In 1948, the then President of Costa Rica, José Figueres, eliminated the functionality of the military that was active in this Central American nation. Costa Rica took the determination 73 years ago to suppress the warlike scope in its territories, for which it decreed the abolition of the Army, as a pacifist strategy, after which efforts were united to invest budgets in education, health and the fight against climate change.
Year after year for a little more than seven decades, the administrations that have led Costa Rica have been betting on dialogue before resorting to war, in an attempt to bet on the real spread of peace.Only 21 countries share the absence of a standing military along this Central American nation.
Why doesn’t Costa Rica have an Army and what impact has it had?
One of the first advantages that could be limited as a result of the abolition of the Army in Costa Rica is the conscious investment of the national budget in environmental projects, which have positioned this nation as one of the most deeply rooted and respectful of the environment.
Costa Rica is currently undertaking ambitious environmental projects that have been praised and recognized by international entities, such as the United Nations (UN), which awarded it the Champion of the Earth award in September 2019, highlighting the work that carried out by the Costa Rican Government for the benefit of its natural areas.Likewise, Costa Rica has built a social heritage, backed by a battery of public policies that accredit it as one of the flagship nations in the fight against climate change.
Experts assure that beyond the social, moral, political and even philosophical reasons that Costa Rica had to get rid of its military body, this decision has brought it through the years an enviable profitability.
The Development Observatory of the University of Costa Rica assures that on average this nation has been accumulating at least one percentage point in the average annual growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita, from 1950 to 2010 as a reference.
Benefits of the demilitarization of Costa Rica:
1. It fosters and invigorates the so-called institutional and political stability, avoiding the possibility of foreign military interventions without dangers of coups d’état.
2. It favors social investment and allocates budgets to public policies.
3. It reinforces the civil and pacifist attitude in the population as a value of social roots.