Political scientist Francisco Barahona points out some of the major failures of Costa Rica’s first woman president.
For the expert, the choice of her support staff tops the list. During her term, the Presidenta was forced to replace 15 ministers. This led to her management being questioned, not only by experts, but by the public in general.
The Border Trail road (Ruta 1856) or “La Trocha” was a major blunder for the presidenta. The project was fraught with allegations of corruption, mishandling of funds and the ill planned out construction project which today is still unfinished.
The third blunder was the “narco plane” scandal, taking a trip to Peru on a private plane with alleged ties to a drug trafficking cartel, resulting in the firing of her communications minister, Francisco Chacon and her personal assistant, Irene Pacheco. This single event cause major damage to her public image.
Doña Laura’s administration also lacked the financial savvy to deal with the country’s finances, like the mishandling of the San José – San Ramón road rebuilding, where her government was forced to cancel an over inflated concession contract, which will end up costing the people US$35 million dollars in contract penalties and no road.
The Presidenta leaves office in May with a huge debt to the country’s female population, which mostly gave her their vote. Barahona says that this sector of the population placed much confidence in her to eradicate “machismo” (sexism) in the country. Also, there are many poor women who have not seen any improvements in their family income, women who placed their future in the hands of ther first woman presidenta, to change their economic condition, according to the expert.