“Luxury Coast Guard station!” Thus begins a press release the Public Security Ministry issued, hailing the October construction of a new Coast Guard base in Puntarenas with $250,000 in funding from the United States.
U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Magda Siekert said the funding comes from Southern Command (Southcom), a military office that coordinates the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard under the leadership of a four-star general.
In February, the agency announced plans to double counter-narcotics funding to Costa Rica to $2 million.
Siekert said Costa Rica already has a Coast Guard base in the nearby Pacific port of Caldera and that it would be “rolled” into the new facility, which is scheduled for completion in October 2009.
Southcom is responsible for “contingency planning, operations, and security cooperation for Central and South America, the Caribbean, Cuba, the Bahamas and their territorial waters.”