IN THE NEWS ~ Canadian MP asks his government for the report on the alleged donation to Fundación Arias

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OVER MORE THAN A YEAR AGO, JUSTICE CANADA REPRESENTATIVES SENT INFORMATION TO THE COSTA RICAN ATTORNEY GENERAL ABOUT THE CASE

Canadian MP asks his government for the report on the alleged donation to Fundación Arias

  • New Democratic Party member criticizes his government for not being open and for not releasing information of public interest
  • After two requests for information, the Costa Rican Attorney General asked for the case against the ex-president of Arias to be dismissed.

by Manuel Sancho  published by CRHoy.com in Costa Rica http://www.crhoy.com/diputado-canadiense-pide-a-su-gobierno-reporte-por-supuesta-donacion-a-fundacion-arias/

Canadian Member of Parliament, Peter Ju­lian demands information about what his government provided to the Costa Rican Attorney General.

Member of Canadian Parliament Peter Julian sent a question to his country’s government to obtain information about the alleged donation from a foundation headed by the largest shareholder of the group that controls Industrias Infinito to Fundación Arias.

While in Costa Rica, this case is close to being closed, since the Attorney General is refusing to continue the investigation against Oscar Arias (link to a Spanish-language article http://www.crhoy.com/fiscalia-pide-desestimar-causa-contra-oscar-arias-por-industrias-infinito-alega-falta-de-pruebas) for alleged lack of evidence (link to a Spanish-language article http://www.crhoy.com/fiscal-sobre-supuesta-donacion-a-fundacion-arias-con-lo-que-tenemos-no-se-puede-levantar-secreto-bancario) in the country where the mining company is located. This development could lead to new information.

At least this is what Julian, parliamentarian and member of the NDP, hopes to accomplish by sending his question officially to the Executive Branch of his country, so that they respond regarding the funds sent to Costa Rica in this case. The Executive Branch must respond within two months.

The mechanism is called an order paper ques­tion and requests public information or information that the government manages, which in this case is the offer of $250,000 made by Ronald Mannix through the Norlien Foundation to Luis Cordero, director of Fundación Arias, as reported by La Nación newspaper in 2012 (link to a Spanish-language article http://wfnode01.nacion.com/2011-04-28/ElPais/NotasSecundarias/ElPais2759878.aspx) and the possible payment of this amount.

The MP told crhoy.com that this was an attempt to unravel the mystery and to answer questions being asked in Canada. Julian commented that there was not much information about this issue, but that a number of requests for information were made to authorities, who have not adequately responded.

See Julian’s full question: Q-837 - Canada, Calgary's Infinito Gold vs. Costa Rica https://peterjulian.ca/node/703

“In a request made to the Department of Justice, even though the documents that were reported existed, only a few pages were released. ­There is a problem obtaining information from Canadian authorities,� said Julian.

He also criticized the current government in power, the Conservative Party led by Prime Minister Stephen Har­per. Julian said that there was a problem with accessing information, which was not surprising. However, he reiterated that the government must respond.

The MP is also encouraging people to go on social media, where users are questioning whether Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Peter Ma­cKay has information about the alleged donation.

Julian referred to the information that was not released, to the 200 pages of the Canadian report to the Costa Rican Attorney General, which was not shared in Canada.

“Pushing the government to release documents that may contain and provide answers to the questions that people are asking. (…) I am optimistic, because there will be federal election in 2015 and it seems that the current government will be pushed out of powerâ€�, said Julian, who believes that the truth will inevitably come out.            

As this newspaper reported at the beginning of the month and earlier in 2013, Infinito Gold’s financial situation is on shaky ground ([link to a Spanish-language article  http://www.crhoy.com/minera-que-denuncio-a-costa-rica-recibe-otro-prestamo-mientras-espera-fallo-positivo-en-arbitraje/) and it just received a new loan from Exploram Enterprises Ltd., its principal shareholder

Exploram, through Coril Hol­dings, is controlled by Ronald Mannix, one of Canada’s richest men, who is originally from Alberta and a fortune of more than $3 billion, which puts him among the 15 most richest people in the country according to Canadian Business.

Read about what Canada did provide and why the Attorney General refused?

Ju­lian does not accept the government’s negative response and even though he said it was reluctant to provide information, it has not been proven that legal ties exist between the large mining company and the corporation behind it with the political sector.

Industrias Infinito brought a case against Costa Rica before the ICSID for $94 million for bad investments in the Crucitas project (CRH Archives)

However, as Canadian activist Rick Arnold said, the current Premier and leader of the governing party in Alberta, Jim Prentice, was on the Board of Directors of the company that controls Infinito Gold, as well as one of the biggest banks in Canada.

Pren­ti­ce was also a member of the Board of Directors of Coril Holdings (of which Infinito Gold is a subsidiary) between May 2012 and June 2014. His biography on the Wikipedia site mentions his experience as a lawyer who handled environmental cases.  However, his profile was modified, which generated controversy in the famous shared encyclopedia. Before this, he was an MP, Minister of the Environment and Ministry of Industry.

For 11 months, Canada’s legal system refused to provide Arnold with the status and information on what Costa Rica was requesting.

Now, Julian is hoping for better results. The MP tabled a bill on Canadian mining companies operating in foreign countries. The plan provides resources to countries, namely the victims, to go after companies if they violate human rights or damage the environment.

Julian believes that the majority of Canadian companies work ethically and do not damage the country’s reputation, but that there are “bad apples�. He is currently trying to get answers and information to find out if this is the case with Infinito Gold and Industrias Infini­to in Costa Rica.

However, he admitted that he was disappointed with the company’s insistence on appealing legal decisions that it lost in Costa Rica, as well as the idea of bringing proceedings against the Costa Rican State before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes. (link to a Spanish-language article http://www.crhoy.com/presidenta-del-tribunal-que-vera-demanda-de-industrias-infinito-recibio-cuestionamientos-en-el-pasado/)

“We have problems with the mechanisms to resolve State-investor disputes because they take issues out of the court system, controlled by citizens, and put them in backrooms. As members of the NDP, the Opposition and a social democratic party, we believe that these arbitrations and mechanisms minimize public policy and allow companies to seek compensation when the laws are respected,� criticized Julian.

***

DESDE HACE M�S DE UN AÑO, JUSTICIA DE CANAD� ENVIÓ INFORMACIÓN A LA FISCAL�A COSTARRICENSE POR EL CASO

Diputado canadiense pide a su gobierno reporte, por supuesta donación a Fundación Arias

·Jefe de fracción del Nuevo Partido Democrático critica que su gobierno es cerrado y evita dar la información de interés público

·Tras dos solicitudes de información, la Fiscalía pidió desestimar la causa contra el expresidente Arias

22 de diciembre de 2014  

Manuel Sancho http://www.crhoy.com/diputado-canadiense-pide-a-su-gobierno-reporte-por-supuesta-donacion-a-fundacion-arias/

El miem­bro del par­la­men­to ca­na­dien­se Peter Ju­lian exige in­for­ma­ción sobre lo que su go­bierno apor­tó a la Fis­ca­lía tica. (Ima­gen to­ma­da del Fac­beook del fun­cio­na­rio.)

El in­te­gran­te del par­la­men­to de Ca­na­dá, Peter Ju­lian, envió una pre­gun­ta al go­bierno de su país, para tener in­for­ma­ción sobre la su­pues­ta do­na­ción de una fun­da­ción del má­xi­mo ac­cio­nis­ta del grupo que con­tro­la In­dus­trias In­fi­ni­to a la Fun­da­ción Arias.

Mien­tras en Costa Rica dicho caso está cerca de ce­rrar­se, ante la ne­ga­ti­va de la Fis­ca­lía Ge­ne­ral a con­ti­nuar la in­ves­ti­ga­ción en con­tra de Oscar Arias, por lo que ale­gan es falta de prue­bas, en el país de donde es ori­gi­na­rio la mi­ne­ra, el tema po­dría abrir nueva in­for­ma­ción.

Al menos esa es la es­pe­ran­za de Ju­lian, par­la­men­ta­rio y líder de la frac­ción del Nuevo Par­ti­do De­mo­crá­ti­co (NDP, por sus si­glas en in­glés), al en­viar su pre­gun­ta ofi­cial­men­te al Poder Eje­cu­ti­vo de su país, para que res­pon­da sobre el envío a Costa Rica, por el ex­pe­dien­te. De­be­rá ha­cer­lo en dos meses.

El me­ca­nis­mo es lla­ma­do order paper ques­tion y so­li­ci­ta in­for­ma­ción pú­bli­ca o datos que el go­bierno pueda ma­ne­jar, en este caso, de la ofer­ta de $250.000 que hizo Ro­nald Man­nix desde la Fun­da­ción Nor­lien a Luis Cor­de­ro, di­rec­tor de la Fun­da­ción Arias, como lo in­for­mó el dia­rio La Na­ción, en el 2012 y el po­si­ble pago de ese monto.

El dipu­tado dijo a crhoy.​com que es un in­ten­to de armar el rom­pe­ca­be­zas y res­pon­der pre­gun­tas que se ma­ne­jan en Ca­na­dá. Peter Ju­lian si co­men­tó que no ha ha­bi­do mu­chos datos al res­pec­to, pero si va­rias so­li­ci­tu­des de in­for­ma­ción he­chas a las au­to­ri­da­des, que no han sido res­pon­di­das ade­cua­da­men­te.

“En una so­li­ci­tud hecha al Min­si­te­rio de Jus­ti­cia, aun­que ha­bían do­cu­men­tos que re­por­ta­ron exis­tían, solo se li­be­ró un pu­ña­do de pá­gi­nas. Hay un pro­ble­ma con con­se­guir in­for­ma­ción de las au­to­ri­da­des ca­na­dien­ses�, ase­gu­ró Peter Ju­lian.

Ade­más cri­ti­có que el ac­tual go­bierno – donde el Par­ti­do Con­ser­va­dor está en el poder, con Step­hen Har­per como pri­mer Mi­nis­tro – hay un pro­ble­ma en el ac­ce­so a la in­for­ma­ción, por lo que no se sor­pren­de. Sin em­bar­go reite­ró que el go­bierno debe res­pon­der.

In­clu­so, el con­gre­sis­ta pro­mue­ve la con­sul­ta a tra­vés de redes so­cia­les, en las que cues­tio­na si el mi­nis­tro de Jus­ti­cia y fis­cal Ge­ne­ral ca­na­dien­se Peter Ma­cKay, tiene in­for­ma­ción sobre la su­pues­ta do­na­ción.

El con­gre­sis­ta Peter Ju­lian se re­fi­rió a esa in­for­ma­ción que no fue li­be­ra­da, de esas 200 pá­gi­nas del re­por­te de Ca­na­dá a la Fis­ca­lía de Costa Rica, eso que no está com­par­tien­do en el país nor­te­ame­ri­cano.

“Em­pu­jar al go­bierno para que li­be­re do­cu­men­tos que pue­dan tener y dar res­pues­tas a las pre­gun­tas que las per­so­nas se hacen. (…) Soy op­ti­mis­ta, por­que hay una elec­ción na­cio­nal en el 2015 y pa­re­ce que el ac­tual go­bierno será em­pu­ja­do fuera del poder�, men­cio­nó Ju­lian, quien con­si­de­ra inevi­ta­ble que la ver­dad salga.

Como lo de­ta­lló este medio a inicios de mes y antes en el 2013, In­fi­ni­to Gold ma­ne­ja un es­ta­do fi­nan­cie­ro de­li­ca­do y acaba de re­ci­bir un nuevo prés­ta­mo por parte de Ex­plo­ram En­ter­pri­ses Ltd., su prin­ci­pal ac­cio­nis­ta.

Ex­plo­ram – a tra­vés de Coril Hol­dings – es con­tro­la­da por Ro­nald Man­nix, uno de los hom­bres más adi­ne­ra­dos en Ca­na­dá, ori­gi­na­rio de Al­ber­ta, con una ri­que­za que su­pera los tres mil mi­llo­nes de dó­la­res, que lo pone entre las 15 per­so­nas de más di­ne­ro en el país, según Ca­na­dian Bu­si­ness.

Lea ¿qué apor­tó Ca­na­dá y por qué la Fis­ca­lía no acep­tó?

Peter Ju­lian no acep­ta una ne­ga­ti­va del go­bierno y aun­que afir­mó que está re­nuen­te a apor­tar in­for­ma­ción, no se ha com­pro­ba­do li­gá­me­nes entre la enor­me em­pre­sa mi­ne­ra y la cor­po­ra­ción de­trás con el sec­tor po­lí­ti­co.

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In­dus­trias In­fi­ni­to de­man­dó al país ante el Ciadi por $94 mi­llo­nes por in­ver­sio­nes fa­lli­das con el pro­yec­to Cru­ci­tas. (Ar­chi­vo CRH)

Sin em­bar­go, como lo avisó el ac­ti­vis­ta ca­na­dien­se Rick Ar­nold, en el par­ti­do go­ber­nan­te de la pro­vin­cia de Al­ber­ta, el ac­tual pre­mier o je­rar­ca en esa di­vi­sión te­rri­to­rial, Jim Pren­ti­ce, for­ma­ba parte del con­se­jo di­rec­ti­vo de la em­pre­sa que con­tro­la In­fi­ni­to Gold, así como de uno de los ma­yo­res ban­cos de Ca­na­dá.

Pren­ti­ce fue miem­bro del Con­se­jo Di­rec­ti­vo de Coril Hol­dings (de la cual In­fi­ni­to Gold es sub­si­dia­ria) entre mayo del 2012 y junio del 2014. In­clu­so su bio­gra­fía en el sitio Wik­pe­dia cons­ta­ta­ba su ex­pe­rien­cia como abo­ga­do y hasta en el caso de en­ta­blar de­man­das am­bien­ta­les. Pero el per­fil fue cam­bia­do, lo que ge­ne­ró con­tro­ver­sia en la fa­mo­sa en­ci­clo­pe­dia co­mu­nal. Antes de eso fue dipu­tado, mi­nis­tro de am­bien­te y de in­dus­trias.

A Ar­nold, du­ran­te 11 meses el apa­ra­to ju­di­cial de su país le negó el es­ta­do y la in­for­ma­ción sobre lo que so­li­ci­tó nues­tro país.

Ahora, el par­la­men­ta­rio Ju­lian es­pe­ra me­jo­res re­sul­ta­dos. El fun­cio­na­rio pre­sen­tó un pro­yec­to de ley sobre la ope­ra­ción de mi­ne­ras ca­na­dien­ses en paí­ses del mundo. El plan da re­cur­sos a las na­cio­nes – víc­ti­mas – para en­fren­tar a las em­pre­sas, si vio­lan de­re­chos hu­ma­nos o dañan el medio am­bien­te.

Si bien Peter Ju­lian cree que la ma­yo­ría de em­pre­sas ca­na­dien­ses tra­ba­ja con ética y no dañan la repu­tación del país, hay “man­za­nas po­dri­das�. Ahora in­ten­ta lle­gar a tener las res­pues­tas e in­for­ma­ción para saber si es el caso con In­fi­ni­to Gold e In­dus­trias In­fi­ni­to en Costa Rica.

Pero si se con­fe­só de­cep­cio­na­do por la in­sis­ten­cia de la com­pa­ñía de ape­lar de­ci­sio­nes ju­di­cia­les que per­dió en nues­tro país, así como la idea de de­man­dar al Es­ta­do cos­ta­rri­cen­se, ante el Cen­tro In­ter­na­cio­nal de Arre­glo de Di­fe­ren­cias Re­la­ti­vas a In­ver­sio­nes (Ciadi).

“Te­ne­mos pro­ble­mas con el me­ca­nis­mos para re­sol­ver dispu­tas Es­ta­do-in­ver­sio­nis­ta por­que saca las cosas del sis­te­ma de cor­tes, con­tro­la­do por el pue­blo, y lo pone en cuar­tos tra­se­ros. Como NDP, como opo­si­ción, par­ti­do so­cio­de­mó­cra­ta, cree­mos que estos ar­bi­tra­jes, me­ca­nis­mos, mi­ni­mi­zan la po­lí­ti­ca pú­bli­ca y per­mi­ten a las em­pre­sas bus­car com­pen­sa­ción, cuan­do las leyes son res­pe­ta­das�, cri­ti­có.