• Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Facebook page denounces alleged bribe attempt by Costa Rica’s ruling National Liberation Party

October 29, 2013

The owner of a humorous Costa Rican Facebook page called “Humor a lo Tico” on Sunday posted a message claiming a campaign worker for ruling National Liberation Party’s presidential candidate Johnny Araya offered him a monthly fee in exchange for publishing information attacking other candidates. The owner of the page also claimed he was instructed “to leave Araya alone.”

“José,” as he describes himself, posted an audio file of a telephone conversation he allegedly had with a PLN campaign worker detailing the agreement.

He also said the PLN has been creating messages and Internet memes on similar humor pages. Some of these messages – which have widely circulated in recent days – target Broad Front Party candidate and current lawmaker José María Villalta.

“José” claimed that the PLN “bought these pages” with monthly payments of ₡50,000-₡100,000 ($100-$200).

A voice on the recording can be heard asking “José” if ₡100,000 a month was sufficient to allow Liberation campaign workers to “manage” all Araya-related content on the Facebook page and give them access to publish “whatever they want, without any restriction.” Although he did not identify the person in the conversation, “José” claimed he knows that person’s identity and has other recordings from PLN members.

PLN campaign manager Rolando González on Tuesday denied any involvement in the case and called it a “smear campaign aimed at discrediting Araya and his party.”

He said opposition parties are behind the accusations and called for a “public condemnation” of them.

Villalta on Monday told the daily La República that “all these attacks will backfire, as hundreds of thousands of Costa Ricans now realize how low the PLN can go.” He added that his campaign is not affected by the online messages: “On the contrary, I see my campaign strengthened as people become aware of PLN strategies of deception.”

Araya continues to lead polling of potential voters ahead of February’s elections, while Villalta is in third, according to a University of Costa Rica poll, behind second-place Otto Guevara of the Libertarian Movement Party. 

Villalta meme

Internet memes attacking Broad Front candidate José María Villalta have been appearing at various blogs and social media pages in recent days. Courtesy of Whiskyleaks Facebook page

You may be interested

Costa Rica tourism extension: Clarifications and details
Costa Rica
2837 views
Costa Rica
2837 views

Costa Rica tourism extension: Clarifications and details

Alejandro Zúñiga - March 3, 2021

The Immigration Administration (DGME) has issued the decree formalizing the extension of tourism visas until June 1 for visitors who…

DIMEX required for vaccination, Costa Rica says
Costa Rica
16397 views
Costa Rica
16397 views

DIMEX required for vaccination, Costa Rica says

Alejandro Zúñiga - March 3, 2021

Costa Rica began administering coronavirus vaccines in December 2020, and the country hopes to inoculate its entire adult population. We've…

Campaign to help families, businesses in Guanacaste
Business
1249 views
Business
1249 views

Campaign to help families, businesses in Guanacaste

The Tico Times - March 3, 2021

Costa Rican authorities this week relaunched a campaign to support businesses and provide meals to tourism employees who lost their…