Costa Rica celebrates the 1948 decision to abolish its military every year.
By then, a civil war and electoral fraud had led to the overthrow of power by José Ferrer, also known as “don Pepe“. He proclaims democracy and also the abolition of the army.
Costa Rica accepts this choice despite a certain political instability among its neighbors in Central America, though it still has a “public force” of 8,000 men. It was the first country in the world to make this decision, then followed by 20 other countries.
Costa Rica is used to to atypical choices and orientations that allow this country, among other things, to produce 98% of its electricity with renewable energies, and to take the gamble of decarbonizing the economy.
The benefits of a country without an army are many and can help drive ambitious reforms.
The country and its leaders rely on multilateralism and diplomacy to avoid conflict. Savings from the lack of military spending are redirected to education. The goal announced 70 years ago was peace. The bet was successful and today it is the elimination of the use of fossil fuels that is targeted.
Costa Rica has not been attacked since 1871. It declared perpetual neutrality in 1983. It was the 1949 constitution that endorsed the abolition of the military.
This is one of the reasons that make this country so special and that allow it to have a very positive and attractive reputation for travelers from all over the world. Costa Rica’s values are recognized and also attractive to people who globally share them.