Blockages and Ungovernability: Diverging Positions
Monday, October 19, 2020
After the UCCAEP in Costa Rica began to negotiate the lifting of the blockades with the self-proclaimed group Rescate Nacional, promoter of the protests, several business chambers distanced themselves from that decision and others have expressed their support.
Given the wave of protests and blockades that have been reported in the country, which arose after it was reported that to access a loan from the International Monetary Fund for $1.75 billion, the government planned to tax financial transactions, raise the tax on the profits of companies and persons, and increase the tax on real estate. The Costa Rican Union of Chambers and Associations of the Private Business Sector (UCCAEP) decided to negotiate the lifting of the blockades.

On the night of October 15, it was reported that UCCAEP and leaders of the National Rescue Movement, promoter of violent demonstrations and road closures in the country, held a meeting in which they negotiated the lifting of blockades on national roads.

See "Blocks and Costs to the Region"

Upon learning of this fact, the Costa Rican Chamber of Construction (CCC), the Chamber of Information and Communication Technologies (Camtic), the Association of Free Zones (Azofras), the Chamber of Infocommunication and Technology (Infocom) and the Chamber of Industries of Costa Rica (CICR), stated that they were not aware of the meeting and had not endorsed this approach.

In a statement dated October 16, the UCCAEP assured that they had acted "... diligently to achieve a rapprochement with the National Rescue Movement that allowed the lifting of the blockades affecting the country's roads, and to initiate a dialogue of immediate action to generate consensus to solve the economic and social crisis affecting Costa Rica."

Jose Alvaro Jenkins, President of UCCAEP, explained that "... the conversations held with the National Rescue Movement were able to lead as an alternative to a situation that has become critical and chaotic for the entire country and that therefore required extraordinary actions to guarantee the environment of social peace necessary to avoid continuing to affect the employment and mobility of the entire population."

At this point, the National Chamber of Tourism (Canatur) and the National Chamber of Restaurants backed the agreement between the business sector and the National Rescue group that led to a truce.

The call for dialogue is not to legitimize the acts that some groups have been doing against the rights of citizens, indicates a statement issued jointly by both chambers.

See publications from Elfinancierocr.com "Business chambers are beginning to disassociate themselves from negotiations between Uccaep and the group that promotes street blockades" and from Elobservadorcr.com "Tourism and Restaurants support truce with Rescate Nacional: 'Call to dialogue is not to legitimize" (both in Spanish).
 
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