SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA – September 27th, 2012 – President Laura Chinchilla’s last response, when asked on August 29th about the $8 million discretionary donation from China, was that it would be used for “technology or education.”
However, after requests for help from areas that were affected by the September 5th earthquake began, the money quickly disappeared – after a clarification from the Chinese government.
The truth now seems to be that there is no $8 million ‘discretionary’ donation from China. It was a communication mistake on behalf of the Chinese authorities.
The Foreign Minister, Enrique Castillo, explained that, in the beginning, the government thought this was a discretionary donation, but once the document had been signed, the Chinese government stated that that funds were to assist in the construction of the National Police Academy.
Therefore, it would seem the money couldn’t be invested in technology, computers, Limon, Puntarenas, or anything else that President Chinchilla may have mentioned, without breaking the agreement with China.
Adding to the mystery and miscommunication that has surrounded these funds since President Chinchilla’s return from China – Carlos Ricardo Benavides, Minister of the Presidency, says he prefers not to call this a communication error, though he stated he was not present in China. However, he claims that the “donation” was actually a line of credit.