Chinchilla, Laura (Costa Rica)

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Laura Chinchilla was elected Costa Rica’s first female president in Feb. 2010, continuing the centre-right National Liberation Party’s (PLN) hold on government. A former justice minister, she has won praise for her attempts to tackle drug networks and improve public security.

Early Life

Laura Chinchilla Miranda was born on 28 March 1959 in Desamparados, a suburb of the capital, San José. She graduated in political science from the University of Costa Rica in 1981 and went on to earn a master’s in public administration from Georgetown University in the USA. Returning to Costa Rica, she worked as a consultant to various international organizations including the US Agency for International Development, the UN Development Program and the Inter-American Development Bank, on issues such as public safety, border security, human rights and judicial reform.

Consultancy for the ministry of national planning and economic policy in the early 1990s led to Chinchilla being offered a...

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