San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

March in defense of Social Security System arrives in downtown San José

Hundreds of protesters arrived at 11:15 a.m. at the main facilities of the Social Security System, or Caja, in downtown San José.

Demonstrators chanted slogans in favor of the Caja and against a controversial “Ley Mordaza” or “gag law” recently approved by lawmakers. Opponents say the law will limit freedom of expression.

Caja protests

Union members and Caja employees left from El Parque de la Merced.

Lindsay Fendt

The march also was organized to protest against alleged police brutality, following a separate march last Thursday that turned violent when police attempted to forcibly remove a group of demonstrators from blocking traffic on Second Avenue.

Two groups marched to the Caja today: The first mostly is composed of union members and Caja employees. That group left from El Parque de la Merced. A second group of mostly university students marched from San Pedro, east of San José. The two groups converged in front of the Caja.

Another smaller group of protesters, consisting mainly of young masked people, broke away from the planned route and headed to Central Avenue near the Central Bank building.

Public Security Minister Mario Zamora – who has been criticized by some protesters since the last violent march – sent 150 women police officers to guard the march, while a group of men officers waits in nearby parks and streets.

Contact L. Arias at

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