Protestors have set the Guatemalan Congress on fire over the proposed state budget for 2021. Thousands gathered on the streets of Guatemala City protesting against the proposed state budget as the nation tackles the COVID-19 pandemic and the Hurricane Iota.
Protestors consisting of youth activists stormed the congress and set the place on fire while waving the Guatemalan national flag calling President Alejandro Giammattei to resign while others called him to veto the proposed budget.
Tension within the central American nation rose after it was revealed that the state budget proposed for 2021 substantially increased public debt while cutting back on public services. The $12.9 billion budget earmarked for 2021 cuts back on spending for public healthcare, education and the justice system.
According to Reuters, 22 people has been arrested so far with the Amnesty International reporting “Multiple complaints of mistreatment, excessive use of force, indiscriminate use of tear gas by Guatemalan police”.
President Alejandro Giammattei is yet to comment on the escalation of protests but Vice-President Guillermo Castillo has openly stated he stands against the proposed budget and went even as far as to suggest the resignation of President Alejandro Giammattei and himself.