Lawmakers change Constitution to reflect diversity

The Costa Rican legislature took an additional step Thursday to define the country as multi-ethnic and multicultural.

Some 41 lawmakers voted for a third time to change the Constitution to insert the new words  multiétnica y pluricultural in the first article of the Constitution.

The measure, No. 17150, passed through an unusual procedure whereby lawmakers had to vote three times instead of the usual two. Assembly rules require this for constitutional changes.

The bill had been in the legislature for seven years.

The bill notes that the country already celebrates the  Día de las Culturas that highlights the many cultural roots that make up present day Costa Rica. Changing the Constitutional represents another step, the summary said.

The bill also pays tribute to previous presidents Luis Alberto Monge, Óscar Arias Sánchez and, of course, José Figueres for their contributions to what the country is today, including the elimination of the armed forces.

A number of nationalities and even undocumented immigrants are listed as those making the country multicultural. North Americans are not listed specifically,

Although the summary is lengthy, the bill itself has but 32 words.

Legislator  Epsy Campbell Barr said that 15 years had passed for the concept to arrive at its final vote.

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