Protests by Paquera residents have turned into a type of guerrilla operation. Fuerza Pública officers said that residents are throwing small pieces of metal into the roadway and that they are designed to puncture the tires of patrol cars. The devices seem to be fabricated from two fasteners.
Police also said that they handled an additional blockade late Wednesday near Jicaral. That was the fourth of the day when protestors threw tree trunks and dumped dirt and gravel onto the highways.
The residents are protesting the slow progress of the country’s road building agency that is supposed to improve the current gravel road between Paquera and Playa Naranjo.
The location is on the Nicoya peninsula.
The Fuerza Pública said it already has expended 81 million colons in countering the protest and keeping the roads open. That includes salaries of some 60 officers, lodging, food and other expenses, including gasoline for police vehicles. That is a bit more than $150,000. The security ministry even has an aircraft involved in the operation.
The protesters are not uniformly condemned. Lawmaker Karla Prendas Matarrita of the opposition Partido Liberación Nacional, said Thursday that the residents were exercising their rights. She is seeking intervention by President Luis Guillermo Solís and the Defensoría de los Habitantes.
The Fuerza Pública said that 12 persons have been detains and that patrol cars were damaged by rock.