• CURRENT COSTA RICA COVID TOTALS

    Confirmed 184,187, Deaths 2,416, Recovered 141,374

  • CURRENT COSTA RICA COVID TOTALS

    Confirmed 184,187, Deaths 2,416, Recovered 141,374

CPCs Demand Gov’t Audit of ‘Hambre Cero’

February 20, 2009

MANAGUA – The Office of the Comptroller General is auditing the Sandinista government’s poverty reduction program, Hambre Cero, amid allegations of mismanagement that recently prompted the program’s director, Gustavo Moreno, to resign.

Moreno, who was also reportedly upset about budget cuts that will affect the program, announced his resignation two weeks ago amid allegations from leaders of the controversial Councils of Citizen Power (CPCs) that sickly cows were being given to poor farmers under his management.

The program, which is funded by the Nicaraguan government, Venezuelan aid and the Inter-American Development Bank, seeks to benefit 80,000 families living in extreme poverty and stimulate production by giving each family a cow, a pregnant pig, 10 hens and a cock, as well as seeds for animal feed and basic crops. In the long-term, the five-year program seeks to then organize families into profit-sharing cooperatives (NT, Feb. 13).

Moreno resigned after CPC leaders reportedly complained to Agriculture Minister Ariel Bucardo that cows being given to poor farmers were in poor health. The CPCs also said they suspected that private intermediaries were skimming off the top of the program and that Moreno was getting a cut, according to Moreno’s recent interview with the daily El Nuevo Diario.

The report from CPC leaders in León and Chinandega prompted Bucardo to request a the Comptroller’s audit on Jan. 31, according to Agriculture Ministry spokesman Lester Juárez.

The Comptroller General’s Office will audit $23 million in government contracts for the program, according to the government source.

“It’s necessary to do a whole investigation of the program’s execution,” Bucardo told government media. “We’re not persecuting anyone; what we want is to clear this up and to find those responsible for any problems.”

Bucardo also called for CPCs to “keep pointing out errors, because we’re obligated to respond, to clear up situations that aren’t correct.”

President Daniel Ortega created the CPCs in 2007, saying they are grassroots Sandinista organizations that will encourage “direct democracy” and give the poor a role in governance. Critics say the CPCs are para-state groups that take orders from the Sandinista leadership and undermine existing democratic institutions.

CPCs, critics claim, have substituted traditional civil society with official Sandinista groups, weakening citizen participation in government rather than encouraging it.n

 

You may be interested

Costa Rica has administered 25,000 vaccine shots, Caja says
Costa Rica
16148 views
Costa Rica
16148 views

Costa Rica has administered 25,000 vaccine shots, Caja says

The Tico Times - January 15, 2021

Costa Rica’s public-health system has administered nearly 25,000 coronavirus vaccine shots, the Social Security System (Caja) reported. The figure —…

FAQ: The United States’ new Covid travel requirements
Costa Rica
2599 views
Costa Rica
2599 views

FAQ: The United States’ new Covid travel requirements

The Tico Times - January 15, 2021

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has announced that all international airline passengers flying to the United States must show proof…

UK bans South American, Panama arrivals over Brazil virus strain
Central America
1527 views
Central America
1527 views

UK bans South American, Panama arrivals over Brazil virus strain

AFP - January 15, 2021

Britain will ban all arrivals from South America, Panama, Cape Verde and Portugal from 0400 GMT Friday over fears of…