GUATEMALA CITY – Thousands of Guatemalan peasants marched peacefully on Wednesday in the country’s capital to demand the resignation of President Jimmy Morales and the continuity of the UN-sponsored anti-corruption body that the government is trying to dismantle.
The demonstrators gathered in Guatemala City’s historic center, but they could not gain access to Congress because of heavy security measures put in place for the upcoming independence-day celebrations.
So far, the protest has transpired normally and peacefully.
“Jimmy Out” was one of the main slogans chanted by the marchers, who arrived in the capital from various regions in the Guatemalan interior.
In addition to the ouster of Morales, who is under investigation for illicit election financing in 2015, the marchers are also demanding the resignation of the Cabinet and all 158 members of Congress.
The peasants have also expressed their support for the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) and its chief, Colombian jurist Ivan Velasquez, who has been barred by Morales from entering the country.
On Aug. 31, Morales announced that he would not renew the mandate of the UN-sponsored CICIG, which expires on Sept. 3, 2019.
This is the third consecutive day on which protests have been staged in Guatemala to reject decisions taken by the president regarding CICIG and Velasquez.
CICIG, which was established in the country in 2007, has since 2015 under Velasquez’s leadership broken up dozens of criminal networks, spurring prosecutions against former President Otto Perez Molina and other high-profile offenders.