NewsLatin AmericaEscorts of the President of Costa Rica with assault weapons generate criticism in a country without an Army; Rodrigo Chaves defends measure

Escorts of the President of Costa Rica with assault weapons generate criticism in a country without an Army; Rodrigo Chaves defends measure

(CNN Spanish) — A video of the President of Costa Rica, Rodrigo Chaves, during a tour of the southeast of the country has aroused controversy in the Central American country. The reason? The president appears escorted by two people who carry long weapons.

the local newspaper The nation published in its Tuesday edition two captures of the audiovisual material, whose circulation on social networks since Monday has generated strong criticism for the civil tradition of Costa Rica, which abolished its Army on December 1, 1948 after the end of the civil war.

The country’s presidency confirmed to CNN that the video circulating on social networks corresponds to a tour that Chaves made between February 17 and 21 in the southeast of the country. In them, the president appears walking along a pier, preceded by an escort carrying an assault rifle. Behind him other escorts also carry high caliber weapons.

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The former president and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Óscar Arias Sánchez, of the opposition National Liberation Party, with the largest representation in Congress, commented on Twitter that the video “does not represent the Costa Rican idiosyncrasy.” “It’s repulsive,” he added.

The deputy of the Broad Front Party, Ariel Robles, one of the leaders of that left-wing legislative fraction critical of the Government, expressed on that same social network: “Making communication products normalizing militarization is not something we should applaud.”

Consulted by the security device during a press conference that he offered on Tuesday in the area of ​​the route, President Chaves replied that they threatened him with death every day. “I am putting scanners that are going to take billions of dollars of profit from drug trafficking,” he added.

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The president said that “difficult decisions are being made that the press often does not even report and distorts.” “Here there is more than one scoundrel who says silver or lead and the Government of the Republic is not going to receive money, but I don’t want them to put lead into public officials either,” he replied.

Consulted by CNN, political scientist Sergio Araya, from the Konrad Adenauer Foundation of Costa Rica, said that the criticism is generated because it is not usual for such demonstrations to take place in a civil culture like Costa Rica.

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He added that it was “the first time that a president makes him so visible in a country without an Army,” which, according to his criteria, conflicts with the self-perception of the Costa Rican and with the international image of the country. “One knows that there is security, it is understandable, but the form and display of these weapons is not usual,” he explained.


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