Roadblocks, tortuguismo projected in wake of failed talks

March 19, 2010

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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