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.
- Movimiento Rescate Nacional photo -
Published Friday, October 16, 2020
Leaders of protest groups criminally
denounced by the government
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
A criminal complaint was filed before the judicial authorities against the two former deputies Josť Miguel Corrales and Celimo Guido, leaders of the protesters group called Movimiento Rescate Nacional (National Rescue Organization in English) who have caused road blockades and vandalism, the government announced on Thursday.
The complaint was signed by the minister of the Presidency, Marcelo Prieto, minister of Public Security, Michael Soto, and the minister of Justice and Peace, Fiorella Salazar. They believe those leading the protests are inciting citizens to block streets.
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 began 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 had announced that it had discontinued the original tax plan.
The government called for dialogue with representatives of various sectors of the country. This meeting was rejected by Corrales and Guido. Both insist on instigating citizens to maintain the road blockades and do not condemn the acts of violence and organized crime carried out by the organization members.
The complaint adds that, even though one of the alleged public instigators, Corrales, decided to leave the organization, his co-leader, Guido, has continued to call himself a representative of the group.
Last week, through a video posted on the group's Facebook page, Corrales called on his followers not to continue with the blockades, because the protests were out of control due to infiltrated drug traffickers among the protesters.
"From the depths of my soul, I apologize to Costa Rica for my part of the responsibility that I may have in this regard," Corrales said. "I apologize to the victims of violence and to all those who have lived days of distress."
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."
According to Corrales, the country "has to recover its peace and quietly reflect on what is happening in all areas of national politics."
Corrales' apology speech can be seen on the group's Facebook page.
Although the leaders have split from the group, deputy Celimo Guido called on the protesters to hold a national demonstration in San Josť on Monday from La Merced Church on Second Avenue and make their way to the Congress building and then reaching the Presidential House in Zapote Canton.
Videos of the march organized by Guido can be reached at the protesters group's Facebook page.
Likewise, the complainants point out that both the accused leaders influenced the blockades and violence to the point that they have validated acts of mutiny, attacks against police officers through attacks and so 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 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.
According to the Public Ministry, both defendants Guido and Corrales are investigated for 5 different criminal complaints against them.
On Thursday, the Ministry of Security reported that as a result of the protests, more than 100 police officers were injured and more than 80 protesters have been arrested.
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 email@example.com