Indigenous advocates rally in support of Guatemala’s newly elected president amidst accusations of electoral fraud.
GUATEMALA CITY — Thousands of indigenous supporters protested in Guatemala City on Monday to defend Guatemala’s president-elect as government prosecutors seek to ban his political party.
A large number of demonstrators held up signs or voiced their demands for government officials to step down due to their efforts in prosecuting Bernardo Arévalo and prohibiting his political party, the Seed Movement.
The prosecutions were described by Aleisar Arana, a leader of the Xinca ethnic group, as an effort to overthrow the government.
Arana stated that the prosecution’s coup needs to be halted. Demonstrators vowed to continue protesting until the actions against Arévalo are ceased.
Arévalo won the Aug. 20 presidential runoff in a landslide, but prosecutors have continued pursuing multiple investigations related to the registration of Arévalo’s Seed Movement party, and alleged fraud in the election. International observers have said that is not supported by evidence.
Last week, Arévalo revealed his intention to urge Guatemalans to gather in the streets and demonstrate against attempts to obstruct his presidency before he assumes office. He shared this information during an interview with The Associated Press on Friday.
On Monday, a statement was released by a coalition of academic and rights organizations, emphasizing the need for increased international pressure to ensure that Guatemala upholds the outcomes of the elections.
Arévalo said he has tried his own legal maneuvers to stop those who want to keep him from power, but now it’s necessary for the people to come out to the streets to support him. He said he wants to see businesspeople, farmers, Indigenous groups, and workers all come out.
Arévalo, a progressive lawmaker and academic, shocked Guatemala by making it into the runoff in which he beat former first lady Sandra Torres by more than 20 points.
The attorney general’s office has faced significant backlash both domestically and internationally for seemingly making a bold effort to prevent Arévalo from assuming power or undermining his authority, despite claiming to merely adhere to the law.
Arévalo recognizes that the upcoming task will not be simple.
“I cannot reword”
Agents from the Attorney General’s Office committed an unprecedented violation of Guatemala’s electoral law by opening boxes of votes and capturing photographs of their contents.
Arévalo has called for Attorney General Consuelo Porras’ resignation and said he would temporarily suspend the process of transition from outgoing President Alejandro Giammattei.
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