“No-Army nation” Costa Rica sees crime rates increase

Americas Now

Costa Rica became a “no-Army nation” in 1948 to renounce violence and encourage calm. The result for the country has been peace and prosperity.

Correspondent Harris Whitbeck visited the region to tell us more.

But now drug-traffickers have their eye on this once-tranquil territory and crime rates are on the rise. Some are wondering if the police patrols that have been put in place are still enough to keep the peace.

2018 marks 70 years since Costa Rica abolished its Army. It’s one of a handful of countries in the region without a military. The decision enabled the country to take the money allocated for defense spending and put it toward improving education and healthcare. But the observance of the anniversary comes at a time when internal security concerns are escalating in the Central American nation.

Costa Rica has good relations with the rest of Central America. Although a long-simmering territorial dispute with neighboring Nicaragua has raised tensions, at times, between them.