Politics

Guatemala: Congress on fire after protesters storm building

Demonstrators gesture after setting on fire an office of the Congress building during a protest demanding the resignation of President Alejandro Giammattei, in Guatemala City on November 21, 2020

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Hundreds of anti-government protesters in Guatemala have vandalised and set fire to parts of the Congress building, before being dispersed by riot police.

The building in Guatemala City was empty at the time of the attack, which lasted for about 10 minutes.

The fire services have managed to put the fire, but the extent of the damage is not yet known.

The protesters are opposed to the a budget, which was approved by Congress on Wednesday night.

View of an office of the Congress building set on fire by demonstrators demanding the resignation of President Alejandro Giammattei, in Guatemala City on November 21, 2020.

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They also want President Alejandro Giammattei to resign.

The opposition says the budget prioritises big infrastructure projects to be handled by companies with government connections and overlooks the social and economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The country has also recently been hit by two damaging storms, Eta and Iota.

On Friday, Vice-President Guillermo Castillo expressed his opposition to the budget and said that both he and Mr Giammattei should step down “for the good of the country”.