Six persons detained in case of northern border roadway

Judicial agents have arrested six men, including the former director of the Consejo Nacional de Vialidad, two other former government officials and three contractors.

Agents suspect that these men all played a part in embezzling money meant to go towards a road along the Rio San Juan on Costa Rica’s northern border.

The still-incomplete road has become infamous for having fallen into disrepair far quicker than expected even by Costa Rica’s standards for roads. It has become known as the the trocha or trail.

The most prominent person arrested Wednesday morning is Carlos Eduardo Acosta Monge, the former director of Costa Rica’s government agency in charge of regulating all roads in the country.

Additionally, a bulletin from the Judicial Investigating Organization said that two low-level former government officials were also detained. A judicial spokesperson identified these men as Manuel Francisco Serrano Alvarado, the engineer responsible for the project, and Miguel Francisco Ramírez Marín, workplace supervisor.

The other three men arrested were in charge of businesses with which the government contracted on the project. All three of these men were arrested in Guápiles within an hour of each other.

A judicial spokesperson identified these men as Giovanni Gerardo Baralis Crosetti, David Mauricio Castillo Villalobos and Johnny Manrique Muñoz Sanabria.

Judicial sources did not identify which businesses in which these three men were involved.

Anti-corruption prosecutors raided six businesses, Monday morning, that also worked on the border road, but none of them was in Guápiles, according to a press release from the Ministerio Público.

These businesses are VH Constructora S.A in Ciudad Quesada, Movimientos de Tierra y Acarreos ALFRITZ S.A. in Boca Tapada, Constructora Basavi S.A. in Pital, Compañía Constructora MONRO S.A. in La Tigra, WSP Constructora S.A. in Curridabat and Construtana R&A S.A in Sarapiquí.

According to the press release, these businesses were not raided earlier because prosecutors thought that they had not yet been paid for their work. It was later found that the council did pay these companies.

The roadway, Ruta 1856, is the project that President Laura Chinchilla rushed through because of incursions into Costa Rican soil. The road provided an option for travel along the northern border. The other option is to travel in the river, which is within Nicaraguan territory.

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