A series of audios published by the newspaper La Nación reveal agreements between President Rodrigo Chaves, the current Minister of Communication Jorge Rodríguez, the former Minister of Communication Patricia Navarro and other officials of the Presidential House, to manage the state guidelines of the institutions, according to their political interests. These audios were recorded and revealed precisely by Navarro and in one of them Chaves is heard interested in benefiting his friend Federico Cruz “Choreco” with a contract for $300 thousand that would later be given to Christian Bulgarelli and that it would be paid with funds from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI).
These are 7 of the main findings:
1.Benefit to Choreco and Bulgarelli
The audios of a meeting at the beginning of the Chaves Robles administration reveal that it was agreed that the contract with CABEI would be delivered to Bulgarelli’s company, even before they requested the funds from the international entity. The terms of the contract were drawn up by Bulgarelli himself and, in addition, Chaves was interested in Choreco benefiting from said contract.
“Briefly, Christian, let’s say, the idea is to be able to use some of the resources that CABEI gives us; That quote must come in the name of Patricia (Navarro), so that we can later tell CABEI that this is what we are going to spend on communication per year.”said Jorge Rodríguez in the audio.
-President Chaves: “And Choreco is going to come with Cristian or not? I haven’t spoken to Choreco for days.
-Patricia Navarro: “The time we met, the four of us met, but I think he is out of the country now, I don’t know when he will return.”
-President Chaves: “Okay, maybe I formulated the question wrong. Is Choreco going to be part of Christian’s contract?”
-Patricia Navarro: “Yes sir, that is totally clear.”
-President Chaves: “Perfect. I congratulate you”.
2. Threat to the hierarchs after Chaves’ request
Chaves He wanted to have control of state advertising contracts and even threatened the hierarchs who did not align themselves with the indication.
As his boss, on June 4, 2022, he asked Navarro to obtain the budgets of the decentralized institutions and in another meeting, he made clear what he would say at a press conference to defend the democratization of the agenda and to make it clear to the hierarchs:
“We are watching them, look how interesting, I have this little pig or this little dog that goes and smells and says ‘here there are drugs, here there is deviation’; so Don’t play games with me, because with this I will decapitate you“.
3. Chaves’ cravings
The president said that He wanted some “chineos or cariñitos” and that he had a lot of “cravings for many things,” referring to the CABEI contract for Bulgarelli.
“All I want is for the man to let me see the contract and…, maybe ask for a couple of chineos, for affection“Chaves indicated in the audio from August 3, 2022.
Yes ok, The contract does not include any remodeling of propertiesJorge Rodríguez alleged this Monday that when Chaves referred to “cariñitos y chineos,” it was to remodel the facilities inside the Presidential House for the presidential bodyguards.
Rodríguez said in the meeting that Chaves was eager to know the progress of hiring Bulgarelli and that he already had the money, referring to CABEI resources.
“Yes, Patricia, but I have told you, Federico (Cruz), a thousand times: it is not a matter of money; what I deal with are the tactics, to know what they want to do, how we are going to do it, to know how I will set the budget for them. I have the money, but if they don’t give me the tactics, I can’t understand where we’re going… I know it has to be there, but I’m trying to see the meat, because if not, we’re not going to get anywhere.“said the now Minister of Communication.
5. Breaking contracts
On August 3, 2022, the president said that he did not care about breaking contracts with the media because, when the Contentious Court resolved a possible lawsuit, the money would practically not be much.
“The worst that can happen is that they prosecute this and we go to trial for 10 years; From here to there, inflation is going to have devalued those colones and they are going to say, excuse my vulgarity, Mrs. Patricia, here is the money that I owed you for 15 years.”he said before Navarro questioned him about the wear and tear he would have in the public eye.
“Doña Patricia, public opinion is going to give a standing ovation. So what’s the concern? The contract is broken and that’s it. It doesn’t break them, it gives them notification that it doesn’t… The Administrative Contracting Law says that, for reasons of convenience, I don’t know what, the State has the right to terminate any contract“added the president.
6. “Group” calls
In one of the meetings, Jorge Rodríguez asked Chaves if the issue of contracts with the media would be discussed with the ministers in the Government Council and he answered no.
“Question, when do we implement with the hierarchs? You have to call them and tell them: ‘I don’t give a damn, Mrs. PANI, that you have the campaign signed, it’s over.’“, stated the president, to which Rodríguez responded: “What I would like is for us to have a space, I am not sure if it is the Government Council (weekly meeting on Wednesdays).”
Chaves answered no. “We call them in groups“.
7. Chaves’ favorite media
Chaves also outlined the media to which the program funds should be directed:
“There are fabulous media. It seems to me that El Mundo is a medium, I read it, it has informative quality. Channel 36 is a very good medium. Then there is TVN 14“, he acknowledged in a meeting held in August of last year, in which he also said that it was necessary to advertise in regional media in Limón and Puntarenas.