Stamp honors father of ICE, Jorge Manuel Dengo

Correos de Costa Rica has issued a commemorative stamp honoring Jorge Manuel Dengo Obregón, a U.S.-educated engineer who helped bring Costa Rica into the modern era.

In addition to being the father of the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, known as ICE, he was first vice president of the country under President Óscar Arias Sánchez from 1985 to 1990 and also held posts in international development organizations. The Heredia native died last year at 93.

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad at the same time issued a telephone card bearing his image. Dengo served as head of the institute from its formation in 1949 to 1960.

He was a 1943 graduate of the University of Minnesota with an engineering degree specializing in hydro resources. When he returned to Heredia, he directed the construction of the Carrillos de Poás hydro plant and then became involved in national government as what is now the minister of Obras Publicas y Transportes. His career is outlined on the Web pages of the Asamblea Legislativa, which named him a beneméritos de la patria  in 2007.

Dengo also was instrumental in the creation of the Escuela de Agricultura de la Región del Trópico Húmedo (EARTH) and the national emergency commission.

Each stamp carried a 500-colon cost, about $1. The issue is a two-unit set. The designer is Cristian Ramírez Vargas, and the printer was Gozaka S.A. in La Uruca. The stamp is a montage of Dengo in his younger years in front of the headquarters building of the electrical and power generating state agency.

Correos issued the stamp Wednesday.

There also appears to be other persons issuing stamps, something that makes officials at Correos de Costa Rica unhappy. The postal service reported that there are some fake Costa Rican stamps making the rounds that it has not authorized. The postal service, by law, has a monopoly on postage stamp production. One set posted by Correos on its Web page advertised the Province of Puntarenas. Another set used the name of Heredia.

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