68 Years Ago this Month
December 1, 2017 marked the 68th anniversary of Costa Rica’s abolition of its army.
All those years ago, Costa Rica made one of the most important decisions in its history to abolishing the army. This symbolic act was carried out by the then President of the Founding Governing Board of the Second Republic, José Figueres Ferrer.
By the end of the Civil War, the Founding Governing Board met with an extremely weakened army and jointly decided to eliminate it and to invest the resources in improving the social and economic situation of the country.
Through this series of events, which allowed for important reforms in the country and the creation of universal health care and education.
On day the abolition of the Army was announced, the University of Costa Rica was handed the keys to the military barracks so they could establish the National Museum as a center for anthropological studies.
On October 31, 1949, the National Constituent Assembly incorporated the abolition of the army into Article 12 of the Political Constitution, thereby ensuring to the permanent elimination of the Costa Rican army.
The 68th anniversary of this momentous event for Costa Rica was celebrated with a symbolic act in the Plaza de la Democracia in downtown San José.