Costa Rican press denounces tensions with presidential staff

Tensions between the Costa Rican press and President Laura Chinchilla's staff came to a head when the Journalists Union of Costa Rica sent a letter to her office demanding an explanation for recent obstacles and intimidatory acts against journalists, the organization reported.

Several journalists reported aggressive behavior from the president's staff, including a television reporter who was pushed by a protocol officer when he tried to get close enough to the president to ask a question, reported the Agencia Centroamericana de Noticias.

Journalists for the newspaper La Nación complained that the president also dodged questions about a survey on her popularity.

Minister of Communication Roberto Gallardo denied that there was any executive directive to impede or intimidate journalists' everyday operations.