On August 25, 2023, Guatemalans went to the polls to elect a new president, a celebration that was peaceful, democratic, and gave victory to Bernardo Arévalo.
Bernardo is the son of Juan José Arévalo, the first democratic president of Guatemala in 1944, the most significant era that Guatemala has had in terms of rights and development.
However, the country has been bathed in corruption. The government has dedicated itself not only to enriching itself at the expense of the people, but alliances with criminal groups are increasing. This is where Bernardo Arévalo comes in as a possible candidate to put a stop to this.
Bernardo has a long career as a politician, diplomat, social activist and, like his father, he is close to the People. With an impeccable record and social work, he defeated Sandra Torres, candidate of a populist party linked to numerous acts of corruption. Torres spent a few months in jail past 2022 but managed her freedom buying judges to get rid of the financial crimes that she was being accused, such as money laundering and more.
Arévalo won the August 2023 elections with 61% of the votes, but the Public Ministry, has launched, together with judges, a battle against the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, accusing them of electoral fraud, that is, invalidating the vote of the Guatemalan people. The actions they have taken illegaly are:
• Bernardo’s Political Party got Canceled (Semilla, «seed» in english)
• Judicial manhunt launched against Court staff and volunteers who participated on election day
• Kidnapped all the boxes that contained the people’s votes. Entering the electoral court without a court order. This day he was devastating for the country’s institutions and for the entire population.
People have reacted: to protest in order to defend democracy and avoid the coup d’état.
Elections belong to the people.
«More than 4 million people have come out to demonstrate peacefully requesting the resignation of the Head of the Public Ministry (Consuelo Porras), the FECI Prosecutor (Curruchiche) and Judge Orellana, considered enemies of the people, and many are even already asking the resignation of the current president Giammattei due to complicity»
The leadership has come from indigenous populations and organizations that, fed up with poverty and injustice, cry out for democracy. Currently Guatemala has 70% poverty, we do not forget the thousands of migrants who every day go with hope to the United States and find an even worse Mexico.
A WEEK OF PROTEST, GOVERNMENT IS NOT LISTENING. MORE TENSION
We have had 8 days of blockades all over the country, roads and highway are blocked. Guatemalan people is trying to affect the government, the big companies to get attention and stop the hunt against democracy.
Million-dollar losses are estimated. «But the people have lost more for centuries, say the protesters! They have stolen everything from us, don’t let them steal democracy from us now», these are the most common orders on the streets.
Families are not caring about running out of gas or food because it is more important to save democracy. Students, young people, adults, and seniors participate. Although there has been tension in the streets and highways because the police forces have tried to intimidate the protesters, the atmosphere is bringing art festivals, activities for children, medical assistance with hundreds of people that are volunteeting, mostly students. Families, small business and civil organizations have organized to bring water and food to those who resist in different parts of the country.
Although there is also a very upset population, the tension in the streets has been caused by a population that is indifferent to the situation or that simply has the need to work, but at this point there are more than 180 critical points for mobility. The Airport has stopped receiving planes due to lack of gasoline and yet, the government remains silent.
These 8 days have been uncomfortable and worrying for everyone, but it is a historic demonstration, a message from the people to the government about the exhaustion of corruption, poverty, violence and organized crime. Guatemala is more united than ever! Corruption is the enemy of the development and well-being of the people and dictatorships, whether “right or left” have never brought anything positive to the people!
What is going to happen?
The demonstrations continue this week and they will until Consuelo, Curruchiche and Orellana resign. But we may begin to see the use of public force against protesters. Today, the Minister of the Interior Chief of Police said in a statement that the protesters are committing crimes, which makes us see his complicity as well.
So far the president of Guatemala has not spoken at all and only asked the OAS for his support to “mediate a dialogue.” but not a public word to guatemalans. He is hidden beyong his sit. On the contrary, the government has sent infiltrated shock groups, promoting violence, illegal charges, and alcoholic beverages to delegitimize the population that is protesting in a peaceful and organized way.
Guatemala needs your support and prayers, you are likely to see Guatemalan migrants in your communities also protesting in front of the consulates! We need these people to resign because there is a high probability that they will not allow Bernardo to take office in January 2024, or that they will subject him to impeachment in the first month. There are many politicians in jail and criminals (drug traffickers) who do not like Arévalo’s honest proposal and although we know that one person alone cannot change the country, it does represent a little light in the darkness.
Dictatorships are one-way streets. Democracy boasts two-way traffic.— Albert Moravia