Monday 20 March 2023

Joselyn Chacón admits having paid to “put the hurt on” the media

Last week, the health minister declared that she promised to present the resignation letter the day evidence is presented that she paid the troll to attack journalists

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QCOSTARICA ( The Minister of Health, Joselyn Chacón, affirmed on Monday that she paid to “put the hurt on” the media, during her appearance before legislators of the Electoral Finance Investigative Commission.

The Minister of Health, Joselyn Chacón, appeared before the Electoral Financing Investigative Commission on Monday, accompanied by her lawyer Juan Diego Castro. Photo: Rafael Pacheco Granados / La Nacion

Near the end of the hearing, which lasted just over three hours, the Minister herself took the floor to summarize her appearance and stated the following:

“I want to make it clear that I never paid to hurt any legislators; To the media, yes, there are three media outlets that go beyond misrepresenting the truth and yes, it is sometimes difficult to get the correct messages to the population. I do accept that, I am always going to accept my mistakes, I am going to learn,” said Chacón.

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The statement was made by the Minister minutes after questioning legislators for summoning her to a second appearance to ask her about her duties as head of Rodrigo Chaves’s campaign towards the national election’s second round.

The statement was recorded in the transmission of the legislative commission. However, legislators did not have the opportunity to raise more questions with the Minister about what was revealed or other issues because the round of questioning had terminated.

Last week, in a brief interview on Radio Universidad’s ‘Interferencia’ program, the Minister of Health declared that she promised to present her resignation letter the same day that evidence is presented that she paid the troll to attack journalists.

“This for the legislators: the day they find that I told him ‘Alberto (confirmed troll) take this money to attack a journalist or a legislator,’ that day I resign. And what’s more, I will give up my immunity very soon because I have nothing to hide.

“I hope that these people are even ashamed to ask for a public apology because what they have done hasn’t a name,” said Chacón, in a clip shared on January 25, 2023.

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Before affirming that she paid to “hurt” the media, Chacón denied her malicious intent towards legislators and said that, if it had been to do any damage, she imagines that the payment would have been made in cash.

Alberto Vargas Zúñiga, the administrator of the Piero Calandrelli troll, assured that the Minister made two payments to attack journalists, through Sinpe deposits (online money transfers) to the Minister’s driver, Richard Gutiérrez Cuesta.

In the question period, the Minister had refused to answer Frente Amplio (FA) legislator, Antonio Ortega Gutiérrez, if she had asked trolls to attack legislators after the appearance on September 6, 2022, where they questioned her on covid-19 vaccinations.

The legislator’s reaction: “On social networks, it is clear that all the legislators who asked technical questions about the terrible work of the minister with the vaccination, trolls rained down on us everywhere. Today I ask the minister if she gave the order, and she obviously refrains from answering, because we know that she is behind it”.

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“For purposes of proof, the silence of the minister and the social networks are the best proof,” added the FA legislator.


The revelation made on Monday by Chacón is contradictory to the position that the Minister of Health and the Government had held regarding the payments that the hierarch made to the troll Piero Calandrelli, through the driver of the Ministry of Health, Richard Gutiérrez Cuesta.

At a press conference on January 9, both Joselyn Chacón and the President of the Republic, Rodrigo Chaves, denied that the chief had paid the fake character Piero Calandrelli to attack journalists or legislators.

In the first instance, both alleged that it was a help for the owner of the troll to finish paying for his law university degree; then they talked about “an act of charity” by the minister and ended by saying that it was for a supposed vaccination campaign that the troll was supposed to promote through his fake profiles and his supposed contacts with influencers.

Read the original article, in Spanish, in La Nacion here

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