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U.S. Southern Command to build health clinic in Costa Rica

June 13, 2008

U.S. Southern Command (Southcom) announced it is constructing a health clinic in the Talamanca region of Costa Rica, near the Panama border.

A 345-square-meter clinic in Limón province will be built in the community of El Bambú, according to a U.S. Embassy press release. Construction is scheduled to start this month.

In recent months, Southcom has become increasingly active in Costa Rica. In February, the agency announced plans to double counter-narcotics funding to Costa Rica to $2 million.

In April, they announced a $250,000 contribution to the construction a new Coast Guard base in Puntarenas. Also that month, the U.S. Navy reactivated its Fourth Fleet, dormant since the 1950s, and placed it under Southcom’s command to patrol waters off of Central and South America.

Southcom is a military office that coordinates the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard under the leadership of a four-star general. It is responsible for “contingency planning, operations, and security cooperation for Central and South America, the Caribbean, Cuba, the Bahamas and their territorial waters,” according to its Web site.

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