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Nicaragua's 'culture of corruption'?

February 20, 2009 |  9:30 am

The Tico Times of Costa Rica is reporting that a $6-million budget earmark for "emergency spending" by the administration of Managua Mayor Alexis Argüello in Nicaragua has been blasted by critics as a "shameless" effort to "fatten Sandinista coffers and convert public resources into murky discretional funding."

"Civil society is also lamenting the move by the Argüello administration. Luis Aragón, head of the transparency project for the democratic watchdog group Ethics and Transparency, says the move is "very irregular" and only "contributes to the deteriorating perception" of the country's institutional democracy.

"Aragón says that Nicaragua's culture of institutional corruption has been worsening rapidly since the controversial municipal elections last November, which the opposition still claims were stolen by fraudulent means."

Read the full report on Nicaragua's budget dust-up here.

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City