Some 500 police officers on Thursday clashed with dock workers in the Caribbean province of Limón while trying to reopen operations of two docks blocked by a strike that began Tuesday.
Workers were protesting a government decision to grant a new dock concession to Dutch conglomerate APM Terminals.
Riot teams, members of specialized units from the Ministry of Public Security, took control of the province’s two main roads, through which near 80 percent of national trade passes.
Unions from the Atlantic Port Administration are leading the strike, which paralyzed the loading and unloading of containers in both ports. So far, operations have not been restarted.
At a cost of near $1 billion, the new port is supposed to start operations in 2016. The government has refused to discuss the conflict, arguing the project will actually create new jobs.