Media Center

Press Release


  September 28, 2007

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, today emphasized that the referendum that will take place in Costa Rica on October 7 on the Free Trade Agreement “will have enormous repercussion in the domestic life of Costa Rica and Central America.”

He made this statement after signing with that country’s Permanent Representative to the OAS, Javier Sancho Bonilla, the Memorandum of Understanding between the General Secretariat of the Organization and the Government of the Republic of Costa Rica related to the privileges and immunities of the Observation Mission of the Referendum on the Free Trade Agreement among the Dominican Republic, Central America and the United States on October 7.

“Costa Rica is giving us an example, is showing us the path and the right way to do things regarding an issue, which without a doubt, will have an enormous repercussion in the domestic life of Costa Rica and Central America. It is not a minor issue that will be decided. It is an issue that has been discussed and debated extensively in that country, but I’m convinced that the people of Costa Rica will accept the outcome of the vote, and that government will also thoroughly respect it, and therefore democracy will be strengthened with the participation of all citizens,” said Insulza.

“I’m very content; in the first place, to be able to go to your country to be present during the days prior to this referendum, that is a historic day in your country. Costa Rica is one of the exemplary democracies of Latin America. Without a doubt, it is the oldest, uninterrupted in Latin America,” he recalled.

For his part, Ambassador Sancho Bonilla noted that Sunday, October 7, 2,7 million Costa Ricans will participate in the first referendum in the country’s history.

“Our referendum was not designed as a radical proposal for direct democracy or as an instrument to question the legitimacy of the democratic representative government. For the first time, Costa Ricans will use a referendum as a path for political decision making. Also for the first time, a nation in our Latin America will submit a Free Trade Treaty to popular vote,” he added.

The Secretary General and the Central American diplomat thanked the governments of the United States, Canada, and South Korea for their contributions to make the Observation Mission possible.


Reference: E-241/07