On December 1, 1948, President José Figueres Ferrer of Costa Rica abolished the military of Costa Rica after victory in the civil war in that year. 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. 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 neighbours, 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. In case of war in Costa Rica, the United States has offered their military to use at Costa Rica's disposal.
Weapons and equipment
- M16 rifle 5.56×45mm NATO
- M4 carbine 5.56×45mm NATO
- M14 rifle 7.62x51 NATO
- Galil AR\MR 5.56×45mm NATO
- IMI Tavor TAR-21 5.56x45mm NATO
- FN FAL 7.62x51 NATO
- SVD 7.62x54mmR
- FN FNC 90-00 5.56x45mm NATO
- Remington Model 700PPS 7.62x51mm NATO
- Benelli M1 Super 9018.5x76mm 12 gauge
- Heckler & Koch MP5 9x19mm Parabellum
- Beretta Model 38 9x19mm Parabellum
- Uzi \ Mini-Uzi 9×19mm Parabellum
General Purpose Machine Gun:
- SIG Sauer P226 9x19mm Parabellum
- Smith & Wesson Model 5906 9x19mm Parabellum
- Smith & Wesson Model 10 .38 Special (9x29mm)
- M1911 .45 ACP
- Beretta M9 9×19mm Parabellum
- Jericho 941 9×19mm Parabellum
- Mercedes Benz Unimog U-4000\U-5000
- AM General Humvee
There are 11 aircraft on government support, law enforcement, and civil duties.
|Aero Commander||utility transport||695||1|
|de Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou||tactical transport||1|
|MD Helicopters MD 500||utility helicopter||MD 500E||2|
|MD Helicopters MD 600||utility helicopter||MD 600||2|
|Piper PA-31 Navajo||utility||3|
|Piper PA-34 Seneca||utility||PA-34-200T||1|
- Fuerza Pública de Costa Rica.
- Ministerio de Seguridad Pública.
- El Espíritu del 48: Abolición del Ejército A brief history of the abolition of the military in Costa Rica.
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