Protests near Casa Presidencial cause traffic chaos

October 23, 2012

Thousands of informal taxi drivers and chauffeurs, or porteadores, on Tuesday morning blocked roads near Casa Presidencial in the southeastern San José district of Zapote, causing massive traffic congestion that lasted for hours.

Traffic officials were forced to close all access to roundabouts in San Pedro and Zapote.

Private chauffeurs and school bus drivers are angry at a proposed regulations currently under study at the Public Works and Transport  Ministry that would set quotas for student transportation permits.

Another group of porteadores gathered at the toll booth in Naranjo, in the province of Alajuela, and began a procession to the Casa Presidencial.

The protest also was joined by teachers from the High School Teachers Association and the Costa Rican Education Union, who oppose a draft bill filed by the government that seeks to cut salary bonuses for teachers.

Carlos Rodríguez from the National Transport Forum said that with the arrival of school buses and teachers, the protest is expected to reach a crowd of approximately 12,000 people.

The protest is expected to last throughout the day, and motorists are advised to avoid the area.

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