Helio Fallas Venegas

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Helio Fallas Venegas
Helio Fallas Venegas.jpg
First Vice-President of Costa Rica
In office
8 May 2014 – 5 May 2018
President Luis Guillermo Solís
Preceded by Alfio Piva
Succeeded by Epsy Campbell Barr
Minister of Planning
In office
President Rafael Ángel Calderón Fournier
Minister of Housing
In office
President Abel Pacheco
Personal details
Citizenship Costa Rica
Political party Citizens' Action Party
Other political
Formerly Social Christian Unity Party
Spouse(s) Nuria Más
Alma mater The University of Costa Rica, University of Los Andes
Occupation Cabinet Minister, Academic, Consultant

Helio Fallas Venegas is a Costa Rica economist and politician. He is currently the Vice-President of the country, along with Ana Helena Chacón Echeverría. Fallas' main economic interest is national public policy. He generally opposes free trade and supports public social programs. Fallas has served in three separate presidential administrations.


Fallas earned a degree in economics from the University of Costa Rica and a Master's from the University of Los Andes. Fallas was a member of the Social Christian Unity Party (PUSC for its Spanish initials) before joining Citizens' Action Party (PAC for its Spanish initials).

Fallas joined the administration of Rafael Ángel Calderón Fournier (1990-1994) as Minister of Planning.[1] He was also Minister of Housing during Abel Pacheco's administration (2002-2006), quitting in 2005.[2] Fallas resigned after facing criticism from Pacheco and PUSC over the amount of money available for low-income housing.[3] In addition, he was a consultant on the State of the Nation.[4]

Between administrations, Fallas has worked as an independent economic consultant.[1]

Fallas left PUSC, the party of both Calderón and Pacheco, to join the PAC. In 2013, Fallas became PAC's Vice-Presidential candidate, running with Luis Guillermo Solís, and fellow Vice-Presidential running-mate Ana Helena Chacón Echeverría.[5] The campaign was successful, resulting in a victory for Solís when the National Liberation Party ceased campaigning after the end of the first round of voting.

Economic and social philosophy[edit]

Fallas follows PAC's platform of concern for the health of the national economy, citing corruption and poor budgeting as problems. Like most members of PAC, he is opposed to the Central American Free Trade Agreement.[1] Fallas has also expressed an interest in rural poverty in Costa Rica and Central America.[6] Of particular concern to Fallas in recent years has been what he describes as a reliance on overseas development and too few incentives for local economic growth.[7] Fallas is also worried about the prevalence of sexual tourism in Costa Rica, citing the number of internet sites that promote the practice.[1] As vice-president, Fallas claims that he will consider state spending and the implementation of responsible taxes as economic changes.[8] Fallas says he is sensitive to the middle class, workforce development, and social programs.

Fallas writes extensively on economic topics, including editorials, for El País, La Nación, La Tribuna Democrática, and other Central American newspapers.

Personal life[edit]

Fallas is married to Nuria Más. He has three children (Luis Diego, Javier and Marcela) and three grandchildren (Daniela, Gabriel and Andrés), who he enjoys taking swimming.[1]

In 2008, Fallas was involved in a plane crash in Honduras. During the crash, the President of the Central American Bank for Economic Integration was killed and Fallas received considerable injuries, especially to his spinal column. He was flown to a hospital in Miami, Florida to receive emergency treatment and rehabilitation.[9] Fallas claims that he is now in good health and is able to perform his political duties.[10] For exercise, Fallas takes frequent walks.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Su preocupación: "El País"" (PDF). Indoor Club: Revista Para Socios (in Spanish). San Jose. 6 March 2008. pp. 6–7. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  2. ^ Blanco Picado, Patricia (10 May 2012). "Economista Helio Fallas". Noticias Universidad de Costa Rica. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  3. ^ "Personaje del día: Helio Fallas Venegas". La Nacion. 24 June 2005. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  4. ^ "Juntas Educativas ni Estado Saldan Carencias en Infrastructura". Legislative Assembly Website. Portal Asamblea Legislativa. Archived from the original on 13 October 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  5. ^ Murillo, Álvaro (13 October 2013). "PAC completa su fórmula presidencial con el exministro Helio Fallas". La Nación. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  6. ^ Fallas Vargas, Helio (2002). "Pobreza Rural". Educare. 3: 17–26. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  7. ^ Blanco Picado, Patricia (10 May 2012). "Estrategia de desarrollo se basa en la apropiación de servicios estatales". Noticias Universidad de Costa Rica. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  8. ^ "Helio Fallas y Ana Helena Chacón acompañarán a Solís en la presidencia". TicoVisión. 14 October 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  9. ^ "Patient Testimonials – Helio Fallas" (Video). Interview (in Spanish). Miami, Florida: Jackson International. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  10. ^ Sancho, Manuel (14 October 2013). "Candidato a vicepresidencia del PAC aún no tiene claro como podría ser la reforma fiscal". Costa Rica Hoy. Retrieved 25 March 2014.