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News > Latin America

Costa Rica Elects Epsy Campbell Barr, 1st Black Female VP in Latin America

  • Costa Rican Vice President-elect

    Costa Rican Vice President-elect | Photo: Carlos Alvarado

Published 2 April 2018

“It would not be the first only in Costa Rica, but in Latin America,” Campbell Barr told CRHoy Sunday.

Costa Rica's vice president-elect Epsy Campbell Barr will be the first female, in the country's history, to hold the position.

Carlos Alvarado is Elected President of Costa Rica

“It would not be the first only in Costa Rica, but in Latin America,” Campbell Barr told CRHoy Sunday. Campbell Barr, who is a founding member of the ruling Citizen Action Party (PAC), will be the Central American country's second in command following a comprehensive victory at the polls for President-elect Carlos Alvarado Quesada.

“It will be a responsibility not only to represent people of African descent but to represent all women and men in the country, a country that gives us all the same opportunities."

Campbell Barr was named Epsy in honor of her paternal grandmother, who migrated from Jamaica to Costa Rica. The soon-to-be deputy of Costa Rica was born in San Jose on July 4, 1963, she is the fourth child in a family of five daughters and two sons. She is the mother of two daughters, Narda and Tanisha.

According to the website of Costa Rica's president-elect, Campbell Barr, who is an economist and published author, holds masters in International Cooperation for Development and Advanced Management Techniques and Political Decision.

Campbell Barr previously expressed enthusiasm at all the possibilities which will facilitate the new government addressing the needs of the people of Costa Rica.

"It is an opportunity to build a national government, to combine the capacities of the different political parties, and the country voted for a democratic and transparent option that respects rights," the vice president-elect said.

Campbell Barr joins an elite handful of women who have held positions of leadership in Costa Rica. The women include Thelma Curling, the first Afro-Costa Rican legislator (1982-1986), Victoria Garron, the first vice-president (1986-1990) and Laura Chinchilla (2010-2014) the first president.

Early last month, Campbell Barr urged the people of the Central American country that PAC was adequately equipped to lead Costa Rica forward, emphasizing a message of inclusivity.

"I want to invite you to vote on April 1st to build an inclusive, transparent Costa Rica, a Costa Rica for all people, it is for us, it is for Costa Rica," Campbell Barr said during an International Women's Day address.

She highlighted, during the event, the importance of women to the development of Costa Rica, explaining that “women have the capacity to contribute to the state” achievements.

Campbell Barr said that the PAC, if allowed to lead the country, would work to reduce gender pay gaps.

The vice president-elect heads features significantly in the Center for Women of African Descent, the Alliance of Leaders of African descent in Latin America and the Caribbean as well as the Black Parliament of the Americas organizations.

The vice president-elect, a position for which she ran for in 2006, also served in the legislature from 2002–2006.

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