Protesters burn part of Guatemala’s Congress building

Clouds of smoke shoot out from the Congress building after protesters set it on fire, in Guatemala City, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. Hundreds of protesters were protesting in various parts of the country Saturday against Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei and members of Congress for the approval of the 2021 budget that reduced funds for education, health and the fight for human rights.

Clouds of smoke shoot out from the Congress building after protesters set it on fire, in Guatemala City, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. Hundreds of protesters were protesting in various parts of the country Saturday against Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei and members of Congress for the approval of the 2021 budget that reduced funds for education, health and the fight for human rights.

AP

Hundreds of protesters broke into Guatemala’s Congress and burned part of the building Saturday amid growing demonstrations against President Alejandro Giammattei and the legislature for approving a budget that cut educational and health spending.

The protest came as about 7,000 people were demonstrating in front of the National Palace in Guatemala City against the budget, which protesters say was negotiated and passed by legislators in secret while the Central American country was distracted by the fallout of back-to-back hurricanes and the COVID-19 pandemic. Vice President Guillermo Castillo has offered to resign.

Video on social media showed flames shooting out a window in the legislative building. According to media reports, security agents fired tear gas at protestors and there were people injured.

Giammattei had not responded publicly to the protests.

Discontent had been building over the new 2021 budget on social media and clashed erupted during demonstrations on Friday. A larger protest march was called on Saturday.




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