Former President Oscar Arias faces criminal charge over Crucitas case

August 23, 2018

Chief Prosecutor Emilia Navas has presented criminal charges against former President and Nobel Peace prize winner Oscar Arias for breach of duty.

The charge stems from a probe into whether Arias failed to uphold his presidential responsibilities by allowing a Canadian gold mine to operate in Costa Rica in the name of “the public interest” back in 2008.

The probe was originally dropped in 2014 by former Chief Prosecutor Jorge Chavarría, who was suspended last year for failing to uphold his duties in a corruption scandal, but Navas revived it last October when she took office.

Arias’ Environment and Energy Minister at the time, Roberto Dobles, was originally convicted and sentenced in the case, but that verdict was overturned by an appeals court that ordered a new trial, which began in last September.

Despite the 2008 decree that Arias signed, the Canadian gold mining company, Infinito Gold, did not open the mine because a Costa Rican court voided the authorization on environmental grounds.

Since then, the northern area of Las Crucitas, where the Canadian mine was supposed to operate, has been occasionally occupied by informal miners looking for gold.

They caused serious environmental damage through the use of mercury and by dumping debris into rivers before police removed the miners.

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

‘School of second chances’ opens in Costa Rica
Editorial
219 views
Editorial
219 views

‘School of second chances’ opens in Costa Rica

Todd Scala / Head of Fundraising - February 16, 2019

Kimberly Marín Jarquín, like many Costa Ricans, never received her high school degree.  She stopped attending school in the 8th…

Maduro blasts US for ‘stealing’ billions and offering ‘crumbs’
Costa Rica
486 views
Costa Rica
486 views

Maduro blasts US for ‘stealing’ billions and offering ‘crumbs’

Maria Isabel Sanchez / AFP - February 16, 2019

President Nicolas Maduro hit out at the United States on Friday for "stealing" billions of dollars and offering "crumbs" in…

Arias and second Costa Rican politician reportedly accused of additional sexual crimes
#MeToo
947 views
#MeToo
947 views

Arias and second Costa Rican politician reportedly accused of additional sexual crimes

Alejandro Zúñiga - February 15, 2019

Costa Rica's sudden introduction to the #MeToo movement is not showing signs of slowing down. Thursday afternoon, the daily La…