Costa Rica’s Democratic Tradition

Summary about Costa Rica’s Democratic Tradition

An era of peaceful democracy in Costa Rica began in 1869 with elections considered the first truly free and honest ones in the country’s history.

Costa Rica has avoided much of the violence that has plagued much Central America. Since the late nineteenth century, only two brief periods of violence have marred its democratic development. In 1917-19, Federico Tinoco Granados ruled as a dictator, and, in 1948, José Figueres Ferrer led an armed uprising in the wake of a disputed presidential election. In 1949, José Figueres Ferrer abolished the army; and since then, Costa Rica has been one of the few countries to operate within the democratic system without the assistance of a military.”

“With more than 2,000 dead, the 44-day Costa Rican Civil War resulting from this uprising was the bloodiest event in twentieth-century Costa Rican history”  but the victorious junta drafted a constitution guaranteeing free elections with universal suffrage and the abolition of the military. Figueres became a national hero, winning the first election under the new constitution in 1953. Since then, Costa Rica has held 13 presidential elections, the latest in 2014.


Freedom of Speech, Reliance, To elect, Law, Judge, Foreigners, Citizens, Campaing, Ideology, Reformer, Election, Sceptics, Opinion, Poll, Referendum, Government, right, rule, to govern, policy, guilty, innocent,  choice, to behave,  army, democracy, dictatorship, to enforce, parties, harmony, regulations.

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