Costa Rica’s Ex-President Sentenced to 5 Years for Corruption

Costa Ricans who were away from TV sets today at 3pm were able to view online the judgment of ex President Rafael Ángel Calderón when at least 3 different websites decided to present the ruling via online streaming services, a record for the Costa Rican online community. Not only was streaming used, media also uploaded images through twitpic to be used  on twitter.  All these are recent developments as media starts to adapt to social networking tools for journalism.

Through microblogging tool Twitter, using the tag #sentencia, #cajafischel or #Calderon, viewers followed and commented the ruling, where the ex President was convicted  and will have to serve  to a 5 year prison sentence for corruption charges.

Presidential candidate Ottón Solis has already uploaded a video commentary on YouTube regarding the sentence.

Journalist Amelia Rueda also tweeted the happenings inside the tribunals. She posted a short audio clip where the accused ex president spoke about his hopes regarding the veredict, which you can hear by clicking on the player at the bottom of the post.

Journalist Cristian Cambronero posted an entry on his blog where he refers to the ex president’s now crushed intentions of running once again for president, confident he would be declared innocent.  Lucía comments in that post:

El jalón de orejas no es solo para para Calderón y compañía (pobrecito nada¡¡¡¡ si no quiere ir a la cárcel no sea corrupto, así de simple), es para la clase política en general, que aquí como en otros países creen que uno está para serviles y no ellos para servir …
Más valioso que el dinero que tienen devolver (no se cuanto es) es el haber recuperado cierta confianza en el sistema político, y como dice un conocido anuncio de tarjetas de crédito, eso no tiene precio…

This slap on the hand is not only for Calderon and company (poor guy nothing!! If he doesn’t want to go to jail, then don’t be corrupt, it’s that simple), is for the political class in general, who believe here as in other countries that everyone should serve them and not that they have to serve…

More valuable than the money that they now have to return (I don’t know how much it is) is that we have recovered a certain confidence in the political system, and as a known credit card company advertisement says, it is priceless…

You can also view the sentence videos on UStream, uploaded by the newspaper AlDía, which shows how traditional media in Costa Rica is evolving to take advantage of online media and social networks: the first part includes the moments prior to the sentence, which starts at about the 45 minute mark.The second video continues with the judges reading of all the charges and reasoning behind the sentences for all those who had been accused, of which ex president Calderon was the main figure.

And twitter user Mauricio sums up the experience of watching the veredict through online tools like this:

la sentencia de #calderon ha hecho que twitter + la tv se muevan juntos, como en los mejores tiempos de #qqsm

the sentencing of #calderon has made twitter and TV to move in synch, like during the best times of #Whowantstobeamillionaire

And well, it wasn’t even minutes before someone, in this case marenoztro, took the viral joke featuring Kanye West and did their own mashup with the president. The “Chema” referred to in the image is ex president Jose Maria Figueres Olsen who when accused of receiving 900,000 USD and not declaring the income or paying taxes. When it was discovere, the taxes were hurriedly paid up and he presented documents legalizing the income as consulting fees.

image mashup by @marenoztro

image mashup by @marenoztro