QCOSTARICA – The United States announced on Tuesday the donation of a team of drones and a secure communication network to Costa Rica, in order to strengthen the fight against drug trafficking and border surveillance.
The United States Army General and Commander of the Southern Command, Laura Richardson, met this Tuesday with Costa Rica’s President, Rodrigo Chaves, and with the Minister of Security, Jorge Luis Torres, to discuss issues of bilateral cooperation in the area of security.
Richardson announced three new cooperation projects for Costa Rica, a country that she described as “a very important partner in terms of security with which we must continue to support and work together in terms of security.”
The first initiative, valued at US$7.5 million dollars, is a command and control system to create a secure communication network against drug trafficking, through which Costa Rican security authorities can safely share information in real-time.
Richardson also announced the donation of a drone system valued at US$5.3 million dollars that aims to improve border surveillance and the fight against drug trafficking.
The third initiative corresponds to US$967,000 dollars for the purchase of parts, tools and software for the aircraft of the Ministry of Security of Costa Rica.
“We live in an interconnected world and in an era where challenges know no borders. We must work together to protect our people, peace, stability and democratic freedoms,” Richardson said.
The U.S. general congratulated the Costa Rican Ministry of Security for its efforts in the fight against drug trafficking, laundering and human trafficking and highlighted the importance of the joint work it is doing with the United States.
For his part, President Chaves stressed that the meeting discussed “the close relationship between Costa Rica and the United States through 150 years of diplomatic relations” and the “relationship of peace and friendship of two peoples who share values of democracy, freedom and respect for human rights.
“This support of US$13.7 million dollars that the people of the United States is giving us generously, is about a modern communication network to carry out operations and other critical missions with the confidentiality that is required (…) and a drone system long-range,” Chaves said.
The president stressed that this support reflects that relations with the United States are strengthening and reiterated that the donation “will help the better functioning of the ministry (of Security), border control and control of international criminal gangs that they have come to put us here”.