Guatemala: protest against president and deputies

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) – Hundreds of protesters in various parts of the country were protesting on Saturday against Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei and members of Congress over the approval of the nation’s 2021 budget that cut funding for education, health and the fight for human rights.

The protest extends against the Supreme Court of Justice for processing the withdrawal of immunity to constitutional magistrates, who with their rulings have stopped several attempts by politicians to stop the fight against corruption and impunity.

In addition, they are targeting Attorney General Consuelo Porras for having requested the withdrawal of immunity from the constitutional magistrates and their lack of action in criminal prosecution in some corruption issues.

What filled the patience of the Guatemalan citizens was the handling that was given to the budget discussion in Congress, which ended up approving some 12.7 billion dollars early Wednesday morning while the population slept.

The budget approved by 116 of 160 deputies in Congress, among pro-government deputies and allies, reduced money on issues for primary care for COVID-19 patients, education, the fight for human rights, attention to nutrition, among others. In contrast, it strengthened ministries such as Infrastructure and Housing that in previous governments have been the spoils of corruption.

Although the protest is called for 2 in the afternoon, hundreds of people began their demonstrations in the morning.

On Saturday, hundreds of people in various departments of the country, with banners and banners, demanded a veto of the budget, transparency in public spending and control of the deputies, several of them accused of acts of corruption.

In social networks, several photographs show Guatemalans in Argentina or Germany in front of the diplomatic headquarters of Guatemala in those countries joining the protest.

A married couple who were married a few minutes before in the metropolitan cathedral, which is located in front of the Plaza de la Constitución – the place that will center the largest protest in the Guatemalan capital – took pictures of themselves dressed as a bride, in front of a police cordon that protects the National Palace.

“We got married here, we already had a date, we didn’t know there was going to be a demonstration, and then since we don’t agree with what is happening in Congress and with the government, we decided to come and take some photos here,” he told reporters. newly married, who only identified himself as Fernando.

In 2015 various sectors of Guatemalan society took to the streets peacefully in rejection of allegations of corruption in the government of General Otto Pérez Molina. The protests led to the resignation of Pérez Molina, his vice president Roxana Baldetti and members of his cabinet. Both the ex-president and Baldetti are in prison awaiting trials for various corruption cases.