Monday 20 March 2023

The 15 conditions to negotiate possible lifting of blockades

Promoters of protests demand that the Government desist, in agreement with the IMF, of the sale of assets and taxes; They also ask to stop the removal of blockades and rule out possible sanctions against protesters

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18 March 2023 - At The Banks - BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – The promoters of the protests (that nightly turn to violence) against the negotiation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) demand that the Government comply with 15 conditions to negotiate the lifting of roadblocks.

Movimiento Rescate Nacional

Among its demands, the self-styled “Movimiento Rescate Nacional” (National Rescue Movement) demands the government of Carlos Alvarado to desist from the economic aid agreement with the IMF, from selling off state assets, and from establishing “indirect” taxes.

The group, led by former legislators José Miguel Corrales (who is also a former presidential candidate in 1998 and 2014) and Célimo Guido (a Costa Rican agrarian politician), also demanded that the Public Force not dislodge the blockades established throughout the country.

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They also request that those who were or could be detained, for assaults on police officers or damage caused to public or private property, not be criminally prosecuted.

The list of petitions was released by the movement after the Minister of the Presidency, Marcelo Prieto, received them from the Archbishop of San José, Monsignor José Rafael Quirós, who offered to deliver the letter but ruled out acting as mediator in a possible dialogue between the two groups.

Archbishop of San José, Monsignor José Rafael Quirós

After the meeting with the Monsignor, the 82-year-old Corrales denied giving details about the content of the document. He limited himself to saying, without specifying, that the letter sets a deadline for the Government to sit down to negotiate with his movement.

Former legislator and former presidential candidate José Miguel Corrales (pink shirt) hading the document ot the Monsignor for delivery to the government

According to the document that was later published, the negotiations should begin this Wednesday, October 7.

“That dialogue will be public (…) If they don’t sit down to negotiate, we will have to think about other actions (…)  In the letter is the date (…), ” said Corrales after the meeting with the Monsignor.

For his part, the prelate said: “I consider that I have already fulfilled the mission that was being asked of me at this time, to deliver that document. And of course, I continue to make a vehement call that we continue to build social peace among all of us and that we must be clear about the panorama that we need from each other”.

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Meanwhile, Chief of Staff, Marcelo Prieto, affirmed that they will respond to the proposals of the former congressmen.

“The Archdiocese of San José took the opportunity to deliver me the letter from the representatives of the movement that maintains the blockades, where they raise a series of positions that will be answered in a timely manner,” Prieto said.

These are the conditions.

  1. That a bilateral table be set up between the Government and the National Rescue Movement.
  2. Make it a unique table, not technical tables.
  3. That it be carried out in a neutral field, not at Presidential House, facilitated by the Catholic Church.
  4. The President of the Republic, Carlos Alvarado, has to open the table.
  5. It must be a transparent negotiation, with the presence of the press.
  6. It should be daytime, not nighttime.
  7. The agreements reached must be known to the bases of the movement for their approval.
  8. The violent eviction of demonstration points must stop.
  9. Because it is not necessary at this time and there are other alternatives, that an agreement with the IMF be discarded in the current administration.
  10. The sale of assets or more indirect taxes should not be considered.
  11. That there are no criminal prosecutions or disciplinary or administrative sanctions for the protesters of the movement.
  12. Given the circumstances and seriousness of the situation in the country, we ask that the negotiating table be set up on Wednesday, October 7 at 10 a.m.
  13. That a representative of the Catholic Church participates as a guarantor and watchdog in the execution of the agreements in the negotiation.
  14. The movement in the citizen meeting points will rise until the negotiation agreements are signed.
  15. The Executive Power facilitates the collaboration of the other powers of the Republic for the construction and execution of the agreements. For this purpose, the President of the Republic invites the presidents of the supreme powers.

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