Costa Rica may have its first openly transgender Parliamentary candidate

Some of the VAMOS pre-candidates in Costa Rica: Jimena Caballero, civil rights defender, and Dayanna Hernandez, trans activist

In Costa Rica, the political party ‘VAMOS’ is in its internal elections stage to decide on candidates that will run in the Parliamentary elections of February 2018.  The progressive party was constituted a year ago in search of situating human rights at the center of the national political agenda. They are concurrently running their “VAMOS CON VOS” (“We go with you”) campaign, which seeks to obtain their first seats in the National Congress.

Pre-candidates right now include Dayanna Hernandez, a trans activist and president of Transvida, an organization that supports rights for trans people and works towards greater political inclusion and participation of trans people. This marks the first time in the country that an openly trans woman has made the decision to run for Congress.  Margarita Salas, openly lesbian woman and President of the VAMOS party, and Esteban Alfaro, LGBTI activist and entrepreneur, are also running as pre-candidates. Margarita and Dayanna have both attended Victory Institute’s regional conferences in Latin America and the Caribbean.

By supporting LGBTI candidates, as well as other civil rights defenders, women, and young people as candidates, VAMOS demonstrates its belief that progressive and feminist party actions will contribute to a stronger and more inclusive democracy.

Victory Institute has worked with leaders from Costa Rica, as well as throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, on issues of political leadership and electoral campaign techniques.  Victory Institute understands the importance of having more LGBTI voices at the table where decisions are made.  In the case of Costa Rica, these leaders are helping to bring a wide variety of equality agendas to the national stage, not solely LGBTI issues.  Some of the initiatives included in their agendas are marriage equality, gender identity law, sustainable and inclusive cities, criminal justice reform, and various other progressive causes.

VAMOS will host their elections to select final parliamentary candidates this Sunday, October 8.