Solis names part of team to change nation’s course


Here is the list of appointees:

Helio Fallas Venegas
Minister de Hacienda

Ana Helena Chacón Echeverría

Coordinadora del Sector Social

Melvin Jiménez Marín
Ministerio de la Presidencia

Alejandra Mora Mora 
Instituto Nacional de las Mujeres

Alexánder Mora Delgado 
Ministerio de Comercio Exterior

Carlos Alvarado Quesada
Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social

Carlos Obregón Quesada
Instituto Costarricense de Energía

Carolina Mauri Carabaguíaz 
Ministerio del Deporte

Carlos Segnini Villalobos 
Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes

Celso Gamboa Sánchez
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública

Édgar Gutiérrez Espeleta
Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía

Yamileth Astorga
Instituto Alcantarillados y Acueductos

Elizabeth Fonseca Corrales
Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud

María Elena López Núñez
Ministerio de Salud

Olga Marta Sánchez Oviedo
Ministerio de Planificación Nacional y Política Económia

Sergio Alfaro Salas
Instituto Nacional de Seguros

Olivier Castro Pérez
Presidente del Banco Central

Sonia Marta Mora Escalante 
Ministerio de Educación Pública

Victor Morales Mora
Ministerio de Trabajo

Welmer Ramos González
Ministerio de Economía

Wilhelm Von Breymann Barquero
Ministerio de Turismo

Carmen Muñoz
Viceminister de Gobernación

Under a banner projection that read Vamos a cambiar Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solís praised his new cabinet members as leaders who can help redirect the nation’s course.

“This cabinet represents a combination of experience and freshness,” he said Monday. “It seems to me a very successful group at the upper echelon of their professions.”

His team will take over May 8. Solís sat in the middle of the group on a stage at the auditorium adjacent to the Museo de los Niños and reiterated the pledges he made during his campaign. He promised that this group will be beyond corrupt practices and will remain transparent in any of its actions.

“We will demand honesty, transparency, and guaranteeing that all resources are handled smartly,” Solís said.

In what he referred to as a difficult selection process, Solís has chosen some experienced officials to plug a few crucial voids. His vice president, Helio Fallas Venegas, will double as the finance minister. Fallas was the minister of Vivienda during Abel Pacheco’s presidency and, like Solís, a former professor at the Universidad de Costa Rica.

The new minister of Seguridad Pública is Celso Gamboa, who is a current vice minister. The ministry quickly issued a press release noting that Gamboa has a master’s in criminology and a law degree. He also is the current anti-drug commissioner and the head of the Dirección de Inteligencia y Seguridad Nacional.

He was a prosecutor from 1994 to 2011. More recently he has been exposed to training in computer security, said the ministry.

The Ministerio de Comercio Exterior will be lead by Alexánder Mora Delgado, an economist and vice-president of the Banco de Costa Rica.

The Cámara de Tecnologías de Información y Comunicación  praised the selection of Mora and said that he has been president of the organization since 2001. As such he has directed various international federations involved in digital technology. The Organization of American States named him vice president of a technology commission last year, said the chamber.

He is the founder and president of TecApro Tecnología Apropiada and Infonet Telecomunicaciones de Centroamérica, He also has been an adviser to the Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología y Telecomunicaciones, said the chamber.

He has both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the Universidad de Costa Rica.

Wilhelm Von Breymann was announced as the new minister of Turismo. Von Breymann is a 52-year-old businessman who runs a travel agency called Costa Rican Trails. He said he has worked in the tourism field for 30 years and is eager to get started at the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo.

“My first concern is to arrive at ICT and begin opening doors to new opportunities,” he said after the announcement.

The national tourism chamber also issued a statement Monday afternoon and said it was pleased with the selection of  Von Breyman. The chamber, the Cámara Nacional de Turismo, said the selection met the profile it had suggested, that the new minister be a well-known professional in tourism.

Solís has yet to fill the remaining 10 openings, which include empty spots to head the Refinadora Costarricense de Petróleo and the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social. The president-elect said the partial announcement is due to the holiday week and an upcoming trip through Central America. The remaining positions will be decided by April 28, he said.

Solís confirmed that there will not be a minister of Comunicación during his term. The position had   to be filled three times during Laura Chinchilla’s tenure, most notably after Francisco Chacón resigned following Ms. Chinchilla’s infamous flight aboard a plane linked to a questionable character.

Before his announcement, Solís said he would try to keep his team of ministers at an even ratio of male to female appointees. So far he has announced nine women as ministers. He again pointed out on Monday that he still plans to hire many younger individuals for other important positions in his office.

By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

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