Tuesday 21 September 2021

Cross-Border Investigation: Tracking the Covid-19 Money

Q REPORTS – Central American governments allocated millions of dollars to attend the pandemic. In what and to whom did the money go?

This is the question asked by various media in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico in coordination with the Centro Latinoamericano de Investigación Periodística (CLIP) – Latin American Center for Journalistic Investigation – in a cross-border collaboration.

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The result was a series of reports that were published simultaneously.

In Guatemala, CLIP in alliance with Guatemala Leaks (a journalistic platform made up of Agencia Ocote, El Intercambio, Ojoconmipisto and Plaza Pública) confirmed that the government does not want to reveal who were the beneficiaries of the rescue funds for workers and businessmen. Testimonials from small businessmen and professionals reveal that the benefit was not for them, but without information on these public monies, it is difficult to know if they are the norm or the exception.  Read the complete report (in Spanish) here.

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In Honduras, to help the productive sector due to COVID-19, the Government of Honduras authorized borrowing up to US$2.5 billion dollars and commissioned a state bank to provide guarantees and credits that favored small and medium-sized companies. However, this research found that, despite the promises, the money has benefited private banks, business conglomerates and midsize companies the most. The microenterprise has received almost no official relief. Read the complete report (in Spanish) here.

In Costa Rica, who won and who lost in Costa Rica during the pandemic? Following the trail of the Bono Proteger and Emergency bonds, Costa Rica Noticias found that 684 thousand Costa Ricans received US$380 million with the bond, which even benefited a few hundred who earned between 1 and 5 million colones. Aid for entrepreneurs is still under discussion in Congress. Read the complete report (in Spanish) here.

In Mexico, Where did the money from Jalisco go to attend to health in the pandemic?  When the global virus broke out, the Mexican state of Jalisco went into debt and received federal money, but still did not protect all that it owed. While medical services were not enough, PODER discovered that many resources went into remodeling a private hospital, advertising Jalisco as an investment destination, and even paying for drivers and coffee. Read the complete report (in Spanish) here.


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We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

Q Costa Rica
Reports by QCR staff

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