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Costa Rica

In: Social Issues

Submitted By nicole7777
Words 344
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According to a statement released this week, the U.S. State Department listed Costa Rica among 22 different drug-producing and transit countries that significantly affect the United States. Costa Rica was listed in the White House’s assessment alongside Afghanistan, the Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Burma, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela. The State Department said that inclusion on the annual review “does not necessarily reflect [a country’s] counter-narcotics 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 and Costa Rican relations as close and friendly. While President Luis Guillermo Solis has been critical of the U.S.-led war on drugs, he has defended the use of U.S. Coast Guard vessels to patrol Costa Rican waters for drug traffickers on the high seas. At the end of August, Costa Rica’s Drug Control Police has 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 American in 2014. President Solis and the Public Security Minister, Celse Gamboa, met with General John F. Kelly, commander of U.S. Southern Command, at the Costa Rican house of Presidents. The meeting included discussion about anti-narcotics operations and future collaboration between the allies. Gamboa recently visited United States military officials to discuss additional funding, tactics, and cooperation efforts. Only Bolivia, Burma, and Venezuela were listed as countries that had unsuccessfully made efforts to adhere to international counter-narcotics agreements, according to the president’s reports. 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.

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