Monday 21 June 2021

Former Envirnment Minister Sentenced To Three Years

201501281031070.DOBLESCARGOS128QCOSTARICA  -Former  Environment Minister Roberto Dobles has been sentenced by a Goicoechea court to three years in prison for his role in the ramming through of the permits to allow the Industrias Infinito company to work the Las Crucitas open pit gold mine.

Although the mine was potentially tremendously lucrative — literally a gold mine — a series court actions blocking establishment of the mine ensued, brought by residents of the mine area and environmentalists. At the time the permits were issued, then-President Oscar Arias (2006-10) had designated the mine as “in the public interest.”

However, Dobles will not go to prison because the court, specializing in white collar crimes, suspended his sentence. The court found that Dobles had issued the “public interest” decree illegally and had, moreover, allow the environmental agency Setena to pass the mine without an environmental impact study.

- Advertisement -

The trial, in which Dobles was the best known figure of seven defendants, began Oct. 27 and heard 27 witnesses. The prosecution asked for a dozen years prison time for illegally favoring the Canadian gold mine company. Since that happened, Infinito has been in courts, fighting for the permits.

After the Arias term was over, his successor, President Laura Chinchilla, issued a decree banning open pit mines. Moreover, belatedly, studies by the Environmental Ministry determined that the firm had caused grave damage to the natural setting of the mine with wanton deforestation.

The defendants were tried under the “prevaricato” articles of the Penal Code which specify public servants taking action in defiance of the law, punishable by two to six years of prison. Even before Chinchilla’s ban on open pit mining, a court cancelled in November of 2010 the permit to work the mine at Cutris.

While this decision stopped the mine development at this point, it still did not shut the door to the mine being reactivated. Since then, Infinito spent many days in court finally suing for recompense for the initial investment in developing the mine. Currently, the company is seeking international arbitration.

- Advertisement -

The original permit issued by Dobles’s instructions allowed Infinito use of 192 hectares along with permission to cur trees while still protecting water resources. Attorney for the defense, Laureano Castro told La Nacion that he intends to appeal after study of the decision.

Other defendants are Cinthya Cavallini, former chief of the National Mining Registry, former secretary of the environmental agency Setena Sonia Espinoza, other ex-officials of the agency, Eduardo Ledzema, Jorge Boza, Carmen Cruz and Jose Corrales.


Comment: After the mishandling of evidence in the trial of the murder of environmentalist Jairo Mora and the loud protest internationally at the release of seven defendants, the granting Dobles a suspended sentence is bound to cause more questions of whether this country is serious about protecting nature.

- Advertisement -

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.

"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Related Articles

Week immersed in passage of tropical wave, June Solstice and Veranillo

QCOSTARICA - Today, Monday, June 21, is the day of the...

Germany opens borders to Ticos from this Friday!

QCOSTARICA - Good news for Ticos with traveling fever! From Friday,...


Tourism sector depends on political will for recovery

QCOSTARICA - The future of tourism operators in Costa Rica depends on the political will to approve a package of bills that favors the...

OIJ investigation into road works corruption leads to inquiries in Panama

QCOSTARICA - The prestige of the company of some of the richest men in Costa Rica hangs by a thread. For many, the MECO...

Lack of space on Racsa’s hard drive paralyzed immigration consultation at the airport this Monday

RICO's DIGEST - We've all had this happen, your computer's hard drive is full and your computer crashes. But we are not the Radiográfica...

“Caso Cochinilla”: Name arose when comparing parasite with hidden corruption

QCOSTARICA - On Monday, the Organismo de Investigacion Judicial (OIJ) moved to the raid, seize and arrest of their investigation into corruption of public...

Week immersed in passage of tropical wave, June Solstice and Veranillo

QCOSTARICA - Today, Monday, June 21, is the day of the year when the sun stays the longest on the horizon, therefore it is...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction June 20: only “EVENS” can circulate

Today, Sunday, June 20, only vehicles with "EVEN" ending plates CAN circulate The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm, save...

Cynthia Ann Telles named new U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica

QCOSTARICA - Today, U.S. President Joe Biden announced his nomination of Dr. Cynthia Ann Telles as United States ambassador to Costa Rica. According to the...

The Best Sports To Play On A Beach

Costa Rica has some of the best beaches in the world. The coastline is blessed with golden sand, beautiful palm trees, and perfect blue...

Immigration system failure affected passengers at the San Jose airport Monday

QCOSTARICA -  In yet another system-wide failure in the immigration check-out, passengers looking to leave Costa Rica Monday morning by way of the Juan...


Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.