San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Damage to Legislative Assembly during recent student protest estimated at $14,000

Damaged walls, windows and doors at the Legislative Assembly’s main building – which occurred during a student protest that turned violent last Tuesday – could cost Costa Rican taxpayers at least ₡7,000,000 ($14,000) to repair, officials said this week.

Some 3,000 students and university professors marched in San José on Oct. 9 to ask lawmakers to reinstate a bill authorizing photocopying of books for educational purposes. President Laura Chinchilla recently vetoed the bill.

During the demonstration, a group of self-described “anarchists” with their faces covered began hurling rocks at police and at the assembly. At least eight police officers were injured during the protests.

Officials said repairs to the building could be delayed until next year, due to a lack of a budget.

One person was arrested, then released the following day. However, Public Security Vice Minister Celso Gamboa on Thursday filed a formal complaint before the Judicial Investigation Police against 11 suspects for participating in the riot. He said officials also are reviewing video footage from security cameras to try identify other suspects.

Contact L. Arias at

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