The Costa Rican government is taking steps to combat the country’s crime crisis with a proposal to amend the Political Constitution. The Partido Progreso Social Democrático (PPSD) has presented a bill that would authorize the extradition of Costa Ricans who have committed crimes such as international drug trafficking and terrorism.
Currently, Article 32 of the Constitution states that no national may be compelled to leave Costa Rican territory. However, with the new proposal, an exception would be made for cases of international drug trafficking and terrorism where extradition has been decreed by a Court of the Republic of Costa Rica in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and laws.
If the amendment is approved, it will allow the extradition of Costa Ricans who have committed crimes abroad and returned to the country.
Congresswoman Pilar Cisneros has expressed her support for the proposed amendment, stating that it is a step in the right direction to combat crimes that have tentacles in many parts of the world. She has also highlighted the fact that there are Costa Ricans who have committed these crimes abroad and returned to the country, and without the amendment, they cannot be extradited.
However, the process of amending the Political Constitution is complex and lengthy. The proposed amendment will have to go through several stages, including approval in the Congress’ first debate and submission to the Constitutional Court. Therefore, it could take at least a year and a half before the reform is embodied in the Constitution.
The initiative has the support of the ten PPSD members, the minimum required to present a constitutional amendment. It was presented before the end of April, as it is mandatory to submit any modification to the Constitution in the ordinary session that ends on April 30.
The proponents have indicated that the intended reform was considered during the constituent discussion, which makes it possible to propose now as a constitutional reform that allows the extradition of nationals for the crimes of international drug trafficking and terrorism.
This proposed amendment is part of the government’s efforts to combat the country’s crime crisis. President Rodrigo Chaves has announced that he will present other bills to the Legislative Assembly with similar objectives.
The proposed amendment to the Political Constitution is a significant step towards combating crimes such as international drug trafficking and terrorism. While the process of amending the Constitution is complex and lengthy, the initiative has the support of the PPSD members, and was presented before the end of April, as required.