A nationwide general strike against proposed fiscal reforms continued as of Monday, November 12, as it entered its tenth week. Over the past week, regular protests were held at Plaza de la Democracia in San José. Additionally, the country's labor court ruled in favor of trade unionists, allowing strikes to continue in the petroleum and judicial sectors. Further protests, particularly in San José, are expected in the coming days. A heightened security presence and associated transportation disruptions are to be anticipated in the vicinity of any gathering.
A general labor strike began on September 10 to protest a proposed tax reform bill (plan fiscal) that would increase taxes on certain items, including foodstuffs. Costa Rica is experiencing its largest financial crisis in 40 years as deficits are set to rise to 7 percent of its GDP. Strike-related actions have generally included protests, government service disruptions (e.g. healthcare and education), roadblocks, and vehicle caravans.
In October, the Supreme Court of Justice determined the legislature will require a qualified majority of 38 votes to pass the reform bill; the previous vote received 35 votes in favor.
Individuals in Costa Rica, particularly those in the capital San José, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, anticipate disruptions to transportation and government services - including at hospitals, health clinics, and schools - and avoid public gatherings as a precaution.
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