Orlich Bolmarcich, Francisco José (1907–1969)

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Orlich Bolmarcich, Francisco José (1907–1969)

Francisco José Orlich Bolmarcich (b. 1907; d. October 1969), president of Costa Rica (1962–1966). Born in San Ramón, a member of one of Costa Rica's wealthiest families, "Chico" Orlich Bolmarcich studied accounting and business administration in New York in the 1920s. Orlich, along with José Figueres Ferrer, his close friend and collaborator since childhood, dominated Costa Rican politics for two decades following the 1948 civil war. He and Figueres founded Costa Rica's principal political party, the National Liberation Party (PLN), in 1951. During Figueres's presidency (1953–1958), Orlich served as party leader in the Legislative Assembly. He lost the election for president in 1958, but ran successfully four years later.

Regarded as the more conservative of the two, particularly in the area of government intervention in the economy, Orlich nonetheless tackled the difficult issues of agrarian reform and housing for the poor that Figueres had avoided. He sponsored Costa Rica's membership in the Central American Common Market. Orlich's presidency was hampered by the eruption of the volcano Irazú (1963–1965), which caused grave economic hardship for over two years and led to charges of mismanagement of disaster relief, which contributed to the PLN's defeat in the presidential election of 1966.

See alsoCosta Rica; Figueres Ferrer, José.


Carlos Araya Pochet, Historia de los partidos políticos: Liberación Nacional (1968).

Charles D. Ameringer, Don Pepe: A Political Biography of José Figueres of Costa Rica (1978).

Harold D. Nelson, ed., Costa Rica: A Country Study, 2d ed. (1983).

Additional Bibliography

Obregón, Clotilde María. Semblanza de Don Francisco J. Orlich B. San José: Partido Liberación Nacional, Editorial Raíces, 2003.

                                   Charles D. Ameringer

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Orlich Bolmarcich, Francisco José (1907–1969)

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