Two projects support U.S. war on drugs

The U.S. Southern Command is investing $1.85 million for a new station for the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas in Golfito.

There was a ceremony Thursday for laying the cornerstone. The facility is expected to be ready by January.

The facility is being built on land owned by the Instituto Costarricense de Puertos del Pacífico. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is in charge of supervision. The work is being done by the Honduras firm Grupo Eterna, said an announcement by the U.S. Embassy.

An additional $968,000 of U.S. taxpayer money is going into an addition to the police control point at Kilometer 35 on the Interamericana highway. The United States already paid for a modern facility, but this new work is for inspection areas for containers and other vehicles.

Industrias Bendig, S.A. of Costa Rica is doing the job, said the U.S. Embassy.

Unlike in the United States, Costa Rican police can inspect vehicles without probable cause, and the Kilometer 35 site is where many persons are caught trying to smuggle alcohol or other goods into the country from Panamá.

The U.S. Southern Command and the embassy have an interest in the coast guard station and the highway inspection point for interdicting shipment of drugs.

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