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Protests continue to shut down Costa Rican highways, streets

June 30, 2019

Take extra precaution when driving this weekend in Costa Rica, where protesters throughout the country have caused traffic jams and blockages of major highways.

Over the last several days, truckers have demonstrated tortuguismo — intentional slowdowns — to object to a new value-added tax, which will go into effect July 1. At the same time, high-school students blocked streets on Thursday and Friday in protest of Education Ministry policies.

The Public Security Ministry on Saturday confirmed long backups on Route 32, the highway which connects San José and Limón. Tortuguismo was reported in Siquirres, Guácimo and Guapiles.

On Saturday morning, a Route 2 bridge in San Isidro de El General remained closed as well.

The Costa Rican government, including President Carlos Alvarado, met with truckers and with students on Friday to discuss their concerns.

Videos shared on social media Friday appeared to show student protesters damaging vehicles when drivers attempted to breach their roadblocks.

Costa Rica’s Chamber of Exporters (CADEXCO) estimated blockades impacting shipping exports through the Moín port in Limón could cause losses totaling $12 million.

Proceed with additional patience — and with caution — if driving. Road conditions can change rapidly, and we recommend using the free navigation app Waze (iOS link; Google Play link) to evaluate hazards on your route.

This story was updated Sunday at 8:05 a.m. with information about Moín shipping exports.

 

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