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President Laura Chinchilla arrives in Colombia for the Summit of the Americas

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“We are not willing to be dragged into a convoy of destruction, of militarism, of exorbitant costs that distracts nations from their investment efforts into social issues.”

Such were the words of President Laura Chinchilla in an interview with Colombian newspaper El Tiempo on the eve of her participation in the Sixth Summit of the Americas.

Our President arrived in Cartagena with an agenda that will focus on fighting drug trafficking in the Americas, but without resorting to the status quo of the War on Drugs as spearheaded by the United States. In her interview with El Tiempo, she stressed that the fight must continue, but that what has been accomplished thus far does not amount to victory or gains.

She also mentioned that in Costa Rica, drug use is not seen from a criminal perspective, but rather as a public health matter. She admitted that insofar as interdiction of manufacturing and trafficking, many areas must be improved.

“If we keep simply referring to the United States as part of the debate, it seems to me that advancing in this regard will be more difficult. First of all, the drug markets are expanding to other regions: Europe, for example. Second, the cartels have a strong presence in Central America and also in the rest of the world. This is why I think we should take the debate to the United Nations, to the heart of the Security Council, to demand participation from the UN to better coordinate the development of the institutions that focus on prevention.”

With regard to Cuba’s non-participation in this summit, she did not share the sentiment of most of her counterpart heads of state, who have expressed that they feel that the next summit should not take place without the attendance of the Caribbean island nation.

On the matter of the border conflict with Nicaragua, our President did not indicate that the presence of President Daniel Ortega will bother her. She also underscored the fact that it is refreshing to see five women at the summit: three Presidents and two Prime Ministers.

According to Teletica, our President met with the director of McDonald’s Latin America and explained that she would like the restaurants from that chain in Costa Rica to be supplied with 100 percent Tico-made products.

In other news from the summit, agents from the United States Secret Service tasked with protecting President Barack Obama were sent back home after it was alleged that they had cavorted with prostitutes in Cartagena. The incident was reported on the digital pages of the Washington Post.

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