Costa del Kickback?
Rodriguez pocketed at least $140,000 of a $2 million payment allegedly made by Alcatel after the vendor was awarded a deal worth $149 million for GSM mobile network equipment in 2001, according to a claim made by a former presidential aide. Alcatel announced the deal in March 2002.
Costa Rica's current president, Abel Pacheco, says Rodriguez should quit his current role as secretary general of the Organization of American States ("the region's premier forum for multilateral dialogue and concerted action") because of allegations that he received kickback payments from the French vendor.
Alcatel is horrified by the claims. In a prepared statement, it "stresses that the company conducts its business with transparency, following laws and regulations, both locally and internationally," and says it has established an "internal team to analyze this information."
It adds: "If necessary, Alcatel will take appropriate measures in accordance with its statement on business practices, and in any case will fully and openly collaborate with the local authorities."
— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading