Second resignation in five weeks hits Costa Rica government

SAN JOSE - Costa Rica's transport ministerresigned on Friday following reports of corruption in hisministry, making him the second member of President LauraChinchilla's Cabinet to fall victim to a scandal in barely amonth.

Francisco Jimenez, minister of public works and transport,told reporters he stepped down after Chinchilla announced shehad received evidence that two officials in his ministry tookpayments for giving preferential treatment to companies involvedin the construction of a road along the San Juan River.

There was no suggestion that Jimenez was complicit in anywrongdoing, Chinchilla said.

On April 2, Costa Rican finance minister Fernando Herreroresigned after a tax evasion scandal.

Eleven out of 23 ministers in Chinchilla's Cabinet havegiven up their posts in the last two years. Only three of themhave taken other jobs in the government.
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