San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Presidential farewell

INTERACTIVE: A timeline of the Chinchilla administration's scandals

President Laura Chinchilla leaves office Thursday as the least popular leader in Latin America for the second year in a row. Plagued by party in-fighting and a seemingly endless stream of scandals, the Chinchilla administration struggled to convince the public that it had a plan for the country besides improving the public security situation.

Despite losing the public relations war, Chinchilla’s administration was not the disaster that many perceive, opined political analyst Constantino Urcuyo.

“This was a government hurt by the perception of poor political management that eventually turned into the perception that there was corruption in the government, even though it was never connected to the president,” Urcuyo told The Tico Times.

“[There were] repeated corruption scandals, down to things as simple as sex scandals, the case of the jet with the Colombians, but was there damage to the country? I don’t think the president hurt the country,” he said.

The analyst and University of Costa Rica professor noted that gross domestic product rebounded and continued to grow despite a global financial crisis, inflation remained under control, and there was no serious setbacks for the economy.

Urcuyo noted that the government lacked a “political north” by which to direct policy, something that further damaged her government’s image.

“She never established her own path. There is no ‘Chinchillísmo,’” he said.

Check out the timeline below of the scandals and resignations that left Chinchilla’s government with a black eye:

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