Costa Rica’s Minister of Public Security, Michael Soto, confirmed the detention of a total 44 people, 38 Costa Ricans and 6 Nicaraguans, many of them with criminal records, during the protests in San Jose, this Saturday, August 18.
A group of Costa Ricans organized the event to protest against the presence of Nicaraguans in La Merced Park and other areas of San Jose, the protest was organized by a group in Facebook and fueled in part by several fake news that were shared this week in social media.
“Those arrested as a result of the acts of violence that regrettably took place are accused of aggression, possession of illegal weapons, and causing damages to the police units”, explained Soto.
“The Public Police Force will be effective in guaranteeing the security of all people, regardless of their nationality”, continued the Minister, who also assured that the public Police Force maintains permanent operations of security and migratory controls in different areas of the national territory.
Due to the recent acts of violence, President Carlos Alvarado, held a meeting with the Vice-Presidents and several Ministers as well as the director of Migration, the Intelligence Agency, among others. He is scheduled to offer a statement this Sunday.
La Merced Park will remain closed for at least 24 hours as a preventive measure.
“Since Friday we had already taken actions on illegal immigrants (at La Merced Park). We are in a state of law, where these must be respected. We will prevent violence at all costs and will protect human rights”, added Soto, he also urged the population not to buy into “fake news”, this week social media was full of false information regarding “full scholarships” granted by the Costa Rican government to Nicaraguan immigrants; photos of Nicaraguans burning Costa Rican flags, and the construction of shacks for refugees.