The Attorney General's Office of the Republic (PGR) of Costa Rica today issued a binding criterion in which it ensures that the management positions in the Foreign Ministry are not "trusted", and that they must be performed by persons subject to the requirements of the Foreign Service Statute .
This criterion, to which Efe had access, was requested by the Executive and comes after a polemic about the legality of the appointments made by the Costa Rican chancellor and vice president, Epsy Campbell.
"The positions of director of the General Directorate of Foreign Policy, General Directorate of Foreign Service, Directorate of International Cooperation, Directorate of Protocol and Ceremonial of the State and Worship, and the Manuel María Peralta Institute, all of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship, they can not be classified as 'trustworthy' ", cites the statement, signed by deputy prosecutor, Luis Guillermo Bonilla.
The Government had expressed that it was consulting the Attorney General's Office with the objective of "clarifying, in its entirety, the rules that govern to fill these positions."
"In accordance with what is regulated by the Foreign Service Statute of the Republic (Law No. 3530), the foreign service is integrated with three classes of officials: career staff, commission staff and technical and auxiliary personnel", indicates the document.
It adds that "as a general rule, the functions of the foreign service – which includes the Diplomatic Service, the Consular Service and the Internal Service – except for the exceptions contemplated by that Law, must be performed by the first of these three classes; career officials. "
Of the seven charges questioned, two were appointed during the management of Campbell, in the current Government of Carlos Alvarado (2018-2022); three in the past Government of Luis Guillermo Solís (2014-2018), and two in the administration of the former president Laura Chinchilla (2010-2014).
The Foreign Ministry reported that since 2000, at least 30 appointments of career officers have been made in management positions, without necessarily having the rank of ambassador in the diplomatic ranks.
"Under no circumstances can an anomalous practice or administrative custom against legem be perpetuated and become a source of law, much less generate acquired rights, especially when there is administrative jurisprudence about the issues involved, which is constituted as a normative source of the law, and as such, it is mandatory compliance and must be respected by the Public Administration, "says the Attorney General.
The Attorney General's Office issued a similar criterion on Tuesday after a query from the deputy of the opposition National Liberation Party, Ana Karine Niño, about the persons appointed to the Foreign Policy Directorate and the alternate position of that dependency.
However, the criterion was not binding because it had not been requested by the Government.
The opposition deputies have demanded for weeks the resignation or dismissal of Campbell due to these and other questioned appointments.
Campbell, the first woman to head the chancellery and the first black vice president of a country in continental America, appeared before a congressional committee last October, where she was questioned about the appointments in the Foreign Ministry.
In addition, the Attorney General's Office has been investigating ex officio the appointments made in the Foreign Ministry since July to determine if there is any crime or irregularity.
President Alvarado has repeatedly expressed his confidence in the legality of the decisions of his vice president and chancellor.