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Two dozen police injured in Costa Rica in IMF protests

by Reuters
Thursday, 8 October 2020 02:57 GMT

SAN JOSE, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Twenty-five police officers were injured in Costa Rica on Wednesday as violent protests against the government for seeking economic relief from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approached their second week.

The police clashed with stone-throwing protesters in the town of Quepos south of San Jose, following on from road blocks, burning of cars and demonstrations in the Central American country little-known for protracted public disturbances.

The clashes took place in defiance of the government, which, in a bid to quell protests, on Sunday withdrew its initial proposal to secure a $1.75 billion loan from the IMF in exchange for austerity measures including tax hikes.

Now demonstrators are pushing the administration of center-left President Carlos Alvarado to rule out altogether any deal with the Washington-based IMF over support for Costa Rica, whose budget woes have been exaggerated by the coronavirus pandemic.

The government on Wednesday said the protests had been infiltrated by criminal groups. (Reporting by Alvaro Murillo; Editing by Michael Perry)

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