Military of Costa Rica: Wikis


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On December 1, 1948, President José Figueres Ferrer of Costa Rica abolished the country's army after victory in the civil war in that year.[1] In a ceremony in the Cuartel Bellavista, Figueres broke a wall with a mallet symbolizing the end of Costa Rica's military spirit. In 1949, the abolition of the military was introduced in Article 12 of the Costa Rican Constitution.

José Figueres Ferrer breaking a wall of the Cuartel Bellavista symbolizing the abolition of the Military.

The budget previously dedicated to the military now is dedicated to security, education and culture; the country maintains Police Guard forces. The museum Museo Nacional de Costa Rica was placed in the Cuartel Bellavista as a symbol of commitment to culture.

In 1986, President Oscar Arias Sánchez declared December 1 as the Día de la Abolición del Ejército (Military abolition day) with Law #8115.

Unlike its neighbors, Costa Rica has not endured a civil war since 1948.

Costa Rica maintains small forces capable of law enforcement and foreign peacekeeping, but has no permanent standing army.


Ministry of Public Security's Public Force

During 1996, the Ministry of Public Security established the Fuerza Pública or Public Force which reorganized and eliminated the Civil Guard, Rural Assistance Guard, and Frontier Guards as separate entities; they are now under the Ministry and operate on a geographic command basis performing ground security, law enforcement, counter-narcotics, and border patrol functions.

Outside the Fuerza Pública, there is a small Special Forces Unit, the Unidad Especial de Intervencion (UEI) or Special Intervention Unit, which trains with special forces of Israel, and its namesake in Spain and other democratic nations, but is not part of the main police forces, instead it is part of the Intelligence and Security Directorate (DIS) which reports directly to the Minister of the Presidency.

Weapons and equipment

Weapons include M16s, M4A1s, UZIs, MP5s and other weapons such as the M1911 .45ACP and Beretta M9 semiautomatic pistols.

Aircraft inventory

There are 11 aircraft on government support, law enforcement, and civil duties.

Aircraft Origin Type Versions In service[2] Notes
Aero Commander  United States utility transport 695 1
Cessna 206  United States utility 206G 2
Cessna 207  United States utility 1
de Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou  Canada tactical transport 1
MD Helicopters MD 500  United States utility helicopter MD 500E 2
Piper PA-31  United States utility 3
Piper PA-34  United States utility PA-34-200T 1

In popular culture

  • The Jurassic Park book and movie incorrectly portray Costa Rica as having a military Air Force in the timeframe of the book.
  • The South Park episode "Rainforest Schmainforest" incorrectly portrays that Costa Rica has a military force in the timeframe of the series.
  • The upcoming videogame Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker will feature Costa Rica's lack of military as a vital point in the history of the Cold War.

See also


  1. ^ El Espíritu del 48. "Abolición del Ejército". Retrieved 2008-03-09.   (Spanish)
  2. ^ "World Military Aircraft Inventory", Aerospace Source Book 2007, Aviation Week & Space Technology, January 15, 2007.

External links

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