For the 2nd consecutive year, Costa Rica will receive from the United States a donation of US$ 30.7 million for the fight against organized crime and the attention of migrant populations, in recognition of the work performed during the Solís Rivera Office. This was consigned to the budget for the 2018 fiscal year, approved by Congress recently and signed by President Donald Trump.
The announcement was made by the still-in-office President Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera, during the delivery ceremony of 3 patrol boats (110 feet each), on April 27th, 2018, in the Coast Guard Station of Caldera. These vessels, part of the largest security donation that Costa Rica has had since 2017, allows the country greater autonomy for the protection of citizenship, marine resources, police action against drug trafficking, human trafficking, and the defense of national sovereignty.
This new donation item is equal to that assigned the previous year to address national and regional security issues. It is divided into 3 items: US$ 25 million correspond to the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) through which programs that benefit more than 2,300 young people in situations of risk have been funded to provide them with job skills, leadership, and spirit business. The other US$ 5,750 million comes from funds for police training.
“In this way everything that we have advanced in joint actions to fight against organized crime and drug trafficking and for security in the communities is consolidated, which happens to a great extent because we have managed to demonstrate with facts that the resources are being used to fulfill the purpose for which they were donated and the impact that this has on the security, not only of Costa Rica but also of the region, is quantifiable”, commented the President Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera.
Adding the amounts donated to Costa Rica by the US government between 2017 and 2018, the country will receive a total of US $ 61.4 million, as a result of the historic cooperation in the fight against transnational organized crime between both nations, ratified during the President Solís Rivera official tours in the North American country.
This aid, which both nations have managed since the beginning of this administration, included 2 patrol boats, 2 patrol and cargo planes, 3 helicopters and other equipment in 2017 that have been contributing to binational actions to strengthen security.
“This is a recognition of Costa Rica as a strategic partner in the fight against organized crime and on the arrival of migrants from different countries. It also responds to the good results that Costa Rica has shown in terms of drug seizures”, said Costa Rica’s Ambassador to the United States, highlighted in Washington, Román Macaya Hayes. “In our exclusive economic zone, we have shown a very high effectiveness. Last year, 130 metric tons of cocaine were seized”, the Ambassador added.
The Embassy of Costa Rica in Washington has been doing constant work since 2014, to manage these resources and position the country’s achievements in security issues. This effort has been based on regular visits to the United States Congress focused on holding meetings with members of the Appropriations Subcommittee, in charge of allocating the budget and allocations for international operations.
The work of 2017 against drug trafficking and common crime places Costa Rica as a leader in the confiscation of illicit substances with the dismantling of 126 narco-criminal structures, of which 26 were engaged in international drug trafficking and 100 in local drug trafficking. Of these last, 40 were families. In addition, since December 2017, the country has an Action Protocol for Special Migratory Situations, which will be decisive to optimize the administration of resources and provide effective responses to the migrant population at risk.