The candidate for mayor for the Único Abangareño (Only Abangareño) Party, Gerardo Cascante Suarez, was convicted of the crime of sexual abuse of a minor in 2013, when he was a council member and president of the Municipal Council of Abangares.
According to his version, he was sentenced to four years in jail but was released after two years. He attributed his release to a “miracle.” Cascante is now the spiritual leader of a movement he created on social media called Ministerio Ecuménico de Reconciliación (Ecumenical Ministry of Reconciliation).
The ecumenical movement brings together Christians of all denominations, not necessarily evangelical.
“When I left [prison], I made that ministry which aims to give people advance warning that the end is near. That was the vision I had,” the politician told The Voice of Guanacaste.
An April 2013 article in Diario Extra details that the then council member was sentenced for abuse of a ten-year-old girl in 2008. In an interview with this medium, the candidate refused to refer to the specific acts. He did not confirm or deny that he was guilty.
“If I say that I did it, people say they don’t believe it. And if I say that I didn’t do it, people keep doubting that chances are maybe I did do it,” he clarified. “That is now in the past for me. I already paid for that. Whether I committed it or didn’t commit it, I already paid for that,” he added.
However, he is sure that he will be mayor of his canton. “When [the accusation] was published in 2008, in 2010 I presented the ballot for municipal council members of Abangares and I was elected with more than 2000 votes, because people know that I would be incapable of committing such an atrocious act like that,” the candidate also said.
Cascante said he will create a spiritual council within the municipality if he ends up being elected with his party, the Only Abangareño.
“I want a spiritual council formed by the priest and pastors of the community,” he said by telephone. “In difficult times that we have in the canton, we will call the council to advise us,” Cascante explained.
The candidate clarified that he hopes that those who participate in that council will do so voluntarily and that he would not allocate financial resources to this project.