San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Libertarian leader in trouble

Since May, the Libertarian Movement Party has faced continued scrutiny about the party’s accounting of ₡250 million ($500,000) spent during the 2010 municipal election campaign. On May 18, the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) raided the party’s offices in San Pedro, in eastern San José (TT, May 20).

Since the scandal broke, the Supreme Elections Tribunal (TSE) and prosecutors have been investigating the origin of party campaign funds. A group of lawmakers also created a commission to lead their own investigation of the case.

Earlier this week, the daily La Nación uncovered a new fund-related scandal involving the party. According to the newspaper, after the 2010 election, the party charged the TSE, which reimburses parties for campaign costs, ₡210 million ($417,000) to pay for a series of campaign workshops that appear to have never taken place.

Paperwork submitted by the party billed the TSE for 194 political workshops allegedly held by the Instituto Libertad y Progreso (ILPRO). Otto Guevara is president of both the Libertarian Movement Party and ILPRO. La Nación’s investigation found that instructors never charged for the lectures, and many of the names listed in the audience never attended the events.

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