Fernando Berrocal is starting on the campaign trail early but decisively.
The former pre-candidate and security minister was at the legislature Monday promoting a proposed law that would provide more coordination among the many police forces. He met with Juan Carlos Mendoza García, president of the Asamblea Legislativa, and presented a letter outlining his concerns and suggestions. He has called for restructuring the Fuerza Pública.
Berrocal, a lawyer and former journalist and television personality, already has launched the Frente Patriótico y de Defensa Nacional in which he is critical of what he calls the cowardly abandonment of the Costa Rican Isla Calero to Nicaraguan soldiers. Nevertheless, he still considers himself a member of the Partido Liberación Nacional, according to his Web site.
His organization appears to be a direct challenge to the Laura Chinchilla administration. “Costa Ricans do not accept more incompleted promises in matters of territorial security and citizen security,” he said on the Web site. “Sovereignty is not negotiable. It is defended with valor and patriotism.”
It was Laura Chinchillla in her presidential campaign who promised a firm hand against crime. But there have been few concrete proposals except requests for more taxes.
Ms. Chinchilla bested Berrocal to become the Liberación candidate in 2010. She cannot run for office again in 2014.
Earlier Berrocal served as security minister under then-president Óscar Arias Sánchez. But Arias fired him March 15, 2008, just after Berrocal suggested that some Costa Rican politicians were involved with the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia drug smugglers.
Arias appointed his then-vice president, Ms. Chinchilla, to serve temporarily as security minister.
Ms. Chinchilla named Berrocal ambassador to Panamá, but he resigned that post before ever leaving the country.