San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rica’s Chinchilla has the lowest approval rating in the Americas, study finds

Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla is the worst-rated president in the Americas, according to research published Sunday by Mexican firm Consulta Mitofsky.

The firm compiled approval ratings of 20 American presidents, based on reports by local media.

In Costa Rica, the company chose a study by local firm Unimer, commissioned by the daily La Nación. For the second time this year, Chinchilla received the region’s worst approval rating, at 13 percent – a far cry from 64 percent approval the president had when she started a four-year term in 2010.

U.S. president Barack Obama ranked 10, with 49 percent approval, 1 percentage point above the previous study.

Communications Minister Francisco Chacón told local media the administration would not change course based on the survey, saying it “has no logical explanation and uses an unusual methodology.” He also said “it is striking that [Chinchilla] is rated lower than presidents like Daniel Ortega, Evo Morales and Hugo Chávez.”

In the region, Mauricio Funes of El Salvador has the best approval rating, at 72 percent, followed by Otto Pérez Molina (Guatemala) with 69 percent, Daniel Ortega (Nicaragua) with 59 percent, Ricardo Martinelli (Panama) with 52 percent and Porfirio Lobo (Honduras) with 14 percent, one percentage point above Chinchilla.

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