Costa Rica to Implement Constitutional Reforms to Improve the War on Drugs

The President of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla, will introduce to Congress a series of reforms to improve the fight against drug trafficking, This includes modifications wiretapping and the extradition of nationals to other countries.

The announcement was made by the president within the framework of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) of the Organization of American States (OAS), held from today until Friday in Costa Rica.

Chinchilla called commissioners and drug authorities from the mainland to review the results of their actions and about the effectiveness of the strategies used so far in the fight against drug trafficking.

In this regard, the President said the government will promote, for example, a constitutional amendment to allow judicial police wiretaps made, as at this time can only execute the judges in person.

Costa Rica is the only Central American country where the police do not hear the phones tapped directly, but the judge will decide how much of the collected information shared with the CID.

Chinchilla also intends to amend the Constitution to make it legal in Costa Rican extradition to other countries where they are wanted for drug trafficking and organized crime.

The president said also signed a treaty on joint patrols in the Pacific between America and other countries like Mexico and Colombia, for greater operational capacity on drug trafficking routes from South America to the United States.

According Chinchilla, other reforms are needed in addition to the Criminal Code to increase penalties and sanctions against drug trafficking and organized crime.

With these measures, the president said his country will send a “clear message” to criminal gangs, but stressed that the fight against drug trafficking should not and can be a national issue.

The proposed constitutional amendments will be sent to Congress today but its process could take at least two years.

The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
San Jose Costa Rica

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