The former president of Costa Rica Laura Chinchilla affirmed this past week that if she wins the election for the presidency of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), her priority will be to strengthen the entity with a vision of union so that it continues to be the main source of access to credit for the region and a partner for recovery from the crisis by COVID-19.
“The IDB is the region’s most important financing companion and the main source of access to credit and technical assistance, and it must continue to be so. This crisis came at a time when countries do not have fiscal space, are highly indebted, and in which access to credit will be essential,” Chinchilla said.
Chinchilla, who governed our country between 2010 and 2014, assured that her vision of the bank is based on union and joint work with countries, and she moved away from polarization of a political or ideological nature.
“The opportunity to be able to put me at the head of the IDB is exceptional in terms of collaborating with the governments, the productive sectors and the citizens of our region, which has become particularly relevant” at the current juncture, she declared. The former Costa Rican president stated that she meets the ideal conditions to exercise the position due to her career, leadership, and experience in public life.
“To guarantee the IDB that we need in the future, it is essential to have people with a vision of effective leadership and far from any politicization. An institution and leadership above any specific political ideology, that does not divide or polarize and can summon different forces in and between countries,” she argued. At the present moment, the other two people who have announced their aspiration for the position are the Argentine Gustavo Béliz, and Mauricio Claver-Carone, an adviser to the Americas for the US president, Donald Trump.
Chinchilla commented that she has won good support for her candidacy and that it is “understandable” that many countries are taking time to analyze the situation with prudence after the Claver-Carone announcement. There has been controversy in the region because of a so-called unwritten rule that the IDB must be led by a Latin American, as it has been throughout its history.
Since its creation in 1960, the IDB has been chaired by citizens of Latin American countries: the Chilean Felipe Herrera (1960-1970), the Mexican Antonio Ortiz Mena (1970-1988), the Uruguayan Enrique Iglesias (1988-2005) and Colombian Luis Alberto Moreno, from 2005 to the present.
Chinchilla said that in all the electoral processes in which she has participated in her career, never has she discredited her opponents and that this time she will not do so because of the nationality factor. “Countries must analyze who has the most balanced vision, the best known and proven track record in the international public sector, and who can guarantee the efforts that must be deployed to gather wills,” she added.
The former Costa Rican president stressed that she has the qualities to run the bank in times of a “huge crisis with multiple consequences” caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic that is in full swing in the region. Chinchilla cited data from international organizations that project that the region’s economy will fall 5 percentage points below the world average and that there will be between 35 and 40 million more poor people, which will consolidate into the worst crisis in the last 100 years of Latin America.
On July 3rd, the Costa Rican government made official the support for the former president’s candidacy and highlighted “her attributes for managing complex processes and for building agreements and mobilizing resources, as well as her solid knowledge of development challenges in the Latin American region and the Caribbean, making her the right person for the job.”
Chinchilla was born on March 28th, 1959 in San José, she is a graduate in Political Science from the University of Costa Rica and has a master’s degree in Public Policy from Georgetown University (United States). Before becoming president of her country, Chinchilla was a deputy (2002-2006), minister of security (1996-1998), as well as minister of justice and vice-president (2006-2008).
Last year Chinchilla became the first Costa Rican woman to be appointed as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and after that announcement, she emphasized the promotion of values in the Olympic movement and fighting against all forms of discrimination. The former president is also an international security consultant and head of the electoral observation mission of the Organization of American States.