Costa Rica. Crime, which has historically been relatively low in Costa Rica and significantly worse in the Central American neighboring countries, worsened during the year for the first time since 2010. According to COUNTRYAAH, San Jose is the capital of Costa Rica which is located in North America. This led President Luís Guillermo Solís to launch a new law enforcement strategy in October by creating a new investigative unit within Supreme Court.
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During the first nine months of the year, 426 murders occurred, most of them related to organized crime. At about the same time several people were arrested with links to the Italian league N’drangheta, which is involved in cocaine smuggling to the United States. The change of security minister Celso Gamboa to Gustavo Mata was seen in the background of the rising crime rate and a tightening of the law enforcement measures.
However, one of the president’s closest men Daniel Soley’s resignation in January was related to charges of corruption, and three months later even the right hand of President Melvin Jiménez resigned on the same grounds. The allegations were about alleged attempts to buy the Prosecutor Ana Lorena Brene’s services by offering her a future ambassador’s post. Brenes has on several occasions prevented proposed government measures by referring to the Constitution. For President Solís, the business of Soley and Jiménez was particularly embarrassing as he made choices on the promise of purifying corruption after former President Laura Chinchilla.
The government’s failure to create promised jobs was also the subject of dissatisfaction. Instead, unemployment has remained at a constant level of around 10%, and business confidence in the government’s economic policy was low, according to several surveys.
History. – The country’s democratic traditions were interrupted by the civil war that broke out after the election of Otilio Ulate for president. José Figueres then intervened, at the head of a military junta, who took power and restored order after having dissolved the Vanguardia Popular (communist party). At the end of 1948 the Costa Rica abolished the army. The military junta remained in government for eighteen months and then ceded power (an unusual fact in the annals of the South American revolutions) to the legitimate holder Ulate who gave good evidence as president and who remained in office until the expiry of his mandate, during which the Costa Rica joined to the Organization of Central American States (ODECA) which also includes El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In 1953 the National Liberation Party led José Figueres to the presidential elections, who won by a wide margin against the conservatives supported by the Communists. The new president, carrying out a center-left policy, managed to control a series of strikes on the United Fruit Company’s plantations (of capital importance for the country’s economy) and to keep the unions free of their character. The Costa Rica was the only American state not to participate in the 10th Pan-American Conference in Caracas (1-28 March 1954) due to the fact that it was held in a country under military dictatorship. In the same year a new contract was signed with United Fruit Co. containing very advantageous clauses for Costa Rica which obtained 30% of the company’s net profits as well as a marked improvement in the treatment of workers. The social reforms introduced by Figueres and the implementation of a rational development plan allowed further progress of democratic institutions and a decisive economic recovery. An invasion of hostile elements in Figueres, coming from Nicaragua (11 January 1955) gave the OAS an opportunity to intervene, applying for the first time the Rio treaty of 1948 with the dispatch of military aircraft sold to Costa Rica at the price of one dollar each. Despite the popularity of the Figueres party, the elections of February 2, 1958 (held with the assistance of three UN observers) saw the victory of the conservative candidate Mario Echandi who immediately distinguished himself for having proposed before the OAS the disarmament of Latin America (March 5, 1958) and for its encouragement of free initiative. The Costa Rica has participated in the Common Market of Central America since January 1959 but its relations with neighboring Nicaragua are strained due to the repeated invasion attempts suffered by the latter country by political refugees who find asylum in Costa Rican territory.