Costa Rica’s lawmakers approve docking of U.S. ships in national ports

July 23, 2013

The entry into Costa Rican territory of U.S. Coast Guard vessels and a cutter of the U.S. Navy was finally approved Monday evening, two months after the request was filed by the U.S. government.

Docking permission will be granted through Dec. 31 and will allow the entry of 41 ships of the U.S. Coast Guard and the Naval cutter.

Final voting ended with 42 lawmakers in favor and only Broad Front Party leader José María Villalta voting against.

The docking permit was the first issue lawmakers voted on after a two-week recess that, according to Public Security Minister Mario Zamora, “delayed the implementation of the joint patrol agreement between Costa Rica and the United States.”

Zamora also complained that he filed the permit request before the Legislative Assembly on behalf the U.S. government two months ago.

The joint patrol program in the first six months of this year allowed the seizure of eight drug speedboats, one fishing yacht, 5,385 kilograms of cocaine and 2,556 kilos of marijuana, according to Legislative Assembly records.

Illicit Traffic tracks

Courtesy of U.S. Embassy in San José

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