In another example of the growing militarization of the war on drugs, the Costa Rican government has given the US permission to launch an invasion of up to 7,000 Marines, ostensibly to “fight drugs.”
The vote was extremely controversial in Costa Rica’s legislature, with several MPs arguing that it gave he US a “blank check” to occupy the nation and was a threat to its sovereignty. Costa Rica has had no military of its own since its abolition in 1948.
Preceded by decades of on-again, off-again violence, the lack of a military has actually served the nation quite well over the past 62 years, and Costa Rica is one of the few nations in Central America not to face any violent uprisings or brutal dictatorships. The nation even celerates a holiday, on December 1, called Military Abolition Day.
Indeed, it appears that the only reason the nation is in America’s sights at all is because it is geographically so narrow, and an occupation of it could provide a convenient choke-point for blocking drugs from South America reaching Mexico and eventually, the United States, by land.
Under the terms of the agreement, US troops “will enjoy freedom of movement and the right to carry out any activities needed to fulfill their mission.” In addition to the ground troops, the US will be deploying 46 warships and hundreds of helicopters.