The Government of Costa Rica continues this Saturday with days of dialogue in the northern and southern areas of the country, where protesters maintain roadblocks for the eleventh day in protest against a possible financial agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Government data indicate that there are 15 roadblocks, almost all in the north and south of the country, in which about 500 people participate in total this Saturday.
The main routes in the country are clear but there are blockades in the canton of San Carlos, Alajuela province (north), an important agricultural area, as well as in Paso Canoas, border with Panama, where the international transit of goods is interrupted.
The Minister of Economy, Industry and Commerce, Victoria Hernández, meets for the second day in a row with social leaders from the southern part of the country so that the crossing on the border with Panama can be reopened.
For their part, the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Renato Alvarado, and his Deputy Minister, Ana Cristina Quirós, are in the north of the country to talk with leaders of the area.
The president of the country, Carlos Alvarado, has met throughout this week with leaders, social, political and productive and this Saturday he plans to talk with representatives of Guatuso, Upala and Los Chiles, all communities in the north of the country.
PROTESTS CONTINUE, BUT WEAKENED
The protests lost strength since last Thursday when the main leader, the 82-year-old former presidential candidate and former congressman José Miguel Corrales, asked to lift the blockades by denouncing that the movement had been infiltrated by drug trafficking.
Most of the blockades were lifted, but about 15 persist due to the call to continue from former deputy Célimo Guido, who now leads the so-called "National Rescue Movement" after Corrales left.
In most blockades there are small groups that place stones, dirt, sticks or vehicles to obstruct the roads.
In recent days there were acts of violence when the police used gases to lift blockades in communities in the provinces of Limón (Caribbean), Guanacaste (west) and Puntarenas (Pacific) and repel attacks by protesters who threw stones, sticks and even bombs Molotov.
In these clashes, the protesters burned a Police minibus, a Traffic Police car and a cargo truck.
So far there are 81 detainees and about 100 police officers injured, but none seriously.
On September 17, the president raised a proposal to the public to go to the IMF for 1.75 billion dollars to stabilize the state's finances, which have deteriorated even more with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The proposal included a new tax on bank transactions, increases in income and property taxes, the creation of global income, the merger of some institutions and the sale of the International Bank of Costa Rica and the Factory. National Liquor.
In the midst of the protests and with the rejection of the parties, on October 4 Alvarado announced that he was desisting from promoting the initiative and called for a national dialogue.
The protests have continued because the protesters seek a written commitment from the president that he will not go to the IMF for the remainder of his government, which will conclude in May 2022.