Costa Rica. In early October, an ex-president was
sentenced to prison for corruption for the first time in
Costa Rica. It was Rafael Calderón, President 1990-94, who,
after ten months of trial, was sentenced to five years in
prison for forfeiting $ 520,000 of his own, which was part
of a loan from the Finnish government for the purchase of
medical equipment, and placed on a bank account in Panama.
In connection with the verdict, Calderón announced that he
was abandoning his plans to run in the February 2010
countryaah, two other presidents, Miguel Ángel Rodríguez (1998–2002)
and José María Figueres (1994–98), have been charged with
embezzlement of a total of $ 2.8 million. The incumbent
President, Oscar Arias Sánchez, presented several measures
during the year to dampen the effects of the global
financial crisis in Costa Rica, which has one of the most
vital economies in the region.