Guatemala: Ex-military march ends with strong riots and protesters breaking into Congress

The protesters set fire to several vehicles near the Congress.

The protesters set fire to several vehicles near the Congress.

Photo: JOHAN ORDONEZ / AFP / Getty Images

A march of ex-military in Guatemala ended with severe disturbances and with the entry of some protesters by force in the Congress of the Central American country, where they caused damage.

Veterans held a demonstration in the center of the capital to require the government to pass a law that guarantees payment of compensation for their participation in the internal armed conflict (1960-1996), when they went to the Legislative facilities, which had to be evacuated.

According to the local press, the police guarding the Congress could not prevent their entry, despite being confronted by an anti-riot group with tear gas.

There was destruction in offices and in some access doors.

The newspaper La Prensa reported that several journalists resultinjured rum by the stones thrown by the ex-military, while El Periódico reported that several vehicles were burned in a congressional parking lot.

For weeks, ex-military personnel have held several demonstrations and roadblocks to pressure the government to pass a law to pay them around $ 15,500 for “services rendered” during decades of internal conflict.


Getty Images

According to the newspaper La Prensa, the veterans assure that this was what President Alejandro Giammattei promised them in the campaign in exchange for votes, a promise that deputy Felipe Alejos, from Todos, renewed when presenting an initiative to become law.

The problem is that does not know how many ex-military are and, therefore, how much money will be needed to fulfill the initiative.

According to estimates by the Commission for Historical Clarification, a kind of truth commission that functioned in the country, more than 200,000 people died and another 45,000 disappeared during the years of internal conflict.


The ex-military have held protests for several days.

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