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(506) 2223-1327                               Published Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014, in Vol. 14, No. 244                            Email us
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Santa's helpers
Municipalidad de Nicoya photo


This float full of youngsters in Nicoya Sunday marked the beginning of the Christmas parades. The big one is Saturday in San José where perhaps a million spectators will show up. The Nicoya celebration hosted 10 bands.

Survey says public rejects taxes but not government
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Although the majority of citizens and residents do not favor new taxes, they favor a strong role of government in basic utilities and education.

For example in the case of Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo S.A., the government fuel monopoly, some 60 percent said they believe public ownership is necessary although they give it a so-so rating of 5.9 out of 10.

The opinions come from a survey by Tecnológico de Costa Rica, the Cartago university, that was done last month.

Those contacted also said that the job of preventing tax evasion was first that of the government.

Only 1.9 percent said they had ever reported a case of evasion they witnessed.

The majority, as expected, did not want more taxes, but six out of 10 also said they thought the country was headed toward a fiscal crisis. Some 25 percent said that such a crisis was imminent.
Some 40 percent had good expectations of the Luis Guillermo Solís administration in fiscal management. Solís is about to disclose his plans for a 15 percent value-added tax to replace the current 13 percent sales tax.

Some 37 percent said they were offered the option of paying more and receiving an official receipt or factura for a transaction in the last year. This is a typical ploy of some merchants who accept payment off the books so they do not have to pay sales tax and later income tax on the deal. They pass part of the savings on to the customer.

Some 513 persons were contacted by telephone, and the respondents were adjusted for gender, age and employment, said the university. The survey was by the Centro de Investigación en Administración, Economía y Gestión Tecnológica. There were similar surveys in 2011 and 2012.

Generally the respondents supported government or government-private providing of utilities and basic services.  But for water they favored public operations. In other words, the respondents favored what exists now.

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 244

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

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.

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Tel: (323) 255-6116


U.S. Tax International
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(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 506-2288-2001
FAX: 506 2231-3300
Web page:

James Brohl, C.P.A. & M.B.A.
US Income Tax,  US GAAP Accounting
& Business Consulting

• US Tax return preparation  for
individuals and businesses
• eFile returns: secure with faster refunds
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• Business Consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica
• Accounting for US and International Financial Reporting

Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620

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California Licensed Psychologist
International Practice via the Web
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Lic. Pablo Mata Ferreto, MBA.

Legal – Financial Adviser

Real Estate and Business Transactions

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

Phone number: (506) 8853-0000


Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants and Crowns

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:

Remodelling and Construction

Real estate agents and services

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

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

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   • Specialized in the Central and South Pacific.
   • Great network of realtors, to find your dream
   • Homes, condominium & luxury homes
   • Eco lodges and Hotels
   • Green properties and waterfalls
   • Farms and developments
   • Sustainable and green living communities.
   • Property management in the Jac¢ area
Telephone: +506 2643-4065   
cell: +506 8825-6556   US:  626 548-3909
skype: ecorealtorscr  Facebook: ecorealtorscr
In front of Subway at Plaza Herradura, Jacó
Green NAR designee, member of the CCBR, CRGAR

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


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

Nine held in Nuevo Arenal robbery raid

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial agents detained Tuesday nine suspects who are accused of being members of a gang that plundered stores in the community of Nuevo Arenal last Aug. 23.

The ages of the suspects range from  20 to 45. Arrests were made in Ciudad Quesada and La Fortuna de San Carlos.

The gang of armed men descended on the community of Nuevo Arenal, cut the power to part of the town and began to plunder. The gunmen overwhelmed a service station attendant and two security guards. The victims were tied up and put in the lubrication pit of the service station. The crime happened at 3:30 a.m. that Saturday.

The community had recently lost police protection, and the theory at the time was that the bandits had local knowledge. La Fortuna is near Nuevo Arenal.

The El Colono hardware store, the local Importadora Monge outlet and the gasoline station were burglarized. The bandits got about 2 million colons (about $3,700) and electronic devices, said agents.

Residents later collected money to reopen the police station.

Two of the suspects already were in prison for other crimes, said judicial agents. Judicial agents in Nicoya, Liberia, Santa Cruz and San Carlos participated in the investigation and arrests.

In all, the suspects face allegations stemming from five robberies.

Chikungunya virus cases mount up

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The health ministry is now calling the wave of chikungunya virus cases an outbreak.

The Ministerio de Salud confirmed Tuesday that there are 40 cases of the mosquito-born disease that are believed to have been contracted on foreign soil. But there also are seven that have been contracted in Costa Rica.

There is one each in Parrita, Costa de Pájaros, Chomes and Tamarindo. There are three in Manzanillo.

In addition there are 185 probable cases mainly around Abangares, the ministry said. There also are 1,962 cases of suspected dengue so far this year.

A high incidence of the dengue cases are in three cantons. They are Santa Cruz with 315, Nicoya with 155 and Carrillo with 90,  the ministry reported. All are in Guanacaste.

To counter the spread of these diseases, the ministry reported it was taking some steps, including canceling the vacations of some ministry workers who are involved in spraying and control. The ministry also called on municipalities to increase their efforts against the mosquitoes. The same mosquito species carries both diseases.

Quake reported at mouth of gulf

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Laboratorio de Ingenieria Sismica said that a magnitude 4.0 earthquake took place today at 1:06 a.m. some 23.7 kilometers east southeast of Montezuma de Cóbano, Puntarenas.

That location estimated by the Universidad de Costa Rica lab would put the quake at the mouth of the gulf of Nicoya. This is a highly active area. Monitoring devices suggest that the quake was felt moderately in Jacó across the gulf and in Paquera on the peninsula.

Mexican investment being sought there

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The nation's commerce minister and other foreign investment experts were seeking to impress Mexican business operators this week in the capital of México.

The minister of Comercio Exterior, Alexander Mora, and Jorge Sequeira, the director general of the Coalición Costarricense de Iniciativas de Desarrollo, were involved with six meetings with potential investors.

The ministry reported that the sectors involved were energy, aviation, services and telecommunications.

The two men also are trying to find outlets for Costa Rican goods and services in México, the ministry reported.

President Luis Guillermo Solís will join the commercial campaign today. He has been in Veracruz at the Iberian Summit.

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 244               
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Expats are definitely not Scrooge when it comes to keeping Christmas
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

If there is one word that describes expats in Costa Rica it is generous. Across the land expats dig down to help their neighbors, their employees and their Tico friends. This is not required, but so very often a little bit of extra money goes a long way toward improving a life.

That goes double at Christmas. Expats are quick to set up parties and gift-giving for locals. Of course, Costa Ricans do, too. The Poder Judicial just delivered a mountain of toys to the Asociatión Obras del Espiritu Santo. The Costa Rica Tennis Club is accepting toys as the price of admission at a ballet event Sunday for the same organization.

In Jacó, Lynn Gensemer of Chungo Interior Design and friends will once again go to the mountains Christmas day to deliver food staples and toys.

"This project started from my personal desire to reach out to Costa Rican families that are not able to enjoy the holiday season for whatever reason," she said by email.  "It has grown with the help of Jim Gray, various local individuals and vacationers.  A donated stock truck is loaded with coffee, sugar, rice, beans and other food items as well as toys for children of all ages.  The day is spent traveling mountain villages dispersing joy and happiness.  The reward to all who participate is priceless."

Further down the Pacific coast Brendan Ryan of Rich Coast Realty has hosted holiday parties in the past for youngsters, too.

In fact, editors would like to hear about other such projects. Expats are encouraged to send a note, perhaps with photos, to

For those who wish to make donations, there are dozens of legitimate organizations that could use the help.
Jaco distribution
Lynn Gensemer photo
Jacó mountain delivery brought joy to these kids in 2013.

Volcán Turrialba once again does not disappoint its many fans
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Volcán Turrialba caused its neighbors to sit up and take notice again Monday night. The volcano erupted again and sent wind-born ash as far west as Desamparados and Tres Ríos. That was at 9:24 p.m., and emergency officials know for sure because the mountain is being monitored closely.

Staffers from the Red Sismológica Nacional at the Universidad de Costa Rica, the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico at Universidad Nacional and emergency commissions were collecting data and evidence of the ash in the vicinity Tuesday.

The national park that surrounds the mountain continues to be closed, and an alert is posted for the cantons of Turrialba and Alvarado.  The area is east of San José.

The Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias  has an evacuation plan posted. Residents continue to live near the mountain. Many are dairy farmers who graze their herds on the flanks of the mountain. The animals are the ones most affected by the ash.

Cattle sometimes spend the day with their backs covered with the fine, gritty material.
Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos
y Atención de Emergencias photo
Cows near volcano are getting a little grit with the grass.

Scientists study the ash to determine its composition.  Ash that has come from magma deep inside the volcano portends more eruptions. Reports on the latest eruption will be made known later in the week.

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 244
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Plastic bag prohibitions prompt debates over effectiveness
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

As consumers drive the holiday shopping season, they typically carry new purchases home in plastic shopping bags.

The bags used this holiday season, which often become a nuisance, dotting unkempt landscapes and polluting waterways, represent only a fraction of the huge number of disposable sacks used for packing groceries and other items throughout the year.

“They get caught in bushes and trees, in storm water systems, they end up clogging up sewers,” says Janet Larsen, director of research for the Earth Policy Institute in Washington.

In an effort to reduce the environmental impact, California on Sept. 30 became the first state to ban businesses from providing new plastic bags for customers. Other states and cities have already adopted similar legislation, charging a small fee for every bag handed out in order to encourage people to bring their own bags when they go shopping.

Municipalities in Michigan, Kansas and Arizona are currently debating similar laws.

But Mark Daniels, senior vice president for environmental policy at South Carolina-based Hilex Poly — one of the country’s largest plastic bag manufacturers and recyclers — says shoppers should get new plastic bags for free.

“Every single scientific litter study that has been done always show that plastic retail are a fraction of one percent,” he said, calling the thin plastic sacks a good environmental choice.

Noting the claim by environmentalists that plastic bags are clogging landfills, Daniels points to a study by the Environmental Protection Agency that refutes that.

“All plastic bags, not just retail bags, are four tenths of one percent of the waste stream,” he said.

Despite that statistic, Washington, D.C., imposed a five-cent fee on every plastic bag given out by businesses in the city. The money is being used to clean up the local Anacostia watershed, and, according to one city official, the effort is making a difference.

Brian Van Wye, head of Stormwater Program Implementation at the D.C. Department of the Environment, says once people were required to pay for the bags, they used fewer of them and, subsequently, fewer bags ended up in the water.
“The stream clean-up groups are telling us that they’ve seen a 60-percent reduction in disposal bags they find while they’re doing stream cleanups," he said, adding that the five-cent tax has helped save aquatic life.

“We also know that plastic bags, they break down over time," he said. "It's something aquatic life will consume and ingest and that can cause serious harm and potentially death for aquatic life like fish and turtles.”

But customers who say they need shopping bags aren’t happy about paying for them. At a Washington restaurant, Bill Ford says he has to use a bag to carry out his lunch.

“I don’t know why some people need to pay because a small minority of people are throwing stuff into rivers and waterways,” he said.

But Carol Powers, who also paid for a bag, is in favor of the D.C. program.

“It seems kind of silly to pay five cents for a bag but if that’s what it takes to help save the environment then it’s a good idea.”

However, instead of taxing or banning bags, Daniels of Hilex Poly says recycling the bags is a better alternative.

“We reprocess it, we clean it, we shred it, we make new post-consumer recycled products and put that back into the manufacturing of new bags,” he said.

But Larsen doesn’t think that’s the answer.

“The plastic bag industry has often used recycling as a deterrent for communities that, even when residents are saying, 'we want to limit these,'" she said. "It really doesn’t help to minimize the problems.

“What we would advocate for would be a washable, reusable bag to take the place of all those plastic bags.”

Bags like the reusable grocery tote — many of which are made of recycled materials — that Carol Chastang uses to carry her lunch.

“This is my contribution to keeping the environment cleaner and safer,” she said.

More than 18 million Americans now live in communities that tax or ban plastic bags, and that number is expected to go up again next year.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click photo for another video

The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


Beautiful cottage in San Rafael, Heredia

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

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

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

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

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

MONTHLY $800 TO $1,200

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

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

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

cat trees
San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 244      
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CIA interrogations report
refuels long-term debate

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The United States has released a long-awaited report detailing how the Central Intelligence Agency employed extreme interrogation methods on suspected terrorists following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The Senate Intelligence Committee disclosed a lengthy summary Tuesday of the CIA's interrogation techniques, including confinement in small places, sleep deprivation and waterboarding, which simulates drowning.

All are methods that CIA critics and human rights organizations consider torture.

The report said the agency also used ice baths; rectal rehydration, a form of feeding through the rectum; and threats that suspects' relatives would be harmed. One suspected extremist froze to death while in captivity.

The report said that the interrogations were far more brutal than the CIA had said and that the agency had misled Congress and the White House about its activities.

When he took office in 2009, President Barack Obama banned use of the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques, which had been authorized by his predecessor, George W. Bush, in the aftermath of the 2001 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.

The report noted, however, that Bush did not know the details of what the CIA was doing.

The Senate report is the first public documentation of the CIA's alleged use of torture on al-Qaida suspects during what the Bush administration called a global war on terror.

Tuesday Obama vowed that harsh U.S. interrogation methods would not take place on his watch, saying the techniques did significant damage to American interests abroad without serving counterterrorism efforts.

Obama issued a written statement in response to the Senate report: "Rather than another reason to refight old arguments, I hope that today's report can help us leave these techniques where they belong — in the past.''

The report "reinforces my long-held view that these harsh methods were not only inconsistent with our values as a nation, they did not serve our broader counterterrorism efforts or our national security interests," he added.

U.S. diplomatic facilities and military installations overseas were under increased security Tuesday leading up to the release of the report, even though general information about the interrogation techniques has been known for years.

In announcing the release of the report, Diane Feinstein, a Democratic senator from California and the committee chairwoman, said, “Under any common meaning of the term, CIA detainees were tortured."

The senior national security counsel at U.S.-based Human Rights Watch, Laura Pitter, welcomed the report.

"It was important for the United States to acknowledge wrongdoing, understand what happened, and hopefully these are the first steps towards some kind of accountability," she said.

CIA Director John Brennan, in responding to the study’s release, said, “We acknowledge that the detention and interrogation program had shortcomings and that the agency made mistakes."

"The most serious problems occurred early on and stemmed from the fact that the agency was unprepared and lacked the core competencies required to carry out an unprecedented, worldwide program of detaining and interrogating suspected al-Qaida and affiliated terrorists," Brennan said.

The review indicates that interrogations of detainees on whom enhanced interrogation techniques were used did produce intelligence that helped thwart attack plans, capture terrorists, and save lives, he added.

But U.S. Sen. John McCain, who was tortured while held captive by the North Vietnamese four decades ago, rejected that view.

"Torture produces more misleading information than actionable intelligence," the Arizona Republican said.

Brennan said the CIA also disagreed "with the study’s characterization of how CIA briefed the program to the Congress, various entities within the executive branch and the public.”

He rejected what he characterized as the study's inference that the agency “systematically and intentionally misled each of these audiences on the effectiveness of the program," and he also took issue with the manner in which the Senate committee investigated the detention and interrogation program.

“No interviews were conducted of any CIA officers involved in the program, which would have provided members with valuable context and perspective surrounding these events," he said.

Secretary of State John Kerry, in a statement, noted that the period under review is “more than five years behind us, so we can discuss and debate our history — and then look again to the future."

“I want to underscore that while it’s uncomfortable and unpleasant to re-examine, it's important that this period not define the intelligence community in anyone's minds," Kerry said.

In defending CIA personnel, he said, "Every single day, the State Department and our diplomats and their families are safer because of the men and women of the CIA and the intelligence community. ... The awful facts of this report do not represent who they are, period."

When asked about the report's findings, Stephane Dujarric, spokeswoman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said that Ban has previously stated his position against torture and the need for accountability.

On Sunday, former vice president Dick Cheney defended the agency's actions in a interview with The New York Times.

Cheney, one of the program's strongest supporters, said he never believed the CIA withheld information from the Bush administration, and he noted that the program had been authorized by the Justice Department.

He said the CIA officers who ran the program should be decorated, not criticized.

Former CIA officials disputed the report's findings, as did Senate Republicans, whose written dissent accused Democrats of inaccuracies, sloppy analysis and selective use of evidence to reach a predetermined conclusion.

George Tenet, CIA director when the 2001 attacks occurred, said in defending the agency, “We know that the program led to the capture of al-Qaida leaders and took them off the battlefield, that it prevented mass casualty attacks and that it saved thousands of American lives.”

Former CIA director Michael Hayden denied the CIA lied about its program. He said releasing the report will  make it less likely that countries that cooperated in the past with Washington in the fight against terrorists will do so in the future.

The former CIA veteran in charge of the interrogation, Jose Rodriguez, wrote in The Washington Post last week that the claim the interrogation "brought no intelligence value is an egregious falsehood. It is a dishonest attempt to rewrite history."

Peace Prize winners back
support for children's rights

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Indian and Pakistani winners of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize have called on political and religious leaders to make children’s rights a priority and to improve the lives of millions of children caught in a cycle of poverty, child labor and lack of education.

The Peace Prize winners told an Oslo news conference that the Nobel Committee’s decision has put a global spotlight on children’s issues.

Seventeen-year-old Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan was nearly killed by the Taliban two years ago for her advocacy for girls’ education. Sixty-year-old Kailash Satyarthi of India founded a charity that frees bonded child laborers and provides them with training and education.

Malala had invited the prime ministers of the two countries to Wednesday’s award ceremony, but they have not responded.

“I would have thought of it as a big opportunity to ask them to have good relationships and to make education together their top priority and work on it together,” she said.

Satyarthi issued a broader appeal.

“I would definitely urge all the religious leaders in the world, and all the religions in the world, that if you really want to worship God and want to see a better world, begin with the children,” he said.

Satyarthi’s charity operates in 144 countries and has rescued thousands of children, many of them in his home country, India. He said Tuesday the Nobel Peace Prize has already brought welcome attention on the plight of poor, uneducated and enslaved children worldwide.

“When we are talking here, and addressing this press conference, millions of children cannot talk in freedom, cannot enjoy the freedom and smile as a child. We have to work for them,” said Satyarthi.

Malala Yousafzai campaigned for girls’ education in northern Pakistan, after the Taliban moved into the area and closed schools. An alleged Taliban militant shot her in the head.

“There are so many countries where children are not asking for any iPad or computer or anything else," she said. "What they are asking for is just a book and just a pen. So why can’t we do that? Why can’t we just give a book and a pen? Why can’t we just give a school to children, which can really change their future, really change their world?”

Malala said people like her attacker, who think Islam forbids educating women, were themselves uneducated.

“In Islam, education is not only a child’s right, but it is their duty. There is a hadith from the Prophet that you should get education, you should get knowledge. It’s not just limited to men,” she said.

Much has been made of the fact that the Nobel Committee gave the Peace Prize to an Indian and a Pakistani, a Hindu and a Muslim. On Tuesday, Satyarthi said he considered Malala his daughter. And Malala said just because India and Pakistan had a border between them, they didn't have to hate each other.

View from overseas shows
shootings hurt U.S. image

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Race relations in the United States are back on the global agenda after recent decisions not to indict police officers in the deaths of two African Americans in two separate cases: one in Missouri and the other in New York. Some people say the cases have hurt the image of the United States and maybe its ability to project its values.

The decisions in Ferguson, Missouri, and in New York City sparked widespread protests and global news coverage. Protests continued for days all around the United States, and inspired support across the world.

At London’s King’s College, American studies students have been talking about the issue in their classes.

“It’s not a good thing,” said Xiang Yingchao, a 23-year-old economics student from China, who has studied in the United States. “A lot of Chinese press, they said, like, ‘Oh, in the U.S. they always advocate human rights, but look at them. It’s like they have two standards of human rights.’”

These students study America, and all have visited.

They see the incident in New York as a clear case of unpunished police brutality, but view the Ferguson incident as less clear cut. But 53-year-old masters’ degree student Paul Zimmerman of London said the details are not as important as the broader point.

“There’s an assumption that somehow there’s something that has gone on that isn’t quite right. Maybe they’ve come up with the right conclusion, but in a sense that doesn’t really matter,” he said.

24-year-old classmate Mark Eastwood from northern England agreed. “I would say it’s exposed a broader issue. It’s more, for me, the story of Ferguson and what’s happened in New York in the last week or so, is more about the issues of structural racism,” said Eastwood.

There’s also a sense of disappointment that the election of Barack Obama does not mean all of America’s racial issues have been solved.

“Electing a black president, in theory, is transformational but there’s a lot that needs to happen to correct many, many years of systemic unfairness,” said Zimmerman.

“One black president cannot change these things. They have to change their justice system, even their laws,” said Xiang.

Their teacher, Joshua Simon, said some of his students see two aspects to the stories from Ferguson and New York.

“They’re thinking of it as a pretty shocking demonstration of the remaining racial injustices in the United States and a pretty encouraging sign that the population in the United States isn’t going to take these events lying down," said Simon.

The emotional scenes of the funerals added to the public reaction overseas. Simon said many people give the United States well-deserved credit for progress on race relations. He said the recent incidents, though, have shifted the focus to how much work remains to be done, while also making the U.S. aspiration to be a moral leader more difficult.

Texas leads U.S. in cases
applying the death penalty

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

When executions are carried out at the prison facility in Huntsville, Texas, death penalty opponents are usually on hand to protest.

Texas carries out more executions than any other state — 16 last year.  And polls show most Texans support the punishment.

One is self-described death penalty advocate Dudley Sharp, who argues that executions ensure killers do not kill again and deter others from doing so.

“The evidence that the death penalty deters no one does not exist," he said. "The evidence that the death penalty deters some people is overwhelming.”

Sharp said most families of murder victims want proportional justice, but they find no joy in an execution.

“All of this is in the context of losing an innocent life to an unjust murder, so none of it is good,” he said.

Houston attorney Pat Monks opposes the death penalty, contending that it's carried out within a flawed judicial system.

“It assumes that the system is perfect in one instance, maybe just in one instance, and it is not,” he said.

Monks cites cases in which new evidence has led to the release of prisoners on death row. He calls capital punishment an archaic practice that the United States inherited from a country that has now abandoned it.

“It is from England, the common law system in which the king owns all of us, we are all subject to the king, and so the state," he said.

In early December, an appeals court issued a stay in the planned execution of convicted murderer Scott Panetti, who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Houston attorney Kathryn Kase of the Texas Defenders Service, who represents Panetti, says the nationwide attention this case has received is encouraging.

“What we see in the stay is this emerging awareness in the United States that we don’t want to execute people with serious mental illness,” she said.

The state of Texas contends Panetti meets its standard of competence.  But Kase says executing such a delusional person does not serve the purpose most people associate with the death penalty.

“We are supposed to be reserving the death penalty for the worst of the worst," she said. "The problem is that when we get into choosing who that is, we are not consistent.”

Surveys show that younger respondents tend to favor life imprisonment for murderers over the death penalty and that fewer than half of all respondents favor executing the mentally ill.
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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 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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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 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)

Heredia montage

Cariaria  Los Arcos.
    Lot inside Los Arcos Residence. Absolutely gorgeous right in front of the coffee plantation. The lot is 326.50 meters. Includes the corporation for an easy transfer and the plans for a 170 meter house. Open to all offers.   Architect  plans included (the blueprints). Cost to the seller $4,000 this is included!!   Original Price $97,000 just reduced to $86,000

Also I am selling an Audi A6  2008, 2.0 twin turbo. Full loaded power. Back leather. Full service records at the agency in Costa Rica.  52 kms.  Silver with black. Full computer iPod interface power. Electric moon roof. Everything's a beauty!!  Incredible history and full service at the agency, Costa Rica Audi.

It's a package deal $104.000.  Must sell.  I am moving back to U.S.  Contact me  at my phone:  2260-6979 or cell phone:  8893-8672.

La Fortuna Distress Sale
Divorce forced wife to return to the U.S. with bills to pay. Just wants to get out from under. Modern 2-bedroom home on over 1100m2 intended for apartments or condos. Easy walk to center of town, great volcano view. $140,000 with 50 percent financing arranged. On vacation rental program now producing nice income, but Costa Rica no longer in her future. For details contact

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!


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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13 work stations, good equipment, good location, Rohrmoser, two blocks from Plaza Mayor. $4.000 per month. Call Kevin 8366-6861.

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

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A.M. Costa Rica's
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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014, Vol. 14, No. 244
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News from the BBC up to the minute

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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Venezuela ruling blocks info access

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The Venezuelan supreme court’s administrative policy tribunal has rejected a lawsuit filed by Espacio Público, a non-profit civic organization, that sought information from the government on blockages and restrictions imposed on several informational Web sites earlier this year, among them,, and the app

Relying on constitutional clauses on the right to information, Espacio Público called on the Ministry of Popular Power for University Education, Science and Technology to explain the reason for the blockage of the Internet in Táchira state last February.

Given repeated denials of information by the ministry, it filed a lawsuit Sept. 18 with the supreme court. The court issued an unexpected ruling by not accepting the lawsuit, and said that “the requestor will have to expressly give the reasons for requiring the information and justify the request being in proportion to the use that it seeks to make of it.”

The Inter American Press Association condemned the ruling which it said contravened constitutional principles on freedom of expression and transparency, and amounted to “judicial censorship contrary to the people’s right to information about matters of public interest.”

Association President Gustavo Mohme declared that “precisely the principles on access to information, on which laws on such access in the entire world have been based, establish that no one has to justify how he or she will use the information, while the government has the obligation to provide it, any time a member of the public requests it.”

Mohme, editor of the Lima, Peru, newspaper La República, added, “This current ruling ends up becoming judicial censorship, and contrary to the people’s right to information about matters of public interest.”

The Inter American Press Association said it noted the trend in Latin America and the Caribbean to adopt laws on access to public information and governmental transparency.

Besides Venezuela, such laws do not exist in Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador.

Blood test a possibility for breast cancer

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A simple blood test that detects a form of the metal zinc soon may become available to diagnose breast cancer at its earliest and most treatable stages. Researchers at Oxford University in Britain found that breast tumors absorb a light form of zinc, meaning that a heavy form of the metal might be detectable in higher concentrations in the blood of people with early cancers.

To measure how the human body processes zinc, the researchers adapted techniques normally used for analyzing trace metal isotopes in the study of climate change and planetary formation.

It's been known for more than 10 years that there are high concentrations of zinc in cancerous breast tumors, according to Fiona Larner of Oxford's Department of Earth Sciences. But Ms. Larner, who led the research, said the molecular mechanisms that cause this have not been known. 

Murder suspect caught on local bus

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A pedestrian walked up to a 27-year-old man who was outside his own home and shot him fatally Monday night. Then the assailant entered the home and killed a 17 year old who was there.

This happened about 6 p.m. in  San Martín de Guápiles. The older victim was identified by the last name of Calderón.

Fuerza Pública officers detained a 23-year-old man a short time later on a local bus. They said he was the suspect.

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From Page 7:

New hotel opens in Playa Hermosa

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Hotel Tramonto and its restaurant have opened their doors. The hotel is styling itself as a surfer paradise.

It is in Playa Hermosa de Jacó. In addition to the nearby sea, the hotel has a 30-meter swimming pool.

The location is seven kilometers from Jacó.

The hotel has 76 rooms and can accommodate 250 guests, according to a release.

The management also boasts of its chef, Luca Barnocchi, who was one of the founders of the Panne e Vino chain. The native Italian is the current owner of the Mozzarella restaurant. The menu appears to be a mix of traditional Italian dishes and also Costa Rican, such as gallo pinto.