QCOSTARICA – In a resolution this Wednesday, the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones (TSE) – elections tribunal – ordered to lift the banking secrecy of at least five financiers of the campaign of Partido Progreso Social Democratico (PPSD) candidate, Rodrigo Chaves.
Being an ongoing investigation, it is not possible to know the name of the people. However, the case is related to the alleged creation of a parallel financing structure that involves a trust to raise thousands of dollars to finance Chaves’ proselytizing efforts to reach the presidency.
In this case, the complaint was made by Adriana Brenes, secretary of the PPSD.
The opening of accounts was requested by the Department of Financing of Political Parties, forcing banks to deliver the information to the Tribunal.
The formation of an illegal financing structure for the political campaign could be punished with a prison sentence that ranges between two and six years for offenders, according to the Electoral Code.
The sanction aims to prevent the creation of parallel structures outside the law and thus stop companies and foreigners from financing election campaigns, or worse, funds from illicit activities.
At the moment it is clear that the trust did not report, as required, to the TSE before October, which is when the official starting signal for the elections.
The emerging party, the PPSD, considered the trust – in a press release on March 9 – as private and therefore legal activity.
“Rodrigo Chaves’ candidacy was ratified on September 19, 2021. Before that date, the Costa Rica Prospera trust operated as a private activity, not regulated by the electoral code. That is an initiative of a group of citizens not prohibited by law. (…) The trust was dissolved on September 18, 2021, one day before Rodrigo was elected as a candidate. As of that day, the trust only liquidated the contracts in progress and returned the remainder to its donors on October 8, 2021. Nothing is hidden in the trust,” said Arnoldo André, representative of the campaign, in the press release.