On February 7, the United States pledged to give Costa Rica $13.7 million worth of security equipment to “improve” the Central American country’s ability to combat narcotrafficking, said U.S. Army General Laura J. Richardson, commander of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM).
“I am pleased to announce […] initiatives that will enhance Costa Rica’s capabilities to combat narcotrafficking and other public security threats. The United States is committing $13.7 million to advance our common mission,” said Gen. Richardson in San José.
The U.S. general appeared with Costa Rican President Rodrigo Chaves during her four-day visit to the country in her role as SOUTHCOM commander.
Gen. Richardson announced several surveillance investment projects. On the one hand a command control system with an investment of $7.5 million to be used by the Ministry of Public Security in counternarcotics operations.
“This project will allow aircraft, boats, and ground personnel to share data in real time during intervention missions, creating a secure network,” the U.S. general said.
Another project will be the delivery of six drones or small unmanned aircraft valued at $5.3 million.
“These Puma drones will support counternarcotics missions, intervention operations, and border patrols,” said Gen. Richardson.
Lastly, Gen. Richardson announced the delivery of nearly $1 million to the air surveillance service to fund the acquisition of parts, tools, software, and services for aircraft maintenance and operational readiness.
“We live in an interconnected world, in an era when many threats and challenges are not constrained by national or regional boundaries,” the U.S. military official said.
“That’s why we must work together to protect our people, our precious peace, democratic freedom, and stability in this region,” Gen. Richardson concluded.