San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Presidential Hopeful’s Office Wasn’t Bugged, Police Say

• Several suspicious objects found last week in the office of legislator and presidential candidate José Miguel Corrales are not microphones after all, police investigation revealed; instead, they are tiny magnets put together in such a way that they resemble microphones.Those who found the objects, perhaps having read “All the President’s Men” one too many times, thought they were microphones. Investigators have not concluded how the suspicious objects ended up in the Patriotic Union candidate’s office.• Former President Luis Alberto Monge (1982-1986), of the National Liberation Party (PLN), reiterated last week that he will cross party lines and support presidential candidate Antonio Álvarez Desanti – who left Liberation last year to found the Patriotic Union Party – rather than Liberation candidate and former President Oscar Arias (1986-1990). Monge also said Liberation has been “kidnapped” and if Arias is elected, he will be a “de facto” President, the daily La Nación reported.• Presidential candidate Ricardo Toledo, legislative candidates and other members of the Social Christian Unity Party (PUSC) held intense meetings last weekend in an effort to find common ground at a time when the party seemed to be falling apart, particularly after its divisive assembly two weeks ago (TT, Aug. 19) and with two former PUSC Presidents under house arrest because of corruption allegations. Toledo emerged saying the Unity Party is now truly united and will work together to “knock on doors” in search of support.• Members of the Libertarian Movement Party are considering accepting the party’s share of the government’s funding of political campaigns, a practice the party has staunchly criticized and rejected in the past. Under the Constitution, the government divides a sum equal to 0.19% of the gross domestic product (GDP) among parties based on the votes they received in the previous election for their subsequent campaigns. Libertarian candidate Otto Guevara told La Nación his party is considering accepting the funds because private donations have been “Satanized,” which makes it harder to find funds.• Finance Minister Federico Carrillo has said a $30 million loan for a new building for legislators (TT, Aug. 26) is not within “the universe of priorities for the state” this year, and perhaps could be considered in the future, according to La Nación. “There are also rats in school lunchrooms,” he added, referring to both the state of the current legislative building and the state of public education. For his part, President Abel Pacheco said a new legislative building is “very important.”• Citizen Action Party legislator Epsy Campbell continues to be one of the most popular Costa Rican leaders. In a Demoscopía poll published in the daily Al Día, Campbell received favorable opinions from 73.2% of the 1,200 adults polled, followed by San José Archbishop Monseñor Hugo Barrantes (72%), Arias (63.9%), Chief Prosecutor Francisco Dall’Anese (63%) and Álvarez Desanti (57.9%). The poll has a margin of error of 2.8%.

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