The U.S. plans to double its drug interdiction aid to Costa Rica this year, from $1 to $2 million.
According to the daily La Nación, Southern Command Deputy Commander Glenn Spears promised the increase and said he hoped the number would double again, to $4 million, next year.
According to its Web site, Southern Command, located in Miami, is an office joining the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard under the leadership of a four-star general.
It is responsible for “contingency planning, operations, and security cooperation for Central and South America, the Caribbean, Cuba, the Bahamas and their territorial waters.”
Spears offered few specifics about why the decision was made to double the drug aid.When asked about the intensifying insecurity here and whether it could be related to drug trafficking, he said: “I don’t have any doubt that these organizations, when they are allowed to take root, increase the crime network and weaken security.”
Ricardo González, lawyer for the Public Security Ministry, said the increased funding would be used to fund more joint operations between the U.S. and Costa Rica on its borders and in national waters.
“We can use the resources for more investigations and to slow down drug consumption inside the country,” he said.