Country in Central America (Shown in Green)
Nevertheless, Costa Rica is a constitutional democracy with a population of about 4.5 million. It has accomplished great steps in democracy. An example is that over 38% of the Legislators are women comparing to 17% in the United States. In February 2011, Laura Chinchilla Miranda was elected the country's first female president.
In the recent years, the country has become a theater of the drug cartel. Unlike other countries that deal with such problems by resorting to their armed forces, Costa Rica has been determined to remain free of a standing army despite having serious problem with the cartel. In response to such pressure, President Chinchilla said: “… the absence of an army has been a guarantee of security in the country."
The courage to be free of military has handsomely paid off. Costa Rica has become the envy of the world. The Happy Planet Index global ranking for well-being and environmental impact shows Costa Rica is top in the world. Costa Ricans are reportedly among the happiest in the world. They have one of the highest levels of life expectancy in the Western World. They enjoy better living standards than many people in the other countries in Americas.
Costa Ricans are a good example for the rest of us to follow. We can realize that standing military is not a solution to conflicts but a part of the problem. The money wasted on military can best be spent to enhance our wellbeing. To have a world free of military, each of us must be committed to peaceful coexistence through dialogue, and not confrontation. President Chinchilla said: “Dialogue has to become a permanent instrument for the exercise of power.”
May peace be with you!
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