For those of you following the china cement corruption scandal “Cementazo” in Costa Rica, this week has brought even more interesting things to light, affecting people such as the President of Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solís.
The President was put in the spotlight by congressman Víctor Hugo Morales Zapata who declared in front of the Commission investigating the ¨Cementazo¨ case that he always acted ¨in close communication and coordination¨ with President Solís.
¨I have been a friend to the President, his shield against unfair and treacherous attacks, most coming from close people rather than strangers, and I have considered myself his brother. I always acted within my functions, and in close communication and coordination. Never without his agreement and consent, ¨ declared Morales, who is being investigated for influence peddling.
Morales affirmed that he was fighting the cement duopoly in Costa Rica (established by Holcim and Cemex) and was in favor of opening the market to other parties such as (Sinocem Costa Rica from Juan Carlos Bolaños); he criticized the President for having ¨lost his impulse¨ in this battle after having fought ¨with dignity and responsibility towards a decent and honorable goal¨.
President Solís, on the other hand, responded with the following message to the people:
“Costa Ricans, I have always spoken the truth. I say it today and I will continue to repeat it looking into your eyes. The Government decided to promote a public policy to break a duopoly that has dominated the cement market which translates into high prices for Costa Ricans.
This action were done according to law, providing equal conditions to any company that wanted to compete in this market. However, the businessman that requested bank credits to import cement from China incurred in actions that are today being investigated.
The implementation of this public policy for the economic reactivation and the generation of jobs had the participation of ministers, vice-ministers, technical commissions of different entities and the business sector. Also congressman from the Asamblea Legislativa, among them congressman Víctor Hugo Morales Zapata.
Due to my duties as President, I didn’t participate or have any knowledge of the details of said implementation, this was one more of the many topics on my work agenda.
I limited myself to providing general guidelines, to comply with the objective established in the National Development Plan of creating the conditions that would allow the decrease in the price of cement.
In this process, I never requested from Víctor Hugo Morales Zapata, or anyone, to carry out any illegal actions, I never promoted the specific interests of any company and I never authorized anyone to use my name to inappropriately facilitate a favor of any kind that would put in doubt the legal frame of our country.
Neither was I asked to do anything that could break the law. No one involved in the implementation of this policy. No one could act outside of these principles.
Despite this, it seems evident due to the information that has come out in the last weeks, that without my knowledge and stepping away from the frame of legality already mentioned, some people could have taken decisions contrary to the spirit of respect to legality. It is there where the justice institutions should continue with the investigations with the objective of clearing matters to the last consequences. I have said this on many occasions.
When I made the decision to request your vote, to serve you and have the highest honor of my life, I did so in front of the population, committed to the defense of the most sacred values of the Costa Rican democracy.
In front of the Legislative Commission, I offered my statement and I can affirm with all calmness that for me the oath I made is sacred. I said the truth and I stand by it.
I am satisfied that this case has reached the justice system and I trust that they will strengthen it and strengthen the institutions. I have given my entire support to the investigations being carried out, essential to clarify the events which have occurred. A democracy is in the courthouse, and not anywhere else, where the guilty are punished and the innocent are set free.
My spirit is serene because I have not ordered, promoted, made or incited any act contrary to the law. The Presidency of the Republic has acted respecting the duty of integrity and the rule of law with the means end of benefiting the largest number of Costa Ricans. I have acted and will continue acting with the goal of having the truth surface. All the truth.
Thank you and be good“, concludes the President.
So who is telling the truth? Only Time and the further investigation will tell.