San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Roadblocks, tortuguismo projected in wake of failed talks

Government officials are warning there could be roadblocks in the coming days as negotiations with the country´s porteadores reached a stalemate.

According to a news release from Casa Presidencial, representatives from private transportation companies (so-called porteadores) “threatened roadblocks blocks and violence in the streets” after parties failed to reach agreement in a four-hour meeting on Tuesday.

Roberto Thompson, vice-minister of the presidency, said he would take measures to ensure citizen safety and freedom of movement in the nation´s transportation network. The last time transit police tried to open roads blocked due to a similar porteador stike earlier this month, confrontations resulted in 12 injuries (including five police.)

The porteadores – an industry made up of informal taxi drivers, tourism and school transportation services, among others – are concerned about existing legislation that restricts them from transporting people.

Thompson said the porteadores would not accept terms offered by the Arias administration, which include an 18-month grace period for complying with the transit law and support for a bill that would legalize much of their work.

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