Jorge Manuel Dengo Obregón and Alberto Martín Chavarría, Two Illustrious Citizens of Our Nation

Jorge Manuel Dengo Obregón. Costa Rican civil engineer, known as the father of the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) and Alberto Martín Chavarría, Costa Rican intellectual and politician. Both named “Benemeritos de la Patria” (With great merit for the fatherland) for their great work to the country.

Biographical synthesis

Jorge Manuel Dengo Obregón

A brilliant professional and a great personality in public service within the history of the country during the second half of the 20th century. He was born in the city of Heredia, on February 19, 1918.

Public career

Together with a group of professionals, in 1949 they proposed to the Founding Board of the Second Republic, the creation of the Costa Rican Electricity Institute. The then Chairman of the Board, José Figueres Ferrer, supports the idea and on April 8th of that year the creation of ICE was approved.

In this Institution he exercised the General Management during the period 1949 to 1960, that includes the administrations of  presidents Otilio U late Blanco (1949-1953) José Figueres Ferrer (1953-1958), and Mario Echandi Jiménez (1958-1962). During this period, he formulated and executed the first electrification development plan nationwide.

In the administration of President Francisco Orlich Bolmarcich (1962-1966) and on the occasion of the tragedies caused by the eruptions of the Irazú Volcano, he founded in 1964 the “Office of Civil Defense”, predecessor of the National Emergency Commission, and as director of it manages to mitigate, to a large extent, the damage caused by this natural disaster.

He was in charge of the Luis Alberto Monge administration (1982-1986), the Ministry of Foreign Trade (1984-1985), laying the foundations for this institution and giving an important boost to the Costa Rican export sector.

During the period of the government of President Óscar Arias Sánchez (1986-1990), he held the Vice presidency of the Republic where he excelled in coordinating the area of economic policies and was actively involved in the negotiations undertaken with international financial organizations that led to the remission. of the external debt that the country was dragging since the economic crisis of the beginning of the eighties.


He died in San Pedro de Montes de Oca, Costa Rica, on January 23, 2012, at the age of (93 years).

Recognitions in his honor

The “XXI Century Strategy Award: Jorge Manuel Dengo” was created, in recognition of those people or institutions that through science and technology have made a contribution to national progress and development in Costa Rica.

Alberto Martín Chavarría


Alberto Martín Chavarría - EcuRedHe graduated from the Costa Rican School of Law in 1933, was president of the first Federation of University Students of Costa Rica in 1930, as well as founder of the Democratic Action Party in 1943, which later became one of the bases of the National Liberation Party.

In March 2009, the Legislative Assembly named Don Alberto as the founder of the Costa Rican Solidarity Movement and the “Benemerito” unanimously by all the deputies.

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