My first blogging assignment was an investigation into a political event involving Costa Rica. After searching through twitter feeds and online articles, I learned about the U.S. and Iraq War from the perspectives of different people and groups in Costa Rica.

In 2004 during the war between the United States and Iraq, Costa Rica requested to be excluded from the U.S. list of coalition partners. The Constitutional Court of Costa Rica ruled that being involved in the war was against the country’s principles and history of peace and neutrality.

Tom Casey, a spokesman of the U.S. State Department, claimed that Costa Rica’s inclusion on the list did not violate their neutrality and was merely representative of their opposition to terrorism. Abel Pacheco, the Costa Rican president at the time, also felt that that Costa Rica was merely expressing its opposition to terrorism and dictatorships but agreed to comply with the court order.

Most of the Costa Rican and also Latin American civilians were opposed to the war and celebrated the Court’s decision to remove Costa Rica from the list. Student Rosario Camacho stated, “I was opposed to Costa Rica being on the list because it couldn’t support the war. It is a sovereign country and supporter of peace.”

This assignment allowed me to understand how issues are portrayed differently depending on who is telling the story and the lens through which the issue is viewed.