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(506) 2223-1327                                  San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 240                                 Email us
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Government says corporate tax bite is $85.5 million
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The central government says that a tax on corporations collects 45 billion colons a year. That's about $85.5 million.

Casa Presidencial disclosed this as he made a pitch Thursday that the tax be renewed. The Sala IV ruled the tax to be unconstitutional due to procedural errors.

The tax is on corporations, and active ones would pay about $400 a year. Inactive corporations are assessed just half that.

This is the first time that a number has been specified for the amount raised.

Some 95 percent of the money goes to the  Ministerio de Seguridad Pública, but there never has been a detailed accounting of what expenses the tax covers. At one point the ministry said that the tax money would buy new boots for police officers.

Casa Presidencial said that unless the tax were renewed there would be a black hole in governmental financing. Ministries and Casa

Presidencial have joined together to campaign for passage.

The legislature goes into Christmas recess Dec. 18, but the law contains a paragraph that makes the law proportional when it goes into effect. So if the bill passes in January, operators of corporations would pay eleven twelfths of the full tax.

There is no guarantee that the legislature will pass the tax even though the procedural problems have been resolved. Some lawmakers are unhappy that the central government has not made budget reductions despite the mounting national deficit.

The tax bill also says that corporations cannot deduct the cost of the tax on their own annual tax returns.

The law went into effect in 2011, and the Sala IV said that corporations should still pay the 2015 tax even though the measure was unconstitutional.

Many expats keep their vehicle or home ownership in corporations.


prison
Ministerio de Justicia y Paz photo
Lawmakers and their escorts can hardly be seen amid the sea of prisoners.
Lawmakers go to prison . . .  just for a quick tour
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Eight lawmakers visited parts of the La Reforma prison in Alajuela Thursday to see first-hand the overcrowding.

They were members of the Comisión de Seguridad y Narcotráfico.

Their reactions were as expected.  Antonio Álvarez Desanti of the Partido Liberación 
Nacional said the prison conditions were a time bomb. He also suggested changing the criminal laws so that thieves are not incarcerated. Instead he suggested the use of electronic bracelets.

Danny Hayling, a Liberación lawmaker from 
Limón said that the conditions violate human rights.

The lawmakers were accompanied by the minister of Justicia, Cecilia Sánchez, and Reinaldo Villalobos, director of Adaptación Social, the ministry agency that runs the prisons.

The ministry officials are trying to gain support for a plan to release thousands of inmates before their time is up to ease overcrowding. The Sala IV constitutional court has ordered a solution.

Costa Rica has neglected its prisons for years, and expats who have been incarcerated tell chilling stories
.

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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 240
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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


Dentistry

Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants and Crowns

Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini has placed and
DR. Cavallini
Dr. Marco A. MuÏoz Cavallini
restored over 17,000 dental implants since 1980. The Dr. Marco Muñoz Cavallini Dental Clinic, is recognized as one of the best practices in Dental Reconstruction, Dental Implant placement and Cosmetic Dentistry in Costa Rica and the World. For more information, visit us today at: marcomunozcavallini.com
8365-5/12/15

Psychotherapy

Dr. Gray
Dr. Lucinda Gray
California Licensed
Psychologist
International Practice

• Anxiety
 • Depression
 • Relationship Problems
 
CR (506) 2228-2041
US (310) 827-4241
www.LucindaGray.com
New World Meditation
8610-8/23/15

Insurance professionals

The Garrett Insurance Group
Garrett
-Brokerage fully licensed by the
      government.
-Experience since 1980.
-Bilingual English/Spanish.
-Represent all the best insurance
       companies in Costa Rica,
       BMI, Blue Cross, Blue
       Shield, ASSA, INS, etc.
-Correspondents of WILLIS.
-Connections in all of Central
       America.
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-Prize-winning Web site.
-English policy extracts.
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E-mail : info@garrettbrokers.com
More information HERE!
8845-2/18/16

Residency experts

Residency in Costa Rica
A full service immigration agency
U.S. and San José offices
Getting and authenticating documents can be a chore. —

We know how to do it. Experienced with many nationalities. Up-to-date on
Costa Rica's evolving immigration law.

Pensionado and rentista. Your first stop for smooth, professional service and a positive experience. Javier Zavaleta javier@residencyincostarica.com
www.residencyincostarica.com
Tel: (323) 255-6116
8688-9/16/15

 Accountants

 
Ms. Summers
Marlene B. Summers
U.S. Income Tax Services
 
Marlene B. Summers
Tax Accountant

File your past three years tax returns under the
Streamlined  Procedure which mitigates penalties.

File your FBAR for current or past-due years.
 
File current or amended tax returns.

22 Years Experience      Competitive rates
Phone (506) 2289-6590 or (506) 8750-2316
Email: marlene.summers@gmail.com
8808-12/21/15

U.S. Tax International
Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal
 services. Over 15 years in Costa Rica

U.S. Tax
                                                  rollover
(English spoken). Tamarindo office hours now available.  If you or anyone you know would like an appointment in Tamarindo, please call our San José office at 2288-2201 to make an appointment.
Contact Us:
 U.S 786-206-9473         CR 506-2288-2201
FAX: 506 2231-3300
E-mail: ustax@lawyer.com
Web page: www.ustaxinternational.com
8796-3/14/16

James Brohl, C.P.A. & M.B.A.
US Income Tax,  U.S. GAAP Accounting
& Business Consulting
S
pecializing in all matters of concern to U.S. taxpayers residing abroad including:
Uncle Sam's
IRS filing requirements of foreign income tax exclusion (up to $100,800 for 2015).
Past-due tax returns: Taxpayers filing before an IRS notice do not face criminal sanctions.
Reporting foreign financial assets: FBAR and foreign corporations.
Up-to-date FACTA news.
All US Tax return preparation:
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eFile returns: secure with faster refunds.
Business consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica.

Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620
E-mail jrtb_1999@yahoo.com
9654-4/6/16


Fine art restoration and conservation

Gilbert Carmichael
Master Art Restorer
European and U.S. standards. USPAP.
Carmichael
  Paintings
  Sculptures
  Murals
  Porcelain and ceramic
      restoration
  Works on paper restoration
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  Art expert services
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  Art related insurance and 
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  Art collection consultation
Experts in fine art restoration and conservation for the tropics. We clean mildew, mold, etc., repair, restore and offer art expert and curatorial services.

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Legal services

Valdivieco header
Lic. Eduardo Valdivieso
your legal adviser for criminal, civil,
commercial, and family law.  
Phone: ( 506 ) 8839-5010 
Email: legalservival@gmail.com
Web: www.legalservival.com
Address:  150 meters southwest from
the Goicoechea court, San José.
8791-12/9/15

Business specialist
Lic Matta

Lic. Pablo Mata Ferreto, MBA

Legal – Financial Adviser

Real Estate and Business Transactions

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

Phone number: (506) 8853-0000
Email: jpmata2000@gmail.com
8587-3/8/15


Land surveying services

René Sánchez Quirós
30+ years of experience in:

Mr. Sanchez
Survey (cadastral) maps
Subdivisions
Contours
Boundary markers
Calculations of terrain

Call me:
CR phone number:   +506-2290-4573
CR Cell phone number: +506-8383-0083
Email:  ojoche01@gmail.com       
8764-10/28/15


Real estate agents and services

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Eco logo
                                                      two
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Telephone: +506 2637-6285
cell: +506 8825-6556  

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colinadelsol022515c.gif
* Colinas del Sol is a fenced and gated project  in a quiet area.
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* 20 minutes to the Liberia International Airport
* 15 minutes to the Pacific Beaches
* 10 minutes to Medical Facilities
* 25 minutes to the Liberia Hospital
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Contact Jim Day
Email:  JimDay50@aol.com 
or Phone:  001 517 484-3675.
Click Here: www.colinasdelsolcr.com
8596-8/27/15
monitors
Ministerio de Justicia y Paz photo          
A viewer has screens showing 86 locations in the prison facility

U.S. invests $500,000 for prison video

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The U.S. government has invested $500,000 so that La Reforma prison workers can see what is happening in the facility.

The new monitoring center contains video screens fed by 86 video cameras.

Cecilia Sánchez, the minister of  Justicia y Paz and S. Fitzgerald Haney, the U.S. ambassador, were at the Alajuela prison Thursday for a ceremony involving the monitoring center.

Both officials said that the system would support the human rights of the inmates.

A failed jail break at the prison May 11,  2011, resulted in the death of two inmates and a prison guard. Just days later inmate ringleader Jovel Guillermo Araya Ramírez was found dead in his cell. Medical reports showed he had been beaten multiple times and also immediately before his death.


Anti-carbon plan runs into trouble

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The government's plan to decarbonize Costa Rica is running into local trouble.

Gerardo Vargas Rojas, a lawmaker with the Partido Unidad Social Cristiana, broke ranks with the government and asked Thursday why the proposal was not discussed broadly.

He said that the government was making a commitment at the Paris climate conference that would affect the country for 80 years. He said the  issue was not environmental but about national development.

Vice President Helena Chacón has told other attendees at the conference that Costa Rica will be a laboratory for decarbonization and that the country would reach zero carbon as a result.

The central government has held discussions with various sectors of the economy, but most who attended share the same zeal for reducing carbon emissions.



detained woman
Ministerio de Seguridad Púbica photo
Detained woman is reported to have a long record.

Bank scam turns into street robbery

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The attempted scam in Guácimo, Limón, turned into a robbery, but a suspect was detained at the scene, the Fuerza Pública said.

The scam appears to be one of those bank bait-and-switch schemes.

A female bank customer left the institution but was confronted by a woman who asked her to help protect 4 million colons. That's about $7,600. Typically in such scams the victim is required to give something of value in exchange. But before that could happen another woman dismounted from a vehicle and accused the victim of stealing 4 million colons.

In a show of good faith the victim displayed her purse that contained just 420,000 colons, and the newcomer quickly grabbed it.

Police saw what happened and managed to detain the first woman with the last name of Vargas. She has a record of attempted murder and assault, they said.

The second woman fled in a car. The 4 million colons turned out to be cut up newspaper pages the size of banknotes, said police.



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Third News Page


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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 240
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   \
Government plan for reviving shrimp trawling is under fire
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Ocean environmentalists and even those in the fishing industry are unhappy that the central government is pushing a bill to reinstate trawler nets for shrimp fishing.

The practice was declared unconstitutional by the Sala IV constitutional court, but the central government is promoting the bill that would go around the court ruling.

Trawling damages coral, an important element on the sea floor. In fact, expats who live along the coast say that tourists frequently collect small pieces of coral from the beach sand without realizing the damage that has been done.

The Fundación MarViva said that it would accompany fishing organizations from Guanacaste, Puntarenas and the southern zone to the legislature to protest the bill.

The non-profit MarViva has campaigned to have these nets made illegal in Costa Rica.

The executive branch has included the trawling measure among the bills that it hopes will see action in the legislature by April 30.

The Presidency has said that it hopes to revive the shrimp fishing industry to continue to provide jobs.

However, MarViva said that a Universidad Nacional study

shows that the principal beneficiaries of the fishing are the owners of the companies. The bulk of the employees work part-time or at salaries below the minimum wage, it said.

The organization says on its Web site that trawlers destroy 2.24 square kilometers of ocean floor each year.


The Instituto Costarricense de Pesca y Acuicultura is in charge of issuing fishing licenses, and it reported in 2013 that there were 69 current licenses for commercial shrimp fishing and about 37 of these were in active use.

The Sala IV told the fishing institute not to issue any more trawler licenses and to allow the existing ones to expire. MarViva said that the university study reported that there were 27 active licenses.

The government has tried to maintain a dialogue with the companies in the fishing industry but many have balked at plans to renew shrimp trawling, MarViva noted.

The controversy comes at a time when commercial and sports fishing operators say that the bounty of the ocean has been seriously depleted. The trawler nets also can snag air-breathing turtles, but the use of turtle excluders can allow these protected creatures to escape. 

Costa Rica has been barred from shipping shrimp to the United States several times in the last decade because of limited compliance with the excluder rule.


Weather institute warns of an increase in velocity of the winds
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The weather experts predict that today will be a windy one.

The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional issued a bulletin Thursday afternoon warning that atmospheric pressure in the north Caribbean would increase the velocity of winds here considerably.

The Caribbean coast and the northern zone are expected to see an increase in rain.

The winds in the Central Valley and the Pacific coast are expected to be in the 30- to 40-kph range with gusts up to 90 kph or about 56 mph.

The country usually sees winds after the end of the rainy season.

The weather institute warned of falling trees and damaged electrical lines, the usual result of such winds. It also said that the Central Valley might see some rain and that persons in the Río Sarapiquí watershed should keep an eye on the river.



Hotel header

Croc Resort



Vista Ballena

La Parcela

Hacienda Baru

Recreo Verde

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, Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 240
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Guatemala will not help with Cuban migrants, and Belize is stalling
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Guatemala has rejected helping Costa Rica move Cuban migrants north.

Foreign minister Manuel A. González did not report the reasons given by the government of Guatemala but said they were different than those of Nicaragua.

Nicaragua closed its border to the Cuban migrants in the middle of  November and created the crisis. Some 4,000 Cubans are now stuck in Costa Rica, and most are in public shelters. The Cubans hope to reach the United States where they have guaranteed entry based on a 1966 law.

González also said that Belize could not give a response before Tuesday.

So he said, the Costa Rican government is looking at an airlift.

As was reported previously, the government expects the Cubans to pay their own way.

The foreign minister also said that any effort to move the migrants would depend on help from the government of México.

He said the problem was not something that Costa Rica could solve by itself, and he said that help was being sought from international organizations.

But the foreign minister also noted that this is the high tourism season and airlines are usually booked at this time of year.


Vacation, travel and hospitality


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

The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is a great place to find quality remembrances of Costa Rica to take home or to decorate your home or office in Costa Rica.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever.  With more than 60 artists on exhibit and fine art in 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we are easy to locate just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport. Visit our Web site at
or contact us by email:
HiddenGarden@TheVanStoneGroup.com.   
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.
8840-2/2/16

diligence
Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the
 *HIGHEST SUCCESS RATE
OF RELOCATION*

 (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!
http://www.vimeo.com/5656822

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. lundquistgeorge@gmail.com

8729-12/30/15

experience Costa Rica
Costa Rica Travel In Paradise Group Tours

Looking for easy booking process for a smooth Costa Rica trip?   We customize wonderful trips to Costa Rica.  We offer you our wealth of knowledge for a great experience . . . a trip of a lifetime!!!

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CR Local Phone: 011-506 -2274-3231
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Web: www.mycostaricatravel.com

Anywhere
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  100% Personalized Vacation Planning Service.
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Howard book
Want to live in Costa Rica?
Read this book!


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8577-2/15/15

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

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

   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
   * Find out how to live affordably
   * See how other expats live. Meet other expats who have made
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   * Informative two-day seminar given by local experts in their
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   * Tours led by Christopher Howard, 34-year resident, citizen,
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Here's reasonable medical care
Costa Rica's world class medical specialists are at your command. Get the top care for much less than U.S. prices. It is really a great way to spend a vacation. See our list of recommended professionals HERE!amcr-prom



Need a book about Costa Rica?


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

Real estate rental services (paid category)

Spectacular rentals are available for low weekly prices on SellMyTimeshareNow.com at resorts such as Bahia Turquesa Residences and Villas Sol Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. We have 
Timeshare
1- to 3-bedroom ocean and garden view timeshares available and most offer air conditioning, cable TV, fully equipped kitchens, and relaxing hammocks on private balconies. Enjoy the unique combination of seclusion and convenience as all resorts listed on our site are close to popular Costa Rican attractions and downtown 
centers, but are surrounded in lush, tropical forest. Villas are also available for sale in our inventory, so you can enjoy yearly vacations to this mesmerizing rainforest paradise. Please visit our rental inventory HERE!  or call us toll free at 877-815-4227, International: 603-516-0200.  Email: info@sellmytimesharenow.com
8766-7/30/16

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for  your stay in this beautiful part
tropical homes
of Costa Rica.We are offering homes for every budget and every need. Please visit our Web page at www.tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or contact us at rentals@tropicalhomesofcostarica.com or call at (506) 2654-5442
8784-2/19/16


Real estate for rent (paid category)
rental home

2-bedroom, 1-bath furnished house inside gated farm.

Close to town. $650  includes electric, Internet, WiFi, cable TV, water. Santa Barbara de Heredia
American owner lives on site. Quiet. Secure.
organicfarmhouserental@gmail.com
8857-12/23/15

Palamres

Homes for rent
in Palmares, Alajuela

See our web page: palmarescostarica.us
8849-12/13/15

Fully Furnished American style Apartments for Rent
2-bedroom, 2- bathroom, fully furnished American-style apartments with elevator in a secure building in Barrio Amó. Cable, Internet, water included. Shared laundry. Convenient to Parque Morazán,
hotels, restaurants, casinos, city government, national registry. $600-$650 per month plus electricity. ½ month security deposit. No lease.  The larger apartments are $650 per month. They have larger bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens. It would be best for the prospective tenants to visit
Barrio Amon
the building to see the apartments.   For more information contact: edificiomorazan@gmail.com  or call Hilda at 2221-7161.
8826-1/16/16



Beautiful Apartment

Lemur del Bosque
for Rent

San Francisco de Dos Ríos, El Bosque, furnished 2-bedroom,1-bath apartment, quiet area, free cable TV WiFi, large patio area, swimming pool, parking, security. Close to San José. $450/month. Retired persons preferred. Call 8375-6838. Email: jorge.jorgejim@gmail.com.
8810-11/24/15
Lemur




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More indictments announced
in new round of soccer probe


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Justice Department said Thursday that 16 more officials of  soccer's world governing body, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, had been indicted on racketeering, wire fraud and money-laundering charges, bringing the total number of individuals and entities charged to date to 41.

The new defendants included five current or former federation executive committee members and the current presidents of Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football,  the governing body for soccer in North America, Central America and the Caribbean, and Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol, South American soccer's governing body.

The guilty pleas of eight defendants, including three who were indicted last May in the first round of arrests, also were announced Thursday. Additional charges were levied against seven of the defendants still pending extradition from the first indictment.

The Justice Department said 12 individuals and two sports marketing companies already had been convicted as a result of the corruption investigation and that the convicted defendants had agreed to return more than $190 million. Also, more than $100 million has been restrained in the United States and abroad in connection with the alleged criminal activity.

The U.S. has issued mutual legal assistance requests seeking the restraint of assets in 13 countries.

“The Department of Justice is committed to ending the rampant corruption we have alleged amidst the leadership of international soccer,  not only because of the scale of the schemes, or the brazenness and breadth of the operation required to sustain such corruption, but also because of the affront to international principles that this behavior represents,” said Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

“For decades, these defendants used their power as the leaders of soccer federations throughout the world to create a web of corruption and greed that compromises the integrity of the beautiful game,” said FBI Director James Comey. “I want to thank all the agencies for their hard work and for showing the world that we do not tolerate this criminal activity.”

Lynch extended her grateful appreciation to the authorities of the government of Switzerland, where the international federation has its headquarters, for "their continuing outstanding assistance and collaboration in this investigation, and to the authorities in a number of other countries, including Brazil and Colombia, for their assistance as well."


Mass shooting a daily event
in U.S., and more widespread


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

It's a distinction no country wants to publicize, the sobering statistics which suggest a mass shooting occurred every day this year, such as in the United States. Some criminologists label mass shootings as incidents in which four or more people are killed or wounded.

The reality of the growing gun violence was highlighted Wednesday in San Bernardino, California, with the worst mass shooting this year. Fourteen people were killed and 21 others wounded at a social services center.

Authorities said two heavily armed assailants were involved in the assault. Both suspects were shot and killed by police hours after the initial attack. 

"We have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in the world," President Barack Obama said during an interview Wednesday.

Last week, the president described the recurring gun violence as not normal. His comments followed a mass shooting at a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs the day after the traditional Thanksgiving holiday. The shooting on Nov. 27 took three lives, including that of a police officer.

James Knight, a former FBI agent in New York, said suspects involved in mass shootings often take action on their own and lack social skills. The FBI doesn't officially define mass shooting, but Knight notes an FBI study indicates just two of 160 active shooter incidents involved more than one gunman.  

According to news reports and information compiled by Web sites, such as shootingtracker.com and gunviolencearchives.org, more than 450 people died and more than 1,300 were wounded in mass shootings this year.

Data from news reports and tracking firms also suggest mass gun violence in the United States was widespread in 2015. Some figures have led experts to debate whether mass shootings are deadlier or increased during the past decade. Some Americans feel the incidents are more frequent.

"It's almost like there's no more safe haven, and maybe a decade ago people were worried about terrorism when you got on an airplane. Now you worry about terrorism or mass shootings whether you're going to school or going to the mall to shop or even going to church," said Mike Arms from Tennessee.

The information compiled by groups that track mass shootings in the United States this year does suggest mass gun violence has become more geographically widespread, occurring in 220 U.S. cities in 47 states. The numbers have reignited the contentious debate over gun control. 

Angry over the ongoing violence, Obama urged action "to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons of war on our streets to people who have no business wielding them. Enough is enough.” His administration has criticized lawmakers who oppose stricter gun laws, including a bill that would bar suspected terrorists on the no-fly list from buying guns.

In the nation's capital, other people expressed the need for tougher measures to counter mass gun violence.

"I do have an opinion and that is as a country, we've decided that lax gun ownership and not good mental health care is the way that we're going to keep doing things," said Washington resident David Heyman. "And so I've grown somewhat numb to these shootings, because they happen every day."

Others said the number of mass shootings is unnerving. 

"I was horrified," said Dru Wood-Bechwith from Boston. "I can't believe we keep turning on the TV and seeing these shootings that happen over and over, and that we don't take some action against guns and gun violence."

"We have to be brave," he added, "and do something about it and stand up to the people who think that it's taking away their rights. No one is proud of the fact there there are more mass shootings in the United States than any other industrialized nation in the world."

The U.S. Constitution protects the rights of the people to have firearms.

The San Bernardino killings are emerging as another example of Islamic terrorism.


In wake of terrorist attack,
partisan politics plays out

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

While authorities try to piece together a motive behind Wednesday's terrorist attack in California that left 14 people dead, a political battle, largely along partisan lines, played out among U.S. lawmakers.

Authorities identified Syed Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, husband and wife, as the suspects behind the mass shooting at a center that helps developmentally disabled people in San Bernardino. She is Pakistani, and he was a natural born U.S. citizen.

The day after the horrific attack at the social service center, many Democrats called for action to strengthen gun laws while most Republicans focused on sending thoughts and prayers to those impacted by the attack.

The condolence messages were attacked on social media.

According to the online site Mass Shooting Tracker, Wednesday's attack is the 353rd mass shooting in the U.S. so far this year. The tracker defines a mass shooting as four or more people shot in one incident.

Minority Leader Harry Reid, speaking from the Senate floor Thursday morning, called the National Rifle Association, which has contributed millions to congressional members' campaigns, a quasi-militant wing of the Republican Party.

"Those who choose to do the NRA's bidding will be held accountable by our constituents," Reid said, calling for legislative action. "It will never be possible to prevent every shooting . . . But we have a responsibility to try."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who followed Reid, expressed his sympathies for the shooting victims Thursday but did not mention gun legislation. On Wednesday, his office had tweeted: “The senseless loss of life in San Bernardino defies explanation.”

During an interview on a CBS morning news show, House Speaker Paul Ryan said mental illness is the common theme among many mass shootings in the U.S. He made a similar comment regarding last week's mass shooting that killed three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado.

"People with mental illness are getting guns and committing these mass shootings," Ryan said. Congressional discussions regarding mental health legislation include who should and shouldn't have access to guns, he added.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who represents California, said Thursday, “Gun violence is a crisis of epidemic proportion in our nation.

“We’ve had far too many moments of silence on the floor of the House and while it is right to respectfully acknowledge the losses, we can no longer remain silent," Pelosi added. “What gives us the right to have moments of silence when we do nothing to act upon the cause of the grief?”

She called for more gun control, legislation to expand background check requirements to include gun shows and the Internet, and for legislation to prevent individuals on the Terrorist Watchlist from obtaining guns.

Sen. Chris Murphy represents Connecticut, where the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting killed 26 elementary students and teachers in 2012. Wednesday, he tweeted in response to Republican lawmakers' messages of condolence, "Your 'thoughts' should be about steps to take to stop this carnage. Your 'prayers' should be for forgiveness if you do nothing – again."

Thursday, Murphy called out his colleagues, saying in part, “Not a single senator or member of Congress can go back to their state this weekend and claim they are doing their job.”

Wednesday's shooting in San Bernardino became the deadliest mass shooting in the United States since the Sandy Hook attack.

"It is possible that this was terrorist-related. But we don't know. It's also possible that this was workplace-related," President Barack Obama added.

However, Obama's statement was largely devoid of the frustration he has previously voiced.

Among Republican presidential candidates, most offered prayers for the victims of the shooting and their families, while some, such as Donald Trump, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, former New York governor George Pataki and Sen. Rand Paul, also offered praise for law enforcement officials and the first responders who were involved.

Former businesswoman Carly Fiorina, who is from California, was hosting a live event on Twitter Wednesday, answering questions about her campaign while authorities sought the shooting suspects. She made no mention of the attack.

But Thursday morning, Mrs. Fiorina appeared on a cable news show "Morning Joe" and spoke to gun violence, saying authorities needed to enforce gun laws already on the books.

"We have loads of guns that are illegally owned in this country. Why don't we prosecute them?" she said.

However, the 2016 Democratic presidential candidates took to social media to call for stricter gun control laws.

Former secretary of State Hillary Clinton tweeted on Wednesday, "I refuse to accept this as normal," and urged immediate "action to stop gun violence."

Sen. Bernie Sanders also took to social media, tweeting: "Mass shootings are becoming an almost everyday occurrence in this country. This sickening and senseless gun violence must stop."

Former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley invoked the National Rifle Association of America on Twitter, saying the news out of San Bernardino was horrifying and enough is enough. He tweeted: "It's time to stand up to the @NRA and enact meaningful gun safety laws."

The NRA made no mention of the San Bernardino shooting on its Facebook page or in its Twitter feed Wednesday or Thursday. But Colion Noir, a web series host for the NRA's media arm, responded on Twitter to criticize Clinton and O'Malley's calls for action on gun control laws.


Russian who now is Taliban
sentenced to life in prison


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A former Russian tank commander turned Taliban militant will spend the rest of his life in prison for a failed attack against U.S. and Afghan forces in 2009.

The man, Irek Ilgiz Hamidullin, 55, was sentenced in Washington Thursday to a life term plus 30 years. He was charged with conspiring to shoot down American helicopters and using a weapon of mass destruction.

"Few crimes could be more serious than this one,"  U.S. Attorney Dana Boente said Thursday. "In a well-planned, deliberate, and premeditated attack, Hamidullin led an assault upon an Afghan outpost by a group of insurgents, many of whom he recruited and trained, with the intent to kill Afghan border police and responding American forces."

Hamidullin and the others used machine guns, bombs, and shoulder-fired rockets to try to attack an Afghan military post in Khost, near the Pakistani border. When they attempted to fire at U.S. helicopters who responded to the attack, the weapons misfired.

A U.S. plane fired at and killed about 20 of the insurgents when they tried to retreat into Pakistan.

The next day U.S. forces captured Hamidullin, who was wounded and hiding on the battlefield.

Hamidullin's lawyer, public defender Paul Gill, said he would appeal the convictions and sentence.

U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson handed down the sentence after Hamidullin, a convert to Islam, delivered a defense of his actions that lasted more than half an hour and cited Jesus Christ and Allah.

During his address to the court, Hamidullin argued that he was not a terrorist and had the right to defend himself against American aggressors who had invaded Afghanistan.

"As a Muslim, I don't accept your law. I don't acknowledge this court," Hamidullin said through an interpreter.

Hamidullin, who had close-cropped hair and a goatee, was brought into court in a wheelchair, and appeared thin. U.S. medics treated him after he was shot multiple times during his apprehension.

He was held in prison in Afghanistan for five years and was frequently interrogated by Federal Bureau of Investigation and military personnel.

Before sentencing, Hudson said that one statement that resonated with him was Hamidullin's saying to an FBI agent that "if I see you in the street I would have to kill you as an infidel."

Hudson said that statement alone made Hamidullin a continued threat to society.

But Hamidullin told Hudson that interpreters had twisted what he said. His message had been that he would have to kill the agent as an infidel because he was in Afghanistan as an invader, he said.

He compared the U.S. role in Afghanistan to fascism and the Nazis during World War II.


Defense secretary orders
women in all combat roles


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. women soldiers will be able to drive tanks and fire mortars in the near future as the Pentagon opens combat missions to women starting in the new year.

"There will be no exception," U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said as he made the announcement Thursday at the Pentagon.

He said that America’s all volunteer fighting force cannot afford to ignore half of the population in the 21st century that requires drawing strength from the broadest possible pool, including women.

"We have to take full advantage of every individual who can meet our standards," Carter said.

Women have been inching their way towards combat roles since the mid-1970s, when they first became eligible to attend the military service academies and enlist in the U.S. armed forces. Currently women are prohibited only from combat jobs, about 10 percent of military occupations.

Carter said three of America’s armed forces were in favor of allowing women into the military’s most demanding and dangerous jobs. However, the Marine Corps has wanted to make certain exceptions based on studies that showed women reduced the effectiveness of fighting forces.

After a three-year review, Carter said that he viewed the data differently and that he thinks the Marine Corps issues will be addressed as the new rule is implemented.

“The key here is implementation,” Carter said, adding that he is directing the military to do it in a combined manner, with “all services working together.” He noted that the overarching objective is to improve U.S. fighting forces.
Real estate-related services (paid category)

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8875-6/24/116

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


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

Rich Coast Realty is a full-service real estate company with property listings in Escazú, Santa Ana, Jacó, Esterillos, Bejuco, Palo Seco, Manuel Antonio, and beyond. We offer efficient, personalized service always protecting our client’s interests. We work hard to find you the property of your dreams, and assist with legal advice, residency, starting corporations, opening bank accounts, etc. Contact us today with your questions about buying property in, and relocating to Costa Rica. With 11 years experience in Costa Rica real estate, we look forward to hearing from you.
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891
Brendan@RichCoastRealty.com
www.RichCoastRealty.com
8790-2/28/15

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


Special Offer

Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo

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

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

* Enjoy the view,  CLICK HERE
Mafi Real Estate: Houses, lots and farms in Costa Rica
If you do not find, what are you looking for, contact us
WE HAVE A NETWORK OF OVER 500 brokers across the country to get what you are looking for.
English Calls: Miguel Fiatt Sauma or Paule Ortiz
Phone/Fax.+506 2238-5029
Cel. +506 8399-7000
Email: mfiatt@mafirealestate.com 
Web Page: www.mafirealestate.com
8609-2/20/16

Remax logo
Re/Max Ocean Surf and Sun:

The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 20 years experience and the largest networked team of agents in the country.  We can help you learn if investing in Costa Rica is right for you with our low-key, educational approach to sales. Our professional agents can tell you more about sCosta Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and commercial real estate.  Call us: Ocean Surf and Sun Int. Realty Ldta at 011 (506) 2653-0073 or send us an email at: info@remax-oceansurf-cr.com
8583-1/27/16

Real estate for sale (paid category)


Safe house
The Safest Place in The World
Residencial La Jolla, Asuncion de Belén
Casa 7 of 19 luxury homes in exclusive gated community.
3 bedroom, 3.5 baths, home office with private entrance.
332 m2 construction. 2-car garage. Central A/C
Lease $2,750 USD per month. Purchase $449,000.
Contact: rafa@rafacr.com. Phone 8309-2000.
8876-1/4/16

ocean-view home
GREAT DEAL $250,000. NICE OCEAN VIEW
Property size: 3,405.14 sq. mts. or 37,000 sq. ft.   Gorgeous house built 5 years ago to U.S. standards on 37,000 sq. ft. titled property. This home (240 sq. mtrs or 2,600 sq. ft) has 360-degree ocean and mountain views and electric gated private road access. The large open style home has soaring teak ceillings, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, custom cabinetry and ceramic tiles throughout and a double-car electric garage door. Their is also a beautiful, large swimming pool surrounded by exotic garden, laundry room and bodega. This is a very special and rare property because of the incredible view and excellent location. This one of a kind home and property is truly a must to see. all custom built furnitures included. Photo gallery:  CLICK HERE!  Please contact Jack, Cell phone number  (506) 8812-1789.  Contact email: quadtours@yahoo.ca
8859-112/26/15

windows

Caribbean paradise: CAHUITA

New home, beautiful well-built house 200 meters from a lovely beach. Very private, fully titled, excellent water well.  2 large bedrooms, 2 full baths, tub, large open floor plan 26-foot sliding glass doors open to covered porch. Encircling back yard are coral rocks 10 feet tall and behind jungle reserve. Lots of birds and wildlife. House 240 mts. sq, 2,400 sq ft. Lot 1,850 mts. or 19,000 sq. ft. Price $179,000. Very nice neighborhood. Contact 2755-0014 or scottlandtodd@live.com.   More photos HERE!
8858-1/16/16

New Arenal

There are many good reasons for moving to or investing in Costa Rica

Are you worried about the safety of the money in your 401k?  Do you think your government has painted a bullseye on all of your assets?  Do you believe it might be time to consider moving some money overseas just in case?  This property, at a distress sales price of only $140,000, should gross a 7-10% return this year and the bookings for this season aren’t all in yet.  The best part from a buyer’s standpoint is that it is utilizing only a fraction of its potential.  What’s wrong here?  Divorce, and a lack of funds needed to make the necessary value-added improvements.  Rental manager says rents could double with moderate invesement, but the current owners are unable to resolve those problems, so selling is their only way out.  This extra-large lot with its modern 2-bedroom home was intended to service a dozen or more apartments to be built on the rear, a really great plan, but that was before the wheels came off of the marriage.  It is a really good investment property in a very desirable location, earning a much better safe return than stocks and bonds, but it is also perfect for buyers who only want to follow the original plan and live in the existing home while building out the rest for a comfortable retirement.  Perfect, too, for the person who intends to move to Costa Rica in the future and wants to buy at today’s prices, but needs a property which will carry itself until that time comes.  To find out more about this opportunity contact:
lafortunaguy@gmail.com or phone 506-8377-8402.
8851-12/17/15

Lantz
A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

A beautiful American style suburban home, 2,700 sq ft of living space with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, front and rear living rooms, laundry area, kitchen and small attached library nook, arched windows and doors and connected hallways, exotic wood interior ceilings and trim, tile floors thru-out.  The lot is 835 m2 with mature landscape and orchid nurseries surrounding the house. There is an enclosed workshop and BBQ area in the back yard with lots of storage under roof, plus a nursery for an herb/vegetable garden.  This is a very well-kept property with many upgrades, a private feel but yet only 5 minutes from the center of town.  Pérez Zeledón is the commercial hub of the southern zone and considered to be one of the best places to live in all of Costa Rica, the perfect size town, not too big and not too small.  The beach is 45 minutes to the west and a short drive to the cool mountains is to the east. In between, this large valley has a moderate climate.  Pérez has plenty of modern goods and services, an excellent farmers market, private schools, private doctors and clinics, all you need without having to go to the crazy madness of San José.    Just reduced to $199,000.  Call  Jeff: 8824-8113 or 8725-8176.  Email:  angelsdad@me.com
8850-12/26/15

Fonseca two
Lovely east coast property for sale
This is a huge property surrounded by beautiful tropical gardens. The house is about 85% built, but I will give you the property completely finished.  The whole land includes 7,886 m2 or 84,884 ft2 of forest and gardens in a mountain area of Cimarrones, Limón, east coast. Full house with large master bedroom plus bathroom. One extra guest bedroom. Large dining room. Large kitchen area. Another extra bathroom for guests. Large laundry room and two cellars (storage areas). The house has wide corridors where you will see a breathtaking view of large gardens and forest.  I am open to hear your offer. The full property and land price is $125,000. Call Harold Fonseca, Phone number (506) 8702-4217, Email: hfonseca24@gmail.com
8847-112/10/15

Grecia casa
Mountain home for sale
in Grecia.
Less than a year old. Owners are motivated.  All information regarding the home as well as many photos can be found at Mountain view home for sale Grecia, Costa Rica.   Contact email:   djake888@yahoo.com
8846-4/10/16

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

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

Includes: Refrigerator, gas stove & oven with electric grill element, microwave, electric washer-gas dryer stacked style, gas on demand whole house water heater. Other furnishings are negotiable. ICE electric service and land line phone. Bajo Burgos Water district. Metro-wireless WiFi is available. Tigo Star Satellite T.V. House is in a Costa Rican corporation, will transfer shares. Contract indyj5vw@yahoo.com or call 506 2416-9324.  Additional photos are available on Flickr album
8844-5/11/16


Goetl in Palo Seco

Charming small oceanfront hotel for sale in Playa Palo Seco
Ideal oceanfront location with back up to a mangrove estuary. The
charming small hotel has a fully equipped kitchen, bar and restaurant and is exceptionnally well maintained. Located on a very private beach of the central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica 35 minutes north of Quepos-Manuel Antonio and 45 minutes south of  Playa Jacó. The main building is a two-storey house with 12 bedrooms. The lot measures 3,054 M2. Beautiful gardens around the large pool and exceptional flora and fauna. Well mentioned in tourist guides like Lonely Planet and Guide Ulysse. Offered at $999,000. USD
e-mail:  marietta234@yahoo.es 
or call (506) 8707-1037  (506) 2778-8408
Web   http://mariettedaignault.point2agent.com
8843-1/2/16

Cohen
For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú
Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant.
Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning.
Easy to get liquor license. Low interest financing.
www.hotel4salecostarica.com
www.hotelsescazu.com
hotelescazu@aol.com
Toll free US phone 877-778-8515
410-975-6703
In Costa Rica 8307-0164
8828-12/19/15

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

Located 8 km south of Puerto Jiménez on the way to Matapalo and Corcovado National Park. Great Price $775,000. Contact: osaroger@gmail.com
Watch this video for full details.
8816-1/2/16

montage
Big House for Sale in Playa Grande,
Santa Cruz, Guanacaste
834.62 square meters property with 326 square meters construction. Two-storey house with front porch, entry lobby, living room, dinning room, large kitchen, breakfast room, large cupboard, 3 ½ bathrooms, 3 large bedrooms, the main bedroom includes jacuzzi and balcony. Playground, office, laundry area, garage for two cars, own and municipal potable water supply, electricity service, cable TV system, A/C. Located 700 meters from Las Colinas Golf Course, near the airport, Tamarindo Beach and the best beaches of the country. Excellent construction and great details. Price $349,000. 2,866.33 square meters building lot with three terraces. Price $75,000. For more information, please contact us:
Email stanleystephendorn@yahoo.com Phone (506) 2653-6417.
Cell (506) 8825-8942 / (506) 8916-0734.
8789-11/27/15

private ranch home
Small private ranch for sale
This exceptional private ranch sits on a 9+ hectare lot and supports 15-20 horses. Only 2 hours south of San José, on the road to Puriscal. Roomy stalls all with drains, water hookup, lights and fans, grooming and shoeing área. Two-story house all furnished and cowboy house. Don't miss your chance on that turnkey operation.  Offered at $749,000.
E-mail:  marietta234@yahoo.es  or call (506) 8707-1037 
(506) 2778-8408 Web:   http://mariettedaignault.point2agent.com
8823-11/23/15

San Ramon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: mmpeace@hotmail.com   Check out slide show HERE!
8736-1/1/16

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

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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
artist at work
Hidden Garden Art Gallery photo     
Artist Cher Compton at work

Rural themes dominate new exhibit

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Sámara artist Cher Compton presents her work Dec. 12 in a new exhibit at the Hidden Garden Art Gallery, which is west of Liberia.

The  University of Maryland grad emphasizes rural Costa Rican scenes including cattle, horses, wildlife and the emblematic teams of oxen.

The exhibit is called "Bajo el Sol / Under the Sun"

The U.S. East-coast native traveled to and from Costa Rica for several years, said the gallery. Finding the simplicity of daily life and magnificent natural surroundings in Costa Rica like wonderful gifts, she and her family embraced Sámara as their new home, the gallery added.

"I find myself painting new subjects because of an irresistible desire to comprehend and absorb it, trying to combine my exploration with my own thoughts about culture," she was quoted as saying.

In addition to numerous exhibitions and participation in award-winning juried competitions throughout the U.S., Ms. Compton has taught and mentored young adults and children in her spare time, the gallery said.

Says the artist, "I remember the exact moment I decided to become an artist. I was only five years old and was with this little boy who was drawing on a piece of paper. He kept making all these lines, what appeared to be scribbling, and before I knew it there was a zebra looking up at me! And I mean this really looked like a zebra. It was the best magic trick I had ever seen. I knew at that moment that I wanted to make that magic."

The Hidden Garden Art Gallery, is located five kilometers west of the Daniel Oduber Airport. For more information, readers can contact 2667-0592, 8386-6872, or hiddengarden@thevanstonegroup.com.



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From Page 7:

U.S. House votes to revive Export-Import Bank

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. House of Representatives moved toward reviving the Export-Import Bank, by voting to renew the embattled institution's funding as part of a five-year federal transportation spending measure.

The bill, approved by a 359-65 vote, now goes to the Senate where it is expected to pass before federal road spending runs out on Friday. President Barack Obama has said he intends to sign the bill.

Republicans allowed the charter of the export finance agency to expire over the summer, and since then, it has only been able to service existing loans and loan guarantees. Those loans go to overseas companies for the purpose of buying U.S. goods and services.

Conservatives see the 81-year-old institution as a form of corporate welfare that should be eliminated. However, the bank is self-supported by interest payments and fees, and usually turns a profit.