Guatemala President-elect Bernardo Arevalo
Guatemala President-elect Bernardo Arevalo AFP

Organization of American States (OAS)'s head Luis Almagro slammed the Guatemalan prosecutors for blocking President-elect Bernardo Arevalo from taking office, calling it a "shameful example for the hemisphere."

Almagro said Tuesday that Guatemalan Attorney General's Office's ongoing investigation on Arevalo and the electoral authority was an attack on the South American country's democracy.

Arevalo won the August elections with an overwhelming margin, following which Guatemala's Attorney General María Consuelo Porras ordered a raid on the electoral authority's offices and seizing of ballots.

Furthermore, Porras also allegedly disqualified Arevalo's party, Movimiento Semilla, due to registration issues. Since then, a large number of protesters have taken to the streets of Guatemala, asking for Porras' resignation.

"The prosecutors' office has chosen to ignore numerous calls from the international community and its behavior violates democratic norms," Almagro said, as per Reuters. "It continues to take measures that appear to be designed to override the will of the electorate."

The United States ambassador to the OAS, Francisco O. Mora, also issued a statement on Tuesday expressing concern over "the alarming and unprecedented actions taken by certain individuals and groups to undermine the results of Guatemala's free and fair election," as per the official website.

Mora said these were taken to block the smooth transition of power to the president-elect, who was committed to getting rid of corruption in Guatemala.

In response to ongoing protests in the country, Porras issued a video message Monday, asking the government to intervene and stop the protest as it is "illegal" to block the roads.

"I want to express my complete disagreement and distaste," Porras said in the video, adding that the protesters "clearly violate the rights of all Guatemalans."

Ahead of the elections, Arevalo, whose inauguration was supposed to take place on January 2024, had campaigned to end corruption in the country.

However, last month the Movimiento Semilla party was disqualified. The outgoing president Alejandro Giammattei, who had nominated Porras during his term, has also remained silent regarding the protests. These actions have made Guatemalans angry and received criticism from international bodies.

While the protests have been peaceful throughout last week, over the weekend a couple of incidents saw the protestors block the roads and disrupt Guatemalan's daily routine. However, those protesters were immediately arrested.

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