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Published Tuesday, June 28, 2016, in Vol. 17, No. 126
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Sportsmen

highway
Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes photo
This is an intersection on the new highway from Bajos de Chilamate to Vuelta Kooper. The 27-kilometer project is a vital link across the north of Costa Rica that should
be done next year. The job is about 80 percent finished, according to highway officials. There are nine such intersections in the new stretch.


Municipalities likely to get more time for zoning plan
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Lawmakers soon will consider a proposal to give municipal governments four more years to develop a zoning plan.

The deadline for doing so was supposed to be June 9, but many local governments have not even started creating what is known as a plan regulador.

That means that without a plan, a municipal government cannot issue concessions for development in the maritime zone.

The plan in some municipalities is likely to include coastal urban zones that would exempt property owners from the usual setback rules regarding the zone. That means communities

where long-occupied homes are close to the beach would not be demolished.

The measure, No. 19.885, has been approved by the legislature’s Comisión de Turismo. The Instituto Costarricense de Turismo also has a role in issuing beach concessions.

A summary of the bill notes that a Sala IV constitutional court case challenged the law, and many municipal governments were waiting for the court magistrates to make a decision. The court rejected the appeal and affirmed the law earlier this year.

Until the plan regulador is developed and approved for a municipality, any investment or construction project involving the maritime zone are supposed to be frozen.


Mosquito swarms killing animals, lawmaker reports
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Swarms of mosquitoes are so bad around the Río Tempisque that the insects are killing animals, according to a lawmaker.

The lawmaker, Suray Carillo, asked that the government declare a regional emergency in the communities of Bajo Tempisque.

The Frente Amplio lawmaker said that an emergency decree already was in the works with the Ministerio de Salud.

The river has become so low that it has created
breeding spots for mosquitoes who attack animals and humans continually, said the lawmaker, adding that seven deer have died and that cattle are subject to continual insect attacks and are losing weight.

The area involved in is the canton of Carrillo, the lawmaker said.

The lawmaker said that the plague of mosquitoes is close to closing the local schools and that the government should take action particularly when the Día de la Anexión del Partido de Nicoya approaches. The holiday celebrating Guanacaste is July 25.

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A.M. Costa Rica's
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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, June 28, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 126
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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


Dentistry

Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants and Crowns

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

Psychotherapy

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

• Anxiety
 • Depression
 • Relationship Problems
 
CR (506) 2228-2041
US (310) 827-4241
www.LucindaGray.com
New World Meditation
8952-8/24/16

Insurance professionals

The Garrett Insurance Group
Garrett
-Brokerage fully licensed by the
      government.
-Experience since 1980.
-Bilingual English/Spanish.
-Represent all the best insurance
       companies in Costa Rica,
       BMI, Blue Cross, Blue
       Shield, ASSA, INS, etc.
-Correspondents of WILLIS.
-Connections in all of Central
       America.
-Superb communications.
-Prize-winning Web site.
-English policy extracts.
-Helps you settle your claims.
Centro Comercial El Pueblo, Local #125, San José, Costa Rica.    Phone:  ( 506 ) 2233-9520
E-mail : info@garrettbrokers.com
More information HERE!
8845-2/18/16

Residency experts

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

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

Pensionado and rentista. Your first stop for smooth, professional service and a positive experience. Javier Zavaleta javier@residencyincostarica.com
www.residencyincostarica.com
Tel: (323) 255-6116
8964-9/17/16

 Accountants

U.S. Income Tax Services
Marlene B. Summers, Tax Accountant
Licensed by the I.R.S.
 
Ms. Summers
Marlene B. Summers
U.S. citizens, plan now for your tax year. Let me help you pay only the tax  you must!
 
Take advantage of the foreign earned income exclusion.
 
If your filing is not up-to-date, the Streamlined Filing Procedure can be used to mitigate penalties.   Including  disclosure of foreign corporations to avoid future problems. 

File current or past due FBARs with no penalties to meet IRS requirements.
File your current or amended returns.

Over 10 years in Costa Rica    
 
Competitive rates

Phone (506) 2289-6590 or (506) 8750-2316
Email: marlene.summers@gmail.com
9026-9/27/16

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

U.S. Tax
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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 506-2288-2201
FAX: 506 2231-3300
E-mail: ustax@lawyer.com
Web page: www.ustaxinternational.com
8973-9/15/16

James Brohl, C.P.A. & M.B.A.
US Income Tax,  U.S. GAAP Accounting
& Business Consulting
S
pecializing in all matters of concern to U.S. taxpayers residing abroad including:
Uncle Sam's
IRS filing requirements of foreign income tax exclusion (up to $101,300 for 2016).
Past-due tax returns: Taxpayers filing before an IRS notice do not face criminal sanctions.
Reporting foreign financial assets: FBAR and foreign corporations.
Up-to-date FACTA news.
All US Tax return preparation:
individual, business, estate and trust.
eFile returns: secure with faster refunds.
Business consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica.

Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620
E-mail jrtb_1999@yahoo.com
8984-4/6/17

Fine art restoration and conservation

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

For more information please contact Weronika Nossowicz at 8388-5328  or email HERE!
9013-6/13/16

Real estate agents and services

Luis Diego
                                                    Caastro

Luis Diego Castro, Real Estate Agent, offers great quality service and a personalized way to do business with those who may have a realt estate need, through the best prices possible in the market and a very professional, reliable and transparent intermediation.

Phone (506) 8305-0000 / (506) 2261-0608
Email gerenciadeventas@viquez.cr
Web site http://www.ldcrealestate.com/
9029-7/20/16

CENTURY 21 JACÓ BEACH REALTY
Century
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A Name You Trust, Professionalism You Deserve
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in CR since 1979

Residential sales
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Property management
Vacation rentals and long-term rentals
Tour desk

 Century 21 Jacó Beach Realty
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
8918-1/15/17

Costa Rica's first Realtor specialized
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Eco
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   • Specialized in the Central and South Pacific.
   • Great network of Realtors, to find your dream
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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
8991-4/17/17

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

colinadelsol022515c.gif
* 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 $40,000 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.
* 20 minutes to the Liberia International Airport
* 15 minutes to the Pacific Beaches
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* 25 minutes to the Liberia Hospital
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Contact Jim Day
Email:  JimDay50@aol.com 
or Phone:  001 517 484-3675.
Click Here: www.colinasdelsolcr.com
8951-8/29/16
sinking boat
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo
The U.S. Coast Guard managed to rescue four men from this boat after crew members spotted the sinking vessel. The Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas picked up the men Saturday some 190 kilometers off the Pacific coast.


Halt sought to pineapple expansion

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The head of Frente Amplio in the legislature is urging that a moratorium be established on the expansion of pineapple production in the region where agricultural chemicals have infiltrated the water supply.

The lawmaker is Edgardo Araya Sibaja, and he was directing his comments to Pital de San Carlos where 3,500 persons have been drinking contaminated water.  Araya was the one who brought the situation to the attention of the local courts.

He said that the Acueducto de Veracruz de Pital has been closed due to the contamination with three chemicals used in the pineapple cultivation. It appears that the chemicals have infiltrated the ground water.

The local producer, Agroindustrial La Lydia, S.A., has been involved in the controversy.

Chemical runoff has long been a concern, but pollution of the ground water likely to be a long-time issue.



Tourism staff strikes for half a day

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Employees at the tourism institute said that they conducted a work stoppage for a half day Monday to protest the possibility of changes in their salaries.

They said their views had been overlooked by the minister, Mauricio Ventura. They would like a joint committee to study the matter and negotiations.

The employees said that the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo brought in $45.5 million in 2015 and that $7 million of that went into a fund for a new convention center. Most of the money comes from a $15 tax on arriving tourists.

Some 45 percent of the employees earn less than 1 million colons (about $1,850) a month, said the announcement.



Our reader’s opinion
Don’t automatically trust the government

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

It is interesting that I read about the pesticide in the water in Pernambuco, Bahia and Paraiba, Brazil, when reporting a dramatic increase of microcephaly in babies in those areas.  

After the mainstream reports started to come in, many people I talked to didn't want to believe me when I told them about the possible pesticide connection.  As most people do, they believe anything said by organizations like the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and that is the final answer.  I even had people call me a conspiracy theorist because I wasn't buying into what mainstream news was saying about the zika virus and microcephaly. 

I am glad, finally an independent well-respected medical organization, looked at where microcephaly was happening and it wasn't where the zika virus was occurring in several other Latin American countries.  This is just another episode for people to wake up and realize that big government organizations like the Centers for Disease Control have jumped to false conclusions now and in the past.

It sometimes makes me wonder if they have an agenda that will create new money making treatments or vaccines to help the big pharmaceutical industry or some way for the health industry to make more money from some of these assumptions they feed to the public.   In May, Congress voted to fund $1.1 billion to fight the zika virus.  Who was going to get that money?   Money could be better spent on dealing with more dangerous diseases.  The majority of the people infected with the zika virus, as many as 80 percent of them, don't know they were infected because in them the infection is asymptomatic.

When the Centers for Disease Control speaks, people take it as gospel.  As the article quoted the Centers, "In April the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies said that the medical consensus was that zika caused microcephaly."  Don't always be willing to believe what we are told by these organizations that act like they are the final word in regards to health issues.

Henry Kantrowitz
Punta Leona

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, June 28, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 126
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Mid-year vacation expected to ease the Central Valley traffic situation
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

For those stuck in traffic jams each day there is a little hope.
The mid-year vacation begins Friday evening and runs until July 17. This is a time when traffic lessens in the Central Valley because many workers take time off the same period their school children have theirs.

Traffic has become a major concern, so much so that the Ministerio de Salud said Monday that it was authorizing all its employees who could do so to work from home.

This is about the fourth announcement in as many years that public employees would be working from home. This is called teletrabajo, and the ministry has set up a commission to supervise it. Employees who have jobs that are teletrabajables will be able to work from home, said the ministry.

The Policía de Tránsito said that its 744 officers will be placed in strategic locations for the mid-year holiday. That means  Jacó, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Tamarindo, Playas del Coco, Sámara and Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, said the agency. There also will be mandatory checkpoints. They will be looking for speeders and drunk drivers, said an announcement.

The Central Valley traffic jams have become a major political issue, and so far there are not major plans to solve the situation. The vacation will give traffic engineers time to sort out the problem.
traffic stop
Policía de Tránsito photo
A typical traffic stop


Central government is seeking solutions to the big problems of the day
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The government is holding a contest in which it asks citizens to solve some of the overriding problems of the times.

The announcement from Casa Presidencial said that the Mesa de Innovación Social, led by Vice President Ana Helena Chacón Echeverría, had identified four problems, and that there would be five solutions selected.

The problems are the collection of trash, traffic accidents,

access to higher education and obesity. More information and a timeline are here: www.retopaiscr.com.

The government will pick 15 finalists from which the top five will be selected.

The government is holding a seminar July 16 to help individuals generate ideas. The deadline for submission is July 24.

Winners might have their ideas instituted, said the announcement.


Hotel header
 
Aloft hotel
 
Croc's Easter special

Guanacaste lodge

Palermo Hotel

Vista Ballena

La
                  Parcela

Hacienda
                  Baru

Recreo
                  Verde

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page

San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, June 28, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 126
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Bamboo undergoing tests to enter the construction mainstream in U.S.
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Bamboo, one of the most sustainable natural materials, may finally be on track to be accepted as a building material in the developed world.

Building codes everywhere require strict standardization of tests for all materials, such as timber or concrete. But tests for bamboo have not been standardized because it's not manufactured, but grown. So scientists at the University of Pittsburgh are testing several varieties of bamboo with mechanical properties that approach and even surpass those of softwood lumber. Their aim is to standardize the tests so that bamboo can be safely used in buildings.

Types of bamboo that have excellent strength-to-weight ratio grow mostly in tropical regions where they have been used in building for thousands of years. Bamboo is used in construction in Costa Rica and also to make furniture.

The strength of at least three species is comparable to steel. Uses range from scaffolding and support columns to walls and floors. Bamboo can even be forced to grow in certain structural shapes, such as arches. But construction companies in other regions use bamboo mostly in engineered form, as plywood and other laminated byproducts.

Kent Harries, a professor who is leading the research, says the developed world should overcome the view that bamboo is a poor man’s construction material.

bamboo professor
Voice of America photo
Kent Harries is conducting the bamboo strength tests

“If we standardize it, if we provide essentially documentation for test methods which the engineers can hang their hat on, we… I don't like the word legitimize, but we bring the material into the mainstream,” he said.

Bamboo is remarkably strong and resilient, can grow up to 20 meters tall and can support heavy loads. Its harvest cycle is only about three years compared to softwood, which requires about 10 years, and hardwood, more than 30 years.

Some bamboo is used in construction in Hawaii, a U.S. State, and tropical U.S. possessions.


Vacation, travel and hospitality


HIdden Garden graphic
Put Costa Rica on your walls
The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is the perfect place to find quality Costa Rican and international art for your home or office.  With over 60 artists and 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we have been your source for fine art since 2010.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever. Located just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport (towards the beaches).

Visit our Web site at:  www.HiddenGardenArtGallery.com
Contact us by email: Info@HiddenGardenArtGallery.com
Find us on Trip Advisor, Facebook, Twitter,
Moon Travel Guides & Frommer's

Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tel.  8386-6872 / 2667-0592; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073
International shipping available.
9008-7/28/16

diligence
Click photo for another video

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

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

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

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

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

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

8729-12/30/15

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

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Contact us: 
Dial toll FREE from USA or Canada:  1.800.901.0114
CR local phone:  +506-2274-3231
Cells:  +506-8380-5919  and +506-8302-5877
Email:  info@travelinparadisecr.com
Web:  www.travelinparadisecr.com
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Want to live in Costa Rica?
Read this book!


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8970-3/1/16

Howard
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Will Costa Rica Retirement Work For You?
Find out for yourself on Live In Costa Rica's POPULAR 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
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Here's reasonable medical care
Costa Rica's world class medical specialists are at your command. Get the top care for much less than U.S. prices. It is really a great way to spend a vacation. See our list of recommended professionals HERE!amcr-prom



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Real estate-related services (paid category)
COSTA RICA SOLAR
Solr
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SOON with the coming of new power company regulations, we'll be installing PV (photo voltaic) for solar electricity. Yes, at last!
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Real estate rentals (paid category)

rollover
Beautiful House Inside Gated Farm for Rent
House inside gated farm. Two bedroom, One bath fully-furnished. Close to town in Santa Barbara de Heredia.  $650 includes:  Internet, Wifi, Cable TV, Water, Electric.  Located in Santa Barbara de Heredia. American owner lives onsite, quiet, secure.  More information to my email: organicfarmhouserental@gmail.com
9019-6/25/16

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

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

Real estate for rent (paid category)

Fully Furnished American style Apartments for Rent
2-bedroom, 2- bathroom, fully furnished American-style apartments with elevator in a secure building in Barrio Amó. Cable, Internet, water included. Shared laundry. Convenient to Parque Morazán,
hotels, restaurants, casinos, city government, national registry. $650 per month plus electricity. ½ month security deposit. No lease.  The larger apartments are $650 per month. They have larger bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens. It would be best for the prospective tenants to visit
Barrio Amon
the building to see the apartments.   For more information contact: edificiomorazan@gmail.com  or call Hilda at 2221-7161.
8998-7/18/16




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A.M. Costa Rica's
  
Fifth news page
Salsa Lizano
San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, June 28, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 126
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abortion supporters
Voice of America photo  
 Pro-life demonstrators wave signs and make their
 voices heard after the Supreme Court upheld
 abortion rights in a 5-3 decision in front of the
 Supreme Court building.


Supreme court voids law
restricting Texas abortions

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld abortion rights Monday, ruling that states across the country had no right to curb the constitutional right of women to end their pregnancies by imposing an undue burden on them to limit their access to abortion clinics.

The 5-3 decision was perhaps the court's most important abortion rights ruling in a quarter century.

The majority overturned a law in the southwestern state of Texas, similar to that enacted in other states, that required abortion doctors to have patient-admitting privileges at hospitals near their abortion clinics and that their clinics be equipped with costly hospital-grade healthcare equipment.

Writing for the court majority, Justice Stephen Breyer said that the state's regulations were medically unnecessary and unconstitutionally limited a woman's right to an abortion.

"The surgical-center requirement, like the admitting-privileges requirement, provides few, if any, health benefits for women, poses a substantial obstacle to women seeking abortions, and constitutes an undue burden on their constitutional right to do so," said Breyer.

The Supreme Court ruling, coming on the last day of the court's current term before its summer recess, could affect thousands of women in Texas alone, and many more throughout the U.S.

Nancy Northrup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which represented the clinics, said, "The Supreme Court sent a loud and clear message that politicians cannot use deceptive means to shut down abortion clinics."

But Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton denounced the ruling, saying, "It's exceedingly unfortunate that the court has taken the ability to protect women's health out of the hands of Texas citizens and their duly elected representatives."

Abortion rights advocates say the ruling could particularly benefit poor and minority women in Texas, giving them access to abortion clinics in their rural communities or small towns where they live, rather than seeing the clinics close because their operators said it was too costly to meet the requirements of the state law.

The abortion advocates said that the 2013 law had already forced the closure of about half of the state's 40 abortion clinics and that more were set to close if the law's constitutionality had been upheld, forcing women to travel hundreds of kilometers to the state's remaining clinics in big cities.

The decision is likely to immediately reverberate through the country's 2016 presidential race. The presumptive Democratic nominee, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, supports a woman's right to end a pregnancy.

Republican presidential contender Donald Trump says he is pro-life, opposed to abortion except in the cases of rape, incest or where the life of the mother is at stake. Years ago, he supported abortion rights.
 
Mrs. Clinton called the decision "a victory for women in Texas and across America."She said a "safe abortion should be a right, not just on paper, but in reality." Trump had no immediate reaction.

The decision was made by the Supreme Court's eight justices, with the court left with a vacancy when Justice Antonin Scalia died in February, shortly before lawyers for Texas and abortion rights groups made their arguments in the case. Scalia, a stalwart conservative on the court for nearly 30 years, was an ardent abortion foe.

In Monday's ruling, the court's four liberal justices sided with abortion rights groups and were joined by Justice Anthony Kennedy, a conservative justice who nonetheless over the years has mostly sided with abortion rights justices on the court. Kennedy had suggested at the March hearing on the dispute that lower courts might need to hear more evidence in the case.

The court's three other conservatives, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, dissented from the ruling, voting to uphold the Texas law. If the court had deadlocked 4-4, the Texas law would have been upheld, although no national precedent would have been set.

Writing in dissent, Alito, said the court majority had overstepped its authority in the way it considered the case, when it could have limited the scope of its ruling.

"Federal courts have no authority to carpet-bomb state laws, knocking out provisions that are perfectly consistent with federal law, just because it would be too much bother to separate them from unconstitutional provisions," Alito wrote.

Kennedy's vote was also the decisive one in a 1992 case upholding abortion rights. Abortion was first ruled constitutional in a landmark 1973 decision that to this day is a contentious issue in American politics and society at large.

The 1992 ruling had a direct bearing on the Texas dispute since it set the standard that states could regulate abortion as long as they did not impose an undue burden on a woman's right to the medical procedure. The court decided that the Texas law imposed such a burden.

With better birth control measures, the number of abortions in the U.S. has been falling in recent years, now down to below a million a year. But conservative states, where lawmakers are opposed to the medical procedure, have enacted more than 250 anti-abortion laws since 2010 aimed at cutting the number of pregnancies that are terminated.

Some of these laws could be affected by Monday's Supreme Court ruling, while legal challenges to other state abortion restrictions could eventually reach the high court in the years ahead.


Virginia governor’s conviction
overturned for lack of action


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously overturned the corruption conviction of a former state governor, Bob McDonnell of Virginia, in a ruling that could make it harder to prosecute public officials for alleged wrongdoing.

McDonnell, once the Republican chief executive of the mid-Atlantic state, was convicted in 2014 of accepting more than $165,000 in gifts, vacations and loans from a business executive in exchange for promoting his dietary supplement.

But McDonnell contended he had not violated any bribery laws because he took no official actions on behalf of the businessman, only offering him access to state officials to promote his product, much like other political figures routinely do.

Writing for the court, Chief Justice John Roberts said, "There is no doubt that this case is distasteful; it may be worse than that. But our concern is not with tawdry tales of Ferraris, Rolexes, and ball gowns. It is, instead, with the broader legal implications of the government's boundless interpretation of the federal bribery statute."

Roberts said that if a lower court "determines that there is sufficient evidence for a jury to convict Governor McDonnell of committing or agreeing to commit an official act, his case may be set for a new trial. If the court instead determines that the evidence is insufficient, the charges against him must be dismissed. We express no view on that question."

The court said that "setting up a meeting, calling another public official, or hosting an event does not, standing alone, qualify as an official act."

Numerous U.S. political figures, both Republicans and Democrats, had urged the court to reach the decision it did, on grounds that McDonnell had not offered the business executive any official state action to benefit him.

Analysts who followed the McDonnell case and other corruption cases against U.S. public officials said the ruling could make it harder in the future to prosecute such cases without a specific agreement from a public figure that he would do something for a citizen in exchange for a bribe.

McDonnell was sentenced to two years in prison in the case, but was free pending the outcome of his appeal. His wife, Maureen, was also convicted in the case and sentenced to a year and one day in prison.  In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling, her lawyers immediately called for dismissal of the case against her.


French open criminal probe
in Mediterranean air crash

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

French prosecutors have opened a manslaughter probe into the May 19 crash of an EgyptAir jetliner that went down in the eastern Mediterranean killing all 66 people on board.

Monday's probe announcement in Paris stressed that the inquiry was launched as an accident investigation and not as a terrorism probe.  A spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office said authorities were not currently leaning toward the theory that the Paris-to-Cairo flight had been brought down deliberately.

There was no distress call from the pilots and no one has claimed responsibility for causing the crash.

In a related development, memory cards recovered by Egyptian investigators from the doomed plane's damaged flight recorders arrived Monday in Paris in hopes that French engineers can salvage critical data about the crash.

French analysts attempting to retrieve chip data from the damaged black boxes of Flight MS804 are part of the same unit that succeeded in extracting critical flight recorder data from a Rio de Janeiro-to-Paris flight that crashed in the Atlantic in 2009.  Those black boxes were submerged thousands of meters below the ocean surface for nearly two years before being recovered.

Egyptian investigators have already determined the May 19 flight made a sharp left turn, followed by a 360-degree sweep to the right before plunging into the sea.  French aviation experts say the plane sent automated messages indicating smoke in the cabin and trouble with a flight control unit shortly before disappearing from radar.


California melee at capitol
still under investigation

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Law enforcement authorities are continuing to investigate a white nationalist rally that turned violent Sunday in the western city of Sacramento, California, leaving at least 10 people injured, two of them critically.

California Highway Patrol spokesman George Granada said a heightened investigation is underway, as police seek information from witnesses, video and the community at-large.

A rally outside the California State Capitol by a group of about 30 members of a white nationalist group known as the Traditionalist Worker Party became violent when about 400 counter protesters arrived and fights broke out.

Officials say people were treated for cuts, bruises and stab wounds. Videos published online showed dozens of people being punched, kicked and hit with sticks and wooden bats. The two critically injured people suffered stab wounds, according to the Sacramento Fire Department.

The rally had been scheduled and the group received a permit to protest for two hours in front of the capitol. Police were aware of the counter protest and deployed more than 100 officers.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which follows hate groups, said the party was created last year as the political arm of the Traditionalist Youth Network, which aims to attract young people to white nationalism.

A recent post on the network's Web site said members planned the rally in Sacramento to protest globalization and defend their right to free expression.

"We concluded that it was time to use this rally to make a statement about the precarious situation our race is in," the network said. "With our folk on the brink of becoming a disarmed, disengaged and disenfranchised minority, the time to do something was yesterday!"


Two cities are gearing up
for political conventions

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Federal, state and city officials are finalizing plans to address potential unrest and extinguish any threats at the upcoming Republican and Democratic conventions, where the two parties will officially nominate their candidates for the U.S. presidency.

Some 50,000 people, including about 6,000 protesters, are expected to converge on the midwestern city of Cleveland, Ohio, for the Republican National Convention from July 18 to 21, and nominate Donald Trump as the party’s presidential nominee.

The Cleveland mayor’s office says the size and significance of the convention creates unique challenges for the city, prompting officials to implement special restrictions.

A handful of physical altercations involving Democratic and Republican protesters has occurred at Trump’s rallies during the campaign season, and law enforcers are planning for the possibility of more at the Republican convention in Cleveland.

As Trump and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton verbally attack each other, resentment deepens among their followers and that could have consequences at the two conventions.

“If individuals or groups decide to act unlawfully, plans have been put in place to efficiently address them. We understand the nature . . .  and have anticipated the number of individuals we may encounter,” U.S. Secret Service spokeswoman Nicole Mainor said.

For the past 18 months, the Secret Service has been collaborating with numerous local and federal law enforcement agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to prepare for the conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia.

Preparations are based on an all hazards approach, Ross Bulla, president of the Charlotte, N.C.-based private security firm The Treadstone Group, said in an interview.  The most likely disruptive events, said Bulla, would probably be physical acts of civil disobedience, anarchist style events such as blocking streets, disabling police vehicles and attempts to bait police into verbal or physical altercations.

Like the law enforcement agencies, Bulla said some protesters devote a lot of time to train as well. As the agencies plan how to deploy their equipment so, too, do anarchists. They may stash caches of weapons ahead of time in trash receptacles, planters or newspaper racks, Bulla said.

Law enforcers are also preparing for extraordinary crimes such as terror and cyber attacks, added Bulla, who is consulting with several private sector entities involved in security planning for the conventions.

Of those crimes, cyber attacks are the most significant threat, said Bulla. Law enforcement officials are working with local infrastructure providers to thwart hackers’ attempts to cut off phones and lights and even disrupt water supplies.

Despite recent high-profile terrorist attacks in Orlando, Florida and Brussels, Belgium, Bulla said the threat of terrorist attacks does not rank as high as threats of cyber attacks and civil disobedience.

At the Republican convention, Bulla said there may be more opportunity for disruption and violence.

Fervent protesters on the far left fringes are more likely to travel long distances to cities such as Cleveland and carry out anarchist type activity, he said, particularly if they accost Trump protesters who may be rather passionate themselves.

Cleveland city officials plan to enforce strict rules to control demonstrators. The city will limit marches to 50 minutes, primarily during the morning hours before delegates convene. The planned parade route for demonstrators crosses a bridge in a direction away from Quicken Loans Arena, the convention site.

Officials say an unspecified area around the arena will be cordoned off.

Meantime, a federal judge on Thursday struck down city rules for protesters within the 5.6 kilometer event zone around the area, declaring them unconstitutional. The rules would have banned items such as large backpacks, adhesive tape and string. They would have also limited where demonstrators could speak within the zone. Cleveland officials say they will appeal the ruling.

A week after the Republican convention, tens of thousands of people, including 30,000 delegates and 15,000 journalists, will gather in the northeastern city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to elect Hillary Clinton as their party’s presidential candidate.

Officials in Philadelphia are taking a different approach than their counterparts in Cleveland. Philadelphia will allow supporters of long shot Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to rally throughout the day in a park across the street from the convention site at Wells Fargo Arena.
 
The arena will be protected by a newly constructed perimeter more than 1.5 meters high.

Thousands of Sanders supporters are expected to congregate in Philadelphia for the convention on July 25 to 28. Through demonstrations, they hope to convince the party establishment to reform the presidential nominating process by rejecting the growing influence of corporations in the electoral process.


Earth
IMAX Entertainment photo via Voice of America  
What space station crews see from the window.

Earth is main actor and star
in a new film from space

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Getting perspective on life: This is how filmmaker Toni Meyers described her feelings when looking at planet Earth from the International Space Station 400 kilometers away.

There are no borders or nations as the blue planet rotates in silent dark space. But when one looks at the Earth through the IMAX lenses used by the ISS crew, it is clear that humans are having a profound impact on the planet's surface.

The award-winning filmmaker demonstrated her gear at the Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. Included was one of the first IMAX cameras, a big bulky, heavy machine that she used to shoot her 2010 documentary Hubble 3D IMAX, a film chronicling the effort of seven astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. 

Now, as then, Ms. Meyers trained the astronauts to film in their spacesuits in zero gravity. She says that her film, “A Beautiful Planet,” was easier to shoot because the new digital IMAX cameras are much lighter, smaller and they don’t run out of film so quickly.

Her goal was to show audiences Earth as if they were looking at it from the space station. She did not just do it for esthetic purposes. Ms. Meyers said she wanted to show people how they are affecting their home planet.

“You do see that there is a lot of pollution in the air, over particular industrialized nations, which comes of course from the amount of fossil fuels we are burning. You also see the extent to which fossil fuels are being exploited, certainly in Texas and the Gulf states," she said.

"You see that the rainforest continues to be cut down and burned, although there are programs to contain that spread, but you also see areas that have been reclaimed, like the Chesapeake Bay which was a mess in the 1970s and it is now completely turned around to a healthy environment. And so we want to show people that when you get together and put their heads together to solve a problem, it can be solved.”

A celebrity in her own right, Ms. Meyers always collaborates with top actors to narrate her films. In Hubble 3D IMAX she picked Leonardo Di Caprio. Now, in “A Beautiful Planet,” Oscar-winning Jennifer Lawrence offers a compelling narration on the impact of deforestation on the environment, the melting of glaciers and the rise of sea levels which can threaten low-lying coastal cities such as New Orleans. 

As one would expect, the footage is breathtaking. While during the daytime, viewers can see human presence through the impact on nature, at nighttime, the planet glows from the lights of civilization. The intensity of light often indicates the concentration of humanity in one area or the affluence of one country over another.

At nighttime, Earth’s atmosphere shimmers in iridescent colors, beautiful and fragile at the same time.

“One thing I wanted to do in the film,” said the filmmaker, “was draw the analogy between the space station as a closed system, and the Earth as a closed system. Both of them have to have all the things we need to stay alive. Air, water, food, only on the space station you get resupply ships and the underlying message of the film is that Earth doesn’t get resupply ships. “

Ms. Meyers says, don’t dream of colonizing planets eons away. Clean house instead, take care of its natural beauty.

She says, “The thin line of the atmosphere that’s just above the earth, that's all there is between us and the cold black harsh vacuum of space.  And even though we’ve discovered other planets around other stars, they are much too far away for present technology to take us there. It’s all we have!”


Real estate-related services (paid category)
Container homes
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9018-8/25/16

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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. Buy, sell or rent a timeshare at SellATimeshare.com. 
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Solr array
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9027-12/17/16

Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)


Re-Max
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Axiom one

Sierra Collection. Meridian House or Chateau Montage.
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8906-2/21/16


Rich Coast
                                  Rollover
Costa Rica Real Estate
    2.47 acre ocean view property w/ 2 houses & 2 unfinished apartments $249k!!!
    2 houses and pool furnished, great rental potential walk to the beach $327k w/ owner financing
    2-bedroom furnished condo 400 feet from Jacó beach $179,000

and lots of other great properties! Property listings in Escazú, Herradura, Jacó, Manuel Antonio, Dominical and beyond. We offer efficient, personalized service always protecting our client’s interests. Contact us today with your questions about buying property in Costa Rica. With 11 years experience in Costa Rica real estate.

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8953-8/29/16

Real estate for sale (paid category)


Lantz
                                      home
A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

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

8972-6/15/16

San Rmon
                                  rollover
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed,  Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: mmpeace@hotmail.com 
Check out slide show HERE!
9024-9/4/16

Kennedy
                                  graphic
Jacó Beach - Super Views - Priced Right
This is a 3-bedroom, 1-bath home located at about 100-foot elevation one mile from the beach.  Remodeled 2 years ago. Everything is new including total new kitchen, windows, floors, AC units, electric, plumbing, etc.  Super fenced yard for dogs.  Very low electric bill even with the AC.  This is a zero lot line property but with room to expand up and out.  Very secure & private.  Police chief next door. $149,900.  Call Glenn at 506 6214-0056.
9022-9/8/16

Penthouse
                                  rollover
Costa Rica penthouse for sale
 5 -story penthouse for sale.  One of a kind penthouse on top of the Corobici Hotel in Sabana overlooking the Central Park and new Soccer Stadium in San José.  Excellent location provides you easy access to everywhere.  Other benefits include 24-hour security, 2 restaurants inside the hotel providing 1st class room service plus shared common areas in the hotel. Commercial license is in place. Seller will consider owner financing.  Asking $895K U.S.  Go to www.ThePenthouseCostaRica.com  Owners U.S. cell phone: 813 310-7402  Email crstratton@ymail.com
9017-12/1/16

Excazu
                                  condo
House for Sale in Escazu Downtown
Condo near downtown Escazú Centro, Country Day School and Paco Shopping Center. 2 floors, 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. Maid's quarters, patio, 24-hour guard,   clubhouse and pool  Price $170,000 or best offer Call Lewis at 506 2288-2250 or 506 8828-6749.
Email:  visoer1937@gmail.com or oervis@hotmail.com
9011-8/11/16

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.  More information
go to www.ranchforsalecostarica.com  Call Darin Ricco, phone +619-846-8249 or email:  darin_ricco@hotmail.com
9023-9/13/16

Condo
                                  rollover

Luxury condominium apartments for sale in Escazú
The property located in Trejos Montealegre, has three apartments for sale. Excellent location, 400 meters east of Avenida Escazú, next to Village (new commercial and office project), Plaza Tempo, Wal-Mart, CIMA Hospital. To enter and exit Trejos Montealegre no need to pay toll. The condominium is few minutes from San José

♦ Apartment No. 1: 180 square meters, 3 bedrooms, cement walls, two floors, 1 utility room, 3 bathrooms, TV room, living room, kitchen with breakfast bar and island kitchen furniture, garage, electric gate.
 
♦ Apartment No. 2: 180. square meters,  3 bedrooms, cement walls, two floors, 1 utility room, 3 bathrooms, TV room, living room, kitchen with breakfast bar and island kitchen furniture, garage, electric gate.
 
♦ Apartment No. 3: This is the largest one. 250. square meters,  3 bedrooms, cement walls, two floors, 1 utility room, 3 bathrooms, living room, kitchen with breakfast bar  island kitchen furniture, 2 garages, electric gate. Total property measures 529 square meters.  Unique opportunity to buy it for $ 750,000 (Seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars).  For more information contact Adrian, cell phone  506-8598-9898  Email:  parqueos@gmail.com
8936-8/6/16

Pavo onr
FOR SALE - $270,000
Exceptional 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom, fully furnished luxury apartment for sale at the exclusive Terrazas de Escazú highrise complex in Escazú near La Paco Commerical Center.  Situated on the third floor, this apartment has an exceptional layout with stunning views of the Central Valley. 140 m2 bright and spacious floor plan with open sky terrace with 180-degree unobstructed view of the Escazú mountains and Central Valley.  One covered parking spot with additional guest parking available. HOA fee:  $250/month. Held in Costa Rica corporation for easy property transfer. Building features: 12-meter atrium with controlled access entrance to the building, surrounding landscaping, lower level pool, communal rooftop terrace and small rooftop gym. 24-hour security. Contact: José Granados in Costa Rica, phone 506- 6051-5249  email: jsaba00@hotmail.com.
8997-6/22/16
paco two

first image
B&B for sale in Costa Rica $650,000

I believe this is the finest area of Costa Rica in which to live and, with a lock on 80percent of all tourists visiting Costa Rica, to invest. There are birds and flowers of every description, terrific neighbors, incredible views, wonderful weather with a healthy climate, visits by sloth, deer, monkeys, a very good business that can expand and grow, if desired, or simply a beautiful place to live. Please look at my Web site and the guest reviews, the people's reaction to the property, and you'll see just what a wonderful opportunity this is

There is about 7,000 square meters of land included (over 1 3/4 acres) as well as another smaller home and an apartment above the carport, designed as maid's quarters but usually rented out to tourists. The rear of the property is bordered by a small and very clean spring-fed creek/river. Across the river there is jungle, which makes for a great deal of all around privacy and which will never be developed. Restaurants, a supermarket, services, and many natural attractions are just a short distance away. The property was appraised at over $1.7 million (US) a few years ago, which might indicate what an incredible bargain this is.

It can also include a franchise for Best Western Hotel, if interested in growing with the tourism business, and a small hobby farm bordering Arenal National Park with spectacular views of Lake Arenal, is also available. All is available at an excellent price for the right person (people) and a package price can certainly be arranged. Email me at: grantchy@yahoo.com For more photos and info click HERE!
8996-7/20/16

anothiner

Ocean View Property for Sale in San Ramón
1.5-acre lot with spectacular ocean views. Ready to build. Mild climate year round with an average temperature a cool 74 degrees. Spectacular panoramic views of
land
                                for sale
the ocean and port of Puntarenas during the day, breathtaking views of Esparza at night. Fully titled and owned under a Costa Rican corporation. Price reduced to $45,000. Short-term owner financing available. For more info: www.condojaco.com Contact: Frank condojaco1@gmail.com
8942-9/1/

updated
                                  photo
Jacó beach unique home. First time offered
This house has never been listed.  It is a 3-bedroom, 1-bath home approx. 100 feet above sea level on the only hill in Jacó one mile to the beach.  Totally remodeled to a Gringo house.Has great fenced yard for dogs and a huge screened porch with  great views all around, including a small ocean view.  New in the last two years includes: new kitchen with granite counter, cedar cabinets, all new windows, tile, water system, updated electric & plumbing, superb new AC units (low electric bill), This is half of a duplex with a platted yard.  Other side is the chief of police.  Secure & private.  $169.900. Call Glenn at 506-6214-0056 or goodbuyflorida@yahoo.com.
8933-5/2/16

Cohen
For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú
Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant.
Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning.
Easy to get liquor license. Low interest financing.
www.hotel4salecostarica.com
www.hotelsescazu.com
hotelescazu@aol.com
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410-975-6703
In Costa Rica 8307-0164
8916-7/22/16

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Amount  $250,000, 100% ROI. Trucking company parts manufacturing and sales in Florida, proof of funds required. Call Jack Budd at La Habra, Calif., U.S.A. Phones 714-871-5821, 714-930-5265. Email: cookjack3@yahoo.com.
9032-7/27/16

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, June 28, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 126
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Mexican rape and torture called common

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Amnesty International says that a vast majority of incarcerated Mexican women face sexual torture during arrest and in the hours following.

In a report released Tuesday, Amnesty detailed interviews and testimonies of 100 jailed Mexican women.  Seventy-two of them said they were sexually abused during or soon after their arrest, and 33 reported being raped.

"These women's stories paint an utterly shocking snapshot of the level of torture against women in México, even by local standards," said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International. "Sexual violence used as a form of torture seems to have become a routine part of interrogations."

The report found that most of the women in Mexican prisons were first-time offenders, low-income, and perhaps victim of an upswing in arrests related to the war on drugs. Many of them reported being forced to sign confessions immediately following hours of torture.

"Women from marginalized backgrounds are the most vulnerable in Mexico's so-called war on drugs," Ms. Guevara-Rosas said. "They are usually seen as easy targets by authorities who are often more eager to show they are putting people behind bars than to ensure they are finding the real criminals."

One of the women interviewed for the report is Maria Magdalena Saavedra.  In 2013, she told Amnesty armed navy marines burst into her bedroom and beat her while yelling questions. She was suffocated until she passed out, and the marines continued to beat her and rape her with objects after loading her in a van. She was accused of controlling the finances of a major drug gang.

At the police station, the marines threatened her daughter and applied electric shocks to her genitals and mouth. The torture lasted for 20 hours.  But a navy doctor deemed her physically healthy, in a medical examination after her arrest. Three years later in 2016, Amnesty investigators found that her scars were still visible.

The majority of the women surveyed reported the abuse to a judge or other authorities, but only 22 investigations were opened. Amnesty says no charges have yet been filed, and the army reports that no soldiers were suspended from service for sexual abuse between 2010 and 2015.

Another woman interviewed said she was seven months pregnant and beaten until she miscarried in a prison over a hundred miles away from her home.

A third woman, Monica, said she was gang-raped by six police officers before receiving electroshocks to her genitals and being suffocated during her arrest in 2013. The 24-year-old mother of four was forced to watch her husband being tortured, and he later died in her arms.

Years later, all three women are still in prison, and their families say they have no idea why.

In 2013 alone, over 12,000 cases of torture were filed in México, according to data from local and national ombudsman bodies, of which 3,218 were women.

The Mexican Congress is currently reviewing a draft of a general law on torture, a measure Human Rights Watch says is long overdue.


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London’s lord mayor visiting president here

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The lord mayor of London meets President Luis Guillermo Solís today as part of a promotional tour at what must be an awkward time.

The lord mayor is Jeffrey Mountevans, the Fourth Baron Mountevans, an hereditary peer and a member of the House of Lords.

Mountevans was a strong supporter of the European Union during the campaign that ended Thursday with the British voting to leave the union.

London is the center of the country’s commerce, and voters within the City of London Corporation voted strongly for Britain to stay in the European Union.

The results of the vote have created uncertainty in commercial areas. Wire service reports say that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the United States and the European Union is in jeopardy despite strong support by President Barack Obama. A number of analysts say it would be virtually impossible for the European Union to finalize complicated trade negotiations with the United States, with one of its three biggest members now in the process of detaching itself, the wire report said.

Mountevans, of course, will seek to point out the commercial attractiveness of Britain and London while Solís will promote Costa Rica exports. But certainly the European situation in flux is sure to come up. Costa Rican officials now are considering what kind of trade deals can be made with the now-independent Britain. The current Central American pact with the European Union will not cover imports from Britain and Costa Rican exports there.