December 28th, 2012 (InsideCostaRica.com) The controversial border road built by Costa Rica on the Nicaraguan border, which has come to be known as “La Trocha,” was built using funds that the National Road Council (CONAVI), had originally put in their budget to be used for repairing unpaved roads, building bridges, marking roads, improving streets and repaving national roads with asphalt.
The information was obtained from a document that the National Comptroller’s Office sent to the Income and Expense Control Commission in the Legislative Assembly, who is currently investigating irregularities surrounding the construction of the road.
According to the report, CONAVI transferred over 27 billion colons (about $54 million USD) from various budget items into a section of their budget they titled “unpredictable works,” from which the money to build the 160-kilometer border road was taken.
The transfers were made between 2011 and 2012, and almost 19.2 billion colons (about $38.5 million USD) were assigned to the construction of the “Trocha” road, which was built as a result of a territorial dispute between Costa Rica and Nicaragua over the Calero Island after Nicaragua stationed a dispatch of soldiers there.
In additon, CONAVI spent 2.5 billion colons (about $5 million) that came from the National Emergency Commission (CNE), for a total of 21.7 billion colons spent.
Six out of every ten colons transferred to build the “Trocha” were originally to be used towards unpaved roads in the country.
The remaining were initially designated for 26 various projects, among which were highway markings and work on the Virilla River bridge on the General Canas Highway (also known as the “Platina” bridge).
Additional funds that were to be used for repairing the nation’s roadways, work on the Barranca River Bridge, and others, were used instead for the “Trocha.”
Asked by the media, Carlos Acosta, ex-Director of CONAVI, denied not carrying out other projects – such repairs to the “Platina” bridge – as a result of the construction of the “Trocha.”