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Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador Launch Initiative to Fight Organized Crime in the Pacific

LADB Article ID: 80510
Category/Department: Region
Date: 2018-02-01
By: George Rodríguez

Costa Rica and Panama have teamed up with Ecuador to protect security and the environment in the vast portion of the Pacific Ocean they share. Colombia is expected to join them. The initiative was launched by Costa Rican Security Minister Gustavo Mata in bilateral meetings during which he underlined the threat posed by organized crime to both security and the environment. The talks, held throughout last year, led to a meeting in November 2017 between environment, defense and security ministers from these countries. At the gathering in San José, the Costa Rican capital, were Mata and Environment and Energy Minister Edgar Gutiérrez of Costa Rica; Panamanian Security Vice Minister Jonattan del Rosario and Environment Minister Emilio Sempris; and Ecuadoran Environment Minister Tarsicio Granizo and Defense Minister Patricio Zambrano. Pacífico, a foundation made up of Costa Rican, Colombian, and Panamanian environmental fund organizations, acted as the meeting’s facilitator. The vast area the meeting focused on is known as Pacífico Este Tropical (Tropical Eastern Pacific, PET), covering 2.2 million sq. km that contain about 92% of the Pacific coral reefs, close to 50% of the Pacific mangroves in the Americas, and 72 coastal marine protected areas.

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