The Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica on Monday observed a minute of silence in memory of George Floyd, a black man who was killed by police in Minneapolis, Minn. and whose death has provoked widespread protests throughout the United States.
The motion read before the Legislative Assembly asked that the lawmaking body “realize a minute of silence in memory of George Floyd, murdered by a police officer in the city of Minneapolis, United States, and in memory of all the Afro-descendent victims of racism and hate.”
Deputy Karine Niño, who presented the motion, said that Monday’s tribute symbolized more than any one individual.
“It’s for all the men and women who are victims of discrimination, hatred and intolerance,” she said. “We cannot allow deaths alone to remind us that the fight against racism, xenophobia, machismo or any other type of discrimination has not ended.”
The motion was agreed to unanimously by the 57-person Congress.
José María Villalta Flórez-Estrada, a deputy from the Broad Front Party, delivered a strong response condemning racism.
“This is another chapter in a long history, a history that comes from times of slavery, a story of racism and discrimination against Afro-descendent people in the United States — but not just the United States,” he said.
“We condemn the levity with which Donald Trump’s administration has treated this subject, and the complicity, actually, with racist groups.
“Racism is not only a problem for those who face discrimination; racism is a problem that concerns us all. We have seen wonderful images of white people who have made lines of protection for Afro-descendent protesters; we have seen police who also understand the situation and have solidarity. That’s how we must act: zero tolerance to racism.
“We must also remember that Costa Rica is not exempt from this scourge. Remember that there are situations and cases that must also be investigated here. … It’s a situation that our country also needs to address.”