{"code":"25638","sect":"Central America","sect_slug":"central-america","hits":"705","link":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/en\/202108\/centroamerica\/25638","link_edit":"","name":"Guatemala Tries to Repeat the 2015 Uprising against Corruption","slug":"guatemala-tries-to-repeat-the-2015-uprising-against-corruption","info":"","mtag":"Politics","noun":{"html":"\u003Cspan class='tint-text--dark' data_href='\/user\/profile\/rgressier'\u003E Roman Gressier\u003C\/span\u003E","data":{"roman-gressier":{"sort":"rgressier","slug":"roman-gressier","path":"roman_gressier","name":"Roman Gressier","edge":"0","init":"0"}}},"view":"705","pict":{"cms-image-000036170-jpg":{"feat":"0","sort":"36170","name":"cms-image-000036170.jpg","link":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000036170.jpg","path":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000036170.jpg","back":"","slug":"cms-image-000036170-jpg","text":"<p>On their way to the seat of the Public Prosecutor's Office, protestors stop alongside Casa Presidencial to demand the resignation of President Alejandro Giammattei. Photo: Carlos Barrera\/El Faro<\/p>","capt":"\u003Cp\u003EOn their way to the seat of the Public Prosecutor's Office, protestors stop alongside Casa Presidencial to demand the resignation of President Alejandro Giammattei. Photo: Carlos Barrera\/El Faro\u003C\/p\u003E"},"cms-image-000036171-jpg":{"feat":"1","sort":"36171","name":"cms-image-000036171.jpg","link":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000036171.jpg","path":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000036171.jpg","back":"","slug":"cms-image-000036171-jpg","text":"<p>The Maya Poqoman Ancestral Authorities traveled from Santa Cruz, Solol\u00e1 to Guatemala City to join the national strike and call for the creation of a \"popular, plurinational constituent assembly.\" Photo: Carlos Barrera\/El Faro<\/p>","capt":"\u003Cp\u003EThe Maya Poqoman Ancestral Authorities traveled from Santa Cruz, Solol\u00e1 to Guatemala City to join the national strike and call for the creation of a \"popular, plurinational constituent assembly.\" Photo: Carlos Barrera\/El Faro\u003C\/p\u003E"},"cms-image-000036172-jpg":{"feat":"0","sort":"36172","name":"cms-image-000036172.jpg","link":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000036172.jpg","path":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000036172.jpg","back":"","slug":"cms-image-000036172-jpg","text":"<p>Student leader Jorge B\u00facaro addresses protestors in front of the Public Prosecutor's Office in Guatemala City. Students' associations heeded the calls of Indigenous authorities in joining the national strike. Photo: Carlos Barrera\/El Faro<\/p>","capt":"\u003Cp\u003EStudent leader Jorge B\u00facaro addresses protestors in front of the Public Prosecutor's Office in Guatemala City. Students' associations heeded the calls of Indigenous authorities in joining the national strike. Photo: Carlos Barrera\/El Faro\u003C\/p\u003E"},"cms-image-000036173-jpg":{"feat":"0","sort":"36173","name":"cms-image-000036173.jpg","link":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000036173.jpg","path":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000036173.jpg","back":"","slug":"cms-image-000036173-jpg","text":"<p>A group of protestors briefly set fire to the insignia of the Public Prosecutor's Office in Guatemala City, which became a common pit stop for protestors in the capital during the strike. Foto de El Faro: Carlos Barrera<\/p>","capt":"\u003Cp\u003EA group of protestors briefly set fire to the insignia of the Public Prosecutor's Office in Guatemala City, which became a common pit stop for protestors in the capital during the strike. Foto de El Faro: Carlos Barrera\u003C\/p\u003E"}},"pict_main__sort":36171,"date":{"live":"2021\/08\/02"},"data_post_dateLive_YY":"2021","data_post_dateLive_MM":"08","data_post_dateLive_DD":"02","text":"\u003Cp id=\"docs-internal-guid-84584f92-7fff-2111-c638-085826306213\" dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Ca href=\"\/es\/202107\/centroamerica\/25635\/El-desconsuelo-guatemalteco-vuelve-a-manifestarse-en-las-calles.htm\"\u003E\u003Cem\u003ELeer en espa\u00f1ol\u003C\/em\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe national strike conducted throughout parts of Guatemala on Thursday, July 29, came amid a surge of coronavirus cases and marked the highest-magnitude political tremor since the massive protests that dethroned president Otto P\u00e9rez Molina in 2015. Protesters staged dozens of rallies and highway blockades across the country, with the epicenter in the department of Totonicap\u00e1n, the seat of the influential local Indigenous authority known as the 48 Cantons of Totonicap\u00e1n, which originally called for the strike two days earlier.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u201cWe didn\u2019t go into the city today to deliver a petition. We didn\u2019t travel today to negotiate or submit a memo. Today we stayed here, with dignity,\u201d declared Mart\u00edn Toc, president of the 48 Cantons, on the morning of the strike.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EOn the heels of the 48 Cantons\u2019 call came dozens of others from diverse sectors of the public, including Indigenous authorities, rural development collectives, university groups, and small opposition parties. This political alliance has one clear point of convergence: demanding the resignation of President Alejandro Giammattei and Attorney General Consuelo Porras.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\t\t\u003Cfigure class=\"pict pict_land pict_move_posc 0 cs_img cs_img--curr rule--ss_c\" data-shot=\"pict\" data-hint=\"pict\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"pict__pobj text-overflow\"\u003E\u003Cimg src=\"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/get_img?ImageWidth=2000&ImageHeight=1333&ImageId=36170\" class=\"pobj\" style=\"max-width: 100%\" rel=\"resizable\" alt=\"On their way to the seat of the Public Prosecutor's Office, protestors stop alongside Casa Presidencial to demand the resignation of President Alejandro Giammattei. Photo: Carlos Barrera\/El Faro\" \/\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"pict__line block edge--ss_lax edge--ss_rax padd--ss_l0x padd--ss_r0x line--ss_s0b lineh rule--ss_c\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"block-inline full-width align-middle lineh__rect tint-back--nake\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003E\u00a0\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cfigcaption class=\"pict__text cs_img_caption folk_content typo_buttons line--ss_s0c line--ss_s0c--auto block full-width text-overflow rule--ss_l relative\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"__content block-inline full-width align-top tint-text--idle relative\"\u003EOn their way to the seat of the Public Prosecutor's Office, protestors stop alongside Casa Presidencial to demand the resignation of President Alejandro Giammattei. Photo: Carlos Barrera\/El Faro\u003Cdiv class=\"photographer text_italic rule--ss_l tint-text--idle\"\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/figcaption\u003E\u003C\/figure\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThis alliance, which the strike consolidated and put in the public eye, found an open flank in the administration one week prior. On Friday, July 23, Porras removed Juan Francisco Sandoval, head of the Special Prosecutor\u2019s Office against Impunity (FECI), the controversial wing of the Public Prosecutor\u2019s Office which has most marked its independence from the Giammattei administration. Sandoval\u2019s removal compounded two other main sources of discontent fueling the strike: the \u003Ca href=\"\/en\/202107\/centroamerica\/25605\/%E2%80%9CIt%E2%80%99s-Hard-to-Find-an-Honest-Judge-in-Guatemala-Now%E2%80%9D.htm\"\u003Ebroader attacks against independent players\u003C\/a\u003E in the justice system and the government\u2019s \u003Ca href=\"\/en\/202107\/centroamerica\/25607\/As-Pandemic-Pummels-Guatemala-Government-Stalls.htm\"\u003Eembattled response to the pandemic\u003C\/a\u003E. The removal was the breaking point, a resounding \u201cenough\u201d which on Thursday spanned from the capital to Pet\u00e9n.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EOn Calle Mart\u00ed, a national thoroughfare cutting through the north end of the capital, cries of \u201cenough\u201d began early in the morning of the strike. July 29 is Oxlajuj Iq\u2019, the day of ceremonies in Mayan traditions calling on the wind to carry away suffering and sicknesses. The wind, at least, carried away the smog of 18-wheelers which cross the capital\u2019s northern Zona 2 every day, a short walk from the president\u2019s residence, as they transport goods from around the country through the capital. By 8 in the morning, the heavily transited Mart\u00ed had largely emptied out as transit workers redirected rush hour traffic through quiet side streets.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EJulio C\u00e9sar Vado, a driver in the public bus system, Transurbano, explained why. \u201cI was out working, and three or four from the U arrived,\u201d he said, referring to college students from the University Students\u2019 Association (AEU) of San Carlos University. They asked him early in the day to lend his bus to block the traffic along Calle Mart\u00ed. His bus is one of two which shut down traffic where Mart\u00ed intersects with Sixth Avenue, starting at 6 in the morning. \u201cThey spoke to me very respectfully. They led me here, and that\u2019s it.\u201d He said that his bosses at Transurbano told him to do as the students asked, and added: \u201cI\u2019m here, until they (the students) tell me otherwise.\u201d He also weighed in on the strike: \u201cThere\u2019s nothing wrong with it. They\u2019re looking out for the people\u2019s rights and wellbeing.\u201d\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe cordoning-off of Mart\u00ed, orchestrated by a handful of twenty-somethings from the AEU, was just as practical as it was symbolic. \u201cWe\u2019re blocking Calle Mart\u00ed because it\u2019s a main roadway,\u201d said Laura Aguilar, AEU secretary general. \u201cThose are the trucks of businesses and elites which now can\u2019t move around the city because we have it paralyzed.\u201d The students\u2019 association which she leads, from the country\u2019s only public university, waited for the announcement from the 48 Cantons before officially joining the strike. \u201cWe learned from the Mayan peoples. They teach us dignity every day, and resilience.\u201d\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EAt the intersection of Calle Mart\u00ed and Sixth Avenue, alongside the two Transurbano buses, was the gathering point for hundreds of demonstrators from diverse sectors of Guatemalan society. In the early hours of the morning, among others, appeared a delegation from the Winaq Political Movement, which has three seats in Congress; a diverse representation of feminists, and flag bearers displaying the faces of disappeared relatives during the armed conflict, from a group called Hijos Guatemala. Also in attendance were the Altiplano Campesino Committee, which is a rural development collective, and the NGO called Asamblea Social y Popular. While a team from the National Civil Police Inspector General\u2019s Office arrived just after 7, there was no significant interaction between the police and protestors.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe political opposition present on Calle Mart\u00ed says they have also carried their protests to the courts, by calling for an injunction against Sandoval\u2019s destitution. \u201cWe believe that constitutional due process protections were violated in the illegal and arbitrary removal,\u201d argued Sonia Guti\u00e9rrez, legislator in Congress with Winaq. Her legislative bloc joined with those of Semilla and Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity in presenting articles of impeachment against Porras for the removal of Sandoval.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EBut the arrival to the intersection which stood out most was that of a dozen elders from the Ancestral Authority of the Maya Poqomam People, a delegation from south and southwest Guatemala which also covers territory in parts of western El Salvador. Their arrival set the march in motion from Calle Mart\u00ed to Casa Presidencial. Dozens of demonstrators followed the Poqomam all day, and echoed their main demand: \u201cWe call for the creation of a popular, plurinational constituent assembly,\u201d said the spokesperson for the ancestral authorities.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\t\t\u003Cfigure class=\"pict pict_land pict_move_posc 0 cs_img cs_img--curr rule--ss_c\" data-shot=\"pict\" data-hint=\"pict\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"pict__pobj text-overflow\"\u003E\u003Cimg src=\"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/get_img?ImageWidth=2000&ImageHeight=1333&ImageId=36171\" class=\"pobj\" style=\"max-width: 100%\" rel=\"resizable\" alt=\"The Maya Poqoman Ancestral Authorities traveled from Santa Cruz, Solol\u00e1 to Guatemala City to join the national strike and call for the creation of a \"popular, plurinational constituent assembly.\" Photo: Carlos Barrera\/El Faro\" \/\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"pict__line block edge--ss_lax edge--ss_rax padd--ss_l0x padd--ss_r0x line--ss_s0b lineh rule--ss_c\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"block-inline full-width align-middle lineh__rect tint-back--nake\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003E\u00a0\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cfigcaption class=\"pict__text cs_img_caption folk_content typo_buttons line--ss_s0c line--ss_s0c--auto block full-width text-overflow rule--ss_l relative\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"__content block-inline full-width align-top tint-text--idle relative\"\u003EThe Maya Poqoman Ancestral Authorities traveled from Santa Cruz, Solol\u00e1 to Guatemala City to join the national strike and call for the creation of a \"popular, plurinational constituent assembly.\" Photo: Carlos Barrera\/El Faro\u003Cdiv class=\"photographer text_italic rule--ss_l tint-text--idle\"\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/figcaption\u003E\u003C\/figure\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EShortly after they arrived at 10:30am, it began to rain. \u201cThe ancestors are blessing and accompanying us,\u201d said the spokesperson. In the span of minutes, disposable ponchos appeared throughout the city center, with each street vendor hawking the same offer: ten quetzales each. Others carried Guatemalan flags, hats, plastic trumpets, and Anonymous masks. The vendors attended the strike better prepared than many of the demonstrators.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EOne demonstrator, B\u00e1rbara Escobar, graduate of San Carlos University, was present in the months-long demonstrations in 2015 which resulted in the resignation of president Otto P\u00e9rez Molina and Roxana Baldetti. But even so, she echoes the Poqomam in arguing that the results of those protests didn\u2019t go far enough, because they failed to culminate in the foundation of a new, plurinational and anti-patriarchal state. \u201cYou went out with the inexperience, the naivet\u00e9 of thinking you could achieve deep change by going to protest every Saturday,\u201d she said of 2015.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe throngs from Calle Mart\u00ed accompanied a dozen Poqomam elders, who each walked with a staff and Covid-19 mask, to Constitution Plaza. By the time they arrived, the plaza was half-full with demonstrators, even in the rain. After spending a half-hour in the boisterous protests there, the group continued on its way two kilometers to the headquarters of the Public Prosecutor\u2019s Office.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe office of former prosecutor Sandoval, whose removal sparked the strike, answers directly to the Public Prosecutor\u2019s Office, led by attorney general Consuelo Porras. Protests assembled outside the office the day after Sandoval\u2019s removal, and on the day of the strike the office had become a frequent pitstop for groups of protestors scattered throughout the city. The group led by the Poqomam stopped outside the building to yell at employees, some of whom looked perplexed, peering out second-floor windows. One of them gave a thumbs-up to those congregated below.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\t\t\u003Cfigure class=\"pict pict_land pict_move_posc 0 cs_img cs_img--curr rule--ss_c\" data-shot=\"pict\" data-hint=\"pict\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"pict__pobj text-overflow\"\u003E\u003Cimg src=\"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/get_img?ImageWidth=2000&ImageHeight=1333&ImageId=36172\" class=\"pobj\" style=\"max-width: 100%\" rel=\"resizable\" alt=\"Student leader Jorge B\u00facaro addresses protestors in front of the Public Prosecutor's Office in Guatemala City. Students' associations heeded the calls of Indigenous authorities in joining the national strike. Photo: Carlos Barrera\/El Faro\" \/\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"pict__line block edge--ss_lax edge--ss_rax padd--ss_l0x padd--ss_r0x line--ss_s0b lineh rule--ss_c\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"block-inline full-width align-middle lineh__rect tint-back--nake\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003E\u00a0\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cfigcaption class=\"pict__text cs_img_caption folk_content typo_buttons line--ss_s0c line--ss_s0c--auto block full-width text-overflow rule--ss_l relative\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"__content block-inline full-width align-top tint-text--idle relative\"\u003EStudent leader Jorge B\u00facaro addresses protestors in front of the Public Prosecutor's Office in Guatemala City. Students' associations heeded the calls of Indigenous authorities in joining the national strike. Photo: Carlos Barrera\/El Faro\u003Cdiv class=\"photographer text_italic rule--ss_l tint-text--idle\"\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/figcaption\u003E\u003C\/figure\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe name of Sandoval, who fled Central America the night of his removal to avoid retaliation for his work, was ubiquitous on demonstrators\u2019 signs from the week between his removal and the day of the strike. Other independent judges, prosecutors, and justice system workers have also fled the country, one by one, since the expulsion of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) in 2019. In fact, the last mass strike, in 2015, resulted from the CICIG\u2019s investigations into then-president P\u00e9rez Molina. Human rights experts say that Sandoval\u2019s removal, as well as that of other independent justice system workers, \u003Ca href=\"\/en\/202107\/centroamerica\/25605\/%E2%80%9CIt%E2%80%99s-Hard-to-Find-an-Honest-Judge-in-Guatemala-Now%E2%80%9D.htm\"\u003Erepresents a backlash against the judicial achievements of the CICIG\u003C\/a\u003E in the fight against impunity.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThese attacks are compounded by widespread discontent with the government\u2019s Covid-19 vaccination plan. To date, fewer than one in ten Guatemalans has received at least one dose of the vaccine. To get to that point, the government has depended on Moderna vaccine donations from the United States. Minister of Health Amelia Flores announced in a Tuesday press conference before the strike that the 16 million doses of Russian vaccines purchased in April will finish arriving by the end of the year. In the meantime, one in two administered vaccines has been in the capital.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EAny demonstration, but especially the big ones, contains a diversity of intentions and political agendas, as well as means of communicating discontent or rage. That\u2019s why, after a few minutes standing outside the Public Prosecutor\u2019s Office, yelling at the building wall and the police standing guard shoulder-to-shoulder was no longer enough for some.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003ESome demonstrators, dressed in black with their faces covered and sporting green and purple handkerchiefs, covered the outside insignia of the Public Prosecutor\u2019s Office in a black tarp and the Guatemalan flag, doused them with gasoline they had brought in plastic water bottles, and set fire to it. Some of the police watched the flames, which lasted for a few minutes, with astonishment, but the line of officers didn\u2019t move. Those closest to the flames stepped back.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\t\t\u003Cfigure class=\"pict pict_land pict_move_posc 0 cs_img cs_img--curr rule--ss_c\" data-shot=\"pict\" data-hint=\"pict\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"pict__pobj text-overflow\"\u003E\u003Cimg src=\"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/get_img?ImageWidth=2000&ImageHeight=1333&ImageId=36173\" class=\"pobj\" style=\"max-width: 100%\" rel=\"resizable\" alt=\"A group of protestors briefly set fire to the insignia of the Public Prosecutor's Office in Guatemala City, which became a common pit stop for protestors in the capital during the strike. Foto de El Faro: Carlos Barrera\" \/\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"pict__line block edge--ss_lax edge--ss_rax padd--ss_l0x padd--ss_r0x line--ss_s0b lineh rule--ss_c\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"block-inline full-width align-middle lineh__rect tint-back--nake\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003E\u00a0\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cfigcaption class=\"pict__text cs_img_caption folk_content typo_buttons line--ss_s0c line--ss_s0c--auto block full-width text-overflow rule--ss_l relative\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"__content block-inline full-width align-top tint-text--idle relative\"\u003EA group of protestors briefly set fire to the insignia of the Public Prosecutor's Office in Guatemala City, which became a common pit stop for protestors in the capital during the strike. Foto de El Faro: Carlos Barrera\u003Cdiv class=\"photographer text_italic rule--ss_l tint-text--idle\"\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/figcaption\u003E\u003C\/figure\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EA spokesperson for the Poqomam, on the other hand, did react. He grabbed a microphone and addressed the demonstrators: \u201cThey need to resign, but let\u2019s not provoke violence.\u201d Minutes later, the Poqomam left. The group that stayed behind, the most radical of the demonstrators which had walked with the Poqomam, threw paint at the stoic line of police, chanted \u201cthe police don\u2019t protect me, my amigas do,\u201d and set a tire on fire, which suddenly exploded and began spewing black fumes on the steps of the Public Prosecutor\u2019s Office. No riot gear in sight, as if the office was waiting out the storm rapping on its door.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EPorras, on the other hand, reacted to the strike at 11 a.m. that day, publishing a letter on social media to Secretary of State Antony Blinken. \u201cVarious sectors are employing pressure tactics against the attorney general,\u201d she complained, and repeated her assertion that she had fired Sandoval for disobeying orders and for \u201cideological blindspots.\u201d She added that the demonstrations could culminate in \u201ccriminal conduct such as disrespectful, offensive, defamatory publications, as well as inciting a national strike.\u201d\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003ETwo days prior, as calls for the strike rattled in from around the country, a State Department spokesperson announced that the department had cut off cooperation with Porras\u2019s ministry. Even Secretary Blinken condemned the removal of Sandoval on Twitter. Sandoval was a darling prosecutor for the State Department; this February, Secretary Blinken named him as one of 12 \u201canti-corruption champions\u201d around the world, citing his work at the head of the FECI.\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EAfter Porras published her letter to Blinken, State Department special envoy Ricardo Z\u00fa\u00f1iga underscored the point: \u201cThe public protests today against the removal of the prosecutor against impunity reflect the deep importance of the role of citizens of Central America in good governance.\u201d\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EEven President Giammattei has tried to take his distance from the attorney general following the removal of Sandoval and suspension of cooperation with the Public Prosecutor\u2019s Office. \u201cToday, a newsroom published a statement by the State Department in which they froze aid to the Public Prosecutor\u2019s Office until the cases can be cleared up,\u201d said Giammattei in a Tuesday press conference. \u201cThis newsroom says that \u201cdue to the lack of confidence in the government, support to the administration has been suspended,\u201d which is far from the truth.\u201d\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003ENot even on Zoom has Porras, who teaches law at San Carlos University, escaped the protests. \u201cDesconsuelo, you\u2019re corrupt!\u201d yelled various of the students during one of her virtual classes the day before the strike. \u2018Desconsuelo\u2019 means \u2018discomfort,\u2019 and is a play on Porras\u2019s first name which has been commonplace at recent protests calling for her resignation. \u201cIf you disconnect us you won\u2019t silence us,\u201d one student added.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe next morning, Thursday, July 29, Transurbano bus driver Julio C\u00e9sar Vado set off with his bus, carrying other students from the same public university where Porras teaches, to shut down the Mart\u00ed highway.\u003C\/p\u003E"}