Guatemala, unrecognizable | THE COUNTRY America
So many things have changed in Guatemala since the June 25 elections in which the center-left anti-corruption candidate, Bernardo Arévalo, surprisingly advanced to the second round of elections and then won the Presidency, which is almost unrecognizable.
These days, the most eminent businessmen meet discreetly, under the protection of the United States embassy, with indigenous leaders. That, in a de facto segregated country, reflects a change. These indigenous leaders have put on the defensive the powerful ruling alliance that dominates all national institutions and through them seeks to reverse the electoral results. Mayan leaders have suddenly become national leaders of the protest against the attempt to overturn the election results. They have become the inspiration, but also the scourge, of many Guatemalans. Inhabitants of popular areas of the capital of Guatemala and inhabitants of the most remote rural areas recognize them as the driving forces of the protest.
It has been the Mayan authorities of the main community organizations of ancestral origin, headed by the organization 48 Cantones of Totonicapán, who initiated and lead the movement, active for two weeks now, to demand the resignation of Attorney General Consuelo Porras. Every effort to discourage the protest of those who support Porras (unpopular 9 to 1, according to two recent opinion polls) has been unsuccessful.
The highest Court of the country, made up only of supporters of the ruling alliance, ordered at the request of the prosecutor the eviction of those who demand the resignation in front of the headquarters of the Public Ministry. The magistrates ordered the Police and the Army itself, under penalty of dismissing those responsible, to clear the site within six hours.
But it was not necessary for the military or the police, who are unwilling to confront the subverted population, to lower their batons. A calm negotiation between authorities and indigenous leaders before the Human Rights Attorney (another piece of the official alliance), allowed opening a space for entry to the building from where the attorney general previously dispatched. She, however, has not wanted to return to her desk, on the eighth floor, from which the incessant calls for her to resign can be heard.
Thousands of people from the north of the country as well as from regions near the capital, caravans of motorcycle taxis, merchants from the capital's markets and even residents of areas with the best purchasing power in the city have joined in demanding his resignation. In recent days, after the first ten days of blockades throughout the road network that reached 120 each morning and effectively paralyzed the country, the protests have evolved into street parties, with dances and songs alluding to the demand for the resignation of the Prosecutor, caravans of vehicles that travel at the minimum speed to hinder without blocking traffic, art festivals in squares and parks and demonstrations at the end of the afternoon in which the anthem is sung.
And everything goes wrong for those who try to discourage protest.
The attack by gunmen in Ocós, a municipality on the border with Mexico, against a road block was quickly documented by residents of the area with digital images who soon recognized the license plate number of the vehicle in which the hitmen were traveling as one of those used by the gunman. mayor elected by the ruling party in that place to campaign.
Neighbors of Antigua Guatemala identified the president's alleged partner, a young engineer, Miguel Martínez, in a religious ceremony in the city. Martínez had to be protected and escorted by the Police, while the neighbors reviled and attacked him and his family with sticks and stones. In a matter of minutes, it was documented on social networks that the vehicle used to evacuate Martínez was owned by a company that, during the current Government, has contracted more than US$12 million with the State.
The rampant corruption, the enrichment of pro-government deputies and the president's entourage generate the indignation of the protesters who have arrived at the building with $330,000 apartments where the ruler's three children went to live after he came to power.
The ruling party, for its part, announces that the Porras Prosecutor's Office is about to present the case that would demonstrate fraud in favor of Arévalo. To achieve this, they have raided the headquarters of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, which led to the demand for the resignation of the Prosecutor.
The indigenous leadership, nor the majority of the mestizo population, accepts the possibility of fraud.
Guatemala has an electoral system administered on voting day by citizen volunteers who deliver, receive and count the votes. Any claim of fraud is easily verifiable with the minutes that voting station representatives keep on their phones and in the digital cloud.
Those who advocate ignoring Bernardo Arévalo's victory and repeating the elections (without allowing their party to participate) clash head-on with the ancestral authorities who have called for a wall of protesters, not at all willing to wait idly for the friendly courts of the power to decide for them.
Guatemala, led by the indigenous authorities, rejects that prosecutor Porras tries to snatch the electoral victory from whoever has obtained it.
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