San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
The Racy Red Scare

Cosmetics company Avon Costa Rica really does not want you to vote for José María Villalta

Avon, the “company for women,” had its franchise in Costa Rica scolded by the country’s Supreme Elections Tribunal for distributing political propaganda along with its mail-order products.

The tribunal, or TSE,  ordered the beauty products company to stop distributing propaganda after dozens of people complained of having received offensive political fliers in the mail.

Sending political messages to staff or associates (aka customers) during an election campaign to influence their votes violates Costa Rican elections laws, the TSE noted in its warning to the company.

The fliers included messages like “No communism” and “Our families and jobs are in danger” printed over a Costa Rican flag.

“In order to help you and your family make a conscientious decision, we want to explain the concepts of democracy, freedom, trade and communism,” the fliers stated.

Next to the words democracy, freedom and trade, Avon Costa Rica displayed a list of parties that “share this vision,” including the Social Christian Unity Party, Libertarian Movement Party, Citizen Action Party and the ruling National Liberation Party.

But next to the definition of communism, only one party appeared: the Broad Front Party.

TSE President Luis Antonio Sobrado on Friday said that abiding by the cease-and-desist order is mandatory, and that Avon Costa Rica could face criminal charges if it continued sending the fliers.

Sobrado added that the TSE had received at least 20 complaints on Wednesday alone.

Broad Front Party candidate José María Villalta on Thursday described the messages as “a clear reference” to his candidacy and his party, and he accused Avon Costa Rica of conducting a fear campaign against him.

The Tico Times was unable to reach Avon Costa Rica by phone, as several calls to the company went unanswered.

Avon Costa Rica did respond on its Facebook page, saying the fliers were sent “without the knowledge or approval of Avon Products, Inc.”

In earlier Facebook responses, Avon Costa Rica social media managers said the company had only distributed the fliers, which they said were prepared by private individuals.

“Our only goal was to open a channel of communication to a group of entrepreneurs, as many other organizations have done in the past, to facilitate the delivery of a message regarding democracy,” one Avon Facebook response said. That post seems to now have been deleted.

Sobrado said the TSE would continue to evaluate the complaints as they filed in, and more actions could be pending.

Article 279 of Costa Rica’s Electoral Code outlines penalties of up to six years in prison for those found guilty of “acts of coercion, violence, threats or reprisals taken to induce a person to vote in a certain way, to support a certain cause or refrain from doing it.”

Avon sales force and associated received the pamphlet attached to invoices.

(Courtesy of Avon Costa Rica Facebook)

Contact L. Arias at

Log in to comment


He is a commie. What’s wrong with the truth?

0 0
Gus Montoya

Just because someone has money doesn’t mean that they are Facist, this term has been used by the communist for many years to create fear in the minds of the voters, so they will vote only for the socialist and communist parties and the truth is that JOSEPH STALIN, kill 1,000,000 more people than Hitler, STALIN killed over 8,000,000 million people, the communist system has always been more repressive, than any other system in the world. So stop being so stupid in trying to
think that communism is the salvation of this world, it has never happen and it will never work.
Communist people keep dreaming, because that is what communism is all about a “DREAM”

0 0

The word is Fascism. And I too believe Avon should not only be severely punished for this, but also something considerable added to the punishment as a warning for others who would promote Fascism. I believe Italy’s Mussolini was treated very fairly in the end.

0 0

My Conversation With a PLN Surporter

ME asking Why do you Like Johnny Araya?

PLN says Johnny is really rich and like rich in Costa Rica.

ME asking PLN have coruption is that okay?

PLN says Coruption is okay because Costa Rican are passive and don´t get mad so we can steal from them.

ME asking The road and Caja are falling apart should we fix them?

PLN Says No we only help are friends the rich not the poor or middle class.

Me asking Does the PLN have a plan?

PLN say no not really we say one thing during election and do nothing when we get in power.

Me asking Why do you hate poor?

PLN say poor are there to pick coffee.

Me asking Who owns Costa Rica?

PLN say the rich family that help PLN

The truth about the PLN

0 0

Right on Daniel you are right. Shame on Avon i will tell everyone to Boycott product and my wife is going to get ride of all Avon products.

0 0
Daniel Volz

I just don’t know where to begin to express my reaction with such a blatant unethical maneuver that resembles a corporation that seems to be so fearful of ……what? Communism? I hope the electorate are intelligent to realize most corporations are based upon excessive profits over the quality of life of people. Just look at the corporations in the U.S. …..Greed not communism,socialism any ism will destroy the quality of life. Capitalism is flawed in the sense that it’s unsustainable…Sad to see such fear being used to scare people….

0 0