Grisly Threats Precede Liberation Assembly

August 19, 2005

• Otto Guevara was named the official presidential candidate for the Libertarian Movement last weekend during the party’s national assembly, held at the climax of a dispute over party leadership between so-called extreme and moderate liberationists. Party secretary general Raúl Costales, treasurer Kattia Chavarría, and Adrián Cordero, who was also contending for the presidential candidacy, all told the daily La Nación they received threats against them and their families in the days preceding the assembly, including a dead dog with a menacing message allegedly placed in front of the door of a hotel owned by Cordero. Costales did not attend the assembly and Cordero has resigned from the party.• A 24-year-old man has made a ¢257 ($0.54) claim against the campaign of presidential candidate Óscar Arias for an unwanted cell phone message he received, featuring the candidate’s recorded voice soliciting his vote. Engineer Marcial Rivera says the campaign owes him the message retrieval charges and for his time listening to it, the daily La Nación reported. The recorded messages from Arias, a former President and Nobel Peace Prize winner, were left earlier this year on cell phones in an effort to attract young voters but stopped after more than 6,000 complaints were made (TT, June 10). Rivera is the first person to make a monetary claim against the campaign.• Although international treaty expert Alvar Antillón is a member of President Abel Pacheco’s Council of Notables, charged with analyzing the merits and drawbacks of the Central American Free- Trade Agreement with the United States (CAFTA), he also hopes to become a legislator for the Citizen Action Party (PAC), which is staunchly opposed to CAFTA as it was negotiated. Antillón told the daily La Nación he will not let the party’s interests supersede the interests of the country, and he will impartially evaluate the trade agreement. • Legislative discussion of the controversial Permanent Fiscal Reform Plan continues slowly, as assembly discussion has been frustrated by absences prohibiting a quorum. While the absent legislators include tax plan supporters, opponents of the plan, namely Libertarian Movement Party legislators, told the daily La Nación they are intentionally skipping sessions.

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