Costa Rica’s constitution does not allow regular armed forces. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that CRI stands for Costa Rica. 9,600 men semi-military, permanent staff provide (2008) border guard (2,500 police), coast guard (400 men) and surface surveillance (4,500 lightly armed gendarmes). The Coast Guard has 14 patrol boats and 12 light aircraft/ helicopters. Defense costs decreased in 1985-2006 from 0.7% to 0.4% of GDP.
In 1990, 29.9% of the country’s working women were; nonetheless, they made up 41% of the labor force in the «black» – or informal – labor market. In politics, in the executive and legislative powers, the number of women did not exceed 15%. The women’s own groups noted an increase in the number of child prostitutes, which constituted a lucrative business for the owners of the “organizations” behind it.
The Christian-social candidate, Rafael Angel Calderón, ran for the parliamentary elections in February 1990 with election promises of change; his attempt to appeal to the poorest and poorest educated gave him absolute majority – with 1 seat more than the opposition.
In foreign policy, he advocated the continuation of the Central American peace process, but with an emphasis on economic development; he stated that Costa Rica should return as an observer in the Alliance Free States Association after 8 years of absence. He also expressed an interest in an approach to Europe and Latin America.
- COUNTRYAAH: Do you know where is Costa Rica on the world map? Come to see the location and all bordering countries of Costa Rica.
The introduction of a hard-hitting economic program reduced the government apparatus and the government deficit, which reached 3.3% of gross domestic product. As a consequence, unemployment and dissatisfaction among the population increased.
Social Democratic candidate José Maria Figueres won the 1994 general election over government candidate Miguel Rodriguez, following an election campaign where there was little difference in the candidates’ programs, but in turn serious discrepancies between the two rival parties.
In January 1995, a free trade agreement was signed with Mexico, but the poor economy, inflation and government deficit forced the government to raise taxes. The World Bank rejected the government’s economic plan and refused to fund the structural adjustment programs. The PLN accepted the liberalization of banking, along with extensive privatizations of insurance companies, oil companies and the telecommunications sector, as proposed by the Christian opposition, in return for voting for the bill. The unions organized strikes against the intervention; especially in protest against the layoffs of thousands of public servants.
In 1996, the PLN government agreed with the opposition on a finance law that limited the deficit to 1% of GDP. Hurricane César ravaged Costa Rica in late July, especially the southern part of the country, leaving 30 dead. The damages were estimated at about $ 100 million. The abduction of a German and a Swiss tourist seriously damaged tourism. Despite both being freed after 2½ months in detention, many travel companies preferred not to take any risk and deleted Costa Rica from their programs.