Demilitarized Costa Rica welcomes US troops, warships and planes

By Knight Ridder

Costa Rica has granted the U.S. military a six-month window to bring 7,000 Marines, five planes and 46 warships into its territory to help stem [facilitate] the flow of drugs northward.

The Central American country has increasingly become a target for drug traffickers as intelligence and law enforcement agencies have cut off other routes through Mexico. Without an army and with long coastlines and poorly guarded borders, Costa Rica is vulnerable to drug cartels using well-refined transportation mechanisms and the latest technological equipment, security experts say.

Some Costa Rican legislators voiced concern about the authorization, saying it gives the United States a “blank check” to use its territory and threatens the nation’s sovereignty.

According to a letter from Costa Rican Public Security Minister Jose Maria Tijerino, specific requests to dock or unload U.S. military ships must be submitted to the country one month in advance.

The permission was granted by a 31-8 vote of the Legislative Assembly and allows the United States to use the country’s territory through Dec. 31.

© Copyright 2010 Knight Ridder. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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3 responses to “Demilitarized Costa Rica welcomes US troops, warships and planes

  1. of course, plenty of us believe this has nothing whatsoever to do with drugs…

    check out this Survival News piece: U.S. NAVY EVACUATES GULF:

    “Under the guise of the “war on drugs” the U.S. Military is evacuating its ships and hardware from the Gulf of Mexico to safety off the sheltered coast of Costa Rica.

    “The ‘war on drugs’ cover story is laughable being that we can’t even get that level of engagement on our border with Mexico where all the drugs come through.

    The Navy is obviously worried about either poison from the methane/corexit 9500 mix or a massive methane explosion/tsunami. A tsunami fits with the NOAA blackout of the U.S. tsunami warning system. It also explains why BP is not actively cleaning up the oil on the beaches. Why clean them up if they are going to be gone.”

    But, a Costa Rican, or an ex pat living in CR, writes:

    “Militaryless, democratic, non-conflict-having Costa Rica is the new front in the United States’ War on Inanimate Objects….

    “La Nación quotes a document from the US Embassy that states that, “The US personnel in Costa Rica will be able to enjoy freedom of movement and the right to carry out the activities that they consider necessary to complete their mission.”

    ‘Well isn’t that just permissively vague.

    “The legislation says the mission has to do with fighting drug traffickers, as well as a few humanitarian goals, though the humanitarian use of a Harrier jet is still somewhat unclear.”

  2. right, Costa Rica is under the thumb of neoliberalism for a year and a half now — and, as expected, its economy is tanking.

  3. but, I will say, while I was there in January, many Costa Ricans told us about how bad the drugs have become — they blame it on the Jamaicans and Nicaraguans.

    I blame it on the CIA. CR signs CAFTA and within six months the drug business is booming.

    Coincidence? I think not.

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