Carlos Alvarado Quesada

Carlos Alvarado Quesada

Carlos Alvarado Quesada was born in 1980 in San José, Costa Rica. He studied Journalism and Political Science at the University of Costa Rica. He was later awarded a scholarship to the UK where he earned a Master’s degree in Development Studies. Like his opponent, he has also been a singer, in a rock band.

In 2014, he was appointed Minister of Human Development and Social Inclusion and was, at 34, the youngest Minister in the administration.

Alvarado Quesada has supported gay marriage, a position which has appealed to socially liberal voters. He describes his intention as establishing Costa Rica as a regional and global force in environmental sustainability and human rights. He has promised to contribute to global efforts to combat and mitigate climate change; to position Costa Rica as a “World Decarbonisation Laboratory”; to increase the flow of co-operation funds that will finance these initiatives, and enable Costa Rica to donate expertise internationally. Promotion of sustainable tourism and the participation of Costa Rica in international forums would form part of this plan.

A strategic, evidence-based approach to foreign affairs is also stressed, including the further training and ‘empowerment’ of diplomatic personnel. Alvarado Quesada proposes the establishment of conventions between Costa Rican and foreign universities, in order to generate “experiences of applied research”, and in the medium term, the creation of an Institute of Strategic Studies. A further strategic unit, designed to foster diplomatic relations with states where Costa Rica has no Embassy nor Consulate, would observe and report on the cultural, economic, social and productive factors of these states.

Alvarado Quesada describes his aim as “project[ing] Costa Rica nationally and internationally as a nation committed to multilateral relations, to strengthening regional integration, and to respect for International Law.” In his party’s manifesto, there is a strong emphasis on promoting environmental sustainability and economic diplomacy, and a diplomatic strategy of non-violence in Costa Rica’s diplomatic relations with all states. The manifesto also proposes a “2018-2022 Multilateral Agenda”, which aims to enhance the participation of Costa Rica in multilateral forums where the values of peace and global collaboration are traditionally espoused, such as the UN, AEO, ILO and WHO. A commitment is also made to active dialogue and participation in regional forums such as the Central American Integration System (SICA), Caribbean and Latin American States Community (CELAC) and the Caribbean States Association (AEC), and further afield, the European Union, Russia, India, South Korea and the Association of the Asian Southeast Countries (ASEAN). Alvarado Muñoz also speaks of “projecting Costa Rica as a leader and defender of the Human Rights of immigrant people”.