US Military Presence in Costa Rica Rejected

Costa Rican opposition parties expressed their rejection to the entry of more soldiers, ships and helicopters from the US to Costa Rica, on a pretext to fight drug trafficking.

The Costa Rican Legislative Assembly is analyzing a new authorization for the arrival, stay in port and landing of war ships, helicopters and US Marines between January 1st and June 30.

“We are quite much worried with such an excessive military force to fight drug trafficking,” said Victor Emilio Granados, from Partido Accesibilidad sin Exclusion (PASE) – Accessibility without Exclusion Party.

Granados said the permission should be analyzed carefully, and will generate polemics at the local Congress.

The US naval force will operate in exclusively economic zones of Costa Rica, in the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

In the middle of this year, the Costa Rican Parliament authorized the arrival of 7,000 soldiers, 46 war ships, more than 200 helicopters, 10 Harrier planes and two submarines.

The permission provoked the rejection of opposition parties and social sectors, regarding it as anti-constitutional, and something violating the national sovereignty.

Costa Rican deputy Luis Fishman, from the Social Christian Unity Party, presented a protest before the Constitutional Court, considering that the drug trafficking fighting agreement invoked to give the authorization did not include authorization for foreign military forces entering the national territory.

Other parties such as Frente Amplio and Accion Cuidadana also rejected the US military presence.

Civil society organizations convoked for a protest in front of the host building of the Parliament Monday at 3 P.M. local time, when the Legislative Assembly session began.

The authorization if part of the Programa de Patrullaje Conjunto (Joint Patrol) which exists since 1999.

– Article from Inside Costa Rica.