Guatemala protesters urge president to resign over corruption
Thousands of protesters have poured into the streets of the Guatemalan capital to call for the resignation of President Otto Fernando Pérez Molina and Vice President Roxana Baldetti over a recent graft scandal in the government.
During the “Give Up Already” protest, which was held on Saturday in the Guatemala City, demonstrators banged pans and blew whistles while marching on the National Palace.
They also carried banners that read, “I hate this government mafia” and “the people united will never be defeated.”
The rally came in the wake of the recent uncovering of a customs bribery ring following an inquiry by the UN International Commission Against Impunity, which accused senior tax officials as well as an aide to the vice president, identified as Juan Carlos Monzon, of involvement.
He is currently a fugitive, believed to be hiding out in Honduras.
“We do not want thieves to continue to rule us, to see us as toys, it is brazen what they do with the people of Guatemala,” said protester Maria Letona.
Waving the Guatemalan flags, the demonstrators chanted “Out! Out! Out!” to urge Perez and Baldetti to quit.
“This is a call to every politician and policymaker, look at us, the people of Guatemala are taking a stand because we don’t want any more corruption,” said Catholic priest Armando Gonzalez.
President Perez, meanwhile, has rejected the calls to step down and said state prosecutors have supported the probe.
“I appeal to the good sense of Guatemalans, everyone has the right to express themselves but they have to respect the authorities leading the investigation,” he stated.