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Costa Rica

  • By: Stephen T. Schroth & Daniel O. Gonshorek
  • In: Encyclopedia of Drug Policy
  • Edited by: Mark A. R. Kleiman & James E. Hawdon
  • Subject:Public Policy, Drug Crimes

The Republic of Costa Rica is located in Central America, bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west, Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the south, and the Caribbean Sea to the east. With a population of 4.5 million, Costa Rica is one of the oldest and more stable democracies in the Western Hemisphere, boasting a literacy rate of over 97 percent and per capita gross domestic product of approximately $6,500. Costa Rica, with no army and an economy that is highly dependent upon the tourist industry, resists drug trafficking with its resultant crime and disruption to other economic activity. Although the United States has long supported the Costa Rican government's anti-drug efforts, new approaches favoring a treatment-based approach have begun to gain support as ...

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