Several Costa Rican newspapers reported last week that the sitting vice-president and the minister of education violated the Costa Rican code of ethics.
Last week the Procuradoría General de la Ética (Attorney General of Ethics) announced that Vice-president Luis Liberman and Minister of Education Leonardo Garnier wrote letters of recommendation to Costa Rica’s state-owned oil refinery, RECOPE. The letters in question recommended that RECOPE hire a certain company to provide their marketing services.
And who owned this “certain company” being touted as a must hire?
Why, none other that the former minister of finance, recently sacked (April 2012) because he undervalued his house to avoid paying taxes. Our ex-minister of finance and his wife were seen by the sitting vice president and the minister of education as the perfect pair to provide RECOPE with marketing services.
In a statement on Radio Reloj, Attorney for public ethics, Gilbert Calderon, said, “The letters are not letters of experience but letters of recommendation which are prohibited by Costa Rican law,” Not long after he issued his statement, President Laura Chinchilla announced that there was no bad faith or malice involved. It has come to light that one of the people involved in the recommendation process was her own brother, Adrian Chinchilla.
Here is a cartoon making the rounds.
It makes fun not only of Chinchilla’s disregard for the Procuradoría General de la Ética, but also the shoddy work done on the new–supposedly modern– highway from San José to the Pacific. The large sink hole you see is real; the government has spent the last week trying to shore up the edges and find alternate routes around it.
The road has been plagued with problems since its construction and there are investigations going on into possible corruption in its making.