Repairing Social Damage Out of Corruption Cases: Opportunities and Challenges as Illustrated in the Alcatel Case in Costa Rica
30 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2011
Date Written: December 6, 2010
In January 2010 the Costa Rican Treasury received US$10 million in payment of a settlement agreement signed within the civil proceedings initiated by the Costa Rican Attorney General’s Office for Public Ethics against Alcatel to repair the social damage emerging from a corruption case involving Alcatel management and staff and Costa Rican government officials. The news of the settlement came for many as an important milestone in the fight against corruption and to some as a surprise: does corruption cause social damage? What is social damage and how can it be repaired?
In this paper we look into the history of the Alcatel case in Costa Rica and the use of the concept of social damage. Some proceedings in this case are still ongoing and the intention of this document is not to draw judgment on them or the facts of the case but rather to look at the public policy aspects of this case to identify the opportunities and challenges posed by the idea of repairing social damage out of corruption cases and to identify open questions. In this sense, this paper seeks to contribute to the increasing interest in the idea of limiting the damage that corruption causes.
Keywords: corruption, anti-corruption, civil litigation, criminal litigation, law enforcement, legal remedies, reparation, redress, corporate corruption, bribery
JEL Classification: K42, K41, K33, K14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation