"Here he is going to run blood," he shouted a former Guatemala's military, who warned that he was not going to leave the deputies of Congress. He fulfilled his word and minutes later hundreds of inflamed veteran soldiers beat with machetes and sticks to the scarce police officers who guarded the legislative building, as well as several journalists. After having controlled the area, in the city center of Guatemala, they broke into the congress breaking doors and windows and knocking down the gate of the parking, although several workers of the institution were stuck in placing huge sticks that they did not serve to prevent the Access of the protesters. At least a dozen police officers and four journalists were injured.
Former soldiers from all over the country arrived in buses to the capital of Guatemala, as announced last week to demand the Members of Congress with the approval of a compensation law, in order to receive a pension of 120,000 quetzals (13,000 euros ) For its contribution in the internal armed conflict that racked the Central American country between 1960 and 1996 with a balance of 200,000 deceased people and 45,000 missing. These massacres were perpetrated in 93% of cases by the army and 3% by the guerrilla, according to the report made by the Commission for the historical clarification of the United Nations. In the remaining 4% the authorship could not be determined.
Although they were responsible for most killings, veteran soldiers press the government to collect their compensation while justice has imprisoned and processing several of the responsible military, some of which have been arrested even in the US, where they had tried to take refuge without success.
Before even that the current president of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, came to power in January 2020, promised in full electoral campaign before a group of former military to approve the economic dignification law for the provision of military service during armed confrontation internal. "I do not want to be remembered as a son of a bitch more in the history of this country," said the president, who said to be "a man who meets the word of him because whoever does not comply does not deserve a man." However, two years have passed and the promise continues in the air, bearing in mind that the government does not even have counted how many former military would have the right to economic compensation, as well as land and health insurance demanding veterans.
The only attempt that has been answered by these demands has been the law promoted by two deputies of Congress on November 29, 2019, although it has not yet been approved. For this reason, former soldiers feel betrayed by the president of Guatemala whom in the same act in which he promised to approve economic compensation, a veteran of the army warned him that if he did not fulfill them "one day they will know force Of the former soldiers, "because" we deserve that payment. "
Faced with the delay in approved the law, veteran soldiers cut several roads for two days last week, although they put an end to this protest after the Congress' commitment to meet with them to reach an agreement. On the occasion of the full summoned for this Tuesday, hundreds of former soldiers arrived by raising machetes and sticks and announcing that they were not going to leave the deputies if the aforementioned economic compensation was not approved. After several hours concentrated in both outings of the legislative building, they decided to break into the Congress after learning that finally the full had been suspended as a result of the protests abroad.
The few police officers who had abroad opted for running when they saw a peat of exmilitaries that ran behind them with machetes and sticks, while starting to throw stones. At the same time, another large group managed to throw the congressional parking gate, where five vehicles burned, a winery and several offices of the unions.
One of the deputies who was in the Legislative Chamber Alfredo Caniz lamented that the situation "came out of control" and added that "violence and vandalism can not be justified", considering that "discredit any movement". For this reason, he advocated "giving priority to dialogue". While the parliamentarian attended to the press, several firefighters were stuck to turn off with water cubes the huge flames that were seen from outside the congress.
The police themselves drowned with the tear gas they themselves launched on the streets surrounding Congress to prevent protesters from preventing the evacuation of the hundred people who were inside and that they could finally be rescued after 4:30 p.m. (00.30 Hours in Spain). Those who could rose to the police vehicles, while most had to run out inhaling the tear gas that flooded several streets of the city center of Guatemala forcing former soldiers to recover, although they were still launching stones and all kinds of Objects to the police.
The Deputy Director of the National Civil Police Nery Benito was presented to the place and acknowledged that he had no official data on catches, although hours later the first arrests of "some indicated as responsible for altering order in the historic center" were reported. Likewise, he reported that more than 1,000 police elements were in all public buildings.
However, unlike other manifestations that has been in front of the Congress of Guatemala, there was hardly a police presence. Benito justified it like this: "The leaders had announced that they were going to have a peaceful demonstration and the protocol of the necessary police presence was activated to guard public buildings." However, he pointed out that what was there was an "aggression with machetes and sticks and changed the situation radically." Thus, he revealed that a journalist suffered an injury with machete in his head, while several agents were admitted injured in the public hospitals of San Juan de Dios and Roosevelt.
Faced with this scenario, "we had to drive and protect the physical integrity of people," he concluded. Despite this, the situation of chaos was total in the surrounding streets of the congress, where the police did not achieve control until several hours after the riots initiated. It is not the first time that Protesters burn the Legislative Chamber of Guatemala, since on November 21, 2020, several hooded people burned the Congress in the midst of a climate of protests throughout the country against corruption and to demand the Dimition of President Alejandro Giammattei. On that occasion, the protesters even took away furniture and looted the refrigerators of the congress. Likewise, in September 2017, thousands of protesters maintained at Congress to the Members of Guatemala for seven hours by demanding their resignation after the approval of two decrees that reduced prison sentences by corruption crimes and that days later they were revoked for Avoid more protests.
Governorate Minister of Guatemala, Gendri Reyes, has announced that capture orders are going to be requested against 15 identified leaders of the more than 10 associations of exmilitaries who have participated in the burning of Congress where five vehicles and three motorcycles have been calculated . He indicated that the legal personality of these entities will be canceled, while it has revealed that there are two detainees who have been put to judicial disposal and two other people in custody in the hospital. Likewise, he regretted that there are five injured police officers.
The demonstration of this Tuesday occurred one day after the legislative chamber approved a new board of directors, chaired by the official deputy Shirley Rivera, of the party, let's go with which Giammattei won the presidential elections. "Respect for our authorities is going to make a difference, because respecting our authorities, we are respecting our God, who is the one who puts kings and removes kings," the legislator remarked in her speech. Only 24 hours later, former soldiers burned Congress into a clear show of weakness in which Guatemala's institutions are located.Updated Date: 20 October 2021, 03:47