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Saturday, May 28, 2022

Costa Rican President-elect Rodrigo Chaves apologizes to World Bank Officials

President-elect Rodrigo Chaves apologized to the two female World Bank employees who accused him for sexual harassment in that institution, and pledged to form a commission for the inclusion of women in all economic activities in Costa Rica. He also mentioned his government would have a zero-tolerance policy towards harassment.

On June 7th, 2021, the Administrative Tribunal of the World Bank (WB) found that Chaves incurred in sexual harassment, while working for the international organization. The victims were two women who were 22 and 24 years old at the time.  

The World Bank, acknowledged that Rodrigo Chaves’ “sexual innuendoes” and “pattern of inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature” fit its jurisprudential definition of sexual harassment.

Chaves was demoted from his position, while also being barred from promotions and salary increases for three years. Nevertheless, he resigned from the World Bank in 2018 to serve as Minister of Finance in Costa Rica.

“I deeply regret the actions that occurred more than 15 years ago and affected my former colleagues at the World Bank in such a way that they felt the need to file a harassment complaint against me,” the future President said in a three-minute video released over the weekend.

In the video, Chaves announced the creation of a commission to define public policies to settle the “historical debt” in labor and academic matters for women and, at the same time, committed to eradicate gender violence.

This commission will be led by the vice-president-elect, Mary Munive, and will include the National Women’s Institute (Inamu) and the ministries of Justice, Economy and Security. The group is due to report next July.

“I, once again, offer my most sincere apologies to these colleagues, without reservation. I have reflected deeply, learned a lot and gained a better understanding of the situation, which allows me to act firmly as president today,” he said.

“This commitment initiates my government’s route and closes a painful chapter in the lives of my former colleagues, my wife, my daughters, my sisters and my own,” concluded Chaves.

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