free webpage hit counter
Sonesta condos

Hermosa Highlands
A.M. Costa Rica

Your daily

news source
Monday through Friday

Tico Travel autos

(506) 2223-1327        Published Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2008,  in Vol. 8, No. 258       E-mail us
Jo Stuart
Real Estate
About us

2009 will be a year full of presidential politicking
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

In 2009 the attention of those expats interested in politics will turn to Costa Rica because national elections are the first Sunday in February 2010. That means the bulk of the campaigning will take place in 2009.

The Óscar Arias Sánchez government only has 16 months to go, and the positioning already has begun within the major parties.

Fernando Berrocal Soto, who seeks the Partido Liberación Nacional nomination, has a Web page and has posted a video on YouTube. He also has a Facebook group.

Laura Chinchilla Miranda quit as vice president so she, too, could seek the nomination.  She is busy lining up support, too. Another candidate is former San José mayor Johnny Araya Monge.

Liberación is the strongest faction in the Asamblea Legislativa. President Arias was its successful candidate in 2006. The part would seem to have the inside track for the 2010 voting.

But Liberación is a party split apart by the gap between socialism and capitalism. Arias with his support of the free trade treaty represents the later.

The party's 2002 presidential candidate, Rolando Araya Monge, the brother to the former mayor, has broken with the organization to associate with Frente Socialdemócrata Costarricense. He is a leading international Socialist.

The Frente now gathers in its organization many who fought hard against the free trade treaty, including Eugenio Trejos, the rector of the Cartago-based Instituto Tecnológico Costarricense, who might be a presidential candidate. The new Partido Humanista, formed in August, also opposes the treaty with the United States.

Liberación lost the 2002 election, in part, because Ottón Solís walked out to form his own Partido Acción Ciudadana. He carried some of the left wing spirit with him as well as their votes. That opened the door for the eventual victor, Abel Pacheco of the Partido Unidad Social Cristiana.

Solís has suffered decline in public opinion because of his decision not to battle the free trade treaty with the United States in public. But he still is the likely Acción Ciudadana presidential candidate. He was a close second to Arias in 2006.

Arias cannot run for a consecutive term, but Unidad Social Cristiana might field Rafael Ángel Calderón Fournier, if he is not convicted in his current corruption trial involving a $9 million commission from government purchasing for hospitals. Unidad took a beating in the 2006 election, but Calderón, a former president and son of a Costa Rican legend, will pull a lot of
Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones photo
Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones where election rules are enforced and votes are counted.

 votes. Even when he returned home March 23, 2005, to house arrest in Curridabat after spending more than five months in preventative detention, he drew an enthusiastic crowd of supporters.

Costa Rica has 14 enrolled national political parties, according to the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones. There are 15 provincial parties that compete for legislative seats. And there are 28 local parties usually centering on local issues.

Although presidential elections are 13 months away, the Partido Liberación Nacional will take the first steps Jan. 18 when it holds district elections. District assemblies will pick delegates to the canton level. They will pick 10 provincial delegates each who will nominate the party's presidential candidate.

Other parties plan similar processes. A confounding factor might be a proposed rewrite of the election law that is being considering in the legislature. Although many party members are focused on changes in the public financing of their organizations, there could be other changes that will jolt the election process. Insiders expect the bill to be approved in June or July. But the contents are subject to change.

Expats cannot vote and they cannot make political contributions. Many have Costa Rican relatives who do vote. The four years of any presidency has an impact on the country, so the race to Casa Presidencial certainly is worth watching.

Some candidates are expected to promote renegotiation of the free trade treaty with the United States. Solís has proposed this. The treaty itself allows nations to drop out with reasonable notice. However, when George Bush declared Costa Rica in compliance last week he also revoked the country's special export status under the Caribbean Basin Initiative. That means that if Costa Rica pulls out of the treaty, it will lose duty-free access to the United states for many of its products.

And with the world economy becoming tighter, any renegotiations will run into protectionist U.S. senators who would prefer that Intel Corp. make its computer chips in Ohio or Maine instead of San Antonio de Belén.

exchange rate
to our
daily digest

our site

Send us
a news story

Real estate ads

Ads for

ad info

ad info

Contact us
Our stats

CR Home ad
Mike's restaurnat Bistango

Italian football
jumping through hoops

makes things

Chris Howard's tour ad
Karen real estate

GLC ad

updated hot springs

Costa Rica
Second newspage
Sirena hotel
Real estate
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2008, Vol. 8, No. 258

Costa Rica Expertise
Costa Rica Expertise Ltd E-mail Tel:506-256-8585 Fax:506-256-7575

light speed
sportsmens update
Click HERE for great hotel discounts

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

Residency experts

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

Dental Clinics

Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants $500, Crowns $250

Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini has placed and restored
Dr. cavallini
Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini
over 8,000 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:

Acupuncture physician

Acupuncture (disposable needles),
& Auriculotherapy (without needles) 

Immediate results guaranteed
for sport and all injuries; Back, neck, shoulder, elbow, carpal tunnel, knees, sciatica, 
Eugene McDonald
Eugene Mc Donald A.P.
migraine, T.M.J., kidney stones, intercostal neuralgia, and all painfull conditions  without drugs. Excellent results for stress, tension, anxiety, depression; and many other medical conditions and health maintenance.  Acupuncture works even if other therapies had little or no results. Free consultation, U.S. license, 19 years experience, Eugene Mc Donald, A.P (acupuncture physician) Escazú, 8352-0661.

Physicians and surgeons

Aesthetic Surgery Costa Rica Awarded The Best Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery Center in Costa Rica 2005-2006. Dr. Gabriel Alberto Peralta in Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with the most renowned plastic surgeons worldwide.


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
• Assist with back reporting and other filing issues
• Take advantage of the Foreign
Income Tax Exclusion (up to $
87,600 in 2008)
• Business Consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica
• Accounting for US and International Financial Reporting

Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620

U.S. Tax International

Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal services
Over 10 years in Costa Rica
(English Spoken)
C.R. 2288-2201   U.S 786-206-9473
Web page with vital U.S. tax info HERE!

Real estate agents and services

with Great Estates of Costa Rica and Ocean Realty - Jacó

15 years Costa Rican
real estate experience

Member of the Costa Rican Real Estate Association, Lic. #1000

Member of
Costa Rican-American Chamber of Commerce
(506)  2220-3729 &  (506) 8382-7399 cell
(506)  2232-5016 (phone/fax)

CENTURY 21 Jacó Beach Realty
A Name You Trust & Professional Service

Buying? Selling?
We Can Do It!
1 (877) 746-3868
  Tom Ghormley - Owner/Broker - in CR since '79

Beachfront, Views, Mountains, Lots, Farms, Beaches, Houses, Condos. Hotels, Restaurants, Projects, Commercial, Investments


Angela Jiménez
ask Angela Jiménez
Architect/Certified Appraiser
23 years experience
for Costa Rica Banks

• building inspections
•¨property management
• construction management

7Legal services

Attorneys & Notaries
 Tel.  2280-9692 / 2225-9322      
e-mail:  Web:
       We offer the highest professional standards with very competitive rates. All our official documentation and Notary deeds are always translated in English for better comprehension, client satisfaction and safety.
consultoria logo
• Immigration Law.
• Real Estate Law.
• Corporations, Foundations
       and Associations. 
• Trademarks & Intellectual
• Notary public services
• Criminal Law
•Civil & Commercial Litigation
Our Law Office is conveniently located near Mall San Pedro,  350 meters south from the Subaru dealer, Los Yoses, San José.

Arcelio Hernandez, Esq.
Member: Cenpac, AmCham
Jaco: Tel. 2643-3058 - Fax. 2643-0358
US & Canada: 1-305-280-6860
San José: Tel. 2519-4647 - Fax: 2520-0831
Skype: hernandez.mussio
Arcelio hernandez
• Real Estate Transactions
•  Legal Due Diligence
• Purchase and Sale   Agreements/Options
• Trademarks 
• Costa Rican Corporations.
• Title Guaranty • Fraud
     protection * Litigation 
• Constitution of condominiums
• Notary public services in
   general • Offshore Incorporation • Offshore Banking  • Business Law 
• Escrow Services (registered
     with SUGEF) • Estate Planning 
• Family Law 
• Bilingual Accounting Services 

Visit our Office in Jacó Beach (GEM Building, 
Office 4 across from AyA on Calle Ancha).


Police target drunk drivers
leaving Carrillo concert

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Fuerza Pública officers detained 26 drivers under the new, stiff anti-drunk driving law after a weekend concert in Carrillo.

Persons whose blood alcohol level measured .75 grams or more per liter of blood face from three to 15 years in prison. Those with an alcohol level of .5 grams per liter face a fine of  227,000 colons, about $420.

Officers said two of the motorists were on motorcycles. Officers said they were waiting outside a venue where a "megaconcert" was held on the grounds of a hotel there. Carrillo is on the west shore of the Nicoya Peninsula near Sámara.

Police were careful to spell out that the new traffic law was published in the La Gaceta official newspaper Dec. 23. The anti-alcohol and anti-speeding provisions appear to have become active upon publication. Many other changes will not take effect for six to nine months, according to the law. An anti-drag racing provision also is active, police said.

There was some question if the law actually had been published because it was not found in the daily official newspaper or online. But the Fuerza Pública pointed out that it had been published as an addendum to the regular book-like La Gaceta.

The new law is 32,500 words and requires a copy of the present law to be intelligible.

Elsewhere, the Policía de Tránsito report that they have bagged 88 drunk driving suspects in the seven days the law has been in force.

Three persons are dead
due to water accidents

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

At least three persons have died in water accidents over the holidays.

The Judicial Investigating Organization said that a woman with the last name of González died at Punta Cocles in Puerto Viejo de Limón Sunday. A man with the last name of Astúa died in the Río Sixaola further south.

Monday morning an unidentified woman believed to be a foreigner was found dead in a swimming pool at a Liberia hotel, the agency said.

Suspected robber killed
in Desamparados shootout

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A man believed to be a robber suffered a head wound in a shootout about 10 p.m. Sunday and has been declared neurologically dead.

The owner of the robbery target also suffered a bullet wound as did a customer.

The shootout involved three robbers in Jericó de Desamparados. The business was described as a lookout point that has been commercialized as a bar and resturant, a mirador in Spanish. The owner, identified by the last name of Cantillo, suffered a bullet wound in the stomach. The customer, identified by the last name of Piedra, took a bullet in the shoulder.

HIV infections increase
but are seen leveling off

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Three million people were living with HIV in the Americas as of 2007 — the latest year for which data are available — up from 2.7 million in 2001. This represents a leveling off of the epidemic in the Western Hemisphere, a top Pan American Health Organization expert said.

"We do see progress in our region," said Gottfried Hirnschall, a physician and head of the Pan American Health Organization's regional HIV program. "But there is still an unacceptable number of new infections, and mortality has not decreased as expected."

Approximately 214,000 people contracted HIV in the region in 2007, Hirnschall said, or about 586 people per day. Some 100,000 died from the disease the same year. "That number should be lower, given the availability of treatment," he said.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, Pan American Health Organization estimates that 62 percent of people who need antiretroviral treatment are receiving it. Brazil comes close to having 100 percent coverage, and being a large country, its rate of coverage boosts the regionwide average. However, in many countries coverage is much lower than the regionwide average. Prenatal testing for HIV in pregnant women is about 50 percent regionwide, and in many countries, it is much lower. Only 36 percent of pregnant women living with HIV receive antiretroviral treatments, said Hirnschall, adding "This is really an unacceptable situation."

Compared with men, the proportion of women with HIV has increased over the years, but this trend also is leveling off, said Hirnschall. In the Caribbean, half of people with HIV are women. In Latin America, the proportion is one in four, he said.

"In Latin America and the Caribbean, we should speak of epidemics, not one epidemic," said Hirnschall. "In the vast majority of countries, there are concentrated epidemics in specific populations rather than a generalized epidemic." The most at-risk groups are men who have sex with men, transgender individuals, sex workers, injecting drug users, incarcerated populations, vulnerable children and youths, and ethnic minorities.

Have you seen these stories?
Top story feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Puriscal properties
Newspaper nameplate

Costa Rica
third newspage

Real estate
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2008, Vol. 8, No. 258

Weather network by volunteers will cover entire country
By Dennis Rogers
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

A retired physics professor is creating a network of weather stations connected by Internet to cover all of Costa Rica. The plan is to complement the national meteorological institute’s limited coverage and to aid in disaster planning.

José Brenes, the retired professor, is coordinating the system of amateur climate buffs with interests in global warming and their local environment. The concept and international connections are with the Automatic Weather Map System based in Austria.

The small measuring station is made by Oregon Scientific and records temperature, wind strength and direction, rainfall, humidity, barometric pressure, and ultraviolet ray exposure. Software can then calculate dew point, evapotranspiration rates, wind chill, and wind gust rates.

The information is sent to a computer via a wireless connection and from there to the Internet with updates on local conditions every 10 minutes. The software displays a wide range of data including daily highs and lows in each category with graphs covering the last 24 or 72 hours. After that the information is archived on the computers of the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional. 

At present nine stations are operational in addition to the institute's 11 spread around the country with more to go on-line in the near future. At present emphasis is on the Central Valley but Brenes is interested in reaching the whole country. Most of Puntarenas, Limón, and Guanacaste provinces remain uncovered. He will travel to install the system. Schools are a special focus now with the aim of interesting future scientists, and sponsors are needed.

Prospective participants must have a full-time Internet connection with a computer on 24 hours. This need not be a modern computer. A Pentium 4 processor and some hard disk space will do. No monitor is needed, though some sort of battery backup helps maintain the system function. A shutdown due to a power lapse means a break in the data, as the system itself does not store data in a manner that allows it to be recovered.

Cost of the station and accompanying software is $250. Data archiving is $10/month. Information and displays of local weather conditions from the operational sites are HERE!
weather station
A weather station is set up at the Asociacion de Desarrollo Integral de La Fortuna, for use by the local tourist office, local technical students and others.

The web site is in Spanish but communication in English is welcome. Automatic Weather Map System sites worldwide can be seen on Google Earth using a link at the bottom of the page.

expat seminar on taxes

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

A.M. Costa Rica
fourth news page

Cafta report promo
Real estate
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2008, Vol. 8, No. 258

Casa Alfi
A.M. Costa Rica promo

U.N. food agency says that world crisis needs more money
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The United Nations World Food Programme is appealing to governments to come up with the $5.2 billion it needs to feed 100 million hungry people next year. The agency said that amount is only a fraction of what governments are spending on their financial rescue packages. 

The U.N. World Food Programme warns it will run out of food by March without a quick injection of funds. Spokeswoman Emilia Casella says millions of people in Africa, Asia, Latin America and other global hunger hot spots will go hungry when the warehouse stocks run out.

"A mere one percent of the money that has been spent for financial bailout packages in recent weeks would completely fund the World Food Programme's 2009 budget. And, in addition, permit us to provide hot meals in school for 59 million children around the world, which is what we would aim for in our school feeding program," she said. "Our school feeding program now feeds about 19 million children around the world. But, it is about 59 million who need it." 

Ms. Casella says the agency would like to use some of the money for which it is appealing to set up a reserve fund for fast acquisition of food stocks for emergencies. 

The spokeswoman said money also is needed to boost the agricultural production of small farmers who can no longer afford to buy seeds and fertilizers. She says the price of
these commodities has more than doubled since 2006.

Ms. Casella notes at the beginning of 2008, the agency was expecting to feed around 69 million people around the world. But, more than 100 million actually need food aid, she said. 

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reports high food prices have pushed 40 million more people into hunger this year, bringing the total number of those going hungry to nearly one billion.

Ms. Casella says it takes about 90 days from the time a donation is made for the food to actually reach the people who need it.

"So, we are not being precipitous here with this call. It is something that is actually quite urgent. The countries that are at most risk right now in terms of either further food ration cuts or new ration cuts are Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, also Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti," said Ms. Casella. "As you all would know, these are all countries that are in an extremely fragile state to begin with. So, the idea of further cutting rations is kind of like adding insult to injury." 

The World Food Programme warns hunger can lead to civil unrest. Soaring food prices have led to riots in dozens of countries around the world. One of the worst situations was in Haiti where food riots caused the death of a number of people and drove the prime minister out of office.

Petroleum prices take a jump which is blamed on the fighting in Gaza
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Oil prices rose sharply Monday as Israel continued attacks in Gaza for a third day.

U.S. light sweet crude was up about $3 to more than $40 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent North Sea crude for February delivery jumped nearly $3 to more than $41 a barrel in late morning trade in London.

The price increase reverses the trend of recent months when the global economic downturn slashed world demand
Traders say prices rose as Israeli-Palestinian violence raised fears of wider tensions in the oil-rich Middle East.

The United Arab Emirates on Friday gave notice of output cuts in compliance with production cuts agreed earlier this month by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

The organization announced the cuts last week to stabilize oil prices that have plunged 76 percent from a record high of more than $147 a barrel in July.

Chakib Khelil, president of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, has said the cartel could meet next month and cut production again, if needed.

News from the BBC up to the minute
BBC sports news up to the minute
BBC news and sports feeds are disabled on archived pages.

Costa Rica
fifth news page

Real estate
About us
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2008, Vol. 8, No. 258

A.M. Costa Rica
users guide

This is a brief users guide to A.M. Costa Rica.

Old pages
Each day someone complains via e-mail that the newspages are from yesterday or the day before. A.M. Costa Rica staffers check every page and every link when the newspaper is made available at 2 a.m. each week day.

So the problem is with the browser in each reader's computer. Particularly when the connection with the  server is slow, a computer will look to the latest page in its internal memory and serve up that page.

Readers should refresh the page and, if necessary, dump the cache of their computer, if this problem persists. Readers in Costa Rica have this problem frequently because the local Internet provider has continual problems.

The A.M. Costa Rica search page has a list of all previous editions by date and a space to search for specific words and phrases. The search will return links to archived pages.

A typical edition will consist of a front page and four other newspages. Each of these pages can be reached by links near the top and bottom of the pages.

Five classified pages are updated daily. Employment listings are free, as are listings for accommodations wanted, articles for sale and articles wanted. The tourism page and the real estate sales and real estate rentals are updated daily.

Advertising information
A summary of advertising rates and sizes are available for display and classifieds.

A.M. Costa Rica makes its monthly statistics available to advertisers and readers. It is HERE! 

Contacting us
Both the main telephone number and the editor's e-mail address are listed on the front page near the date.

Visiting us
Directions to our office and other data, like bank account numbers are on the about us page.

Hundreds of Cubans want
to become Spanish citizens

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Hundreds of Cubans lined up outside the Spanish Embassy in Havana Monday, hoping to apply for citizenship based on their Spanish ancestry.

A law now in effect in Spain offers citizenship to the descendants of Spaniards who fled the country for political reasons. The measure targets families who emigrated during and after the Spanish Civil War and the ensuing dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco.

Those accepted do not have to renounce their current citizenship. But citizens of Communist Cuba must get permission from the Havana government to travel to Spain if they are accepted for Spanish citizenship.

Officials estimate that some 500,000 people living in Latin American countries such as Cuba, Argentina, Mexico, Venezuela, Chile and Uruguay are eligible for citizenship. Argentina alone is expected to have some 300,000 eligible beneficiaries.

Shining Path implicated
in killing of soldier in Perú

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

An official in Perú says Shining Path rebels have killed one soldier and injured two others in an attack on a helicopter in a jungle area southeast of the capital, Lima.

Defense Minister Antero Flores said Monday that the rebels carried out the attack a day earlier in the region of Vizcatan.  He said rebels opened fire on the supply helicopter, killing one of the soldiers defending it.

In November, suspected Shining Path rebels killed at least four policemen in a jungle attack.  In October, the rebels staged one of their deadliest attacks in recent years when they killed 19 people, including seven civilians, in an ambush in the southern Huancavelica province.

The Maoist Shining Path started its brutal insurgency in 1980, eventually killing tens of thousands of people. Violence declined sharply after the capture and conviction of their leader in 1992, but the rebels continue to carry out smaller attacks. The attacks occur primarily in remote areas used to produce coca, the raw material in cocaine.

Jo Stuart
Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier

The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007  and 2008 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for more details