October 10th, 2012 – Students of the University of Costa Rica (UCR) asked for a peaceful march, which began at the University headquarters in San Pedro yesterday, to the Legislative Assembly in San Jose. The march was in protest for the veto that President Laura Chinchilla placed on the Law 17.342, which was approved unanimously in the Legislative Assembly on June 20. The law was aimed to exempt students and universities from high fines and possible jail time for photocopying schoolbooks. The issue of photocopying has become a contentious issue amongst university students recently.
Despite the fact that the march was supposed to be peaceful, a group of students caused disturbances upon reaching the Congress building.
The reasons for the disturbances are unknown. Several of the students climbed small walls, and from there, began to throw rocks at the building.
Others banged on one of the entrance doors, and confronted the authorities of the Fuerza Publica and the Police Intervention Unit (UIP, in Spanish), who came to re-establish order at the location.
The University of Costa Rica sent a press release to express their condemnation to the “acts of violence that occurred outside of the Legislative Assembly, towards the end of the student march, organized by this institution in order to request the Legislative members to override the veto.”
During the disturbance, eight police officers were injured, one person was arrested and the legislative member Claudio Monge was attacked with urine.