San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rica promises ruling on diplomatic mix-up

While the Costa Rican foreign ministry under President Laura Chinchilla is sorting out conflicts resulting from last minute appointments during the Oscar Arias administration, it’s making a few nominations of its own.


On Monday, current Foreign Minister René Castro named Adrianna Prado to be the country’s new ambassador in El Salvador, Victor Manuel Monge to the ambassadorship in Brazil, Edgar Ugalde to Colombia and former foreign trade minister Marco Vinicio Ruiz to China.


Ruiz, who as former foreign trade minister in the Arias government successfully negotiated free trade agreements with the United States, the European Union and China, is considered by local standards to be a superstar in the diplomatic sphere. He will occupy a key role as his country looks to expand relations and opportunities in Asia.


But as the foreign ministry works to fill empty slots, it is also cleaning up a mess left behind by the last administration. The former foreign minister, Bruno Stagno, named himself Costa Rica’s ambassador to the United Nations days before he left office, an act that a Foreign Ministry internal oversight group called a “grave error” in a report issued last week.


Furthermore, the Arias Foreign Ministry named the former UN ambassador Jorge Urbina to an inexistent post as ambassador to the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, in a manner that allegedly violated the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.


Castro expects to have a ruling on the case involving Stagno “in the coming days.” He indicated that Urbina could remain in his post as ambassador to multinational organizations in the Netherlands, such as the International Court of Justice and The Hague until further notice.


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