Hundreds of people protested in San José on Saturday, August 18, denouncing an influx of Nicaraguan migrants into the country amid an ongoing political crisis in the country. Skirmishes reportedly broke out between Costa Rican protesters and Nicaraguan migrants; police arrested at least 44 people and confiscated weapons in the demonstration, which was centered around La Merced Park. Authorities have closed the park until further notice. Similar protests are possible in San José in the near-term.
The current unrest in Nicaragua, which began with small student protests in Managua, rapidly expanded. Regular protests have repeatedly led to deadly clashes, looting, and other violence. Human rights groups estimate that at least 317 people have been killed in relation to the protests since April, with thousands more wounded. Around 23,000 people have fled the country. Activists accuse the government and pro-government militias of committing serious human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings, using weapons of war against protesters, arbitrary detentions, torture, excessive use of force, raiding homes without a warrant, and attacking the press.
Individuals in Costa Rica, particularly in San José, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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