DW News
DW News 23 Nov 2020

Unrest in Guatemala: Protesters set fire to Congress


Hundreds of Guatemalan demonstrators stormed into the country's Congress in Guatemala City on Saturday, setting fire to parts of the legislative building. The rally came amidst growing protests against the government under President Alejandro Giammattei for approving budget cuts to education and health spending. Around 7,000 people gathered outside the National Palace following the approval of the $13 billion (€11 billion) budget for 2021. It's the country's highest-ever spending plan and earmarks most funds for infrastructure projects linked to big businesses in a country with widespread poverty. Protesters accused the government of passing the budget in secret and demanded Giammattei's resignation for endorsing the amount.

Social media videos showed smoke emanating from a window in the country's legislature. There were also reports of security personnel firing tear gas at protesters. Numerous injuries have been reported. "Anyone who is proven to have participated in the criminal acts will be punished with the full force of the law," Giammattei wrote on Twitter. He added that he defended people's right to protest, "but neither can we allow people to vandalize public or private property." Vice President Guillermo Castillo has offered to resign and called on the president to veto the budget. After clashes erupted during protests on Friday, a larger march was called on Saturday. Dissent has been growing in the Central American country as many feel that the government passed far-reaching budget decisions at a time when many were distracted by the devastation caused by back-to-back hurricanes and the coronavirus pandemic.

In an interview, Republican congressman Rep. Ken Buck says that he "is not in agreement" that the electoral packages sent to Congress should be challenged surrounding President Trump's conspiracy on Georgia's election results. Aired on 01/04/2021.
President-elect Joe Biden says it's up to Congress whether to pursue a second impeachment of President Donald Trump. Biden agreed with Trump's decision Friday not to attend his inauguration: "It's a good thing him not showing up." (Jan. 8)
Sen. Tim Scott and Rep. Kevin McCarthy remembered the first Black American to Congress, Rep. Joseph Rainey.
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has spoken in favour of independence, saying it was 'essential' to the nation rebounding after the coronavirus pandemic.

She was also critical of the Conservative government in Westminster, for allegedly weakening social security before the pandemic stuck.

Share Video:

Embed Video: