In Guatemala, marchers from three sectors of the country arrived in the capital city on Friday, April 22–Earth Day–at the end of an 11 day walk called the March for Water, Mother Earth, Territory and Life. The March was called by the Social and Popular Assembly, a federation of 80 organizations created during the protests against systemic corruption in the country in 2015 which resulted in the resignations of the President and Vice President, both of whom are currently on trial for corruption.
Thousands of members of indigenous peoples groups participated in the March. These communities suffered most in the long U.S.- supported “civil war” in Guatemala, forcing many people to flee. Many are currently living in the U.S. or are the children and grandchildren of those refugees. Since they were never granted asylum or received as refugees, they have lived here for decades without papers, and many children and grandchildren are U.S. citizens
This is what has led to the U.S. President’s creation of the DREAM Act, (DACA–Deferred Action for Children) and DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents) which is currently the subject of a suit being argued before the Supreme Court.
The current protests in Guatemala are denouncing the invasion of the country by U.S. and global business which is diverting the rivers and polluting the rivers and the sea, for the production of soft drinks (like Coca Cola), bottled water, and creation of dams to produce electricity. Also devastating to the country is the importation of African palms for oil, rubber industries, coffee, and other industries. In all of these local workers are hired at desperation wages, and profits are shared with corrupt local officials and with owners of shares in international companies.
Photos and information adapted from various Guatemalan sources, including Asemblea Popular y Social, Prensa Latin News Agency, LaHora, Daniel Pascual Hernandez, and others. CoFiA apologizes for any misinformation that may appear.