The last official army Costa Rica had has been bordering on 70 years now. The country has had issues with the United States and Nicaragua landing on their soil, or very close to it. What has recently happened with Nicaragua have caused the locals to look back on the occupation done by the United States.
Nicaragua’s Military Camp
The country of Nicaragua had a camp location on a Portillos Island beach, which was deemed bordering territory belonging to Costa Rica by an International Court of Justice ruling that was issued in December of 2015. While significant changes along the local coastline made it difficult to be precise where border delimitation was at the time, Nicaragua still had to pay a compensation.
The History of US Occupation in Costa Rica
In 2013, locals of Talamanca witnessed the arrival of uniformed military personnel in a helicopter. They began to hand out bibles and played missionaries, but the locals were not fooled. They were spotted in the Bribri community of Alto Cuen practicing multiple military training activities.
Locals and government officials have reported that helicopters have been arriving from the Costa Rican Social Security Fund from 2008, and that this disguise of humanitarian aid is nothing new to anyone.
The Costa Rican Social Security Fund, or CCSS, provides sanitation services, water, food, health, etc., to the private and public sectors. However, this is just a front, because locals have witnessed and gathered proof that these helicopters and occupations by “humanitarian aid” are really for the purpose of oil and mining prospecting.
Zuiri Mendez, a coordinator from the University of Costa Rica’s Socio-Environmental Kiosk Program, had this to say on the matter of US occupation within Costa Rica being disguised for a completely different purpose:
“For over three years and counting, it’s been allowed by the Costa Rican Legislative Assembly that army fleets from the United States are able to use the ports within Costa Rica. They are able to travel to and from these ports unencumbered, and are not stopped throughout the country. They struck an agreement with our Ministry of Health, which allows them to fly their aircraft through our airspace, as well.”
Moving Forward from This Point
The United States has, in fact, collaborated with the Costa Rican government to focus their attention on fighting crime, money laundering, and drug trafficking within the nation. Locals, however, don’t see eye to eye with the occupation and blame it on the draining of resources, money, and power.
Airstrips and construction overall have been a draining source thus far, so moving forward from here can be a very touchy subject. Between 2009 to 2014, Costa Rica received over $25 million in assistance costs for safer communities, fair trials, borders, and more.
It’s unclear whether or not more will be given, whether the US will want more from Costa Rica, and what the future may hold for the government and the locals.
Are you into beautiful Costa Rica?
All interesting things you want to know about Costa Rica are right here in our newsletter! Enter your email and press "subscribe" button.