San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Private chauffeurs announce more protests on Friday

Unlicensed microbus owners, known as porteadores, who are demanding the government grant them permits to transport students, tourists and workers on Tuesday blocked traffic by driving slowly through some of the main access routes to San José.

On Wednesday, group leaders announced they will take to the streets again next Friday.

Demonstrations took place on Tuesday on the General Cañas Highway, which connects the capital with the province of Alajuela. The slow transit of some 400 microbuses generated congestion on several streets in San José, “all because of the government’s refusal to comply with our requests,” said German Lobo, a leader of the porteadores who also said they expect some 2,600 vehicles on Friday.

Elmer Fallas, chief operating officer with the Traffic Police, said they have been “on alert” since Wednesday, and that at least 500 officers will be assigned to prevent traffic jams caused by protests.

“We are prepared for this Friday. We plan to begin our protest from different points of the capital minutes after 8 a.m. to not affect many other drivers,” said Lobo, adding that they are planning 17 more protests in coming days.

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