Costa Rica’s most popular minister steps down

July 28, 2011

Health Minister María Luisa Ávila resigned Thursday, the fifth minister to step down during the first 15 months of Laura Chinchilla’s presidency.

After much speculation beginning Wednesday, Chinchilla announced Ávila’s resignation Thursday afternoon at the Casa Presidencia. Ávila, who served as the Health Minister during the administration of Oscar Arias (2006-2010), was one of Costa Rica’s most popular public figures. In a Unimer poll conducted in March,79 percent of respondents gave Ávila a positive rating (Apr. 8, 2011).

Chinchilla’s announcement was met with a barrage of questions from reporters speculating that Ávila’s resignation indicated a rift between the president and members of her cabinet.

“There is not a crisis in this administration,” Chinchilla said. “This government, like many of the governments of the past, is experiencing changes in personnel. These changes are not considered problems or causes for worry. All of the positions vacated have provided new opportunities for qualified personnel in new roles. I consider these changes to be new opportunities, not problems.”   

The shuffling of the Health Ministry was paired with another unexpected move within Chinchilla’s cabinet on Thursday, as Foreign Minister René Castro left his post to assume the role of the minister of the Environment, Energy and Technology (MINAET). The minister post at MINAET was vacated last week when Teófilo de la Torre stepped down to assume the role of executive director at the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), a position that Eduardo Doryan resigned from last Wednesday. Castro previously served as environment minister from 1994 to 1998.

For more on the resignation of the members of Chinchilla’s cabinet, see the Aug. 5 edition of The Tico Times 

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Lifeguards call for help in Costa Rica: support their work in Osa
Changemakers
1062 views
Changemakers
1062 views

Lifeguards call for help in Costa Rica: support their work in Osa

Perry Gladstone - October 20, 2018

Over the last four years, the Lifeguards of Costa Ballena have performed 240 in-water rescues, administered first aid 100 times…

Costa Rica Rocks: An evening of progressive metal at Jazz Café
Arts and Culture
520 views
Arts and Culture
520 views

Costa Rica Rocks: An evening of progressive metal at Jazz Café

Eduardo Doryan - October 20, 2018

So there I was, at the fabled Melico Salazar Theater, about to experience the pleasure of seeing the Costa Rican…

PeaceJam to host first Youth Summit in Costa Rica
Peace Talks
838 views
Peace Talks
838 views

PeaceJam to host first Youth Summit in Costa Rica

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 19, 2018

Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams will headline the first PeaceJam Youth Summit in Costa Rica next month. The event, scheduled…