People in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. Editorial credit: Fmzmillan /

Costa Rica

Costa Rica has a long history of democratic stability, with a multiparty political system and regular rotations of power through credible elections. Freedoms of expression and association are robust. The rule of law is generally strong, though presidents have often been implicated in corruption scandals, and prisons remain overcrowded. Among other ongoing concerns, the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community and indigenous people face discrimination, and land disputes involving indigenous communities persist.

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Freedom in the World — Costa Rica Country Report

Costa Rica is rated Free in Freedom in the World, Freedom House's annual study of political rights and civil liberties worldwide.