QCOSTARICA – Small groups maintain blockades in 95 points of the national roads according to the report of the Fuerza Publica (National Police), saying a headcount of protesters is 2,476 in different parts of the country, summoned by unions and the so-called “Movimiento Rescate Nacional” (National Rescue Movement).
The leaders of the movement persist in closing the roads, despite the fact that the government announced on Sunday night and reiterated again on Monday of the withdrawal initial proposal to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The proposal contemplated new taxes on banking, income and property, among others.
At 3 pm Monday, the Fuerza Publica reported total blockades maintained in 57 points of Costa Rican roads and intermittent in another 38 points.
Trucks loaded with perishables such as pineapple and bananas for export were trapped in the north and the Caribbean, in their attempt to reach the Moín Container Terminal (TCM), in Limón.
Fifteen people who participated in the roadblocks were arrested in the last six days for obstruction, resistance, and assault with a weapon, mainly in Puntarenas and Limon provinces. The violence included attacks on police officers, as well as damage to official, transport and private vehicles.
The protesters have also prevented regional journalists from taking photos and broadcasting live the vandalism that has occurred in various areas.
In addition, there have been reports of blocking the passage of vehicles from the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) with oxygen cylinders for COVID-19 patients and other medical supplies.
The Minister of Public Security, Michael Soto, reiterated the right of citizens to demonstrate in a peaceful manner and that acting violent and criminal in protests is not justified.
Despite the call for a clearing of the roads by President Carlos Alvarado during his Sunday night television address to the nation, leaders of the so-called National Rescue rather demanded on Monday the Government to stop clearing the roads and discard sanctions against protesters as requirements to sit down to negotiate.
The union movement said it will maintain a concentration of public employees taking part in the protesters this Tuesday, who are expected to gather on Avenida 2 in downtown San Jose and march onto the Legislative Aseembly, some blocks away.
Former presidential candidate and former legislators José Miguel Corrales, one of the leaders of the National Rescue Movement, encourages the blockades and accuses President Alvarado of provoking violence, by sending police and use of force at the roadblocks.
“Don Carlos and Mr. Minister (of Security, Michael Soto), how unfortunate it would be if there were human deaths due to the misunderstanding of us, human beings,” he said.
In addition, former legislator Óscar Campos Chavarría, another organizer of blockades, said he is in the process of founding a national political party.
Among the goals of the party are “to seek to restore sanctity and authority in the home”, as well as “to strengthen moral, spiritual, cultural, intellectual and civic values.”