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Obama to Attend Economic Forum in Costa Rica

  • VOA News

President Barack Obama and Costa Rica President Laura Chinchilla arrive for their joint news conference at the National Center for Art and Culture in San Jose, Costa Rica, May 3, 2013.

President Barack Obama and Costa Rica President Laura Chinchilla arrive for their joint news conference at the National Center for Art and Culture in San Jose, Costa Rica, May 3, 2013.

U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to attend a forum on "inclusive economic growth and development" in Costa Rica before he returns to Washington.

Obama has been on a three-day visit to the region, with stops in both Mexico and Costa Rica to discuss economic growth and immigration.

Seven Latin American leaders are joining Obama for talks on boosting trade and fighting violent drug cartels.

He has said his administration is working hard to cut the demand for illegal drugs in the United States, but that progress is slow.

During a news conference in San Jose with Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla Friday, Obama said the U.S. has spent $30 billion over the last four years to fight the demand for drugs.

He said the problem is one of law enforcement. He said there are no plans to get the U.S. military involved in the drug fight.

He said the keys to fighting Latin American drug traffickers is creating educational and economic opportunities for people.

President Obama arrived in Costa Rica after two days in Mexico. He told an audience at the National Anthropology Museum in Mexico City that a "new Mexico is emerging" with a robust civil society and political parties that compete vigorously but also transfer power peacefully.
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