pope’s remarks, saying he thought the pope was coming to meet parliamentarians, but instead preached a monologue sermon.

Another member of Parliament said in an open letter that he would have preferred the pontiff’s holding Mass rather than coming to parliament.

Political analysts say European leaders have faced strong anti-immigration pressures and noted anti-immigrant riots have erupted in recent days in Rome’s poor peripheral neighborhoods.

Lima is venue next week
for new climate discussions

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Representatives from 200 countries will gather next week in Lima, Perú, for talks on a new United Nations climate treaty.

The meeting will set the stage for Paris talks in 2015, when nations will try to reach a binding agreement that would include all countries. Jennifer Morgan, global director of the climate program at the World Resources Institute, called it "a global agreement for decades to come that would bring countries back to the table to strengthen their commitment to solving the problem.”

The new treaty would replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expired in 2012.

Scientists say the world is on its way toward a temperature increase of 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, a tipping point that experts warn would trigger extreme weather and rising seas. Climate-changing emissions from fossil fuels are to blame, they say.

The Lima talks are about getting those emissions in check. Morgan points to growing momentum to get that done. 

— In September, the United Nations held a climate summit to engage heads of state and industry leaders, and about 700,000 people crowded streets in New York City and elsewhere for the People’s Climate March. 

— In October, European heads of state said their countries were prepared to reduce emissions by at least 40 percent.

— In November, there was a bilateral agreement between the United States and China to lower emissions. It was “a pretty historic announcement of what they are willing to do on their numbers and their willingness to work together,” Ms. Morgan said.

In that agreement, the U.S. committed to reducing emissions between 26 percent and 28 percent by 2025. And for the first time, China put a timetable on its actions, saying emissions would peak by 2030. If that is to happen, Ms. Morgan, China must begin making massive cuts now.

“It’s not like they are going to wait 16 years," she said. "They actually have to shut down coal-fired power plants. They have to build up renewable energy. They have to be much more efficient in order to turn that curve.”

The deal puts China in a leadership role for the first time. 

Other countries are expected to put their reduced emissions commitments on the table by March. Ms. Morgan said the U.S.-China announcement is a strategic move that could energize other nations to do more.

“If you look at developed countries, it is fair to say that Australia or Canada haven’t indicated when they are going to table their offer," she said. "Well, if China can offer something, certainly they can offer something, too.  And in developing countries, I think a country like India or Brazil now are challenged to table their offers as well.”

Ms. Morgan said it is critical to close the gap between what is needed on emissions reduction and what countries are expected to pledge.  She said each nation would make reductions in its own way through national policies and laws, but only a global pact with binding commitments can exert pressure to get the job done.

“It’s in the interest of every country to actually have a global approach, so they can be sure that what they are doing is being mirrored by others," she said. "You don’t get that through bilateral deals. You don’t get all of the emissions in place and you don’t take care of the most vulnerable countries around the world adequately.  So you need to do this global.

“It’s challenging. It’s messy.  But it’s fundamental to move forward.”

Ms. Morgan said she hopes that the Lima meeting will end with a text for a new treaty, one that will guide negotiators and lead governments to act.

Somali-Americans face
allegations of terrorism

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. prosecutors announced terrorism charges against two Somali-American men Tuesday, after one traveled to Syria allegedly to join Islamic militants fighting there and the other was stopped at the airport allegedly on his way there.

The charges against Abdi Mohamed Nur and Abdullahi Yusuf come as U.S. officials have stepped up efforts to stem the flow of Americans trying to join the militants who have waged a brutal campaign of terror across Syria and Iraq.

Nur was charged in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and providing material support, U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger said. Yusuf was charged with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists.

“Our region has lost dozens of disaffected young people to terrorist organizations that would sooner see Somali Minnesotans die on foreign battlefields than prosper in peace and security,” Luger said in a statement. Unfortunately, Yusuf and Nur were not the first – and may not be the last – to conspire in support of the Islamic State, he added.

Nur left Minnesota May 29 en route to Turkey, according to his sister Ifrah who said her brother had sent a text message from Istanbul that said he wanted “to join the jihad in Syria in search of Paradise and that they should not worry about him.”

His current whereabouts are unknown.

Prosecutors said Yusuf was stopped by FBI agents at the Minneapolis airport on May 28. According to the criminal complaint released Tuesday, agents had monitored Yusuf’s phone and text messages as he communicated with another former Minnesota resident now believed to be fighting in Syria.

Yusuf was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday. It was not immediately clear if he had a defense lawyer.

More than 100 Americans are believed to have traveled to Syria, officials said. That includes more than a dozen men and women from the Somali-American community in the Minneapolis area, the largest in the United States.

Minnesota’s Somali community had previously grappled with the issue of young people joining terrorist groups between 2007 and 2010, when about two dozen men traveled to Somalia to join the al-Shabab militant group.

At least two of them were involved in suicide missions in the country, while several of them were killed in the battlefield.

Danish spy device vendor
gets a heavy fine in U.S.

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A U.S. federal court has ordered a Danish man to pay a $500,000 fine for advertising and selling a spyware application to remotely monitor calls, texts, videos and other communications on mobile phones without detection.

At a court hearing in the southern U.S. state of Virginia, Hammad Akbar pleaded guilty to marketing StealthGenie. The case marks the first criminal conviction involving the advertisement and sale of a mobile device spyware app.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said the software secretly and illegally invades individual privacy.

The app could be installed on a variety of mobile phones, including Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android and Blackberry Limited’s Blackberry.

Akbar also was ordered to forfeit the source code for StealthGenie to the government.

According to Akbar, StealthGenie had numerous functions that permitted it to intercept both outgoing and incoming telephone calls, electronic mail, text messages, voicemail and photographs from the smartphone on which it was installed. The app also could turn on the phone’s microphone when it was not in use, and record sounds and conversations that occurred near the phone. All of these functions could be enabled without the knowledge of the user of the phone.

In order to install the app, the purchaser needed temporary possession of the target phone.

Once the app was activated, it was started as a background service and set up to launch automatically when the phone was powered on. During activation the icon for the app was removed from the phone’s menu.

Travelers facing snow, cold
on pre-Thanksgiving trips

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Today will be the busiest travel day of the year in the United States, and it could be a rough one for millions of people.

A major winter storm called a nor'easter is forecast to hit the Eastern seaboard from Maine to North Carolina — the day Americans hit the roads, rails and skies for Thursday's Thanksgiving holiday.

Meteorologists said coastal regions could expect heavy rain and high winds, while some areas to the west could see as much as 40 centimeters (15 inches) of snow.

Large cities including Boston, New York and Philadelphia will feel the impact.

Travelers were warned to get an early start and to expect delays at airports.

Conditions are expected to be much better for Thanksgiving Day, when families gather to enjoy turkey dinners, football and parades.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

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

Ringle resort
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-storey, 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-storey. 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.

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.


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, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 234
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Study shows security weak link is user

By the Brigham Young University news service

Say you ignored one of those “this Web site is not trusted” warnings and it led to your computer being hacked. How would you react? Would you:

A. Quickly shut down your computer?

B. Yank out the cables?

C. Scream in cyber terror?

For a group of college students participating in a research experiment, all of the above were true. These gut reactions (and more) happened when a trio of Brigham Young University researchers simulated hacking into study participants’ personal laptops.

“A lot of them freaked out. You could hear them audibly make noises from our observation rooms,” said Anthony Vance, assistant professor of information systems. “Several rushed in to say something bad had happened.”

Fortunately for the students, nothing bad had really happened. What they saw — a message from an “Algerian hacker” with a laughing skull and crossbones, a 10-second countdown timer and the words “Say goodbye to your computer” — wasn’t real. What was real was that all of the participants got the message by ignoring web security warnings.

Vance and colleagues Bonnie Anderson and Brock Kirwan carried out the experiment to better understand how people deal with online security risks, such as malware. They found that people say they care about keeping their computers secure, but behave otherwise. In this case, they plowed through malware warnings.

“We see these messages so much that we stop thinking about them,” Vance said. “In a sense, we don’t even see them anymore, and so we often ignore them and proceed anyway.”

For the study, researchers first asked participants how they felt about online security. Then, in a seemingly unrelated task, participants were told to use their own laptops to log on to a Web site to categorize pictures of Batman as animated or photographed. Students were told their image classification project was being used to check the accuracy of a computer algorithm to do the same task.

As participants clicked through the image pages, warning signs would randomly pop up indicating malware issues with the site they were accessing. If they ignored the message enough times, they were hacked.

“A lot of people don’t realize that they are the weakest link in their computer security,” said Kirwan, assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience. “The operating systems we use have a lot of built-in security and the way for a hacker to get control of your computer is to get you to do something.”

Kirwan’s role in the research added another fascinating layer: Using his expertise in neuroscience, Kirwan carried out an additional experiment on subjects using EEG machines to measure brain responses to risk.

While results showed that people say they care about Web security but behave like they don’t, they do behave in line with what their brains say. In other words, people’s brainwaves better predict how risky they are with online security.

“We learned that brain data is a better predictor of security behavior than a person’s own response,” Vance said. “With neuroscience, we’re trying to understand this weakest link and understand how we can fortify it.”

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From Page 7:

Fiber cement manufacturer to expand

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Plycem, the fiber cement  producer, says it will invest $5 million in its Costa Rican plant.

The firm, which has corporate headquarters here, said that it already put $2.5 million in an advanced production facility with Japanese technology. Expansion is needed  because of the increasing demand, it said.

The company has 200 employees here.

The firm also will make investments in  Honduras and El Salvador.

The company makes some 15 different structural components, including roof tiles and ceiling panels