President-elect adds a religious dimension to team

When the new president feels the need for some moral counseling, he will not have to go far. The man appointed to be the minister of the Presidencia, basically the chief of staff, is the country’s Lutheran bishop.

A reader brought that to the attention of editors last week. The man is Melvin Jiménez Marín, who is a sociologist, a professor and someone known for his interest in social justice.

Jiménez has been president of the Costa Rican Lutheran Church when he was ordained in 2008. He “stood out on the national and international level because of his active participation in defense of human rights and Costa Rica’s most vulnerable groups,” said the church in an announcement then.

President-elect Luis Guillermo Solís announced last week that he had selected Jiménez for the key post. That he is a bishop was not emphasized in the announcement.

Since the foundation of the Costa Rican Lutheran Church in 1988, Jiménez has preached social justice through the promotion of projects in favor of multiculturalism, inclusion and solidarity, in urban and rural communities, said  the church at the time of his consecration as bishop.

Jiménez has a master’s degree in theology and has taught at a Methodist school. His background and his interests are expected to have an impact on the new president’s policies.

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