Vol.18  No. 501 Published Tuesday, May 1, 2018
Real Estate
About Us


Oscar Vargas clinic
Legislators said goodbye to their seats in their last session

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

In approving a new National Police Academy, lawmakers from the 2014-2015 sessions said goodbye to their posts to be replaced by a new set of politicians today.

The academy plan seeks to further professionalize the police and reach the standard of developed countries based on civilian principles and a broader comprehension of human rights.

Lawmakers also voted in favor of a treaty that bans nuclear weapons as well as other 19 bills, most of them allowing the donation of land to public entities.

However, they could not agree on one of the most discussed subjects in the past four years. The fiscal reform. It will be the duty of the new legislators to deal with what to many is the most important law at the moment. A first draft approved by the legislative committee is waiting for further review by the new plenary.

At 1 p.m., Gonzálo Ramírez, legislative president, read the resolution that closed the second extraordinary session of the fourth and final legislature.

Ramírez thanked the congressmen for their support, wished them good luck, and distributed photos of the 57 legislators.

According to sources on site, there were hugs and emotional words among legislators from all political groups.

Directorio Legislativo courtesy photo
At least for a while, political differences did not seem to matter among members of the 2014-2018 Legislative Assembly,
Epsy Campbell, Nidia Jiménez and Laura Garro from the Citizens Action Party, Otto Guevara from the Libertarian Movement and Ligia Fallas from Frente Amplio did not attend the farewell session. Ronald Calvo and Danny Hayling of the National Liberation Party, Abelino Esquivel of Costa Rican Renewal Party and Rosibel Ramos and Humberto Vargas of the Christian Social Unity Party (PUSC) were present at the event.

As of 9 a.m. today the new Legislative Assembly will be officially installed.

 Costa Rican private bank fined for receiving funds
from former Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rican private bank fined for receiving funds from former Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo.

The General Superintendent of Financial Institutions imposed a fine for $2 million on a private Costa Rican bank for not complying with anti-money-laundering controls, which allowed the entry of $ 6.5 million linked to former Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo.

The superintendent proceeded to issue the final act of the sanctioning administrative proceedings against the bank based on Article 81 of Law No. 7786.

The decision was made in mid-April and was appealed by the bank before the National Council of Supervision of the Financial System.

In August 2017 the superintendent had confirmed that the bank had been investigated for several months for having received money that the Peruvian justice system had tried to freeze as part of funds apparently paid in bribes to their president.

Toledo was accused of receiving $20 million in donations from the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht in exchange for delivering a concession to build a highway in the Amazon which would unite Peru and Brazil.

A company in Costa Rica would have been created for the sole purpose of laundering assets coming from Peru and shortly after returning the money to the hands of Toledo or his wife Eliane Karp.

 A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo  
Ricardo Toledo, former Peruvian president who apparently hid money from bribes in Costa Rica.

At the time, Toledo said that the government of Germany had compensated the Jewish survivors of the Holocaust and that his mother-in-law had received the money due to that reason. Sometime later he said it was a loan. The credit line did exist, but was paid in full 89 days after it was granted, according to the Financial Intelligence Unit of Peru.

A.M. Costa Rica tried to get a quote from the bank, but no person was willing to speak about the case.

U.S. donates $30.7 million to improve
national and Central American security

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

For the second time in a row, Costa Rica will receive a donation of $30.7 million for the fight against organized crime and the care of migrant populations as a recognition of the work performed during the Solís Rivera Administration.

From that amount, $25 million will be used by the Central American Initiative on Regional Security and $5.7 million for police training.

The donation was included in the 2018 U. S. budget approved by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump.

The donation was made public by President Luis Guillermo Solís during the delivery of three 110-foot patrol boats at the Coast Guard Station of Caldera.

The boats are part of the largest security related donation that Costa Rica received in 2017 and will allow the country greater autonomy in the protection of citizenship, marine resources, police action against drug trafficking, human trafficking and the defense of national sovereignty, according to a statement issued by Casa Presidential.

The new donation equals the amount provided in 2017 to address national and regional security issues. It is divided into three items: $25 million belong to the Central American Regional Security Initiative, which helps vulnerable populations to get job skills, leadership and entrepreneurship. The remaining $5.75 million is for police training.

Adding the amounts donated to Costa Rica by the U.S. government between 2017 and 2018 show the country has received $61.4 million.

Other donations include two patrol boats, two patrol and cargo planes, three helicopters and other equipment that have been contributing to efforts to strengthen security.

Casa Presidencial courtesy photo  
Two out of three vessels donated by
the United States in 2017.

"This is a recognition for Costa Rica as a strategic partner in the fight against organized crime and the management of immigrants from different countries. It also recognizes the good results that Costa Rica has shown in the seizure of drugs," said Román Macaya, Costa Rica's ambassador to the United States.

"In our exclusive economic zone, we have shown a very high effectiveness. Last year, 130 metric tons of cocaine were seized," added the ambassador.

According to the Costa Rican presidential house, last year Costa Rican police forces dismantled 126 narco-criminal structures, out of which 26 were engaged in international drug trafficking and 100 in local drug trafficking.

wheater122017.jpg Airports012818.jpg




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Vol.18  No.501 Published Tuesday, May 1, 2018 Second news page

Real Estate
About Us

Female politicians demand a woman as
next president of the Legislative Assembly

By AM Costa Rica staff

The Forum of Political Women of Costa Rica asked the new legislators Monday to elect a woman to the legislative presidency.

The organization is supporting the candidacy of legislator Carolina Hidalgo from the Citizens Action Party, or of any other female lawmaker who runs for the seat.

The group also proposes gender parity in the formation of the new legislative leadership, and in the presidencies and secretariats of the legislative committees.  They also want women elected as the heads of the municipal factions, as well as in the presidency and vice presidency of the municipal councils.

"As a group, we are forced to propose a joint agenda with the executive power and the legislative power aiming to tear down walls that prevent the full development of women in any field," said the group.

Hidalgo, the only woman who has been nominated so far the legislative presidency, has 10 votes from the PAC and 17 votes of the National Liberation Party meaning she misses only two more votes to reach her objective as of Monday night.

The agreement was signed by representatives of the Citizens Action Party and the Frente Amplio, Christian Social Unit and Republican Social Christian parties.

A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo      
Carolina Hidalgo is a 35-year-old lawyer
and political activist.

The new legislative assembly will fill today six new positions of the legislative directory: president, vice presidency, two secretariats and two prosecretaries.

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Vol.18  No.501 Published Tuesday, May 1, 2018 Third news page
Real Estate
About Us

Researchers will use molecular biology
to assess the quality of drinking water

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

Four researchers from the Institute of Health Research at the University of Costa Rica are part of a new project aimed at protecting the health of Costa Ricans by monitoring the water they drink with molecular biology which will allow them to find potential viral agents.

The initiative will also involve the National University and the Technological University of Costa Rica with the support of the National Technical University. In total, there will be 12 experts who will provide specialized analyzes at the microbiological and physical-chemical level.

The group of specialists began its work in April and will work for two consecutive years to determine if the water purification process is working in the ideal way. The beneficiaries will be 20 administrative associations of aqueduct systems and communal sewers, better known as Asadas, located in Alajuela, Puntarenas and Cartago.

The decision to carry out the evaluation in these areas is based on previous research that showed the possible presence of toxic substances in communal aqueducts in rural regions, said Kenia Barrantes, a researcher at the University of Costa Rica.

Water pollution may happen due to factors such as poor infrastructure, which prevents an adequate process of disinfection, as well as the excess of chlorine as a disinfectant, she explained.

The final objective is to use the results to generate a proposal that substantially improves water management.

"We'll take samples in Asadas located in areas outside the greater metropolitan area. UCR will analyze the entire microbiological part, using conventional methods for the detection of traditional indicators and molecular biology with the purpose of finding viruses, a methodology that has been little researched nationwide due to the high economic cost of molecular tests. On the other hand, the other universities will work all the physicochemical part,” she said.

University of Costa Rica courtesy photo      
The first results of the research shall be ready by 2019.

The research will be carried out thanks to financing granted by the Funds System of the National Council of Rectors. In total, $70,500 will be used to optimize existing equipment.

The selection of samples will be in the charge of National University and the Technological University experts. The collection process will last throughout 2018 in the rainy, dry and transition seasons. By 2019, scientists expect to have the first results.











Vol.18  No.501 Published Tuesday, May 1, 2018 Fourth news page
Real Estate
About Us

Organization of American States faces pressure
to further discuss the violence in Nicaragua
By A.M. Costa Rica staff

Even though Luis Almagro, secretary general of the Organization of American States and some Latin American countries have condemned the violence in Nicaragua, there is growing pressure for the crisis to be addressed inside the organization and involve the Daniel Ortega government.

So far, no meeting has been convened by the hemispheric organization, or does any seems to be planned, according to international wires. The protests in the Central American nation have lasted almost two weeks and left 38 dead.

A group of nations, including the United States, Mexico and Peru, led an extraordinary session Monday regarding the humanitarian situation in Venezuela.

During the electoral crisis that took place in Honduras at the beginning of the year, Organization of American States countries refused to convene a meeting on the issue, but they did make a statement about the future Venezuelan elections which will take place May 20.

Almagro did request a meeting about Honduras, but the request was ignored. Almagro has not yet not called for any meeting about the situation in Nicaragua but his organization has condemned violence in general terms, avoiding mentioning the government, independent groups or security forces, as many human rights organizations have done.

The Human Rights Watch organization, in its report on the crisis published Sunday, speaks of serious abuses coming from the Ortega government and the use of excessive force by the police.

Freedom House, another Human Rights Organization, said it considers what happened to be a massacre and accuses the Nicaraguan government of violations of human rights, according to Carlos Ponce, its director.

In a public letter sent to Almagro last week, U.S. senators Marco Rubio and Bob Menéndez pointed out that the Nicaraguan police perpetrated violent attacks against peaceful civilians. They asked the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to investigate what happened immediately.

Rommel Téllez/A.M. Costa Rica photo       
Saturday Nicaraguan residents in Costa Rica organized a vigil, asking Daniel Ortega to step down
as a president.

An Organization of American States mission resumed negotiations with the Nicaraguan government on reforms of the electoral system last week, but its leaders avoided referring to the current crisis which was caused by the citizen's rejection of a social security reform and ended up being a mobilization against the 11 years of Ortega’s power.

"The OAS has had the opportunity to negotiate with the government and reached some little-known agreements, but rather it has been an Ortega strategy to buy time and to forget electoral fraud and the lack of the rule of law," said Ponce to international press services.

In a joint statement released Sunday, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Paraguay and Peru urged Nicaraguan security forces to avoid excessive use of force and showed solidarity with the victims.

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Vol.18 No.501 Published Tuesday, May 1, 2018 Fifth news page
Real Estate
About Us

Orchestra for life will celebrate
five years of easing pain with music

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

Every Saturday morning for the last five years, music has taken over the National Children's Hospital.

The sound is that of the violins, violas, cellos, some percussion instruments and a pair of flutes.

The space of the Recreational Therapy Unit is taken over by members of the Orchestra for Life, a Sinem-Children's National Hospital orchestra that, despite the health challenges of its members, has performed consistently since May 2011.

Their perseverance and the support of their families joined the efforts of the National Transition Program of the National Children's Hospital and the special programs of the National System of Music Education.

To celebrate this anniversary, the orchestra is preparing to perform Saturday, May 21, along with other musicians at the Obras del Espíritu Santo facilities in Barrio Cristo Rey.

The concert will take place at 10 a.m. in the Cristo Rey del Universo Church. The activity, which will last one hour, is free and open to all.

Mariángel Rodríguez plays the flute. She is 14 years old and has been part of the project since March. She defines the orchestra as a musical therapy. "It's very nice because you know more people who have different pathologies. It's a support for everyone. To forget what one lives in the hospital and all that."

When asked about how it feels to play musical pieces in front of an audience, she says it's a very nice feeling. "It's like seeing how people like to listen to us and see that they're interested in us, that things do happen."

Lorena Álvarez, mother of the flutist, said that music is part of her family. "My great grandfather was one of the founders of the Municipal Orchestra of Alajuela. Since I had Mariángel inside me, I played music."

She also said that "institutions such as Simen or in any other field of culture are important, not only for children who have some disease, but to keep those who are stuck in the world of cell phones or vices away, so that they take time for something healthy."

Montserrat Lazo, cellist and a professor of Sinem, has worked four years of her professional career in the orchestra. Every Saturday she is attentive to the needs of the members, the children and young musicians. But her work does not end there. "We are a great family, always attentive to each of the members, we function as a great support network," she said.

A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo
Orchestra for Life, a network of people supporting the sick through music.

There are 31 young people with chronic diseases, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, epilepsy, heart disease, spina bifida, hydrocephalus, among others and patients or former patients of the National Children's Hospital, who make up the Orchestra for Life Sinem-HNN.

"At an educational level, it is an experience that gives boys the chance to enter the world of classical music, to experience new sounds different from those they are used to."

Lazo stressed that one of the biggest challenges is to keep students with a positive mindset, especially when experiencing some hard times. She added:

"It is a very valuable experience of growth. Suddenly one becomes educated again in terms of disability, since each of them is an example of perseverance, tenacity and discipline. One realizes that thanks to their desire to be part of the Orchestra, they are stronger than one would think."

Costa Rica: Remarkable Tales from Our Super Vacation Spot
By the staff and contributors at A.M. Costa Rica & James J. Brodell
A.M. Costa Rica celebrates its 16th anniversary with a compilation of classic news reports geared to the needs of foreigners living here and those elsewhere with personal or business interests in this vacation paradise.
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New World Meditation: Focusing Mindfulness Healing Awakening
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Bohemian Road Trip
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Writing a will ? Expecting an inheritance?
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The Dark Side of Pura Vida: Murder, Betrayal, Abduction and Revenge in the Vacation Paradise
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The New Golden Door to Retirement and Living in Costa Rica: The official guide to relocation
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Life is a Tropical Garden
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Make gifts from dollars or colones
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The Trouble with Cash
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Vol.18 No.501
Published Tuesday, May 1, 2018 Sixth news page
Real Estate
About Us

Art exhibit explores the design of Costa Rican houses

By A.M. Costa Rica staff
Costa Rican houses and their most characteristic designs through history are the core of an exhibition organized by the Costa Rica-Canada Foundation to celebrate its 30th anniversary.

The exhibition seeks to show the changes in the houses throughout the years with a sample of Costa Rican paintings.

A total of 22 paintings will be exhibited in the National Gallery of the Children's Museum to May 20. They will be available to the public Tuesday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"The house is a symbol that raises emotions, affections, aspirations. In it, family love is born and lives," said Carlos Francisco Echeverría, former minister of Culture and Youth.

The paintings portray the typical adobe houses of areas such as Escazú, Barva or Santo Domingo de Heredia as well as peasant, Caribbean, urban, and slums houses.

"Although for us it is very common to see paintings of houses on the walls of our homes and offices, this does not happen in the same way in other countries," said Juan José Umaña, general manager of that foundation.

A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo
The exhibit celebrates 30 years of work of
the Costa-Canada foundation.

"They reflect the essence and carry an ideal strongly rooted in the collective conscience of Costa Ricans," he said.

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(paid category)


Beautiful Balinese Style House


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More information here

Contact Us:
Local Office Phone (506) 2777-3339
Phone Rentals: 1-800-381 3770
Real Estate: 1-800-346 9724
Email: richard@manuelantonioestates.com
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Code: 9342-090318

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CR Cell 011-506-8718-9891


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Contact Us:
Local Office Phone (506) 2777-3339
Phone Rentals: 1-800-381 3770
Real Estate: 1-800-346 9724
Email: richard@manuelantonioestates.com
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Business For Sale
(paid category)

For Sale Versatile 2 Floors Building
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Code: 9328-04/15/18

Vol.18 No.501 Published Tuesday, May 1, 2018 Seventh news page
Real Estate
About Us

Fuel price increase will hit pockets as of this week

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

An increase in fuel prices approved by the Public Services Regulatory Authority will be enforced this week.

In the case of super gasoline, the increase will be ¢20 per liter; while regular will cost ¢19 more and diesel ¢9 plus.

"This time the hike takes into account the update of the single tax on fuels, as well as the adjustment made monthly in the price of hydrocarbons," said Mario Mora the energy intendent from the regulatory agency.

Through its spokesperson, Luis Carlos Solera, the Costa Rican Petroleum Refinery said that aspects such as the exchange rate of the dollar and some international political conflicts had a direct impact on the new rates. Solera is the head of economic and financial studies at the institution.

Once the increase goes into effect, super gasoline will cost ¢662 per liter. Regular will cost ¢633, and diesel ¢540.

A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo
International conflicts have had an impact in the fuel prices, according to the Costa Rican Petroleum Refinery