Costa Rica: Changing Peace Sanctuary for Military Routines?
"Home", the excelent documentary by french film-maker Yann Arthus-Bertrand gave us a vision of a Central American nation mentioned as good example of the environment protection worldwide.
"Costa Rica has made an election between military expenses and conservation of Nature. The country doesn't have an Army anymore. It prefers to dedicate resources to education, ecoturism and the protection of the primary forest", was said in the film.
Unfortunately that vocation of peace sustained for more than five decades, is about to vanish. Inspired by the regional fight against drug traffic, Costa Rica has just announced an agreement with the United States to allow the entrance of the US Marine Troops into the national marine and air space.
The new agreement causes real concern in Latin America and the Caribbean, since according to press releases more than 10 000 US troops and 46 war ships would move to the area between July and December 2010. Local social representatives in Costa Rica have criticized the decision, since they are not convinced of the reasons. Many think that the real purpose of such displacement goes beyond.
Lawyer Roberto Zamora Bolaños, one of the three people one of three legal expert appealing the Legislative's decision, assures that the agreement is against the peaceful spirit of Costa Rica.
By the other hand, political adviser Rodolfo Cerdas, interviewed by Telesur, reminded that in the 90s, the country signed an agreement with the United States so that North American Coast Guard carried out combined tasks for patrolling, but now it is different, because there are war ships and troops involved, meaning a substantial change.
The expert said that Costa Rica doesn't need that type of US support for fighting drug trafficking. Blackhawks, Harriers and other are not necessary at all. If the US wants to make an offensive, they can stay in front of the costs of Colombia and Panama. In Costa Rica this is clearly a police matter. We need bigger and better instruments and technology to face drug traffic, but it is not necessary a US war fleet. This military presence seems to be seeking something different.