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AP interview with Laura Chinchilla, president-elect of Costa Rica

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SHOTLIST
San Jose, Costa Rica – 15 March 2010
1. Mid of incoming Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla greeting journalists
2. Mid of Chinchilla sitting down
3. SOUNDBITE: (Spanish) Laura Chinchilla, incoming Costa Rican President:
“Costa Rica can help countries like Mexico and Colombia very much, for example, with the flow of information which would enable them to be much more effective in the battle they are fighting.”
FILE: Mexico City, Mexico – 9 February 2010
4. Wide of masked police standing next to weapons and drugs seized in raid
5. Close up of guns seized in raid
6. Close up of drugs seized during operation in La Paz, Baja California
San Jose, Costa Rica – 15 March 2010
7. SOUNDBITE: (Spanish) Laura Chinchilla, incoming Costa Rican President:
“We aren”t asking for resources just to ask for more. We hope and are confident that there will be space for additional changes in areas where we have to strengthen the fight against drug traffickers in Costa Rica, which may be an additional contribution that the US government can give us.”
FILE:
San Jose, Costa Rica – 4 March 2010
8. US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arriving for news conference
9. Mid of Clinton and outgoing Costa Rican President Oscar Arias taking their seats for news conference
San Jose, Costa Rica – 15 March 2010
10. SOUNDBITE: (Spanish) Laura Chinchilla, incoming Costa Rican President:
“The message for the drug cartels is that from the president all the way down, we will confront them with determination and courage and we are not going to give them a respite. It”s also a message to Costa Rican people, they have to know it is one of our priorities and this fight will be lead by honourable people, people with integrity and bravery. And it would be better for the traffickers, sooner or later, to look for other places because here we will pursue them relentlessly.”
FILE:
Costa Rica, exact location and date unknown
11. Various of Chinchilla campaigning for the presidency
STORYLINE
Costa Rica”s President-elect Laura Chinchilla is promising to take on drug cartels operating in her country and improve cooperation with Mexico, Colombia and other nations fighting the illicit drug trade.
“Costa Rica can help countries like Mexico and Colombia very much, for example, with the flow of information which would enable them to be much more effective in the battle they are fighting,” Chinchilla told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview.
Costa Rican authorities have been detaining more Mexican nationals in relation to drug trafficking, including a group with almost a ton of drugs discovered in February.
The Security Ministry suspects that shipment was tied to a Juarez drug cartel.
Chinchilla said Costa Rica will need help to wage an effective war on drugs.
“We aren”t asking for resources just to ask for more,” the incoming leader said. “We hope and are confident that there will be space for additional changes in areas where we have to strengthen the fight against drug traffickers in Costa Rica, which may be an additional contribution that the US government can give us.”
The United States, currently provides 1.4 (b) billion US dollars under the Merida Initiative, a three-year programme to train and equip Mexican and Central American authorities facing cartels that move drugs through the region and into the US.
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited Costa Rica on 4 March, meeting with Chinchilla, who emphasised her country would need more than the 4.3 (m) million US dollars promised to Costa Rica under the initiative.
Chinchilla also announced a new National Anti-Drug Commission to coordinate the fight against the drug syndicates.
Chinchilla won the presidency last month by a landslide.

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