Violent Protests Erupt in Guatemala City Amid Corruption Allegations

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By Marco Echevarria

Guatemala City is currently witnessing a surge in protests and violent clashes, particularly in the vicinity of the National Congress in the heart of the city. As of the morning of November 16, these incidents have escalated in response to accusations of widespread corruption among the nation’s political class.

The central areas of Guatemala City are experiencing severe disruptions due to the ongoing turmoil. Protestors have been seen aggressively confronting politicians, including an incident where stones were thrown at lawmakers exiting the Congress. Another notable episode involved protestors blocking a congresswoman from accessing her vehicle.

In light of these events, authorities have heightened security measures throughout central Guatemala City. This increased security presence is accompanied by significant disturbances in local transportation and business operations. There is a heightened risk of further violent incidents and potential vandalism in the area.

These recent protests are part of a series of mass demonstrations that have been occurring since late September. The protestors are primarily demanding the resignation of certain politicians who are perceived as impediments to the inauguration of President-elect Bernardo Arevalo. Arevalo emerged victorious in the presidential election held on August 20.

Despite being slated to commence his presidential term in January 2024, Arevalo and his close associates are currently under multiple judicial investigations. In a significant development on November 2, the Electoral Supreme Court suspended the legal status of Arevalo’s political party, the Semilla Movement. This decision followed requests from the Attorney General’s Office and a judge, adding further complexity to the already tense political landscape in Guatemala.