November 16th, 2012 (InsideCostaRica.com) Over the course of 4 hours, close to 1,200 citizens marched through Second Avenue yesterday, with signs, drums, loudspeakers and chants, in “defense of the Costa Rican Social Security System.”
150 police officers from the Fuerza Publica, all of whom were women, kept a close eye on the protesters.
The police operation began at 9:00 am throughout Second Avenue, where the officers, grouped in pairs and located on the sides of the street, went almost unnoticed as their intervention was not required at any point during the protest.
Juan Jose Andrade, director of the Fuerza Publica, said that nobody was injured, arrested, and that no scuffles or violence occurred.
“I’d like to congratulate the civic acts of the protesters, for which no police intervention was required,” he said.
Carmen Munoz, Claudio Monge, Juan Carlos Mendoza, and Carmen Granados, legislators from the Citizen Action Party (PAC), joined in the march. The legislators, in an attempt to show pacifism, gave flowers to the police officers.
Towards the end of the march, the protesters delivered their petition to the directors of the CCSS, which had not been accepted last week as a result of the scuffles and other problems that occurred during their first march.
The petition demands the directors of CCSS to stop and reverse, immediately, all budget reductions in the country’s health centers; to demand integral coverage in all the medical facilities in the country; demand collection and immediate payment to all those in debt with the CCSS, especially the debts that the State has with the institution; and demand democratic election of the members of the CCSS Board of Directors.
The director of the CCSS, Ileana Balmaceda, stated that they would analyze the requests, and will also be open to dialogue, and will schedule a date for a public meeting in the next 10 days.
The march ended at around 2:30 p.m. The first to leave were the unions, after which the college students followed, returning to the University of Costa Rica facilities.