September 21, 2021

“People Are Outraged”: General Strike in Guatemala Denounces Corruption & Mishandling of Pandemic

1 min read

We go to Guatemala to speak with an opposition lawmaker and a Maya K’iche’ leader who joined Thursday’s major national strike demanding the resignation of right-wing President Alejandro Giammattei and other government officials facing allegations of corruption. Major highways were blocked for hours as protesters marched through Guatemala City and in rural communities denouncing corruption, a worsening economic crisis and the government’s catastrophic mishandling of the pandemic. The demonstrations are the “third chapter in our history in the fight against corruption, which started in 2015,” says Lucrecia Hernández Mack, Guatemalan physician and a member of the Guatemalan Congress with the political party Movimiento Semilla who was the first woman to lead the country’s Ministry of Health. “People here in Guatemala are just outraged.” Indigenous governments and people across Guatemala united in leading the call for the mass mobilization, adds Andrea Ixchíu, Maya K’iche’ leader, journalist and human rights defender in Totonicapán, Guatemala. “We are tired [of] how in the midst of the pandemic the Guatemalan government is stealing the money from the vaccines and militariz[ing] the country.”