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) in 1995. On May 1, 2016 Alvarez Desanti was elected for a second time as president of the Asamblea Legislativa Antonio Alvarez-Desanti gana la presidencia la asamblea legislativa. Alvarez Desanti and his wife are active in the banana growing industry in Costa Rica. They also have the franchise of Wendy's in Costa Rica Antonio Alvarez Desanti pondra fin a su carrera politica en el 2018.

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 (citation needed).

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]

Alvarez Desanti has held numerous political positions. 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 Ganadería). 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. Alvarez Desanti became President of the Legislative Assembly (unicameral parlement) in 1995. He was elected again president of the Costa Rica parliament on May 1, 2016. Alvareez was supported in his bid by congressmen from evangelical parties. In exchange of their support, Alvarez Desanti agreed to remove fast-track to law initiatives such as same-sex civil union, in vitro fertilization and assisted suicide. Antonio_Alvarez_Desanti-presidencia-Directorio_Legislativo diputados_cristianos_mandan_en_temas_de_agenda_gay

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]

Precandidate of the PLN (National Liberation Party) and creation of the “Union para el Cambio” party[edit]

During the convention of the PLN (National Liberation Party) (3 June 2001), Alvarez submitted his name to the nomination race of the party. After the elections at the county level in August 2004, Alvarez Desanti decided to leave the party of national liberation. A few months later, he founded “Unión para el Cambio,” pointing to his rejection of prevailing political corruption in the PLN Liberacion reecibe con cautela a Alvarez.

Alvarez Desanti was the candidate of the Union para el Cambio in the presidential elections in 2006. He obtained a 2.44% of the total vote 2006 electoral results.

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, a poll showed that Alvarez was well regarded by voters. On November 11, 2011, a public opinion poll conducted by the University of Costa Rica, placed Antonio Alvarez Desanti among the most popular politicians at the time.[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 should be elected as a congressman in all likelihood. He also became the manager of Araya's campaign seeking his nomination as PLN's candidate Alvarez quits nomination (In Spanish). In a surprising move, Araya Monge abandoned his presidential campaign a month before a run off costarica-election 2014 . In the elections of February 2014, 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]


Congress of lesbians in 1990[edit]

During his political career Alvarez Desanti has been involved in some controversial decisions. On April 11, 1990, being the ministro de Gobernación (Minister of the interior), Alvarez Desanti announced that he would not allow foreign lesbians into the country in order to participate in a meeting. When asked how lesbians could be identified and stopped at the country’s borders, he asserted that women who had short hair, wear pants, and travelled alone could be identified as lesbians. He instructed Costa Rican consulates not to grant visas to women traveling unaccompanied by men, warning all such women they would be stopped at the airport. The Minister informed airlines that if they sold tickets to women traveling alone or to women who appeared likely to attend the Encuentro, they would be required to provide for the suspected lesbians’ immediate return Written out: How sexuality is used to attack women's organizingalvarez-desanti-y-las-lesbianas. While seeking the nomination as a presidential candidate in 2012, Alvarez Desanti said in an interview to the Costa Rican newspaper La Nación that he no longer held those views. According to Alvareez his new psition does not reflect a contradiction, but an evolution. He was quoted saying that "Now I have a much more open mind. It was long ago. The world has changed."Alvarez Desanti ahora defiende lesbianas

Allegations of involvement in the Millicom affair[edit]

After serving as ministro de Gobernación y Policía (minister of the interior) Alvarez Desanti worked for several years as a lawyer of Millicom, a telecommunications company. This company was given the monopoly of cellular communications in Costa Rica during the first administration of Oscar Arias (1986-1990)Privatization in Costa Rica. In 1990, a special commission of the Asamblea Legislativa (Costa Rican parliament) declared that the concession was unconstitutional. In addition, the Commission alleged that 16 officials of the ICE (Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, the telecommunications company owned by the State) have acted in a way that was detrimental to the interests of the country. In 1994, the Sala IV (the highest court dealing with constitutional matters) ruled illegal the operations of Millicom. According to this decision, the firm should cease operations in Costa Rica not later than May 10, 1995. Negotiations between the Government of Costa Rica and Millicom were characterized by a researcher (B. Bull) as "not transparent" and leading to creating a private monopoly (Bull, p. 231). In his blog, Alvarez Desanti recognized that Millicom has received the monopoly of cell phone for free, while other countries received over US $40 million for the right to use similar services. According to him, the report (16 volumes) of the parliamentary committee has asked for sanctions against 20 people involved in the scandal. Only one person was charged, although he or she did not stand a trial because the potential crime had prescribed. Alvarez claims that his name was not mentioned anywhere in the report, and that he was not involved in the decision to grant Millicom private monopoly of cellular telephone communications in Costa Rica, a decision which took place under supervision of its predecessor, Rolando Ramirez. Despite his criticism of the decision of the Government of Costa Rica to grant access to Millicom Costa Rica market apparently preferential terms, Alvarez has represented the company as a lawyer. According to him, Millicom had received a legal license, it has operated for 5 years, which made illegal the decision to withdraw the concession posiciones milicom[permanent dead link].


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