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Friday, July 12, 2024

Thousands March for LGBT Rights at Pride 2024 in Costa Rica

Thousands of Costa Ricans marched through the streets of San José for Pride 2024. Participants walked along Paseo Colón in defense of the rights of the LGBT population, through Paseo Colón and Avenida Segunda and arrived at the Plaza de la Democracia, where a concert was held to close the activity.

Participants carried gay pride flags, quirky hats, crowns, masks, balloons, and flowers. Many walked with banners calling for the end of prejudice and discrimination. “The organization of the Grand Diversity March would like to thank everyone for an attendance that far exceeded all of our expectations. We believe it is the best-attended march in our 15 years of hosting this event,” said PrideCR.

They also mentioned that 13 delegations were present. Among them were the embassies of the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Netherlands, Chile, and representatives of the European Union.

Memebers of the community believe that, although progress has been made, there is still a long way to go to ensure the rights of LGBT people are fully respected.

“It’s important to march because there is a lot of progress to be made. There are a lot of people who are not comfortable being who they are. There is still a lot of repression, whether on a large scale as a country or small scale—I have family members who are part of the community and (without these initiatives) they would never be able to come out,” said one of the participants.

While love, acceptance, and tolerance were widely celebrated, there was also a strong and clear political message against homophobia, particularly due to the government’s recent actions. “It is time to demonstrate that the government will not intimidate us and neither should officials be persecuted for supporting human rights organizations,” said PrideCR.

During the closing of the march, Dayana Alvarez, president of the Celebration of Diversity Foundation (Pride Costa Rica), said that a march that should have been to celebrate diversity was tarnished after the cancellation of the declaration of cultural interest by the government.

The former commissioner of Social Inclusion, Ricardo Sosa Ortiz, and the former Minister of Culture and Youth, Nayuribe Guadamuz, were fired after signing the declaration of cultural interest of the event.

“This shows us once again the oppression we live under this administration that seeks to silence us, to relegate us. But today, here and now, we tell you that we will not be silenced, we will not be subdued. History has taught us that unity is strength,” Alvarez concluded.

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