Indigenous communities on national strike to demand resignation of attorney general

Guatemala City, Oct 2 (EFE).- Hundreds of Guatemalans, primarily members of indigenous communities, began an indefinite national strike on Monday to demand the resignation of the attorney general and head of the Public Ministry, Consuelo Porras, for her attempts to intervene in this year’s election results.

The protest was called last week by the indigenous group 48 cantons of the department of Totonicapán (west). It was agreed upon Monday by dozens of civil and social organizations.

Guatemalan authorities confirmed this morning that the indigenous communities, including a sector of the capital of the Central American country, block at least seven highways connecting the territory.

The indigenous leaders are demanding the resignation of Porras, of the prosecutor Rafael Curruchiche, and of the criminal judge Fredy Orellana, whom they accuse of wanting to modify the electoral results of the elections held in June and August.

“We declare ourselves in an indefinite national strike, calling on all citizens and organizations in the country to join the protest,” said a release from the 48 cantons of Totonicapán.

The march comes three days after the Public Ministry raided for the fourth time the Supreme Electoral Tribunal and seized boxes with votes, despite the rejection of local and international organizations that accuse them of violating the law.

Likewise, last September 1, the elected president, Bernardo Arévalo de León, accused Porras, Curruchiche, and Orellana of “a coup d’état” against him to prevent his inauguration as president next January.

The indigenous leaders assure that these officials’ “arbitrary” actions are “attacking democracy” in Guatemala.

Precisely in this regard, the US Government announced on Sunday sanctions for those who “undermine” democracy in the Central American nation.

“We are taking active steps to impose visa restrictions on individuals who continue to undermine Guatemala’s democracy,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement.

Arevalo and Vice President-elect Karin Herrera have also called for peaceful demonstrations to defend democracy. EFE


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