GUATEMALA CITY – A 48-year-old man died on Monday during one of the protests of thousands of farmworkers in various regions of Guatemala demanding the resignation of President Jimmy Morales, organizers of the march reported.
The man, identified as Antonio Cruz Jimenez, died when a large truck ran into a group of demonstrators who were blocking a highway in the southeastern province of Jutiapa, the CODECA farmworkers committee said.
Truckdriver Ramiro Miranda, 32, was grabbed and beaten by the demonstrators, but agents of the National Civil Police (PNC) rescued him and took him to the police station in the town of El Progreso in the like-named province.
In a brief message on its Facebook page, CODECA lamented the death of Jimenez and proclaimed him “the first martyr to give his life for a Guatemala without corruption,” since he was run over “while taking part in the protest against the corruption pact.”
According to that message, thousands of farmworkers are carrying out demonstrations in the provinces of Jutiapa, Izabal, Quiche, Suchitepequez and Retalhuleu, among others, to demand Morales’s resignation because of his “incapacity” for governing, and the resignations of many members of Congress for their “pact of corruption.”
The farmworkers also demand the nationalization of electric power in Guatemala.
During 2017, CODECA set up a number of blockades also to demand the resignation of the president and the 107 lawmakers out of a total in Congress of 158 who protected his immunity after being accused of the crime of illicit electoral financing.