At an event celebrating Costa Rica’s 62 years without an army, President Laura Chinchilla announced that she would reinforce police presence on the border of Nicaragua.
It’s been nearly six weeks since Nicaragua troops staked claim to a marshy island at the two countries’ border. Though Costa Rica has appealed to international organizations to reclaim it, diplomatic means have not resulted in Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega withdrawing troops.
“We will not allow further violations of our territorial integrity,” said Chinchilla, while speaking at the National Museum on Wednesday. “We’re not going to be derailed by the disrespectful whims of other political leaders.”
Chinchilla added that the absence of an army should not jeopardize the civil protection of Costa Rica’s territory and that “a disarmed country should not be synonymous with a country that’s geographically helpless.”
Chinchilla requested police reinforcements at the mouths of the Colorado and San Carlos Rivers and within the Tortuguero Canals. She called on Costa Ricans to join the Armed Forces Reserves and asked the Public Security Ministry to accelerate training of border police.
Chinchilla said a greater police presence will not negatively effect the resolution adopted by the Organization of American States in mid-November.
December 1st was declared Military Abolition Day in 1986 by then-President Oscar Arias to commemorate the day in 1948 when former President José Figueres Ferrer disbanded the army.