President’s plane trip to Perú results in the first resignation

The president’s trip to Perú on a private plane has turned into something of a train wreck for the Chinchilla administration.

The first candidate for the ax is  Francisco Chacón, who was minister of communications. That was a new job created by President Laura Chinchilla to enhance her public image.

Also Wednesday the Ministerio Público, the prosecutorial agency, requested and got documents from Chacón and  Mauricio Boraschi, the anti-drug czar who is a vice minister of the Presidencia. Prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation.

The plot grew thicker Wednesday when opposition lawmakers and the Spanish-language newspaper La Nación revealed that the plane on which Ms. Chinchilla and her companions traveled is owned by a company that has links to a Colombia  businessman.

Casa Presidencial had said that the plane was owned by a Canadian petroleum firm, but it turns out that the firm is based in Panamá.

It was  Chacón who set up the trip. which also included, the president’s husband and a couple of close political allies.

Ms. Chinchilla was back in San José Wednesday and said she knew nothing about the travel arrangements.

The press office of the Poder Judicial said that a legislator has presented a criminal complaint about the trip, thus triggering a prosecutorial action.

Chacón, himself, said at an evening press conference that he was sending aspects of the trip to prosecutors because he claimed that the man who offered the use of the plane did not use his real name. The president has used the plane previously. She used it to attend the funeral of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela.

Chacón said he knew the man as Gabriel Olafán but that in fact he is Gabriel Morales. The owner of the plane has been reported to be the firm THXEnergy.

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