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Bernardo Arevalo calls on Guatemalans to march through the center of the capital on December 7

Bernardo Arevalo calls on Guatemalans to march through the center of the capital on December 7

President-elect Bernardo Arevalo announced on social media a citizens’ march on Thursday, December 7, 2023. In his words, the mobilization is “in defense of truth, justice and democracy.”

In the recording, Arevalo expressed that it is time to put an end to “perpetually corrupt people who have harmed the most sensitive segments of society, depriving them of freedom of choice.” […]”.

In his message, the President-elect stressed that this event aims not only to condemn what he considers to be corrupt interventions, but also to engage Guatemalan society.

“We are going through a moment that requires clarity and decision on our part. A moment in which there is no room for apathy, complicit silence, or ambiguity.”

Arevalo explained that the mobilization would be peaceful and therefore called on “all democratic forces”, including mayors and deputies, as well as inviting leaders from various sectors such as religious, political, commercial and student.

Almost at the end of his message, he said: “This will not be just a protest demonstration, but rather an affirmation of our identity as a people.”

The 48 cantons of Totonicapán supported the call for December 7, starting at 8 a.m., with a focus on the Supreme Court. During the march, they will later go to the Constitutional Court and then to the Public Prosecution headquarters.

On Monday, December 4, the ancestral authorities also participated in a march to reject the 2024 budget approved by the Congress of the Republic and to demand the resignation of Prosecutor Consuelo Porras and other officials.

Political context

Arevalo’s call for next Thursday’s march came in the context of the announcement that the United States is encouraging the Organization of American States (OAS) to intensify its response to what it considers “attacks” on democracy in Guatemala, in particular with reference to the measures. The Public Prosecution against the elected president.

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The United States Ambassador to the Organization of American States, Francisco Mora, announced that his country is in talks to draft a “more serious draft resolution” in the face of the growing attack on democracy in Guatemala.

At the special session of the Organization of American States held on Monday, December 4, Mora warned that if the organization did not act now, the impact would extend “beyond Guatemala.”

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The request for the meeting, submitted by representatives of five countries, said that the Guatemalan Congress voted to withdraw the immunity of four officials of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE).

“Guatemala does not agree,” Foreign Minister Mario Bucaro said, stressing that the transition process from Alejandro Giammattei to Arevalo “continues to develop peacefully, contrary to what the speakers stated.”