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Published Thursday Edition
July 20, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 143
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Domestic workers' health insurance cost to drop
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The employers for domestic workers will now pay less money for their health insurance and pensions regime before the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social. This includes those domestics who are working part-time or by the hour.

The changes are part of a new regulation that creates a Minimum Amount of Contribution for workers whose monthly income is less than 231,130 colones. The new rules are established in the document called Reglamento para la Inscripción de Patronos y Aseguramiento Contributivo de las Trabajadoras Domésticas.

The change offers advantages in the costs of insurance and the options to make the enrollment process faster.

In the case of an employer who pays his domestic worker a salary of 100,000 colones then they currently have to pay 52,398.

With the new regulation, however, the employer can cut that amount to 26,199, a 50 percent reduction. This cost may decrease according to the salary that is reported.

Employers interested in using the new scale should report a salary lower than 231,130, be up to date with payments with the Caja, have a personal bank account and pay a fair wage to the worker.

If an employer omits information on enrollment or monthly reports or shows delays in payments then they may lose the benefit of the new regulation. As of August 9, a website will facilitate the enrollment of the domestic worker.

According to Fernando Llorca, executive president of the Caja, this decision provides access to social security for a group of people that are essential in national development. The executive president said that the contribution of domestic workers should be recognized as they can't loose the access to benefits as important as pensions.

"This is a step-forward for the Caja and many other entities that rolled their sleeves to welcome into the system many people who were excluded from our Health and Pensions Scheme," Llorca said.

"With this progress we are dignifying domestic workers, and allowing more women to leave the informal sector," said Alejandra Mora, Ministra de Condición de la Mujer.


The new regulation facilitates domestic workers access to all health services, disability and sick leave, maternity, the possibility of a pension and access to the national credit system, as well as to protect their family members under the same coverage.
Maid in
                              Caja
Library of Congress archive photo      
Reduction in cost could be attempt to get more workers registered.

According to data from the Caja, 94 percent of domestic work is occupied by women, 40 percent are heads of households, and about 70 percent work part-time.

Their wages are lower than any economic activity and it is considered a low-qualification job, which makes them a group at great social and economic vulnerability.

According to Gustavo Picado, the Caja's financial manager, the group of private household workers constitutes the economic activity with lower social coverage. Only 1 of every 10 domestic workers are properly insured

The definition of a domestic worker is the person who carries out the tasks of a home or private household. This includes non-specialized care of people.

The new regulation excludes housekeeping workers in a commercial or businesses centers and those who work for a corporation or association registered before the Registro Nacional.

It also excludes gardening services, security and specialized caregivers of children, the elderly or people with disabilities.

In 2016, the National Household Survey registered a total of 169,033 who claimed to be domestic workers.

There are many undocumented domestic workers mainly from the Northern Triangle who are not listed or receiving any form of benefits.

Due to their immigration status, they are sometimes especially vulnerable to labor, sexual, physical and mental abuse from their employers or other persons in the household.


Sentences handed out on several sex crimes cases
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Courts across the country issued a string of sentences Wednesday for varying crimes related to sexual abuse and assault as well as rape.

According to a statement sent out by the Fiscalía in Santa Cruz, a man pleaded guilty for attempted rape, aggravated robbery and other violations that led to a sentence of up to 51 years in prison. The sentence was carried out by the criminal court who accepted the guilty plea of the man. The prosecution claimed the victory due to what they called forceful evidence against the man.

The events occurred between July 1, 2010 and Jan. 2, 2011, at Playas del Coco. The prosecution was able to prove that, in the first case, the victim was riding a bicycle along the beach during the evening when the man struck her off the bike and attempted to rape her as she was on the ground.

During the second incident, the accused approached the second victim in the same way and threatened her with a knife before taking her to a vacant lot and raping her four times in addition to stealing the woman’s cell phone before fleeing.

The man had since been on the run until April of this year at Los Canales, the Ministerio Público said. This man will remain in preventive detention as the sentence is finalized.

In a second case, the prosecution in Nicoya proved the guilt of a man accused of sexually abusing and raping his 16-year old cousin.

This man was sentenced to 16 years in prison after an investigation that showed the events beginning in May 2011.

According to the Fiscalía, the victim’s grandparents came to visit the family and there was no more space in the house to sleep. The girl’s parents sent her to her uncles where the accused lived.

The prosecution said that the perpetrator took advantage of the girl while she was sleeping and the victim subsequently told a friend in July of that year who then alerted the victim’s mother. She filed the complaint immediately thereafter.

Also on Wednesday, the Fiscalía de Grecia obtained the guilt from a man with whom the criminal court sentenced to 30 years in prison for four crimes of violating a minor.

On a plea deal, that sentence was reduced to 20 years based on, what the court called, the rules of material contest.

Between March 2014 and March 2015, the 61-year old raped an 11-year old boy at least four different times in the man’s house.

Officials said this occurred after the man apparently gained the trust of the boy’s mother. On the second occasion, however, the boy told his parents despite being threatened by the man not to. They subsequently filed the complaint and allowed an investigation to be opened.

The accused remains in preventive custody for another six months before the sentence is finalized, according to the Ministerio Público.



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A.M.
Costa Rica

Second News Page

Published || Thursday Edition, July 20, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 143
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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.
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Romeria
Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes photo        
Traffic police will be out in force for upcoming event.

Road regulations expected for Romería

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The public works ministry announced its scheduling Wednesday for the anticipated Romería pilgrimage beginning this weekend.

The Policía de Tránsito announced that it would be out in force beginning Friday afternoon until 5 a.m. on the next day. Officials said that this would be repeated Saturday and Sunday as well. Saturday also begins the control and regulation of the roads to divert pedestrians off Ruta 251, the old Tres Ríos highway to Taras. This will be repeated again on July 29 and 30.

Expect a traffic police presence at: the Interamericana Norte between San José and Peñas Blancas, the Interamericana Sur between the capital and Paso Canoas, Ruta 3 from Uruca through Heredia and Alajuela to San Mateo, Ruta 5 between San José and Heredia by Tibás, Ruta 10 from Turrialba -Siquirres, Ruta 27 and Ruta 32.

A total of 348 officers of the traffic police will be out on the roads to supplement the other police forces called up. The Florencio del Castillo road will be regulated beginning at 9 a.m. on July 29 and will continue until August 2. A lane established for pedestrians on that road will be made on July 22 in the section between the crossing of Ruta 251 and Taras, the ministry said.

Traffic coming from Cartago using that road will be diverted to San Pedro to prevent any head-on accidents between romeros and vehicles, according to Mario Calderón, the traffic police commissioner.

At Sol, Pops, Cementerio Montesacro and the crossing at Concepción de Tres Ríos, road closures will be made as needed and likely at 5 p.m. August 2 will see the traffic measures focus on Cartago as a perimeter will be established around the basilica three blocks out closed to all vehicle traffic. The exceptions will be for people living in that blocked-off area and who have cars.

The pilgrimage is an annual walk toward the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de Los Ángeles in Cartago Centro. Thousands walk from San José ao Cartago in a display of solemn faith toward the Catholic faith in Costa Rica. The Fuerza Pública said that over 1,100 officers will be part of an operation lasting until August 3 that includes the mounted police units, motorcycle units and the air surveillance unit.


Duty-free stores receiving makeover

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social unveiled new plans for the duty-free stores scattered at various areas across the country.

Duty-free stores are retail outlets that are exempt from paying certain local or national taxes, or duties, often on the requirement that the goods sold will be sold to travelers who will take them out of the country.

That is the original premise, however, the social assistance institute also uses the exemptions and money earned towards their programs of aiding low-income people and those in extreme poverty situations in Costa Rica.

Last year, these stores’ sales exceeded $26 million to give an overall net profit of $3 million, according to social assistance institute.

The new graphic identity seeks to integrate the values associated with the brand and the shopping experience to make it more attractive to shoppers both national and international. These values include: optimism, happiness and satisfaction to contribute toward improving the quality of life with people in poverty

“We are making different efforts to obtain the varying and innovative results,” said Ana Helena Chacón, the vice-president of Costa Rica. “The alliances and the articulated work allow us to move towards a united country, where the contribution of all profits to achieve that dream of eliminating extreme poverty and promoting respect for human dignity.”

Another aspect to the project is plan to expand the number of duty-free stores at Juan Santamaría airport. Currently there are six in the airport with four in the arrival section and two at the exit section. The idea is to double the space of one of the stores.

The other stores are located at Daniel Oduber international airport in Liberia as well as one store at the Depósito Libre Comercial de Golfito.


CENAC tour
Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud photo     
Organizers are offering another season of interactive tours.

CENAC tour season begins again

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

For English or Spanish speakers, individuals or groups, the Centro Nacional de la Cutura has resumed their free theater tours around the building to share its importance within the Costa Rican history.

Show time is every Wednesday at 10 a.m., and with the help of two professional actors, the performance will teach all there is about the building's past as the Fábrica Nacional de Licores. All come to life by five fictional characters.

The play was written by well established Costa Rican playwright Claudio Barrionuevo.  Attendees will also enjoy the appearance of legendary political characters such as Juan Mora Porras, who created the country's first liquor monopoly.

This year's season started Wednesday and finishes on November 29.  People or groups interested in this free educational show, may call 8654-4242 or send an email HERE.

 
ICE improves two transmission lines

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad reconstructed two electric lines for Pejibaye-Colinas in addition to Ujarrás for the benefit of 7,200 clients.

The investment was approximately 1.8 billion colones for the purpose of allowing the power lines to be cut in sections, the institute said. This is to allow for any damage or power outages to affect the least amount of customers at a given time. The Pejibaye-Colinas improvements consisting of around 25 kilometers of 367 concrete and metal electric posts, 54 transformers and a three-phase primary line.

The work will have the most impact on residential and rural customers out in Pejibaye, Guagaral and Veracruz de Pérez Zeledón as well as Colinas de Buenos Aires in Puntarenas. With the Ujarrás line, about 2.2 kilometers worth of primary and secondary networks. ICE explained that the network was improved for the purposes of modernizing the network to meet the demands of Ujarrás, Parrúas, Cervantes, Paraíso, Patalillo and Cachí.




News from the Spanish-language press
Translated into English



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A.M.
Costa Rica

Third News Page
U.S. Tax
Published || Thursday Edition, July 20, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 143
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Performance made with recycled props and message of conservation
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A story in which the characters live an adventure in search of a clean place to settle and move away from the pollution that has invaded their old home. No that is not the fairy tale ending of a starry-eyed backpacker. That is the new play being put on by the Compañía Nacional de Teatro until Aug. 5.

Teatro La Maga has been providing the cast and direction for this play. The whole plot focuses on the characters working as a team to be able to preserve water and resources being threatened by the selfishness of others, the theater said.

The work is family-friendly and includes live music as well as some puppets too. The speech, however, is done poetically and raises the importance of conservation and unity through the responsible use of natural resources.

“The main image on which scenography and visual metaphor is conceived is based on the use of materials that, in principle, are considered disposable by people,” the group said. “In this way, what was thought of as useless and disposable, reappears on stage with an aesthetic and poetic function.”

According to La Maga, the need to seek solutions as a team is an exhortation toward societies and countries to engage in a cohesive, similar plan.

The work is under the direction of Silvia Arce with the original text that inspired the play coming from Costa Rican writer María Bonilla.

Violin de la Lata
Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud photo    
Putting theory to practice with recycled stage props.

The staging of "Violín de Lata" is conceived to make the most of one of the most important resources of contemporary theater: visual metaphor. Visual metaphor is the indestructible link between fiction and reality as a unique means to modify the present context, according to the needs of those observing the audience, the theater troupe said.

Each show will be presented at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. both on Saturdays and Sundays, the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud said. It will go on until Aug. 6 at Teatro 1887 within the Centro Nacional de la Cultura, organizers said.

Tickets cost about 5,000 colones with a 50 percent discount applied to students and seniors. Reservations can be made by calling Teatro 1887.


Pavas center seeks to offer mental relief from poverty and crime
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Three years ago, the canton of Pavas, San José, opened the first Community Center of Mental Health and Social Welfare with the purpose of serving more than 600 people in the field of mental health.

The initiative was part of the School of Work of the Universidad Latina and the María Reina Parish.

"These people have a limited income and, in some cases, they combine traumatic experiences linked to poverty," said Rosa Chan, director of the School of Social Work.

"This worsens crises and conflicts between individuals. 

Pavas is considered one of the largest crime and drug trafficking sites in the country. The site is also home to criminal gangs facing land wars.

"

"If people are not treated, they will drag their problems, and if they go to social security to seek help they would have to wait up to four months to receive medication," she added.


Since its opening, the center has welcomed hundreds of people who have improved their psychosocial status and are now able to face their different personal challenges.



They are people with common disorders such as depression, physical violence and verbal aggression, abuse, unemployment, poverty, addiction, among others, who attend a place to receive individual-family clinical care and participate in activities such as dance classes and yoga.



In addition, attendees can opt for new academic challenges such as finishing high school, learning English, entrepreneurship and marketing, this allows them emotional self-sufficiency, to overcome their conflicts and implement ideas to improve their income, according to a statement sent by the Universidad. 



The community center also coordinates an addiction treatment program for street dwellers and also develops a program for taking care for the elderly. It offers clinical diagnoses and treatment plans, individual and family therapeutic care, coordination with psychiatric services for control and use of medication and interventions in crisis through permanent pedagogical lines.



To develop entrepreneurship, the center offers social entrepreneurship and small business, marketing, administrative management and accounting, as well as courses for the care of the elderly.


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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

Published || Thursday Edition, July 20, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 143
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New study questions how good geckos are at holding on to surfaces
By the Cornell University press staff

Geckos climb vertically up trees, walls and even windows, thanks to pads on the digits of their feet that employ a huge number of tiny bristles and hooks.

Anyone who has lived or traveled around Costa Rica has probably seen or at least heard of the geckos that dwell abundantly and, for the most part, coexist peacefully with humans. Some of the geckos also calling Costa Rica home are: the yellow-headed gecko, the common house gecko, the Costa Rica scaly-eyed gecko, the spotted dwarf and the yellow-tailed dwarf geckos.

Scientists have long marveled at the gecko’s adhesive capabilities, which have been described as 100 times more than what is needed to support their body weight or run quickly up a surface.

But a new theoretical study examines for the first time the limits of geckos’ gripping ability in natural contexts. The study, recently published in the “Journal of the Royal Society Interface,” reports there are circumstances, such as when geckos fear for their lives, leap into the air and are forced to grab on to a leaf below, when they need every bit of that fabled adhesive ability. Sometimes it’s not enough and maybe a wayward expat can expect something funny to land on them while out on a walk or in the house.

“Geckos are notoriously described as having incredible ability to adhere to a surface,” said Karl Niklas, professor of plant evolution at Cornell University and a co-author of the paper.

“The paper shows that adhesive capability might be exaggerated, because geckos experience falls and a necessity to grip a surface like a leaf that requires a much more tenacious adhesion force; the paper shows that in some cases the adhesive ability can be exceeded,” Niklas said.

In the theoretical study, the researchers developed computer models to understand if there are common-place instances when the geckos’ ability to hold on to surfaces might be challenged.
Scaley-eyed gecko
Museo Nacional photo
Hopefully this guy doesn't accidentally fall on you!

This could be when canopy-dwelling geckos are being chased by a predator and are forced to leap from a tree, hoping to land on a leaf below. The researchers incorporated ecological observations, adhesive force measurements, and body size and shape measurements of museum specimens to conduct simulations.

They also considered the biomechanics of the leaves, the size of the leaves and the angles on the surface that geckos might land on to determine impact forces.

Calculations were also based on worst-case scenarios, where a gecko reaches a maximum speed when it is no longer accelerating, called “terminal settling velocity.”

“Leaves are cantilevered like diving boards and they go through harmonic motion [when struck], so you have to calculate the initial deflection and orientation, and then consider how does that leaf rebound and can the gecko still stay attached,” Niklas said.

The final result showed that in some cases geckos don’t have enough adhesion to save themselves, he added. The basic research helps people better understand how geckos stick to surfaces, and has the potential for future applications that mimic such biological mechanisms.

The study was funded by the National Science Foundation.


Vacation, travel and hospitality


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The Relocation/Retirement tour with the
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Published || Thursday Edition, July 20, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 143
Calendar
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Vaccine
Voice of America video grab      
Vaccines are facing increased opposition.

Measles kills 35 children
as U.S. outbreak continues

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Thirty-five European children have died from measles in the past 12 months in what the World Health Organization calls an unacceptable tragedy. A vaccine could have prevented the deaths. A measles outbreak in Minnesota sent nearly two dozen people to the hospital.

Still, some parents in developed countries continue to believe false reports that the measles vaccine causes autism. And now a number of parents are refusing to get their children vaccinated for other diseases as well.

A vaccine ended small pox. Another vaccine is close to ending polio. Vaccines prevent the flu, hepatitis, liver cancer, cervical, oral and penile cancers and a dozen or so other diseases.

They have saved countless lives and prevented enormous suffering. Scientists are now working on vaccines for AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

Dr. Flavia Bustreo is an outspoken advocate for immunizations at the World Health Organization.

"Immunization and vaccines are the most powerful public health tools that we have," said Dr. Bustreo.

One of the most effective vaccines available, to prevent measles, mumps and rubella, is meeting resistance from many parents because of a debunked study that linked the vaccine to autism. Yet some parents oppose all vaccines.

Gabriella Cashman is hoping to start a family soon, and says she is not going to give any vaccines to her children.

“We don’t want anybody to force anything on our children. As parents, it’s our decision whether or not we want to vaccinate," she said.

In the U.S., the issue goes beyond autism. It's become a parents' rights issue. Dr. Peter Hotez is an immunologist who develops vaccines for tropical diseases at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Dr. Hope Scott says all pediatricians strongly favor vaccines. The topic is very personal to her, because she lost a daughter to pneumococcal meningitis five years before a vaccine became available.

Doctors and other health professionals are sometimes at a loss when it comes to convincing parents that vaccines will keep their children healthy.

As director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci oversees programs to immunize and care for people around the globe who suffer from infectious diseases. His institute funds the research and development of vaccines for AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases.

In a column written for The Seattle Times newspaper, autism expert Annette Este said health professionals need to find a way out of our impasse and rediscover the connections between those who oppose immunizations and the medical community.

The American Medical Association has adopted a policy to continue efforts to promote public understanding and confidence in the safety of vaccines. Some European countries are now making vaccines against measles and other diseases mandatory. Meanwhile, the measles outbreak in Minnesota is not over. A 19-year-old whose parents opposed vaccinations is Minnesota's 79th case.


U.S. Sen. McCain diagnosed
with
glioblastoma cancer

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. Senator John McCain has been diagnosed with brain cancer, the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix said Wednesday.

A malignant tumor was discovered after the Republican senator from Arizona, who is 80, underwent a surgical procedure last week to remove a 5-centimeter blood clot behind his left eye.

“The senator’s doctors say he is recovering from his surgery ‘amazingly well’ and his underlying health is excellent,” a statement from McCain's office said. "Further consultations with the Mayo Clinic care team will indicate when he will return to the United States Senate."

McCain, a Vietnam war hero who has been in the Senate for more than 30 years, and his family are said to be considering options for further treatment, which most often include a combination of chemotherapy and radiation.

He has survived multiple health crises in the past, including melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, and a variety of problems caused by his incarceration in Vietnamese prisoner-of-war camps from 1967 to 1973.

At the White House, President Donald Trump said: "Senator John McCain has always been a fighter. Melania and I send our thoughts and prayers to Senator McCain, Cindy and their entire family. Get well soon."

The Republican Majority Leader in the U.S. Senate, Mitch McConnell, added his thoughts in a separate statement: "John McCain is a hero to our party and a hero to our country. He has never shied from a fight and I know that he will face this challenge with the same extraordinary courage that has characterized his life. The entire Senate family's prayers are with John, Cindy and his family, his staff, and the people of Arizona he represents so well.''

McCain was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986. He was the Republican Party presidential nominee in 2008, losing to Barack Obama. His absence from Washington this week had forced McConnell to delay planned action on health-care legislation.

Glioblastoma is a particularly aggressive cancer that forms tumors in the brain and spinal cord, according to the American Brain Tumor Association. The same form of cancer was a prime cause of the death in 2009 of Sen. Ted Kennedy, a brother of the assassinated former U.S. President John F. Kennedy.

The American Cancer Society estimates that people who develop glioblastoma after the age of 55 have a five-year survival rate of four percent.


Pentagon irked after Turkey
publishes U.S. military posts


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Pentagon says it has raised its concerns with Turkey after a Turkish news agency published a map of U.S. military posts in northern Syria.

The state-run Anadolu News Agency printed the map Wednesday, showing 10 U.S. locations in a portion of Syria under Syrian-Kurdish control.

Turkey says the Kurdish People's Protection Unit is the armed branch of the Kurdish Democratic Party, which Turkey considers to be a terrorist group.

A Pentagon spokesman said U.S. military officials couldn’t identify the source of the map, but "would be very concerned if officials from a NATO ally would purposefully endanger our forces by releasing sensitive information."

The Pentagon would not confirm if the information on the map is accurate.


U.N. demands journalists
be allowed access in Yemen


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The United Nations is demanding that journalists be allowed into Yemen after the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels refused to allow a plane carrying three BBC reporters to land.

The reporters were on a U.N. aid flight that was supposed to go to the capital, Sana’a, on Tuesday but were grounded in Djibouti because the journalists were on board.

"Steps like this do not help. This has been a large, man-made humanitarian problem. The world needs to know and journalists need to have access," U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq said Wednesday.

He said incidents like the grounding of the flight explained why one of the world's worst humanitarian disasters was not getting enough attention from the international community.

Haq said the aid flight that was not allowed to fly Tuesday was given permission to land Wednesday in Yemen, but without the BBC reporters.

The Saudis reportedly told U.N. officials they could not guarantee the safety of the BBC crew. The Saudi-led coalition controls the airspace over Yemen. It is fighting the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels both from the air and on the ground.

The rebels seized Sana'a in 2015, forcing the internationally recognized Yemeni government into exile to Saudi Arabia. It later returned to the Yemeni port of Aden.

U.N. officials say 80 percent of Yemen's population is in desperate need of food, clean water and medical care. A cholera outbreak has killed more than 1,700 people since April, with more than 320,000 suspected cases.


Key Trump aides to testify
next week in Senate hearings


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. senators announced Wednesday that President Donald Trump's eldest son, former campaign manager and son-in-law would testify next week about their meeting last June with a Russian attorney who said she had damaging information about Trump's Democratic opponent in last year's election.

Two Senate committees will be involved. The Judiciary Committee will question Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort, the former campaign chief, in a public session July 26. The Intelligence Committee will hear from Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior White House adviser, on July 24, but that meeting will be closed to the public and reporters.

The Judiciary Committee's request to interview Trump Jr. and Manafort in open session was reviewed and approved by Robert Mueller, the Justice Department's special counsel investigating extent of the Russian government's involvement in and influence on the 2016 presidential election.

Kushner's lawyer, Abbe Lowell, said his client would appear voluntarily before the Intelligence Committee and would cooperate with the proceedings. Lowell said Kushner appreciates the opportunity to assist in putting this matter to rest.

The Russian lawyer at the center of the mysterious meeting in New York last year, meanwhile, said she was ready to share with senators everything she knew about her meeting with Trump Jr., Manafort and Kushner. Natalia Veselnitskaya was interviewed in Moscow by the Kremlin-funded RT broadcast network, formerly known in the U.S. as Russia Today.

The meeting in June 2016 at Trump Tower in New York, the future president's campaign headquarters, is now known to have included at least eight people: Trump Jr., Manafort and Kushner, plus five Russian or Russian-linked participants.

Trump Jr. wrote in an email exchange with Goldstone that he would love it if Ms. Veselnitskaya had incriminating material on Democrat Hillary Clinton, as promised. But after news of the gathering surfaced this month, the president's son said the lawyer had no information of value about Clinton, and that their conference ended quickly.

Subsequent media accounts of the meeting have produced other details, including a report that the Russians turned over a dossier containing printed information related to the Clinton campaign.

RT published excerpts of its interview with Ms. Veselnitskaya online late Wednesday. Speaking through a translator, the lawyer said: "If the Senate wishes to hear the real story, I will be happy to speak up and share everything I wanted to tell Mr. Trump."

She did not mention the Clinton campaign, but contended she was the victim of a disinformation campaign organized by an American businessman, William Browder, the chief executive and co-founder of the investment fund Hermitage Capital Management, which once was the largest foreign investor in post-Soviet Russia.

The president's nominee to head the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Christopher Wray, testified at his Senate confirmation hearing last week that anyone contacted during a political campaign and offered potentially damaging political information by a foreign adversary like Russia should have contacted the FBI before agreeing to any meeting.

Trump, however, has staunchly defended his 39-year-old son's actions. Through Twitter and in public appearances, he has said such a meeting amounted to normal opposition research and that no precaution such as that recommended by Wray was necessary.

The Veselnitskaya meeting is one of several developments being investigated in Washington following the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally directed a campaign to interfere in last year's election and help Trump win.


German-Turkish tensions rise over detention of man

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Tensions between Germany and Turkey escalated Wednesday after Berlin summoned the Turkish ambassador to receive an official protest after Ankara arrested several human rights activists, including a German citizen.

Berlin has warned that European Union aid to Turkey could be at risk, putting in jeopardy a key migrant deal.

A Turkish court Tuesday ordered the detention of Peter Steudtner, a German national who was attending a human rights workshop in Istanbul and was among six rights activists held as part of an ongoing crackdown since a failed coup last year.

“The Turkish government needs to immediately and directly hear the German government's outrage and incomprehension as well as its crystal clear expectations in the case of Peter Steudtner and, this time, without diplomatic niceties,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schafer on the summoning of the ambassador.

“Absolutely unjustified,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel in response to Steudtner's detention. Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel cut short his vacation to deal with the increased diplomatic tension.

Steudtner is the 10th German national to be held in the ongoing crackdown. “Turkish-German relations at the moment are incredibly stained,” warns political columnist Semih Idiz of the al-Monitor website. “But under normal circumstances ambassadors should be withdrawn and doors slammed and this is not happening…”

Along with Turkey being key to counterterrorism cooperation, it is acting as a gatekeeper on stemming the flow of migrants into Europe following an agreement with the European Union.

More than one million migrants escaping war and persecution in Africa and the Middle East have crossed into Europe using irregular land and sea routes back in 2015, according to the International Organization for Migration.

Observers say the deepening crisis between Germany and Turkey could jeopardize $3.4 billion in EU aid, which is part of the migrant deal.

Tensions have been simmering for years between the two NATO allies; but, Berlin's granting of asylum to dozens of Turkish diplomats and military personnel following the failed coup in July 2016 brought tensions to a boiling point.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly accused Berlin of aiding conspirators against him. Erdogan made reference to what he called international conspirators Saturday in a speech to mark the defeat of the attempted coup.

Germany has become a gathering point for Erdogan's opponents, with opposition media, including a television station, broadcasting to Turkey. Erdogan has also criticized Berlin for failing to crack down on the activities of the Kurdish rebel group the PKK, which is fighting the Turkish state. Berlin refutes the allegations.

Suspicions are growing that detained German citizens are becoming pawns in the deepening crisis. “When you focus on individuals, especially foreigners detained, there is a sense imprisoning people is almost a form of blackmail, a form of bargaining,” said Emma Sinclair Webb, senior Turkey researcher for Human Rights Watch. Ankara dismisses any political motivation behind the detentions, maintaining that the judiciary is independent.

The war against Islamic State has also fallen victim to the increasingly acrimonious dispute. Germany is in the process of relocating its reconnaissance planes used against the jihadists from Turkey's Incirlik air base, after Ankara stopped German lawmakers from visiting its personnel at the base. The dispute has now spread to German forces operating at the Turkish Konya airbase.

Analysts say Berlin, along with the rest of the EU, could be paying the price for more than a decade of all but freezing Ankara's effort to join the regional bloc. Ms. Merkel has been one of most outspoken critics of the bid.


Massachusetts remembers
the Salem Witch Trials


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Five women hanged during the 17th-century witch trials in colonial America are being remembered on the 325th anniversary of their deaths.

Sarah Good, Elizabeth Howe, Susannah Martin, Rebecca Nurse and Sarah Wildes were hanged on July 19, 1692, at Proctor's Ledge in Salem Village, in what is now the eastern state of Massachusetts. It was the first of three mass hangings at the spot.

In all, 25 people died during the dark period in colonial American history known as the Salem Witch Trials. Proctor's Ledge was where 19 women and men were executed by hanging. Five other accused "witches" died in jail, including two infants. One 80-year-old man was crushed to death in prison.

On Wednesday, dozens of people gathered at the site to help dedicate the new Salem Witch Trials Memorial, a semicircle of stone memorializing the men and women who were killed during the Salem Witch Trials.

"We should not be here commemorating the heartbreaking and tragic loss of life, it did not need to happen,'' said the Rev. Jeff Barz-Snell, minister at the Unitarian Universalist First Church in Salem. "And so we are here to remember, to resolve, to rededicate.''

The infamous Salem witch trials began in 1692, when a group of young girls in Salem Village claimed to be possessed by the devil and accused several local women of witchcraft. As a wave of hysteria spread throughout colonial towns and villages, a special court convened in Salem to hear the cases; the first convicted witch, Bridget Bishop, was hanged that June.

About 200 men and women were accused of witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials, which extended into 1693, although the level of hysteria began to decline a few months after the initial executions, and public opinion turned against the process.

Those attending Wednesday's memorial dedication included Salem Mayor Kimberly Driscoll and Emerson Baker of Salem State University, one of the researchers who confirmed Proctor's Ledge as the location of the hangings, based on 17th-century witnesses' accounts and modern mapping technology.

"The sun casts few shadows this time of day, and yet the shadows from this site extend across our city in ways we cannot see with our eyes,'' Driscoll said at the ceremony.

The memorial was primarily funded through a $174,000 Community Preservation Act government grant, along with small donations, many from descendants of those executed at the site.


More news of the Americas
From the Voice of America

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www.ecorealtorscr.com    info@ecorealtorscr.com
Telephone: +506 2637-6285
cell: +506 8825-6556  
Skype: ecorealtorscr
Facebook: ecorealtorscr
In front of Subway at Plaza Herradura, Jacó Green NAR designee, member of the CCBR, CRGAR
9124-4/19/17


Rich Coast Realty
Rich Coast Realty
Real Estate and Construction in the Central Pacific
Three-bedroom furnished house in gated beach community, walk to the beach, $235k. Ocean View Property, can be subdivided into four view lots, 10 minutes from the beach. Only $40,000! Beachfront Lots from $35,000!Contact us with any questions you have about buying property in Costa Rica, Construction, Residency, etc.
12 years’ experience in Costa Rica Real Estate.

Have a Property For Sale? Contact Us!
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891
Brendan@RichCoastRealty.com
www.RichCoastRealty.com
9189-9/2/17


San Ramon home
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  (please link that email)
Check out slide show HERE!
9220-8/15/17


Santiago de Puriscal
A little piece of paradise near Santiago de Puriscal,
Costa Rica.
    

16 acres (approximately).  Price: $425,000 USD

We are selling our beautiful finca that has been in the family for 37 years. It is located 3 miles (5 km.) northwest of Santiago de Puriscal in the village of Desamparaditos. We are looking for a discriminating buyer who would appreciate the location, views, flora and fauna. Excellent for artists, writers and nature lovers. Fantastic birding. Very private but not isolated. Have surveyed plans for possible subdividing.

For more information:  In the U.S.A. call the owners: Pete & Debbie Todd: 970 -221-1457 or 970-581-4826 or email toddscolorado@gmail.com. In Costa Rica call Liz Guegan at 506-7187-8577.
CODE: 9216-8/11/17


Puriscal home
GORGEOUS MOUNTAIN & OCEAN VIEW HOME
REDUCED $40K - $355,000
HEALTH CONDITIONS REQUIRES QUICK SALE
This is a gorgeous, new, 3-bedroom luxury home on 2.2 flat acres in a secure, gated community, high in the hills of Puriscal, with stunning, 180-degree views of the ocean, city and mountains of the Central Valley in Costa Rica. Centrally located in the heart of Costa Rica, you are never more than an hour from the Pacific beaches while being much less than that to the culture, shopping, services and night life of the San José, Escazú, Santa Ana and the whole Central Valley. The Altos de Antigua gated community sits at an altitude of 2,800 feet with mild temperatures year round. Features wide paved roads and cement culverts throughout, a large community pool & spa with changing rooms & showers. The community association fees are $42 a month ($500 annually).
This property is currently being offered for $355,000.00 U.S.
Purchase adjoining 2.2 acre investment lot with the home sale for $35,000.00 U.S. or separately for $55,000.00 U.S.
 
    Summary of House Features:

       * Completed 2012 to North American standards
       * 3 large bedrooms, 2 full baths
       * Custom designed kitchen w/granite countertops
       * Frigidaire Professional appliance package
       * State-of-the-art solar hot water
       * Eco-friendly Toshiba LED lighting
       * LG Multi-Split air conditioning system
       * House & perimeter security alarm system
       * 2-car closed garage w/large paved driveway
 
Video Tour: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUEAmahIU9A
Community Web Site: http://www.altigua.com
Photos: HERE!
Costa Rica # 506-8985-6705 or from the States call # 561-740-0651 or email gary_one@msn.com
9173-9/1/17

colinasdelsol
COLINAS DEL SOL Fenced Gated Lots for Sale

* 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 trees.
* 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 $40,000 USD
* Located in Libertad, Guanacaste, northwest Pacific area of Costa Rica.
* 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 Vista Ridge Golf Club

Contact:
In Costa Rica, Jeffrey Sandi Murray:  jsandimurray@colinasdelsolcr.com
In the USA and Canada contact Jim Day: jimday50@aol.com or call 517-484-3675

For more information Click Here: www.colinasdelsolcr.com
9056-2/28/17

Etlinger Farm
rollover
Beautiful farm in excellent location
At only an hour's drive from San José, minutes from Guápiles, and boardering Braulio Carrillo National Park, Etlingera Farms is one heck of an amazing farm. We purchased this 77-acre farm 10 years ago after many trips, and an exhaustive search. It has a little bit of everything we were looking for and a whole lot of beauty. Our average elevation of 600 meters helps to keep Bella Vista cool year round. This farm is nearly level with a semi-modern 2-bedroom house. A fairly rustic 2-bedroom caretaker's home. And, a comfortable, 1-bedroom cabin where we stay. We have 2 large barns, a chicken coop, and a 3-stall pig pen. There are two tilapia ponds and 2 hectarias, (approximately 5 acres) of different species of bananas. The property boarders Rio Blanco in the rear and has 300 meters of public road frontage. Water, electricity, and telephone are all serviced by public utility. Etlingera Farms was reforested with several thousand wood trees of different tropical varieties. We truly believe this farm is spectacular. Our neighbors are selling for as much as $20 per meter. We are negotiable, motivated and open to offers. Our location can be found by searching Etlingera Farms on Google Maps. Our webpage is www.etlingerafarms.com and photo album can be found at www.ticorico.com
9196-4/25/17

horse ranch
rollover
Spectacular Horse Ranch and Spiritual/Yoga
Retreat Center For Sale

We invite you to a horseback tour of 187 acres of pristine farm land with breathtaking vistas, including the islands of the Gulf of Nicoya. There are multiple springs and streams, wooded areas, hard-wood and fruit trees, rolling hills with a geat variety of birds and wildlife. This property boasts the privilege of being bordered by thousands of acres of forest preserve down a steep canyon, offering its own spectacular views, which will never be developed. The many hills provide a builder an endless array of possibilities for nestling buildings in where they will have both views and privacy. The elevation of the property at 1,200 to1600 feet above sea level ensures fresh breezes and ideal year-round temperatures with a day-time average in the low 80's for open-air living. There is a ranch-style house with guest house with 8 total bedrooms, 5 modern baths, huge eat-in kitchen, landmark palm-thatched giant rancho, stable, and storage buildings. The home will come partially furnished, including beds, ample dishware for large groups, housewares, linens, washer/dryer, and fine hard-wood hand-built cabinetry. The remaining horses, 4 to 6 of them, will also convey if one wishes. We are also including a LARGE BEACH LOT in nearby Playa Bejuco. San Rafael de Nandayure is a tiny rural village nestled into the mountainside above Carmona with all the charms of the simple good life of a BLUE ZONE. Carmona is a thriving town with a clinic, restaurfants, shopping, and everything else one may need. The price of our listing Rancho Ricco is $799,000. More information
go to www.ranchforsalecostarica.com  Call Darin Ricco, phone +619-846-8249 or email:  darin_ricco@hotmail.com
9183-6/13/17

rollover
Owner Financing in San Ramon
New Construction, and Ocean View 
Brand new home with 4-plus bedrooms and 3 baths all overlooking an incredible 180-degree view of the Pacific Ocean and mountains. Located only 45 minutes from the San Jose airport and about the same to the Pacific Ocean.  The lower level could be used as a separate apartment or mother-in-law setup. Home includes HUGE master  suite, CLOSETS, custom cabinets, granite counter tops, high wood ceilings, and all in an area that is 70-80 degrees year round. Priced at $199,000. Completion date is January.  See the Virtual Tour CLICK HERE or see our site here  www.whynotcostarica.com. If you would like to take a look at this amazing house, please give me a call at  Costa Rica # 506-8755-6743 or if from the States call # 509-570-1928 or email tim@whynotcostarica.com 
9143-2/3/17

Business for sale or lease (paid category)






Hotel in
Escazú

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. Up to 40% financing / get residency through investor status / includes a corporation that is 27 years old and offshore banking account with  Banco National / possible 50/50 partnership. Super location in front of the Bosques de Escazú  Condos  / Monthly rentals available


Send an email hotelescazu@aol.com Call for more info:
Free US phone 877-778-8515  or 410-975-6703 
In Costa Rica phone: 506- 8307-0164
9142-7/27/17


Sabana
Sur house
Commercial Building for Sale in Sabana Sur
A two story building w/14 areas for offices, call center, storage or residence. Building has been completely remodelled  Transportation within 50 mts. passenger train, buses and taxis. Park, gymnasium, tennis club and National soccer stadium 2 - 3 block walk. 24 hour security, many restuarants, clubs and social facilities nearby. Approximately 325 mts. construction $350,000. 
Contact :
 James Holley E-mail  jimmy6902001@yahoo.com
9245-7/8/17


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.

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

CENTURY 21 JACÓ BEACH
Century 21

A Name You Trust,
Professionalism You Deserve

Tom Ghormley and the dream team!
Owner/Broker
in CR since 1979

Buying? Selling? Renting?
We Can Do It!
Let us help you live your dreams!
Beachfront, Views, Mountains,
Beaches, Houses, Condos,
Hotels, Restaurants, Projects,
Commercial, Investments and more

 Century 21 Jacó Beach
Playa Jacó, Puntarenas, Costa Rica
U. S. A. phone numbers:  (213) 283-5168 
or Toll Free: (877) 746-3868
Costa Rica phone number: (506) 2643-3356
Email: info@c21jaco.com
Web: www.c21jaco.com
9215-3/22/18


Remax
Tamarindo
www.remax-oceansurf-cr.com 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 Costa Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and & commercial real estate. Twelve (12) agents to serve you, from Playa Marbella to Playa Dante in the Guanacaste, through our Tamarindo and Flamingo offices. For more information, please contact our local phones: 506-2653-0073 Tamarindo / 506-2201-9056 Flamingo ~ Toll Free: 1-866-976-8898 or email:  info@remax-oceansurf-cr.com  or click here www.remax-oceansurf-cr.com
9145-1/2918


ReMax
Playas del Coco
We are an award-winning Team of Professional Agents working with Costa Rica’s #1 Selling Real Estate Agency RE/MAX Prestige Ocean Properties. Get to KNOW, LIKE & TRUST us and let us help you find YOUR Pura Vida! We have over 30 years of experience to educate our buyers and sellers in all aspects of Real Estate.  For Information on condos, homes, lots, farms, ranches, commercial or development property
CONTACT US TODAY with NO OBLIGATION whatsoever.

Playas del Coco Click Here!

Playa Panama Click Here!

Playa Hermosa Click Here!
Peninsula Papagayo Click Here!

Playa Matapalo Click Here!
Toll Free 1-877-293-1456
Email: michael@costarica-realestate.com

9174-2/7/18

Real estate-related services (paid category)

Related

Costa Rica
Solar

COSTA RICA SOLAR
Serving Atenas and Surroundings Areas

BUY NOW! Your solar hot water system, so in three months, we can calculate a lower install price for your PV system.  Perfect for homes and hotels. Save up to 40% of your electric bill. More Watts per Panel, Smarter and more Capable Enphase Micro Inverters mean Less Cost and more Flexibility for You.  Fully Guaranteed!

CALL TODAY!
Office: 506-2446-0543
Andre 506-8314-8090
Paul 506-8898-9398

OUR EMAIL:
andrefurlong@gmail.com
Paul.Furlong@CR-Solar.com
VISIT OUR WEB:

9177-6/19/16

Browse timeshares for sale and rent by owner in Costa Rica at bargain prices. We connect existing timeshare owners with those looking to buy or rent a timeshare on the resale market. Timeshares on the resale market are up to 50% cheaper than those sold through the resort. Already own a timeshare and looking to sell? Stop saying “sell my timeshare” and let BuyaTimeshare.com help you find a buyer or renter.
9203-4/19/2018

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Published || Thursday Edition, July 20, 2017 || Vol. 17, No. 143
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News from the BBC up to the minute




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Escazú meeting
Municipalidad de Escazú photo      
Representatives from the municipality and the company gather to coordinate the next move.

Escazú meet discusses relocating poles

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Representatives of the Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz as well as the municipality of Escazú identified which electric poles needed to be relocated.

According to a statement by the municipality, both institutions are coordinating actions based on what they saw as priority fixes and to avoid miscommunication between the two entities. Luis Fernando Andrés, the head of distribution with the company, said that the meeting was designed to define, together with the local government, the work schedule on these electrical posts.

Arnoldo Barahona, the mayor of Escazú, expressed total cooperation with the company in expediting the relocation of the power poles. The municipality received a design and budget plan from the company for the relocation of around eight power poles by the end of this year with seven more also in the works for relocation.


Tibás is going to try a bus-only lane

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The municipal council of Tibás approved some road reorganization that includes exclusive lanes for buses and 4 new traffic lights.

The changes will take effect next week.

"We know it's going to be a radical change, but we're going to do everything we can to get the drivers to get used to it," said Carlos Cascante, mayor of Tibás.

The Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes will reinforce the transition with 28 policemen to guarantee the safety of the drivers before the change.

One of the main changes is the street connecting Santo Domingo with Tibás, the vehicles will now have a single entrance via the fire station in La Florida

In the street that connects Santo Domingo-Tibás, the cars have just a single lane from the entrance of Santo Domingo to the station of the Firemen in La Florida. On Calle 0, buses will have an exclusive lane from the Cinco Esquinas Bridge to Tibás Park and from there they can go to Santo Domingo or La Florida.

The exclusive bus lanes were also implemented at the beginning of the decade by the municipality of San José, however, taxi drivers and some private cars continue to not respect their existence.



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From page 7:

Analyst offers lukewarm outlook on economy

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

In the next six months, the Passive Basic Rate would close at a level of 6.50 percent; inflation will close at two percent, the exchange rate will close to 575 colones per dollar, and unemployment would remain unchanged at 9.5 percent. These are the thoughts of some analysts at Grupo Financiero Acobo.

According to Luis Herrera, an economic analyst at Grupo Financiero Acobo, the recovery of the international economy, coupled with the efforts made by the Banco Central of Costa Rica in recent months to raise interest rates in colones, are the main factors which would cause the Basic Passive Rate to reach an approximate level of 6.50 percent at the end of the year.
 
Regarding inflation, Herrera considered it will close the year at a level close to 2 percent, which was the original target for the bank. The rise in inflation is due to the increase in the cost of imported fuels and their effect on other prices of the economy.
 
In the fiscal part, the country will close the year with 6 percent of the gross domestic product. The total debt level is 50 percent. Reducing that debt is the main challenge of the national economy and concrete solutions have not yet been observed.
 
"In the pre-electoral year to reach agreements in the Legislative Assembly on the issue of taxes of difficulties, due to the political cost," said Herrera. "In addition, an increase in government spending is possible for electoral reasons."

With respect to the exchange rate, this will continue to rise due to the lower supply of dollars in the country and the increase in the cost of imported raw materials, mainly fuels, a deficit trade balance. It is estimated that the exchange rate will reach 575 colones per dollar at the end of the year.

The level of unemployment in the country is expected to be close to 9.5 percent, the same level that has remained in recent years, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses
 
The country’s GDP will grow about 4.3 percent at the end of 2017, insufficient growth to improve unemployment and poverty, according to Acobo's analysis.
 
"One limitation for economic growth is the rise in interest rates, as it could scare investment," Herrera said. "In the election year, growth slows a bit because of the uncertainty of entrepreneurs before the new authorities in the executive branch."