As an opponent of the free trade agreement with the United States, how will you manage the opening of the market once you are in office?
We have to comply with the law. … For us the law is a maximum; it’s not a minimum. And we are going to work so it doesn’t extend beyond where it is now. … If the law says open (the markets), we are going to open them. But we won’t do more. If someone wants to go further than that? Over my dead body.
What would be your first initiatives in managing the problem of lack of security in the country?
We need to unify police forces. There are 11 different (outfits) that are costing us a fortune. At the outset of our government, we will hire 7,000 more officers, who will be challenged to meet new requirements … with greater responsibilities and a doubled salary. This will cost us .15 percent of our gross domestic product … We will have more police with a very different police force.
Does your stand against CAFTA mean you oppose foreign investment?
We don’t want to have foreign investment just for the sake of foreign investment. There are some kinds of foreign investment that we like, and others that we definitely don’t. … We don’t like foreign investors who bribe our public officials to obtain contracts. … We don’t want foreign investment that doesn’t respect our values. We don’t want investment in casinos or prostitution. … We will wage a battle on this. What investment do we like?
Investments that value …environmental protection … respects labor rights … and respects gender equity. We want it to be known that if businesses are investing in Costa Rica, other people around the world will say (those businesses) must be very environmentally friendly, they must respect labor rights, they must be aware of gender equity… .
On Saturday, Citizen Action Party Candiate Ottón Solís named the vice-presidential candidates who will accompany him on the presidential ticket in Feb. 2010.
Businesswoman Mónica Segnini, 41, is a partner and director of the export services firm Grupo Descarga. Julio Humphreys, 51, is a public health specialist who coordinates the Department of Respiratory Therapy and Tuberculosis at the Social Security System’s Hospital Tony Facio in the Caribbean port city of Limón.