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Guatemalan President-elect Rallies Supporters as Prosecutors Seek to Ban His Party

HeadlineSep 22, 2023

In Guatemala, demonstrations have continued nationwide in support of progressive President-elect Bernardo Arévalo and his Semilla political party as prosecutors seek to derail the results of August’s runoff election and prevent Arévalo from taking office in January. Protesters are demanding the resignation of corrupt prosecutors, backed by Guatemala’s right-wing business and political elite, who’ve launched several investigations against Arévalo and Semilla over alleged election fraud and irregularities in the party’s registration. International observers have said there is no evidence backing these claims. Arévalo rallied supporters outside the Supreme Court in Guatemala City earlier this week.

President-elect Bernardo Arévalo: “Citizenship is exercised not only every four years when the vote is cast, but also when the institutions ask us to mobilize to defend democracy. And today we are here in an act of defense of democracy.”

On Tuesday, thousands of Indigenous leaders took to the streets of Guatemala, blocking major highways. In New York, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva warned in his U.N. General Assembly address about the prospect of a coup unfolding in Guatemala.

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva: “In Guatemala, there is a risk of a coup, which would impede the inauguration of the winner of democratic elections.”

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