Otilio Ulate Blanco

Otilio Ulate Blanco
Otilio Ulate Blanco cropped.jpg
31st President of Costa Rica
In office
8 November 1949 (1949-11-08) – 8 November 1953 (1953-11-08)
Vice President Alberto Oreamuno Flores
Alfredo Volio Mata
Preceded by José Figueres Ferrer
(first term)
Succeeded by José Figueres Ferrer
(second term)
Personal details
Born (1891-08-25)25 August 1891
Alajuela, Costa Rica
Died (1973-10-27)27 October 1973 (aged 82)
San José
Political party National Union Party (during term)
National Unification Party (beginning in 1966)

Luis Rafael de la Trinidad Otilio Ulate Blanco (August 25, 1891 – October 10, 1973) served as President of Costa Rica from 1949 to 1953.[1] His French heritage comes from his mother, Ermida Blanco. He never married but had two daughters, Olga Marta Ulate Rojas (1937–2007) and Maria Ermida Ulate Rojas (1938) with Haydee Rojas Smith (British origins) [2]

His disputed election in 1948, whereby he was denied victory by the legislature in favor of Rafael Ángel Calderón Guardia, was the direct cause of José Figueres Ferrer's armed uprising of that year and the ensuing 44-day Costa Rican Civil War.

Blanco started his career in politics as a journalist, director of local newspaper La Tribuna and owner of Diario de Costa Rica, principal newspaper at the time, where he directed his major political campaigns.

Ulate led the opposition party during the February 8th 1948 elections, where he defeated ex President Rafael Ángel Calderón Guardia.[3]

His government proved a good handling of economical development, Ulate raised the Consejo Nacional de Produccion (CNP)-National Production Committee-, the Central Bank of de Costa Rica (main financial institution in Costa Rica), the Contraloria General de la Republica (regulates government and public institutions' budgets and expenses), the "Ley del Aguinaldo" (law that enforces a 13th month paid salary for all Costa Rican workers during Christmas time), the right for women to vote in National Elections and the foundations for the actual International Juan Santamaria Airport (called "El Coco"), despite the fact that many of his achievements were self-recognized by following presidents.[2] During a visit to the penitentiary in San Lucas Island he also ordered the release of Beltrán Cortés from the unusually public and confined cell President León Cortés Castro had ordered for him and placed him with the other prisoners.[4]

He was the ambassador of Costa Rica to Spain from 1970 to 1971.


  1. ^ El Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones: Presidentes de la República de Costa Rica
  2. ^ a b Olga Marta Ulate Rojas, A la luz de la moral politica
  3. ^ http://original.britannica.com/eb/topic-613158/Otilio-Ulate
  4. ^ Oconitrillo García, Eduardo (2004). Vida, muerte y mito del Dr. Moreno Cañas. Editorial Costa Rica. ISBN 978-9977-23-169-3.
Political offices
Preceded by
José Figueres Ferrer
President of Costa Rica
Succeeded by
José Figueres Ferrer