Ruben Vargas, leader of the taxi drivers movement, outside the Aresep in Escazu.
Ruben Vargas, leader of the taxi drivers movement, outside the Aresep in Escazu, is surrounded by taxi drivers in talking to the press, ending the protest for today.

(QCOSTARICA) In the face of a strong police presence and their quick response to blockades, the taxi drivers ended their protest earlier than anticipated, minutes before noon calling the protest at an end. For now.

Rubén Vargas, leader of the taxi drivers in the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM), thanked all the taxi drivers who came out to support the movement, to force the government to shut down Uber.

In front of the Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Publicos (ARESEP), in Guachipelin de Escazú, Vargas said he and his group were satisfied to wait until Monday, August 16, the day they have a hearing with the regulatory general, Roberto Jimenez, to address their issues.

Vargas said they will be asking ¢70 million colones (US$128,000 dollars) for each driver in the even authorities legalize Uber in the country.

“Each of us will come, we will hand over the (taxi) plates, they give us a check, and we go home,” said Vargas.

The union leader said that government’s inaction against Uber has cost them their livelihood, their earnings dropping by more than 50% in many cases.

Asked as to who won or lost today, the Minister of Security, Gustavo Mata, explained that it wasn’t a question of winning or losing by one side or the other, however, the “taxi drivers out protesting today did lose their day’s earnings”.

While the roads for today and for coming days to come are free of protests from the taxi drivers, union leaders assure that this is not the end and more and strong action is forthcoming if their demands aren’t met. Some assure future protests will be “war”.

The day’s tally: 78 taxi drivers arrested, 33 vehicles seized, 119 traffic tickets issued and ¢80 millione colones cost for police operations.

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