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Laura Chinchilla elected president of Costa Rica

February 8, 2010 |  4:28 pm


The tiny club of female presidents in Latin America will grow by one with the election in Costa Rica of Laura Chinchilla. She won the presidency in a landslide victory Sunday and takes office May 8.

The socially conservative, pro-business former vice president hails from the party of incumbent President Oscar Arias, a Nobel Peace Prize winner for his work in the 1980s to end Central America's wars.

Chinchilla's victory was widely seen as a vote for continuity in a politically stable country that enjoys one of the region's highest standards of living.

It's the first time Costa Rica has chosen a woman to lead the nation. Chile's Michelle Bachelet and Argentina's Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner are the other female chief executives in Latin America. In the past, Panama and Nicaragua also had female presidents.

Read more about Chinchilla's election in the English-language newspaper Tico Times.

--Tracy Wilkinson in Mexico City

Photo: Laura Chinchilla at the Festival Adelante Nacional. Credit: