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Tens of Thousands Rally Across Guatemala to Defend President-elect Bernardo Arévalo

HeadlineOct 09, 2023

In Guatemala, tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in recent days as nationwide protests intensify over the ongoing persecution of President-elect Bernardo Arévalo and his progressive Semilla party. Demonstrators are demanding the resignation of Guatemala’s Attorney General Consuelo Porras and several prosecutors involved in efforts to disqualify Arévalo’s landslide victory in August’s runoff presidential election. Arévalo and Semilla are accused of election fraud and irregularities in the party’s registration; prosecutors have ordered raids on electoral offices and the seizure of ballots — without any evidence to support their claims. Porras, who’s backed by the Guatemalan political and business elites, has been repeatedly accused of corruption. Protests continued through the weekend across Guatemala, led by Indigenous groups, student activists, human rights defenders and workers angered by the Guatemalan Supreme Court’s decision Friday to uphold the suspension of Semilla over the fraud allegations.

Edgar Tuy: “To enter the democratic era, there has been bloodshed. So for a small group of people to come and destroy democracy overnight, we will not allow that.”

Meanwhile, the Organization of American States has named a delegation to mediate Bernardo Arévalo’s transition to power ahead of his scheduled inauguration in January. The OAS has itself been accused of meddling in democratic election results across Latin America — most recently in Bolivia’s 2019 election, where its unfounded fraud claims helped pave the way for the removal of leftist President Evo Morales.

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