Friday 3 December 2021

Leader for protest movement asks for forgiveness and calls to put down protests in the streets

José Miguel Corrales regrets the meddling of drug trafficking groups in the blockades and that crime has taken control of them

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QCOSTARICA – Former legislators and former presidential candidate José Miguel Corrales, one of the leaders of the “Movimiento Rescate Nacional” (National Rescue movement) and who encouraged roadblocks in recent days, apologized this Thursday and called for the protests to stop, lamenting the interference of drug trafficking groups.

Jose Miguel Corrales, leader of the National Rescue Movement

In a message released late Thursday afternoon, Corrales affirmed that he apologizes for the amount of responsibility that may correspond to him regarding the state of the situation, after he himself warned that drug trafficking had penetrated the blockades.

I apologize, especially, to those who have been direct victims of the violence unleashed and to all those who have lived days of anxiety and fear,” he said on the ninth day of blockades with attacks on civilians and police, as well as charges for “tolls” for passing at various points.

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The former legislator argued that he called for a movement against taxes and other measures promoted by the Government, but, “perhaps because of naivety”, the reality is that crime took control of the blockades.

He recalled that he was part of the legislative commission that, in 1989, warned about the penetration of drug trafficking in all public powers and that this was just the tip of the iceberg.

“Today, more than 30 years later, as a social leader, I clash head-on with the entire iceberg of drug trafficking, understand with groups of drug traffickers and money launderers established in important regions of the country, such as San Carlos and the northern zone,” he claimed.

“That is why I apologize: I did not notice the advance of the drug trade in Costa Rica under the protection of certain political powers, a phenomenon that I myself had warned about,” he said.

“Those dark forces that have been implanted in some regions, kidnapped, denatured and vandalized the citizen protest that I summoned, a protest that obtained the almost unanimous support of the population regarding the rejection of taxes and also broad support for their other proposals”.

“With humility, but not with resignation, I admit my mistake,” said Corrales, 82, hours after the police arrested a man named Ruiz, the leader of the blockade in Colorado from Abangares, Guanacaste, a man convicted of aggravated robbery and wears an ankle monitor.

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