Costa Rican Coast Guard in Full Expansion Mode

Costa Rican Coast Guard in Full Expansion Mode

By Roberto López Dubois/Diálogo
June 05, 2017

Costa Rica - Colombia Un grupo de 10 personas tenemos un paseo a la isla de Tortuga.
Para este sábado 6 de enero.
Es posible hacer el paseo o cual es la recomendación en este caso.
Gracias The Costa Rican Coast Guard (SNG, per its Spanish acronym) is in the process of expansion. The force numbers 500 troops, and it is expected to grow by 25 percent by 2018, which will improve its results. Its theater of operations is quite large, as Costa Rica’s exclusive economic zone is 574,725 square kilometers, 11 times the size of the country itself, at 51,100 square kilometers. But neither the size of the force nor its limited resources keep it from doing its job efficiently. In 2015, the Coast Guard seized 21 metric tons of drugs and in 2016 20 metric tons. “Over the last six years, our force has been in the region’s leading group for drug seizures,” Commissioner Martín Arias Araya, director of SNG, told Diálogo. The U.S. State Department recognized in a 2016 report that despite the limitation of resources, SNG “remained an effective regional partner for maritime interdiction, actively patrolling Costa Rica’s waters.” Deputy Commissioner Félix Kirven, head of Region 2 for Panama’s Air and Naval Service (SENAN, per its Spanish acronym), agreed with both assessments. “Through operational channels both in intelligence and the Operations Directorate itself, we have become part of a Central American network for public safety, and that is why we share information with SNG, not only to fight drug trafficking but also illegal fishing, and even humanitarian aid situations for search and rescue,” he told Diálogo. Foundation SNG was created on May 24, 2000, in response to the need for the protection, control, supervision, and application of national and international maritime laws, the press office at the Costa Rican Ministry of Public Security indicated. Prior to that, the Maritime Security Service, created in 1982, had been in operation. Since 2008, members of the Costa Rican Public Force have received ongoing training in the Colombian Navy. They send troops to Colombia, and the Colombians send teams of commissioned and noncommissioned officers to train Costa Rican teams. For 2017, SNG set the ambitious goal of integrating its personnel – an effort that will take more than a year. Initially, candidates must pass a seven-month course that addresses specialized technical aspects regarding the procedures and equipment that they will be handling. After that, they work as cadets in companies with more experienced officers, and several months later they are integrated into crews. The first agents the unit had were trained by the U.S. Coast Guard in Mississippi. International relations Commissioner Arias explained that they have very good relations with the United States and Colombia, which have supported the Coast Guard since they began operations. “The Colombian Navy is an extremely important partner because they transfer information as well as knowledge and training to us, which is very important,” he said. Costa Rica has signed agreements on operational cooperation, logistics, and training with countries such as Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, and the United States, among others. “Let’s recall that the tendency is to try to eradicate scourges like drug trafficking. To achieve that, we need to attack it head on. That’s why we’ve managed to strengthen ties that allow for ever more effective coordination in this regional struggle that we are undertaking,” Deputy Commissioner Kirven added. Since the unification of Panama’s National Air Service and National Naval Service into SENAN, Costa Rica has had a very strong, friendly, and trusting relationship with Panama. “At present, there are joint combined and coordinated operations which are showing extraordinary results,” said Commissioner Arias. “These kinds of operations keep those who are being pursued in the territorial waters of one nation from crossing over to another [nation] and eluding justice. We are strong partners. This is a treaty that didn’t go to Congress, but is a treaty of trust with Panama,” he added. New vessels U.S. Ambassador William Brownfield, assistant secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, announced the delivery of two vessels to SNG. The ships, which will be the institution’s largest, are scheduled to be delivered in 2017 and are valued at approximately $18.9 million, according to information published by the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica. “SNG has a very limited fleet. Most of the vessels are small. We have an agreement with Southern Command [SOUTHCOM], and by the end of the year we expect to have large and more modern vessels with greater capacity than those that we have now,” Commissioner Arias predicted. He hopes that after moving forward with the expansion plan, they will obtain improved results in their ongoing fight against organized crime, not just domestically but throughout the region.
Share