Washington D.C. – March 17, 2017
U.S. Vice President Michael Pence met with Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis at the White House on March 17, 2017.
The Vice President praised Costa Rica’s role as key partner of the United States in promoting regional economic prosperity, security, and good governance throughout the hemisphere. The two leaders discussed ways to deepen their cooperation on combating the illicit drug trade and reducing illegal immigration through Central America to the United States. The Vice President expressed his appreciation for Costa Rica’s constructive stance in favor of the constitutional order and respect for human rights in Venezuela. The two leaders pledged to continue their dialogue on bilateral issues and maintain strong relations between the United States and Costa Rica.
Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly met with President Solis on March 16 and highlighted opportunities to expand investigative, border security and information collaboration. Both leaders recognized the threat to the region from narcotics trafficking, and how Costa Rica partners with DHS to track and intercept narcotics shipments as they transit Costa Rican territory. CBP, ICE, and USCG all pledged to support Costa Rican goals to expand border security (air, land, and maritime), build capacity to counter different forms of transnational crime, especially money laundering, and provide training and equipment to key Costa Rican security agencies, including the Border Police, Coast Guard, and Investigative Police. During the meeting, Secretary Kelly emphasized his intent to support regional efforts to reduce levels of crime and improve economic conditions, especially in the “Northern Triangle” of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, as a way to dissuade would-be migrants from attempting to enter the U.S. illegally.