San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

President Chinchilla names Edgar Ayales as new finance minister

President Laura Chinchilla on Tuesday appointed Edgar Ayales as the administration’s new finance minister. Ayales replaces Fernando Herrero, who resigned April 2 after the daily La Nación reported he had underpaid his property taxes.

Chinchilla said Ayales, an economist, “guarantees strength, [and] sends a message of experience and security because of his track record.”

Ayales’ experience includes serving as executive director of the Inter-American Development Bank, alternate executive director of the World Bank and the bank’s manager of macroeconomic projects in Brazil, Suriname and Angola.

President Chinchilla also announced that Carlos Vargas, a Finance Ministry official, will take the helm of the Tax Administration, after former director Francisco Villalobos resigned April 3 when it was discovered that he had failed to pay ₡1.8 million ($3,600) in income taxes from 2008.

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