Head of Federation of unions gets political asylum in Costa Rica

March 14, 2003

The Head of the Federation of all Unions CTV, Carlos Ortega, sought political asylum in the Costa Rican Embassy today. Costa Rica granted the asylum later in the day. Ortega had a detention order agaisnt him for his role in the general strike. He was elected as Head of CTV in October 2000 in an election forced by the new Constitution. Ortega won by a margin of 56% to 19%  by the Government’s candidate Aristobulo Isturiz., the current Minsiter of Education. The Chavez administration refused to recognize Ortega’s victory arguing there were irregularities. Ortega then became Chavez; most formidable opponent, organizing marches and strikes against the Government and became one of the main leaders of the opposition. Reportedly, Ortega was told by a source, that the order was not to capture him but to kill him if detained. This is a severe blow to the opposition.

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