Sunday 23 January 2022

Costa Rica President admits that police violated protocol by arresting protesters

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(QCOSTARICA) President Carlos Alvarado admitted this Friday that the Fuerza Publica (police) did not abide by the protocol agreed to in attending demonstrations, when they arrested six people who participated in a protest by merchants on Ruta 27, in San Ana.

Alvarado said that he regrets what happened and that he spoke to it with his Minister o Publis Security, Michael Soto.

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“Demonstrations are a right of Costa Ricans, as long as it is done without obstructing the right of transit or affecting other people, it is a right to be able to demonstrate.

“In this particular case, as I already mentioned, I do not agree; the protocols set out by this government were not followed, which is, in the first instance, to dialogue with the protesters; in case if there is no response, give them the first alert, and if they do not abide by it, act in accordance t law,” explained Alvarado.

“I think that, in this case, this process, which I am informed of, was not carried out in this way and I do not agree with how it was acted upon. I have already discussed this with the Minister of Security, he was not aware of the circumstance until once it happened and I think we regret that circumstance because it was not carried out by our protocols,” he added.

As reported this morning, police arrested six people Friday morning, after they asked a group of merchants protesting near Forum, in Santa Ana, San José, to disperse.

Among those arrested are four men and two women “for obstruction of the national public highway.” They are a brother and sisted with the last name Carballo, a woman named Sojo and three others with the last names Sequeira, Méndez and Zamora.

“The detainees were transferred to the Flagrancy Prosecutor’s Office of the First Judicial Circuit of San José,” Security said through its press office.

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The merchants reportedly demanded, inter alia, for the closure phase announced for August to be removed in areas with an orange alert and they be allowed to work until 10 pm.

Also, they requested for a reduction in utility rates and rents for premises.

After the fact, the Ombudsman’s Office urged the Government to enter into a social dialogue to meet the demands of merchants, who complain about the economic damage caused by the periods of closure established to face the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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