Costa Rica invites US military to combat drug trade
In 1999, a previous agreement allowed US Coast Guard vessels into Costa Rica. The new agreement, however, brings in warships, helicopters and US Marines.
“Neither the Costa Rican government nor the US government through the ambassador or embassy has really told us what this is all about and what the mission is or what the deployment is. Ultimately it just smacks of something that we don’t know, it’s the unknown and that’s the unknown that is causing a great deal of confusion in anger here in Costa Rica,” said John Holtz in Costa Rica, who is the executive director of the Center for the Studies of Modern Management.
Costa Rica is dependent on its neighbors for military aid. The Latin American nation has no army or military of its own. In the past, it brought in help from Venezuela. However, with relations with Venezuela in decline, the US seemed the next best option.
“They’re sending down just a massive amount of military. It’s sort of like dropping the atomic bomb on a group of ants,” said Holtz.
The US is not waging war in the region as the troops were invited by the Costa Rican government, but no clear mission or plan has been made known by either side.
“Unknown usually translates to anger and usually manifests an enormous amount of conspiracy theories,” said Holtz.
Holtz said the question still remains how the troops will be able to target the drug lords and stop the money laundering, in addition to simply stopping the trade routes. He noted that he was not aware of any expert DEA (Drug Enforcement) officials involved.