QCOSTARICA – A group of Fuerza Publica (National Police) officers were injured after a mob attacked them with stones and Molotov-style firebombs this Wednesday morning, in the Paquita sector near Quepos, in Puntarenas.
The attackers even beat one of the officers on the ground and stole part of the officer’s protective equipment, who was separated from the main group during the confrontation.
His own assailants picked him up, as the officer advances with a visible head injury and difficulty walking and take him to hospital in a private vehicle.
The incident was recorded in videos taken by people who were near the site where an explosive device, believed to be a Molotov-cocktail was launched at the feet of the officers. In one of the videos, we see an officer put out the fire from shoes and ankle.
Esta mañana en #Quepos durante la intervención policial se han mantenido los ataques contra el personal policial, acciones absolutamente criminales. Operación Policial se mantiene en proceso pic.twitter.com/hDpKfKcjN8
— Daniel Calderon (@dcalderonfp) October 7, 2020
In other videos, the crowd is seen throwing stones at police vans.
A Red Cross ambulance provided onsite assistance to about 10 officers injured during the clashes.
Daniel Calderón, director of the National Police, confirmed the authenticity of the images as well as the seriousness of the events.
“This morning, in Quepos, during the police intervention the attacks against police personnel continued, absolutely criminal actions,” Calderón wrote on Twitter.
At another point, dozens of subjects stoned a handful of riot police officers, according to videos of the incident.
— emarroyom (@emarroyom) October 7, 2020
At one point, the crowd stampedes against the officers when they discover that the stones are beginning to break through the policemen’s shields.
“It’s breaking down”, “It’s breaking down” one of the attackers is heard shouting in the video while the officers recoil from the advance of the individuals and the constant rain of stones.
Michael Soto, Minister of Security, also condemned the actions against the police during an interview on Telenoticias television channel 7.
“I hold these people accountable, cowards. They attacked the integrity of our officers. This is not Costa Rica. An officer does not deserve this, a human being does not deserve this, this is from murderers.
“What they want is to kill the boys (police). This is absolutely out of control, they are criminal activities,” said Soto.
In the afternoon, Soto launched a call from Twitter to stop these acts.
“I don’t want blood to be spilled in my country. Neither police nor civil. We are all human and Costa Rican. This is an act of cowardice and I will not tolerate it. If a colleague is injured, I will point out those who lead this movement as responsible,” he said from his Twitter account.
Between Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, various police forces of the Ministry of Public Security intervened Ruta 32, between San José and Limón, to restore free transit.
With the help of tear gas and the protection of special vehicles, police managed to clear the route where dozens of vans with exports and loads of supplies remained stranded in places such as Guácimo, Guápiles, Liverpool, and Limón center.
In total, 13 people were arrested during the intervention on Ruta 32.
— Daniel Calderon (@dcalderonfp) October 3, 2020
In addition, a tour was made of the areas where there were reports of people who were charging drivers in exchange for letting them pass in blockades or who were damaging their vehicles.