The Public Security Ministry (MSP) on Thursday commemorated the delivery of two new boats that were donated to the Costa Rican Coast Guard by the United States.
In a ceremony in Caldera, Puntarenas, the Coast Guard introduced its Tampa Yacht interceptor boats, which are equipped with modern communication equipment, including radar. An additional two boats were repaired and put back into service, also thanks to U.S. financing.
Authorities on Thursday participated in a symbolic groundbreaking of a Training and Maintenance Center that will be constructed at Puerto Caldera later this year. The facilities will allow the Coast Guard to service and repair its vessels.
The total value of the U.S. donations was more than $3.8 million, MSP reported.
“Costa Rica is a key ally in maritime interdiction operations against drug traffickers in Costa Rican waters,” said Gloria Berbena, chargé d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy. “We hope to continue our collaboration, to strengthen the capacities of the National Coast Guard and have a safer Costa Rica and region.”
The U.S. provides Costa Rica with $40 million annually to fight narcotrafficking and organized crime in the region. This finances maritime and air-based programs, border security and the judicial system.
The U.S. and Costa Rica also coordinate in joint operations to stop international crime. Central America is one of the main routes for drugs headed from South America to the United States and Europe.
You can watch Thursday’s ceremony below: