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News > Costa Rica

Costa Rica Police Strike Over Days Off Reduction

  • The banner reads,

    The banner reads, "they take away from us so much that they take away our fear," Costa Rica. | Photo: Twitter/ @elmundocr

Published 21 April 2023

President Chaves seeks to change the schedules of current officers to develop a special operation against organized crime. 

On Thursday, Costa Rican Police officers took to the streets to reject President Rodrigo Chaves' decision to reduce their off-duty hours to develop a special operation against organized crime.


Confirmed Mpox Cases Total 206 in Costa Rica

Groups of off-duty officers blocked streets in several cities, including San Jose. Other dozens of agents held a demonstration outside the house of Chaves, who seeks to have 9,500 officers on the streets at all times for six months while the special operation lasts.

To develop such an operation, the Chaves administration plans to create 700 new police positions and change the schedules of current officers, who used to enjoy six days of rest for every six days at work but now must work six and rest four.

"We are fighting for our rights. Our job is very stressful," said an officer who was protesting in front of Chaves' house.

Meanwhile, Public Security Minister Jorge Torres asked protesters to understand the importance of the operation, which he stressed is temporary and exceptional.

In the last 24 hours, Police agents have arrested at least 100 Costa Ricans as part of this operation. Seven out of the jailed people were fugitives with outstanding arrest warrants.

"The special operation will continue 24 hours a day," said Raul Rivera, the Vice Director of Costa Rica's Public Force law enforcement agency.

Last year, Costa Rican authorities registered a rate of 12,6 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants. In the first 100 days of 2023, however, the Judicial Investigation Agency (OIJ) reported a 41 percent increase in those crimes.

"About 63 percent of these homicides stem from settling scores (revenge) between criminal groups involved in drug trafficking," the National Public Force Director Daniel Calderon said.

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