Sala IV stalls evictions of 100 squatter families

Squatters in southern Costa Rica scored victories Wednesday. The Sala IV constitutional court froze the eviction of some 100 families, and a judge freed six persons who had been involved in scuffles with police at a bridge blockade.

This is the long-running dispute at the Finca Chánguena in Palmar Sur.

Now the Instituto Nacional de Desarrollo Rural also has asked the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública to delay the evictions while the government agency tried to mediate.

The Sala IV only ordered a temporary halt while magistrates study a new appeal against the evictions.

The six individuals who had been jailed were involved in a blockade and demonstration at a bridge over the nearby Rio Térraba. The roadway is the key Interamericana Sur. The six had been held over night, but a judge freed them pending further legal action. They face allegations of resistance and obstructing a highway.

The battle over the land has been going on for years, and some of the squatters are former employees of the finca owner.

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