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Costa Rica Programs

Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity

Despite Costa Rica’s reputation as having fewer problems than its neighbors, governance problems remain and public corruption is an ongoing concern. 

In 2004, the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Office of the US Embassy in Costa Rica contracted ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) to undertake a targeted assessment of components of the Costa Rican Ministry of Public Security and the Treasury Ministry (Ministerio de Hacienda) to determine the institutional capacity to establish and implement programs designed to confront internal institutional corruption. 

Before ABA ROLI’s involvement, some events brought to public view serious allegations of corruption at the highest levels of government. These reinforced public perceptions that corruption was widespread and was eroding the government’s capacity to fully meet its responsibilities. Some elements of the government, especially the judicial structure, were viewed as capable of responding to the problem. ABA ROLI’s assessment outlined recommendations for technical assistance to targeted institutions of the government of Costa Rica to meet the overall objective of strengthening its capacity to address corruption within vulnerable governmental institutions.