Was he really saying that Casa Presidencial harbors gunmen for hire?

Saying bad things about presidents is a long-running national sport in the United States, but elected officials here have thinner skin.

That is why President Luis Guillermo Solís dashed off a letter to legislator Ottón Solís demanding a public apology.

The legislator has referred to three close associates of the president as sicarios on a television interview show.

Sicario means hit man or hired gun in Spanish. So far no one has called Casa Presidencial seeking to do away with a wayward spouse, but Solís seems to prefer to take the word literally.

This is the latest episode in the Solís-Solís soap opera where the two men with identical names and from the same political party seem to be becoming political enemies.

Ottón Solís also heads the legislative finance committee, and he has been ripping holes in the executive branch’s 2015 budget.

The head of the Partido Liberación Nacional delegation in the legislature, Antonio Alvarez Desanti, suggested in a statement that a president cannot govern with such a sensitive skin. He no doubt remembers how Laura Chinchilla, a member of his party, quickly became a laughing stock during her administration.

In fact, Ms. Chinchilla brought an unsuccessful slander case against a critic.

Ottón Solís was referring to  Melvin Jiménez, minister of the Presidencia; Mariano Figueres, the director of the Dirección de Inteligencia y Seguridad Nacional, and Víctor Morales, a lawmaker.

Late Wednesday President Solís issued a statement saying that he was not gong to talk about the situation in public any more. However, he did not rule out some other action.

If any legal action is contemplated, it would seem that the three presidential associates would have to initiate it. That were the ones called sicarios. However, as a sitting legislator, Solís has immunity from criminal action.

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