Facio Segreda, Gonzalo (1918–)

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Facio Segreda, Gonzalo (1918–)

Gonzalo Facio Segreda (b. 28 March 1918), Costa Rican ambassador to the United States on three occasions, former president of congress, minister of justice, and foreign minister.

Facio was appointed ambassador to the United States in 1990 by the newly inaugurated president of Costa Rica, Rafael Angel Calderón Fournier (b. 1949). His credentials included nearly one half-century of prominence in political, cultural, and economic affairs. His most salient contributions have been in international affairs.

Born in San José, Facio entered the national scene while he was still in law school and was a founding member of the Center for the Study of National Problems (March 1940). He graduated from the University of Costa Rica in 1941. During the social reform-oriented government of Rafael Angel Calderón Guardia (1940–1944), the Center developed a social democratic alternative to the Calderón-led alliance between the National Republican Party and a communist party, the Bloque de Obreros y Campesinos (BOC), which was renamed the Popular Vanguard Party (PVP) in 1943.

He entered the direct action group under the leadership of José Figueres Ferrer, which paved the way for the armed uprising that overthrew the Teodoro Picado Michalski administration (1944–1948) after the disputed election in February 1948. After the successful revolt, Figueres appointed Facio minister of justice in the Founding Junta of the Second Republic (1948–1949), where he played an active role in suppressing communists and Calderónist leaders who had held high-level positions in the previous two administrations (1940–1948) through the establishment of special courts, such as the Court of Immediate Sanctions, which tried public officials who served between 1940 and 1948 for offenses committed, and the Court of Probity, which intervened the property of public officials who served during that same period. The decisions of these courts could not be appealed.

After the return to constitutional government in 1949, he worked actively with Figueres to form the National Liberation Party (PLN), which represented the ideological position of the junta and the revolutionary movement that brought it to power. With Figueres's election to the presidency in 1953, Facio served as president of congress (1953–1958). He served as foreign minister under Figueres in his third presidency (1970–1974) and also under Daniel Oduber Quirós (1974–1978). Facio later broke with the PLN and became active in the Unidad coalition that elected Rodrigo Carazo Odio (1978–1982) and Rafael Angel Calderón Fournier (1990–1994) to the presidency.

Facio has also been active in business, professional, and academic affairs and has served as an officer and board member for several organizations. He has published numerous articles on national and international politics. He holds a doctorate in law from New York University.

See alsoCosta Rica, National Liberation Partyxml .


Ameringer, Charles. Don Pepe. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1978.

Araya Pochet, Carlos. Liberación nacional en la historia política de Costa Rica, 1940–1980. San José: Editorial Nacional de Textos, 1982.

Bell, John Patrick. Crisis in Costa Rica. Austin: Institute of Latin American Studies, University of Texas Press, 1971.

English, Burt H. Liberación Nacional in Costa Rica. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1971.

                                        John Patrick Bell