Biography of José Joaquín Rodríguez Zeledón (1837-1917)

Politician and lawyer Costa Rican born on 6 January 1837 and died on November 30, 1917. He was President between 1890 and 1894.

He was one of the best Costa Rican lawyers of his time, and rose to prominence as a judge of the Supreme Court of Justice. His political life began late, when as being a famous lawyer took charge of the Secretary of State in the Government of Bernardo Soto, and only by former ' dam request, since Rodríguez Zeledón never wanted to enter politics.

He came to the Presidency of the Republic elected by a hefty majority of votes, instead of Carlos Durán, and between the enthusiasm of the population, who saw the solution to the continuous imposition of Presidents that had occurred in recent years in this prestigious lawyer.

José Joaquín sought the support of the clergy, in an attempt to bring calm to Costa Rica, but Liberals became alarmed and promoted a strong campaign against Rodríguez Zeledón, which led to the Catholic party lost elections for deputies of 1892. Given this, Rodríguez Zeledón dissolved Congress and became dictator, despite continuing the presidential title. The following year, under popular pressure and the powerful sectors of the society, individual freedoms were restored and elections were called for the following year. In 1894 it was chosen the up to then Minister of war and Navy, Rafael Iglesias Castro.

During Rodríguez Zeledón Government have taken measures in favour of education, established night schools; telephone service was established in the capital (1891); started the construction of the National Theatre (1890) and promoted European emigration to promote the agricultural development of the country.