On November 30, thousands of Guatemalans once again hit the streets in rejection of corruption, austerity and police brutality, as well as to demand the resignation of right-wing president Alejandro Giammattei, his ministers and the members of the congress.
The Indigenous communities of Sololá department and members of various social organizations organized blockades on the Inter-American highway, which connects the capital to western Guatemala, at several points across the department to demand structural changes in the country. Indigenous people in María Tecún, San Juan Argueta and La Cuchilla, among other villages, blocked the highway with stones and trucks in their respective villages in rejection of the national government and its policies. Several people peacefully sat on the highway and blocked the traffic for hours.
“What he is doing is a great damage to society and that is why we ask for the resignation of Alejandro Giammattei, get out Giammattei,” said the spokesperson of the Indigenous people.
#Solola En Los Encuentros empiezan a reunirse varias comunidades con pancartas y carteles exigiendo la renuncia del Presidente Alejandro Giammattei, la depuración del Congreso y la destitución del ministro de Gobernación, Gendri Reyes.
Video: Carlos Ernesto Choc pic.twitter.com/sRuaaHBizl
— PrensaComunitaria (@PrensaComunitar) November 30, 2020
Hundreds of thousands of Guatemalans have been taking to the streets against Giammattei’s government in different parts of the country since November 21. The protests were sparked by the approval of the 2021 budget which saw a massive decrease in funds allocated for the public health and education sectors while increasing funds towards ministries that have been implicated in corruption scandals. Following the massive social uprising and people’s rejection of the budget, on November 23, the Congress announced the suspension of the budget. But the people have remained on the streets.
The Indigenous people, peasants, workers, students, social movements, civic rights organizations are not only demanding the president and his cabinet’s resignation, but also the establishment of a Plurinational state. They are demanding systemic changes, an end to corruption, inequality, neoliberalism and poverty. The representatives of the social organizations and trade unions have indicated that the citizens will continue to mobilize until their demands are met.