Edwin Cárdenas and 5 Others Sentenced to 96 Months in Prison

1,272Views 0Comments Posted 05/07/2024

The former director of the Agricultural Marketing Institute (IMA), Edwin Cárdenas, and five other people were sentenced to 96 months in prison for the crime of willful embezzlement.  The sentence was issued through resolution No. 2 of January 2 by the First Liquidation Court of Criminal Cases and notified to the parties by Judge Águeda Rentería.  The Public Prosecutor's Office initiated proceedings against Cárdenas following an audit by the Comptroller General of the Republic, which revealed a possible loss to the State of $6,560,515 in the management of the resources of the Trust Fund of the Food Solidarity Program. 


In addition to the prison sentence, Judge Rentería imposed on Cárdenas an additional penalty of disqualification from holding public office once the prison sentence has been served.  Cárdenas was the first official of the Juan Carlos Varela administration (2014–2019) to be investigated for irregularities in the exercise of his functions. During his administration, between July 2014 and April 2015, he irregularly managed the resources of the Trust Fund of the Food Solidarity Program, which led to his resignation due to criticisms that included cases of nepotism.  In June 2019, the Court of Auditors also found him guilty and held him responsible for a financial loss of $5.6 million, caused by the irregular handling of funds from the same program.