President: Filmmaker’s Assertions Not Accurate

August 27, 2004

COSTA Rican President AbelPacheco this week said U.S. filmmakerMichael Moore’s portrayal of Costa Ricain his controversial film “Fahrenheit9/11” as one of the countries that supportedthe U.S.-led invasion of Iraq is notaccurate.“I’ve been told Costa Rica is portrayedas a country that declared war andthat’s not true,” Pacheco said during hisweekly Cabinet meeting Tuesday. He saidhe has not seen the movie, because ofproblems with his vision.“The only thing Costa Rica did wasexpress solidarity for a neighbor in itsfight against terrorism and against a dictator.Saying that we declared war is sayingthings that aren’t true,” Pacheco said.The documentary has sparked controversyeverywhere it has been shown,including Costa Rica, where it debutedlast Friday (TT, Aug. 13, 20).The film makes reference to CostaRica’s participation as a member of the“Coalition of the Willing,” the officialWhite House list of countries that supportedthe invasion of Iraq. Moore usedan oxcart to represent Costa Rica in ascene where he mocks some of the countriesthat supported the war.Pacheco denies he ever supported thewar against Iraq or violated Costa Rica’sneutrality (TT, May 14). However, CostaRica remains listed on the White House’sWeb site as a member of the coalition.Several polls conducted during the lastyear and a half have shown most CostaRicans oppose Pacheco’s decision toinclude Costa Rica as part of the coalition.Hundreds of Costa Ricans have taken tothe streets to protest the Iraq invasion.In April 2003, the Ombudsman’sOffice filed a motion before theConstitutional Chamber of the SupremeCourt (Sala IV) alleging the government’ssupport of the Iraq invasion is unconstitutional.Earlier this month, the Sala IVheld hearings on the matter (TT, Aug. 13).In a non-binding report requested bythe Sala IV, the Government Attorney’sOffice said Pacheco’s decision had violatedthe Constitution. Other Costa Ricanswho testified against the governmentcited Costa Rica’s appearance inFahrenheit 9/11 as one of the negativeconsequences of the government’s decisionto back the war.The Sala IV is scheduled to rule onthe matter within the next two weeks.

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