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Things are escalating for Presidenta Laura Chinchilla.

Vice President Luis Liberman and Education Minister Leonardo Garnier are now being investigated by the Costa Rica’s attorney general for the crime of influence peddling. That was the court’s conclusion after analyzing letters of recommendation written on behalf of a business in regard to a possible ¢ 17 million contract with RECOPE. (Read this opinion piece from the Tico Times)

The case is being investigated from a criminal angle to find out if Garnier and Lieberman violated Article 52 of the Law of Illicit Enrichment (Now there’s a term for you).

If the attorney general determines they did indeed violate the law, Liberman and Garnier could be subject to dismissal and a could face between two and five years in prison. Sounds tough, but the operative word in that last sentence is “could.” They could face dismissal and could face between two and five years in prison.

Two ex-presidents have already been convicted on corruption charges and have never served any time for their crimes.

Why would these guys be any different?