PLN legislator Maria Ocampo
ML Legislator Ernesto Chavarría
During the past elections, the Guanacastecos elected four legislators who will work for Guanacaste’s development. The Liberacion Nacional party obtained three of the four seats for Congress, with the Nicoya-born physician, Luis Antonio Aiza, a businesswoman from Liberia, Maria Ocampo, and Luis Fernando Mendoza, an expert in political sciences from the town of Cañas. The other seat belongs to the Movimiento Libertario party, which elected Ernesto Chavarría, a stockbreeder from Nicoya.
But within Liberación the elected legislator, María Ocampo, is being questioned because her family apparently took hold of Playa Cabuyal, in Liberia, in an illegal way. The family claims to have a real property deed.
Cabuyal’s privatization resulted from a mistake made by Liberia’s Concejo Municipal (the Town Council), who endorsed the blueprints of the Finca Santo Tomás, which is owned by the Román Ocampo company, belonging to the legislator’s family. Everything started back in 2005, when Luís Román Trigo – a businessman and husband of the elected legislator –, requested the town council’s endorsement, on several occasions, for the blueprints of Finca Santo Tomás, which is located in the Nacascolo district of Liberia. This Finca includes almost five kilometers of the maritime-terrestrial zone in Playa Cabuyal.
Nonetheless, there were many doubts about these proceedings and the Municipalidad said that they did not have good legal counsel, as was confirmed at the time by the town councillors in a letter to the Defensoría de los Habitantes.
On the other hand, Ernesto Chavarría, the legislator elected for the Movimiento Libertario party, had charges brought against him and was convicted for having taken over a finca known as the Hacienda Chorotega, which is owned by other people in Guanacaste. This property is located in Monte Galán, Nicoya.
After undergoing a trial, on July 4th, 2003 Guanacaste’s Juzgado Civil y de Trabajo de Mayor Cuantía, agreed with the property’s owners and ordered that the elected legislator and his son relinquish the property.
A year later the ruling was confirmed by the Tribunal Agrario of San Jose’s Segundo Circuito Judicial and, at this moment, the process is still in the enforcement of judgment stage: also, the Hacienda’s owners are charging Chavarria with nearly 18 million colones to cover the damages caused to the property, as well as the legal and processing fees.
Out of the five regidores (councillors) of Nicoya’s Municipalidad that will take office starting May 1st, the Liberación Nacional party has three of them almost secured. Nevertheless, while the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones (Supreme Electoral Tribunal) is still counting the province’s votes, it cannot be known for sure who will be the elected councillors. According to the vote count done during election day, Liberación would be represented by the Physical Education teacher, Rodolfo Orozco, by another teacher, Ana Espinoza and by current councillor, Jose Antonio Méndez. On the other hand, the Movimiento Libertario party could also get one spot, which would be occupied by Juan Luis Aguirre, while the last place would be taken by Carlos Medina of the Acción Ciudadana party (PAC).
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