During meetings on Feb. 11 and Feb. 12, Panama and Costa Rica reached an agreement on beefing up security cooperation along their 330-kilometer shared border, according to The Tico Times.
The agreement includes the establishment of a joint task force to police the border and cooperative training exercises, surveillance, and information and security technology exchanges.
Rosso Serrano, Colombia’s former national police head from 1994-2001, attended the meetings. Serrano is seen by many as the mastermind behind the fall of the Cali and Medellin drug cartels. The meetings were also attended by Honduras’ security minister. Later this year, officials from those three countries are scheduled to meet for security talks.
Neither Panama nor Costa Rica have an army. They both rely on their national police forces to secure the border. Drug, human, and weapons trafficking are known to cross the border, in part due to its lax security.
In April 2014, a U.S. man wanted for several pending charges in the United States was caught by Panamanian security officers attempting to sneak in from Costa Rica.