Off-duty police have been called to strike by their union, the section of Fuerza Publica in the in the National Association of Public Employees (ANEP).
Mainor Anchía, union leader, explained there is a ‘double discourse’ on the part of President Carlos Alvarado, who blamed the police of the ‘disaster’ in the handling of the confrontation of university students of the Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR) Wednesday night.
Many police officers are upset with the president, who sided with the university community claiming the police officers incurred excessive use of force and in an apparent violation of university autonomy.
However, Michael Soto, the Minister of Public Security, did support the actions of his officers because, according to his words, they were pelted with stones.
Everything started after a blockade of roads in San Pedro. However, the persecution of the alleged protesters continued onto the university campus.
The university claims the campus is an autonomous territory. A Constitutional Court ruling a few years back supports that position, saying police can only enter the campus with a warrant or chasing a suspect in caught in the act of crime.
The university alleges the students being chased by police did not commit any crime, they were retreating from a demonstration, which is not a crime, and the situation did not warrant the incursion and the subsequent use of force.
For his part, Minister Soto, a career law enforcement man, said he was not aware of the ‘autonomous’ status of the university and that his officers were attacked, which is a crime.