Fabricio Alvarado, a socially conservative nationalist, has won the first round of the Costa Rican presidential election with 25% of the vote, according to provisional results. He narrowly beat progressive candidate Carlos Alvarado, who won 22% of the vote. Carlos Alvarado and Fabricio Alvarado are now set to go on to the second round, which will take place on April 1.
Centrist candidates Antonio Alvarez, Rudolfo Piza, and Juan Diego Castro, who came in third, fourth, and fifth place respectively, were eliminated, as was rival conservative candidate Rodolfo Hernández, who came in sixth place. It is expected that much of their support will go to Fabricio Alvarado, who is likely to win the runoff.
Previously, Fabricio Alvarado’s National Restoration Party was a minor factor in Costa Rican politics, holding only one seat in the legislature. However, he successfully channeled popular backlash against a ruling by the globalist Inter-American Court of Human Rights ordering Costa Rica to enact same-sex marriage, allowing him to triumph over better established political rivals. While Carlos Alvarado supported the court’s decision, Fabricio Alvarado called for Costa Rican withdrawal from the court’s jurisdiction, despite it being based in the Costa Rican capital, San Jose. Fabricio Alvarado, an Evangelical pastor himself, was able to mobilize a core base of Evangelical Protestants, while also making inroads into the conservative Catholic community.
Although Costa Rica is a small country with no military and little regional influence, Fabricio Alvarado’s success may serve as a further indication that the rising patriotic movement (which has previously gained ground in the United States, Europe and Asia) is now spreading to Latin America. Last November, Sebastian Piñera prevailed in the Chilean presidential election. While he is himself a political moderate, his cabinet included supporters of Augusto General Pinochet, who saved Chile from communism in the 1970s. In Colombia, Germán Vargas Llaras, who has faced criticism due to his ties to the AUC paramilitary group, has taken the lead in May’s presidential election, on a platform of opposing negotiations with communist insurgents in the war-torn country. In Brazil, Jair Bolsanaro, a provocative defender of the country’s Cold War-era military junta, is a leading candidate in October’s presidential election.