Legislators Appeal To Constitutional Court To Stop U.S Warships From Entering Costa Rican Waters
The decision authorizing the patrol of Costa Rican waters by U.S. warships is being contested by a group of legislators, headed by Gloria Bejarano, who filed an action of unconstitutionality with the Sala Constitucional (Costa Rica’s constitutional court).
The legislators believe the authorization that was voted on and granted last week for the entry of 46 naval warships, 200 helicopters, war planes and 7.000 Marines as confirmed by the president of the LegislativeAssembly, Gerardo Villanueva, violates Costa Rica’s Political Constitution.
Villanueva confirmed that there are errors in the authorization, explaining that the co-operation agreement between the United States and Costa Rica signed 11 years ago was never published in La Gaceta.
The legislators argue in their filing that since the decree was never published it is null and void and in addition was for a 10 year period and would have expired in 2009.
Villanueva, however, argues that the agreement does not have an expiry date and the publication of the decree can be made any time.
The agreement signed in 2009 establishes a joint patrol of Costa Rican waters by the United States and Costa Rican Coast Guards.
Last week the United States, as is customary and required under the agreement, filed for authorization of the U.S. warships and personnel, that would be under the control of the Costa Rican Coast Guard, to enter Costa Rican waters to combat drug trafficking in the country and the region.