Latin America

Explaining the crisis in Guatemala

Amid financial woes and a deadly pandemic, the government in Guatemala sought to approve severe budget cuts to healthcare and education

Guatemala budget protests
Protests at Guatemalan National Congress. Photo: VOA/Creative Commons

“Guatemala is crying blood,” read one protest sign in Guatemala City this weekend, as thousands took to the street against President Alejandro Giammattei and his government’s proposed 2021 budget, which foresaw severe cuts to health and education amid major benefits for big business.

Demonstrators demanded the budget be vetoed and called on Mr. Giammattei — the far-right leader often referred to as “Central America’s Bolsonaro” — to resign.

Approved behind closed doors on November 18, Guatemala’s USD 12.9 billion budget proposal was to be the largest in the country’s history, and it was criticized for being incompatible with the financial...

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