Unions have called for a nationwide strike and demonstrations on Monday, October 19, against proposed tax increases and public spending cuts linked to an agreement between the government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Reports indicate that the strike action and associated demonstrations will likely commence from 08:00 (local time) in urban centers, including San Jose and Limon.
The National Rescue Movement (MRN) has called for a suspension of roadblocks through Wednesday, October 21 to facilitate dialogue with the government. MRN and other groups have organized demonstrations and blocked highways across the country since September 30. Altercations between security forces and demonstrators have been reported during the protests.
Disruptions should be anticipated in the vicinity of any protest and clashes between security forces and protesters cannot be ruled out.
Protests erupted on 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.
Those in Costa Rica are advised to monitor the situation, avoid associated demonstrations, anticipate overland travel disruptions, and heed instructions issued by local authorities.
Copyright and Disclaimer