Thursday 30 March 2023

Since 2018 MECO has received contracts from the State for more than ¢139 billion

Data from the Comptroller General reveal that most of the contracts came from municipalities.

Paying the bills


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30 March 2023 - At The Banks - BCCR

Paying the bills


QCOSTARICA – Almost ¢140 billion colones (US$227 million dollars) is the amount the MECO construction company was able to snare for public works contracts between 2018 and June 2021.

Data from the Comptroller General reveal that most of the contracts came from municipalities.

Specifically, it is ¢139,219,247,219, according to the information available from the “Consultations on Administrative Contracting” portal of the Contraloría General de la República (CGR), the Comptroller General.

According to the CGR, the company achieved contracts with local governments for more than ¢107 billion.

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Read more: OIJ investgiation into road works corruption leads to inquiries in Panama

On the other hand, the central government and other autonomous institutions awarded contracts that exceeded ¢31.8 billion.

A municipality that contributed big to MECO contracts was that of Carrillo, Guanacaste, for more than ¢50.9 million for the “improvement of the cantonal road”, in 2018.

The municipality of Pococí for his part contributed the sum of ¢32.6 million, a figure that includes a contract for 2021 for “improvement of the asphalt road network and placement of hot asphalt mix.”

Of the provincial capitals of the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM), the one that spent the most on contracts with MECO was Cartago, with ¢1.9 billion (¢1,910,484,456). The capital city of San Jose settled accounts with this company in just over ¢457.5 million.

Big slices

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Although, as stated, most of the ¢139 billion that MECO received came from local governments, and in fact, some of them signed decidedly large contracts, the reality is that many of the contracts made with municipalities are not for large amounts.

Some institutions did represent on their own a more than a generous contribution to the coffers of the construction company.

As expected, the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad (Conavi) leads this list with more than ¢15.6 billion, followed by the General Directorate of Civil Aviation, over ¢6.4 billion.

Some of the juiciest contracts awarded to MECO have to do with paving cantonal roads. (Photo: Miriet Ábrego)

Two data that draw attention are that the Comisión Nacional de Emergencias (CNE) signed contracts with MECO for more than ¢4.2 billion, while the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes (MOPT),  for ¢20.5 billion.

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On the other hand, the Presidencia (Executive Branch) reported on specific works contracted with this company. In the first place, the construction of the new bridge over the Virilla River on Route 32, between Tibás and Santo Domingo, was consigned for an amount of $22.3 million dollars. This project was financed by the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) and was executed by Consorcio Virilla 32 S.A., made up of MECO and the Spanish company Puentes y Calzadas.

The overpass in the Rotonda Garantías Sociales was also noted, for US$16.7 million. In this case, together with MECO, the execution was in charge of Conavi, and the United Nations Office for Project Services (Unops).

Finally, the binational bridge in Sixaola for US$25 million. Those funds came in part from the governments of Mexico and Panama. In this case, under the figure of the Sixaola Binational Consortium, the executors were MECO and the Mexican companies Cal & Mayor y Asociados, and Mexpresa.

Article was translated and adapted from the Semanario Universidad. Read the original here.


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