Oscar Arias Sanchez realised his childhood dream to become President of Costa Rica at the age of 44, against a background of looming war in Central America. Within a year, he had convinced his four warring neighbours to commit to peace, risking attracting the wrath of the USA and the Soviets upon his small, dependent nation and ultimately winning the love of his people and the Nobel Peace Price. Arias returned to power in 2006 to face the very different challenge of implementing controversial reforms to the Costa Rican economy.
Former President of Costa Rica.
Costa Rican lawyer, politician and younger brother of former President Oscar Arias. Served as Minister of the Presidency in both of his brother’s administrations and is currently campaigning for candidacy in the 2014 presidential election.
Daughter of former President Oscar Arias.
Adriana ‘Mimi’ Prado
Costa Rican politician and diplomat. Former colleague, long-time friend and influential advisor of Oscar Arias. Currently serves as ambassador to Nicaragua.
Sister of Oscar and Rodrigo Arias.
Daughter of Cecilia Arias and niece of Oscar and Rodrigo Arias. Inherited a fascination of politics from her uncles. Currently employed at the World Bank.
Arias' protegee and friend, Kevin's rise and fall as his vice-President was a soul searching test of their relationship. Leaving Costa Rica after a political scandal, Kevin speaks warmly about Arias' loyalty and strength as a leader.
Employed for her first and only job as personal assistant to Oscar Arias, a role she has held for 30 years.
Francisco Antonio Pacheco
Costa Rican politician, President of the Banco Popular and lifelong friend of Oscar Arias. Served as education minister in Arias’s first term and President of the Legislative Assembly in his second.
Facing a national debt that was far out of reach to repay, Lizano and Arias renegotiated to pay 18 cents in every dollar - a stunning and risky move which pulled Costa RIca into the most profitable country in the region.
Costa Rican politician, university professor and former colleague of Oscar Arias. Served in both Arias administrations and currently works as Minister of Public Education under President Laura Chinchilla.
Jorge Vargas Cullel
Costa Rican academic and deputy director of the State of the Nation Programme. His particular area of interest is the study of democracy.
Political science professor at the University of Costa Rica and former politician. Served a congressman for the Social Christian Unity Party – political rivals to Arias’s PLN party.
Costa Rican politician and former member of Oscar Arias’s National Liberation Party (PLN). Ran as the party candidate in the 2002 election, in which he was defeated by Abel Pacheco.
Costa Rican trade unionist and secretary general of National Association of Public and Private Employees (ANEP). Vocal opponent of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and a critic of the second Arias administration.