San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Iraq War Support Declared Unconstitutional

PEACE advocates and human rightsgroups this year celebrated the declarationof unconstitutionality of President AbelPacheco’s decision to list Costa Ricaamong the nations that support the U.S.-led war against Iraq, the so-called“Coalition of the Willing.”The Constitutional Chamber of theSupreme Court (Sala IV) ruled inSeptember that support for the Iraq invasionviolates the nation’s Constitution.Following a puzzling pattern of apparentword mincing, the President continuedto deny that he ever supported the war,though he said he would respect the ruling.He said he supported the “defenseof…the citizens of an ally,” not any war.He told a Tico Times reporter during aCabinet meeting in May, when askedabout his support of the war, “You aremisinformed. I never supported any war.”In August, when Costa Rica wasridiculed in the anti-war film “Fahrenheit9/11” as one of the more ineffective membersof the war coalition, Pacheco toldreporters that film director MichaelMoore’s assertions were “not accurate.”After the Sala IV ruled Costa Rica’ssupport was unconstitutional, ForeignMinister Robert Tovar sent a formalrequest for the exclusion of the countryfrom the list, but the point became mootwhen the White House took the list off itsWeb site altogether a few weeks later.

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