National holiday marred by protests and unrest (VIDEO)

April 12th, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) Protests and unrest marred yesterday’s celebration of national hero, Juan Santamaria, known locally as Dia de Juan Santamaria, celebrated in Santamaria’s hometown of Alajuela.

 

Protestors demonstrated their disenchantment with President Laura Chinchilla, her government, and the controversial concession of the San Jose-San Ramon highway.

 

There were security measures never before seen by Costa Ricans on this national holiday: roadblocks and barricades that prevented parents from seeing their children march in the parade, police fencing keeping citizens a hundred yards from the president, and heavy-handed actions by police, including allegations that police mistreated several protestors and members of the press.

 

Journalists from several local media outlets say they were beaten by presidential security forces when attempting to approach president Chinchilla for questions after her speech.

 

Shouts, insults, and even stones were hurled by protestors, as police attempted to maintain a security barrier around Juan Santamaria Park as President Chinchilla gave her speech.

 

Meanwhile, a group of protestors blocked the passage of the vehicle of the President of the National Liberation Party, Bernal Jimenez, breaking one of the vehicle’s windows.

 

At the same time, a bus filled with students from the University of Costa Rica was detained by traffic officers.  The students had planned to march down the main street of Alajuela, but transit officers said the vehicle was over its passenger limit and would not allow the bus through.

 

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the country, taxi drivers protesting on the General Canas highway brought traffic there to a standstill for a brief period of time.

 

 

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  • Art Sulenski

    This was a problem caused by a government who are giving away Costa Rican jobs, social security benefits and taxes that would have been collected instead the government will try and raise more taxes on folks to pay for what they give away. The people are right, there is no benefit to them who can’t afford to pay the cost of a highway whose profits will go to another country.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniela-Rosaura/100003239282826 Daniela Rosaura

      Yes, what with all the government monopolies squeezing every cent they can out of the people, the government squandering huge sums of money while constantly accepting more and more loans, increasing taxes, and giving themselves obscene salaries, life here is more and more like being in a swimming pool filled with sharks and pirañas.

      • georgechapogas

        so curious, you are becoming a libertarian, or believe that a government run by different people can be run efficiently without corruption, or little corruption and by and large operate to the benefit of “the people”?

      • Parritaman

        Things are getting so expensive in Costa Rica that even the Gringos are leaving. Many homes in gated communities are up for sale, as the cost of electrical power to operate air conditioners is astronomical. The import tax on a refigerator is over 80% today, an item which is a necessity of life. It is sad to see Costa Rica die, but there does not seem to be any hope in site.