San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

18 public officials, including San José mayor, under criminal investigation

This is not the welcoming party San José Mayor Johnny Araya expected after announcing his intentions to run for president last month.  A report published by named 18 government officials currently under investigation by the Chief Prosecutor’s Office, all members of the National Liberation party (PLN), of which the mayor is one.

While an open criminal investigation is no indication of guilt or innocence – many of the cases have been ongoing for years – the report noted that candidate Araya has eight separate criminal cases filed against him, including charges reported last July that accuse the mayor of exploiting public resources for his own use during a private party he threw last year, including hiring members of the municipal police force.

Other charges include three for illicit gain, two for embezzlement, one for corruption and the final for “irregular administrative payments.”

Other PLN members currently under investigation include current second Vice President Luis Liberman, former president Oscar Arias, presidential candidate Rodrigo Arias and Education Minister Leonardo Garnier.

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