The former Costa Rican Minister of Justice and current presidential candidate Laura Chinchilla and Congresswoman Ana Helena Chacón have been proponents of the bill, which creates the first Ministry of Justice and Peace in Latin America.

The new ministry would have new directorates that provide substance to a fledgling National System for Promotion of Peace and Citizen Coexistence, which directly reports to the Ministry. The reporting directorates would be the General Office for Promotion of Peace and Citizen Coexistence, the National Conflict Resolution Office, the Public Performances Office and the National Commission for Prevention of Violence and Promotion of Community Peace.

The work of the System is expected to be promoting the creation of various programs and development of the culture of peace, as well as acting as a support to civic organizations promoting these types of actions.

AIn addition to the amendment, a new provision has been added to the Law regulating the Ministry of Justice, which provisions attaches new responsibilities to the Ministry, among which are noted the following:
– Advancing and coordinating and plans programs for the promotion of peace in Costa Rica
– Supporting, as relates to the prevention of violence, the Ministry of Public Security with respect to firearms in Costa Rica, as a means of promoting the Culture of Peace and nonviolence
– Promoting Alternative Conflict Resolution as a form of developing a culture of peace, notwithstanding the other duties provided in the Law for Alternative Resolution of Conflicts, Law No 7727
– Fostering better Inter-institutional relations in order to accomplish the mandate of the Law for Public Performances, Law No. 7440
– Promoting the participation of civil society through non-governmental organizations and any type of organization dedicated to the promotion of peace and nonviolence.

The Law, already approved by the Congress, must be submitted for approval by the President of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias Sánchez, Winner of the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize.

*(Translation provided by Iuslingua LLC.)*