QCOSTARICA – Hundreds of women participated in a demonstration this Tuesday in downtown San José and other parts of the country, demanding an end to violence, as part of the commemoration of International Women’s Day.
Groups of women and men called for an end to violence against women, impunity and sexual harassment.
But, as night fell, in San Jose, the movement became violent and began with acts of vandalism, requiring police intervention. The Fuerza Publica (National Police) arrested one person for property damage within the framework of the demonstration.
Daniel Calderón, the director-general of the Fuerza Publica revealed, that some of the women damaged a Telenoticias (channel 7 television) mobile unit, spray-painted the Legislative Assembly building, covered legislator-elect Eliécer Feinzag in paint, and beat on police officers.
“Unfortunately, during the development of the marches there were different acts of vandalism and aggression, specifically against the media. There were also attacks against police officers, including throwing objects, as well as acts of vandalism against the Legislative Assembly building,” Calderón said.
In Liberia, a woman was arrested for property damage.
The police chief added that these acts were carried out by a minority.
For the most part, since Tuesday afternoon, a large number of people, with a predominance of women, demonstrated peacefully under the slogans: ” no a la violencia contra las mujeres”, “luchar contra la impunidad”, “combatir la discriminación de género”, “reducir las desigualdades en el trabajo, la academia y la política” and ” la legalización del aborto” (no to violence against women, fight against impunity, combat gender discrimination, reduce inequalities in work, academia and politics and the legalization of abortion).
In San Jose, the march during the day was uneventful, however, as the sun came down people began the march along Avenida Segunda, advancing to the Plaza de la Democracia and then to the Legislature, where vandalism occurred.
In Costa Rica there are, on average, two femicides per month, and 132 protection measures are processed per day.
In 2020, there were 28 cases considered femicides and in 2021, there were 15. This year so far there are four, the last occurring last Thursday.
In a ceremonial act at Casa Presidencial, Costa Rica’s president, Carlos Alvarado, signed the consolidation of the Centro Operativo de Atención a la Violencia Intrafamiliar y la Violencia (Operational Center for Attention to Domestic Violence and Violence against Women), and also signed a decree declaring the inter-institutional Commission for access, use and administration of land for rural women to be of public interest.
Alvarado said that women in Costa Rica continue to face inequalities and criticized the scourge of femicides in the country.