Costa Rica, Latin America: Week in Review

Laura Chinchilla Inaugurated as Costa Rica’s First Female President

May 10, 2010 By Staff
Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla with her husband and son at her inauguration on Saturday.

Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla with her husband and son at her inauguration on Saturday.

Today in Latin America

Top Story — Costa Rica swore in the country’s first female president this weekend as Laura Chinchilla was inaugurated during an open-air ceremony in San José.

Chinchilla, 51, replaces Nobel peace prize winner Óscar Arias as president of the Central American nation and becomes the third female president in Central America after winning a landslide election back in February.

“I will work for a Costa Rica able to maintain moral leadership in the world thanks to defending peace, liberty and human rights,” The Tico Times reported her as saying.

Chinchillia is Arias’ former vice-president and is known to be very close to the former Nobel laureate.  She is also a social conservative who opposes both gay gay marriage and abortion.

She takes power during a decent economic climate in Costa Rica, thanks in part to polices enacted by Arias that insulated Costa Rica during the global economic crises.

Dignitaries from throughout the region attended the inauguration including Mexican President Felipe Calderón, Colombian President Álvaro Uribe and Nicaraguan President Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.

A delegation from the United States included Washington, D.C.’s Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, Sen. Christopher Dodd, White House environment chief Nancy Sutley and Ambassador to Costa Rica Anne S. Andrew.

During the inauguration that drew thousands of supporters to San José’s La Sabana Park, Chinchilla was joined by her Arias, her husband, parents and 14-year-old son.

Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch

Headlines from the Western Hemisphere

North America


  • Cuban independent journalist Dania García was released from prison, where she was held in connection with a charge filed by her daughter. García will face appeal hearing soon.
  • The U.S. military presence in Haiti has been reduced to 1,300 from a high of 22,000 troops, following a disaster relief mission launched after the Jan. 12 earthquake.
  • Major League Baseball will require top prospects in the Dominican Republic as young as 15 to provide fingerprints and submit to tests for performance-enhancing drugs, the official overseeing MLB’s Dominican operations said Friday.

Central America


Southern Cone

Image: Presidencia de la República del Ecuador @ Flickr.

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