Costa Rica: Protests block shipping port, lead to US$12m in losses

July 01 , 2019

Protests in Costa Rica have caused traffic jams and blockages impacting shipping exports through the Moín port in Limón, with estimated losses totaling US$12 million, according to Costa Rica’s Chamber of Exporters (CADEXCO).

The protestors object a new value-added tax, set to go into effect July 1. Over the last several days, truckers have demonstrated tortuguismo — intentional slowdowns, says The Tico Times.

At the same time, high-school students blocked streets on Thursday and Friday in protest of Education Ministry policies.

When drivers attempted to breach their roadblocks, student protesters allegedly attempted to damage their vehicles. Videos of these events spread across social media on Friday, notes the publication.

The Public Security Ministry on Saturday confirmed long backups on Route 32, the highway which connects San José and Limón. A Route 2 bridge in San Isidro de El General remained closed as well.

Additionally, tortuguismo was reported in Siquirres, Guácimo and Guapiles.

The Tico Times explains that the Costa Rican government, including President Carlos Alvarado, met with truckers and with students on Friday to discuss their concerns.

As for now, the publication notes that road conditions can change rapidly.

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