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  • Anti-riot police agents face off against protesters in the Historic Center of Guatemala's capital. November 21, 2020.

    Anti-riot police agents face off against protesters in the Historic Center of Guatemala's capital. November 21, 2020. | Photo: Twitter / @prensa_libre / Carlos Hernández via @prensagrafica

Published 22 November 2020
Opinion

The demonstration held in front of the National Palace demanded the resignation of President Alejandro Giammattei.

The Vice President of Guatemala, Guillermo Castillo, has asked the Public Ministry for a "serious investigation" following the protests in the Plaza de la Constitución on Saturday. More than half a million people gathered this Saturday to protest against the Government and Congress, but the police repressed the demonstrators and were even arrested, while a group burned down the headquarters of Congress.

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"It is urgent that the Public Ministry open a serious investigation into what happened yesterday. Vandalism and excessive use of police force are clear. The burning of Congress and what happened around it raises doubts. I recognize the peaceful demonstration that took place in the park. Place," Castillo said via Twitter.

A group, dressed in black and with bats with rubber handles and metal tips, were able to climb up to the windowsill, break the glass, enter and set fire to the anteroom of the Legislative Directorate office, the Hall del Pueblo and the corridor where the portraits of the presidents of Congress are located.

Outrage in Guatemala worsened after Congress approved the budget for 2021 last week, which authorized an exaggerated indebtedness, which compromises the future of the Central American country, according to analysts.

They also highlighted the opacity in which the approval session was conducted, as well as the speed with which President Alejandro Giammattei signed the minutes of the approved budget.

The demonstrations this Saturday called for the resignation of Giammetti, days after Vice President Castillo proposed that he and the executive resign together, and initiate a process of political change in the country.

Security forces detained more than 30 people for various reasons during the demonstrations on Saturday, as confirmed by both the Judicial Branch and the Ministry of the Interior.

In addition, first responders have indicated that at least 40 people have been treated for injuries, and dozens affected by tear gas.

Giammattei indicated that he will not veto the budget, but that he will analyze with legislators possible changes to it, which was approved this Wednesday.

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