Culture ministry target of search

The anti-corruption prosecutor and judicial agents searched the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud Tuesday as part of an investigation of excessive payments in past years.

The press office of the Ministerio Pública confirmed the search by the  Fiscalía Adjunta de Probidad, Transparencia y Anticorrupción.

The agency, which is home to prosecutors, said that the team confiscated paperwork including contracts and a computer.

The allegation was lodged by the ministry itself under the new administration of Elizabeth Fonseca.

After local news reports surfaced that a majority of the ministry’s exposition contracts were given to one purveyor, Ms. Fonseca called for an investigation.

The culture ministry reported questionable expenses that were charged for five major cultural events. Those in question are the Festival de las Artes, Enamorate de tu Ciudad, Colegio de Costa Rica, Festival Internacional, and the Feria Internacional del Libro.

Ms. Fonseca said her ministry’s investigation found that since 2011 spending on these programs had rocketed when compared to past years. The minister of Cultura y Juventud under the Laura Chinchilla administration was Manuel Obregón.


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