Lawmakers want investigation of president’s flight to Perú

Although she is in Perú, President Laura Chinchilla is in the middle of controversy.

Lawmakers of the Partido Acción Ciudadana Tuesday called for an investigation of the president by the Procuraduría de la Ética, an arbiter of governmental activities.

The allegations of impropriety arose because Ms. Chinchilla and some of her staff took a trip on a plane owned by what has been identified as a Canadian petroleum company. This appears to be the second time that Ms. Chinchilla and others have used the aircraft.

Ms. Chinchilla is in Lima for the wedding of a child of one of the country’s two vice presidents.  Belatedly she was reported to have an appointment to speak with Peruvian President Ollanta Humala on Monday.

The lawmakers challenging the trip are Gustavo Arias and Jorge Gamboa, who wrote the Procuraduría de la Ética after the Spanish language daily La Nación revealed the trip.

Another problem is that the Costa Rican Constitution says that a president must notify the legislature of any foreign trips and their purpose. Ms. Chinchilla did not do this.

The lawmakers also suggested that Ms. Chinchilla violated the law by accepting a gift from a private firm.

The investigation is not likely to have significant results. As president, Ms. Chinchilla has immunity to any criminal actions and the ethics prosecutor is far from criminal. At worst a report will be prepared after a long investigation criticizing what the president did.

The president has less than a year left in her term and she cannot run for re-election. She has opposed gold mining and the drilling of exploratory petroleum wells in the northern zone. But none of these projects involved the Canadian firm.

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