Guatemala’s vice president questions excess force against protesters

Guatemala's vice president questions excess force against protesters

© Provided by Agencia EFE

Guatemala, Nov 22 (EFE) .- The Vice President of Guatemala, Guillermo Castillo, requested this Sunday a “serious investigation” for the “excessive use of police force” against hundreds of people who demonstrated on Saturday in disagreement with the Government and The congress.

Castillo indicated through his social networks that he “urgently” urged the Public Ministry (MP, Prosecutor’s Office) to carry out the corresponding investigation.

The vice president also expressed his suspicions about the way a part of Congress was set on fire by allegedly angry protesters.

“The burning of Congress and what happened around it is generating doubts,” said the 54-year-old lawyer and businessman.

In addition, the vice president recognized “the peaceful demonstration” that took place in front of the National Palace of Culture, in the center of Guatemala City, where at least 10,000 people showed their rejection of the Government.

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 (Interior).

In addition, relief forces have indicated that at least 40 people have been treated for injuries, and dozens affected by tear gas, without counting deaths in the protests.

The incidents were registered in the framework of a massive call to demonstrate this Saturday against Giammattei and the Guatemalan Congress after the approval of the state budget for 2021 last Wednesday.

This budget has been described as “opaque” by experts after endorsing it at dawn, without the 160 deputies having access to it and with extensive reductions for health and human rights issues.

The demonstration was called for a couple of hours after noon in front of the National Palace of Culture, the seat of the Government located in the center of Guatemala City.

However, minutes before, approximately a kilometer away, in Congress, hundreds of hooded men took the Parliament facilities and set fire to several offices until they were evicted by security forces and fire brigades, who put out the fire.

The protesters broke the entrance door to Parliament and also the windows, throwing torches of fire inside and advancing to destroy the facilities.

Many of them took property from the place and some even showed alcoholic beverages that were kept inside the hemicycle.

The deputies were not in Congress and the authorities have not released specific details about the damage caused by both the fire and the protesters.

On Friday night, after Giammattei endorsed the budget again, the vice president, Guillermo Castillo, assured at a press conference that the country is not “well” and urged Giammattei to resign both together to “oxygenate” the Central American nation.

(c) EFE Agency


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