Chronicle: This Is How The Protests In Guatemala To Demand Prosecutor’s Resignation Go

Today will be the eleventh day of protests in Guatemala. Since the elections, the country has faced strong polarization over their legitimacy. Today, protesters defend their vote and ask for the prosecutor's resignation .

Citizens dance during a protest, on October 11, 2023, in Guatemala City

Photo: EFE/ David Toro

David Toro Escobar | EFE

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In the midst of the largest protests in their recent history, Guatemalans have put rhythm to their demonstrations and road blockades with music, songs, dances, salsa classes and a lot of ingenuity, waiting for the resignation of the attorney general, Consuelo Porras, who is accused of trying to modify the electoral results of last August.

To the beat of songs by the Venezuelan cumbiero Pastor López and the Mexican group Los Ángeles Azules, the rhythm has not been lacking in the protests in Guatemala, where music has predominated in the road blockades that have paralyzed the country since October 2 .

"Art is one of the main human expressions and in the midst of these tense days, dance serves as a regulator of emotions," Natali Molina, a dance instructor who gave salsa classes on Wednesday night to a group of protesters, in the north of Guatemala City, told EFE.

This is how, for a while, the protests stop in the country and give way to dancing in the deserted streets, under the light of public lighting, in the midst of historic sit-ins to demand the resignation of the attorney general and head of the Ministry Public, Consuelo Porras.

For many, the feeling is the same: at least for a few days, Guatemalans have regained the streets, in a city that lacks public spaces and where traffic is ranked among the worst in the world.

"Dance is an attempt to heal the social fabric of a Guatemala with a history of violence, war and conflict," adds Gabriela Bolten, a rapper who, along with another group of artists, has mobilized to accompany the protesters with their art.

In many cases, like Wednesday night, the dances are accompanied by slogans against the attorney general. This is how, in the middle of salsa classes, the protesters repeat in unison "Fuera Consuelo!" and "Que renuncien!"

Neighbors join the demonstrations with different contributions. Some, like Manuel Castillo, take their giant speakers out into the street and play marimba music. Others are in charge of blocking the passage and allowing only ambulances to pass.

Music and sport

The scene is repeated in other blockades, where those in charge of the demonstrations sometimes let some motorcycles or vehicles pass in exchange for one condition: that the driver get off and dance with the crowd for a few seconds.

"I have a lot of hope in the people of Guatemala. The most important thing now is not to give up and wait for Attorney General Porras to resign. We have shown that it is possible to resist in unity," Bolten added.

At other points of road closures, it has also been common to organize soccer matches and other activities in the middle of empty streets, with many residents taking advantage of the space.

Guatemalans have been demonstrating for 11 days in more than 100 parts of the country to demand the resignation of Porras and the leadership of the Prosecutor's Office, accused of trying to reverse the results of the votes, which left the progressive Bernardo Arévalo de León as the new president. for the period 2024-2028.

While the country is paralyzed, the blockades will continue to be accompanied by cultural and recreational activities such as yoga classes, concerts and presentations, as confirmed by university students to EFE. The protesters have warned that they will not give in until they achieve the resignation of Porras Argueta.

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