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Costa Rica’s Chinchilla to talk trade, security during Colombia trip

Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla is scheduled to meet with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos to talk trade and security during a visit Friday to Bogotá, officials reported on Thursday.

Chinchilla and Santos will commemorate the 121st anniversary of Colombia’s National Police, where the Costa Rican president will receive the highest honorary commendation issued by the National Police.

Both countries operate a joint, high-level security program specifically targeting drug trafficking, which includes expert training of Costa Rican officials by the Colombian Coast Guard.

According to the U.S. government, 90 percent of illicit drugs trafficked from South America to the United States pass through Central America and Mexico, converting the isthmus into the world’s most violent region.

At the same time, Colombian and Costa Rican officials are negotiating a free trade agreement. In 2011, Costa Rica exported $48 million in goods to Colombia while importing $455 million of goods from the South American country.

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