Police managed to clear 14 roadblocks on several important roads but 33 others still remain across the country as demonstrations over controversial negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) continued for the third consecutive day on Friday, October 2. Following two days of unrest, the Public Security Ministry (MSP) intervened late Thursday night, October 1, and into Friday to clear blockades on Route 27, Route 32, Route 2 by Pérez Zeledón, and Route 1 to Guanacaste, amongst other routes. Despite the interventions, over a thousand protesters remained in place on Friday. The Costa Rican government has promised to hold dialogue with the demonstrators once the roadblocks cease, as they claim they are causing damaging financial losses.
The protests are likely to continue in the coming hours and days and further operations by security forces to remove roadblocks are expected through the remainder of Friday and into the weekend. Resultant clashes between law enforcement officers and demonstrators cannot be ruled out.
Protests erupted on Wednesday, September 30, over Costa Rica's request to the IMF for a USD1.75 billion loan. The government argue the loan is necessary to prevent an economic crisis, whilst critics claim that the loan will be crippling and the country should instead focus on cost-cutting measures and closing tax loopholes. As part of the demonstrations, protesters erected roadblocks along major routes across the country, including in and around San José. Altercations between security forces and demonstrators have been reported during the protests.
Those in Costa Rica are advised to monitor the situation, avoid associated demonstrations, anticipate overland travel disruptions, and heed instructions issued by local authorities.