Costa Rica. According to Countryaah, the most serious political crisis for the government since it took office three years ago broke out in May, when it was revealed that three top politicians in President Laura Chinchilla’s inner circle had close links with Ricardo Morales Fallón, a notorious businessman suspected of drug smuggling. Minister of Communications Francisco Chacón, Security Chief Maurício Boraschi and one of the President’s advisers were forced to step down as a result of the scandal. All in all, the state of affairs of the ruling National Liberation Party (PLN), which has already been at the center of a series of corruption scandals, deteriorated, and not least President Chinchilla’s own image for the February 2014 presidential election, when she hopes to be re-elected.
Another adversity for the government was the National Audit Office’s stop for the modernization of Costa Rica’s only oil refinery in Moín, which was to be co-financed by a Chinese oil company, but which the National Auditor Marta Acosta sentenced at the end of June because of budget and contract text irregularities. Costa Rica risks large fines for breach of contract, which also applied to other international agreements with companies from Canada and Brazil.
The border conflict with neighboring Nicaragua around the San Juan River flared up again when Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega in July announced plans for concessions to oil companies for oil exploration in the area. One of the few successes for PLN during the year was otherwise that their candidate was elected to the presidency in Congress in May.