Teachers and other public sector workers are to stage a strike in Costa Rica on March 20th, against policies from presidential candidates which they say will increase poverty in the country. Teachers' leaders say that previous strikes and protests this year were only a 'dress rehearsal' for the massive protests planned for the 20th.

Teachers participated at the end of February in mass demonstrations in the capital, San Jose, against the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), which will set a neoliberal agenda of privatisation and unleash US capital on the country, in the same way as its elder brother the North American Freed Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has laid waste to Mexico. This is the latest round in the long of teachers in Costa Rica, joining forces with other workers, communities and social movements to fight the neo-liberal policies of successive governments and the poverty which they impose on the majority of the population.