SCF Professor Publishes Research Article Featuring Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Former President of Costa Rica

(Bradenton, Fla., Oct. 10, 2017) — Philip Travis, Ph.D., assistant professor of history at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) recently published an article in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History. “Óscar Arias and the Treaty of Esquipulas” features highlights from Travis’ 2016 interview with Nobel Peace Prize winner and former Costa Rican President Óscar Arias.

Highlights from the article include:

  • Arias’ first term as president of Costa Rica was from 1986 to 1990, a period of war and violence in Central America. As one of only a handful of nations without a standing army, Costa Rica continually dealt with violations of its sovereignty by U.S.-backed Contra rebels waging war against the nearby Nicaraguan government.
  • Arias, along with leaders of other impacted nations, brokered the Treaty of Esquipulas leading to an end to decades of war and infighting. The treaty established a cease-fire; mandated arms reductions, democratic elections and an end of assistance to guerilla forces; and established channels for international verification. It stands as one of the most significant and understudied peace agreements of the late Cold War era.

“For the first time, the small nations of Central America, so long considered the imperial servants of the United States, thwarted an aggressive U.S. military policy,” Travis said. “Through intense diplomatic meetings and in the wake of the Iran-Contra scandal, President Arias of Costa Rica succeeded in creating a peace agreement for Central Americans and authored by Central Americans.”

Contact Professor Travis at 941-752-5551 or for more information or instructions on how to obtain a copy of the article.

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