Costa Rica’s most popular minister steps down
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
You may be interested
One year after first case, Costa Rica to broadcast Covid memorialThe Tico Times - March 5, 2021
Costa Rica confirmed its first coronavirus case on March 6, 2020. By the end of the month, the country had…
Stress-related dental problems rising due to COVID: More patients choose Costa Rica dental tourismJames Madigan / Costa Rica Dental Guide - March 5, 2021
According to a recent report by the American Dental Association, the vast majority of dentists indicate that the prevalence of…
Costa Rica an ‘ideal destination’ for digital nomads, Tourism Board saysAlejandro Zúñiga - March 5, 2021
A growing number of people have turned to the dream of a "digital nomad" lifestyle -- answering emails from the…