San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Lawmakers file criminal complaint against former transport minister

Lawmakers from the Public Expenditure Commission, including Manrique Oviedo, Patricia Pérez and Walter Céspedes, filed a criminal complaint with the Prosecutors’ Office against former Public Works and Transport Minister Francisco Jiménez and other former officials for alleged embezzlement in the scandal-plagued project to build a road along the San Juan River, along the border with Nicaragua.

The complaint includes Carlos Acosta, former director of the National Roadway Council, Manuel Serrano, an engineer responsible for the project, and Manuel Brenes, a legal department official.

The three lawmakers said the document filed with judicial authorities “named Jiménez, Acosta and Serrano as the masterminds of government embezzlement” of an undisclosed amount of government funds, as well as other irregularities with the project.

Lawmakers also said that after three months of congressional hearings, the legislative commission failed to uncover how much taxpayer money was spent on project, a situation they categorized as “very troubling.”

On Tuesday, the Comptroller General’s Office also filed a complaint against Jiménez on charges of influence peddling and fraud.

The officials were removed from their jobs last May, when the scandal involving allegations of corruption with contractors became public.

Contact L. Arias at

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