Various trade unions have called for further demonstrations nationwide for Tuesday, October 6, over the government's controversial negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In order to stop further demonstrations and roadblocks, like those that have occurred in recent days, the Costa Rican government has promised to hold dialogue with the demonstrators once the roadblocks cease. However, trade unions have said that protests and roadblocks would continue throughout the country until the parties meet for negotiations.
The protests are likely to continue in the coming days and further operations by security forces to remove roadblocks are also expected. Resultant clashes between law enforcement officers and demonstrators cannot be ruled out.
Protests erupted on Wednesday, September 30, over Costa Rica's request to the IMF for a USD1.75 billion loan. The government argues that the loan is necessary to prevent an economic crisis, whilst critics claim that the loan will be crippling and the country should instead focus on cost-cutting measures and closing tax loopholes. As part of the demonstrations, protesters erected roadblocks along major routes across the country, including in and around San José. Altercations between security forces and demonstrators have been reported during the protests.
Those in Costa Rica are advised to monitor the situation, avoid associated demonstrations, anticipate overland travel disruptions, and heed instructions issued by local authorities.
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