Costa Ricans close border with Panama against tax changes in their country

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  • Thu, 10/04/2018 - 09:41
Costa Rica
  • EFE

A group of Costa Rican citizens closed Panama-Costa Rica border in the Paso Canoas sector, to protest against a package of tax reforms that, according to them, the Government of their country, claim plans to approve without due consultation.

The closure halts the movement and transit of all types of transportation and cargo from Costa Rica to Panama and from Panama to the neighboring country and Central America, as shown by the images of Panamanian television on Wednesday.

Among the protesters, who come from the southern area of Costa Rica, there are activists from civil society, merchants and teachers, who have blocked the international route to reject these fiscal reforms, for which they are also on strike.

One of the activists, who failed to provide a name, told Panamanian television TVN that he does not have an estimate of how long the border road will be closed.

He added that they are protesting because the Government of Costa Rica is trying to pass the tax reforms, although he acknowledged that there are deputies who oppose the bill and who are in favor of the people but they "are thwarting them."

He claimed that citizens who oppose the bill are denied access to Congress to meet with those deputies who disagree with the fiscal bill, which, he said, "creates new taxes for 80 percent of the population and includes a series of exoneration for some 400 companies that are in default with the State and with which several politicians are involved".

"In short, we have closed (the transit), we are asking the government to sit down to negotiate, that's all, basically, we have been exercising the right to strike as established in international treaties and we have done it peacefully," said the activist.

This Wednesday marked the 24th day of the national union strike against a tax reform in Costa Rica, where the bill of fiscal reform advances in its reading in Congress.

The unions believe that the bill will affect the poor and middle class and benefit the rich, which is denied by the government because it affirms that it is a progressive law to alleviate the deficit and stabilize finances.


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