Why Did Costa Rica Really Abolish Its Military?
Politics, not pacifism, led the country to eliminate its armed forces in a decision that still resonates today.
Rodrigo Chaves Brings Confrontational Leadership to Costa Rica
Clashes with the legislature and the press and high inflation haven’t hurt Chaves’s high approval, but will it last?
AQ Podcast | Former President Solís on Central America: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
A comprehensive look at challenges to democracy but also reasons for hope in the region
A Rocky Road Ahead for Costa Rica’s Rodrigo Chaves
The former economy minister’s victory reflects political disaffection as inequality threatens the country’s stability.
Costa Rica’s Election: A Bad Day for Incumbents, but Some Hope Ahead
The next president will have an opportunity to be a true leader in Central America.
Film Review: One Woman’s Intimate Rebellion
A Swedish–Costa Rican director takes an unexpected approach to themes of sexuality and religious devotion.
Meet the Candidates: Costa Rica
A runoff election pitted a former president against a technocrat with an anti-corruption angle.
What’s Behind China’s Growing Push into Central America?
Growing tensions with Washington, and the post-COVID landscape, seem to provide an open door for Beijing.
Costa Rica’s “Before-and-After” Corruption Scandal Casts a Long Shadow
Attorney General Emilia Navas speaks with AQ on her efforts to restore faith in the justice system in the wake of Costa Rica’s “cementazo.”
Latin America’s First Election of 2018 Was… Normal
Costa Rica’s result may yield clues for upcoming votes in Brazil, Mexico and elsewhere.
AQ Slideshow: Camp Harbor Head and the Border Between Nicaragua and Costa Rica
The border disputes between Nicaragua and Costa Rica date back to differing interpretations of a nineteenth century treaty, highlighting issues of environmentalism and nationalism. While Nicaragua accuses Costa Rica of contributing to environmental damage, Costa Rica maintains that members of Nicaragua’s Sandinista Youth Movement have invaded and occupied its territory. One such dispute includes Camp … Read more
AQ Interviews U.S. President Barack Obama About Trip to Mexico and Costa Rica
On the eve of his sixth trip to Latin America and the Caribbean, President Barack Obama agreed to an interview with Americas Quarterly Editor-in-Chief Christopher Sabatini about his May 2-4 visit to Mexico and Costa Rica. President Obama is using the occasion of his trip to meet with the new Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto … Read more
Costa Rica Inches Toward Coveted APEC Membership
If President Laura Chinchilla gets her way, Costa Rica will be among the first countries to join the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) since a moratorium on new members was set in 1998. But joining the group is an uphill battle, and the president knows that. Costa Rica is now one of more than … Read more
Costa Ricans Choose Chinchilla and Continuity
Laura Chinchilla was elected Costa Rica’s first female president in a colorful election on February 7 that delivered a high vote of confidence to outgoing President Óscar Arias. The 50-year-old moderate Chinchilla, who resigned as Arias’ vice president last year to campaign for the country’s top office, won with more than 46 percent of the … Read more
The Fulcrum of Our New Relationship in the Americas
Ever since President John F. Kennedy launched the Alliance for Progress in 1961, every new U.S. administration has pledged to dedicate itself to our common hemispheric agenda. Too often, our efforts have fallen short. Today, a truly galvanizing challenge—the threat of catastrophic climate change—offers the United States a chance to break that pattern and reengage … Read more