Lawmakers vote to investigate Libertario campaign funding

The legislature voted Tuesday to set up a special commission to investigate and report on the financing of the Movimiento Libertario campaign in the last presidential, legislative and mayoral elections.

Prosecutors are investigating Olman Rimola, the unsuccessful Libertarian candidate for mayor of Escazú and others who donated money to the political party. In one case the donation was $1 million.

Rimola is a 40-year-old businessman associated with Innovative Data Solutions, a Rohrmoser call center that was involved in online poker. Some employees of poker companies have been detained in the United States for violating a law that prohibits such online games in that country. Others, including U.S. citizens who were in Costa Rica, are being sought.

The U.S. government alleged money laundering and conspiracy, which is why the Costa Rican investigators are involved.

The Partido Liberación Nacional was the motivating force behind the legislative investigation. Libertarios abandoned
Liberación to form a coalition with former opposition parties to capture the legislative leadership at the beginning of the month.

Luis Gerardo Villanueva Monge, the legislative leader of Liberación, said that the ruling bloc, called Alianza por Costa Rica acted to protect the Libertarios.

Liberación will have seven lawmakers on the seven member investigative committee.

The Liberación leader said that the investigation might broaden to include checking on the financing of other parties.

Otto Guevara Guth was the Libertario candidate for president.

Political campaigns in Costa Rica get government money based on the number of votes earned. But that is after the election. So parties usually borrow money from banks to finance the campaign until the government money comes.

Movimiento Libertario appears to have accepted financing from individuals. The Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones also is looking into the situation.

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