Rubén Armando Costas Aguilera (born 6 October 1955) is a Bolivian politician and the prefect and then governor of Santa Cruz Department in Bolivia from 2006 to 2021, and also the leader of the Democrat Social Movement (MDS).

Rubén Costas
1st Governor of Santa Cruz
In office
31 May 2015 – 3 May 2021
Preceded byRuth Lozada (interim)
Succeeded byLuis Fernando Camacho
In office
30 May 2010 – 11 December 2014
Preceded byOffice established
(Roly Aguilera as interim prefect)
Succeeded byRuth Lozada (interim)
Prefect of Santa Cruz
In office
22 January 2006 – 5 January 2010
Preceded byRubén Darío Cuéllar
Succeeded byRoly Aguilera (interim)
Personal details
Rubén Armando Costas Aguilera

(1955-10-06) 6 October 1955 (age 68)
Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia
Political partyDemocrat Social Movement (2013–present)
Other political
Autonomy for Bolivia (2005–2006)
Truth and Social Democracy (2006–2013)
SpouseSonia Vincenti Égüez
Parent(s)Rubén Costas Menacho
Guedy Aguilera de Costas

Early life and career edit

Rubén Costas was born on 6 October 1955 in Santa Cruz de la Sierra to Rubén Costas Menacho and Guedy Aguilera de Costas. He is married to Sonia Vincentti Égüez.[1] Originally an agricultural technician by profession, he later became leader of the Bolivian Cattlemen's Confederation, the Milk Producers Association, the Eastern Agricultural Chamber. From 2003 to 2004, he was the leader of the Santa Cruz Civic Committee.

Prefect and Governor of Santa Cruz (2006–present) edit

Costas successfully ran in the 2005 general elections for the office of Prefect of Santa Cruz on behalf of the Autonomy for Bolivia party.[2] This election was the result of several negotiations and large, peaceful public demonstrations in Santa Cruz demanding that prefects, the highest office in each of the nine departments, be elected by popular vote. Prior to that, the provisions of the 1967 Constitution stated that prefects were to be appointed by the president.[3] Due to popular demand and negotiations led by Costas, the Bolivian National Congress approved Law 3015 to formalize the prefect election process.[4] This was a major victory for the autonomy movement, born out of the eastern region of Bolivia, that fought for decentralization of political power.[5]

Prefect of Santa Cruz (2006–2010) edit

Following the 2005 elections, Costas became the first democratically elected Prefect of Santa Cruz, being inaugurated on 22 January 2006. In 2008, he participated, along with all other departmental governors, in that year's no confidence referendum, with 66% of voters electing to keep him in office.[6] Costas remained in office until 5 January 2010 when, following the promulgation of 2009 Constitution, he resigned to run for governor (the same office, renamed under the new constitution) in that year's regional elections.[7]

Costas at a rally in Santa Cruz

Governor of Santa Cruz (2010–2021) edit

Costas ran as a member of the Truth and Social Democracy (VERDES) party, of which he was the leader, winning 54% of the popular vote and returning to the leadership of Santa Cruz on 30 May 2010. Since he took office, Costas remained strongly critical of the government of President Evo Morales because of Morales's opposition to decentralization.

On 12 April 2011, Costas was shot in the left temporal bone in the Blacutt Square of Santa Cruz de la Sierra after attempted to prevent the assault of a woman by two assailants on motorcycles.[8] The injury was non-lethal and he was discharged a few weeks after the incident.

Ahead of the 2014 general elections, Costas merged his VERDES party with Renewing Freedom and Democracy (LIDER), and Popular Consensus (CP), forming the Democrat Social Movement (MDS).[9] At the party's first National Congress on 15 December 2013, Costas was chosen as its presidential candidate.[10] However, the party withdrew from the elections, opting instead to ally with Samuel Doria Medina's National Unity Front. Instead, Costas successfully ran for a second term in the 2015 regional elections. On 11 December 2014, Costas resigned in favor of Assemblywoman Ruth Lozada in order to qualify as a gubernatorial candidate.[11] Upon winning, he was inaugurated again on 31 May 2015.[12]

After more than 14 years in power in Santa Cruz, Costas announced that he would not run for reelection nor run for the office of Mayor of Santa Cruz de la Sierra in the following year's regional elections.[13] The MDS did not present its own gubernatorial candidate to succeed Costas, instead choosing to endorse Creemos leader Luis Fernando Camacho, who ultimately won in the first round.[14]

References edit

  1. ^ "Rubén Costas dice: En el 2019 voy a ser el presidente de Bolivia". Infodiez | Bolivia Noticias (in Spanish). 14 November 2016. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  2. ^ Bolivia's opposition governor Ruben Costas.
  3. ^ "Bolivia: Constitución Política de 1967". Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  4. ^ "Santa Cruz marca otro hito en su demanda autonómica". 4 May 2008.
  5. ^ "Rubén Costas juró como nuevo Prefecto de Santa Cruz".
  6. ^ "Referéndum Revocatorio 2008". 7 December 2008. Archived from the original on 7 December 2008. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  7. ^ Pereyra, Omar. "Uno de ellos podría ser el próximo gobernador cruceño, conozca sus perfiles". (in Spanish). Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  8. ^ "Hieren de un balazo en el cráneo a Rubén Costas". 14 April 2011. Archived from the original on 14 April 2011. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  9. ^ "Costas da forma a un nuevo partido - La Razón". 13 November 2019. Archived from the original on 13 November 2019. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  10. ^ Bolivia, Opinión. "Demócratas arrancan previas y Costas no descarta ser candidato". Opinión Bolivia (in Spanish). Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  11. ^ "Costas dimite y Lozada gobernará Santa Cruz". La Razón | Noticias de Bolivia y el Mundo. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  12. ^ "DECRETO SUPREMO No 2386 del 31 de Mayo de 2015 »". Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  13. ^ "Costas da un paso al costado, se perfila un acuerdo en Santa Cruz". (in Spanish). Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  14. ^ "Siete frentes respaldan a Camacho y Creemos no apoyará a ningún candidato a la Alcaldía cruceña". Los Tiempos (in Spanish). 29 December 2020. Retrieved 24 March 2021.

External links edit

Civic offices
Preceded by
Lorgio Paz Stelzer
President of the Santa Cruz Civic Committee
Succeeded by
Germán Antelo Vaca
Political offices
Preceded by
Rubén Darío Cuéllar
Prefect of Santa Cruz
Succeeded by
Roly Aguilera
Preceded by
Roly Aguilera
as interim prefect
Governor of Santa Cruz
Succeeded by
Ruth Lozada
Preceded by
Ruth Lozada
Governor of Santa Cruz
Succeeded by
Party political offices
New political party Leader of the Democrat Social Movement