Despite the agreement to postpone the street blockades until further notice, the investigation process against former deputy Guido continues.
- Movimiento Rescate Nacional photos -
































 





Published Monday, October 19, 2020



 Dialogue with protesters advances,
government says




By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
 

Meetings with representatives of the government and protest leaders are advancing, the government said.

The meetings have taken place in Nicoya and Liberia in Guanacaste Province, Guatuso and San Carlos in the north of Alajuela and Buenos Aires, and Parrita in Puntarenas. The goal is to reach agreements and stop the protests in all rural territories.

According to the government statement, among the main concerns of the representatives of rural areas is the negative impact of the pandemic on tourism.

"The economic blow that the tourism sector has suffered is shocking and the only way to get ahead of this is through the institutional framework of the country, in a dialogue table with all sectors," said Tadeo Morales, from the Chamber of Tourism and Commerce of Arenal.

Aside from the main topics addressed in the meetings, they discussed the need to develop strategies to increase employment, economic reactivation, business development, support for productive sectors such as fishing, agriculture, mining, among others.

Concerning the Movimiento Rescate Nacional (or in English, the National Rescue Organization), who have caused road blockades and vandalism last week, they signed an agreement to stop marches in public areas until further notice.

The agreement was signed between the organizationís leader Celimo Guido and with leaders of the Union of Companies Chambers, known as Uccaep.

According to Josť Alvaro Jenkis, president of Uccaep, the goal of meeting with protesters' was to listen to their concerns on the worries of the business sector due to the millions of dollars lost in the economy caused by the blockades.

The agreement is to include the representatives of the group of protesters to meetings of the Workers' Assembly of the Banco Popular. There they will share their concerns in search of reaching agreements with the government..

"Both parties reiterate to public opinion the need for a true, transparent, social dialogue without exclusions, for the sake of peace and social justice," the Chamber said in its statement.

Despite the agreement to postpone the street blockades until further notice, the investigation process against former deputy Guido continues.



Last week a criminal complaint was filed before the judicial authorities against the two former deputies Guido and Josť Miguel Corrales, turned leaders of the protests which have caused road blockades and vandalism.

Protesters blocked ports and the main roads of the most important routes in the country, causing obstruction of public services and unleashing violence and vandalism, the government said.

The protests originally started as an act against the government's plan to increase taxes as part of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund, IMF, for a loan of $1.75 billion. However, protests and vandalism continued after the government announced that it stopped the original tax plan.

The government called for dialogue with representatives of various protest leaders of the country. This meeting was rejected by Corrales and Guido. Both insisted on maintaining the road blockades. Neither leader condemned the acts of violence and organized crime carried out by the organization members.

The government complaint adds that one of the alleged public instigators, Corrales, decided to leave the organization, and his co-leader, Guido, continues to call himself a representative of the group.

Regarding the intensification of violence, Corrales assured that at the beginning he made a peaceful call for protests against taxes and other issues. However, "the drug trafficker vandalized what started as a peaceful protest." For that reason, he called on protesters "to put down all marches in the streets."

Although the leaders have split from the group, Guido called on the protesters to hold a national protest in San Josť last Monday.

The complainants said that both the accused leaders encouraged the blockades and violence to the point that they have validated acts of mutiny, attacks against police officers, where they could not fulfill their operations to safeguarding free movement and the protection of citizens, the government said.

Finally, the complaint indicates that both the leaders of the organization and its members are responsible for crimes such as illicit association, public instigation, obstruction of public roads, obstruction of public services, riot, attack, among other vandalism. They also said that the leaders threaten the public tranquility, public institutions, public authority, among others.

According to the government, there is ample evidence, including in the media and social networks, that has been presented together with the complaint before the Prosecutor General's Office.


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Should the Prosecutor's Office speed up the case against the suspects due to the impacts of the blockades and protests? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com


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