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Cablegate: Costa Rica: Nicaraguan Election Chief in $95k Controversy

VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSJ #0977 3361621
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 021621Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0079
INFO WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE
RHEFDHP/DIA DHP-1 WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEHMU/AMEMBASSY MANAGUA

UNCLAS SAN JOSE 000977

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL NU CS PINR
SUBJECT: COSTA RICA: NICARAGUAN ELECTION CHIEF IN $95K CONTROVERSY

1. (U) Nicaraguan Supreme Electoral Council president Roberto Rivas
has caused a stir in Costa Rica for the second time in a month,
after reports came out on November 26th that he and his family have
been improperly using duty-free cars with diplomatic license
plates. The cars (valued at a combined USD 338,000) are officially
assigned to the Nicaraguan Embassy, where Rivas' brother Harold
Rivas is the Ambassador. Roberto Rivas saved an estimated $95,000
by importing them duty free. The Costa Rican MFA confirmed that
Roberto Rivas and his family are not accredited diplomats in Costa
Rica, and has said that they will be looking into the matter
further.

2. (SBU) This comes almost a month after reports surfaced that
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega's children were living in a USD
4.4 million condominium complex outside of San Jose owned by Rivas.
Rivas and his family live between Nicaragua and Costa Rica, where
they own at least one additional piece of property and a private
plane which Embassy contacts say makes frequent trips into and out
of the country.

3. (SBU) Comment: Embassy sources have told us that there might be
more to come regarding Roberto Rivas and his activities in Costa
Rica. The Nicaraguan public servant has amassed quite a collection
of high-priced toys is a country where his official immigration
status is that of a visitor. While he might have hoped to keep a
low profile in Costa Rica, good investigative journalism has
brought to light his questionable choice of tenants and probable
tax-fraud.
BRENNAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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