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After several cases of corruption by public authorities linked to Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina were exposed, the protests continue, along with investigations over customs revenue corruption, embezzlement against the Security Institute, the Governance Ministry and other public service institutions.
Numerous citizen mobilizations have taken place since April 25: “The people expressed their anger because their tax money was serving to enrich an elite, not to improve the basic public services the population needs”, said Andrea Ixchiu, journalist of Prensa Comunitaria. Andrea was interviewed by the Otra Mirada show, of Contagio Radio, Colombia.
Ixchiu said that the country is experiencing a health and education crisis since 2013, and the government always put the low tax revenues as an excuse “when in fact all this money had been stolen”, said the journalist.
After the truth was exposed, the people decided to mobilize, also taking into account that since 2012: “this government has been extremely intransigent and oppressive, criminalizing social movements”, said Andrea.
The mobilizations started to have a political basis and the aim is to transform the political structure of the country, reforming the political parties’ law aiming to avoid the reelection of the current political class in office. In the long term, the aim is to promote a State transformation that recognizes cultural and ethnic diversity.
Indigenous people, women, youth and even the Guatemalan private sector “have decided to leave fear aside and take on political action and citizen mobilization, aiming to a change that will take time, stated Ixchiu.
The cases of corruption were exposed by the Guatemalan Commission against Impunity, led by former Colombian judge Ivan Velasquez. The Commission states that the current situation is healthy because the people are outraged and this has brought the resignation of Guatemalan Vice President as a consequence, among other things.
Este jueves se cumple un año del asesinato de la dirigente lenca Berta Cáceres en Honduras, y los grupos de Amigos de la Tierra Internacional (ATI) se movilizarán en decenas de países a partir de hoy, en el marco de una Semana de Acción que tendrá como cierre el 8 de marzo, Día Internacional de la Mujer.
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