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Guatemala Continues Pressure Against President Jimmy Morales

Guatemala City, November 18 (RHC)-- Thousands of Guatemalans have taken part in a march rejecting corruption and impunity, demanding the resignation of President Jimmy Morales and more than two-thirds of the members of Congress.  University students and teachers, campesinos, union leaders, women's groups and Indigenous people also joined the march, as anti-government protests have been held almost daily since September 15th.  Protesters in Guatemala City held up banners demanding that Jimmy Morales and 112 members of the Congress -- made of 158 members -- "ask for forgiveness and return what they stole." 

According to the Citizen's Assembly Against Corruption and Impunity in Guatemala, these 112 people were part of the "corruption pact" that has allowed politicians to maintain impunity in the country.  "We are mobilizing against corruption and impunity," said Lenina Garcia, leader of the Association of University Students.  "It is necessary to show these politicians that we are not asleep and that we are going to demand profound changes in the political system." 

Jimmy Morales is under investigation by the United Nations International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala, or Cicig, for an unaccounted $825,000 he spent during his 2015 presidential election campaign. 

Just as the investigation began, Congress passed several decrees in September that provided Morales with immunity from the investigation, while making it easier for elected officials to evade criminal responsibility for campaign finance fraud .

Several members of Morales' administration, such as his brother Samuel, his son Jose, his deputy minister of foreign affairs, his interior minister, his finance minister and his labor minister have either resigned or been arrested on corruption charges. 

The Cicig is also investigating former President Otto Perez Molina and ex-Vice President Roxana Baldetti Elias, who are now facing trial to determine their involvement in a customs fraud scheme that cost the government millions of dollars. 

Edited by Pavel Jacomino
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