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31/08/2011 | Colombia's Former President Calls For Tax To Fight Crime In Costa Rica

Inside Costa Rica

Like a blessing from the heavens was for presidenta Laura Chinchilla and her government was the message delivered yesterday by Colombia's former president, Álvaro Uribe, for a tax to finance the fight against crime in Costa Rica.


Uribe, who was president of Colombia from 2002 to 2010, and in Costa Rica on Monday, advocated the tax on corporations that was recently proposed by presidenta chinchilla and currently stuck in the Legislative Assembly after obtaining first reading approval.

The tax would impose an annual tax of us$300 on active corporations and half that on the inactive.

Uribe established in 2002, his first in office, a tax "on the richest people of Colombia to double the police force from 70.000 to 140.000. The tax money was overseen by a council of representatives from the private sector. This created a lot of confidence and gave credibility to the call for cooperation to other countries", said Uribe Monday afternoon.

The former Colombian president's words were in tune with the message that Chinchilla has been giving during the past week and months who said she will never give up on asking Legislators to approve the corporation tax and the fiscal plan.

Uribe said that the strict measures against uncertainty - reducing the murders in half - in country led to the economic growth an improved resources for social work.

The former president said during his visit that he was surprised ad the alarming insecurity in Costa Rica.

Uribe stopped in Costa Rica on his way to El Salvador to continue on his planned agenda for the private company, Continental Security and Interactive Solutions.

Although he said he did not want to give advice, he did praise the government in its management, focusing on the alliance with the United States, the tough stance, taking responsibility for personal security and for building for trust by telling the truth in the face of failures.

Uribe, who defines himself as "a policeman in plain clothes", also called for presidential discretion to dismiss corrupt police and creating a counterintelligence system to control them.

The former president also manifested against the liberalization of drug use, confident that the sale will increase and exacerbate crime.

"100% of the paid killers arrested in Colombia had used drugs at the time of the crime", said Uribe.

Álvaro Uribe 

Álvaro   Uribe Vélez, born 4 July 1952), was the 58th President of Colombia, from 2002 to 2010. In August 2010 he was appointed Vice-chairman of the UN panel investigating the Gaza flotilla raid.

Uribe started his political career in his home department of Antioquia. He has held office in the Empresas Públicas de Medellín and in the Ministry of Labor and in the Civil Aeronautic. Later he held office as the mayor of Medellín in 1982, then he was Senator between 1986 and 1994 and finally Governor of Antioquia between 1995 and 1997 before he was elected President of Colombia in 2002.

Before his current role in politics Uribe was a lawyer. He studied law at the University of Antioquia and completed a post-graduate management program at Harvard Extension School.] He was awarded the Simón Bolívar Scholarship of the British Council and was nominated Senior Associate Member at St Antony's College in the University of Oxford after completing his term in office as the governor of Antioquia in 1998.

Polls consistently show an unprecedented support for President Uribe by many Colombians, estimated at around 70% after his second year in office. Support is widespread, but highest among medium and higher income Colombians. 

Uribe's relative popularity is largely attributed to his administration's successful campaigns against the FARC and the ELN, and in part to the efforts to begin demobilizing the paramilitaries (United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia). Also, analysts point out that Uribe is seen as a charismatic 24-hour workaholic and a promoter of personal and administrative austerity, which some interpret as a role model for other Colombians and politicians.

Inside Costa Rica (Costa Rica)


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