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Police surround Guatemalan Congress, where president will present report

Photo showing Guatemalan police and security forces deployed near and around Congress in Guatemala City on Jan. 14, 2019, prior to the presentation of President Jimmy Morales' annual report to lawmakers. EFE-EPA/Esteban Biba

Photo showing Guatemalan police and security forces deployed near and around Congress in Guatemala City on Jan. 14, 2019, prior to the presentation of President Jimmy Morales’ annual report to lawmakers. EFE-EPA/Esteban Biba

EFE

Guatemalan security forces on Monday surrounded Congress in this capital - where President Jimmy Morales is scheduled to present his third annual government report - with an eye to preventing protesters from approaching the legislative seat.

National Civil Police (PNC) and officials with the president’s Administrative and Security Matters Secretariat (SAAS) told EFE that nobody may access the offices near the Legislative Palace due to the police cordon.

The security forces have set up fences and plastic barrels to prevent the passage of vehicles into the zone.

Hundreds of PNC, Transit Police and SAAS officers have been deployed around Congress.

The measure is designed to prevent the anti-Morales protests convened for Monday from being staged near Congress, where in the coming hours the president will arrive to present his State of the Union report for his third year in office.

Various organizations on Monday called a national strike and other protests to reject the president’s decision eight days ago to cancel the agreement reached with the United Nations creating the International Commission Against Corruption and Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG).

The demonstrators from social collectives and other groups will also express their support for the Constitutional Court (CC), which ruled that the president’s move was invalid, although three of the magistrates were denounced for allegedly issuing resolutions in favor of the UN organization and “limiting” Morales’ foreign policy.

Besides the demonstrations in the capital, a series of highway blockades in the Guatemalan interior were established to further support CICIG and its activities.


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