1000’s of individuals have staged the largest protest but in opposition to Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei, with some setting hearth to Congress, fuelled by anger over cuts within the 2021 funds because the nation reels from back-to-back storms.
Waving Guatemalan flags and indicators declaring “Giammattei, resign,” demonstrators in Guatemala Metropolis on Saturday referred to as for Giammattei to veto the funds, which legislators accredited at daybreak final Wednesday whilst Hurricane Iota was drenching components of the Central American nation nonetheless grappling with the destruction from a previous storm.
At 99.7 billion quetzals ($12.9bn), the funds elevated public debt whereas slicing funding for healthcare, schooling, human rights and the justice system, outraging folks from college students to enterprise leaders in a yr marked by the financial disaster of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Congress allotted extra money for his or her meals and didn’t allocate cash to the poor folks,” Diego Herrera, a 25-year-old scholar, advised Reuters information company.
Whereas most protesters assembled peacefully on the foremost sq., others smashed the home windows of the Congress constructing and set hearth to the inside, sending columns of orange flames rippling out, social media and Reuters pictures present. A cloud of gray smoke may very well be seen blocks away.
A spokeswoman for San Juan de Dios Normal Hospital, one of many capital’s greatest hospitals, stated it was treating 14 folks for a number of accidents and tear gasoline inhalation, after clashes with police in riot gear who used drive to disperse the crowds.
Twenty-two folks had been arrested, a court docket spokesman stated.