More than 70 years after the civil war of 1948 and the convulsive history that followed, Costa Rica eliminated the declaration of former Costa Rican president, doctor and politician Rafael Ángel Calderón Guardia (1900-1970) as a “traitor to the homeland”.
Carlos Alvarado, President of the Republic, signed Law No. 9912 repealing the two decree-laws in which the Founding Junta of the Second Republic declared Dr. Calderón Guardia a “traitor to the homeland”; one of 15 December 1948 and its confirmation of 7 November 1949.
Calderón Guardia is recognised as Costa Rica’s great social reformer. During his government between 1940 and 1944, the University of Costa Rica was founded, the Costa Rican Social Security Fund was created, the Labour Code was enacted and Social Guarantees were incorporated into the Political Constitution.
For his contributions and political transcendence, he was declared a Benemérito de la Patria on 17 April 1974, during the government of José Figueres Ferrer.
“The signing of this law reaffirms the important place that Dr. Rafael Ángel Calderón Guardia has in the history of Costa Rica, who is one of the people who in the 1940s cemented much of what is now our social rule of law. The repeal of these laws confirms his importance for the country and his place in history; therefore, it is valuable for our being Costa Rican,” said President Carlos Alvarado.
“Justice continues to be done for my father. Today the President of the Republic is signing the law that repeals, once and for all, the declaration of traitor to the fatherland. The Congress of the Republic unanimously approved the repeal of this decree law, which was made at a time when the country was very divided and hatreds were exacerbated. Many years later, the same people who had declared him a traitor to the country declared him a national hero, and we thought it was all over. However, this law was still in force, and thanks to God and the efforts of Congressman Eduardo Cruickshank, the members of the Legislative Assembly and the President of the Republic, it was repealed today,” said his son and former president Rafael Ángel Calderón Fournier.