San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
CELAC

Delays expected next week in Belén during meeting of Latin American presidents

Residents and workers in Belén, take note. Next week, leaders from across Latin America and the Caribbean will converge on the Centro de Eventos Pedregal for the third meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), motorcades and all.

The Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT) and the City of Belén have both said there will not be any road closures during the pan-Latin American event, which starts on Sunday, Jan. 25 and goes through Thursday, Jan. 29. Horacio Alvarado, mayor of Belén, asked for drivers to be patient on Wednesday and Thursday as Traffic Police briefly block roads between Juan Santamaría International Airport outside of San José and the Centro de Eventos Pedregal for five minutes at a time so that presidential motorcades can pass.

The city recommended drivers avoid Route 111 and Route 122/Pollos del Monte in San Antonio, Belén, on Jan. 28 and 29. Authorities suggested Route 129, between Iglesia la Fátima and the Intel campus to cross east-west.

Bus routes will operate on their normal schedules except when delayed by the motorcades, Alvarado said during a press conference Thursday.

Area businesses can call the municipality at 2239-4660 or 2587-0295 with any questions regarding traffic.

President Luis Guillermo Solís said that the government would not block demonstrators if they arrived at the event, but he asked Ticos to avoid “opportunistic” protests during the summit. Alvarado said that Costa Ricans have the right to free expression, but also the right to freely transit the city, and he asked demonstrators not to block streets.

Founded in 2010, CELAC is a loose organization of leaders from across Latin America and the Caribbean. Delegations from 33 countries will attend the annual meeting, including presidents from across the hemisphere. Only Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has said she will not attend, citing a recent surgery.

Contact Zach Dyer at zdyer@ticotimes.net

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