Video: Hooded protesters seize Guatemala’s Congress and set it on fire

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It was during a mobilization against the approval of the budget.

In the midst of a climate of social tension, hundreds of protesters took over the Guatemalan Congress on Saturday and they set fire to several offices before being evicted by security forces and fire brigades, who put out the fire.

The protesters, mostly hooded, broke the entrance door to Parliament and also the windows, throwing fire torches inside and moving forward to destroy the facilities.

For about 10 minutes, in the midst of the chaos, the protesters managed to set fire to a part of Congress and also destroy everything they found around them.

The deputies were not in the hemicycle and at the moment data on injuries or deaths have not been released within the Congress, located in the center of the capital.

The protesters were evicted as the minutes passed by the launching of tear gas by the National Civil Police, forcing them to disperse and evacuating the street.

The fire brigades arrived at the scene to put out the fire, without the damage being known at the time.

The seizure of Congress for a few minutes took place in the middle of a demonstration 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, approved by Parliament, in its majority ruling party, and presented by the Government of Alejandro Giammattei.

In parallel, while hundreds of protesters took over Congress, thousands of other Guatemalans were peacefully demonstrating against Giammattei just one kilometer away in front of the National Palace of Culture (seat of the Government).

The Guatemalan president reacted to the demonstrations through a message on his social networks, in which he indicated that “you have the right to demonstrate in accordance with the law” but “we cannot allow you to vandalize public or private property.”

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 to it.

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 urged Giammattei to resign together to “oxygenate” the nation. Central American.

PJB

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