Costa Rica Elects Epsy Campbell Barr, 1st Black Female VP In Latin America

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On Sunday, Carlos Alvarado won Costa Rica's presidential elections by a large margin against evangelical singer Fabricio Alvarado (no relation with the winner) who ran an anti-same-sex marriage campaign.

Equally important was the election of Alvarado’s teammate, Epsy Campbell Barr, as the first-ever black female vice president-elect in the Americas. She will join the ranks of other trailblazers such as Victoria Garrón, the country’s first female vice president from 1986-90, the first Afro-Costa Rican legislator between 1982-86, Thelma Curling, and Laura Chinchilla, who became the first female president in the Central American nation between 2010-14.  

“It will be a responsibility not only to represent people of African descent but to represent all women and men in the country, a country that gives us all the same opportunities,” Campbell Barr told website crHoy. “It would not be the first only in Costa Rica, but in Latin America. And eventually, if the president leaves the country, [I would be] the first woman of African descent to assume the presidency of the entire American continent. It’s a big responsibility.”

According to local reports, Campbell Barr is an economist and helped found the ruling Citizens' Action Party in 2000. She was named "Epsy" after her paternal grandmother who hailed from Jamaica. Campbell Barr, 54, was born in Costa Rica’s capital city of San José, on July 4, 1963.  She’s the fourth child in a family of two sons and two daughters.

The presidential candidate for the Citizens Action Party, Otton Solis (C) celebrates with one of his candidates to the vice-presidency, Epsy Campbell (R) and with his wife Shirley Sanchez (L) during a meeting with his elected congressmen 06 February, 2006 in San Jose. Campbell Barr has made history during Sunday's presidential elections in her native country, Costa Rica.: CampbellBarr-040218 © Mayela Lopez/AFP/Getty Images CampbellBarr-040218

The vice president-elect has published books and articles on economic participation, democracy, sexism, racism and people of African descent, among other topics. She has also remained active in the realms of Afro-Caribbean affairs and in 1996 founded the Women’s Forum of Central American Integration, an initiative she coordinated until 2001. The mother of two daughters, Campbell Barr received a master’s in international cooperation and development and advanced management techniques and political decision.

The Electoral Observation Mission of the Organization of American States, led by former Colombian President Andrés Pastrana, lauded Costa Rica’s electoral process. “The Mission appreciated the early recognition of the electoral results by the candidate Fabricio Alvarado and highlighted the display of political maturity from both contenders once the preliminary results of the second presidential round were announced,” the organization said in a statement.

“[The Mission] congratulated President-elect Carlos Alvarado for his victory in the elections on April 1st, and the people of Costa Rica for their civic spirit demonstrated during the election day,” the statement added. 

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Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/who-is-epsy-campbell-costa-rica-elects-first-black-vp/ar-AAvojkS

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