Nearshore Americas

US Arms Costa Rica with Crimefighting and Immigration Resources

The United States has agreed to provide Costa Rica with around US$30 million dollars worth of military supplies in order to curb organized crime and stop human traffickers from transporting illegal immigrants to North America.
Reports say the provision includes two cargo planes, two large patrol boats, two smaller interceptor boats, air surveillance equipment, and biometric software.
The announcement came following a meeting between Costa Rica’s President Luis Guillermo Solís and U.S. counterpart Barack Obama in the White House earlier this week.
In addition to the equipment, the U.S. will provide training for coast guards and police, enabling the security force to stem the flow of illegal immigrants moving north towards the U.S. border.
As part of its commitment to strengthen Costa Rica’s security agencies, the U.S. will also provide three armored vehicles and finance the construction of shooting ranges.
The U.S. has also agreed to provide job skills to more than 2,000 Costa Rican youths, saying it believes alleviating poverty and strengthening the educational system are long-term solutions to combat the root causes of illegal immigration.
The U.S. aid comes barely weeks after Costa Rica stated that it would offer temporary refuge to people fleeing the violence in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, which have recently signed an accord to create a joint force in order to combat the region’s drug gangs.
According to the the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the number of Central American immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S. has increased to more than 100,000 in the last year. Some of these new U.S. funds will be used to set up camps for refugees in northern Costa Rica.

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Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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