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A Cementazo Christmas! Legislative Commision Requests Sanctions Against 29

 

The legislative commission, Comisión Investigadora de Créditos Bancarios de la Asamblea Legislativa (Banking Credits Investigative Committee of the Legislative Assembly), delving into the Chinese cement scandal named #Cementazo, tabled its report that recommends sanctions for 29 public officials of the three branches of government and two state banks.

Members of the Legislative Commission delving into the #cementazo – Chinese cement scandal. Photo La Nacion

On the list appears President Luis Guillermo Solis, presidential candidate Otto Guevara, legislators from various political parties, prosecutors and magistrates.

The 294-page report details the case that has already seen Juan Carlos Bolaños, the Chinese cement importer and a group of Banco de Costa Rica (BCR) banking officials charged and currently in preventive detention (jail) awaiting the completion of the judicial investigation that could lead to a trial.

The report lists the people involved in the case related to the granting of two lines of credit to Bolaños, the modification of a regulation for the commercialization (marketing and retail sale) of the cement by the Ministry of the Economy (MEIC) and the nationalization (landing in Costa Rica of a shipment of 20,000 tons of cement.

The report also requests sanctions for those involved in the sale of a hydroelectric plant, by the Holcim cement company to the Cooperativa de Electrificación Rural de San Carlos (Coopelesca) using a loan of ¢32.7 million from the BCR.

The list:

  1. Luis Guillermo Solís, President of Costa Rica
  2. Mariano Figueres, director DIS, the country’s intelligence service (spy agency)
  3. Wélmer Ramos,  former minister of the Economy, PAC legislative candidate
  4. Daniel Gallardo, former president of the CNE and legislative candidate for the Renovación Costarricense
  5. Wálter Céspedes,  former legislator and PUSC legislative advisor
  6. Fernando Rodríguez, former deputy minister of Hacienda (Finance):
  7. Benito Coghi, former director of Customs
  8. Johnny Leiva, PUSC legislator:
  9. Otto Guevara Guth, legislator and Movimiento Libertario presidential candidate
  10. Rolando González, PLN legislator
  11. Víctor Morales Zapata, independent legislator (formerly for the PAC)
  12. Paola Mora, former director of the BCR:
  13. Ronald Solís, former director of the BCR:
  14. Gustavo Arias, former director of the BCR:
  15. Alberto Raven, former director of the BCR
  16. Francisco Molina, former director of the BCR
  17. Evita Arguedas, former director of the BCR
  18. Mónica Segnini, former director of the BCR
  19. Mario Barrenechea, general manager of the BCR (on leave and under indictment. He is currently in preventive detention)
  20. Pablo Villegas, secretary of minutes of the Board of Directors of the BCR
  21. Fabián Volio, legal advisor of the BCR Board of Directors
  22. Eduardo Ramírez, Legal Director of the BCR
  23. Víctor Carranza, president of the Banco Nacional (BN)
  24. Omar Briceño, director of the Banco Nacional
  25. Juan Carlos Corrales, general manager of the Banco Nacional
  26. Jorge Chavarría, former Fiscal General (Chief Prosecutor, stepping down when the scandal broke)
  27. Berenice Smith, suspended prosecutor
  28. Celso Gamboa, justice of the Supreme Court (Sala Tercera)
  29. Roy González Mora, Coopelesca advisor

For details of each see the list published in La Nacion (in Spanish)

The word of President Solis

Within minutes of the commission report, in an appeal to the public, President Luis Guillermo Solis took to the social media last night to deny any involvement in the #Cementazo scandal and defending his intelligence director, Mariano Figueres.

The video was published on his personal Facebook account.

Likewise, he rejected the so-called “lack of probity” that the commission credited to the Executive Power in terms of “ensuring the proper use of public resources”, in relation to the millionaire loans that the national banking system – mainly the BCR – awarded Juan Carlos Bolaños.

“Let it be very clear: I have never instructed any official to violate any legal system or to intercede with a particular company or person. Whoever says otherwise, is missing the truth.”

“As President of the Republic I can assure you with confidence and tranquility that I have never allowed or will allow any act of corruption or influence peddling or undue favoritism,” said Solis. “It will be in the courts of justice where corresponding criminal responsibilities are determined”.