U.S. boosts security aid to Costa Rica
The United States is releasing an additional $2.64 million in aid under the Merida Initiative to improve citizen safety in Costa Rica.
In an announcement made at the Foreign Ministry on Friday, U.S. Ambassador Anne Andrew said the additional money will be used to strengthen border controls, improve the justice system and fight criminal organizations.
“Today, with our signatures, we continue with our shared commitment to improve the security of our citizens in Costa Rica and in the United States,” Andrew said of the program that has thus far pumped $175 million into Central America – $9 million in Costa Rica this year alone.
The additional aid was accompanied by an announcement that the United States will change the initiative´s name to the Central American Regional Security Initiative, or CARSI.
“The name change reflects the fact that the State Department has noted that the needs of law enforcement may differ between Central American countries,” read a statement from the Costa Rican Foreign Ministry. “But they also share many of the same challenges, such as the use of their territory to transport drugs, money laundering and other illegal activities related to drugs.”
Meanwhile, President-elect Laura Chinchilla has been traveling through Central America, mustering support for a shared security initiative.
“We are at the point of initiating a series of security operations to put the brakes on drug trafficking and money laundering,” she said after a visit with Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli. “This is the opportune moment to coordinate with our Panamanian counterparts because this fight can only be one if we do it together.”
You may be interested
Costa Rica reopens to key tourism market as it welcomes Mexican visitorsAlejandro Zúñiga - September 26, 2020
Costa Rica will open its doors to the arrival of tourists from Mexico, after considering a drop in reported Covid-19…
Costa Rica tourism: What states might be allowed next? [updated]Alejandro Zúñiga - September 26, 2020
Since September 1, Costa Rica has welcomed tourists from a growing number of U.S. states. According to Gustavo Segura, Costa…
Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Friday, September 25Alejandro Zúñiga - September 25, 2020
Costa Rica announced 17 new coronavirus-related deaths over the last day for a total of 812, according to official data…