Tuesday 13 April 2021

Thousands of Guatemalans Protest President Morales, Demand His Resignation Over Fuego Volcano Crisis

Protesters say President Jimmy Morales had lied about emergency funds while the disaster agency failed to evacuate despite warnings.

Thousands in Guatemala are protesting and demanding President Jimmy Morales resign after what they see as his government’s incompetent management of the tragic volcano eruption that took more than 100 lives.

Protesters say President Jimmy Morales had lied about emergency funds while the disaster agency failed to evacuate despite warnings.

Students led a march of thousands of people carrying torches and shouting slogans against President Morales, whose popularity is plummeting due to several scandals and accusations of corruption, and demanded justice and aid for the victims and everyone affected by the eruption.

- Advertisement -

“We don’t have a president. Jimmy, the people are too big for you!” people were shouting as they marched to the presidential palace with their torches. “A headless and incapable government buries the people with impunity!”

“Thousands of Guatemalans arrived at the #HistoricCenter to demand the resignation of the president and vice president. They also demanded the resignation of representatives.”

“In this darkness,” a protester would yell on a megaphone before the crowd answers “we will be the light!” In Antigua, people lit candles in honor of the missing people so the government “doesn’t forget them,” Sofia Letona, a member of the “Antigua to the Rescue” group that formed spontaneously after the eruption, told EFE.

- Advertisement -

“We decided to place these candles for each one of the missing people, even though they are not found. It’s a symbolic act for our brothers and sisters to remain in our memories,” said Letona. So far, the official number of missing people is at 197, but some claim it should be much higher.

“If in 2014 there were 8,500 inhabitants, how could the number of missing people be [just] 197 people… the president should resign because he doesn’t have the capacity to face an emergency. Guatemala is too much for him,” said Hector Gramano, a law student taking part in one of the demonstrations, told EFE.

Authorities have recovered at least 110 bodies and counted 197 missing people, 54 injured and more than 1.7 million affected in the Sacatepequez, Chimaltenango and Escuintla departments.

Natural disasters, such as a volcano eruption or an earthquake, cannot be prevented but appropriate protocols and security measures can be taken to save lives, the critics of the Morales government argue.

Eufemia Garcia, 48, who lost 50 members of her family during the eruption of the Fuego volcano, embraces a rescue worker while searching for her family in San Miguel Los Lotes, Escuintla, June 9, 2018. Photo | Reuters

Guatemala’s volcanology institute reported volcano activity since the early morning on Sunday and recommended the National Coordinator for the Mitigation of Disasters (Conred) evacuate the population in danger several times before the eruption, but the requests fell on deaf ears.

- Advertisement -

Just after the volcano erupted and security and rescue forces were mobilizing to aid in the situation, President Morales announced they wouldn’t use “a single penny” for the emergency.

“I’m ashamed of saying this again, but according to our budget law, we can’t have a single penny. The budget law doesn’t allow the state to spend a penny on emergencies,” said Morales during a press conference at the Conred headquarters Monday.

But analysts and public servants know this isn’t true since the president can declare a “State of Public Calamity” according to article 101 of that very same law, which would allow the government to use public money for the emergency.

The state of calamity was declared in Sacatepequez, Escuintla and Chimaltenango a day after the eruption.

The search and rescue duties are currently suspended due to bad weather conditions and the continuous lava flow that still threatens surrounding areas. The search, however, is now only for bodies and the Conred is considering declaring the area a “cemetery.”

- Advertisement -

We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

Q24N is an aggregator of news for Latin America. Reports from Mexico to the tip of Chile and Caribbean are sourced for our readers to find all their Latin America news in one place.

Related Articles

Ecuador’s Sangay volcano erupts, spews ash 8 kilometers

Q24N (DW) Ecuador's Sangay volcano erupted on Thursday, spewing clouds of...

Clean Up Underway After Nicaragua’s Tallest Volcano Erupts  

TODAY NICARAGUA – Authorities in Nicaragua are keeping a close watch...


Minister of Health will criminally denounce doctors who refuse to be vaccinated

QCOSTARICA - The Minister of Health, Daniel Salas, said on Tuesday during the press conference from Casa Presidencial, he will go to court to...

Chamber of Commerce asks business to respect protocols against covid-19 to avoid new closures

QCOSTARICA - The Camara de Comercio (Chamber of Commerce) called on its members not to loosen the protocols against covid-19, after the warning from...

It wasn’t me… it was the Aresep.

The RECOPE, the Costa Rican refinery that doesn't refine anything, washes his hands and blames Aresep, the regulating authority, for the latest whopping increase...

Liga unveils plans for its future stadium, the most modern in Latin America

QCOSTARICA - La Liga Alajuelense presented the club's new stadium project to its partners, which will be located in front of the CAR in...

How To Develop a Security Culture in Your Office?

It’s something very common for organizations to rely on secure IT operations, as cyber risks are everywhere these days. Statistics show that in 2018,...

Ex model got tough with follower who wanted to know if she is an escort

Q MAGAZINE - Former model and television presenter Pamela Méndez was clear and direct to a follower who asked her if she was a...

Fake massage parlor was used for sexual services in Guadalupe

HQ - A 42-year-old woman, a Venezuelan national identified by her last name Padilla Mujica, was detained by agents of the Organismo de Investigación...

The Best Mobile Solitaire Games Ranked in 2021

Solitaire is simply the game you need to try in a lifetime. Some people say it’s for narcissists; others say that it’s for depressed...

Beginning of the week will be loaded with afternoon rains, says weather service

QCOSTARICA - Today, Monday, April 12, rains accompanied by a thunderstorm are expected during the afternoon, no different than the rains pouring down over...


Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.