• Costa Rica Real Estate

Lawmakers’ decision opens waters to drug traffickers, says US

January 5, 2011

The failure of Costa Rican lawmakers to approve docking permits for United States military ships will limit counter-narcotics operations, according to the US Embassy in Costa Rica.

The country may become more vulnerable to trafficking and drug-related crimes as the Coast Guard does not have significant resources to patrol Costa Rican waters, which are approximately 11 times larger than its land area, the embassy said.

“US maritime patrols off Costa Rica’s coasts provide significant benefits to Costa Rica by deterring illicit trafficking, which is always accompanied by increased crime and violence,” read an embassy statement. “We regret that legislators chose not to vote on port calls by U.S. Navy ships.” 

Under the Joint Maritime Agreement, the United States has had docking and refueling privileges for pre-approved navy ships that are involved in counter narcotics operations for more than 10 years. Every six months, the Costa Rican Legislative Assembly reviews and approves the list of ships that might need to dock in Costa Rican ports.

Until July, the list of ships has always been rubber-stamped without question, but opposition began to surface in mid-2010. A handful of lawmakers were concerned the relationship with the US Navy was not having its intended effect, as drug-trafficking has seemingly worsened.

When the renewal surfaced again in December, lawmakers approved only half of the agreement, allowing only Coast Guard ships to enter ports.

“Unfortunately, the legislature’s failure to approve port calls by U.S. Navy ships will result in a reduced presence of U.S. counter-narcotics vessels in or near Costa Rican waters, since they have no assurance that they will be able to refuel and resupply here,” said the US embassy statement. “We hope that the legislators will approve port calls by U.S. Navy ships as soon as they return to session in January.”

You may be interested

Pic of the Day: The golden orb weaver spider
Pic of the Day
87 views
Pic of the Day
87 views

Pic of the Day: The golden orb weaver spider

The Tico Times - December 10, 2019

Despite being completely non-threatening to humans, the golden orb weaver spider has acid-yellow spots and pincer-like legs, and can grow…

Costa Rica seizes cyanide and mercury in operations against illegal mining
Costa Rica
66 views
Costa Rica
66 views

Costa Rica seizes cyanide and mercury in operations against illegal mining

AFP and The Tico Times - December 10, 2019

Costa Rican authorities confiscated large shipments of cyanide and mercury, two highly toxic chemicals, in a series of operations against…

The Tico Times Weekly Digest: December 9, 2019
Costa Rica
704 views
Costa Rica
704 views

The Tico Times Weekly Digest: December 9, 2019

The Tico Times - December 9, 2019

Thanks for watching The Tico Times Weekly Digest, where we catch up on the latest news in Costa Rica. This…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!