San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Drug trafficking

US State Department lists Costa Rica among major drug-transit countries

The U.S. State Department named Costa Rica among a list of 22 major drug-producing and transit countries that “significantly affect the United States,” according to a statement released Monday.

The State Department said that inclusion on the annual review “does not necessarily reflect [a country’s] counternarcotics efforts or its level of cooperation with the United States on illegal drug control.” Instead the report lists countries with a combination of geographic, commercial or economic factors that allow drugs to be produced or trafficked through their territory. The State Department describes U.S.-Costa Rican relations as “close and friendly.”

Costa Rica was listed in the White House’s assessment alongside Afghanistan, the Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Burma, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.

While President Luis Guillermo Solís has been critical of the U.S.-led war on drug, he has defended the use of U.S. Coast Guard vessels to patrol Costa Rican waters for drug traffickers on the high seas. As of the end of August, Costa Rica’s Drug Control Police had seized over 15.6 metric tons of cocaine – much of it with the aid of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S Navy. The Public Security Ministry claimed it is the largest among confiscated in Central America in 2014.

On Sept. 11, President Solís and Public Security Minister Celso Gamboa met with Gen. John F. Kelly, commander of U.S. Southern Command, at the Casa Presidencial to discuss anti-narcotics operations and future collaboration between the allies. Gamboa is currently in the United States meeting with U.S. military officials to discuss additional funding, tactics and cooperation efforts.

Only Bolivia, Burma and Venezuela were listed as countries that had “failed demonstrably” to make meaningful efforts to adhere to international counter-narcotics agreements, according to the president’s report. Noncompliance can be grounds for terminating U.S. assistance. The White House, however, granted Burma and Venezuela a waiver to continue receiving U.S. aid, saying it is in the national interest.

The USS Rentz, a guided missile frigate, was denied permission to dock in Costa Rica in 2013 to deliver three Tico suspects arrested with 900 kilograms of cocaine.

(Courtesy of PH1 Mahlon K. Miller, U.S. Navy/Wikimedia Commons)

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Ken Morris

Yeah, which country is significantly affecting the other is very much in the eyes of the beholder. Since the US State Department issued the report, it’s no surprise which direction the causal arrow is pointed. Don’t blame the reporter. He’s only delivering the State Department’s message.

And regarding the State Department (as well as third-graders), way back when I was living in the US, I confess to having been ignorant enough to naively believe that the State Department usually knows what’s going on in the world. I no longer believe that. It issues too many reports (more than those involving drugs) that are simply ideological nonsense.

My guess is that the reason for this is political. That is, I’m betting that many career civil servants who work in the State Department do know what’s going on. The problem is that they work for bosses who are political appointees, who in turn answer to politicians. Whether its the scores of ambassadors for whom the appointment is a payoff for campaign contributions or the Secretary of State (Can you believe that the previous one was a yuppie feminist from suburban Chicago?), those who call the policy shots are not necessarily those who know (or care to learn about) what’s really going on. Of course, this deference to electoral democracy is probably often more good than bad, but the result is frequently policies and reports that are pure political BS.

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Eme ah

NO, the USA significantly effects many, many smaller countries with their huge demand for these drugs. Who is this reporter kidding. Costa Rica is not paying enough to the dirty main central bankers so Costa Rica
must be beat up with a recent credit rate to “JUNK” along with being put on a threatening list for pushing
drugs. Solis must not be complying with the Elitists/World Controllers so they are bearing down on this little country until he does. We will see if he caves in or works for the people. If he does not the IMF will move in and demand that CR take out loans and be controlled by IMF policies. The usa/ central banker tactics are
too obvious and the news here is flooded with more and more “seizues”of drugs that just end up in Miami anyway. Who is the DEA think they are fooling?

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Dan Gibson

Quite possibly the journalistic coup of the century!! So you take this third grader — put her in front of a map of South — Central and North America — you point out the drugs are produced mainly in Columbia and Peru (now primarily Peru) — and you tell her the drugs need to get to the United States of America — you ask her to show you on the map what countries they need to go through to get ”here”! And — believe it or not — she is going to point out — one of the countries has to be Costa Rica — now that is amazing — you absolutely just cannot fix stupid and that is what we have for ”journalists” today!!!

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