QCOSTARICA – On Wednesday, President Rodrigo Chaves appointed Mario Zamora as the new Ministro de Seguridad (Minister of Security), ending speculations and rumors on the appointment following the resignation of Jorge Torres on Monday.
The departure of vice ministers Daniel Calderón, Martín Arias and Flora Bogantes was also announced, positions that will be assumed by Erick Lacayo, Manuel Jiménez and Alberto Barquero.
In addition, the Chaves announced that vice president, Mary Munive, will be the new Minister of Health, a position that had been vacant since the resignation of Joselyn Chacón in March. Also, replacing Munive as the Minister of Sports will be Royner Mora.
The new head of the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública (MSP) – Ministry of Public Security – announced that his fight at the head of the portfolio will be directed towards the structures of hitmen with the aim of containing the wave of homicides that the country is facing.
Zamora, who served as Security Minister in the administration of Laura Chinchilla (2010-2014), indicated that he will continue his fight against crime and promote a Costa Rica Segura Plus project.
However, without more resources, Mario Zamora, will not be able to stop the wave of homicides that is over the number of 2022 or drug trafficking, according to experts.
To prevent Costa Rica from reaching the record number of 800, or even 900, homicides in one year and to prevent the country from losing peace due to citizen insecurity, President Chaves must open the spending faucet and give his new minister the tools and resources required to curb violence and common crime.
Otherwise, “not even the Avengers” will be able to stop the crime wave in Costa Rica, as expressed days earlier by former president Laura Chinchilla, the result of a war between Mexican and Colombian drug traffickers and Costa Rican gangs.
Read more: Laura Chinchilla: “Without resources not even the Avengers can fix insecurity”
Zamora and other former members of the former president’s security team were appointed this Wednesday by Chaves to overcome the criminal wave that is affecting the country.
“I congratulate the minister. His experience, firmness, and honesty is a guarantee for a country thirsty for answers to crime. The president must honor his appointment, providing him with the tools that he did not give to previous hierarchs,” added Chinchilla.
The president must exclude the Ministry of Security from the fiscal rule, a law that establishes a limit to the growth of public spending, with the aim of maintaining fiscal discipline, according to Chinchilla.
“Don Nogui Acosta, as Minister of Finance, must give resources to Mario Zamora so that he can do his job. Hopefully, the central government gives him ‘la platica’ (the money) so that he can do the job in favor of Costa Rica,” said the legislator for the Nueva Republica, Gloria Navas.
Costa Rica is facing a crisis of security, in that, while common crime and drug trafficking increase, the number of police officers is even less than ten years ago, according to statistics from the MSP and the Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ), the judicial police force that investigates crimes.
In fact, today the country has a record homicide rate for every 100,000 inhabitants, while the lowest number of police officers is reported for that same number of citizens with just 282.
A decade ago, the Fuerza Publica (National Police) was 14,770 police officials strong. At the end of last year, it had 14,598.