Costa Rica is a free and independent republic and its people have enjoyed a peaceful, democratic way of life since 1889. The military as a division of the Costa Rican government was abolished in 1948 and is now prohibited by the Costa Rican Constitution.
The current leadership consists of three branches of government including the President, elected by popular vote for a period of four-years and exercising executive powers; the Congress, a single chambered legislature, whose members are also elected by popular vote for a four-year term; and the Supreme Court, acting as the judicial body of the nation.
The Constitution guarantees and protects its peoples right to life, freedom and basic civil liberties. The death sentence was abolished in 1882, which has provided an ideal environment for several prestigious international human rights organization who have established their headquarters here in Costa Rica.
The country enjoys a quiet co-existence with its neighbors aided in part by president Dr. Oscar Arias, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, for his negotiating efforts throughout Central America.
Perpetual Neutrality was proclaimed in Costa Rica in 1983.