Protests might also delay traffic, so for people traveling out of the two main airports, Juan Santamaria in Alajuela Province or Daniel Oduber
in Guanacaste Province, it is recommended to calculate extra time of at least one hour in advance, to avoid missing any flights.
- Movimiento Rescate Nacional photo -
Published Monday, October 12, 2020
Protesters call for a massive
march today in San José
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
Despite the call of former deputy José Miguel Corrales, one of the two leaders of the protester's group Movimiento Rescate Nacional (National Rescue Organization in English), to stop the protests, the second leader on board, former deputy Celimo Guido, calls for a national march today.
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 José for today at 9 a.m. People will meet at La Merced Church on Second Avenue and make their way to the Congress building and then reaching the Presidential House in Zapote Canton.
According to the government, agreements have already advanced with various groups of protesters to end the blockades. Among the groups that signed agreements of no more blockades and protests are the leaders representing the protesters of Guatuso, Upala, La Cruz, Los Chiles and Puntarenas.
Last week, the Minister of Agriculture, Renato Alvarado, began conversations with community leaders, farmers and protest leaders in the northern area of the provinces of Alajuela and Heredia. The protesters demanded to reopen businesses and tourist activities, in exchange for not continuing with the blockades in the streets.
Also last week, the Vice-Minister of the Presidency, Randall Otárola met with the leaders of the fishermen's associations in Guanacaste Province, to negotiate better conditions and support for the fishing sector.
According to the Ministry of Security, during the weekend approximately 500 people participated in 16 road blockades and 18 roadblocks with intermittent right-of-way for vehicles.
From Oct. 1 to date, approximately 81 people have been detained for participating in road blockades in public streets and zones, resisting arrest and assaulting police with weapons, the ministry reported.
Injuries to 101 police officers as a result of clashing with the protesters were reported, according to the ministry, in addition to 17 damaged patrol cars caused by protesters throwing objects. Authorities also seized homemade bombs, sticks, tires used in the locks and 4 guns.
Since September, several groups are simultaneously protesting and demanding the following: no additional taxes, the reopening of businesses, a more efficient collection of already approved taxes and reductions of the government expenses, among many others.
The group with the most number of active protesters is the National Rescue Organization. They have organized road blockades in several cities around the country, as a way of rejecting the government plan to increase taxes as part of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund, IMF, for a loan of $ 1.75 billion.
To solve the crisis President Carlos Alvarado announced that the tax plan to the IMF was canceled, but the protests have not ended.
Protests might also delay traffic, so for people traveling out of the two main airports, Juan Santamaria in Alajuela Province or Daniel Oduber in Guanacaste Province, it is recommended to calculate extra time of at least one hour in advance, to avoid missing any flights.
Should protesters stop road blockades? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org