Lawmakers boycott vote that would allow U.S. Navy ship to dock in Costa Rica

August 21, 2012

Citizen Action Party (PAC) lawmakers Claudio Monge and Juan Carlos Mendoza on Tuesday filibustered a vote in the Legislative Assembly to approve a docking permit for U.S. Navy ship U.S.S. CARR. The ship was supposed to deliver 4,134 pounds of marijuana seized in the Caribbean Sea.

The two lawmakers continued giving speeches up to the deadline for the vote.

The drugs carried by the ship would have been used as evidence in an ongoing trial against two Costa Rican nationals and one Nicaraguan who dropped the packages into the sea during a chase by the U.S. naval ship and a boat from Costa Rica’s Coast Guard.

Fabio Molina, a top lawmaker from the National Liberation Party urged PAC lawmakers to allow the vote to take place before the 4 p.m. deadline, and after that they could resume their speeches.

However, the lawmakers refused and the time expired. Both of them also refused to vote to extend the voting session.

“The ship will return to the U.S. and the drugs cannot be used as evidence. Now the drug traffickers could be released,” Molina said.

Public Security Vice Minister Celso Gamboa also lamented what occurred on his Twitter account: “The problem is the message that we give to the international community about what we are doing in the fight against narcotrafficking.”

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