Guatemalans protest against ‘coup’ denounced by President-elect Arévalo

Bernardo Arevalo Guatemala

Around 4,000 Guatemalans demonstrated this Saturday against the “coup d’état” denounced by the president-elect, Bernardo Arévalo de León, who accuses the Public Ministry (Prosecutor’s Office) of carrying out a plan to prevent his inauguration in January.

The protest took place in the central square of Guatemala in front of the National Palace of Culture, the seat of the Government headed by Alejandro Giammattei.

Shouting “out with the coup”, most of the slogans from the protesters called for the resignation of the attorney general and head of the Public Ministry, Consuelo Porras.

The protest comes after Arévalo de León, elected in the ballot on August 20, publicly warned on Friday that “a coup” is being carried out against him to prevent him from assuming the presidency on January 14.

Some of the banners this Saturday highlighted that “if there are no reforms, there will be a revolution” and “my vote is respected”, while others pointed to Porras and also to Giammattei.

At a press conference on Friday, Arévalo de León pointed out Porras as one of the main promoters of the aforementioned “coup d’état”, together with prosecutor Rafael Curruchiche, the Board of Directors of Congress, a criminal judge and “other corrupt actors”.

The denunciation of the president-elect, of the social democratic party Movimiento Semilla, takes place in the same week that the Board of Directors of the Congress, chaired by the official party, Vamos, of Giammattei, suspended said political party.

Also this week, the Registry of Citizens of the Supreme Electoral Court provisionally canceled the Seed Movement, and in both cases, it was by order of criminal judge Fredy Orellana, at the request of the Public Ministry directed by Porras.

The demonstration this Saturday was called by various sectors, mostly groups that seek to enforce the vote of the general elections held on June 25 and the second round, on August 20, where Arévalo de León accredited the presidency.

Independently, the son of former president Álvaro Arzú Irigoyen (1996-2000), Roberto Arzú García-Granados, called on his followers to demonstrate this Saturday against the current authorities.

Arzú García-Granados, whose electoral candidacy was “illegally” suspended in his opinion during the electoral contest, stated a few weeks ago that there was a plan to prevent Arévalo de León from taking office.

According to the same source, the strategy to not give power to Arévalo de León would be to confirm the suspension of the party and thus create the conditions for Giammattei to hand over power to Congress, where his party, Vamos, has a majority.

For its part, the Public Ministry denied this Saturday the accusations made on Friday by the academic and sociologist, winner of the elections with the Movimiento Semilla party.

The inauguration of the presidential change of command is scheduled for January 14, for a period of four years, the first in the history of Guatemala with a social democratic government.