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Ofelia Taitelbaum : From 'Witch' to 'Fairy"

Ofelia Taitelbaum was elected as the head of the Defensoría de los Habitantes (Ombudsman's office) on December 14, 2009, and never had there been such a negative opinion and criticism against such an election.

Being a legislator, member of the ruling party Liberación and friend of Oscar Arias, were not qualities for the making of a good defender of rights and protector of the people and the leader of the organization of complaints against the government.

Since then, two and half years have gone by she has worked had to dispell her image as "Witch" and is now being looked as a the good fairy in the standoff between the dock works of Limón and the government.

Ofelia Taitelbaum Yoselewich says she has worked hard to shed any political affiliation, including that of the Liberacion and now, rather, looks to the needs of the entire country.

Today, the Ombudswoman could play the pivotal role in bringing and end to the week long strike and violence by the Limón dock workers as the union and government representatives sit at the negotiating table.

The media pinned the Witch label on Taitelbaum from the beginning of her term.

In the meanwhile Taitelbaum has been active in bringing solutions to social problems like the anesthesiologists strike late last year, a labour action that affected more than 20.000 patients of the CCSS and the cancellation of some 3.000 surgeries.

Wonder Ofelia:
the world is waiting for you

For her, the Ombudsman (office) is a joke. For us, she is the joke.

From in August 2009

She has also played an important role in the setting (reductions) of public transport rates, cardiac surgeries performed at the Childrens hospital and the immigration status of the Cuban "trapped" at the San José airport.

Most recently involved in an intense debate with Justo Orozco, whom she challenged to have in a year apporved the plan to guarantee civil same-sex marriages.

Albino Vargas, secretary general of the country's largest public workers unions, the Asociación Nacional de Empleados Públicos (ANEP)E), said: "We have noticed a great deal of señora defensora, uncontaminated by party affiliation", but adds that in his opinion, "she lacks aggression" against the corruption.

For her part, presidenta Laura chinchilla, after a long pause in answering the question of how she qualifies the Ombudswoman, replies, "it has been a very difficult last two years".

Today, she could completely shed the witch label and could become the good fairy once and for all, in ending the violence and paralyzing of the country's main port system, a port that handles almost three quarters of the nationals imports and exports.



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