The United States is expected to send more than $40 million to Costa Rica to help the country fight narcotrafficking and organized crime, the Foreign Ministry announced.
The funding, which is part of a budget signed by U.S. President Donald Trump, amounts to a 33-percent increase over last year, according to the Foreign Ministry.
The news was announced Saturday in a press release.
“It is our police officers who, with their work, demonstrate day-by-day their commitment to the security of the country and to the region,” the Costa Rican Ambassador to the United States, Fernando Llorca Castro, said in a statement.
In the press release, the Costa Rican government thanked the United States for the continued partnership:
The Government of Costa Rica thanks the Government of the United States for the confidence this cooperation package shows toward Costa Rica. It is also a testament to the increasingly strong ties between both countries, as well as to the US Ambassador in Costa Rica, Sharon Day, and the embassy team, for the leadership, commitment to Costa Rica, and the bilateral security priorities which are essential for the successful execution of the projects carried out with this cooperation.
Trump on Friday declared a national emergency in the United States to stem what he calls “an invasion of drugs and criminals coming into our country” through its border with Mexico. However, illegal border crossings into the United States are already decreasing, according to The New York Times.
Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado travelled to the United States during his first trip abroad after his May 2018 inauguration. His meetings with U.S. officials highlighted “priority issues for our administration,” including citizen security and fighting organized crime.
Costa Rica’s Public Security Ministry last week announced a partnership with Colombia in which officials from the South American country will help to bolster preventative security measures.
“Uniting efforts is essential to protect the country in the fight against common crime and organized crime,” said Luis Carlos Castillo Fernandez, the Deputy Minister of Public Security.
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