Guatemala celebrates a National Strike to defend democracy against the "scammers"

by archynewsycom
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The citizens of Guatemala have said enough to the attempts of justice to leave the Seed Movement out of the electoral contest. The Constitutional Court (CC) itself made it clear that the legal personality of Semilla cannot be suspended, whose candidate, Bernardo Arévalo de León, aspires to the Presidency of the Central American country on August 20, when he will face the candidate of the National Unity of Hope, Sandra Torres. Despite this, the judge of the Seventh Court, Fredy Orellana, and the prosecutor of the Special Prosecutor’s Office Against Impunity, Rafael Curruchiche, have continued with their offensive against Semilla, which has caused several organizations to call a National Strike this Monday in defense of democracy.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was the raid that the Prosecutor’s Office carried out last Friday at the headquarters of Semilla for the investigation that maintains that “there are indications that possibly more than 5,000 citizens were illegally adhered” to this party “falsifying their handwriting and signature.” The tension in the country has reached such a point that the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) filed an amparo before the CC to demand that seven State agencies, including the Prosecutor’s Office and the Supreme Court of Justice, guarantee the holding of the second round of elections. Thus, the TSE considers that there is a “certain, future, and imminent threat” that the denounced authorities, which also include the Ministries of Defense, the Interior, and Public Finance, “violate the democratic rule of law for the development of an electoral process in an environment of freedom.”

However, the CC rejected the appeal, recalling that on July 13 it already protected the Seed Movement, guaranteeing that this party could not be legally suspended and that the second round between Bernardo Arévalo de León and Sandra Torres should be held normally. However, in that resolution, the Court left the Prosecutor’s Office free to continue investigating Semilla. This has caused the judge to order the arrest of two Semilla militants, as well as the arrest of the acting director of the TSE Citizens’ Registry, Eleonora Castillo for disobeying the order to legally suspend the political formation.

In this context, thousands of people demonstrated in the streets of Guatemala City this Sunday, prior to celebrating the National Strike to which the students of the public University of San Carlos joined. The mobilizations ended in front of the Prosecutor’s office, where the demonstrators put up posters that read “Get out of the coup.” They also pasted the photos of the attorney general, Consuelo Porras, the head of the FECI, Rafael Curruchiche, and the judge of the Seventh Court, Fredy Orellana, whom they accuse of orchestrating a “technical coup” to prevent Bernardo Arévalo de León from becoming the next president of the country.

Brenda Hernández led the 2015 protests against corruption that led to the imprisonment of then Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina. Eight years after those historic demonstrations, Hernández has once again taken to the streets with her inseparable drummer with which she chants slogans such as “Consuelo coup, you are the terrorist.” She was one of the first to mobilize this Monday in front of the National Palace, where she stressed that “the faces we saw during the 2015 mobilizations are back on the streets and that gives us a lot of hope and motivation because we know that they are peaceful people who defend the sovereignty of the people expressed democratically in the vote.”

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