Photo for illustrative purposes.
Photo for illustrative purposes.

Costa Rica’s legislators gave the green light for U.S. Coast Guard ships to enter Costa Rican waters, in joint patrols, to combat drug trafficking.

The vote came at 5pm Monday, when 42 of the 55 legisaltors approved the entering and presence of 43 U.S. ships in Costa Rican waters and docking at ports.

Supporting the approval were legislators of the Partido Acción Ciudadana (PAC), the Partido Liberación Nacional (PLN), the Partido Unidad Social Cristiana (PUSC), the Movimiento Libertario, Renovación Costarricense, Restauración Nacional, Accesibilidad Sin Exclusión (PASE) and Alianza Demócrata Cristiana (ADC).

Voting against were all the legislators of the Frente Amplio and Javier Cambronero of the PAC.

The approval is only for six months, for the period between July 1 and December 31. To continue the patrols, the U.S. will again have to submit an request for the next six months.

Several legislators, including former presidential candidate, Otto Guevara of the Movimiento Libertario, said he voted in favour because “these ships allow patrolling of areas that the (Costa Rican) government has not the ability to do so”.

Carlos Hernández, of the Frente Amplio, who voted against, said he is opposed to the idea of letting the U.S. military into our country, especially when they have immunity.

In addititon to the U.S. Coast Guard, 37 legislators were in favour of the entry of the Peruvian army boat, the B.A.P. Villavisencio (FM-52).