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(506) 2223-1327                                     Published Tuesday, May 19, 2015, in Vol. 15, No. 97                                     Email us
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Lawmaker pushes bill to take assets before conviction
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A lawmaker is proposing an asset confiscation law for Costa Rica. This is the legal concept that allows officials to take property before an individual has been charged with a crime.

Then it is up to the individual to prove that he or she obtained the property legally. Otherwise, the government keeps the property, which could be money, real estate or vehicles.

A similar law has seen widespread abuse in other countries. In some cases police forces profit by obtaining the proceeds of the confiscated property.

The lawmaker is Antonio Álvarez Desanti of the Partido Liberación Nacional, who presented the bill to his colleagues last week. However, the text of the bill is not yet in the data base of the Asamblea Legislative.

Álvarez is characterizing the measure as another tool to fight crime. It is bill No. 19.571. It is called the  Ley Sobre Extinción de Dominio, which basically means confiscation of assets.

Police officers is Costa Rica already confiscate quantities of cash they may find in traffic stops with the assumption that such money is the result of illegal earnings. A money laundering charge follows. This bill would seem to expand that practice to other types of property.

A summary released Monday by the party noted that the confiscation does not judge an individual for illegal activities but seeks to learn the origin of the property.

In the United States there have been many scandals when law officers confiscated farms and homes because a teenage son was growing marijuana, frequently without the knowledge of parents, who owned the property.

In one  Colorado community, police would set up repeated stings involving a small quantity of marijuana in commercial center parking lots to confiscate the vehicle of a drug purchaser. The police would use the funds generated to enhance the department budget and sometimes provide entertainment. Frequently there would be no charges.

The legal case then becomes one of the state against the property, and the owner intervenes as a third party seeking to prove the legitimacy of the goods.

The party summary noted that this type of 
confiscation has been approved by the U.N.
Alvarez
Partido Liberación Nacional photo
Antonio Álvarez Desanti

Office against Drugs and other international agencies.

Goods financed by drug operations are confiscated already, but law enforcement must wait until a conviction is achieved in court. Under the proposed law, the confiscation can be immediate, and there many never be a charge lodged against the owner.

The summary describes this proposed law as a tool against organized crime, but similar laws elsewhere have resulted in confiscation of property for relatively minor offenses.

The summary of the bill describes an investigation by prosecutors and judicial agents to determine if there are causes to confiscate property. Finding such evidence, the case is presented to  judge who would emit an order of confiscation.

There does not seem to be any provision for notifying the owners of the goods until they are confiscated.

The summary said that the fourth step in the process is appeal, presumably by the owner who has been stripped of the property.

Legal criticisms elsewhere say that the process ignores the presumption of innocence and that many confiscations are disproportional.

Last week the Ministerio de Hacienda's proposal to allow tax investigators to confiscate bank accounts and even entire businesses without a court order became known. This generated plenty of criticism
.


Sextuplets continue to be big news on television
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The birth of sextuplets now is a bigger news story than a championship soccer match.

Television stations have taken the lead, and the births Sunday night dominated the nightly news Monday.

Never mind that the six babies are unavailable to camera operators. There is plenty of stock footage of babies, tiny feet and sleeping infants. Then there are the group shots of the teams that delivered the babies.

The six have been named, and Channel Six even aired a map showing which infant is in what local hospital. The babies are Emma, Tomás, Valentina, Diego, Andrés and Gabriel.
Each weighs around two pounds, so there is extensive efforts on the various hospitals, La Carid, San Juan de Dios and Hospital México to provide intensive care.

So far there have been no reports of medical problems. The mother, Sylvia Villegas, 34, remains at Hospital México where the emergency caesarian took place Sunday night.

The upbeat reports about the infants have been diminished a bit by a second day of public demonstrations at the Hospital Max Peralta in Cartago. The major complaint alleges 18 months of malpractice in the hospital's emergency room and the lack of specialists. Hundreds of residents were at the hospital with hand-made signs. The hospital also is operated by the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social.

 
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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.

Hearing Services

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Dinamarca logo

Optometry

Del Valle Visual Eyes Optometry
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Del Valle Visual Eyes Optometry has been a leader provider of advanced eye care services, eyewear, contact lenses, low vision devices and professional attention.  The preferred provider of quality vision care products and personalized optometric services to our patients in Pérez Zeledón in a comfortable and friendly environment since 2007.
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Psychotherapy

Dr. Gray

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California Licensed
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Insurance professionals

The Garrett Insurance Group
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4/12/15

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 Accountants

Ms. Summers
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Legal services

Real Estate Closing Services
Lic Matta

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

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Land surveying services

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Mr.
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Real estate agents and services

Ms.
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Real Estate Adviser
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voilcano
Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico photo               
A typical eruption from the Turrialba volcano

Restriction imposed around Turrialba

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The national emergency commission has imposed a restricted area with a five-kilometer radius of the Turrialba volcano.

The agency, the  Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias, said that the restriction would apply for at least week while scientists conduct studies and evaluations of the mountain.

Eruptions have increased their frequency, and there were more Monday. Juan Santamaría airport was closed for about three hours while ash was cleared from the runways. A half dozen flights were canceled and others were delayed. There were some dozen eruptions Sunday, but the winds carried the ash more to the west.

The Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico of the Universidad Nacional and the Red Sismológica Nacional of the Universidad de Costa Rica have staffers at the scene. In addition, activity in the mountain is being monitored acoustically.

The restriction mainly applied to visitors and tourists. There still are persons and livestock near the volcano. The emergency commission has plans for quick evacuations, if necessary.



Sanders' tax would extend to some expats

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Sen. Bernie Sanders. the Democratic presidential candidate, is proposing a tax that would affect some expats living here.

The senator wants to assess a 50-cent tax on every $100 of stock trades. His aides estimate that this will raise hundreds of billions of dollars a year, which would be paid by what they call Wall Street speculators. It also would be paid by expats here who are involved in stock market investments.

This is known as the  Robin Hood tax, based on the legendary Sherwood Forest outlaw who is said to have taken from the rich to give to the poor.

Sanders is a Socialist who won office as an independent but participates with the Democratic caucus.

With the money raised by the tax, Sanders would eliminate undergraduate college tuition fees for students attending public colleges and universities, reform student loans and expand work-study programs, said an announcement. The bill is a critical step to eradicating student debt, currently pegged at nearly $1.2 trillion and the fastest growing form of consumer debt, as well as expanding educational and employment opportunity, the announcement said.

President Barack Obama has proposed free tuition, but he has not said how this would be done.

Sanders was to give details on his plan today at a Washington press conference.

The senator would seek the Democratic nomination in competition with Hillary Clinton, who has been the leading figure in a series of negative news reports lately.

The tax also would put the U.S. on a path embraced by other nations that already provide free college education including Brazil, Chile, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Slovenia, and Sweden, the announcement said.

The Robin Hood tax would also slow the growth of automated high frequency trading, which makes the stock market more dangerous, said the announcement. A small tax would make risky high frequency trades unprofitable, and help reduce the excess speculation on commodities like food and gas that drives up prices, which will protect the economy from computer-generated collapses and market manipulation, it said.



Obama to prohibit sending cities war gear

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The Obama administration is banning the federal transfer of some military gear, including grenade launchers and tracked armored vehicles, to local police departments in the aftermath of the riots in Ferguson, Missouri. It’s just one measure that is coming out of a task force aimed at improving trust between minority communities and police departments.
 
Few can forget the images of police in full riot gear and in armored vehicles responding to people who took to the streets in Ferguson, Missouri, last year to protest against the police shooting death of an unarmed black teenager.
 
Now months later President Barack Obama is banning police from having certain combat-style equipment that he says is meant for a battlefield.
 
“We have seen how militarized gear can sometimes give people a feeling like there is an occupying force as opposed to a force that is part of the community that is protecting them and serving them," said Obama.

He made the remarks Monday during a trip to Camden, New Jersey, once considered the most dangerous city in the United States.
 
But two years after a community-policing program was implemented murder rates are down 47 percent.
 
Obama heard from Camden’s police chief on how virtual patrols using cameras have created safe corridors for children walking home from school.
 
He also talked with local youth and police on how the department has built trust, by getting officers out of their cars and into the community on a regular basis.
 
“It’s not just crisis response. It’s not after the fact there’s a crime, there’s a dead body, there’s a shooting, and now we’re going to show up.  It’s, 'we’re here all the time,' and hopefully, we can prevent those shootings from happening in the first place," said Obama.
 
Visiting Camden on the heels of the unrest in Baltimore, President Obama again emphasized the importance of creating opportunity for all of America’s youth, whether through early childhood education or a reformed criminal justice system.

Virginia job center helps illegal immigrants

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Illegal immigrants are an important source for day labor in America, although their legal status is frequently at the center of the U.S. political debate. Day-to-day work is not always guaranteed, but a special kind of organization, the Day Labor Center, helps undocumented immigrants to both find work and receive fair compensation.

At the Day Labor Center in Centreville, Virginia, Felix Ceto from Guatemala is waiting for a day job.  At 34, Felix has been living in America for seven years, and can only speak very limited English.

“Well, most of the people from my country are here because we want to support our families; to contribute for food, clothing, education, let's say . . .  anything that the family needs,” said Ceto.

He uses social media to communicate with his parents, wife, and two children.

“The plan that I have is to go back, because every day I miss my family more and more,” he said.

Molly Maddra-Santiago heads the Centreville Day Labor Center, which strives to protect day laborers, many of whom are vulnerable because of they are undocumented.

“Because they are immigrants, they are easily exploited.  We exist to make sure that doesn’t happen.  Workers here are typically paid at least $12/hour for any job that they do,” she said.

Salvador Sarmiento, a representative of the National Day Labor Organizing Network, said there is a major issue of wage theft in the U.S., especially for day laborers. Yet even as undocumented immigrants, he said, they have the right to fair compensation.

“The law is very clear… constitutional protections for all workers, whether they are undocumented or are documented, whether they are immigrants or citizens,” said Sarmiento.

The staff at the Day Labor Center help establish profiles and match employers and day laborers. In addition to helping find work for those who want it, the Day Labor Center also provides free classes. English lessons and home renovation courses are the most popular.

Ceto and his friend were employed on a recent day by Austin Acocella, who needed help with leaf removal in his backyard.

“I thank God I got the opportunity to be in this country. Even though you suffer a lot when you come here, I'm thankful that we are fine here and as well. I thank very much the people that opened this center because it's very important for us,” said Ceto.

Ceto dreams that one day he can make enough money to go home and see his family.



Traditional jobs reported to be in decline

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The International Labor Organization warns a decrease in traditional forms of labor is leading to increased poverty because of widespread insecurity in the global jobs market.  In this year’s World Employment and Social Outlook 2015 report, the organization examines “The Changing Nature of Jobs.”  

The so-called company man who could rely on a steady job, salary and a pension at the end of his work life is an endangered species, the report said.  New data shows fewer than one in four workers today is employed in this stable traditional form of labor.

The International Labor Organization’s report analyzed employment trends in countries covering 84 percent of the global workforce.  It finds three quarters of workers are employed on temporary or short-term contracts, in informal jobs or in unpaid family jobs.

Director-General Guy Ryder says more than 60 percent of all workers, most of them in the developing world, lack any kind of employment contract.  He adds even among those workers, who have a wage and salary, less than half have permanent work contracts. 

“One consequence of this type of transformation in the employment relationship is that it is contributing to the growing divergence between labor incomes and productivity, with productivity growing faster than wages in much of the world . . . which we think has been an important factor in the current employment crisis.  And, our report estimates that the loss in global demand as a consequence of employment trends coming from the crisis stands at ...$3.7 trillion," said Ryder.

Latest International Labor Organization estimates put the number of unemployed workers globally at 201 million, 30 million more than before the 2008 global economic crisis struck. 

Ryder says the shift from the traditional employment relationship to non-permanent forms of employment is leading to growing unemployment and a rise in inequality and poverty rates in many countries. 


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A.M. Costa Rica

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, May 19, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 97
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A puma for a pet?
Police confiscate cat in Limón

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A young puma has been rescued from a home in Limón by the Policía Turística.  This cat, also known as a cougar, is one of several animals that were handled by Fuerza Pública officers over the weekend.

A puma is a serious member of the cat family, and there was no explanation why someone would want to have one as a household pet. Police did not say why the individual was keeping the cat in a cage.  But they did take the animal to a big cat shelter in Cocles.

Police have been facing a  number of animal calls, probably brought on by some well-publicized captures. Usually the  Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía is involved, too.

Police also stopped a motorist carrying a paca in a bag at  Parque Nacional Corcovado. The paca (Cuniculus paca) is a large rodent that is raised for meat in Costa Rica. They also are hunted in the wilds. In Spanish they are called tepezcuintle.

Other police officers in  Goicoechea were called upon this weekend to extract a macaw that was in  coffee tree. The bird may have been a pet that was liberated. Police estimated that the bird was about 10 years old.

The bird was caged and taken to a sanctuary in Puntarenas. they said.

Individuals who have forest animals in their possession are committing a crime, but many times the case are not prosecuted.

puma
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo
This cat would prefer to be in the jungle.


Patronato told to give culturally suitable environment for Cabécar girl
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The child welfare agency has been ordered to provide a native child with an environment that reflects her cultural identity.

That was the ruling of the Sala IV in the case of a 6-year old  who was placed in the care of the Patronato Nacional de la Infancia when she suffered an accident that cost her the right hand.

The Patronato initially placed the girl in a shelter in Moín. She comes from  Cabécar de Tayní.
The parents have been trying to have the girl returned to them.

The court said in case the Patronato cannot provide a shelter that offers a  Cabécar environment, officials should take whatever steps are possible to involve her with her cultural roots.


The girl is believed to speak Spanish, but the court decision said that the parents have been trying to have her speak only her Cabécar language. The court suggested that a translator might be needed.

The girl has been in the care of the Patronato since November

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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Boat race to Alaska holds plenty of challenges including the bears
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

For centuries, native canoes have paddled the inside passage to Alaska, and next month the historic route will again be teeming with vessels, this time with modern-day sailors out to capture a $10,000 prize, the largest monetary award on the sailing circuit.

Organizers say the 1,200-kilometer Race to Alaska is the longest human and wind-powered race, and they liken it to the Iditarod on a boat. The route takes mariners from Port Townsend, Washington, up the Inside Passage, to southeast Alaska.

Jake Beattie's business cards identify him as the Lead Conspirator for the Race to Alaska and one of his guiding principles is to keep things simple, with as few rules as possible.

"Get a boat without an engine, any boat, doesn't matter what size or number of crew. Be self-supporting, meaning that you can't have pre-arranged support or boats chasing you around to fix you if you break,” he said. “Start in Port Townsend, finish in Ketchikan. If you're first, we'll give you $10,000. If you're second, we'll give you a set of steak knives."

Everyone else gets a T-shirt.

The voyage can be risky, with sailors facing strong tidal currents, whirlpools, floating driftwood and logs that can punch a hole in a hull, bears on shore and sailing in the dark. Professional mariner Jullie Jackson of Port Townsend wouldn’t have it any other way.

"Having a small crew on a boat, you know, you are responsible to those people and they are responsible to you,” she said. “Being able to have a common goal that you are all working toward is really amazing. And it is an absolutely beautiful place in the world."

Ms. Jackson and her two crewmates plan to compete in a sleek racing sailboat called an Etchells 22. It's usually considered a daysailer and offers little protection from the elements.

"I completely understand how people would see it as crazy,” Ms. Jackson said. “But if you understand what your limitations are and you understand what risks you are going into, it can be approached in a way that is safe."

Most of the teams entered in the race plan to use sailboats. But if the wind is fickle, as it can be in June, Beattie said the race could go to a small human-powered craft.

"There's one kayaker, a couple of different ocean-going rowboats and one guy on a standup paddleboard who is going to do the entire 750 miles."

At least six teams had a boat custom-designed for this race. That includes world-class sailors Joe Bersch and Dalton Bergan of Seattle. Their brand new 7-meter long outrigger sailboat was inspired by a symmetrical Polynesian design called a proa.

"Both ends of the boat are the bow and the stern," Bergan explained. "It never tacks or jibes, which is what most sailors are familiar with. It just reverses."


Some other unusual features of the sailboat include an
Paddleboard
Voice of America/VerticalOar.com
Shane Perrin will be competing on his custom stand up paddle board, and he is the world record holder for most miles traveled that way in 24 hours, more than 160 kms.


auxiliary
pedal-powered propeller and a coffin-shaped sleeping compartment the co-captains have already nicknamed the sarcophagus.

As he worked on the proa, Bersch mused, "There's a tendency to look at some of these boats and say, 'Why are you doing it? You should never try it in that.' Or, 'You'll never win. Why are you doing it?' I think the opportunity to sail up the Inside Passage in a small craft and challenge yourself is a once in a lifetime experience."

If their team, Pure and Wild, takes first place, Bersch and Bergan say they plan to donate their $10,000 grand prize to a charity called SeaShare, which distributes seafood to food banks around the U.S. The team is also trying to raise awareness for Blue H2O, a different nonprofit devoted to increasing access to clean drinking water.


A number of other competitors also are pledging to donate their winnings or are racing for a cause. For example, Victoria, Canada-based Team Blackfish is using the race to raise awareness about British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest and to promote the conservation group Pacific Wild.

Beattie still marvels that his board of directors at the Northwest Maritime Center green lighted the race, which he refers to, with a grin, as "the Iditarod with a chance of drowning or being eaten by a bear or run over by a freighter." He sold the board on the idea by pitching the event as an extension on the center's mission to connect people to the sea. He reasoned it would inspire people to adventure and spur conversations about how to get out on the water in low cost ways.

Thirty-five teams from the U.S. and Canada have entered the full race from Port Townsend to Ketchikan. The competition starts with a long open water crossing to Victoria, which will serve as a qualifying leg. Racers who make it to Victoria's Inner Harbor within 36 hours without assistance may continue. The racers will restart at high noon on Sunday, June 7, and head to Ketchikan.

There are two mandatory checkpoints along the way, and all participants are required to carry a satellite tracking beacon and VHF radio for safety. Race officials consulted the U.S. and Canadian coast guards about the race safety plan.

Beattie figures the winner of the inaugural Race to Alaska will cross the finish line in less than 14 days, but it could take as little as one week.


Vacation, travel and hospitality


tourism in osa

Adventures in Costa Rica are awaiting you.
The Villas De Oros is a jungle paradise with the whole of the Osa within your reach, plus many local activities. Our five villas and suites are unique, sleeping between  two or four guests. They were built to reflect a love and respect for nature. We are happy to serve a wide variety of travelers, families, couples on romantic escapes and adventures seekers. We are near beautiful beaches, many national parks, fine dining and local fare. We are a small hotel, but we will do all we can to help make arrangements for you to insure your adventure of a lifetime!  Please let us know if you will need help with transportation arrangements and what tours you are interested in. Our moderately priced accommodations give you the opportunity to take in the sights and sounds of the surrounding jungle. With river and ocean views as well as an abundance of wildlife, you are sure to enjoy your stay. All four villas have kitchen facilities, two with full inside kitchens and three with mini-kitchens on the balconies overlooking the jungle. We are frequented almost daily by monkeys, macaws, toucans, iguanas, and many other fascinating creatures of Costa Rica. See more at  www.villasdeoros.com  
506-2786-5170 in Costa Rica     303-719-0151 in U.S.
8669-xxx

Mar
                              de Luz
Hotel Mar de Luz
Designed for families to provide peaceful & ecologically balanced environment, where all can enjoy healthy & pollution free stay. Built in harmony with nature & were used to reflect a subtropical atmosphere. Main source of energy is sunlight, converted by solar panels on the roofs. High quality services at a reasonable cost allowing guests to enjoy dream holiday at an attractive rate. Come and enjoy a great vacation. Comfortable accommodation, personalized services and quality amenities. Cosy rooms, breakfast, pools, architectural design, surrounded by lush vegetation in beautiful tropical gardens with coconut, almond, etc. Address : Jacó  beach, next to Subway Restaurant, Avenida Pastor Díaz, Costa Rica. Local phone (506) 2643-3000. Email: info@mardeluz.com.  Web page: www.mardeluz.com.

Hotel Playa Bejuco
Hotel Boutique Playa Bejuco
Cozy, opened in 2007 just 90 minutes from the capital, with good access. Go shopping or enjoy the evening entertainment. Hosting services, friendly, quality and comfortable, discreet under the concept of 100 percent family hotel, the reason we do not allow or endorse any activity related to prostitution or drugs. Natural beauty, recommended for tourists for a relaxing holiday. Nearby is Manuel Antonio National Park. Tours, canopy, fishing, rainforest, horseback riding, ATV, rafting, etc. 20 deluxe rooms equipped with 3 for disabled. All with air conditioning, cable TV, telephone, refrigerator, private bathroom, hot water, free wireless Internet, etc. Maximum 5 people. Main restaurant, pools (adults & children), jacuzzi, private parking, 24 hours security, pool bar, playground equipped. At front desk currency conversions, confirm your flight or coordinate tours. Address : Playa Bejuco, Esterillos, Costa Rica. Local phone (506) : 2779-2000. Email: info@hotelplayabejuco.com   Web page www.hotelplayabejuco.com.
8665-10/24/15

experience Costa Rica
Costa Rica Travel In Paradise Group Tours

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

* FAMILY VACATIONS. Our travels take into account the different ages of your family enjoy the most from your Family vacations. Click HERE!

* GROUP TOURS. Whether for a church group, couple of friends, Scout troop or a family group. We provide excellent quality service in your Group Tours. Click HERE!

* EDUCATIONAL TOURS. Tours for universities to schools to elementary schools. We have professionals to help you discover the secrets of Costa Rica in a fun way. Costa Rica Educational Tours. Click HERE!

* GUIDED TOURS. General holiday planning giving you the best value for your investment Costa Rica vacation Packages. Click HERE!

Contact Us:
International Phone: 1-800-9010-114
CR Local Phone: 011-506 -2274-3231
Email: jose@mycostaricatravel.com
Web: www.mycostaricatravel.com

Anywhere
  Get Help Planning Your Adventure Vacation in Costa Rica.
  100% Personalized Vacation Planning Service.
Click HERE!
8644-3/16/16

Howard book
Want to live in Costa Rica?
Read this book!


1,000s have benefited from 17 editions
with its insider information
and time-tested tips
700 carefully researched pages  

Written by Christopher Howard,
Costa Rica's #1 retirement expert
with 35 years experience helping people.
Click HERE!
8577-2/15/15

PRIMO'S SUEŇO CABINAS
La Fortuna
Comfort of your home in the campo, 5 minutes from Fortuna Centro of San Carlos, in the shadow of Volcano Arenal, Flat screen TV, AC, refrigerator, free coffee. Local area activities like four-wheeling, horse riding, zip lining, hot springs, jungle walking tours. Bring your camera for great photos of nature, fishing and swimming, canyoning and wireless internet. Harry Hart, proprietor.  Call for reservations  (506) 2479-8670   and (506) 8682-9219  Email: lagringo2003@yahoo.com
8492-4/1/15

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

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

   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
   * Find out how to live affordably
   * See how other expats live. Meet other expats who have made
          the move.
   * Access the country's affordable health care system
   * Informative two-day seminar given by local experts in their
          relevant fields.
   * Tours led by Christopher Howard, 34-year resident, citizen,
          and the author of "The New Golden Door to Retirement
          and  Living in Costa Rica – the Official Guide to Relocation”
 
Click HERE  to learn all about our Association of Residents (ARCR)  approved tours at www.liveincostarica.com
8479-9/11/14

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

The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is a great place to find quality remembrances of Costa Rica to take home or to decorate your home or office in Costa Rica.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever.  With more than 60 artists on exhibit and fine art in 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we are easy to locate just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport. Visit our Web site at
or contact us by email:
HiddenGarden@TheVanStoneGroup.com.   
Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tel. 2667-0592 / 8386-6872; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073. International shipping available.
8623-6/16/15

diligence
Click photo for another video

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

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

Meet many Expats who are willing to share their experiences and how the tour has value long after the “lust” wears off.
See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!
http://www.vimeo.com/5656822

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

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

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

8390-10/2/14

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



Need a book about Costa Rica?


Check out our special selections available at Amazon
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HERE!

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

Real estate rental services (paid category)

beach view
The vacation homes at Manuel Antonio Estates offers luxury, comfort and peace of mind. We have numerous homes from 2 bedrooms to 8 bedrooms ocean view with private pool,  all within walking distance of the town’s shops and restaurants and just a few minutes to the best beaches and the famous Manuel Antonio national park. While the homes are secluded and hidden among the rainforest, the surrounding area offers adventures like zip lines, whitewater rafting, mangrove kayaking and many more. All of the homes are available for short-term rentals, Fully equipped, Pool, concierge,  parking, cable TV, and Internet. We are happy to assist with all your need for the perfect Costa Rican vacation, Call us for your family vacation package.
TOLL FREE: 1800 346=9724 or (506) 2777-3339     
 http://www.manuelantonioestates.com/properties_for_rent.html
8613-6/24/15




Costa Rica,

Central America
Houses, lots and farms in Grecia,
western Central Valley.
Great climate
and safe communities.



Visit our Web Site:
 www.greciarealestate.com


English calls: (Cristian Arce) Phone: 
(506) 2494-0016 
(506) 8309-0173
 
English calls :  (Luis David) Phone: 
(506) 6154-1940 

Español calls: (Luis G. Jiménez)  Phone:   
(506) 8707-4016
 
grecia
Offer of the month !!  Great opportunity to get this beautiful house. 3 hectares land (equal to 30.000 meters), 750 square meters construction, modern security technology, three floors, internal street, elevator. $ 1.1 million  Click HERE!
Grecia 909
Beautiful house for rent, inside a private property. Very secure. Price $1,500 . See more photos HERE!
Grecia 907
Beautiful house for rent, near to Puente Piedra street . Very secure. Price $1,000 . More photos HERE!
  Send us your request to our email: info@greciarealestate.com
8676-8/18/15

Real estate for rent (paid category)
luxury
                                                      apartment
Furnished apartment for rent  Available Now!
Impeccable newly remodeled villa in Villas de Cariari for rent day, week or month. Rates from US$85 per day. Utilities, washer and dryer, car parking,  24 hour security, Wi-Fi, close to airport and shopping. Long=term and corporate renters are accepted.
Contact: Chris English/Spanish U.S. phone: 1-804-699-8073
Costa Rica phone : (506) 6145-7003 Email: cnpfx@icloud.com
8683-8/11/15

San Ramon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 baths, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Direct TV via sling box on Internet.  Rent per month $750 plus utilities with free internet.  Price for Sale $179,000   Contact Mike: mmpeace@hotmail.com  Check out slide show HERE!
8670-6/30/15

Beautiful 2-bedroom 2-bathroom American-style apartments with an elevator to your front door in a secure building located in Gringo Gulch the American Section of downtown San José. Costa Rica. Located between the Hotel Del Rey, the Hotel Mona Lisa and the Sportsman's Lodge and The Zona Blue (AKA) Little Habana across the street from Harry's Poas Bar, and next to the Holiday Inn.
apartment view
 There are 15 restaurants and American- style bars on this block and four supermarkets within a few blocks. There are 5 casinos within 2 blocks and dozens of hotels around this apartment. Included in your rental price, fast Internet, the best they have in Costa Rica, cable TV with 80 stations, water, washer
 and dryer. All you pay extra for is electricity. You have your own meter and receive a bill from the electric company every month.  This apartment has a American-style hot water system, hot water in both bathrooms and the kitchen. There is a 25-foot balcony to sit on and watch the people in San José walk by. The neighborhood Barrio Amón is the safest in San José For photos and more information contact:  rentnowcr@gmail.com.
8677-6/11/15

Jaco condo
Condo in Jacó for rent
Two-bedroom, 1-bath condominium available for rent starting June 1st in Corteza del Sol in the Quebrada Seca, just across the Costanera from Jacó. 24-hour security, wifi/cable, AC, luxurious amenities, kitchen includes everything you need to cook, gorgeous pools just steps from your front door. 15 minute walk to town or quick bike ride. ¢2,000 taxi to center of town. Short-term renter is fine. Long-term would be great! Looking for someone low-key who will fit in well with the complex. $950/month including cable & internet, NOT INCLUDING ELECTRIC! Call 8725-0344 or email emilyanneaston@gmail.com
8616-4/9/15

Palmares
                                                    graphic

Homes for rent in Palmares, Alajuela

See our web page: palmarescostarica.us
8625-5/9/15


Coco condo
Condo for rent.
Conveniently located just a 200-meter walk to the beach. In the favorite community of Las Palmas, this condo is a perfect vacation home and/or great for vacation rental income.  The condo is located on the 2nd level offering beautiful vaulted ceilings, front and back balcony, pool and mountain view. Screens in every window/door, Air condition in both bedrooms and at living room. The condo is in perfect condition. It has been recently painted and super well-kept, new appliances, fully furnished. Wired to have own washer dryer. It has been the residence of the owners since they built it. Never rented out to third parties. The owners are selling as they are moving to the Central Valley.  The community has a great-size pool and beautiful landscaping and large parking. Just step out your condo and in less than 5-minute walk be swimming in the ocean! A must see! Rate $795 per month. Contact Bob Mobile C.R. ( 506 ) 8392-7520. E-mail: redlclark@aol.com
8602-5/15/15

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for your stay in this beautiful part of Costa Rica.
tropical
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.
8592-8/18/15




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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, May 19, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 97
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U.S. citizen sentenced to life
for porno work in Philippines

Special to A.M. Costa Rica

A Los Angeles man who was convicted of producing child pornography in The Philippines while being required to register as a sex offender due to his prior conviction for raping a 14-year-old girl was sentenced Monday to life without parole in federal prison.

The man, Stanley Dan Reczko III, 50, who lived in the Koreatown District of Los Angeles, was sentenced by U. S. District Judge George H. King, who in March found the defendant guilty of producing child pornography while being required to register as a sex offender.

“This defendant has a life-long history of violent behavior,” said acting U. S. Attorney Stephanie Yonekura. “He has received treatment and counseling, but in light of this case, the help offered to him appears to have had no effect. Even though he has previously served prison time for the rape of a minor, this punishment did not deter his behavior. In light of his recidivism, the life prison sentence is richly deserved.”

In the first part of a two-part trial, a federal jury in February found Reczko guilty of sexual exploitation by producing child pornography in The Philippines.
       
Reczko received the life sentence for the sexual exploitation charge, and he received a consecutive 10-year term for producing child pornography while being required to register as a sex offender.

Reczko has been in custody since 2007, when he was arrested after returning to the United States by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

“This sentence should serve as a warning to sexual predators who mistakenly believe they can escape justice by exploiting children overseas,” said Mark Selby, deputy special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations Los Angeles. “There can be no place for the abuse of foreign children by our citizens, and HSI will seek to vindicate the rights of those victims no matter how far they live from our shores. Fortunately, the sentence imposed today virtually assures that no additional children will be harmed by this defendant.”

Authorities began investigating Reczko in May 2007 after the minor victim handed over a CD containing child pornography to the International Justice Mission, a non-governmental organization working in The Philippines. International Justice Mission provided the CD, along with other evidence, to law enforcement officers working out of the U.S. Embassy in Manila.

The evidence showed that Reczko had used the minor to produce eight series of child pornography, which included images of him and the victim engaging in sexual intercourse.
Reczko sexually, physically, emotionally, and mentally abused the victim for three years, according to prosecutors.
 

Fatal gang clash in Texas
puts focus on biker criminals


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

With nine people dead and nearly 20 injured, a gun battle between rival motorcycle gangs in Waco, Texas, Sunday was one of the worst shootouts in recent U.S. history.  The incident has focused attention on so-called biker gangs that law enforcement officials say pose a great threat to public safety.

The shootout in Waco was between members of a large Texas-based gang called the Bandidos and members of smaller gangs, one of which is called the Cossacks.  Investigators recovered more than 100 guns on the scene and arrested around 170 people, according to Waco Police spokesman Sgt. Patrick Swanton.

“I will tell you that in 34 years in law enforcement, this is the worst crime scene, the most violent crime scene that I have ever been involved in," he said.

Swanton said authorities knew the gangs were assembling in Waco and tracked their movements closely, having a unit on hand at a restaurant to take action in case a fight broke out.

“We were extremely fortunate to have our best, most well-trained officers here.  That was our tactical unit. They were here for the specific reason that we knew there was going to be trouble at this biker event," he said.

Swanton said the gang members also fired at police, but no one other than gang members was wounded or killed.

Federal and state authorities say the 2,000-member Bandidos gang is involved in drug smuggling and other types of organized crime. The gang formed in south Texas in the 1960s and now has affiliated chapters around the United States and in several other countries.

Sociology professor James Quinn at the University of North Texas, who has studied biker gang group dynamics, says the character of gang chapters varies.

“You can have a chapter with some guys that are pretty sophisticated and into organized crime. You can have another one that is more on the misfit, riding, drinking, carousing types, and sometimes you get a bit of both," he said.

Quinn said men also join these gangs for various reasons.

“A lot of them are looking for excitement and camaraderie, and you have other people who are looking for opportunities to launch organized crime," he said.

Quinn and other experts on gangs say members are bound by an oath of loyalty to defend any member who is threatened by an outsider.

The primary rivals of the Bandidos are members of the even larger, California-based gang, known as the Hell’s Angels. Both have international affiliates and there have been violent clashes between them in Australia, western Europe and Canada, according to Julian Sher, a Canadian journalist who has written two books about the biker gangs.

“More than 160 people were killed, most of them biker gang members, but some civilians, when the Bandidos and the Hell’s Angels fought it out on the streets of the province of Quebec. The Bandidos and the Hell’s Angels fought it out in Europe for control of the drug trade there. So the Bandidos have a long history of violence," he said. The Quebec kilings were from 1994 to 2002.

Sher said there may be a lull in violence following the Waco shooting, but he says eventually the gangs will clash again.

“The image of the biker gangs never changes. This is what they are about. This is their very nature, and it was just pure luck that no innocent people were killed in that shootout, but there have been cases in which innocent people have been killed," he said.

Most of the people arrested in Waco are members of the Bandidos, and authorities there remain concerned that other members could come to town and clash with members of rival groups who are still in the city. Both Texas state investigators and federal agents are on scene to assist in the investigation of the crime, and authorities say they have taken precautions to deal with any further disruption of the peace.


U.S. military sex victims face
retaliation, rights group says

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Human Rights Watch says U.S. military personnel who report sexual assaults frequently experience retaliation that goes unpunished..

A report released Monday by Human Rights Watch after an 18-month investigation concludes that male and female military personnel who report sexual assault are 12 times as likely to experience some form of retaliation as to see their attacker convicted of a sex offense.

The report, "Embattled: Retaliation against Sexual Assault Survivors in the US Military," says Department of Defense surveys indicate that 62 percent of those who report sexual assault say they experienced retaliation.

Human Rights Watch says the retaliation ranges from threats, vandalism, and harassment to poor work assignments, loss of promotion opportunities, disciplinary action including discharge, and even criminal charges, according to the analysis.

Co-author of the report, Sara Darehshori, says “The U.S. military’s progress in getting people to report sexual assaults isn’t going to continue as long as retaliation for making a report goes unpunished.”

Human Rights Watch wants Congress to give service members the same level of protection as civilians when it comes to reporting inappropriate treatment by a superior.

The organization says the mechanism that is intended to protect service members from employment-related retaliation, the Military Whistleblower Protection Act, has not helped any service member whose career was harmed.


Ransomware malware seems
to be infecting world quickly


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

There’s an old Internet scam floating around that’s getting some new attention lately.

It’s called ransomware, and if a user is unlucky, it may have already infected the individual's  computer or mobile phone.

Ransomware is a term used for a specific type of malware that secretly locks up certain files on a computer, putting them out of reach to everyone but the crook.

Earlier this year, the FBI issued a warning, alerting the public to a recent rise in the spread of ransomware in the U.S.

Two of the most pervasive bugs, CryptoLocker and CryptoWall, are thought to have bilked millions of dollars from unsuspecting users, and have recently begun spreading through Japan, Australia, and several other nations.

The cybersecurity firm Websense says it alone has detected about 2 million instances of Cryptolocker, with more than 60 percent of those detections targeting computers in Australia.

And researchers at anti-virus firm Symantec say a newer ransomware bug, apparently designed to contain several references to the TV series "Breaking Bad," is rapidly spreading around the world.

It works like this: a ransomware bug quietly searches out certain types of files in a computer and, without the user's knowledge, encrypts them. Once encrypted, a user won’t be able to access those encrypted files without the decryption key, held by the bad guys.

Users are then notified, usually via a pop-up message, that all their files are now inaccessible, and will remain so unless the user pays a fee to the bad guy in exchange for the decryption key to unlock their documents.

It’s almost as if someone digitally stole all the data and promised to sell it back only after being paid a fee.

“Ransomware looks for specific types of files to encrypt, traditionally,” said John Shier, a senior security analyst at the cybersecurity firm Sophos. “It’s looking for what we call user-generated content, word documents, spreadsheets, pictures. These could be pictures of your child’s first birthday, videos of your honeymoon, financial spreadsheets of your small business; files that you really care about.”

The ransom typically is costly enough to hurt but not so expensive that users might just give up and abandon their data, usually in the $300 to $600 range.

“This is a business they’re running. In order for them to provide a product that is going to be successful, they can’t price themselves out of the market,” Shier said.  “So that dollar figure has been pretty consistent. That price figure is just that – low enough that if you don’t have a way of getting out of this, it’s going to hurt a little bit, but not so much that you’re willing to give up your files.”

Once payment is made, often via Bitcoin or pre-paid credit cards, the bad guys hand over the decryption key, But there’s no guarantee that will happen.

“I get that question a lot – will they turn over the decryption key?” Shier asked. “They absolutely do, because this is basically a business. They want it known that other people who have been hit by this can say ‘Well, I paid them and got my files back.’ If you pay, you get your files back – that’s just good business.”

Although they’re relatively simple in design, ransomware bugs often use a 256-bit AES encryption standard, making them theoretically impossible to crack without the decryption key.

“There’s really nothing you can do,” once you’re files have been locked, Shier said.

Ransomware is indiscriminate in its targets, hitting personal, corporate and government computer systems alike.

“They don’t care who they grab – it’s spray and pray,” Shier said. “The corporate world is least likely to pay because they’re most likely to have mitigations in place, meaning the most success the bad guys are seeing is off the public.”

Even though it’s pretty much too late to do anything once a device has been infected and locked down, there are ways to protect against ransomware, or mitigate the damage once infected. The first and best, said Shier, is to backup all your files repeatedly, and in separate locations.

“The key is to store your backed-up files someplace inaccessible,” he said. “Taking the backup off the network is absolutely essential. And if you re-image on a clean machine, you have to make sure you address how you got infected in the first place.”


Social media use by cops
presents double-edged tool


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Social media are changing the ways that police departments and other public agencies do business.  New media are helping monitor police and keeping the traffic moving on congested highways. But they are also raising questions.

At the Los Angeles public transit system known as LA Metro, workers monitor banks of video screens showing buses on their routes  and busy intersections, looking for delays or other signs of trouble.   The system uses information from its cameras and sensors and will soon use data from the social media application Waze, sent by drivers who note real-time traffic conditions.

Kali Fogel of LA Metro says the transit system must have up-to-date information.

“Data is king, so to have a lot of data is very important.  We have a lot of infrastructure data. What crowd-sourcing and apps like Waze allow us to do is to fill in the gaps," said Ms. Fogel.

Waze, owned by Google, has partnered with cities from Rio to Jakarta to better understand urban traffic patterns.

Drivers like Freda Sideroff of Los Angeles rely on Google Maps and other navigation apps to get through the traffic.

“It is so useful, I use it every day," said Ms. Sideroff.

The California Department of Transportation, known as Caltrans, also communicates with drivers through message signs on freeways, its highway mapping  site called QuickMap, and social media sites like Twitter.  Caltrans spokesman Patrick Chandler says traffic managers see millions of trips each day.

“But the system is old.  It’s 60-, 70-years-old, so we try different things to maximize capacity beyond just building new freeways or interchanges or widen the freeways. We try to inform travelers of the conditions that are ahead of them," said Chandler.

Police departments are using social media to communicate with the public. 

But following protests in many American cities over the deaths of African Americans at the hands of police and the killing of several officers in separate incidents, some police are worried that applications like Waze that identify police locations can pose a danger to officers.

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8609-2/20/16
Mafri one
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San Isidro de Heredia. Great lot with 3 houses. $3,200,000 single story. 1,505 m2 Lot: 37,419m2  Click HERE!
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Real estate for sale (paid category)


San Ramon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 baths, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Direct TV via sling box on Internet. Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike: mmpeace@hotmail.com 
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8671-6/30/15

volacano
DANGER, WILL ROBINSON!
They say a stock market crash is overdue.  Is your money in the bank earning only pennies in interest?  Is it time to get some of your assets out of the United States and into a wonderful retirement location?  That was this owner’s plan.  Gross ROI for this property was 11% most recent 5 months with 1,129 m2 lot crying for development of more rentals.  Build two or even three inexpensive fourplexes and live off of the income the rest of your life.  But current owner is unable to stay in Costa Rica (divorce, health reasons) so must sacrifice retirement dream property.  Offered at only $140,000 by extremely motivated seller and cash talks!  Very desirable location only a short 5-minute walk to central La Fortuna, clean and modern construction 2 bedroom 1 bath home is 102 m2 with no wasted space, very livable.  THIS ABSOLUTELY MUST BE SOLD!  For interior pix email  lafortunaguy@gmail.com
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8552-5/20/15

Lantz
A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

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8661-6/20/15

Med house
Mediterranean inspired home overlooking the Bay of Nicoya and Pacific Ocean. This design allows for barrier free living, yet maximizes views from every room in the house . Vaulted ceiling over the living area and kitchen give the great room it’s spacious, open feeling with a natural stone fireplace and imported Spanish tile floors. $365,000.   Property: 22,000 m2 or 5.5 acres. Construction: 4,500 sq. ft. including porches and garage. 3 nedrooms, 2 baths, full dining room, separate office. Custom wrought iron gates, custom exotic wood cabinets, high-end stainless steel appliances, Granite countertops.    Slide show at   
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8657-7/14/15

Orosi
Costa Rica Villas For Sale
*In 2009 this property appraisal for $240,000  (two hundred forty thousand).
*Located in Paraiso, Cartago, Costa Rica.
*We spent over $70,000 in renovating the villa.
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Contact in USA: Billy phone  001 (678) 576-5107
8652-5/7/15

For sale: Titled beachfront lot 1/2 acre (1,750m2) near Jacó $89,000. Just one hour drive from San José.
Panoramic ocean view lot 1.25 acres (5,000m2) 25 minutes from Tamarindo  $25,000.
Panoramic ocean view lot  5,400 sq. ft. (500m2)  $6,500. Financing available.
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Shangra la
Located in Jacó in the best and safest location possible, at Barrio Ricos y Famosos in Calle Europa, Casa Shangri La.

Main house: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 270 square meters, 2 condominiums 2 bedrooms, one bath, 110 square meters, plus one small apartment: One bedroom, one bath. Huge pool, carport for five cars. plus double garage, rancho with pool bathroom, gymnasium, laundry room, pool plumbing room, huge dog house in separate 500-square-meter garden with aviary for birds and other animals. 60 meters of river front of Río Copey with a 4-meter-high protective and retention stone wall. Eight surveillance camera CCTV system with Internet access from anywhere. Over 2-meter-high brick wall all around the property with two layers of razor wires on top, the safest place to be! Electronic entrance gate, door phone, Beautiful gardens with many fruit trees. Built in year 2005 to highest standard by German owner now 69 years old, who wants to downgrade. Room for two more apartments, plans approved. Only 6 minutes walk to the beach and or center of Jacó.  Price reduced for quick sale to $1,150.000 and still negotiable. All fittings and furniture included. Excellent quality and well maintained. Just upgraded and remodeled for $ 30,000. Owner financing available.  More photos on request HERE! Email: wolfganghilbich@yahoo.com  Cell 8838-2081 or home 2643-2979.
8648-7/29/14

Ringle resort
on one big lot in Esterillos Oeste, (Central Pacific)
Located on a breezy hill just 4 minutes walk to the beach, surf and tide-pools, only 20 minutes drive north to Jacó nightlife and shopping or south to the rural town of Parrita.

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Second, a completely private single-storey. 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1-bathroom home with big back yard at a lower level on the same, big fully titled 1,100M2 lot.. Full security bars at all doors and windows, plus locking vehicle access and pedestrian gates at the street. In a very safe neighborhood, with private and natural surroundings

Well maintained, fully and tastefully furnished and equipped, hot water, local phone, cable TV/DVD and high speed wireless internet   The houses have been rented for both long-term and vacation for $100/$80 per day and $1,500/$1,200 per month respectively. See this place, you will love it! Then make an offer. E-mail azucarb@racsa.co.cr or call (506) 8386-8825.  Rodney, asking $350,000.
8679-5/17/15

Finca home
 Little piece of paradise near Santiago de Puriscal, Costa Rica.       

16 acres (approximately.)   Price: $599,000USD
We are selling our beautiful finca that has been in the family for 37 years. It is located 3 miles (5 k) 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. For more  information: In the U.S.A. call the owners: Pete & Debbie Todd: 970 -221-1457 or 720-951-7928 or email toddscolorado@gmail.com. In Costa Rica call: Ivo Henfling at Godutch Realty: 2289-5125/8834-4515 ivo@godutchrealty.com
8524-6/5/15

Jaco hotel

Beautiful beach hotel for sale.
Located at Jacó Beach, Costa Rica, Pacific Ocean.
Apartotel Costa Arenas is located just 5 minutes from the beach and 10 minutes from Jacó Downtown. The perfect place to rest in a cozy and familiar environment; surrounded by beautiful gardens. We have 11 fully equipped apartments. Also has swimming pool for adults and children and private parking 24 hours.  Retail value US$700,000.00   Contact:  
Carlos Díaz  Local CR Phone: (506) 2643-2085  
Email: costarenas@ice.co.cr   Web: www.costa-arenas.com
8573-4/15/15

ARenal property
Location: Near Arenal        Price: $2.7 million
Size: 113 acres
Web site: costaricalandsales.com
email: kim@costaricalandsales.com

The farm is at the highest point on a stunning ridge bordered by pristine Costa Rican primary forest on all sides of the property, with active wildlife all throughout the area. On each of its gently rolling terraced lomas you get a glimpse of Volcán Arenal from a distance. This property has four different lagunas, a working organic farm and nursery, mature fruit trees, sheep corral, ideal for grazing horses with stunning views from all the hillsides. The Northern Zone of Costa Rica is the country's best kept secret, providing a perfect home base location to travel the country's many destinations while still maintaining the best climate at 400 meters above sea level.
8406-8/2/14

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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday, May 19, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 97
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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
U.S. and Cuba may make deal soon

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The United States and Cuba resume talks this week on the steps needed for re-opening embassies and fully re-establishing diplomatic relations after a break of more than 50 years.

Roberta Jacobson, the U.S. assistant secretary of State for Western Hemisphere affairs, will sit down for talks Thursday with Josefina Vidal, Cuba’s top diplomat for U.S. affairs.  The last round of talks led by the two top negotiators took place in Havana in March.

Talks on re-opening embassies show the two sides have made significant diplomatic progress, says Arturo Valenzuela, a professor at Georgetown University who was Ms. Jacobson’s predecessor as assistant secretary of State.

“Having observed this process very closely over the last few years, I think this is clearly an important step,” said Valenzuela.

“This is a way in which both countries can have a much deeper dialogue, despite the fact that, of course, both countries will still have some significant differences,” he added.
 
He predicted President Barack Obama would tap an experienced diplomat as ambassador to Cuba.

“It is much more likely that the post will go to a career foreign service officer. There are some outstanding career foreign service officers, including some who have extensive experience in dealing with Cuba,” said Valenzuela.

Thursday’s talks will be the first high-level engagement between the two countries since President Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro met during the April Summit of the Americas in Panama.

Both sides are anxious for more progress, said an American University Latin American politics professor, William LeoGrande. 

“I think it is possible that we may get an announcement for the date for opening embassies at the end of the negotiating session that is coming up this week,” said LeoGrande. 

The U.S. Congress has until May 29 to weigh in on President Obama’s decision to remove Cuba from the State Sponsor of Terrorism list.

LeoGrande said Cuban leader Castro has indicated his readiness to discuss appointing ambassadors as soon as the deadline expires.

“He said as soon as Cuba comes off the terrorism list, we will be able to exchange ambassadors, implying that the other issues have really been resolved,” said LeoGrande.

One of the big challenges going forward will be maintaining open channels of communications on both sides, said Ambassador Thomas Pickering, a former undersecretary of State for political affairs. 

“The access is necessary to talk to the Cubans quite frankly about the things that we object to, and they will have the same access to talk to us. It isn’t a one-way street,” said Pickering. 

He said negotiators will need to craft a diplomatic package that will withstand scrutiny and be accepted by the American people as a strong and reasonable basis for re-establishing ties.



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From Page 7:


Tire firm plans to add 150 employees

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Bridgestone Tires will put on 150 new employees over the next 18 months, company officials told President Luis Guillermo Solís Monday.

The firm will put on people trained in areas of business administration, industrial engineering, economics, statistics, international trade and related careers and graduates of accounting and finance for its shared services center, Casa Presidencial reported.

Bridgestone has has operations here for 47 years.

The trade and investment delegation headed by the president will spend the day today also in Atlanta. Then the delegation will travel to Austin, Texas, and then to Chicago, Illinois.