Costa Rica Will Not Sign Regional Military Accord

July 1, 2005

FOLLOWING controversy this weekregarding President Abel Pacheco’salleged plans to sign a Central Americanmilitary accord, Foreign Minister RobertoTovar announced Costa Rica will not signon to participate in the regional rapid responseforce.The security and defense ministries ofCentral America drew up plans for thespecial force, designed to combat drugtrafficking, terrorism and gangs in theregion. The region’s Presidents discussedplans for the force at the 15th PresidentialSummit of the Central AmericanIntegration System (SICA) this week inHonduras.Because Costa Rica abolished its armyin 1948 and “because of civil tradition andconstitutional mandates, Costa Rica cannotbe part of a structure of this nature,”Tovar said in his statement this week.He added that crime-fighting efforts“should be given institutional coordination,but not in the way that it is currentlyproposed.”Despite this, Tovar said Costa Ricawill collaborate in regional security proposals“as we have always done.”Participants in the summit, held yesterday,included the Presidents ofGuatemala, El Salvador, Honduras,Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

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