Costa Rica involved in canal defense plan

Two officers of the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas and the press chief of the Ministerio de Seguridad Publica are in Jacksonville, Florida, participating in a multinational exercise to defend the Panama Canal.

The ministry said that 19 nations are participating in the exercise known as  PANAMAX 2015, hosted by the U.S. Southern Command.

The exercise, which involves a number of simulations, concludes Thursday.

Costa Rica has been invited because of its proximity to Panamá. The exercise also includes public communications about participation in the defense of the canal, said the ministry.

The defense exercise began four years ago. The canal is considered a vital link in world transportation, and about 6 percent of the world’s cargo passes through the link between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

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