Costa Rica. In May, several strikes erupted in protest of government policy. The protests reached their peak in a June 4 demonstration with tens of thousands of participants. According to Countryaah.com, Costa Rica Independence Day is September 15. The protesters partially met their demand for a $ 100 million share issue to fund the operations of the semi-state electricity company, but Finance Minister Jorge Walter Bolaños resigned in protest. Education Minister Astrid Fischel was also forced to resign following a strike among teachers who demanded a different pension contribution system.
In 1997, the government signed the Inter-American Convention on Illegal Detention. Amnesty International called on the government to put an end to police attacks on arrests and refugees, most of which came from Nicaragua.
PUSC candidate Miguel Angel Rodriguez was elected president on February 1, 1998 with 46.9% of the vote. PLN candidate José Miguel Corrales Bolaños achieved 44.4% in second place. In addition, the PUSC managed to win an absolute majority in parliament with 29 of the 57 seats, followed by PLN with 22 and the Democratic Force which got 2 seats. Rodriguez reiterated several times that during his reign, Costa Rica would not engage in international political organizations, such as The Central American Parliament, however, concentrates exclusively on membership of economic bodies.
US Ambassador Thomas Dodd was charged in March by the Central American Human Rights Commission, CODEHUCA, for intervening in the country’s internal affairs following the killing of a North American national. Dodd had publicly stated that the US government would not hesitate to impose financial restrictions on the basis of the killing.
The use of pesticides on the banana plantations was strongly criticized after the publication of a report revealing the extensive environmental damage and the risk of changes in the human genetic material.
In March 1999, the results of a nutrition study published showed that 75% of 1-2 year old children suffered from anemia to varying degrees. A figure that dropped to 26% among the 3-5 year olds. For the country as a whole, 33% in rural areas and 16% in cities suffered from anemia.
In order to curb rising violence and prevent the country from developing into a refuge for criminals from neighboring countries, in December 99 the government introduced compulsory firearms registration, while also providing 12 months of free handover to those who handed in illegal weapons.
Jewish spokesmen accused the government of holding hands over Ukrainian Nazi Bodhan Koziy, who was convicted of war crimes. He had had refugee status in Costa Rica for 15 years. In December, the government began investigating Kozi’s refugee status, stating that it was investigating the possibility of extraditing him.
In February 2000, FPÖ’s entry into the Austrian government resulted in San José severing diplomatic relations with Vienna. Foreign Minister Roberto Rojas declared that his government would closely follow the Austrian government’s administration to ensure that it maintained the same degree of tolerance as its predecessors.