“Costa Ricans: I’ve always told you the truth. I say it today, and I’ll continue to say it, looking you straight in the eye.”
President Luis Guillermo Solís released a video Tuesday evening about the unfolding Chinese cement scandal in which he reiterated that while he supported changes in public policy to end the country’s duopoly on cement in order to reduce prices for consumers, he was not party to any of the alleged wrongdoing that took place when the policy changes were put into practice.
“Because of my duties as President, I didn’t participate in and was not aware of the details of that implementation. It was one of many other issues on my agenda,” he said in the video message.
The scandal, popularly known as the “cementazo,” has implicated members of all three branches of government – as well as board members and managerial staff of one of the country’s public banks – who allegedly misused their positions to improperly promote the Chinese cement import business of Juan Carlos Bolaños.
Bolaños and six Banco de Costa Rica staff members were arrested Friday and ordered to serve three months of preventive detention while the investigation continues.
Read more about how the scandal began, its potential impact on Costa Ricans’ trust in their government, and what it means for the Judicial Branch.