Carazo Odio, Rodrigo (1926–)

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Carazo Odio, Rodrigo (1926–)

Rodrigo Carazo Odio (b. 27 December 1926), president of Costa Rica (1978–1982), founder of the University for Peace (1980). Born in Cartago, Rodrigo Carazo began his distinguished career in public service in the aftermath of the 1948 revolution, when he was named a city councilman in Puntarenas. Shortly after receiving his degree in economics and administration from the University of Costa Rica (1951), he served at the national level during the first elected presidency of José Figueres Ferrer (1953–1958).

Carazo began his political career as a follower of Figueres and held high positions in his administration and in that of Francisco Orlich Bolmarcich (1962–1966). He broke with the National Liberation Party (PLN) and formed the Democratic Renovation Party, a group that later joined with other parties to form the Unity Party, which supported his successful candidacy in 1978.

Although he came to the presidency on a ground swell of popular support for reform, his administration became embroiled in logistical support for the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua. Because of charges of arms trafficking against members of his administration and oil crisis-induced inflation, his administration came to be popularly identified with high inflation and declining living standards after a generation of sustained economic growth. Despite many positive programs and high initial popularity, Carazo could not overcome the twin blows of rising oil prices and falling coffee prices.

Carazo later became a private businessman, although in 1983–1984 he did briefly attempt to create a new political party, Partido Radical Democrático (Radical Democratic Party).

See alsoCosta Rica; Costa Rica, National Liberation Party.


Rodrigo Carazo Odio, Acción para la historia (1982).

Richard Biesanz, Karen Zubris Biesanz, and Mavis Hiltunen Biesanz, The Costa Ricans (1982; rev. ed. 1988).

Additional Bibliography

Abarca, Carlos A. Rodrigo Carazo y la utopía de la dignidad: 1970–1983. Heredia, Costa Rica: EUNA, 1995.

Mora A., Jorge A. El valor de la independencia. Heredia, Costa Rica: Universidad Nacional, 1996.

                                     John Patrick Bell