Hundreds of protesters have taken over the Guatemalan Congress this Saturday and they set fire to several offices until being evicted by security forces and fire brigades, who have put out the fire.
The protesters, mostly hooded, they broke the front door to Parliament and also the windows, throwing torches inside and advancing to destroy the facilities.
For about 10 minutes, amid the chaos, the protesters managed to incendiary a part of Congress and also destroy everything they find around it.
Deputies they were not in the hemicycle and so far no data on injuries or deaths have been released within the Congress, located in the center of Guatemala City.
Protesters they were evicted with the passing of the minutes by the launching of tear gas bombs by the National Civil Police, forcing them to disperse and evacuating the street.
Fire brigades have arrived at the scene to put out the fire, without knowing the damages for the moment.
The seizure of Congress for a few minutes took place in the middle of a manifestation agreed for this Saturday by artists, collectives and dozens of entities, with the aim of reject the budget of income and expenses of the State for 2021, promoted by the Parliament, in its majority ruling party, of the Guatemalan president, Alejandro Giammattei.
At the same time, while hundreds of protesters took over Congress, thousands of other Guatemalans were demonstrating peacefully against Giammattei just one kilometer away in front of the National Palace of Culture (seat of Government).
The Guatemalan president has reacted to the demonstrations through a message on his social networks, in which he indicated that “you have the right to demonstrate according to the law” but “we will not be able to allow vandalizes public or private property“.
I reiterate that you have the right to demonstrate according to the law. But neither can we allow it to vandalize with public or private property. Whoever is proven his participation in these criminal acts will fall under the full weight of the law.
– Alejandro Giammattei (@DrGiammattei) November 21, 2020
The apathy against Giammattei and the Congress originated after the approval of the budget last Wednesday, at dawn, and without the 160 deputies having access the same.
On Friday night, after Giammattei endorsed the budget again, his vice president, Guillermo Castillo, assured at a press conference that the country is not “well” and he urged Giammattei to resign altogether to “oxygenate” the Central American nation.