News Alerts

25 Sep 2018 | 02:52 AM UTC

Costa Rica: Major protest planned in San José September 26 /update 4

Costa Rica News Alert

Nationwide general labor strike enters its third week with daily protests and marches planned, including the “Grand National March” in San José in the morning (local time) of September 26; significant disruptions expected

TIMEFRAME expected from 9/24/2018, 12:00 AM until 9/30/2018, 11:59 PM (America/Costa_Rica). COUNTRY/REGION San José, Costa Rica

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Event

Daily protests are planned across Costa Rica through Saturday, September 29, as the indefinite nationwide general labor strike enters its third week. A major protest march is planned for the morning (local time) of Wednesday, September 26, in San José, with labor leaders anticipating hundreds of thousands of participants. Roadblocks, vehicle caravans, and marches are also planned in Cartago and Barranca (Puntarenas) for Wednesday. Further protests, roadblocks, heightened security presence, and transportation disruptions are all expected throughout the week across the country. Fuel shortages and disruptions of government services, including hospitals and health clinics, are possible. Clashes between security and protesters cannot be ruled out.

Other daily marches planned throughout the week include:

Context

A general labor strike began on September 10 to protest a proposed tax reform bill that is currently under debate in the Legislative Assembly. Costa Rica is experiencing its largest financial crisis in 40 years as deficits are set to rise to 7 percent of its GDP. President Carlos Alvarado, who came into office in April 2018, is attempting to pass a fiscal reform package through the Legislative Assembly that would replace a sales tax with a value-added tax to all services and eliminate tax exemptions, including on foodstuffs.

Advice

Individuals in Costa Rica, particularly those in San José and in Limón, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, anticipate disruptions to transportation and government services, including hospitals, health clinics, and schools, avoid large public gatherings as a precaution, and never cross a roadblock without permission. Expect fuel shortages in areas most acutely affected by the strike and related protests.

 

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