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Hundreds of protesters set fire to part of Guatemalan Congress building

Video on social media showed flames shooting out a window in the legislative building

Guatemala | protests

IANS  |  Guatemala City 

Guatemala protests
Flames shoot out from Congress building after protesters set a part of the building on fire, in Guatemala City | AP Photo

Protesters who were rallying against the approval of the 2021 budget in set fire to a part of the Congress building here.

On Saturday night, some protesters approached the headquarters of the Legislative Palace, where they hurled objects with fire into the offices of the Congress building, reports Xinhua news agency.

Guatemala's volunteer and municipal firefighters had to intervene to control the flames.

Images released by firefighters show that the furniture in some congressional offices was almost completely consumed by the fire.

President Alejandro Giammattei condemned the acts of violence.

"I reiterate that we have the right to demonstrate according to the law. But we cannot allow it to vandalize public or private property.

"Whoever is proven to have participated in these criminal acts will be punished with the full force of the law," the President said.

The approval of the 2021 budget, which cuts spendings on education and healthcare, has caused high political tension in as many sectors also oppose the increase of public debt proposed by the government.

Vice President Guillermo Castillo has called on Giammattei to resign with him.




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First Published: Sun, November 22 2020. 11:29 IST