Does Costa Rica Have a Standing Army? No, the army was abolished in 1949 under the leadership of Jose Figueres who is best known as the “Grandfather of Costa Rica.”
The Civil War of National Liberation followed several years of extreme unrest in Costa Rica. The civil war began on March 11, 1948 and ended forty four days later. Two thousand men were killed during this sad violent war of liberation.
This National Liberation Front was headed by Jose Figueres, and under his leadership a new Constitution was born.
It gave strong powers to the central government reflecting the ideals of Social Democracy . It included a ten percent tax on wealth. full voting rights for women, created a minimum wage, national health care services for all, nationalization of the banks, granted citizenship to all people born in Costa Rica and expanded education by creating rural schools. And it Abolished the Military. The money and resources are instead spent on human development and prosperity.
From all of this, a new and strong political party was born known as the National Liberation Party. Figueres headed the party until a presidential election could be held and then relinquished his power to the newly elected president Otilio Ulate. Figueres later served two terms as President 1953-1957 and 1970-1974.