Protesters set fire to Guatemala parliament building

Hundreds of Guatemalans have broken into the parliament building and set it on fire in protest against next year’s approved budget.

They are angry that money has been set aside for meals for parliamentarians, but that less money is going to care for corona patients, education and human rights organizations.

The budget was passed in secret, according to protesters, while civilians were distracted by hurricanes and the corona pandemic.

Vice President willing to step down

Some 7,000 people protested in front of the National Palace in Guatemala City, which houses the Congress. Officers sprayed tear gas and people were injured, media report.

President Giammattei tweeted that anyone who has proven to participate in the “criminal acts” will be punished. Vice President Castillo has offered to resign and is said to have told Giammattei that they should both do so, “for the good of the country”.

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