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Costa Rica Forms Security Bill Working Group

The Executive Branch is set to engage in a work group tasked with preparing essential bills for the country regarding security matters.

President Chaves affirmed this decision last week following discussions with the heads of the Judicial Branch, Orlando Aguirre, the Legislative Assembly, Rodrigo Arias, and the president of the legislative commission on Security and Drug Trafficking, Gloria Navas. This development comes after weeks of contentious exchanges triggered by Chaves’ frustration over the slow progress of bills presented this year.

Chaves emphasized the urgent need to address the issue of young people being recruited, sent to war, and losing their lives.

The President raised concerns about the potential reinstatement of a teenager involved in hired assassination and called for increased penalties and measures to ensure incarceration. He stressed the importance of judges having access to suspects’ criminal history to make informed decisions based on their danger profile, emphasizing the need for extraordinary actions in extraordinary times.

“Regardless of recent events, the country must tackle the pending problem,” stated Chaves, expressing a newfound willingness to engage in dialogue and collaborative efforts, a shift from his previous stance of leaving legislative matters solely to the deputies.

This change in approach comes in response to criticisms from deputies who accused the President of abandoning the task of enacting laws aligned with the State’s security policy. Rodrigo Arias even raised concerns about a potential unconstitutional breach by the president.

Following a call from Arias himself, Chaves agreed to a meeting between the heads of the Republic’s branches, held at the Judicial Power. Afterward, Judge Aguirre reported a “camaraderie” atmosphere and the decision to establish a commission or working group to refine projects for greater political viability before reaching the Legislative Assembly. The commission will include the Minister of the Presidency, Natalia Díaz, authorities from the Public Prosecutor’s Office, Navas, and a legislative team.

Despite Navas’ previous criticisms of the confrontational tone of the Chaves government, she praised the meeting’s results, emphasizing the importance of working together to restore peace in Costa Rica.

Chaves conveyed his intention to persuade counterparts about the necessity of a “paradigm” shift regarding stricter laws. He reiterated the need to approve the extradition of Costa Ricans wanted in other countries for drug trafficking cases, acknowledging that this requires constitutional reform and could be a time-consuming process, as noted by Arias.

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