Sixteen new vehicles were donated to the Ministry of Justice by the United States Embassy, through its Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), authorities announced Friday.
The Toyota Hilux vehicles will support the fleets of the Penitentiary Police and the Canine Unit. In total, the donation is valued at more than $1 million.
“The work we do together is crucial to help ensure stability and security in Costa Rica. This donation represents just one of the many ways the United States works with the Ministry of Justice and Peace to improve Costa Rican security,” said Charge d’Affaires of the United States Embassy, Gloria Berbena.
The Minister of Justice, Fiorella Salazar Rojas, thanked the United States for its contributions.
“This is a clear example of the support that the United States Embassy has traditionally given us, aware of the challenges we have to carry out the enormous task of managing the national prison system. These cars come to streamline transportation processes in a safe and professional manner,” she said.
The U.S. provides Costa Rica with about $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.
Last month, the U.S. donated new Coast Guard boats and helped finance new facilities in Caldera, Puntarenas.