Wednesday 5 October 2022

United States keeps Costa Rica on list of countries “not fight drug trafficking”

Joe Biden sent a memorandum in which he indicates that Costa Rica, Bolivia, and Colombia, among others, are among the main transit countries or producers of illicit drugs

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05 October 2022 - At The Banks - BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – United States president, Joe Biden, Joe Biden, ratified the designation of Costa Rica in the list of countries that do not cooperate with the fight against drug trafficking.

The measure was published in the Memorandum on the Presidential Determination on the Major Drug Transit Countries or Major Illicit Drug Producing Countries for Fiscal Year 2023.

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“By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States, including section 706(1) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003 (Public Law 107-228) (FRAA ), hereby identified the following as major drug transit or illicit drug producing countries: Afghanistan, Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Burma, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Peru and Venezuela,” reads the memorandum signed on September 15, 2022.

Costa Rica has several years on the list.

According to a White House statement: “Biden clarifies that being mentioned on this latest list is not a reflection of a government’s efforts to combat drugs or its cooperation with the United States.

The US Embassy in Costa Rica shared that “in 2021, Costa Rican security services seized more than 71 metric tons of drugs, continuing the trend of significantly higher seizure rates in the last two years. Many of these operations were the direct result of close collaboration between the United States and Costa Rica.”

Alejandra Larios, legislator for the Partido Liberacion Nacional (PLN), said that Congress is making efforts.

On September 14, President Rodrigo Chaves met with Admiral Linda Fagan, first Commander of the United States Coast Guard. The government announced that it is increasing security ties with the U.S.

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On that day, the latest donation was delivered by the Office for Counternarcotics Affairs, Citizen Security and Justice (INL) and the Office of the Defense Representative of the United States Embassy:

  • Three Ford brand pick-up vehicles
  • Three cargo containers for tools and equipment for the maintenance of patrol boats and speedboats.
  • 44 sets of personal protection and safety equipment for the maritime interdiction unit
  • Repowering of the patrol boat Juan Rafael Mora, 82 feet
  •  Six-meter-long rigid hull inflatable boat for the 82-foot patrol boat
  • Two Kawasaki-brand “car-mule” type vehicles.

Admiral Fagan noted that this donation highlights the US government’s continued support and dedication to Costa Rica and its Coast Guard Service “as a highly valued partner in the regional effort to combat drug trafficking and the growing threat of illegal, unreported and unregulated”.

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The Vice Minister of Public Security and Director of the National Coast Guard Service, Commissioner Martín Arias, indicated: “we are very grateful to the US government for this donation, since it will contribute greatly to the defense of common values ​​such as peace, democracy and security. of our countries, by strengthening the fight against common enemies such as international drug trafficking and organized crime.”

For his part, Rear Admiral Mark Fedor of the Joint Interagency Task Force South – SouthCom – expressed his satisfaction with the work that multinational teams carry out to stop the flow of drugs to countries in the region.

“Countering the regional threat of narcotics trafficking requires a multinational and coordinated response by partners, allies and friends. No country has enough resources, information, capacity, assets, or personnel to address these threats on its own.”

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