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Weekly Report - 24 June 2021 (WR-21-25)

COSTA RICA: Rocked by a new scandal

“One of the most impactful cases of public corruption in recent times”. This was the assessment by Wálter Espinoza, the director of Costa Rica’s judicial investigation agency (OIJ), of a corruption scheme involving construction companies and public works which he said cost the government some ₡78bn (US$126m) in public funds and has so far resulted in some 30 arrests. President Carlos Alvarado’s top aide, Camilo Saldarriaga Jiménez, has stepped down, although he was not among those arrested. Alvarado himself has so far not been directly implicated. However, with Espinoza remarking that some 70 suspects had been identified in relation to the case and investigations ongoing, the fallout could prove damaging for the centre-left Partido Acción Ciudadana (PAC) ahead of the general election next year.

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