Water rights activists marched in front of the Asamblea Legislativa Thursday. The crowd, made up mainly of fishermen and environmentalists, vocalized its demand that Costa Rican waters and coasts be a public priority.
Behind the slogan, “Water is our right, not a business,” the demonstrators rallied to protest the expansion of privately funded hydroelectric plants and the increase of farm fishing in the Gulf of Nicoya. There were 23 committee groups of workers, students, and environmental organizations that occupied the street east of the legislature and Parque Nacional.
Part of the protesters included those who oppose a proposal to legalize one more time the use of trawling nets to catch shrimp.
The practice has been ruled unconstitutional because of the damage the nets do to coral and because turtles frequently are killed.
Some legislators came out to stand with the demonstrators, including Frente Amplio’s José María Villalta. A representative opened the gates of the legislative complex and allowed five of the protestors to enter to discuss their grievances behind closed doors.