On a visit to Mexico, Costa Rica's President Laura Chinchilla signed agreements with her counterpart Felipe Calderon to strengthen the two countries' cooperation against organized crime, including an extradition treaty.
The two heads of state signed agreements to cover the extradition of suspected criminals, the exchange of information on crime, and the return of stolen vehicles and aircraft.
Calderon said that both nations face a common challenge; offering security to their citizens while facing the "increasingly intense" problem of organized crime. The accords mark the beginning of a new stage in the relationship between the two countries, he added.
Chinchilla congratulated Calderon for his government’s security strategy, which she called a "heroic struggle."
But, while pursuing cooperation with Mexico to tackle organized crime, the Costa Rican leader openly promotes a different approach.
Chinchilla does not believe that relying on the army, as Calderon does, is the best policy for Costa Rica, she told BBC Mundo.
"Our strategy in Costa Rica is more focused on the role of the judiciary, the police, prevention, and a free press that investigates with absolute independence," she added.
As she told El Universal, the example of Costa Rica shows that an army is not necessary to effectively tackle insecurity and criminality.