Monday 6 April 2020

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The Unusual Case of the FANAL

OPINION - The FANAL has temporarily stops focusing on producing its main contribution to "Costa Rica's public health", the guaro, to produce antiseptic alcohol and everyone applauds as if they would be the only company in the country do be able to do it....

Graft-busting goes into reverse in Central America

(Bloomberg) Latin America's war on corruption is something to celebrate. In the last few years, 11 presidents have either been driven from office or forced to answer in courts of law for crooked dealings. In a virtuous feedback loop, citizen outrage over official transgressors...

Biden Family Scandal spreads to Costa Rica

Joe Biden’s family’s domestic and international and business dealings are linked to the former vice president’s political influence, explained Peter Schweizer, author of Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America’s Progressive Elite, president of the Government Accountability Institute, and senior contributor at Breitbart News. “Everything...

Costa Rican Politicians Waste Almost $3B A Year According IDB

The report of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) “Mejor gasto para mejores vidas” (Better spending for better lives) published in 2018 estimates that in Costa Rica, 4.7% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that for that year -  almost US$3 billion dollars - is...

Mexico, Colombia and Costa Rica Lead Latin America In Doing Business

The ease of doing business in Latin America has improved over the past 15 years, by halving the number of days it takes to start a business a little more than a month on average, according to the World Bank's Doing Business annual report. Brazil...

16 Ex-legislators Targeted By Fiscalia For Accepting Trips Paid By Others

The Ministerio Publico is targeting 16 former legislators from the previous period (2014-2018), as they apparently accepted trips outside of Costa Rica paid by third parties, organizations or companies, investing whether they may or may not have committed a crime. Among the controversial trips, one...

The “Trocha” Hits The Courts 8 Years Later

La Trocha, officially national route 1856, is a trail developed in 2010 by the government of Laura Chinchilla Miranda (2010-2014) through a national emergency decree in the face of the border dispute with Nicaragua. The route was never fully completed and ceased to be a...

Costa Rica Scores Above The Regional and World Averages In Economic Freedom

Costa Rica’s economic freedom score is 65.3, making its economy the 61st freest of 180 countries in the 2019 Index of Economic Freedom. The report, prepared by The Heritage Foundation, measures components such as respect for private property, operation of state entities, taxes and market...

Latin America, a continent of discontent

Crime, weak economies and corruption are pushing Latin Americans to move abroad. Among them are citizens of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala who are emigrating en masse. They are fed up with poverty and violence, and people-smugglers have become adept at transporting them. This exodus...

El Salvador to launch commission to investigate corruption

(Reuters) - Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele is planning by early September to fulfill a campaign vow to launch an independent commission to investigate corruption, similar to a U.N.-backed body in Guatemala that brought down that country’s last president. “Within our first 100 days we will...

Mexican president López Obrador has a woman problem

After the leftist firebrand Andrés Manuel López Obrador won the Mexican presidency in a landslide last year, he vowed to “govern for all, starting with the poor.” In Mexico, “the poor” includes many women, who earn 34% less than men for doing the same job....

Guatemala votes for new president as gang violence soars

Guatemala appeared to be moving towards a second-round runoff election following a presidential vote on Sunday. Early results from 20% of polling stations counted showed center-left candidate Sandra Torres securing 23.33% of the vote compared to a second-place finish of 15.70% for her conservative rival...

Venezuela-Nicaragua-El Salvador Money Laundering Network Exposed

The immense fortune created by the combination of high oil prices and the copious extraction of black gold from Venezuelan subsoil laid the foundation for a “Bolivarian Joint Criminal Enterprise” (BJCE), according to a report signed by Douglas Farah and Caitlyn Yates, the president...

Dirty money: The real reason for Maduro’s survival

When asked to explain why their efforts to oust Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro have fallen short, Trump administration officials typically cite the sinister influence of Cuba and Russia, which they say has stiffened the regime’s resistance. What they don’t speak about so much is a...

Former Peru President Shoots Himself Before Arrest

Peru's former President Alan Garcia died on Wednesday, after shooting himself as police arrived at his house to arrest him in connection with a bribery probe Garcia, who had repeatedly denied wrongdoing, died in a Lima hospital. He was 69. Garcia, who led Peru's once-powerful Apra...

Funes’ father-in-law arrested in Costa Rica

Costa Rican authorities arrested the father-in-law of El Salvador's former president, Juan Carlos Guzmán Berdugo, wanted in his country on corruption charges, the Public Ministry (prosecutor's office) reported Wednesday.   The detainee is the father of Ada Mitchell Guzmán, the wife of the ex-president of El...

Venezuela introduces monthlong electricity rationing

Venezuela announced on Sunday the beginning of a 30-day electricity rationing plan. President Nicolas Maduro said the rationing regime would balance generation and transmission with consumption. He did not elaborate on how the rationing program would be carried out. Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez also announced on...

Guatemala Ring of Police Moonlighting as Hitmen Dismantled

Insightcrime.org - A series of arrests in Guatemala has brought down a criminal group made up of police officers working as drug dealers and hitmen, showing how the country has not been spared from the growing crisis of police criminality across the region. The network,...

Judge prohibits policemen who extorted tourists in Jacó from carrying firearms

A judge prohibited two policemen from carrying of firearms, suspected in taking money and cell phones from two tourists in Playa Jacó. The decision against the officers, identified by their last names Faerron and Falcón, was handed down Friday afternoon by the Criminal Court of...

Costa Rica’s Mafia

When the word mafia is mentioned, the first things that usually comes to mind are the likes of Al Capone, La Cosa Nostra, The Mob or Pablo Escobar. Well, the government mafia in Costa Rica is not as evil as those just mentioned but...

It Takes At Least Six Months To Fire A Corrupt Public Employee In Costa Rica

Corruption in the government of Costa Rica is a real thing. So is the lengthy process of firing an alleged corrupt public employee. In 2018, corruption was the second cause of dismissal of the central Government. In 199 of the cases of dismissals registered in...

Brazil’s Authorities Show Suspicious Funds Transfers to President’s Son Account

Brazilian financial authorities have identified suspicious money transfers into an account of President Jair Bolsonaro's son in 2017, the Globo news outlet reported Saturday, citing the country's Council for Financial Activities Control. According to the outlet, in 2017, 48 cash transfers of 2,000 reals (US$500)...

Judge denounces doctors who issued a medical report in 7 minutes

Three forensic doctors were denounced by Judge María Victoria Salas, for a medical report that they made in just 7 minutes and that served as the basis to pension her - unjustly - at age 33. Salas was diagnosed with Sjogren syndrome, a disorder of...

Maduro Doesn’t Care That People Call Him a ‘Dictator’

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Wednesday that he was not a ‘dictator,’ but a ‘modest man’. © REUTERS / Miraflores Palace “I don’t care that people call me a dictator. Those who say I’m a dictator can go to hell. I know who I am...

Is Latin America Harboring a Mafia State?

(Panam Post) Many analysts are shocked at the collapse of Venezuela, a nation that was once showcased as the cradle of modernity in Latin America. This surprise of course springs from the fact that most observers failed to realize that the ascent of the...

Peru: Odebrecht Strikes Again as Fujimori Dynasty Teeters on Brink of Collapse

To say that it’s been a bad week for the Fujimori family would be putting it mildly. First Peru’s Supreme Court overturned a pardon for former president Alberto Fujimori, which will send him back to jail to complete a 25 year prison sentence for...

Guatemala Responds After President Attacks Anti-Corruption Protests (Photos)

Guatemalans took to the streets Friday to protest president Jimmy Morales' announcement that the government would not renew the work visas of the members of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), just days after Congress announced they would move forward with a...

Guatemala Independence Marked by Calls for Morales to Resign

As President Jimmy Morales gave a speech Friday night to celebrate Guatemala's 197 years of independence in the Constitution square, citizens chanted the slogan "Get Out! Get Out!" Annually on September 14, Guatemalans carry the fire of the independence in symbolic marches. This year, in...

Referendum on Proposed Anti-Corruption Laws Falls Short in Colombia

A set of anti-corruption initiatives in Colombia failed to attract the required number of votes Sunday, despite earning nearly 100 percent support of the voters. Supporters rallying for the nation’s new peace agreement with FARC hold a giant flag during a march in Bogota, Colombia,...

Brazil: Poll Shows Jailed Lula Extending Lead for October Election

BRASILIA — Jailed former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has increased his support by 5 percentage points and would win Brazil's October presidential election if he was allowed to run, a poll by CNT/MDA showed on Monday. The survey, which was last taken in...

‘Kick them all out!’ Peruvians Continue Anti-Corruption Protest

Peruvians marched in the streets across the Andean country late Thursday, many carrying effigies of rats or vultures, to demand anti-corruption reforms clean up the country's institutions following the resignation of the head of the judiciary. Thousands took to the historic district of the capital...

Former Minister Self-Exiled In Costa Rica Sentenced By Romania Court

UPDATE: Costa Rica's immigration service, Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería (DGME) said, "what proceeds now is to assess or review the actions that will be carried out by the country where the person was convicted (as per international arrest warrant, alert by Interpol,...

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