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									  BRIEFS                                                                                                                                               8
Costa Rica                                       After four years under the leadership of Oscar Arias, Cos-
                                               ta Ricans elected a new president. With 47% of the vote,    THE COUNCIL ON
Research Associate Nicole Fillion-Robin Laura Chinchilla of the Liberal National Party (PLN) will
                                                be Costa Rica’s first female president, after gaining 46.7%
of the vote on February 7, 2010. Otto Guevara of the Libertarian Movement (ML) and Ottón Solís of              AFFAIRS
the Citizens Action Party (PAC) were the other two contenders for the presidency.                                       1250 Connecticut Ave. NW
   In 2008, Laura Chinchilla resigned as Vice President and Minister of Justice and Peace to launch her               Suite 1C Washington, DC 20036
presidential campaign. She ran on a tough-on-crime platform, promising an increase of 50% in spend- phone: 202.223.4975 e-mail:
ing on security, and proposing a robust increase in the country’s free trade orientation. Arias could not fax: 202.223.4979            issn: 1275-559
endorse her officially due to Costa Rican law, but he described her as “a woman with a great calling to           Washington Report on the Hemisphere
public service.” Chinchilla advocates the promotion of free-trade, foreign investment, and the centrist                 © 2010 Published Biweekly
policy-making that the Arias presidency featured, so these words come as no surprise. As an opponent                  (22 Issues per Year Plus an Index)
of gay marriage, abortion and secular government, she is no symbol for progressive change.                         by the Council on Hemispheric Affairs
    The validity of the election results have been questioned by critics such as Luis Roberto Zamora             26 February, 2010 Vol. 30 No. 3
Bolaños, a highly regarded young Costa Rican lawyer, who believes that the number of ballots cast was Founder, WRH: Robert Nachman, Ph. D.
doctored and does not accurately represent the views of the electorate. On election-day, 53 of the 200 Chairperson: Judith Chiara
international monitors who were present to ensure that elections were fair and transparent came from
                                                                                                            Editor-in-Chief: Larry Birns
the Organization of American States.
                                                                                                            Managing Editor: Matthew Lackey

Puerto Rico                                       Vieques is an island located off the south-east coast of Associate Editor: Evan Ouellette
                                              Puerto Rico, known for its azure colored waters and stun- Assistant Managing Editor: Adam Trombly
Research Associate Katya Rodriguez
                                               ning Bioluminescent Bay. Although the island is a major Illustrator: Margaret Scott
tourist attraction, its residents are plagued by poor health. CNN reported on their two day feature en- Trustee Editorial Board: Peter G. Bourne, M.D., for-
titled “Poisoned Paradise,” that residents living in Vieques die from cancer, diabetes and liver disease mer member of Carter White House; Charles B.
at rates of 30%, 45%, and 95% higher, respectively, than mainland Puerto Ricans. The high prevalence Dale, former President, The Newspaper Guild; Rog-
of these fatal illnesses is believed to have been caused by the United States’ Navy occupation of the er Wilkins, former editorial board member, The New
island. The U.S. purchased a huge plot of land close to the end of World War II and for six decades York Times, Washington Times, Washington Star
had used the base it constructed as a firing range and weapons testing site. The Navy ceased weapons’ Senior Research Fellows: Sean Burges, Ph.D; Richard
testing after massive protests erupted in 1999 and later withdrew its forces in 2003 when “several P. Claude, Ph.D; Susan Eckstein, Ph.D; Julie Feinsil-
members of congress insisted that without the live-fire bombing range, there was little military value ver, Ph.D; John Foran, Ph.D; Holgar Henke, Ph.D;
in retaining the base.”                                                                
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