Costa Rica News – It seems to me that it should be considered a scandal if someone running for office has a legal case against him for any reason, especially so if it’s for not paying his bills or debts. In Costa Rica, the issue is being taken too lightly. And it’s not just one potential official.
In total, 65 candidates who are considered to have a chance at winning an elected office in the elections on February 2 were convicted for not paying debts! Among them, there were 113 civil lawsuits. 13 of the convicted had properties or cars taken away because of the debts. The debts totaled 188 million colones, with most of the complaints coming from banks, financial entities, individuals, and legal fees from the Costa Rican Social Security.
This data came from a study done by the Research and Intelligence Unit of La Nacion. They examined over 500 vital records in the Judicial Archives, looking for the names of the 340 candidates most likely to be elected.
In addition to the proven debts, there are claims that have not yet had their time in court. These possible debts total over 312 million colones. 91 candidates have a claim filed against them. When looking specifically at those running for president, vice president, or a seat in Congress, they found 205 civil lawsuits against those candidates.
The group of legal claims goes from nonpayment of encyclopedias, electronics, telephone bills, cars, language courses, to those late in mortgages with the state banks. The largest companies listed as plaintiffs include El Gallo mas Gallo, Credomatic, ICE vehicle agencies, and even large banks and municipalities.
Banco Popular sued one the the candidates for 418,000 colones, which his sureties were required to pay, in 1996. He now says, “Everything is in order. I think this is very good what they are doing. All people who will exercise a position in the government have to be clean.”