The Integrated security plan outlined Monday by President Laura Chinchilla calls for a balanced intervention for prevention, attention and protection, control, reparation and reintegration in accordance with human development and democratic values of Costa Rica.
The responsibility for fighting crime will be shared among the legislative, executive and judicial branches of the government. Representatives signed an agreement to that effect Monday. Specifically named are the Comisión de Seguridad Ciudadana of the executive branch, the Comision Especial Legislativa de Seguridad Ciudadana of the Asamblea Legislativa and the Comisión de Asuntos Penales of the Poder Judicial.
The document also calls for extensive analysis of the results within the various institutions. The plan is supposed to last 10 years. The president and lawmakers will be out of office in three years, so the plan appears to bind their successors.
The agreement was signed at a session in the Museo de los Niños Monday by the president, Luis Gerardo Villanueva Monge, president of the legislature, and Luis Paulino Mora Mora, president of the Poder Judicial.
This is the long-awaited security plan. The president presented the proposal in conjunction with the Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo, which conducted months of extensive interviews and meetings with many types of citizen groups. The contribution of the local office of the United Nations was not immediately obvious.
The proposal is called the Política Integral y Sostenible de Seguridad Ciudadana y Promoción de la Paz Social, which translated to an integrated and sustainable policy of citizen security and promotion of the social peace.
In her speech introducing the plan, Ms. Chinchilla called for a crusade, the most important that the country should take on. “A crusade for the most fundamental rights as the respect for life and physical integrity and the peace. A crusade that permits us to reconquer our so special form of life and celebrate with peace and security from now until 10 years the bicentennial of the independence of our nation.”
An outline, according to Casa Presidencial, would be the urgent professionalization of the Fuerza Pública, involvement of local governments in stopping crime and violence, mechanisms for control of corruption, effective intervention against violence toward women as well as immediate actions to return youngsters permanently to the educational system. There also was mention of a program to cure drug addiction.
Ms. Chinchilla said she was forming a working group to determine the actions suggested by the plan, which would endure long after her administration ends.
Ms. Chinchilla also said that many of the suggestions of the proposal already are underway and included in the national development plan. These include putting 1,000 new police officers on the streets, identification of 32 hectares for a new police academy, the dismemberment of 120 criminal drug organizations and the creation of a frontier police which will be ready in March.
The Poder Judicial later characterized the plan as a public policy directed to orienting the actions of the state in matters of citizen security.
The plan itself is set out around six goals, according to Casa Presidencial:
1. The development of actions to overcome the conditions of vulnerability in the face of crime and violence.
2. The creation of spaces and conditions to strengthen a culture of social peace and human development;
3. The creation of capacities in state institutions to consider the levels of optimal efficiency for guaranteeing citizen security;
4. The development of actions to eliminate the most outstanding forms of violence and victimization.
5. Effective attention to rehabilitating victims of violence and crime;
6. The breaking up of criminal drug networks and other forms of organized criminality
Luiza Carvalho, local representative of the United Nations, said that her agency received 4,600 written statements from 16 different community workshops. The agency received 73 formal documents from institutions and organizations and conducted 12 topical sessions with interest groups, she said. There were more than 1,000 telephone calls, e-mails and other contacts.
The various committees will study these documents as well as the overall plan that resulted from them.
In another security development Monday, agents of the Policia Nacional de Colombia were in the country and promised to provide technical cooperation with the security ministry. As part of the agreement Fuerza Pública officers might go to Colombia for training, according to the ministry.