Costa Rica elected Latin America's first Afro-descendant vice president

Epsy Campbell will become the country's new vice president 

Costa Rica elected Latin America's first Afro-descendant vice president

Leer en español: Elegida la primera vicepresidente afrodescendiente en América Latina

On April 1st, Costa Ricans elected the governing candidate of the Citizen Action Party (PAC) Carlos Alvarado Quesada as its president for the period 2018-2022. During his campaign, Alvarado maintained a discourse of national unity through relevant figures from other parties on the right and left of the political spectrum and with the novelty of a group called the Costa Rica Coalition. Similarly, he declared his commitment to respect and guarantee the human rights of all people.

He also elected Epsy Campbell Barr as the first woman of African descent to occupy the position of vice president in Costa Rica.

Campbell is an economist and political scientist who has worked as a consultant and international speaker in the areas of employment, gender, human rights, social development, afro-descendant and indigenous peoples and racism.

She has experience as a researcher and activist. She has published books and articles on democracy and inclusion, political participation and economy of women, afro-descendant peoples, sexism and racism, among others. She was also coordinator of the Afro-Latin American and Afro-Caribbean Women's Network (1997-2001) and of the Women's Forum for Central American Integration (1996-2001) and member of the Alliance of Afro-descendant Peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean.

With respect to her political career, she has been deputy twice, in the period 2002-2006 and 2014-2018; head of the legislative fraction between 2003 and 2004; and president of her party from 2005 to 2009, in which she has been active since its foundation in the year 2000. She was also a candidate for the Vice Presidency in 2006. In these positions, she has always stood out as a defender of the women's rights, social development and fiscal policy.

Regarding his election, the new vice president said that with the result of the elections "this people said that there is no discrimination for anyone, under any pretext [...] it is an opportunity to build a national government, to combine the capacities of the different political parties . The country voted for a democratic and transparent option that respects rights "

Faced with the above, leaders and organizations in Latin America congratulated Costa Rica for the results obtained in the elections, as well as for the successful democratic day that was evident.

The Electoral Observation Mission (EOM) of the Organization of American States (OAS) highlighted the civic spirit of Costa Ricans and the manifestations of political maturity on the part of both candidates once the preliminary results have been announced.

UN Women, for its part, said that Costa Rica "will make history for the democratic parity of Latin America. A highlight for Costa Rica and the democratic tradition of its population. "

Finally, some of the political leaders who spoke were, the Chilean ex-president of UN Women, Michelle Bachelet, the president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, the Mexican president, Enrique Peña Nieto and the Spanish president, Mariano Rajoy.


Latin American Post | María Alejandra Triviño

Translated from "Elegida la primera vicepresidente afrodescendiente en América Latina"

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