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Costa Rica endures second day of road blockades as protests continues against IMF deal

October 1, 2020

Costa Rica on Thursday experienced the second day of roadblocks in different parts of the country, part of a protest against the negotiation of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) meant to bolster deteriorating public finances.

Daniel Calderón, director of the National Police, said that 22 blockade points were reported throughout the country — although none were in San José, unlike Wednesday.

The protest, in which truck drivers, fishermen and some public-sector unions participate, was called by the self-proclaimed National Rescue Movement to pressure the government to desist from taxes that the Presidency has proposed before the understanding with the IMF.

“The National Police continues to work with the Traffic Police to mitigate the effect of these blockades, seeking alternatives with other routes and facilitating the mobilization of emergency vehicles,” Calderón declared in a video released by the government.

The day before, police reported clashes between protesters, while in the capital some had tried to attack journalists who were covering the protest.

Calderón said that a vehicle carrying COVID-19 tests from the south of the country to San José could not reach its destination because of the blockades.

“We continue to make a call to respect the rights of others. There are ways to demonstrate in a democracy without affecting the rights of third parties,” said the police chief.

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