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Friday, February 23, 2024

Ports and highways blocked in rejection of Costa Rica’s IMF proposal

Protesters blocked roads and ports in different parts of Costa Rica on Wednesday in a protest against planned negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that the government says are necessary for economic stability.

The director of the National Police, Daniel Calderón, said there were 21 blockades, including on Route 32 (San José-Limón) and on the Inter-American highway some 200 km northwest of San José.

“We are dealing with a situation in Caldera (Pacific port) where apparently they are placing obstacles on the road to prevent the transport of goods or prevent trucks from leaving,” Calderón said in a video released by the government.

Other blockades were established at the Fuente de la Hispanidad, in San José; on Route 27, which connect the capital with the Pacific coast; and at various points in the north and south.

The protests were called by the National Rescue Movement, led by former deputies José Miguel Corrales and Célimo Guido.

Corrales said Tuesday that the blockades seek to punish exporters and importers “who are the ones who do not pay taxes.”

He also said that the blockades would be made in the ports of Caldera (Pacific) and Moín (Caribbean), as well as the border posts of Peñas Blancas (north) and Paso Canoas (south) to interrupt foreign trade without affecting the mobility of the people.

However, the protest covered other areas of the country and caused road congestion.

Costa Rica is negotiating with the IMF an agreement for $1.75 billion over three years in exchange for an adjustment that includes temporary taxes and spending cuts.

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