Hundreds of protesters take over the Guatemalan Congress and turn it on f

Guatemala live hours of unprecedented tension and political uncertainty after a massive protest against the president Alejandro Giammattei, on Saturday, which reached the very interior of the Congress, where a group of hooded men set fire to windows and curtains. Less than a kilometer away, thousands of protesters were protesting the approval of a budget that deepens economic adjustment in a country with 17 million inhabitants of which almost 60% live in poverty. According to the Red Cross, dozens of people had respiratory problems due to the spread of smoke around the parliamentary headquarters.

Giammattei, who took office last January, is living through his most difficult hours and his continuity in power has been questioned from the moment his vice president, Guillermo Castillo, asked him to resign together “for the good of the country.” Gianmmattei, a former head of prisons that defends the death penalty swashbuckling and took office with a ultra-conservative programHe does not seem willing to pay attention to Castillo or the crowds that took to the streets and clashed with the police. Numerous injuries were reported. The vice president later called for a “serious investigation” into the “excessive use of force” by the uniformed officers. At the same time, he hinted at the suspicion of the way in which the hooded men set fire to a part of Congress. “The fire and what happened around it raises questions,” said the 54-year-old lawyer and businessman.

The president had considered inevitable the approval of a budget that, specialists warned, will exacerbate the problems of a population that has lost jobs as a result of the pandemic. The $ 18 billion contemplated in the expenses of 2021 are destined especially to finance the state apparatus and enterprises with the private sector. The budget does not contemplate, however, improvements for the health or educational system. Nor does it dedicate financial effort to mitigate the effects of a child malnutrition It hits 50% of children under the age of five.

In this context, the protest was unleashed. “The outrage of the citizens is something that had been maturing by the insolence of corruption that came to acquire forms of impudence and cynicism that filled the patience of a people that seemed resigned to endure whatever the leaders of the dictatorship of corruption did “, said this Sunday the newspaper La Hora in its editorial.

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