Guatemala’s Attorney General, Consuelo Porras, issued an appeal on Monday, urging the government to intervene against protesters conducting largely peaceful rallies, escalating pressure for her to resign. The demonstrators accuse her of underhanded efforts to destabilize the nation’s democracy.
Rigorous civic demonstrations have rocked Guatemala for the past fortnight, ignited by heightened dissatisfaction from arguably the most contentious election in the country’s recent history. The continuous protests are instigated by allegations that Attorney General Porras has attempted to obstruct the inauguration of President-elect Bernardo Arevalo, due in January.
Arevalo, a progressive upstart, daringly confronting the long-standing elites who have maintained a firm grip on the Central American nation, commenced his political journey earlier this year. His political ensemble, the Seed Movement Party, has faced a surge of legal challenges, intensifying following his triumph in the country’s August elections.
The onslaught of adversities range from electoral facility raids to the suspension of his political party, hampering his ability to wield his political mandate effectively. These repressive measures evoked a call to indefinite strike by Indigenous groups and rural inhabitants, who have been historically marginalized in Guatemalan society. The relentless protests, initiated by 14 blockades, have now proliferated to more than 80 road closures across the nation.
In a publicized video on Monday, Porras denounced the demonstrations against her as “illegal,” and beseeched authorities to forcibly unblock the roads to ensure unhindered movement of civilians. “I want to express my complete disagreement and distaste” for the protests, she claimed, suggesting that they “clearly violate the rights of all Guatemalans.”
The demonstrators have primarily remained peaceful, but her message followed a spate of incidents over the past weekend. Frustrated citizens attempted to drive their cars into the protesting crowd, later apprehended and charged with property destruction and endangering the lives of demonstrators.
Porras, along with several other prosecutors, has faced sanctions from the U.S. government, including revoked entry visas. They stand accused of acting as roadblocks in the fight against corruption, thereby undermining Guatemala’s democracy.