Antonio Álvarez Desanti

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Antonio Álvarez Desanti, is a Costa Rican businessman and politician, currently affiliated with the Partido Liberación Nacional (PLN) in Costa Rica. During his political career Alvarez Desanti has served as minister of agriculture, minister of gobernacion (a post close to that of minister of the interior in other countries), congressman and president of the Asamblea Legislativa (Costa Rican unicameral parliament). As a businessman he and his wife own the second biggest independent banana group in the country,[citation needed] and are involved in several other commercial areas such as finance and real estate.

Early years, education and business career[edit]

Alvarez Desanti was born in San José on July 6, 1958 to Dr. Isaías Álvarez Alfaro and Dora Desanti Arce. While still attending high school, he started working as an assistant for his uncle Jorge Desanti, in the latter's law office. After graduation, he studied Law at the University of Costa Rica. In 1981 he graduated as Attorney at Law. He graduated from Harvard University in 1991, with a Master's degree in International Tax Law.

In 1978, Alvarez founded a small financial business and in 1980 an agro-industry business dealing with post-harvest and marketing of peanut and other agricultural commodities, such as cashew nuts. In 1981, also devoted to the production, sale and distribution of shoes in the market.

Family and personal life[edit]

In 1977 he married Attorney Livia Meza, and four years later, in May 1980, had their daughter, Adriana. He divorced Meza one year later. In 1979 Alvarez was elected as Student Representative to the University Council of the University of Costa Rica. In 1983 he married Nuria Marín Raventós, with whom he had a daughter, Andrea, in 1986.

Accident in 2009[edit]

On December, 2009, Mr Alvarez suffered a serious accident while riding a bicycle. On October 8, 2010, he announced the publication of his book, entitled "La Salida", presenting the history of his fight to recover from the accident.

Political career[edit]

He was elected President of the Student Federation of the University of Costa Rica (FEUCR, by its Spanish acronym) in 1980. One year later he was appointed to the campaign of Luis Alberto Monge as National Treasurer of the Youth branch of the Partido Liberación Nacional.

In 1985, during the Luis Alberto Monge administration, he was appointed President of Fertica, a State-owned fertilizer manufacturing firm.

In November, 1985 he was named Executive President of the National Council of Production (CNP, by its Spanish acronym). He was reappointed in this post during the first Oscar Arias Sánchez' administration (1986–1990).

On May 1, 1987, Óscar Arias appointed him Minister of Agriculture and Cattle Production (Ministro de Agricultura y Ganaderia). In 1988 he was appointed Minister of the Interior (the official title of the post is Ministro de Gobernación y Policía in Spanish). In this capacity he created the CICAD (Joint Drug Intelligence Center). In 1991 he assumed the campaign sub management of Jose Maria Figueres Olsen, who in 1994 was elected President of the Republic. During the period 1994-1998, Alvarez Desanti congressman, and in 1995 became President of the Legislative Assembly.

Legislation promoted[edit]

During the Figueres Administration, Alvarez Desanti was elected as a member of parliament, and later became its president.

During his tenure he elaborated and presented the "Law against the sexual harassment at work and teaching"; the first time that Costa Rica enacted legislation to prevent sexual harassment. He also promoted laws against domestic violence, laws protecting people with disabilities, another one to protect people suffering from AIDS, legislation to regulate smoking and another piece of legislation eliminating retirement for members of parliament. He also wrote and promoted new tax legislation, aimed at a fair distribution of wealth and imposing punishment to those who evade taxes.[1][2]

Candidate for the PLN nomination in the 2014 elections[edit]

Mr. Alvarez announced on October 8, 2010 his unequivocal intention to enter into the course for the nomination of the PLN as the candidate for the presidential elections of 2014 [3]

After the announcement of his intention to enter the course for the nomination as candidate of the PLN, Alvarez has widely fluctuated in the electorate's preferences, according to different polls. On November 11, 2011, a public opinion poll conducted by the University of Costa Rica, placed Antonio Alvarez Desanti as the first in preference to occupy the presidential chair.[4][5] Results of a January 2012 poll, published on January 18, 2012, showed that if elections were held at the time of the poll, Johnny Araya Monge, mayor of San José, would have been elected as the candidate. According to the pollsters, Araya Monge would have been supported by 27% of voters (37% of people who described themselves as PLN sympatizers). Alvarez Desanti received the support of 13% of interviewed people (and 10% of voters affiliated with the PLN).[6]

On September 19, 2012 Alvarez Desanti announced to the press that his has stop seeking his nomination as the PLN's candidate for the 2014 elections. Opinion polls conducted in July, 2012 showed that Alvarez Desanti was supported by only 13% of PLN supporters for the nomination as PLN’s candidate. Alvarez acknowledged that results of those opinion polls explain, at least in part, his decision to quit the race. Alvarez gave his support to Johnny Araya Monge in his bid for the nomination. According to the media, Alvarez Desanti and Araya Monge agreed that Alvarez will be the leading name in the list of candidates for the province of San José. According to the Costa Rican political mechanics, Alvarez will be elected as a congressman in all likelihood. He will also be the manager of Araya's campaign seeking his nomination as PLN's candidate Alvarez quits nomination (In Spanish)

In elections of february 2014, Mr Alvarez was elected as a congressman for 2014-2018 period.

TV microprograms[edit]

In January 2011, Álvarez Desanti launched a series of short TV programs-, in which he addresses various issues such as animal rights, financial management, telework, social networks, among others.[7]


External links[edit]