Indigenous peoples in Guatemala reject celebrations of 200 years of independence

Guatemala City, September 15 (EFE). Thousands of peasants demonstrated in various regions of Guatemala on Wednesday in refusal to celebrate the centenary of its independence from the Spanish crown, arguing that there are no reasons for celebration.

“Indigenous peoples reject the Creole government’s positions on investing in the false bicentenary, which means pillaging and robbery for us peoples, as well as the impoverishment of our lands,” Leader Thelma Cabrera told reporters. Indigenous community of the Campesino Development Commission (Codeca).

Specifically, Codeca was the main entity calling for demonstrations on Wednesday to protest any 200th anniversary of independence.

The Peasants’ Organization, which has more than 200,000 members, said in a press release that there was “nothing to celebrate” after “200 years of the Nakba due to looting, corruption, racism and oppression”.

Codeca noted that on September 15, 1821, at the dedication of Guatemalan independence, “the Creoles established the state of Guatemala to avoid paying taxes to the Spanish crown.”

Currently, Codeca notes that the “oligarchy” who facilitated independence “do not pay taxes, they are corrupt, plunder our assets and oppress us.”

In front of the government headquarters

In the Plaza de la ConstituciĆ³n, located in downtown Guatemala in front of the National Palace of Culture (the seat of government), about 250 people gathered to show their dissatisfaction with any bicentennial celebration and also with President Alejandro Giamatti.

Among those present were the authorities of the indigenous ancestors, who held a celebration for the Maya, and members of various social organizations, in front of a hoisting flag representing the Garifuna, Mayan, Mestizo and Xenca peoples.

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Memorial events to mark the bicentennial on August 31 were canceled by the Giamatti government, because the Central American country experienced the third wave of the coronavirus since June.

With the decision, the Giamatti government specified that it would save nine million dollars in the budget for the celebration, but according to local media, nearly eight million dollars was spent on souvenir products such as pens, hats, key rings, pouches and T-shirts. , among other things.

Demonstrations were recorded on Wednesday in at least 11 of the 22 provinces that make up Guatemala: Baja Verapaz, Ritalulio, Suchetpequez, Izabal, Quetzaltenango, Alta Verapaz, Solola, San Marcos, Quiche, Chimaltenango and Guatemala.

According to international organizations, 59% of 16.3 million Guatemalans live below the poverty line and about 50% of children born in the Central American country are malnourished.

Guatemala is the country with the highest number of coronavirus deaths and people infected with the disease in Central America, with 12,795 confirmed deaths and 515,756 cases.

The nation headed by Giamatti is in the third wave of coronavirus since last June, with hospital capacity reaching 97% in severe coronavirus patients.

(c) EFE . Agency

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