The last report of the work of President Luis Guillermo Solís is brief on the irregularities in the Bank of Costa Rica (BCR) that lead to the $30 million credit lines to Juan Carlos Bolaños to import cement from China.
He also failed to mention the involvement of officials from his administration in the Cementazo case, the biggest corruption scandal that shook the country since last year, which was the subject of a broad legislative and judicial investigation.
In the message delivered on Wednesday to the Legislative Assembly, Solís mentions the case only in a couple of paragraphs:
The irregularities in corporate governance reported by the control bodies in the Boards of Directors of the Bank of Costa Rica and the National Bank were confronted emphatically and forcefully, with absolute respect for the right of defense of the investigated and the sanctioning administrative procedure to which the law obliges,”
says the document.
The president also said that legal reforms should be promoted to improve the appointment of board members in public companies.
The commission of the Legislative Assembly that investigated the Cementazo scolded the Presidency for not taking action to address the irregularities in the BCR and even noted in its report that the
Presidential House never found reasons to hold accountable and apply sanctions, when appropriate, to the executives of the Banco de Costa Rica, despite the abundant existing evidence, including two resolutions of the Ethics Office in relation to the banking directive Paola Mora and the manager of the BCR, Mario Barrenechea, where sanctions were recommended. The Governing Council decided to ignore them and file them.”
That commission came to determine that the Presidency and the Governing Council instructed the Board of Directors of the BCR to appoint Barrenechea as the bank’s manager. Barrenechea was a key player for the bank to grant loans to Bolaños.
The commission even concluded that Solís failed in his duty of probity and recommended sending his case to the Office of Public Ethics.